March Employee of the Month says, ‘It’s more than a job… it’s a calling.’

March 4, 2015

Gayle Hoelscher is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for March 2015. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

After being a nurse on Boone Hospital Center’s oncology unit for nearly twenty years, Gayle Hoelscher wouldn’t want to work anywhere else – in fact, she knew this before she started her first day on the floor. Gayle says, “When I first applied at Boone Hospital Center, it was specifically for a nursing position on the oncology floor.”

Gayle Hoelscher

Gayle Hoelscher

Gayle’s interest in oncology started while working toward her associates in nursing degree at Central Methodist in Fayette, when she completed her clinical rounds at Columbia Regional Hospital.

“When I was in nursing school, everybody I knew thought I’d go into pediatrics, because I took care of kids,” Gayle says. She began her nursing education at 40, completing prerequisite courses at Columbia College during the evening, and providing childcare in her home during the day as well as raising her three sons. “When the kids were studying, I’d be studying,” she says.

Gayle’s first experience caring for cancer patients and their families inspired her. “Cancer doesn’t only affect the patient,” she says. “It affects their loved ones. You’ll have people staying with the patient overnight, and they need help, too. I like taking care of patients and families – I don’t care if it’s just getting someone a cup of coffee, taking the trash out of a patients’ room, or making someone some toast or hot tea at 2 in the morning. They might say, ‘That’s not your job,’ but my job is to do anything for them.”

Gayle has worked the night shift most of the time and says she enjoys the cooperation and support among other night nurses. “We have each other to depend on,” she says. “If a nurse has a patient who’s critically sick, we’re all involved, whether you’re helping that patient or covering for a nurse’s other patients.”

She also likes the pride that she and her teammates take in their unit and the care they provide.

“I like that I’ve worked with some of the same people for 10 or 15 years,” she says. “Sometimes it can be tough working on an oncology floor, because we do lose patients, and sometimes they can be very young. But again, you’re there for the patient and their family. I think if you continue to work this long on a unit like this, it’s more than a job. I feel like it’s a calling.”

Gayle also takes pride in the quality of care Boone Hospital Center’s physicians and staff provide all of its patients. “I think we have the best of both worlds here. We have a close community, and we also offer the type of care that they provide in Saint Louis or Kansas City. And I think our physicians do what’s best for the patient.”

Gayle grew up in Jefferson City and has called Columbia home for the last 30 years.

When not working, Gayle likes to stay active at the WELLAWARE Fitness Center and gets together with a group of friends once a month for dinner, as they’ve been doing since their children were little. She enjoys spending time and visiting with her three sons, Scott, Jason and Matthew, and her three grandchildren, and traveling with her husband Larry to a different part of the world each year.


February Employee of the Month enjoys improving patient care

February 4, 2015

Jenn Bronson is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for February 2015. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

“When I encounter an opportunity for improvement, I enjoy working with my team to create a solution,” says Jenn Bronson, Outcomes Coordinator, Cardiology, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

As an Outcomes Coordinator, Jenn works with other nurses, social workers and case management staff to develop the best discharge plan for patients who’ve undergone cardiothoracic surgery.

Jennifer Bronson

Jennifer Bronson

Jenn joined Boone Hospital Center as a patient care tech on the Cardiothoracic Surgery unit in 2002, while in her junior year at University of Missouri Columbia. “I wanted to get a year of direct patient contact experience before graduating with a nursing degree, and I was attracted to Boone Hospital Center’s excellent reputation in the community,” she says.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2003, Jenn was offered a floor nurse position on the same unit. In 2009, she was offered the Outcomes Coordinator position, a role she retained when the Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiology units merged in November 2013.

Jenn says she enjoys working together with physicians and staff on her unit and in other hospital areas to find new ways to improve the care and discharge process for patients. She likes creating new procedures and improving processes using technology. “When new technologies become available, Boone takes the lead.”

She says, “I enjoy training staff, and seeing the benefits of this work through the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

Jenn also enjoys photography and has won several prizes for her work in Boone Hospital Center’s annual employee photo contest. She also likes tending to her iris garden, camping and spending time with her husband Matt, seven-year-old daughter Erica, and four-year-old son Andrew.

Health care is a fast-paced field with constant changes, but Jenn enjoys the challenge and knows why it’s important to stay on top of the latest technology – to provide patients with excellent care.

“I find it rewarding to make a positive difference in someone’s life,” she says.


Path out of pain: Boone Hospital team helps Tebbetts woman escape severe knee arthritis

January 21, 2015

This article appeared in our fall 2014 issue of My Boone Health magazine. The next issue will be out very soon — subscribe to have it sent to your home.

By Jacob Luecke

From her home in Tebbetts, Mo., Belinda Heimericks can look down upon the Missouri River bottoms and the Katy Trail.

For years, she loved spending hours biking and walking along the trail, enjoying the views of farmland and majestic bluffs. But in recent years, those trips became fewer and fewer.

For the past decade, Belinda, 63, has suffered from arthritis in both of her knees. About three years ago, the pain became severe, requiring her to take pain medication just to make it through each day.

In addition to limiting her time on the Katy Trail, Belinda’s increasing pain was starting to take the fun out of life—making it difficult to enjoy a 2013 trip to the St. Louis Zoo with six of her eight grandkids.

“Anytime I had an outing, I would have to plan out how long I was going to be walking and make sure that I could take my pain medication throughout the day,” she says. “If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.”

Belinda 1

 

Looking for help, Belinda turned to Columbia Orthopaedic Group, the physician practice affiliated with Boone Hospital Center’s orthopedic program.

At first, Belinda and her doctor tried using injections to stop the pain, but those did not provide lasting relief. Then, orthopedic surgery specialist Ben Holt, MD, decided that performing replacement surgery was the best path forward. He recommended doing both knees at once.

“What I ask people is, ‘Which knee bothers you more?’ And if they can’t tell me which knee bothers them more, then generally those patients do better having both knees done at the same time,” Dr. Holt says. “Doing them both at once means they avoid having to face the risks of surgery twice and having to do rehab twice. This way, they can get it all over with at the same time.”

While replacement surgery was a big step, Belinda says she trusted Dr. Holt and the Columbia Orthopaedic Group, noting that the practice had helped her family members in the past.

“I had heard excellent things about them and my experience with Columbia Orthopaedics has always been very positive,” she says. “Our family has always had excellent outcomes.”

As a nurse who works in a management role with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Belinda says she was also aware of Boone Hospital’s reputation for outstanding nursing care. The hospital’s Magnet designation made her feel comfortable she would be in good hands as she recovered from surgery.

“With my nursing background, I pay attention to the reputation of the nursing care provided at the different hospitals,” she says. “I knew that Boone Hospital Center was a Magnet hospital, which for me is very important because I know that signals that the nursing care is going to be excellent.”

Belinda’s surgery took place on Dec. 6, 2013. While the procedure is called “replacement” surgery, Dr. Holt says that term often leads to confusion. Rather than removing and replacing a patient’s knees, the surgery actually involves resurfacing the knees.

Belinda’s surgery took just over two hours. During that time, Dr. Holt cut away a small amount of bone on both of her knees, enabling him to install a new metal surface. He then placed a plastic insert to pad where the two metal surfaces would come together in the knee.

“A lot of times people have a real misconception about what we do,” Dr. Holt says. “Really I think the better term would be total knee resurfacing, because that’s really what we are doing.”

The surgery went smoothly.

After the procedure, as Belinda recovered at Boone Hospital, she says her nurses lived up to their strong reputation.

“They were just outstanding,” she says. “I think what struck me about it was how they anticipated my needs. I didn’t have to tell them I was experiencing pain, they were there and saying, ‘It’s time. We think you need more pain medication so that we can stay ahead of the pain.’ They were anticipating what my needs were and that made it much more tolerable.”

On the fourth day after the surgery, she was able to return home, where she underwent a month of in-home therapy before doing one additional month of outpatient therapy.

Belinda 2As she recovered, her world began to open up again.

Just four months after the surgery, she attended a soccer class with her four-year-old grandson. She was far from a bystander.

“I was out in that class with him and I was able to kick the soccer ball and dribble it down the field,” Belinda says. “Before the surgery, I would have been sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else. That’s how quickly it all came back”

This summer, Belinda went on an out-of-state work trip where her hotel was five blocks from her meetings. Yet each day, she skipped the shuttle and walked instead—enjoying the opportunity to sightsee.

“I had no knee pain and I didn’t have to take any medications,” she says. “I was able to walk as far as I wanted.”

This contrasted greatly with a similar trip in 2013, when Belinda needed assistance just to get around the airport.

Dr. Holt says such strong results are common with knee replacement patients.

“It’s usually a dramatic improvement,” Dr. Holt says. “Not every knee replacement patient is totally pain free all the time. But usually in comparison it’s a dramatic improvement from what they had before.”

With Belinda’s great outcome—she says she feels no pain except for some occasional, normal stiffness—Belinda is not shy about endorsing the service she received at Boone Hospital.

“I just can’t speak highly enough about the nursing care, the care provided by the physical therapists and the medical staff at Boone Hospital Center,” she says. “My husband and I have decided if we need to be hospitalized anywhere in central Missouri, it needs to be at Boone Hospital.”

Belinda also had high praise for Dr. Holt, whom she says has a wonderful bedside manner and a great sense of humor.

“He is an excellent practitioner, he’s very personable,” she says. “I highly recommend him. The first thing I say to anyone is if they have any kind of knee or hip problems, I say you need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holt. He is fantastic.”

 

When should you see an orthopedic specialist for knee pain?

As people get older, it’s common to feel aches and pains every now and then. But if the pain is persistent, Dr. Holt says there is a wide variety of techniques that a specialist can use to help relieve the pain—with replacement surgery being one of the later options.

“The normal knee really shouldn’t hurt,” Dr. Holt says. “It’s one thing to have an ache or pain here and there, but if you are having discomfort several days of the week—week after week—there is something going on that probably needs to be addressed. If it’s ignored, it may just continue to get worse.”


January Employee of the Month is inspired by her patients

January 6, 2015

Mung Chin is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for January 2015. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Mung Chin saw a job posting for an oncology staff nurse in late 2010, she thought “That might be something I like.” She applied, interviewed and joined Boone Hospital Center in January 2011.

Four years later, she says, “My intuition was right.” Mung has stayed with oncology and is now the nurse navigator for the Stewart Cancer Center. As a nurse navigator, she provides support for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families, providing education, identifying possible barriers to treatment, and connecting patients with resources to remove those barriers. The ultimate goal is to help cancer patients complete treatment without becoming overwhelmed or getting lost in the system.

Mung Chin, RN

“I help navigate cancer patients through the health care labyrinth,” she explains. Mung enjoys being able to work with patients on a continual basis, before and after staying in the Stewart Cancer Center. “I definitely like the opportunity I have to work with patients and families after they leave the hospital. You get to see their whole lives. I feel like my role is well-rounded.”

Before coming to Boone Hospital Center, Mung had worked as a staff nurse on a medical surgery unit. She earned her associates degree in nursing at Columbia College in 2009, and later completed her bachelor’s in 2013. Prior to becoming a nurse, Mung had moved to Columbia from Singapore in 2004. She worked in customer service and enjoyed her job assisting people, but says, “I kept thinking ‘Something is missing.’ Being a nurse brings me a higher, more rewarding feeling. In the hospital, you may see someone at their worst, but you also see them at their best at the same time. You see their hope and their willingness to do whatever it takes not just for themselves but for their families. It’s very touching.”

In addition to being able to make a diference in the lives of patients and their families, Mung enjoys the teamwork and support she receives from her co-workers and medical staff in her role as nurse navigator.

“When someone is diagnosed and stressed out, you can’t expect them to wait two weeks for an appointment,” she says. “The collaboration I have with physicians and other hospital departments is great. I work closely with Nuclear Medicine, for example. If there are changes to a patient’s schedule, they always work with me. They’re so supportive.”

Mung also appreciates the support from hospital leadership in furthering her education as a nurse, both in completing her BSN and in learning on the job: “My position is our first nurse navigator role. There’s a lot to learn. But everyone I talk to and approach with questions has been very supportive and is willing to teach.”


Christmas Holiday Closures

December 23, 2014

snowheads

Boone Hospital Center is always open to serve our patients and community, however, some of our services and clinics will be closed or closing early for the Christmas holiday. Please see the list below for more information.

All of us wish you a happy and healthy holiday!

Wednesday, December 24

  • Boone Therapy
  • Boonique Gifts: Open until 2 PM
  • Cardiac Rehab: Open until noon
  • Cashier
  • Diabetes & Nutrition
  • Medical Records: Open until noon
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • WELLAWARE Fitness Center

Clinics

  • Boone Convenient Care: Open until 3 PM
  • Boone Diabetes and Endocrine: Open until noon
  • Boone Family Practice
  • Boone Primary Care
  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine
  • Boone Specialty Clinic Moberly
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic: Open until noon
  • Mid-Mo Neurosurgery

Thursday, December 25

  • Boone Appetit Cafe
  • Boone Hospital Home Care & Hospice
  • Boone Therapy
  • Boonique Gifts
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Cashier
  • Diabetes & Nutrition
  • Harris Breast Center
  • Medical Records
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Patient Accounts
  • WELLAWARE Fitness Center

Clinics

  • Boone Convenient Care
  • Boone Diabetes and Endocrine
  • Boone Hospital Radiology Clinic
  • Boone Family Practice
  • Boone Internal Medicine Associates
  • Boone Primary Care
  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine
  • Boone Specialty Clinic Moberly
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic
  • Mid-Mo Neurosurgery
  • Southern Boone Family Practice

Friday, December 26

  • Boone Appetit Cafe
  • Boone Therapy
  • Boonique Gifts
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Diabetes & Nutrition
  • Medical Records
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • WELLAWARE Fitness Center: Open 6 a.m. to noon

Clinics

  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine: Open until noon
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic
  • Mid-Mo Neurosurgery
  • Southern Boone Family Practice

December Employee of the Month supports the orthopedic surgery team

December 3, 2014

Brenda Singleton is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for December 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

On a typical day in Boone Hospital Center’s Orthopaedics Specialties unit, there can be many patients arriving to the floor before and after joint surgeries. Unit Secretary Brenda Singleton prepares the nurses and patient care techs to treat the patients before they arrive, assisting with room assignments, setting up means to contact members of a patient’s care teams, entering orders, answering phones and working with our orthopedic surgeons and other physicians.

“My job is primarily multitasking,” Brenda says. “I make sure everything is running smoothly so that the charge nurse doesn’t have to worry about every minor detail and can do exactly what they need to do to care for a patient.”

Brenda Singleton

Brenda Singleton

Brenda, a Boone baby who grew up in Columbia and attended Hickman High School, joined the Boone Hospital Center team in August 2012. She had previously worked elsewhere as a medical coder.

She says, “I was looking for a job in a hospital setting, where I could work around patients. The unit secretary position was a good fit, and I was excited to get hired here. I really like the people I’m surrounded by, both my co-workers and our patients. I think Boone takes really good care of their employees. Everyone’s extremely friendly and will help you and answer your questions. You just feel like everyone here is nice and easy to talk to – that’s something that’s hard to find.”

Brenda has two daughters; the oldest lives in Columbia with Brenda’s 3-year-old granddaughter, and the youngest is a Navy officer living in California with her husband and Brenda’s second granddaughter, now 2 years old. “I really enjoy being a grandmother,” Brenda says.

She also enjoys reading mystery and thriller novels and watching movies, particularly small, independent movies, and is a supporter of Ragtag Cinema in downtown Columbia.

“I love Columbia,” Brenda says. “I always have. This is a great area to a raise family, with a great hospital.”

Brenda admits she wasn’t ever expecting to be selected as Boone Hospital Center’s newest Employee of the Month, but says she is very grateful that her teammates thought of her and nominated her for this honor: “You don’t come to work expecting an award. You do your job and hope you’re doing your best for the patients.”


Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

boonetgWe are thankful for our staff and physicians working today to care for our patients. We wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday.

Boone Hospital Center never closes, but some of our services, departments and Boone medical clinics are closed Thursday and Friday (unless specified) for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Clinics:

  • Boone Convenient Care (open Friday)
  • Boone Diabetes & Endocrine Center (open Friday)
  • Boone Family Practice
  • Boone Internal Medicine Associates
  • Boone Primary Care
  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine
  • Boone Specialty Clinic of Moberly
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic
  • Mid-Mo Neurosurgery
  • Southern Boone Family Practice

Boone Hospital Services:

  • Boone Appétit Cafe
  • Boone Therapy
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Cashier
  • Diabetes & Nutrition
  • Gift Shop
  • Harris Breast Center (open Friday)
  • Home Care & Hospice
  • Medical Records
  • Occupational Medicine
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Patient Accounts
  • WELLAWARE Fitness Center (open Friday, 6 am to noon)
  • Wound Healing Center

 


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