“Thanks for the great care”

January 10, 2014

By Jean Ann Sidwell

Jean, of Kirksville, shared this story the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

I would just like to thank Dr. Fairlamb for his good care and his nurse Karen.

IMG_1857We were out of town and my chest tightness became worse. I called and they were there to help me right then. I had to have two stents and was taken care of by the nicest nurse, Jennifer.

Then the four floor nurses were great. We talked and laughed and were there for me at all times. Great hospital stay. Thanks for the great care.

From Boone Baby to Boone nurse

January 10, 2014

Lindsey Rock is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for January 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Serving intensive care patients is a challenging job involving close collaboration with physicians and careful attention to the patients’ needs. But that very challenge is exactly what Registered Nurse Lindsey Rock finds appealing.

Lindsey Rock

Lindsey Rock, RN

“We will have patients come in who are very sick and it’s very rewarding after a few days or a few weeks to watch their progress and see them come out of the ICU,” she said.

Lindsey is a Boone Baby who went to Hickman High School and later played softball at Truman State University. She graduated with an exercise science degree in 2009 and then chose to enter the accelerated nursing program at the University of Missouri, graduating in 2010.

She immediately went to work at Boone Hospital, which is exactly where she wanted to work.

“It was my ultimate goal to end up at Boone and it worked out for me,” she said. “I think I lucked out.”

She said her coworkers help make her job a great experience.

“They are very helpful, “ she said. “It’s more like a family than it is a job.”

Outside of work, Lindsey enjoys running and spending time with her family. She likes to vacation in Florida and is excited for an upcoming trip to Colorado where she will try skiing for the first time.

She feels very honored to be named employee of the month.

“I was just speechless when they told me,” she said. ”There are so many incredible employees at Boone.”

Greeted with thoughtfulness, genuine concern and caring

December 10, 2013


By Charles Crandall

Charles, of Ashland, shared this story via email. Click here to share your story.

On Dec. 9, 2013, I presented at the Radiology Department for a CT scan at 9 a.m. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the most friendly, and caring person that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in recent memory, with respect to my last several doctor’s appointments and evaluations.

11170_044After introducing herself, it was obvious that she could tell that I was apprehensive of the pending CT scans.

Rather than being indifferent or too busy, she quietly asked me to come closer to her. She had such a warm presence about her that I did, without thought. She then asked me if I was all right. I told her that I was a little nervous, which wasn’t exactly true, as I was more than a little nervous. She then put her hand my shoulder and said, “You’re going to be okay.”

That one gesture, a simple, caring touch, had the most calming effect, and I believed her. For the next two hours, she periodically looked over to me and asked if I was okay and offered a smile each time.

I have no words to express my most sincere gratitude for her thoughtfulness and genuine concern and caring. While I did not get her name, I won’t soon forget her.

While I’m at it I would also like to commend the CT tech that took my history and prepped me for the exam (IV contrast). He was also very nice.

Overall, my entire experience at Radiology was positive, but she really made a difference.

A new mother’s gratitude: “Thank you for saving our baby”

December 6, 2013

By Kyndal Riffie

Kyndal, of Columbia, shared this story via the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

I was 32.5 weeks pregnant and at Boone Hospital, where I work, on an ordinary Monday when my coworker Nancy Schuenemeyer emailed me to ask how I was feeling.

Baby Caz

Baby Caz

I was feeling a little “off” that morning and thought my son’s kicks weren’t happening as often. But since I had just finished a very busy weekend, I thought it was due more to my inattentiveness than to anything bad.

Throughout the day, Nancy continued to check on me and encouraged me to call my doctor or go to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. Near the end of the workday, I reluctantly went with her to L&D for fetal monitoring.

Nancy knew I was refusing to call my husband since I thought I was overreacting, so she stayed with me for over two hours. In the end, my son had to be delivered that night, almost 7 1/2 weeks early and he was very, very sick. Without Nancy’s urging, I would have gone home that night — and who knows what would have happened?

When baby Caz was born, he spent a month in the Intensive Care Nursery being cared for by the most amazing doctors and staff. We literally trusted them with our son’s life and even though that was a very scary month, I am grateful for the time we spent getting to know his caregivers. These doctors and staff may spend their days and nights in a locked unit most people don’t ever see, but they all deserve to be recognized for the excellent care they provide.

Finally, I more fully understand what “The Boone Family” means. While Caz was cared for by the ICN staff, I was cared for by my fellow employees. Not a day went by where someone at Boone didn’t make sure my husband and I were okay.

From one staff member to many others, thank you for saving our baby. Thank you for making my family and I feel a part of the Boone Family. I can’t imagine getting to work with a better group of people.

A caring teacher — Educator helps Boone Hospital prepare for the future

December 5, 2013

Randy Fry is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for December 2013. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Education is a big part of health care.

We work each day to help our community members understand how to make healthy choices. When people come to the hospital, we educate them about their ailments, describe our treatment plans and inform patients about what it will take to get better.

Randy Fry

Randy Fry, Clinical Education Generalist

As health care workers, we are all teachers. Thus the staff members who make up the Boone Hospital Center Training and Development team are the teachers’ teachers.

Randy Fry has spent about half of his 15-year Boone Hospital career working in Training and Development, where he instructs hospital staff on a wide variety of topics as a Clinical Education Generalist.

In his job, Randy helps new clinical employees acclimate to their jobs, he teaches many core skills classes — especially heart-related classes — and he is often on the front line of big technology changes.

“I’ve always liked to teach,” Randy said. “Working in this role is a really good opportunity to help people and hopefully make a positive impact on our success.

Prior to joining Training and Development, Randy was a member of Boone Hospital’s ambulance team.

He said he is proud to be a part of Boone Hospital and he is inspired by the educators and caregivers he works alongside.

“It’s something you hear pretty often, but for me, it’s all about the people I work with,” he said.

When he is not serving at Boone Hospital, Randy enjoys riding his motorcycle and taking vacations with his wife Kris, a Boone Hospital house supervisor, and their two daughters.

Their favorite trip is an annual vacation to Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park, where they have family nearby.

“That’s my favorite place in the world,” he said.

Twelve ideas to help you stay healthy during flu season

December 2, 2013

The 2013 flu season has begun, and while it is still early in the season, cases have already been reported in the U.S. Winter gatherings can bring together people who are vulnerable to the cold & flu virus.

schmerzen-11People who get together for the winter holidays can be exposed to viruses from other parts of the region and can pick up and spread the illness from wherever they’ve been. Here are some small, individual changes you can make lending to a healthy winter season.

  1. Drink black or green tea with lemon and honey. Drinking hot tea while breathing in the steam stimulates the cilia – the hair follicles in the nose – to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus and honey is antibacterial.
  2. Consume enough protein. Diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system. The current recommendation for protein intake is at least 60 grams per day for adult women and at least 75 grams per day for adult men, depending on age, activity level and if they need to gain/lose weight.
  3. Slowly exhale. When walking past a person who is sneezing or coughing, slowly exhale until you’re past them. This avoids you inhaling contaminated air.
  4. Try Zinc lozenges. If you get a scratchy throat, zinc lozenges can relieve cold symptoms faster.
  5. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day will provide many vitamins and minerals necessary for your immune system to function properly. Try to choose more vegetables than fruit.
  6. Sanitize your space. You can sanitize commonly touched items (cell phones, grocery carts, keyboards, gym equipment) to help the spread of germs. Remember, rhinoviruses causing cold & flu symptoms can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours!
  7. Pamper your nose. The job of your nose is to filter allergens, bacteria, and viruses floating in the air. By using saline nasal rinses, you can help flush germs and clear secretions in your upper airway.
  8. Consume enough water. The urge to drink water can decrease in colder months, but the need for water is still important. Consuming enough fluids will eliminate toxins from your lymph system which keeps your immune system functioning properly.
  9. Get a massage for your immune system! Massage increases circulation which boosts immunity by nourishing cells with more oxygen filled blood. Click here to learn about our massage services.
  10. Sanitize your brushes. Think about the items you may reuse every day and consider cleaning or replacing them (cosmetics and make up brushes, toothbrushes, hair brushes, hand towels). A quick swipe of an alcohol wipe on a tube of lipstick or washing make up brushes in an antibacterial soap can support a healthy immune system.
  11. Sleep. Research shows that adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to stimulate an immune response from our natural killer cells which are the cells that attack viruses.
  12. Humidity. Dry air in the winter can cause your lips, mouth, & nose to become dry and cracked. Cracked skin can be an entry point for bacteria and viruses. Consider a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.

Homemade Sani Wipes:

Fold or cut paper towels or napkins and put them into a wipe container. Use 1 1/2 cup of warm water, add 1 Tbsp. of coconut oil, and 1 tsp. of alcohol. Add 3 drops of lavender oil if you like. Then mix well and pour the mixture into the container of napkins to saturate them. Makes 2 containers.

Your health and wellness crew in WELLAWARE wish you a healthy winter season.


The deacon’s blessing — Experiencing hospital ministry both sides

November 26, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

This story is featured in the Fall 2013 edition of myBoone Health magazine. Click here for a free subscription.

Last November, Deacon Gene Kazmierczak was standing in Boone Hospital Center’s Spiritual Care office with two of his fellow chaplains.

The three chaplains were chatting about a new book. Moments like this are a big reason Deacon Gene, a Catholic, loves his work — he gets to share interesting conversation and ideas with leaders of other faiths.

Deacon Gene Kazmierczak

Deacon Gene Kazmierczak

“That’s really a great thing about it, interacting with the other chaplains,” he said. “We truly have a lot in common, spiritually.”

But on this morning, the conversation was cut short.  As the chaplains talked, Deacon Gene suddenly felt weak.

“Oh,” said the faint Deacon. “I think I need a…”

And that’s as far as it went.

Two minutes later, he awoke lying on the office floor in a pool of blood. He saw the shoes of chaplains and hospital caregivers quickly moving around his head. “What the heck happened to me?” he thought.

They placed him into a wheelchair and rushed him across the hospital to the Emergency Department.

He would later learn his heart had gone into atrial fibrillation, causing him to temporarily lose blood flow and pass out. The blood on the floor came from a cut on his head from the fall.

He spent four days in the hospital as doctors studied how best to confront his newfound heart problem.

This was a frightening time for Deacon Gene.

“I understand dying,” he said. “But here I had to face my own mortality and that put a different twist on things.”

During this time, he found comfort in his faith. Chaplain Chuck Barsamian came to Deacon Gene’s room and prayed with him. Fr. Brendan Griffey also came and performed the anointing of the sick with sacramental oil.

And through those actions, “I felt God’s healing touch,” he said.

Called to Care

Long before he was a deacon, Gene Kazmierczak was a nurse in the Army. He served in that role for 29 years before retiring and getting a job at Boone Hospital.

Here, he worked in a managerial role before realizing direct patient care gave him greater satisfaction. He then returned to the bedside, working for several years as a staff nurse in outpatient recovery and later on the hospital’s skilled nursing unit.

When he was ready to retire, his former pastor asked him if he would become a deacon and serve hospital patients around Columbia. Gene agreed.

“Being a nurse for over 40 years, it seemed like a nice follow up,” he said. “I’m still going to the bedside. I used to take care of the body; now I take care of the spiritual aspect.”

Although his home parish is St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbia, Deacon Gene spends three days a week in his hospital ministry.

Each week, he goes down a list of the Catholic patients, visits with them and makes sure their spiritual needs are met. He also relishes the opportunity to pray with patients of other faiths.

patient pic

Deacon Gene works with a patient at Boone Hospital.

“I can’t tell the difference between Catholic tears or Protestant tears,” he said. “There is a lot that we share.”

Each day in the hospital is a reminder of the many stages of life. He blesses newborn babies and their mothers. He prays with patients before they go into surgery. He shares grief with families who have just lost someone they love.

Wherever he goes, he reminds people that a hospital room can be a sacred place and that God is present at the bedside.

“Caring for a patient involves their body, mind and their spirit,” he said. “Chaplains bring the spiritual aspect to it. The assistance we offer really counts.”

Bringing Comfort

Today, Deacon Gene has long since healed from his fall in the Spiritual Care office.

He said he owes his recovery to skilled clinicians, modern technology and the hand of God.

He was discharged from the hospital with a cardiac loop recorder. The device monitors patients’ heart rhythms and records any abnormal activity. The data doctors obtained from the recorder showed Deacon Gene was a candidate for a pacemaker. He had one implanted to regulate any future arrhythmia.

Although the technology fixed his heart, Deacon Gene said God played a role as well.

Just days before collapsing in the Spiritual Care office, the deacon and his wife, Ginger, had traveled across the country to Fort Irwin, in the California desert, to visit their son — they have three children and five grandkids.

What if the deacon’s arrhythmia would have happened while he was driving on the interstate? What if it happened while he and his family were hiking in secluded hills a few days earlier?

“That it happened here in the hospital, it’s just, wow,” he said. “There was some kind of intervention and it wasn’t human.”

His experience also helped him understand how much his ministry matters.

In the hospital, there are times when the doctor has left the room and the nurses and staff are serving other patients. In these moments alone, the impossible question surfaces, “why is this happening to me?”

“That’s the spot where the chaplain comes in,” Deacon Gene said.

Although even a chaplain can’t answer that question, they can provide a listening ear and a reminder of God’s presence. And that can bring immeasurable comfort.

“We give them someone to talk to,” he said. “That’s the most important thing about chaplaincy — listening.”


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