Our Maternal Child Health team is looking for a new member.

April 18, 2014

At Boone Hospital Center we stress the importance of building a strong team that will support, encourage and challenge you to be your best.

Cindy Bracht, Megan Perry and Jody Miller

Cindy Bracht, Megan Perry and Jody Miller

Cindy Bracht, Megan Perry and Jody Miller each play their roles within Maternal Child Health and understand the importance of working together.

“You have to have a good team base,” Jody says. “We’re a very close unit. We are like a family.”

In addition to building internal relationships, our nurses enjoy providing compassionate and thorough care to our tiniest patients and their mothers.

“We are a very happy place. Being able to be a part of someone’s starting a new family is amazing,” Jody says.

Click here to learn about how you can join the Boone Hospital team.

“Boone cares about employees,” says April Employee of the Month

April 1, 2014

Rubin Byishimo is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for April 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Rubin Byishimo learned that he was Boone Hospital Center’s April Employee of the Month, he admits he was surprised.

Rubin Biyishimo

Rubin Biyishimo

Rubin joined Boone Hospital Center in February 2012 as a lab assistant. In his current role, he works with patients, drawing blood and collecting and processing specimens. He visits many areas of the hospital on his shift, both outpatient clinics and inpatient units.

“We’re everywhere,” he says, smiling.

Rubin enjoys his job and the teamwork and leadership he experiences every day in the Laboratory. He especially likes the flexible scheduling in his department, which allows him to take classes at the University of Missouri, where he plans to attend nursing school.

Rubin came to Columbia from Portland, Maine, where he had been living until his uncle wanted to live somewhere warmer than coastal New England. The United States is Rubin’s fourth country; he moved here in 2003 and previously lived in Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was born.

“I like Columbia because it’s small, but it has good schools, the University and great health care.”

Outside of work, Rubin is a musician. He plays piano, guitar, drums and is currently learning the organ. He plays music for the African congregation at the First Baptist Church in Columbia. He also travels to visit friends and family in Maine and Ohio. And he enjoys playing soccer, a sport he grew up with. “I enjoy basketball, too, now,” Rubin says, “But soccer is my main sport.”

When asked what he liked best about working at Boone Hospital Center, Rubin says, “Boone cares about their employees.”

Employee of the Month has historic ties to Boone Hospital

March 3, 2014

Shari Bullard is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for March 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Shari Bullard first came to Boone Hospital in 1981, she was still deciding if she wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. At the time, Shari was a nurse’s aide on what was then called the Cardiac Unit, working on weekends while attending at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. She had received her nurse’s aide training from a Boone Hospital class taught over the summer.

Shari was no stranger to Boone Hospital then; her mother had served here as a nurse, and her brother worked here as a respiratory therapist from 1977 through 1980, then later as a perfusionist.

Shari Bullard

Shari Bullard

“I had an early start at Boone,” Shari says. “I walked the halls of the hospital while my Mom was employed here and pregnant with me.”

After receiving her nursing degree at Lincoln University, Shari became a nurse on the Cardiac unit. In 1989, she took a new position as a medical auditor, a role she has kept ever since.

As a medical auditor, Shari ensures that patients are billed correctly for the care they receive at the hospital. It’s a job that usually requires her to explain a lot, a part of the job that she enjoys, since it allowed her to be both a nurse and a teacher.

“I always liked working with numbers and figures,” she says. “I’ve been able to use what I liked about teaching in this job, too. I get to help people in our departments understand things like charges and reimbursement.”

Shari lives on a farm in Hartsburg with her Boone baby husband, Jim, a retired firefighter where they raise some cattle. “I married the boy next door,” she says.

Jim also has family ties to Boone Hospital Center; his great-great-grandfather was a Boone County physician, Dr. F.G. Sitton, who supported the founding of Boone County Hospital. Unfortunately, he passed away before the hospital opened, but the family still has the invitation letter dated November 1921

Together they have two sons, both Boone babies: Jacob, who resides on the Bullard family century farm, and Ross, currently serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

In her spare time, Shari enjoys nature, her farm critters and being outdoors: “I’d much rather be working in the flower beds or walking in the woods. I just really enjoy the outside.”

When asked what Shari likes best about working at Boone Hospital Center, she doesn’t hesitate to reply:

“The people that work here have such dedication to patient care and to making sure that patients are taken care of in the best way.”

As our employee of the month, Shari demonstrates her dedication every day. Congratulations!

Employee of the Month helps a family celebrate love

February 3, 2014

Kelli Herbold is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for February 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

“I think nursing was my calling,” says Kelli Herbold, a Registered Nurse on Boone Hospital Center’s Medical Specialties unit. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being a nurse.”

Kelli Herbold

Kelli Herbold

Originally from Ontario, Canada, Kelli moved to Columbia in 2005 to be with her husband, Chris. The couple first met as friends 16 years ago on an online chat room and, after several years, decided to meet in person. “When we met, there was just this connection – and here we are!”

Impressed by the care she received while here for the birth of her sons, Kelli joined Boone Hospital Center six years ago as a patient care tech on the Spine Center, a job she loved. After graduating with her associate’s degree in nursing from Columbia College, Kelli transferred to the Medical Specialties unit as a staff nurse, which she also loves.

“You have those patients that just have that special spot in your heart,” Kelli says, referring in particular to a patient who was hospitalized just before a day he’d looked forward to for a long time: his granddaughter’s wedding. Kelli tried to find a way he might be able to leave the hospital for a day, but his condition prevented it.

Still, she was determined that he not miss this milestone and worked with his granddaughter to make it happen. That Saturday morning, Kelli brought her laptop to the patient’s room and started a Skype session that connected to a camera at the wedding, allowing him to watch the ceremony.

But that was only the beginning. Working with Supportive Care coordinator Mandy Schmidt, Kelli brought the wedding to Boone. The ceremony was held in the hospital’s Healing Garden, complete with a photographer and wedding cake. Family members, the patient’s physician and fellow Medical Specialties staff were in attendance. Kelli still keeps in touch with the family.

When not studying at Central Methodist University for her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, Kelli enjoys sports and traveling with her family; husband Chris, sons Nathan and Thomas, and daughter Abigail.

When asked what she likes most about working at Boone, Kelli says, “The people I work with are amazing. I’ve made some really good friends here. These are people I know I can count on both at work and outside of work. I know that Boone’s where I’m meant to be.”

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.”

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.

Spiritual growth — After three decades of service, hospital ministry prepares to be reborn

November 21, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

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

In the rush of everyday life, it’s easy to push the biggest questions aside.

Why are we here? Am I living my life the right way? What comes after death?

But when a patient arrives at the hospital, these questions rush to the forefront.

Chaplain Chuck Barsamian

Chaplain Chuck Barsamian

“In the hospital, people have suddenly realized they are mortal,” said Boone Hospital Center Chaplain Chuck Barsamian. “On most days, we feel immortal, invincible — like we can live forever. But, in the hospital we become mortal. That causes patients to ask themselves some very important questions.”

For the last 30 years, Boone Hospital has offered a Spiritual Care service to help people in these situations. As a testament to the importance of this work, Boone Hospital is currently building beautiful new religious amenities for people of all faiths.

The work includes opening a new Christian chapel and an interfaith prayer room.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” said Barbara Weaver, Chair Emeritus of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees, which is funding the renovations. “We have so many different religions in our community. It will give them all an opportunity to have a special place where they can feel comfortable as they worship.”

Both the chapel and prayer room, opening in 2014, will be located in a quiet space beside the hospital’s Healing Garden.

BHC Chapel 081313

A rendering of the new chapel under construction at Boone Hospital Center.

The prayer room will have religious texts and sacred objects available — such as the Torah, a Buddha statue, an Islamic prayer rug and many other items.

The chapel will be set up to broadcast a live Sunday morning interdenominational Christian service to televisions in the hospital.

Both rooms will be open at all times for patients, visitors, staff and physicians who need a quiet place for prayer and spiritual meditation.

Even with the new rooms available, much of the Spiritual Care work will remain where it always has — at the bedside.

When a patient requests Spiritual Care services, Chaplain Chuck visits his or her room. In their conversation together he might ask them about their personal faith and, if requested, Spiritual Care will work to arrange a visit by their pastor or faith leader.

A Torah from Boone Hospital's prayer room.

A Torah from Boone Hospital’s prayer room.

Sometimes, having your own pastor at your bedside isn’t possible, especially with patients who have traveled long distances to Boone Hospital.

In those cases, Chaplain Chuck will personally work with the patient and help him or her in any way possible. Although he belongs to the Church of the Nazarene, Chaplain Chuck is trained to serve in a nondenominational fashion. He works to help people find peace with their situation.

“I know there is a profound effect from the kind of care we provide,” he said.

Various studies over the last 25 years show that’s the case. Patients who seek out hospital spiritual care are less depressed. Likewise, patients who say they have a strong spiritual wellbeing report a higher quality of life. In several studies, people have said their faith was the most important factor that helped them cope with an illness.

A Buddha statue from the Boone Hospital prayer room.

A Buddha statue from the Boone Hospital prayer room.

Caring for a hospital’s spiritual needs is an around-the-clock job. Sometimes, it can mean very long hours. But Chaplain Chuck said the satisfaction and joy he gets from his job more than equals his efforts.

As Spiritual Care prepares to begin a new chapter at Boone Hospital, he feels blessed to be part of this community.

“My cup is overflowing,” he said. “After meeting with a patient, and seeing the calm come over them, it is just the sense of, ‘Wow, God used me for that.’ There is so much to this work that is a blessing.”

“Well hey, why frown?” Maddy Norvell, November Employee of the Month

November 6, 2013

Salads, hot meals, pie, snacks, coffee, ice cream — there many wonderful things at the Boone Hospital Center cafeteria. But one of the best things about the cafeteria is that Maddy Norvell works there.

Maddy makes sure the staff and visitors who cross her path get a smile with their meal.


Maddy Norvell

“Well hey, why frown?” she said.

Maddy has worked in the cafeteria for 11 years. She loves interacting with hospital staff members and visitors who come to visit each day.

“You see them come back time, after time and they always remember you,” she said.

Maddy grew up in Iowa. She joined the U.S. Navy in 1955 after graduating from high school. She spent a busy 22 months in the Navy, which included going through boot camp in Maryland before being transferred to San Diego, San Francisco and Hawaii.

During her time in the Navy she married Lawrence, a fellow Navy service member. Maddy received an honorable discharge from the Navy when she became pregnant with the first of their four children, all of whom were born at a military hospital in Hawaii.

“Two of them were born when it was a territory, two when it was a state,” she said.

After 10 years in Hawaii, the family moved regularly with Lawrence’s transfers during his more than 28 years of military service. Maddy enjoyed the moves.

“If you get transferred every two or three years, all your garbage gets cleaned out,” she said with a smile.

When Lawrence retired from the service, the family finally settled in Columbia in 1982.

Maddy worked in finance for the City of Columbia and the Water and Light Department. When it came time to retire, Maddy quickly discovered that lifestyle wasn’t for her. Lawrence had already passed away and Maddy wasn’t happy by herself at home.

“Retirement lasted six months, I couldn’t take it,” she said. “I needed to have to get up in the morning, to have a responsibility to do, and I just like working.”

She chose to come work at Boone Hospital because she had three operations here earlier in life and was always impressed by the service.

“They were always friendly, everyone always took care of me,” she said.

She has great respect for the work done by the hospital’s caregivers, and she’s happy to be here as part of the team. However, she still misses some of the aspects of military life.

“I think I need to get transferred someplace so I can clean out my garage,” she said with a laugh.

Nurse strives to take the fear out of surgery

October 4, 2013

Joni Cupp is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for October 2013. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Coming to the hospital for a surgery creates anxiety for many patients, especially first-timers.

Fortunately, Boone Hospital Center has nurses like Joni Cupp to help make patients feel comfortable and put their fears at ease.

Joni Cupp Oct 2013 EOM“From the moment they walk in the door, if they start off having a good experience from there, you can just tell their anxiety level drops quite a bit,” Joni said.

As a registered nurse who works in Pre-Admitting Surgical Services, Joni helps guide patients through the surgery process. She compiles a medical history and tells patients and their families what to expect before, during and after surgery.

“These patients have received a lot of information from the doctors and then they come to the hospital and get a lot of information here, too. It can almost make your head spin,” Joni said. “So whatever we can do to help them feel better about what they’re coming in for is worth it.”

Joni grew up in Laddonia. After high school, she came to Columbia because she wanted to live in a larger city with more opportunities. She got a job transcribing physicians’ notes at Columbia Surgical Associates. She found that she was very interested in health care and decided to pursue a nursing degree at Central Methodist University.

While at nursing school, she started working part time at Boone Hospital and moved into her current role after graduating.

She is married to Urologist Mike Cupp, MD. They have four children between them, Cari, 19; Lauren, 18; Nathan, 18 and Mason, 17.

Away from the hospital, Joni loves taking outdoors vacations with her family. She also enjoys reading fiction.

She said the best thing about working at Boone is the people she serves alongside.

“It’s the people I work with,” she said. “We have a great group of nurses who work well together as a team.”

A new weight class — Boone employee honored after losing 90 pounds

October 2, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

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

One night last year, Aaron Buran had a revelation while watching a UFC fight on television.

It was a heavyweight bout featuring the sport’s strongest hulking fighters. Despite their size, Aaron was surprised to discover he was actually larger than all of them. The weight class tops out at 265 pounds — he weighed 266.

Aaron Buran, after losing 90 pounds.

Aaron Buran, after losing 90 pounds.

“It just hit me one night that I wouldn’t make heavyweight in a UFC fight,” said Aaron, who works as a central services tech at Boone Hospital Center.

He knew it was time for a change.

Buran’s struggles with weight began after reaching adulthood. In high school, he was a talented wrestler who competed in the 130-pound class.

A few years later, he joined the Air Force Reserve. He served at Whiteman Air Force Base where a culture of fitness helped keep him in shape.

But after leaving the Air Force, he stopped working out and started eating fast food.

“That’s when I really started putting on weight,” he said. “You just tend to go and get fast food because it’s so easy.”

Over time, he gradually doubled his high school weight.

Then last year, with support from his wife and coworkers at Boone Hospital, Aaron made a plan to lose the weight. He used an app on his smartphone called MyFitnessPal to track how many calories he was eating. His wife cooked healthy meals for him almost every day.

Aaron also started exercising again.

“I started just jogging in my neighborhood,” he said. “Once I got one mile, I aimed for two.”

Aaron Buran, two years ago.

Aaron Buran, two years ago.

By September, he was ready for his first 5K race. He competed with Boone Hospital’s team during the 2012 Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure.

He ran his second 5K on St. Patrick’s Day — in a pouring, frigid rain — and a third this spring.

Along with his running, Aaron has been spending time at Boone Hospital’s WELLAWARE Fitness Center, where he concentrates on cardio exercises.

He said the messages he gets from the WELLAWARE service inspire him to keep on track.

“Just being at WELLAWARE and getting the emails from WELLAWARE about healthy choices—it really makes you start thinking about the choices you make,” he said.

To date, Aaron has lost about 90 pounds. He said he’s comfortable at the weight he’s reached, 172. On the UFC scale, he’d qualify as middleweight, and he’s just off welterweight status.

Aaron, being recognized by the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 29.

Aaron, being recognized by the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013.

In honor of his amazing weight loss, Aaron was given Boone Hospital’s Health Hall of Fame award this year. The annual award recognizes one employee who has made a personal commitment to improving his or her health and inspiring those around them. Part of the honor included being recognized on field during a St. Louis Cardinals game.

Aaron’s boss said it’s been amazing to watch Aaron’s progress.

“Aaron is a colleague, an advocate for safety, a veteran and a daily reminder that we can make positive change in our personal lives if we keep working and don’t give up when it gets hard,” said Brian Whorley, business and supply chain manager. “An achievement like his is an inspiration for all of us.”

Although Aaron appreciates the recognition, the best thing about the weight loss is how he feels.

“It really has changed the things I could do just on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I just have so much more energy.”


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