Employee of the Month found her second family at Boone

July 2, 2014

Michelle Crane is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for July 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

“There is a never a dull moment in the Emergency Department,” says Michelle Crane, unit secretary. But she wouldn’t want it any other way: “I like the intensity. When the team goes into action to save a life, we’re all involved. We all have a role. It feels good to be a part of that.”

Michelle Crane

Michelle Crane

As unit secretary, Michelle serves as the hub for patient care in a critical area, arranging tests and screenings, entering data and physician orders, placing urgent phone calls, acquiring beds for newly admitted patients, and more. In such a fast-paced area of the hospital, her role is to be the calming entity and to keep things running smoothly.

“You have to keep calm for staff, patients and family members. Getting excited would only make things difficult,” Michelle explains. “You’ve got to keep your spirits up.”

Often, Michelle accomplishes this by remembering a poem her Dad taught her, Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” which opens “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs…”

In addition to the Emergency Department, Michelle works for nursing support services and provides coverage for unit secretaries in other patient care areas. She joined Boone Hospital Center in October 2007 as a unit secretary in the Cardiology unit.

When asked what she loves most about working at Boone Hospital Center, Michelle immediately says it’s the people she works with. She especially enjoys working with Emergency Department manager Beth Eidson. “I hold such respect for her. Working for Beth is truly a blessing.

“You can’t beat the staff,” she continues “They’ve turned into my family.”

During a difficult time a few years ago, when Michelle’s father required hospice care immediately after she herself had been hospitalized and had used up her Earned Time Off, her Boone family donated ETO so that she could take care of her own family.

Both families mean a lot to Michelle. When she’s not at work, she loves spending time with her daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Joel and grandchildren Oliver and Finn. She also volunteers at the Food Bank, tends to a plot in the Community Garden, and enjoys swimming, walking and biking on the Katy Trail.

She also walks seven-and-a-half miles from home to work and back and has even walked to work in the snow, including this years’ blizzards and the storm in winter 2011. “I’m from Rapid City, South Dakota,” she says. “So snow doesn’t scare me.”

Indeed, it would take more than a blizzard to keep Michelle away from her job. She says, “It makes a world of difference when you wake up in the morning and tell yourself, ‘I get to go to work today.’”


Employee of the Month gets hospital staff “running back up to 100%”

June 2, 2014

Tyler Compton is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for June 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Whenever Tyler Compton is called upon to fix a computer, one concern is first and foremost in his mind.

Tyler Compton

Tyler Compton

“Our first question is ‘Is the patient being taken care of?’” he says.

When Boone Hospital Center employees experience any computer problems, they contact a centralized Customer Support Center, which then assigns work tickets to the appropriate team. As part of desktop support, Tyler, an Information Services Senior Customer Support Technician, handles a combination of hardware and software issues. He might pick up a broken computer and take it back to IS to repair it, fix something on the spot or, most often, remote into another machine to resolve issues.

Tyler had come to Columbia in 2012 to return to school at the University of Missouri when he was notified about a three-month contractor position at Boone Hospital Center. The assignment and the opportunity to gain experience appealed to him. The three-month contract was extended to eight months, during which time Tyler was asked if he wanted to work in IS as a full-time employee. In October, he officially joined the Boone Hospital Center team.

Tyler enjoys working in the IS department and the friendly and supportive environment there. This month, he will start the summer semester at University of Missouri to complete his degree in computer science and information technology.

Tyler enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, racquetball and gaming while not at work. He is currently teaching himself computer programming in his free time as well.

When asked what he likes best about working at Boone, Tyler says, “Working with people and working with computers is what I want to do. I can’t picture myself in an office, working eight hours a day, not talking to anyone. I love my job.”

He also likes that the work he does helps others, not just employees with computer issues, but Boone Hospital Center patients, as well.

“At the end of the day, that’s what we’re here for – to get staff running back up to 100%, so they can take care of the patients.”


Mother Knows Best: Birthplace Moms Connect With Their Patients Through Shared Experiences

May 11, 2014

By Jacob Luecke

This story is featured in the Spring 2014 edition of myBoone Health magazine. Click here for a free subscription.

Marla Owen and her family

Marla Owen, RN and her family

As a nurse with 16 years of experience helping deliver babies, Marla Owen has witnessed the miracle of birth hundreds of times. Yet, there are three deliveries in particular that inspire her on a daily basis: the births of her three sons.

Luke, 13, Cale, 11, and Andrew, 18 months, were all born at the Boone Family Birthplace. Each day as she serves patients at Boone Hospital, Owen is reminded of how her own nurses gave words of encouragement, helped take pictures and celebrated by her side as her children were born.

Now, in her nursing work, she tries to provide that same level of care to the women and families at the birthplace.

“There is not a more special, exciting time than the day and the moment when your children are born,” Owen says. “I want all the moms that I care for to have the good memories of the day their children were born. I certainly do and it’s because of the care I received from my friends and coworkers.”

The other mothers who serve patients at the Boone Family Birthplace share that sentiment. They empathize as their patients endure contractions. They share in the joy of seeing a child’s face for the first time. They relate to worries and fears new parents often have. All of these are familiar emotions because they’ve experienced them all firsthand.

Rebecca Romero-Perez and Anderson

Rebecca Romero-Perez and Anderson

“I believe that my experience as a mom helps me tremendously to be a better nurse,” birthplace nurse Rebecca Romero-Perez says. “I can actually relate to my patients with what they are going through, physically and emotionally. There are times that I even share my own personal stories with my patients and it helps us to bond over our common experiences.”

Romero-Perez has served patients at the Boone Family Birthplace for more than six years, and she’s always had an interest in birth and infants.

“I always knew that I wanted to work with pregnant women and babies,” she says. “The whole labor and delivery process is simply amazing!”

She has three sons at home, Aidan, 8, Ashton, 5 and Anderson, 16 months. “I’m thrilled to say that each one of them is a Boone Baby!” she says.

As she helps welcome new children into the world each day, she often reflects back to when her own boys were brand-new.

“Being around babies at work makes me think of my boys when they were little,” Romero-Perez says. “On occasion I’ll see a baby that resembles my boys, and it’s always so sweet to see. It’s also cool to see a baby that weighs the same as my boys. It’s so crazy to think that they were once that exact same size.”

Owen says she feels the same way. She, too, is often reminded of her children as newborns.

“I love remembering what it was like the day they were born, what they looked like and how they sounded when they cried,” she says. “I feel extremely lucky that I get to share these experiences with the families I care for during their birth experiences.”

Jennifer Roelands, MD, with twins Blake and Brooklyn

Jennifer Roelands, MD, with twins Blake and Brooklyn

While the celebration of new life is one of the greatest joys of working in the Boone Family Birthplace, some caregivers also have experienced personally the complications that sometimes come with labor and birth. This has given them a great level of compassion with patients facing similar issues.

Two years ago, Jennifer Roelands, MD, with Women’s Health Associates, came close to delivering her twins at 31 weeks gestation. She was put on bed rest — not always the most comfortable experience. However, the precaution worked and she made it to 34 weeks before delivering her twins, who were cared for in Boone Hospital’s Intensive Care Nursery.

“I think about my labor experience every time I am involved in someone else’s labor, especially preterm babies,” Dr. Roelands says. “I often think about the fear and uncertainty that preterm babies cause mothers and try to impart my story to them when appropriate because I think when people are scared they want to feel like they are not the only one.”

Dr. Roelands’ twins, Blake and Brooklyn, now 2, joined her older sons, Aidan, 7, and Logan, 4. Aidan was born before the family moved to mid-Missouri. Her three youngest were born at Boone Hospital.

“Being around babies always makes me think of my kids,” she says. “I love holding the newborns when my patients come in for their postpartum check. I like to see how they have grown and see how they have changed.”

Boone Family Birthplace caregivers also say their experience raising children has given them a greater understanding about how to care for patients.

“I think that being a mom teaches you a lot about compassion and anticipating the needs of others,” Owen says. “You certainly have to put the needs of others — like your children — before your own needs. You also have to learn to be organized. I see these qualities in my coworkers and the nurses that I want to be like.”

While working in the Boone Family Birthplace makes every day a celebration of motherhood, these caregivers say they are looking forward to Mother’s Day. Like all moms, they say they enjoy the opportunity to rest, receive homemade gifts and eat a good meal.

Dr. Roelands says she plans to do the cooking.

“I love to cook and it makes me happy when the kids want me to make breakfast for them,” she says.

Romero-Perez shares this wish: “Every mother should get to feel like a queen on Mother’s Day.”


May Employee of the Month loves Boone Hospital’s “family atmosphere”

May 5, 2014

Tori Martin is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for May 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Tori Martin returned from a weeklong vacation in Jamaica, her co-workers on the Surgical Specialties unit congratulated her on the exciting news – she had gotten engaged a few days ago.

Tori Martin

Tori Martin

A little later that Monday, the unit had another reason to congratulate Tori, when it was announced that she was Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month.

As a circulating nurse, Tori helps patients check in to the OR, reviews that their paperwork has been correctly completed, assists anesthesiologists, preps the patient for surgery and gets the sterile items that the surgeon and staff need during the procedure.

Tori has worked in this role for a combined total of 6 years. She received her nursing degree at Central Methodist University in Fayette. She was a Boone baby and has grown up in Columbia. Tori’s father, Ray Balulis, had worked in the Plant Operations department for 30 years. He had also been named Employee of the Month, in September 1999.

“My Dad said Boone was the only place to work,” Tori says.

Because Tori and Ray were so close, and she admired her father greatly, she wanted to work where he’d been happy for so many years – and in the place where she grew up.

Tori met her fiancé, Paul Newcom, while working together in the OR. The two love being active outdoors and enjoy travel to any place that’s warm, especially during the winter. After this year’s prolonged chilly weather, a tropical vacation was just what Tori needed.

While away, on the morning of her 30th birthday, Tori celebrated another milestone: “There was a spot on the beach where I would go every morning while we were on vacation. Paul came out to meet me at that spot, and he proposed there. It was sweet – and it was perfect for us.”

When asked what she likes about working at Boone Hospital Center, Tori says she most enjoys working with the surgeons and staff in the OR.

“We definitely have a family atmosphere,” she says. “If you ever need anything, there’s always somebody that’s willing to help you out.”

Tori also credits her supervisor, Heidi Woods, with creating a positive and supportive work environment. Tori’s peers feel the same way about her: last November, she was awarded a Boone Hospital Center Excellence in Nursing Award for Nursing Spirit, which recognizes nurses who have a positive attitude and show eagerness and enthusiasm while providing exceptional patient care.

Tori’s nursing spirit is why she has received her second award in less than a year. When asked about the timing of the announcement, she laughs and says, “I thought, ‘I need to buy a lottery ticket!’”

It just so happened that Paul did buy a lottery ticket that morning, which is extremely rare for him. But Tori assures us, “If we win a million dollars, I’ll still be here.”

Good luck and congratulations, Tori!


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.


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