Superb Service from Portal to Post…A Boone Experience

January 23, 2014

from Gary D. Smith as told by his partner, Randall F. Kilgore

Gary D. Smith, of Columbia, shared this story from the eyes of his loved one using the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

On January 6, 2014, my life partner entered Boone Hospital Center to undergo a radical prostatectomy. The day before, one of the coldest days in the New Year, church had been cancelled, and his plans for announcing the impending operation squashed, he settled in at home for the long wait to Monday’s appointment. You see, January 5 was his 61st anniversary of birth, and he was greeting the birthday with joy and a sense of celebration for life and the promise of cure that would come from the delivery of his Stage I prostate cancer.

Dr. Michael Cupp and Gary D. Smith

Dr. Michael Cupp and Gary D. Smith

Gary D. Smith is the Director of Music and Fine Arts at Unity of Columbia. It is there he also uses that “right brain” mentality to oversee the administrative matters of the congregation. His perfect world of “right brain – left brain” was to be temporarily stalled while the New Year brought about the election to have his cancer removed. Gary was to have announced that Sunday morning at the conclusion of the Unity service that he was to be entering Boone Hospital Center for surgery and would be absent from the office and greater community of faith for a brief time. The “winter weather vortex,” as it was being called, hit and hit hard. Monday seemed like a faraway day to come as we waited through the day and witnessed the many cancellations scroll across the screen of our television.

Monday morning arrived early for us, and we departed home for the inevitable event to come. From the moment we arrived at the surgery center, we knew we had come to a safe place. Smiles that early morning were in abundance, and it seemed as if everyone was waiting just for us on our arrival. I anxiously looked around the large, spacious surgery waiting area and saw the looks of many persons just like me awaiting uncertain news, a lengthy hospital stay, perhaps, or worries of weather wrinkling every part of their faces.

Our wait was not long, and Gary was called to the pre-op area where the capable hands of the surgical team met him with warmth and kind, gentle regards. I was called to the area soon enough, and with such respect and hospitality, it gave me a sense of calm and assurance that all was in order. You see, I serve at Truman VA Medical Center as the compliance and business integrity officer, and oversee the integrated ethics program for that health care organization. Needless to say, with my health care experience and professional background, I am generally on high alert to observe processes and listen thoughtfully to the words shared with the patient and their family during such times pre- and post surgery. It was clearly a seamless process. To a person, I could find no one who crossed boundaries inappropriately.

Gary was taken to surgery and thus began my wait. I was called to the telephone numerous times by the circulating nurse, who provided me up-to-date reports of the proceedings of surgery, and the stages at which the surgeon was doing his tender work. There were no complications, and her assuring voice gave me peace of mind and clarity for what was occurring down hidden halls and behind closed doors in exceptionally clean spaces.

When all was done, I was once again greeted with an invitation to “come on back” and meet with the surgeon and receive his report. I give you Michael R. Cupp, M.D., Urologist! We had first met Dr. Cupp in the Summer of 2013 when problems seemed to persist with Gary’s prostate. Enlarged beyond normal margins, it became apparent that something more was happening and focused attention needed to be given. Dr. Cupp, who I had known through my own associations with his practice, but professionally from years of working in the health care community for which Columbia is known. His excellent reputation proceeded him, and I felt good about each and every discussion we had with him regarding options for treatment.

The post-surgery meeting was no different than all of the other appointments we had together attended. You see, Gary and I have been committed life partners for 33-plus years, and such medical decisions are not made independently. Dr. Cupp treated us with the same respect and due diligence any couple would expect when making such important decisions. He came to me and explained the surgery again, what was encountered, why there a prolonged period in the OR and what then to expect after Gary was released from the recovery area to his room. It was, again, the hallmark of the Boone Experience that became very personal and real in the privacy of the consultation room.

Admitted to the South Tower 5th floor, Gary was awake and asking for me before I realized he was out of recovery. A small “glitch” happened in the surgery waiting area while I waited, and the paging system failed to notify me that I “come on back” to see Gary. Apologies were in abundance from several persons, and a flurry of calls to get me to South Tower was suddenly in play when it was fully realized what happened. I made it to the floor and entered the room where, already, Volunteers had delivered the “post” of the day! He had only been admitted early that morning, and there were Boone Hospital Center “e-Cards” to greet him!

The care for the next 48 hours was exceptional, thorough, and clearly another example of the seamless processes of bedside care. Gary is not an “easy patient”, although delightful and charming he can be, his underlying medical problems are centered around Type I diabetes mellitus. On paper, Gary doesn’t look like a diabetic. His excellent, well-managed day-to-day self-care is clearly not the expected norm for someone who has been diabetic as long as he has. It always surprises and astonishes well-schooled, educated health care professionals and providers that he understands often more about his diabetes treatment than what the textbooks say.

2014.1 Gary

Gary at Dr. Cupp’s office for a follow-up visit.

Day of discharge came one day earlier than anticipated. With excellent incision care, pain management and giving the patient reins to manage their diabetes, Dr. Cupp gave his order and once again we were making our way from the post to the portal from which we arrived. The attitude of customer service, hospitality and “come on back” spirit leaves little wonder that, at the end of the day, you know you will be coming back.

A cold, wintry “vortex” on Gary’s 61st birthday provided the perfect platform for a surgery well-planned, in the warmth and comfort of a sunny and bright spot along the eastern edge of Broadway where that place we call Boone rests high overlooking the community below.

Thank you, Boone Hospital Center! Thank you for being that “come on back” sort of place. From portal to post and home again, our Boone experience was exceptional.


“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.


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.


“Everyone took time to recognize me as a person, not just a body with a problem that needed fixing”

November 14, 2013

By Carolyn Branch

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

sculptureI just want to let all the wonderful people in the Emergency Department know how much I appreciate the care they gave me today.

It was about 3:30 a.m. when I got there. I have had heart problems in the past and I was so afraid the burning pain in my stomach and chest was a heart attack. Check in was very fast and easy. I didn’t have to sit in the waiting room at all.

The RN who helped me get undressed and settled was so kind and patient, just like every staff person I met during the next few miserable hours. I wished I had noticed more names so I could send personal notes. I think the first RN was Kayla. There were several others. Everyone on the night shift was just outstanding.

I want to mention also the young man who did the CT scan. He took time to clean up my bed and found fresh sheets for me before I left the CT room. And he did it all with the utmost kindness and respect.

I always expect efficient, professional care from the Boone Hospital Staff. My experience this morning went way beyond that. Everyone took time to recognize me as a person, not just a body with a problem that needed fixing.


Boone Hospital cancer patient named Homecoming honorary captain

October 25, 2013
Lisa Tribble with her family. Her son is a sophomore at Mizzou and her daughter is a Mizzou alumna.

Lisa Tribble with her family. Her son is a sophomore at Mizzou and her daughter is a Mizzou alumna.

A big fan of the Mizzou Tigers, Lisa Tribble of Unionville had long held plans to attend the university’s Homecoming festivities this year.

However, Homecoming is taking on a new significance as Lisa will be named the Homecoming game’s honorary captain, representing cancer patients at Boone Hospital’s Stewart Cancer Center.

A little over a month ago, on Sept. 12, Lisa was diagnosed with plasma cell leukemia.

The diagnosis came after Lisa’s yearly checkup revealed her white blood count was extremely high. At Boone Hospital, further testing determined the problem — cancer.

“Initially, I was stunned,” Lisa said.

With her family by her side and strengthened by her faith, Lisa is working with Oncologist Elangovan Balakrishnan, MD, to defeat her cancer.

“I decided there was no question about this, I will beat this disease!” she said.

Her current treatment plan is to receive three or four cycles of chemotherapy and then have a stem cell transplant.

As she begins her battle, she looks forward to hearing a roar of encouragement from the stands as she is introduced during the first quarter of the Mizzou Homecoming football game.

“What an honor to represent cancer patients and Boone Hospital at Homecoming!” she said. “We are season ticket holders and can feel the electricity in the stands during games and can’t wait to feel that excitement on the field Saturday!”


One day, two special gifts

October 9, 2013

By Jacob Luecke

Click here for a free subscription to myBoone Health magazine.

Shauna Stafford was expecting an exciting day on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 8, as she arrived at Boone Hospital Center to give birth to her first child.

But she only knew half of what was coming that day.

Bruce Gilbert and Shauna Stafford with their daughter, Kinsley Taylor.

Bruce Gilbert and Shauna Stafford with their daughter, Kinsley Taylor.

Just before 2 p.m., she and boyfriend Bruce Gilbert welcomed their daughter, Kinsley Taylor. She is a perfect baby, weighing 8 pounds, .08 ounces. She is 22 inches long.

Shortly after Kinsley’s birth, Bruce put his plan into action.

He had secretly packed an engagement ring in his hospital bag. He wanted his new daughter to help him pop the question.

Bruce’s cousin had made a special onesie for Kinsley emblazoned with the phrase “Mommy, Will you marry my Daddy?” Attached to the onesie is a sentimental toy ring the couple won on a trip earlier in their relationship.

“After we had our baby, I told our nurse what would happen and asked her if she could help us get the onesie on,” Bruce said. “She said, ‘Oh yeah, definitely.”

When their nurse, Marla Owen, RN, took Kinsley out of the room for standard testing, she dressed the newborn in the special onesie. She then swaddled Kinsley for scrub tech Tami Held to bring back to her mother.

When Shauna unswaddled her daughter, it took her a moment to understand what was happening — then she saw Bruce down on one knee.

DSC_0036“I read it, but it didn’t quite click, then I saw my whole family standing up with cameras. And he’s down on the floor crying, and I just covered my face and bawled like a baby,” she said.

She said yes.

One day later, Shauna said it was certainly a day to remember.

“It was very eventful,” she said. “It’s a day we won’t forget.”

The couple plans to take their time with wedding planning and just enjoy the moment with their new family. Kinsley also has a half brother, age five.

Shauna and Bruce said their care at the Boone Family Birthplace was great, especially the nurse who helped Bruce carry out his proposal plan.

“Marla is awesome,” Bruce said. “She went above and beyond.”

Marla said she enjoyed being part of their doubly special day.

“I have never experienced anything like that. It was so cool,” she said. “They are just a sweet fun couple and the whole family is amazing. It was just so happy.”


“The world needs more caring people like you”

September 27, 2013

By Stacy Dougan

Stacy, of Pilot Grove, shared this story via the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

My grandmother had a stroke and was on the Boone neurology floor. I just wanted to thank the wonderful nurses that took care of her.

IMG_2196Velvet Meers and Ashley Tripp did such an awesome wonderful job. Velvet is the kind of nurse that truly cares about her patients and does such an amazing job. She is so caring and listened to all my concerns and thoughts. She made sure that we were always comfortable.

Ashley was the tech and she always came in to the room with a smile and even when we seemed to push the call light back to back she never got frustrated.

Its amazing how a smile can comfort you during times like that. Thank you for all the care you gave my grandmother, the world needs more caring people like you.


Mom thanks staff who helped mend her son’s foot injury

September 18, 2013

By Sara

Sara, of Hartsburg, shared this story via email. Click here to share your story.

2013 football 2

Sara’s son Bret.

My son, Brett, came to your ER last night with an injured foot. Your staff was so helpful and friendly!

Dr. Scroggins was very reassuring and Brian Lewis who wrapped his foot was really great. Brian noticed that my son had football pants on that we wouldn’t be able to get off after the splint, so he got him other pants to wear.

He noticed that a nurse got him crutches that were too tall so he got him a different pair. I really can’t thank your staff enough for all their great care!


Mother of five: “They made each and every one of my birth experiences special!”

August 23, 2013

By Heather Shay

Heather, of Boonville, shared this story via myBoone Health submission form. Click here to share your story.

Heather ShayI have nothing but good things to say about Boone Family Birthplace! I have had five babies there and the experience with all five has been amazing.

My oldest son was born there in 2002! He spent a week in the NICU where he received lots of loving care by the best nurses! As hard as it was to leave him there, I knew he was in the best hands! They did an amazing job making sure I felt comfortable and always knew what was going on.

In 2008, we welcomed son number two. In 2010, our first daughter joined our family! In 2011, we were once again blessed with amazing care as we had our third boy! Just 12 weeks ago, on May 30, we welcomed our fifth and final baby! Our little girl gave us a little bit of a scare during labor but thanks to Dr. Kevin Jones and the amazing nurses she arrived safely!

I can’t remember all of the nurses names we’ve had over the years but I do know they are all amazing! They made each and every one of my birth experiences special!!


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