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.”


Respecting Choices — New effort touts importance of advance directives

November 8, 2013

We are hosting an special advance directives event on Nov. 21, 2013. Click here to learn more.

When planning for the end of life, many people think about the gifts they would like to leave their loved ones.

They create wills to divide up their belongings. They plan for savings and assets to be given to family or charitable causes.

Click to view the event postcard.

Come to our Nov. 21, 2013 event. Click to learn more.

However, there is an even bigger gift that most people in mid-Missouri haven’t even considered — specific instructions for care should they become unable to communicate at the end of life.

Such instructions, contained in a document called an advance directive, can relieve families of the huge burden of having to guess a loved one’s wishes.

“The problem is trying to determine what the patient wanted,” said Dorreen Rardin, Boone Hospital Center’s supportive care coordinator. “So, as a doctor or nurse, you try to get the consensus of various family members. Many times, that is very hard to do.”

Dorreen works with families through this process on a daily basis. Sometimes, these decisions can lead to family disagreements and even create lasting rifts.

To help solve this problem, Boone Hospital is beginning a new community-wide program encouraging everyone to create an advance directive.

Called Respecting Choices, the program comes from the Gunderson Health System in La Crosse, Wisc. In the La Crosse area, nearly everyone has an advance directive. A survey of cancer patients at Boone Hospital earlier this year found only about one-third had taken this step.

The program will establish a community network of people who have completed the simple training necessary to help others create an advance directive. The network will include hospitals, churches, schools and many other local organizations.

“It’s a discussion that starts with ‘what are the things that make your life worth living?’” said John Bolton, who is volunteering to help establish Respecting Choices in mid-Missouri following his recent retirement from managing Boone Hospital’s inpatient cancer unit. “Based on how people answer that question, that’s how you can begin to talk about what kind of care they would choose for themselves at the end of life.”

For every person, the answer is different. After having an advance directive discussion, some people make it clear that they would not want life-sustaining care if it meant living severely incapacitated. Others say they would want every treatment possible, no matter what.

Either way, having an advance directive ensures the patient’s wishes are known.

Creating an advance directive requires more than simply writing your wishes down on paper. Once complete, with the help of a trained volunteer, the document should be distributed to local hospitals and physicians to be kept on file.

However, it’s equally important that the advance directive is also shared and discussed with family members.

“That’s a critical discussion to have,” Dorreen said. “It’s something they can feel good about, because you are protecting them from having to decide things they might not want to decide.”

At different stages of life, people need to remember to keep their advance directive up-to-date as wishes often change.

“If you make one out when you’re 35, it’s going to be different when you’re 88,” said John.

The local Respecting Choices efforts will kick off during a community presentation on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Boone Hospital Center. Everyone is invited to reserve a seat to attend.

“This is a truly gift that you give to you loved ones,” said Dorreen. “With an advance directive your family and caregivers don’t have to spend that time and energy trying to figure out what you want — you’ve told them.”


Donation supports Boone Hospital’s work to provide comfort at end of life

April 4, 2013

The Boone Hospital Foundation has received a $20,000 donation in honor of the hospital’s Supportive Care service.

Foundation donation 2013

From left, Marlee Walz, director of patient care services; Barb Danuser, executive director of the Boone Hospital Foundation; Mandy Schmidt, palliative care nurse; Dorreen Rardin, Supportive Care coordinator; Dr. Michael Daly; John Bolton, manager of medical oncology.

Supportive Care provides a wide spectrum of services that promote comfort and healing during a patient’s hospital stay. Those services include: massage therapy, spa treatments, healing touch, music therapy and aroma therapy. In addition to these services, for patients facing the end of life, Supportive Care also provides comfort bags with a soft blanket, stuffed animal, journal, photo album and visitor log.

An anonymous mid-Missouri woman provided the donation in recognition of the caregivers who gave comfort to her husband during his final days. The gift will support Boone’s Supportive Care Program.

“Boone Hospital Center is blessed to have an outstanding Supportive Care program that works with a variety of patients across our many care units,” said Barbara Danuser, executive director of the Boone Hospital Foundation. “The donor was incredibly moved by the care provided to her husband before he passed away. Her gift will help bring that same level of comfort to future patients.”


Coins for Jacquie — 4-H donation honors former leader

October 8, 2012

Jacquie Stuart dedicated much of her life to working with Monroe County youth through the 4-H program.

In January of this year, Jacquie passed away just 10 weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It was a sudden loss for her family and the 4-H community.

Seeking to honor Jacquie’s memory, 4-H kids this summer started a “change war” at their annual camp and collected more than 70 pounds of spare change, totaling $291.22. On Oct. 1, they brought a huge sack of coins to Boone Hospital Center, donating them to the hospital’s Supportive Care program.

“We are very honored that they all came together and did something like this during their week at 4-H camp,” said Jess Stuart, Jacquie’s daughter and an occupational therapist at Boone Hospital.

Due to her dedication to the 4-H community, one of Jacquie’s longtime friends joked that when the hospital checked her blood, he was surprised it wasn’t green. She had served 4-H for more than 25 years, reaching hundreds of young people in her community.

“I don’t even know if I could add up how many kids she mentored over the years,” Jess said. “She taught leadership and instilled a lot of values as Monroe County’s Youth Executive Assistant.”

Jacquie Stuart

The 4-H members chose to donate to Supportive Care because the service helped Jacquie and her family find comfort during her time at Boone Hospital.

Supportive Care provides services such as massages, spa treatments, healing touch and music and aroma therapy. For patients facing the end of life, the service also provides comfort bags with a soft blanket, stuffed animal, journal, photo album and visitor log.

Supportive Care Coordinator Dorreen Rardin said the generous donation would help fund more comfort bags for patients.

“This is awesome. It’s going to help a lot of patients,” Rardin said. “We certainly appreciate this gift.”


At father’s end of life — thankful for Boone’s love and compassion

July 19, 2012

By Stacey Ferguson

Stacey shared this story via the myBooneHealth.com online submission form. Click here to share your story.

My dad spent the last two weeks of his life at Boone Hospital. Dad had colorectal cancer, he was diagnosed two years ago.

Two weeks ago he had another bowel obstruction and needed surgery. We thought he would recover and go home, but God had other plans. Dad never fully recovered, his body was wore out.

A week after the surgery he suffered a stroke and had more surgery. Dad passed two days later.

The care he received and the care the family received was wonderful. Dad spent those last two weeks in ICU.

The nurses were nothing but wonderful with Dad and us. I am very pleased with the care he received and the love and compassion that was shown to by the nurses.


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