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!

Made with love: Consider these healthy ideas this Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2014

By Kristy Lang, RD, LD, CDE

Kristy Lang, RD, LD, CDE

Kristy Lang, RD, LD, CDE

Have you ever noticed how each holiday, year round, has its own iconic sweet treat? Halloween has candy corns, Easter has Peeps, Christmas has candy canes and not to be left out of the festivities, Valentine’s Day has Sweetheart candies. Whether you like each of those sweets or not, the holiday wouldn’t feel complete until you’ve at least seen them make an appearance at the supermarket or your holiday party. Say what you wish, but Easter is not Easter until someone has made a joke about Peeps.

Not surprisingly, with each of these holidays comes a news article on how to stay healthy despite all the temptations. Most Dietitians, rightly so, will remind everyone to enjoy these treats in moderation. My motto is, “There are no bad foods, only bad portion sizes.” However, I’m going to take a slightly different approach this Valentine’s Day.

Each year, Valentine’s Day shares the month of February with Heart Month, a time we remind everyone to get their cholesterol, blood pressure and weight checked as a way to make sure their ticker keeps on ticking. And really, what better way to say “Be my Valentine” than by helping your loved keep their heart in peak condition? With that in mind, here are some ideas for both happy and healthy Valentine’s Day gifts.

  • Purchase, or make your own faux-flower arrangement out of fruit.
  • Instead of sweets, give a bottle of dry red wine, which is high in good cholesterol-boosting antioxidants and resveratrol.
  • Plan an activity as a way to spend the day or evening together. Try ice skating or hiking if you are comfortable in the cold; bowling, rock climbing or dancing if you are not.
  • Make a meal at home together. Try a dish that includes omega-3 rich salmon and greens such as kale, spinach or dark green lettuces that are packed with vitamins.
  • Trade a box of chocolates for a mug of hot cocoa. Two tablespoons of unsweetened hot cocoa has been shown to pack flavanols that may help improve blood pressure and flow. Looking for a good recipe? Try the one below.

Hot chocolate

Hot Chocolate
(makes 4 servings)


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/16 tsp salt (pinch)
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 ½ cups skim or 1% milk
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • ¾ tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Add the cocoa, sugar, salt and water to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to mix ingredients well.
  2. Add in the milk and cinnamon sticks and heat until hot, but just before boiling.
  3. Mix in vanilla extract and divide between mugs.

Winter weather closings for Wednesday, Feb. 5

February 4, 2014


Boone Hospital Center is always open to serve our community, however, some of our services and clinics are closed for the safety of our patients and our staff. Here is an updated list of winter weather closings and cancellations for Wednesday, Feb. 5:

Our Wednesday night Zumba Gold class has been cancelled.

The following clinics are closed on Wednesday:

Boone Hospital Pain Management
Boone Hospital Wound Clinic
Boone Convenient Care (Columbia)
Boone Diabetes and Endocrine Center
Boone Family Practice
Boone Internal Medicine Associates
Boone Infectious Disease
Boone Primary Care
Boone Pulmonary clinic
Occupational Medicine Mid-MO
Southern Boone Family Care

Centralia Family Health Care will be open today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The following Boone Hospital services will be closed or unavailable:

Medical Records
Outpatient Cardiac Rehab
WELLAWARE Fitness Center

Closures, cancellations and re-openings will be announced on this post throughout the day.

Last update: Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 10:15 AM

Winter weather closings for Tuesday, Feb. 4

February 4, 2014

Here is an updated list of winter weather closings and cancellations for Tuesday, February 4.  As always, Boone Hospital Center remains open.

The following clinics are closed on Tuesday:

Boone Hospital Wound Clinic
Boone Hospital Pain Management Clinic
Boone Convenient Care (Columbia)
Boone Diabetes and Endocrine Center
Boone Family Practice
Boone Internal Medicine Associates
Boone Infectious Disease
Boone Primary Care
Boone Pulmonary clinic: Will remain closed on Wednesday, February 5
Centralia Family Health Care
Moberly Specialty Clinic
Occupational Medicine Mid-MO: Will remain closed on Wednesday, February 5
Southern Boone County Family Care

The following Boone Hospital services are closed or unavailable:
Boone Therapy
Boonique Gifts
Cardiac Diagnostic Center
Medical Records
Outpatient Cardiac Rehab
Patient Accounts customer service
WELLAWARE Fitness Center: Will remain closed on Wednesday, February 5

Closures will be announced on this post throughout the day.

Last update: Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 3:00 PM

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.”

Dr. Joseph Muscato, MD, to be the Medical Director of the Stewart Cancer Center

January 31, 2014

Dr. Joseph Muscato, MD, has been named Medical Director of the Stewart Cancer Center at Boone Hospital.

Dr. Muscato is a hematologist-medical oncologist who has practiced in mid-Missouri since 1982. He is the founder of the region’s leading oncology clinic, Missouri Cancer Associates. He is also immediate past-president of the Missouri Oncology Society and chairman of Boone Hospital’s cancer committee. Dr. Muscato has worked to bring leading cancer treatments to Boone Hospital and he was instrumental to the development of the new Stewart Cancer Center.

Muscato, Joe

Joe Muscato, MD

“Dr. Muscato is an outstanding clinician and caregiver, but he’s also much more. He dedicates countless hours to serving as a leader, promoting physician collaboration and ensuring the patients of mid-Missouri are receiving the absolute best cancer care possible,” said Jim Sinek, Boone Hospital President. “I am proud to have Dr. Muscato on our team and I have high expectations for his leadership as we continue to expand the Stewart Cancer Center and remain the leading cancer center in mid-Missouri.”

Dr. Muscato attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, completed his internship and residency at the University of Missouri and then his Fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Duke University.

The Stewart Cancer Center was created in collaboration with Virginia and Norm Stewart. While Norm is known for his hall of fame career coaching the University of Missouri men’s basketball team, he is also a cancer survivor and has dedicated many years to fighting cancer. On Jan. 6, Boone Hospital and the Stewarts opened a new inpatient cancer treatment unit with 32 private patient rooms. Other recent Stewart Cancer Center projects include new free lung cancer and skin cancer screenings.

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.


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