September Employee of the Month loves teaching and learning on the ICU

September 5, 2014

Sharon Acra is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for September 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

When Sharon Acra and her family moved to Columbia, she interviewed for a staff nurse position at three hospitals in the area. “Boone was the one that impressed me the most,” she says.

Sharon Acra

Sharon Acra

The feeling was mutual; Sharon joined the Boone Hospital Center family in July 1998 and has worked in the Intensive Care Unit for the subsequent 16 years. She enjoys being a nurse on the ICU, working with her patients and the opportunities to learn something new every day – or every night, rather, since she works the third shift.

As a staff nurse on the unit, Sharon takes part in the orientation of new hires, training recent nursing school graduates and educating nursing school students. She enjoys working on the night shift with many of the newer hospital employees. “They’re fun and have a fresh perspective on things,” she says.

Additionally, Sharon serves as a community representative for Boone Hospital Center, providing blood pressure screenings to residents of The Terrace Retirement Community in Columbia.

Sharon was born in Saint Louis, but moved to several places while her husband served in the U.S. Navy. While he was stationed in Connecticut, she received her Associates Degree in Nursing at a local community college. She later earned her BSN through the University of Missouri, inspired to further her education when her second daughter enrolled at the Sinclair School of Nursing.

“I decided she was not going to beat me to a bachelor’s degree,” Sharon says. “I did the RN-BSN program online at Mizzou, she did the traditional program, and we graduated on the same day.”

Sharon’s three daughters live with their families in Jacksonville, Florida, and she has two grandchildren that she adores and visits often. She loves to bowl and recently joined a local senior bowling league – “You only have to be 50 to join!” she says – where she enjoys listening to other bowlers’ stories and picking up some good bowling tips, as well

When asked what she enjoys most about working at Boone Hospital Center, Sharon says, “I work with some wonderful people. I have to give credit to the people I work with for being chosen for Employee of the Month. We have an excellent team, and they encourage and assist me to be a better nurse.”

August Employee of the Month is a true team player

August 11, 2014

Deontae Curtis is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for August 2014. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

One thing Deontae Curtis’s teammates at Boone Hospital Center can agree upon: he is great with his patients on the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery unit. “Patients always love to see Deontae enter their room,” wrote one of his peers. Another staff member nominating Deontae to be our next Employee of the Month wrote, “He works well with his patients. They all love him.”

Deontae Curtis

Deontae Curtis

For Deontae, the feeling is mutual. “I appreciate the individuals that I care for, from admission to discharge,” he says.

Deontae joined Boone Hospital Center in January 2011. “I had several friends who worked here and thought that Boone would be a good fit for me,” he says. He applied to be a patient care technician because he was interested in gaining work experience in a medical-surgical environment before continuing his education in nursing. Deontae also works at Boone as a technician in the Electrocardiography (EKG) department. He serves on the hospital’s Safe Patient Handling Committee and has worked with the Training and Development team on bed and lift education for other Boone Hospital caregivers.

Deontae was born in Columbia and grew up in Mexico, Mo. As a senior at Mexico High School, he was captain of the Bulldogs football team and crowned Homecoming King. He also played baseball and basketball. After graduating in 2003, Deontae attended Central Methodist University where he majored in Computer Science and played football for the Central Methodist Eagles. Currently, he plays semi-professional football for the Hannibal Falcons, a team he’s been with for the last two years.

In addition to football, Deontae plays slow-pitch softball and enjoys fishing, hiking and camping when he’s not at work. He also enjoys spending time with friends and family. He describes himself as the “proud father of two beautiful children,” his son Dayne, 5, and daughter Ava, 2. And he is close to his mother, Shelly, “Without her, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

When asked what he likes most about being part of Boone Hospital Center, Deontae says he especially enjoys meeting and interacting with patients, visitors and co-workers. He appreciates both the high quality care and the compassion that his colleagues show in caring for patients.

“Boone Hospital Center is a great facility to be associated with,” Deontae says.

Boone Hospital Center along with other BJC HealthCare Hospitals Lead State Hospital Rankings

August 5, 2014

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Boone Hospital Center and two other BJC hospitals have earned top rankings for the State of Missouri by U.S. News & World Report. Boone Hospital Center ranked #4 overall. In addition to Boone Hospital Center, BJC’s Barnes-Jewish Hospital, ranked #1, and Missouri Baptist Medical Center, ranked #3, were also among the top hospitals in the state. BJC Collaborative member, Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, was ranked #2. Boone Hospital Center is a part of the 36-hospital BJC Collaborative, formed in 2012.

Boone Hospital Center was recognized by U.S. News for eight high-performing specialties, including cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

Boone Hospital Center was rated as the area’s highest in the category of recommending a hospital to family and friends. In addition, Boone Hospital Center was the only hospital in central Missouri to be recognized as high performing for the following:

  • Cardiology and heart surgery
  • Gynecology
  • Geriatrics

“Our ranking is a testament to the incredible team of physicians, nurses, clinical and support staff who work each day to provide world-class patient care to the communities we serve,” says Jim Sinek, Boone Hospital Center President. “To see Boone Hospital Center, along with two other BJC hospitals among the top four ranked hospitals in the state is special. It’s an indication that our incredible team extends well beyond the walls of Boone and that patients can count on us for their care.”

The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Report has been released annually for 25 years. In the past three years, U.S. News has released state and metropolitan rankings to assist consumers in identifying the best hospitals in their communities. Reports include key information on nearly 5,000 medical centers across the Unites States.

About Boone Hospital Center

Boone Hospital Center is a 397-bed full service hospital located in Columbia, Mo. It is a regional referral center located in the center of the state. The hospital provides progressive health care programs, services, and technology to residents in 25 mid-Missouri counties. Boone Hospital Center has been named a Top 100 Hospital by Becker’s Hospital Review and Thompson Reuters and is designated as a Magnet® Hospital for Nursing Excellence by the American College of Nursing.

About BJC HealthCare

BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health care organizations in the United States, and is focused on delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. BJC serves the health care needs of urban, suburban and rural communities and includes 12 hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.

About The BJC Collaborative, LLC

The BJC Collaborative was created in October 2012 when BJC HealthCare in St. Louis, CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., Memorial Health System in Springfield, Ill., and Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Mo., partnered together with a goal of achieving even higher quality care for patients served by the independent nonprofit health care organizations. Blessing Health System and Southern Illinois Healthcare joined in 2013. The Collaborative is focused on delivering clinical programs and services to improve health care quality, lowering health care costs and creating additional operational efficiencies for the benefit of patients and communities served by the member organizations. Together, these 36 hospitals account for:

  • 6,265 beds
  • 284,807 admissions
  • 58,653 employees
  • 6,043 affiliated physicians

Boone Hospital Center receives third Magnet designation for nursing care

August 4, 2014

Magnet Recognition Logo CMYK [eps] 2 [Converted]

Boone Hospital Center has attained Magnet® recognition as part of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program® for a third consecutive time. This voluntary credentialing program for hospitals recognizes superior quality in nursing care as evidenced by performance outcomes. Magnet recognition is the highest honor a health care organization can receive for professional nursing practice.

With this achievement, Boone Hospital Center retains its place among a select group of 378 out of nearly 6,000 health care organizations in the nation, as one of seven Magnet hospitals in Missouri, and joins a more exclusive group of 113 (less than 1%) hospitals internationally to have achieved Magnet recognition three times.

Boone Hospital Center was initially designated a Magnet hospital in 2005 and received the credential again in 2009.

“Earning Magnet recognition the first time was a great accomplishment. The second time was an incredible source of pride for our nurses. For Boone Hospital Center to have achieved this designation for a third time exemplifies the exceptional level of class, competency and dignity of our nursing staff. It truly is a monumental achievement for Boone Hospital Center and for health care in Missouri,” says Mary Beck, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.

To achieve initial Magnet recognition, organizations must pass a rigorous and lengthy process requiring widespread participation from hospital leadership and staff. The process begins with the submission of an electronic application, followed by written documentation demonstrating qualitative and quantitative evidence regarding patient care and outcomes. If scores from the written documentation fall within a range of excellence, an on-site visit will occur to thoroughly assess the applicant. After this rigorous onsite review process, the Commission on Magnet reviews the completed appraisal report and votes to determine whether Magnet recognition will be granted. Hospitals must reapply for Magnet recognition every four years.

An organization that reapplies for Magnet recognition must provide documented evidence of how Magnet program concepts, performance and quality were sustained and improved over the four-year period since the hospital received its most recent recognition.

The Magnet program focuses on high quality clinical care outcomes by promoting quality of care, identifying excellence in the delivery of nursing services to patients and disseminating best practices in nursing care. Magnet recognition has been shown to provide specific benefits to hospitals and their communities, such as higher patient satisfaction and improved patient outcomes.

“Magnet recognition means high job satisfaction, autonomy in practice and high quality of care for over 500 Boone Hospital Center nurses. And being cared for by the best-trained and most qualified nurses results in higher satisfaction rates and improved outcomes for our patients,” says Laura Noren, Magnet Program and Service Line Director.

Magnet recognition has become the gold standard for nursing excellence. U.S. News & World Report ’s annual showcase of “America’s Best Hospitals” includes Magnet recognition in its ranking criteria for quality of inpatient care.

“Achieving Magnet recognition has raised the bar for patient care and inspired our nurses to provide excellent patient and family centered care,” says staff nurse Maggie O’Laughlin. “Our commitment to providing professional, high-quality care helped Boone Hospital Center become a Magnet facility, and it’s why we continue to serve as a Magnet hospital today.”

For more information about the Magnet Recognition Program®, please visit

Boone Hospital Center breaks ground on our new campus

July 24, 2014

On Thursday, July 24, the Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees broke ground on the new south campus medical plaza, located at the corner of Nifong Boulevard and Forum Boulevard.

When complete in 2015, the site will potentially be home to four buildings with a total of 125,000 square feet of space for health care services. The project will be completed in phases, with phase one to include the construction of an 80,000 square-foot signature building designed to reflect the architectural features of the new south tower on the main Boone hospital campus, which opened in 2011.

Rendering of Boone Hospital Center

Rendering of Boone Hospital Center South Campus

“Our goal is to grow with Columbia and our entire service area,” says Jim Sinek, Boone Hospital Center President. “The southwest portion of Columbia continues to expand, and there is a need for more convenient access to high quality health care services. We have nearly completed the programmatic plan regarding the services that will be provided at our south campus. Community needs assessment and input from numerous contingency groups have guided us on the services to be offered.”

The $20-million development will be located on 14 acres of land purchased by the Board of Trustees in 1989, when the growth of southern Columbia was already apparent. The Trustees selected Coil Construction to manage the project.

“Coil Construction is pleased to be a part of bringing Boone Hospital Center and its great reputation to the south part of Columbia,” says Randy Coil, owner of Coil Construction. “What a terrific use for the land the Trustees purchased almost 25 years ago and what a great addition to health care in our community.”

Lanes will be added to both Forum and Nifong Boulevards to accommodate the project. These upgrades will require the relocation of the memorial placed on Nifong in honor of Officer Molly Bowden, who was killed in the line of duty in 2005.

“We have been working with Officer Bowden’s family to ensure that a permanent and more appropriate memorial is established to recognize the sacrifice she made on behalf of our community,” says Fred Parry, Chairman of the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees. “We will be creating a pocket park with a reflecting pool, park benches and access to a walking trail that winds through the new development. This will be a wonderful tribute to Officer Bowden.”

Boone Therapy and Bioness: ‘It’s amazing what they do here.’

July 22, 2014

On Thursday, July 24, Boone Therapy will offer free screenings for those who have lost hand or leg function due to stroke, brain or spinal injury, or other neurological disorders. Read below to learn how Boone Therapy uses the Bioness to help a stroke patient regain her mobility and independence. 

When Karen Holbrook of Farber, Mo., realized she was experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, there was only one place she wanted to be: “I had to take a helicopter here, and I told them, ‘You get this in the air, and you land at Boone. If you land anywhere in-between, I won’t ride with you anymore.’”

On June 10, Karen was admitted to Boone Hospital Center. She stayed for approximately three weeks in the Rehabilitation Unit and received physical and occupational therapy to help recover lost function on her right side. During her therapy sessions, Karen was outfitted with a device, the Bioness H200 Wireless system.

Jess Stuart and Karen Holbrook

Occupational therapist Jess Stuart and Karen Holbrook use the Bioness H200 Wireless System during Karen’s therapy sessions.

Jess Stuart, an occupational therapist with Boone Therapy, explains, “The Bioness is a functional electrical stimulation unit that helps to facilitate movement that has been lost due to a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury or other neurological disorders.”

The system can help some patients improve their range of motion and function, reduce muscle spasms, improve circulation and reduce loss of muscle in the affected area. Karen uses the device designed for the hand. There are also Bioness units for lost function in legs and feet. The H200 consists of a lightweight orthosis that is positioned to fit the hand and forearm. A wireless control unit communicates with the orthosis to send mild electrical impulses that switch on the nerves controlling the muscles in Karen’s hand and forearm. Jess also uses a portable device that allows her to program and track Karen’s activities with the Bioness.

Used in conjunction with an occupational therapy program, the device can help re-educate the muscles used for reaching, grasping and opening and closing her hand.  The lower extremity devices used with physical therapy programs help to re-educate the muscles used to elevate the foot during walking in order to prevent tripping.

“We first started working on Karen’s grasp,” Jess says. “She had a very weak grasp when she started. Now she can squeeze your hand with some power.

“We use Bioness devices in conjunction with other forms of therapy, for patients in the hospital and those that use our outpatient clinic in Broadway Medical Plaza 1,” she continues. “There are many activities we can do with it. I use it often for weight-bearing exercises with the hand, to rebuild sensory input to the shoulder and elbow.”

“Since she’s started me on that,” Karen says, “I’ve been able to straighten my elbow.”

Use of the Bioness isn’t limited to therapy sessions; the devices can be safely worn every day for most activities. An occupational therapist or physical therapist helps with fitting the device and programming the proper impulse intensity suitable for the individual patient’s needs. They also teach the individual how to properly use the device during functional activities. Wearing the Bioness as she opens and closes her right hand, Karen says that the impulses are painless. She is working on getting a personal H200 unit to wear at home.

“More and more insurance programs are starting to cover Bioness systems,” Jess says. “Someone like Karen, who’s very devoted and determined with her rehabilitation, will definitely use it. For example, at home, she can use it to help her be able to open a door.”

Karen, who is determined not to let her stroke slow her down, says the Bioness and Boone Therapy have really been helping her, as part of the care she’s received since her helicopter landed at Boone Hospital Center. “I came to Boone because they specialize in stroke. It’s amazing what they do here.”

If you have trouble walking or using your hand as a result of stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain or spinal cord injury, or cerebral palsy, Boone Therapy can help you regain independence and get back into a more active lifestyle by utilizing various treatment techniques, including possible use of the Bioness wireless technology.

Boone Therapy will offer free screenings to see if Bioness is right for you on Thursday, July 24, from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Boone Therapy at 573.815.3868.

If you are unable to make it to this screening, you likely would still benefit from an evaluation by a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Please call Boone Therapy to set up an appointment.

Independence Day Closures

July 4, 2014

Boone Hospital Center is always open to serve our community, however, some of our clinics and departments will be closed today.

On Friday, July 4, the following clinics are closed:

  • Boone Convenient Care
  • Boone Diabetes & Endocrine Center
  • Boone Family Practice
  • Boone Hospital Pain Management Clinic
  • Boone Infectious Disease
  • Boone Internal Medicine Associates
  • Boone Primary Care
  • Boone Pulmonary Medicine
  • Centralia Family Health Clinic
  • Mid-Mo Occupational Medicine
  • Moberly Specialty Clinic
  • Southern Boone County Family Care

The following Boone Hospital Center services will be unavailable:

  • Boone Appetit Café
  • Boone Hospital Home Care & Hospice
  • Boone Therapy
  • Boonique Gifts
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Cardiac Diagnostic Center
  • Cashier
  • Diabetes/Nutrition Clinic
  • Harris Breast Center
  • Human Resources
  • Infusion & Treatment Center
  • Medical Records
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Patient Accounts
  • Wound Healing Center

Our WELLAWARE Fitness Center will be OPEN today until 12 PM

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!


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