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.”

Memorial Day Closures

May 23, 2014

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

On Monday, May 26, the following clinics will be 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
  • 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 from 6 AM to 12 PM

Regular hours for all of the above will resume on Tuesday, May 27.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

“Amazing attitudes and compassion”: A father’s gratitude

May 16, 2014

By Daniel and Amy Neale

Daniel, of Columbia, shared his story using our online submission form. Click here to share your story.

Our son Cooper was born at Boone Family Birthplace at 37 weeks on April 22, 2014 by emergency C-section and was in the ICN until the following Saturday, April 26.

Amy Neale with son Cooper

Amy Neale with son Cooper

First off, we would like to tell you how much we enjoyed the staff and what a great job they did. Dr. Merrihew showed a great level of care and went above and beyond to keep us posted throughout the first night and following days. She was great at explaining our son’s level of care and steps involved. She showed great dedication to the care of the patients, families and the ICN.

Two of your staff members stood out above the rest: Emily Kvitle was great with our son and very knowledgeable as well as able to answer any question we had clear and thoroughly. She showed a great compassion for the children and was on top of their care. Molly Jaecques really left a lasting impression with us – she was absolutely amazing. My wife had a placental abruption while Molly was her nurse. When Molly discovered this, she was perfectly calm and handled the situation with total confidence. Her actions and level head kept my wife calm during what could have been a very upsetting situation. She showed amazing skills and knowledge while keeping a smile and pleasant atmosphere. We cannot say enough great things about Molly.

These two are great assets to the family birthplace, and while their skill set may be replaceable, their amazing attitudes and compassion for the care they give is not. Please recognize and pass along our greatest and most sincere gratitude to these two outstanding individuals.

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.”

Five Reasons to Thank Our Nurses

May 6, 2014


1. Thank you for loving what you do

People seldom think their work is fun. But, our nurses have a genuine passion for their jobs and desire to care for others, which makes coming to work a joyful experience.

Read why registered nurse Marla Jones enjoys her job in Cardiac Rehab.


2. Thank you for your dedication to excellence

With the nurses at Boone Hospital Center, we never have to worry about falling behind. They are continually striving to make Boone Hospital the best. From their dedication to becoming magnet accredited to taking opportunities outside the hospital to learn and grow, it is in the nature of our nursing staff to push themselves to be greater.

Find out how Laura Noren is helping to continually improve Boone Hospital Center.


3. Thank you for your caring attitudes

The general attitude of the nurses at Boone Hospital Center is exceptional. They are always there to greet you with a smile and encouraging word. They create an atmosphere of love and acceptance that makes everyone feel welcome and puts worried minds at ease.

Check out how registered nurse Jeannie Grant went above expectations in caring for her patient, Walt.


4. Thank you for providing quality service

Our nursing staff is committed to meeting expectations and then exceeding them. They treat the people that enter the hospital as if they are their own family members. The hospital can be intimidating, so our nurses are sure to take the time to explain complicated topics and make patients comfortable with their surroundings.

Read about the care one Boone Hospital Center nurse received when she switched roles and became a patient.


5. Thank you for choosing Boone Hospital Center

In a town with many hospitals to choose from, we are honored each time nurses choose Boone Hospital Center as their home. We truly believe we are a family and are thankful for each one of our members.

Find out why registered nurse Lindsey Rock chose Boone Hospital Center.


There are more than just five reasons to thank our nurses; in honor of National Nurses Day we encourage you to think of the impact that a nurse has had on your life. Be sure to thank a nurse today!

A Mother’s Influence

May 5, 2014

By Kelsey Hoffmann

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

They pulled up to the hospital at 11 a.m. With no air conditioning, the car was sweltering hot, but she did not mind. She was just excited that her dad let her come along to pick mom up from work. But as the minutes passed by, the excitement dwindled. After 45 minutes of waiting, her dad let out a groan and uttered, “These nurses work too hard.”

Memories like these have stuck with Laura Noren. Spending her childhood observing her mom’s work ethic taught Laura invaluable lessons and has molded her into the nurse she is today.

Laura Noren and her mother, Ann, visit Boone Hospital Center's nursery.

Laura Noren and her mother, Ann, visit Boone Hospital Center’s nursery.

Getting on board

Throughout her career, Laura, who has worked at Boone Hospital Center since 1992, has taken on positions and challenges that have pushed her to exceed expectations. In February, the work ethic that her mother instilled in her proved beneficial when she was nominated to the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

In the summer of 2013, one of Laura’s sisters, Wendy, put the idea in her mind to apply for the board.

“My family has always been politically minded,” Laura said. “My father was director of Missouri Department of Conservation for many years, and I grew up in that kind of culture. My sister is also a public servant as the Boone County clerk.”

The political drive she learned from her father and the passion for nursing she inherited from her mother had Laura intrigued by the possibility of serving on the board. However, she knew it would mean a significant time commitment, so before she did anything she had a conversation with Dr. Mary Beck, vice president and chief nursing officer. After receiving her full support, Laura applied.

In February, she got the call that Gov. Jay Nixon nominated her for the board.

“I was very excited,’ Laura said. “I called my sister first. I let my husband know, too, but I called Wendy first.”

Laura will serve on the board until June 1, 2016. During that time, she and eight other board members will oversee the 130,000 nurses in the state of Missouri.

“[The nomination] is beneficial to the hospital and BJC because I will have a better understanding of what the profession expects,” Laura said. “The board oversees the rules and regulations. There have been times we are making decisions here, and we will contact the state board of nursing for an interpretation. I think being on the board will help me gain insight of how they view things, which will in turn help the hospital.”

Stealing the show

In February, Laura went to Jefferson City, Mo., for Sen. Kurt Schaeffer to introduce her to the senate and have her nomination approved. Laura and her small entourage of her mom, her best friend, Dr. Beck and Monica Smith, the Boone Hospital cardiac and cardiothoracic surgery service line director, had the honor of attending a ceremony at the capital and touring the governor’s office. But Laura admits the experience would not have been the same without her mom.

“She kind of stole the show a bit,” Laura said. “Everyone was impressed with her career and her influence.”

Laura was happy to share the glory. After all, it was her mother who led her to nursing and guided her through her career.

Like mother, like daughter

Laura’s mother, Ann Noren, 92, was a nurse in World War II before settling in Jefferson City with her husband, Carl. Ann soon got a job at St. Mary’s Health Center and, over time, worked her way to become what would be referred to as today as director of women’s and children’s health.

Ann was well respected by her colleagues and was often described as a great mentor. Laura would be the first to confirm her mother’s natural ability to guide nurses.

“She actually gave me my first job,” Laura said. “Back in the days when you could hire your own children.”

In 1969, Laura started working under her mother as a nursing aide in the newborn nursery. It was during this time that Laura absorbed many lessons from her mother.

“She was very calm and very respectful,” Laura said. “She was fair and hardworking. She didn’t ask anything of her staff that she wouldn’t jump in and do.”

Laura learned patience, determination and leadership skills from her mother. In February, her mother’s influence on her career became even more evident when Laura accepted the position of service line director of women’s and children’s health at Boone Hospital Center.

“I think my mom is really excited that it’s come full circle and that I am going to be doing this,” Laura said.

Preparing the next generation

Laura’s mom has been happy to see her daughter succeed in so many different areas of nursing.

“I think sometimes I baffle her about the different things that I pick up because really these opportunities weren’t there when she was a nurse,” Laura said.

With her great accomplishments and her natural ability to lead, Laura has proved that she, like her mother, is capable of preparing nurses for a successful career.

“I have wonderful staff who are newer in their roles, and I really enjoy trying to help them learn and teach and grow,” Laura said. “My goal is to step out of the way and let somebody else step in.”

Continuing to serve

Laura does not know what will happen after her position with the board is finished, but she hopes to spend the rest of her career at Boone Hospital Center.

“I’m a true Boonie,” she said. “I am very loyal to this hospital and care about it deeply. It’s a family. It sounds so catchy, but it’s true. People care about each other here.”

Even after retirement, there is a good chance she will not give up her love of nursing. Laura’s mother served at hospitals, including Boone Hospital Center, until her late 80s. Laura seems to have adopted her drive.

“It’s hard to complain or feel like you are overwhelmed or tired or something because you look at her and go, well… never mind,” Laura said. “If she can do it, I can do it.”

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!


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