Nurse strives to take the fear out of surgery

October 4, 2013

Joni Cupp is Boone Hospital Center’s Employee of the Month for October 2013. Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Coming to the hospital for a surgery creates anxiety for many patients, especially first-timers.

Fortunately, Boone Hospital Center has nurses like Joni Cupp to help make patients feel comfortable and put their fears at ease.

Joni Cupp Oct 2013 EOM“From the moment they walk in the door, if they start off having a good experience from there, you can just tell their anxiety level drops quite a bit,” Joni said.

As a registered nurse who works in Pre-Admitting Surgical Services, Joni helps guide patients through the surgery process. She compiles a medical history and tells patients and their families what to expect before, during and after surgery.

“These patients have received a lot of information from the doctors and then they come to the hospital and get a lot of information here, too. It can almost make your head spin,” Joni said. “So whatever we can do to help them feel better about what they’re coming in for is worth it.”

Joni grew up in Laddonia. After high school, she came to Columbia because she wanted to live in a larger city with more opportunities. She got a job transcribing physicians’ notes at Columbia Surgical Associates. She found that she was very interested in health care and decided to pursue a nursing degree at Central Methodist University.

While at nursing school, she started working part time at Boone Hospital and moved into her current role after graduating.

She is married to Urologist Mike Cupp, MD. They have four children between them, Cari, 19; Lauren, 18; Nathan, 18 and Mason, 17.

Away from the hospital, Joni loves taking outdoors vacations with her family. She also enjoys reading fiction.

She said the best thing about working at Boone is the people she serves alongside.

“It’s the people I work with,” she said. “We have a great group of nurses who work well together as a team.”

“Thank you so very much for your caring, dedication, professionalism and expertise”

August 12, 2013

By Karen R. Davis, MSN, RN

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

I was scheduled to have my right knee replaced on Thursday, May 30, by Dr. Hockman. All the pre-op testing and teaching was done, Dr. Hockman and Robin his nurse were professional, personable and thorough in all my appointments in the clinic. I felt confident in their skills to do their best in replacing my knee.

IMG_1857This was going to be a life altering experience for me, to be able to walk and maneuver steps without pain was going to change my life. I was reassured by several nurses and Dr. Hockman that for this surgery “no pain, no gain” was the chant I would learn to love.

I had worked at Boone Hospital for ten years before I continued my education and began teaching nursing at Central Methodist University two years ago. I have many friends at Boone whom I have kept in contact with and knew that Boone Hospital was the place for me to have my surgery.

Arriving at the agreed upon time of 7:45 a.m. in the morning, we were treated with friendly professionalism. Even though I have been a nurse many years, taking on the role of patient was a new experience for me. I too needed the friendly reassurance that everyone knew what they were doing and explaining everything as they did their job. I was called back by Sarah, my preoperative nurse, who was wonderful and explained everything that was going to happen to me and when. My IV was started and all the questions asked and answered by the nurses and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Hockman stopped by and initialed my right knee so everyone would know which knee was the correct one. Then by 9:30 a.m. it was time to go, my husband Tom was to go to the waiting room to wait for Dr. Hockman after the surgery for the update.

To be honest, I do not remember much of the surgery, I did get some very good medication the made me feel warm and happy, I think I was a bit chatty during the surgery. I was assured that I did not give away secret codes or incriminating evidence that could get me into trouble. Nor did I talk about any money I have hidden away and just forgot about. My nurses Bonnie and Melissa were very reassuring and talked me through the whole process. Dr. Meyer, who was my anesthesiologist, made sure I was comfortable and did not feel a thing during the surgery, nor did I have a “spinal headache” afterwards as I did have when I had to have caesarian sections when I had my boys, 31 and 27 years ago. Of course Dr. Hockman and Robin were there too and worked exceptionally well to complete the surgical procedure.

Next thing I know, I’m in post anesthesia care unit where Robin checked in on me when Carissa had some concerns about the drainage from my hemovac drain. We were all reassured, the dressing was reinforced and was soon taken back to my room on the 7th floor by 1 p.m.

My husband was waiting with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I am listing the nurses and techs that took care of me and I apologize if I forgot anyone. Cimarron and Stephanie took care of me Thursday and Saturday, Becky and Crystal took care of me days on Friday and Sheri, whom I have worked with, and another nurse but I cannot remember her name took care of me Thursday night. Jason and Gloria took care of me Friday night.

Saturday I was to be discharged after meeting the necessary goals to go home, the physical therapists, Kate and another which I did not write her name down, and I apologize, were friendly and knowledgeable to help me meet those goals.

Boone Hospital Home Care provided the nurses and physical therapists that continued to provide the necessary monitoring, encouragement, and goals to continue my recovery. Tom my nurse and Karen my physical therapist were wonderful.

Boone Therapy continued after 3 weeks of home care. Melinda, my physical therapist at Boone outpatient therapy was exceptional, her understanding, compassion and skills to “…is that as far as you can go?” managed to help me meet and exceed goals that surprised even me! Melinda made sure my exercises would be manageable after I return to work.

I had my first return appointment with Dr. Hockman and Robin last week and they were very pleased with my progress.

To say thank you just doesn’t seem enough to express the gratitude I feel for all the wonderful people who were involved in this life changing event.

For anyone I missed, I apologize I hope you understand how much of a difference you have made in my life, for the better! So, thank you so very much for your caring, dedication, professionalism and expertise. Please remember, all the things you do every day have a huge impact on the lives you touch.

Boone Hospital Center tops Consumer Reports Missouri surgery rating

July 31, 2013

Trusted national magazine Consumer Reports has issued a new rating of surgery safety performance at U.S. hospitals, with Boone Hospital Center sharing the highest score in the state.

Untitled-1Boone Hospital was one of two hospitals in the state to earn a solid red dot, the highest score awarded in Consumer Reports’ rating system. According to Consumer Reports, the ratings are based on an analysis of Medicare patient billing claims from 2009-2011. They include 27 categories of scheduled surgeries and various specific procedure types.

“At Boone Hospital Center, our patients’ safety is our utmost focus. We are continually looking at ways to enhance our surgical care and ensure we are providing the best, safest care possible,” said Randy Morrow, interim president of Boone Hospital Center. “It’s rewarding to see this focus on safe surgeries recognized by Consumer Reports. As always, we will continue to look for ways to become even better.”

From the moment patient walked into the hospital “I felt like I mattered”

April 24, 2013

By Betsy Lowenberg

Betsy, of Moulton, Iowa, shared this story via the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

I went to see Dr. James Pitt on April 18, 2013, for a consult. He sent me right from his office to Boone for some X-rays and that is where my story started.

flowers and signEveryone in X-ray was amazing and Dr. Brummett looked at my X-ray and knew right away there was a problem.  So he did not send me on my way and make me wait to hear from Dr. Pitt. Knowing that I drove two hours for my appointment, he called Dr. Pitt right then.

I was kept and on Friday, April 19, I had surgery to repair my stomach. From the moment we walked in to that hospital Thursday, I felt like I mattered. I have seen many doctors at home and everyone told me it was nothing and there was nothing wrong. Dr. Pitt was a lifesaver.

I had my surgery and it was worse than they thought once they got in there. After I was out of the OR , according to my husband, Dr. Pitt sat and talked to my husband and my mother-in-law and answered all their questions.

My first night in the surgery floor in room S526 was terrible.  The NG tube made me so sick, but my nurse Tony and the tech assigned to me — I wish I remembered her name, it started with an A — they were wonderful. The concern and care they took with me was so wonderful. And my daytime nurse Jill was just a doll!

They made a bad situation bearable with their kindness, concern and Tony’s humor!  I cannot thank them all enough!

I was away from home and in a scary position but they made me at ease. No doubt about it, we will use Boone as much as we can, even with the two hour drive each way!

Many miles from home, visitors discover “angels” at Boone Hospital

February 8, 2013

By Gary Johnson, Ph.D.

Gary, of Rapid City, S.D., shared this story via the online submission form. Click here to share your story.

My spouse and I from Rapid City, S.D., are visiting our son and his family here in Columbia.

My spouse suffered a leaking ascending aneurysm six days ago. Dr. Mellitt, the nursing staff and the entire Boone Hospital have performed a miracle – from the ten hour surgery to her transfer to intermediate care today.

Our two grandchildren were born in this hospital. Our son has been treated here and he recommended that we come here when my spouse suffered her attack.



Nurse was amazing during daughter’s surgery

November 12, 2012

By Kelly Doke

Kelly, of Linn, shared this story via email. Click here to share your story.

My 15-year-old daughter had surgery and in recovery she had a nurse by the name of La’Costa Gaines. She was amazing!

She was so attentive to Kyli and shared so much information with us. She really put our minds at ease after everything Kyli has been through the past year. In Kyli’s words, “that nurse is an inspiration.”

All staff were wonderful but La’Costa is a stand out! We cannot thank her enough for all the care she gave to Kyli and the rest of her family.

She allowed us to be with Kyli immediately after surgery and was better than what we could have asked for. She understood everything Kyli has been through and was a great education tool. A huge thank you to her!

Marshall farmer praises his “boy wonder” doctor

September 25, 2012

Kurt Bormann, MD, explains reverse shoulder surgery like there’s nothing to it.

“You put a prosthesis in the humoral shaft, you put a prosthesis in the glenoid, which is part of the scapula,” he said. “And how you do that depends on the arthritis they have or if they have a rotator cuff tear or a fracture.”

Sounds easy, right? Dr. Bormann, with Columbia Orthopeadic Group, does shoulder surgeries of all kinds about once a week.

The one he was talking about is for patients with severe rotator cuff problems who don’t have many other options. One patient who fit the bill and had the surgery is Mike Vogel.

Vogel is a 77-year-old farmer from Marshall, Mo. Father of six, grandfather of 13 and great-grandfather to one, his shoulders had taken a beating.

“I’ve been on a farm my whole life, except for my military service. That’s a lot of hard work, hay bales, feedbags, seed bags, you name it,” said Vogel. “My shoulders wore out. “

He’s had three rotator cuff surgeries, and after two on his right shoulder and one on his left, his family doctor said there was nothing else he could do.

“For a while there, we didn’t think there was anything we could do about it,” explains Vogel’s wife of 54 years, Fran. “He wasn’t a candidate for rotator cuff surgery again, so what are your choices?”

When it felt like Vogel was running out of options, his doctor introduced him to Dr. Bormann, a specialist. Read the rest of this entry »

Less pain, more gain — Women report easier recovery with robotic surgery

August 21, 2012

When doctors discovered pre-cancerous cells in her uterus late last year, there were plenty of reasons for Janece Martin to be concerned.

As a 60-year-old woman, how quickly could she recover from the required hysterectomy?

How much pain would she feel?

Dr. Jennifer Roelands and Janece Martin.

But most of all, she worried that doctors might discover a hidden cancer while removing her uterus.

“I was very concerned. Even though we had done a biopsy, my doctor wasn’t totally convinced that when they did surgery they wouldn’t find cancer,” said Martin, of Columbia.

Martin’s hysterectomy was scheduled for April 4 at Boone Hospital Center. As the date approached, Martin’s primary gynecologist decided her case was a good fit for minimally invasive surgery using Boone Hospital’s da Vinci robot and referred her to Jennifer Roelands, MD.

“When possible, I advocate for robotic surgery as recovery is faster, patients require less pain medication and can return to work quicker,” said Dr. Roelands, a board certified gynecologist. “The da Vinci allows me to do a complicated hysterectomy, like Ms. Martin’s, in a less invasive way so she can heal better.”

Martin found this to be true. After waking up following her surgery, she learned doctors had discovered no cancer, which was a great relief.

She was also amazed that she felt no pain.

“It didn’t hurt, and I thought, well, that’s odd,” she said. “That was nowhere near what I expected.”

Just hours after the surgery, she was up and walking pain-free. She was released from the hospital the next morning without any pain medication.

“Not one pain pill did I take,” she said. “It was just totally amazing.”

The recovery was so easy Martin later teased her primary gynecologist, saying, “I don’t think you all did surgery.” He replied, “Oh yes we did; I watched the whole thing.”

Before the surgery, Martin’s husband had taken off 10 days from work to help care for her throughout her recovery. But the tables turned during her quick recovery when he strained his back a few days after her surgery.

“I actually drove him to the ER and had to watch over him,” she said, with a laugh.

Martin praised Dr. Roelands for the surgical skill and technological expertise she brings to mid-Missouri.

“She is a tremendous asset to Boone Hospital and the community,” she said.

Minimally Invasive Option

Boone Hospital has offered da Vinci surgical procedures since 2008.

It’s a robotic system where a surgeon uses hand and foot controls to maneuver tiny surgical instruments with minute precision.

A special camera provides the surgeon with clear 3D footage direct from the surgery site.

The system allows trained physicians to perform surgeries with slender robotic arms rather than their own hands, making it possible to have much smaller surgical openings.

Research shows that compared to traditional surgery, robotic procedures are less painful, take less time to complete, leave much smaller scars and allow patients to leave the hospital sooner and recover faster.

Read the rest of this entry »

Care was excellent during brain surgery

August 14, 2012

By Stacy Eschliman Davis

Stacy shared this story via Facebook. Click here to share your story.

Two weeks ago today I had brain surgery performed by Dr. Ryan.

I cannot thank everyone at Boone enough. They took excellent care of me and made my entire family feel much more at ease and very comfortable considering the situation.

Your nurses, doctors, anethesiologist and all support staff were just wonderful. Thank you so much!

A new future: Weight loss surgery changes life trajectory for Parkland Nurse

January 23, 2012

By Jacob Luecke and Ursula Kthiri

As a nurse in Parkland Health Center’s Intensive Care Unit, each day Angela Weiss sees people battling serious health problems. Not long ago, she also saw something else in her patients.

Nurse Angela Weiss poses at Parkland Health Center.

“It felt like I was seeing my future,” Weiss said.

Weiss had long struggled with her weight. She also had high blood pressure and was insulin resistant. All of these put her health at serious risk.

Seeking to make a change, Weiss decided to try a surgical option to help her lose weight.

Surgical weight loss had been added as a BJC HealthCare employee health benefit at the beginning of 2011. Weiss reached out to Boone Hospital Center’s Weight Loss Surgery program.

“Boone has a great reputation for quality care,” Weiss said. “When I called them, they were very easy to talk to, and made me feel like they were interested in my wellbeing.”

After participating in pre-surgery education and dieting, Weiss came to Boone Hospital on July 5 and had a gastric band placed on her stomach by Dr. Thomas Etter.

The band works by reducing a patient’s stomach capacity. With gastric banding, patients get full faster and stay full longer.

Weiss said her surgery went well.

“I felt so good and had so much energy,” she said. “I wasn’t sore at all. Recovery was very easy.”

Weiss said the surgery helped her eat less without feeling hungry.

“I can still eat everything I ate before, just much less of it,” she said. “I eat around 4-6 ounces of food at a meal and I don’t feel hungry. The ‘head’ hunger is gone, and I get hungry at the appropriate times.”

Angela Weiss before surgery.

With this change, Weiss has already lost 62 pounds. In addition to the weight loss, her blood pressure is now normal and she no longer takes blood pressure medicine. She’s also seen her cholesterol and non-fasting blood sugar drop. In addition, she’s stopped getting the daily headaches that have bothered her for most of her life.

“I feel like a different person,” Weiss said.
But more than anything, Weiss said the surgery has improved how she feels about herself.

“I can do more, feel happier, and I even work better,” she said. “I feel more valuable.”

With improved health, and a better life, Weiss’s future is looking brighter all the time.

“This program has changed my life. It’s changed my family. I’ll be around longer for them,” she said.

To learn more about Boone Weight Loss Surgery, visit You can also call the hospital’s Coordinator of Bariatrics, Lisa Schaffer, at 573-815-6447, or reached her via email at


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