Highlighting the people, news and events that bring BJC to life
BJC Summer Book Brigade makes its first delivery to students near Alton Memorial Hospital.
CH | Rick Stevens will join BJC as the new president of Christian Hospital, effective June 27.
BJC | Take pride in your calling to help others through your work in health care.
AMH | Alton Memorial sleep lab helps Alton native prior to surgery.
BJC BEHAVIORAL HEALTH | Eight BJC Behavioral Health clients and their case workers turned their attention to learning how to cook and eat more healthfully.
BJH | The St. Louis American recently honored Barnes-Jewish Hospital clinical nurse manager Michelle O'Kain, not only for delivering excellent care, but also for her leadership in helping other nurses grow.
BJC | Chero Goswami, Epic project program director, answers several questions about the project.
SLCH, WUSM | Dr. Robert Strunk worked to better understand asthma and its triggers.
MBSH | Why can I hardly hear my elderly mother? It sounds like she’s whispering.
BJC | Pledge to learn more during Stroke Awareness Month to enter a drawing for exercise equipment.
AMH raises thousands of dollars for Heart Walk
AMH raised more than $8,000 this year for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, held April 16 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.
Above, manning a water station at the walk are, from left, parish nurse Cathie Ketterer; Adam Mathews, physician services; parish nurses Amy Bohn and Eileen Cheatham; and Dave Whaley, public relations. | Courtesy photo
At left, Dustin Heimer of Jerseyville, Ill., is presented an autographed Matt Carpenter jersey by Tammy Clements of the AMH cardiac cath lab. The jersey was raffled as part of Heart Walk fund-raising efforts. | Photo by Dave Whaley
Using your head
Lisa James, left, and Mary Eisler of AMH fit students at Gilson Brown Elementary School in Godfrey, Ill., with bike helmets. All Gilson Brown students received a free bike helmet from AMH May 3. The 10th annual Family Safety Fest was held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., May 7, at AMH, with free bike helmets available to children age 4 through elementary school. | Photo by Dave Whaley
Shoot for the cure
The Brittany Youth Shooting Group, based in Bunker Hill, Ill., presented a check for $1,200 to AMH president Dave Braasch April 27. Members of the group attended the check presentation, along with AMH staff and members of the Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation board.
The funds were raised at the “Shoot for the Cure” event in Bunker Hill on July 25, 2015. The donation will support the “You’ve Got a Friend” breast health program at AMH, which provides emotional and financial support to patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Attending the check presentation from the Brittany Youth Shooting Group are, from left, Mary Bayer, AMH; Sissy Cairns, Brittany Youth Shooting Group; Malea Watson, AMH breast health navigator; Dave Braasch, AMH president; Lauren Mueller, Nathan Cairns (presenting the check) and Carol Mohr, Brittany Youth Shooting Group; Sandy Lauschke and Paul Lauschke, chairman of the Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation; and Pat Simpson, Brittany Youth Shooting Group. | Photo by Dave Whaley
AMH completes ‘active shooter’ drill
AMH held its first active shooter response training April 27, involving hospital security officers, Alton police and firefighters. “It’s a hot topic,” says Ryan Pirtle, AMH manager of emergency preparedness and environmental safety.
The “shooter,” played by AMH security officer Bill Roeck, carried a harmless orange plastic “handgun.” Wearing a fluorescent orange vest, Roeck entered the surgical care unit pretending to fire.
He simulated shooting three victims, which were represented by gray, plastic, air-inflated life-sized figures. Roeck then ran down the hall, and began banging on locked doors and barging into empty patient rooms, looking for his next pseudo “victims.”
“In a real-world scenario, we would bring victims to a triage place — which may or may not be the emergency room — where medical staff would decide to treat or transport them,” Pirtle says.
Pirtle says more BJC hospitals are holding such drills, after previously only having “tabletop” discussions and developing preventive and response plans. Brad Goacher, AMH vice president of operations, says administrators will review the procedures and results of the drill with all of the shifts.
“This is the first time we’ve done one of these,” Goacher says. “Like fire drills, which we do regularly, this will become more consistent.”
Patient areas were marked off with signs saying, “Do Not Enter, Not Part of Drill,” and nonparticipants wore identifying strips of blue tape across their chests. Signage was posted all around the hospital’s ground floor to let employees, patients and visitors know that what they were seeing was only a drill.
AMH security officer Bill Roeck plays the role of an “armed intruder” during the April 27 Code Silver drill in the surgical care unit. | Photo courtesy of John Badman
Sgt. William Brantley of the Alton Police Department, foreground, and Officer Rob DeWall handcuff Roeck after he was “apprehended” during the drill. | Photo by Dave Whaley
AMH staff recognized with Awesome cards
If you know of an AMH employee, physician or volunteer who deserves recognition, let AMH know by completing an “Awesome” form. Forms are available in the hospital waiting areas and at nurses stations. A member of the leadership team will present your honoree with an “Awesome” badge sticker.
Completed forms may be dropped off at the information desk or sent to the development office. For more information, call Marlene Lewis, 618-463-7701.
Recent Awesome cards went to: Leah Lincoln, MCU; Angela Eberhart, housekeeping; Michelle Foster, housekeeping; Michelle Mathis, ICU; Scott Burton, ICU; Andrea Hill, ICU float pool; Eric Guenther, DO, hospitalist; Jason Bowman, ambulance; Seth Clarahan, EMS; Geralyn Paulie, dialysis; Lewis Buck, dialysis; Vicki Garvey, Digestive Health Center; Anna Sundstrom, MCU; Amy Schwegel, MCU; Denise Alexander, MCU; Amanda Tisdale, IMU; Courtney Nelson, IMU; Cassie Judkins, IMU; Sherry Starks, float pool; Julie Zippmann, IMU; Judy Siebert, IMU; Karla Lindsey, IMU; Peggy Assmann, IMU; Mary Shaw, IMU; Crystal Joy, IMU; Narine Sargsyan, MD, hospitalist; Joyce Strader, IMU; Stephen Garner, IMU; Deb Pohlman, cardiac cath; Tammy Clements, cardiac cath; Scott Allsman, HMI; Pat Blumstein, supply distribution; Tiffany Gibson, ED; Brett Kinder, ED; Bethany Huelskoetter, ED; Rick Cox, MCU; Jennifer Pyles, MCU; Susie Young, MCU; Kayla Flannigan, nursing float pool; Denise Alexander, MCU; Nancy Coates, MCU; Amy Webster, MCU; Leah Lincoln, MCU; Ruth Ann Keeley, MCU; Lori Egelhoff, MCU; Anna Sundstrom, MCU; Nikie Cummings, MCU; Tracey Poe, MCU; Rachel Hammond, MCU; Rick Cox, MCU; Cindy Hash, MCU; Jamie Lopez-Reyes, respiratory; Ashley Walter, respiratory; Maddy Sims, MCU; Lisa Roach, SCU; Syndey Marcrum, SCU; Sheila Marcrum, SCU; Heather Lee, SCU; Sharon Mertz, SCU; and Morgan Hillis, SCU.
Brad Young and Chris Hartwig of the Lewis and Clark Community College Veterans Club came to AMH April 13 and washed wheelchairs as part of National Healthcare Volunteer Week. AMH honored its volunteers at the annual volunteer luncheon April 27. | Photo by Dave Whaley
BJH recognizes volunteers’ service
Frank Sinatra songs from local entertainer Mark Richman set a jazzy mood at the 2016 BJH Volunteer Week Recognition and Awards Luncheon. BJH volunteers, team members and leadership sang along to “Luck be a Lady” and other classic Sinatra songs while they celebrated National Volunteer Week.
BJH volunteers donated a total of 50,025 hours in 2015, the equivalent of $1,154,077 in wages. A total of 310 adults, 246 college students and 61 teenagers donated their time.
During the luncheon, BJH president Bob Cannon received a “check” for $1,154,077, and volunteers who reached new milestones from 500-19,000 hours by Dec. 31, 2015, received pins.
Two awardees, Nadine Vlietstra and Patrick Wirthlin, received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for reaching 4,000 hours. They received a pin, a letter of congratulations and a certificate signed by President Barack Obama.
Cora Tomeldan, who volunteers as a Eucharistic minister in spiritual care services, was recognized for providing 21,000 hours, the most hours total.
“I’m truly amazed at how much time you give,” Cannon told the volunteers. “I want to express my heartfelt thank you for all that you do.”
“As always, it was a great way to celebrate Volunteer Week,” says Cindy Fishman, BJH volunteer services manager. “I’m thankful for all of our adult, college and teen volunteers who contribute to the patient experience and assist our BJH team members.”
Gail Watkins, director of hospitality services at BJH, presents BJH president Bob Cannon with a check for $1,154,077 at the BJH Volunteer Week Recognition and Awards Luncheon April 12. The check represents the 50,025 hours BJH volunteers donated in 2015 converted into dollars. | Photo by Tim Mudrovic
Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Auxiliary offers $2,000 scholarships
The Barnes-Jewish St. Peters and Progress West Auxiliary is offering $2,000 scholarships.
The scholarships are available to any St. Charles County resident who has completed 20 hours of credit in a health-related field at an approved college or university. Students who have been awarded this scholarship in the past are ineligible.
Those interested should complete the application and submit it no later than July 8, 2016. To download the application, visit http://tinyurl.com/aux-scholarship.
For more information, call Carol Conner, 636-922-9052.
BJWCH employees have a groovy Hospital Week
BJWCH employees enjoyed 1970s-themed Hospital Week festivities including a fondue buffet, a May 11 barbecue, popcorn and Ted Drewes ice cream, which was provided courtesy of the BJWCH medical staff.
Jamie Skyles, left, and Amonee Duff, food and nutrition, try out the photo booth. | Photos by Kelly Pahl
Surgical services employees, from left, Carmen Heath, Jeremy Kaminski, Amy Bauer and Kathy Vandergriff take a little time out to have a barbecue lunch.
Emergency department staff members Pat Hill, RN, left, and Birdie McClain, patient care technician, enjoy some sunshine at the barbecue before the thunderstorm hit.
NAMI Walks for a stigma-free world
Join the BJC Behavioral Health team for the 14th annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Walks fund-raiser May 28 in Forest Park. NAMI-St. Louis is a grass-roots organization providing support, education and advocacy to individuals and families affected by mental illness in the St. Louis area for more than 30 years.
Funds raised through the campaign help provide NAMI educational support and advocacy programs in seven areas throughout the region, including the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, as well as Lincoln, St. Charles, Franklin, Warren and Jefferson counties.
To join BJC Behavioral Health’s team in walking to celebrate mental illness recovery, honor those who have lost their lives to mental illness, and help raise funds, combat stigma and promote awareness, register online by going to http://www.namiwalks.org/team/BJCBH. Click on “Join Our Team,” or click on “Support Us” to make a donation.
There will be a health fair, music and food trucks on site the day of the walk.
For more information, call Marilynn Hart, 314-206-3712.
NAMI Walks fund-raiser
The BJC Behavioral Health team poses for a photo at the 2015 NAMI Walk. | Courtesy photo
CHS celebrates success
BJC Corporate Health Services held its annual Employee Recognition Celebration in December. The event highlighted teams and individuals who contributed to the success of the organization in 2015. More than 100 CHS colleagues, business partners and guests attended the event, held at the BJC Learning Institute. Attendees enjoyed an evening of fun, including a reception, dinner, music trivia and an award ceremony.
Chrystal Norfleet, MA, BarnesCare Midtown clinic coordinator, received the ICARE award for her commitment to outstanding patient care and customer service. “Chrystal embodies each of the ICARE values,” says Patrick Venditti, BarnesCare executive director. “She has the gift of making every visitor to our clinic feel like they are the most important person she will serve that day.”
Robin Zieger, senior medical assistant in BarnesCare’s physical medicine and rehabilitation and sports medicine clinic, was named CHS Employee of the Year. Zieger exceeded all performance criteria for the award, which included customer service recognition, community service and skill-building requirements. “Robin is personable and caring with our patients,” says Angela Tripp, MD, MS. “She is reliable, hard-working and is always willing to help out her co-workers.”
Karen Miener, RN, manager, was recognized as CHS Leader of the Year. Miener manages the BarnesCare St. Peters clinic and the corporate health nurse team. In addition, she coordinates the CHS employee wellness program and has been instrumental in implementing the ICARE service program. “Karen is a great role model for our CHS clinical and administrative colleagues,” says Diane Palmer, RN, MHA, director of clinic operations. “She is dedicated to improving performance on all levels by developing and empowering her team.”
“We continue to make great strides as an organization due to the skill and commitment of our dedicated team of professionals like these award winners,” says Venditti.
Chrystal Norfleet, Robin Zieger and Karen Miener
Campus Renewal — time-lapse video shows rooftop construction
How does a million pounds of equipment make it to the roof of a building? Watch the April Campus Renewal video and listen to Annalise Regan to learn the purpose of the equipment and see it come together. Visit bjcconstruction.org.
Collecting admiration along the way
Kelly Shellogg, BJC Home Infusion patient accounts reimbursement representative, has been named the BJC Home Care Services March Employee of the Month. Shellogg, a patient accounts lead, is responsible for billing and collections for the Memorial Springfield contract.
Her nominator says Shellogg’s customer service skills are exemplary. “She treats each customer the way each of us would like to be treated, by listening sincerely and offering various solutions to the situation. Kelly holds herself to the highest degree of accountability and always makes herself available to assist co-workers with their tasks when needed. She is genuine in her desire to help others by sharing her knowledge.”
Hospice employee brings joy through music
Alison Cole, BJC Hospice music therapist, has provided many moving moments, not only for hospice patients, but also for family members in grief. For her efforts, Cole was named the BJC Home Care Services February Employee of the Month.
According to her nominators, Cole has an extremely compassionate heart and goes to great lengths to provide whatever session will be most meaningful for the person involved. “Alison wants to ensure that every patient and family who wants music support will receive it,” says her nominator, “yet she also protects her boundaries so she can always give 100 percent in each situation.”
Cole attends as many grief retreats and hospice memorial services as her heavy caseload allows; visits schools, churches and families; started a music volunteer program; and allows students to shadow her.
Her skills shined at a BJC Hospice Weavings retreat grief retreat for mothers who have lost a child. Cole asked each of the 26 mothers to name gifts that their child gave to them and gifts that they gave to their child. She then created a song that included all of the responses and performed it for the moms. Many of the mothers noted that the song was the most meaningful part of their weekend.
“Alison brings joy and comfort to patients, families and participants at our grief support events. She is well respected by and works collaboratively with staff. She has a strong sense of personal responsibility and accountability for the quality of her work. Alison brings so many positive things to BJC Hospice, such as her warmth, respect, kindness and humility. We are grateful to work with and learn from her,” says Andrea Tritinger, MSW, LCSW, BJC Hospice grief support coordinator.
Patton joins BJC Medical Group Neurology Associates in St. Charles County
Mariah Patton, PA-C, has joined BJC Medical Group Neurology Associates at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.
Patton is a board-certified physician assistant with a special interest in neurology. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from Lindenwood University in 2011. She then went on to complete post-graduate coursework in biomedical sciences in 2013, before receiving her master’s degree in physician assistant studies in 2015 from Missouri State University.
“I’m equipped with knowledge and skills to care for others and provide education to patients to help them further understand their condition,” she says. “A main component of my care philosophy is the respect I have for my patients and my accountability to them.”
Patton provides treatment for a variety of neurological complaints and conditions, including migraines, neuropathy, back pain and pinched nerves. She also helps her patients manage conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Parkinson’s disease and tremors, as well as stroke and cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy and seizure disorders, and multiple sclerosis. Patton, along with the team at BJC Medical Group Neurology Associates, also performs electrodiagnostic testing and full neurological evaluations.
Easing her patients’ pain from neurological complaint is rewarding, she says: “Being able to provide top-notch health care to our patients and improving their quality of life makes coming to work every day a joy.”
Mariah Patton, PA-C, is a member of BJC Medical Group and is joining BJC Medical Group Neurology Associates with Duane Turpin, DO. She will practice in St. Charles, on the campuses of Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital, as well as Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. All of the practices can be reached at 636-916-7060.
The BJSPH practice is at 201 BJC St. Peters Drive, Suite 200, St. Peters. The PWH practice is located at 20 Progress Point Parkway, Suite 206, O’Fallon, Mo. The BJWCH practice is located at 1040 N. Mason Road, Suite 102, St. Louis. For more information, visit bjcmedicalgroup.org.
Noeth is new otology provider at MBMC
Stephanie Noeth, FNP-BC, has joined the staff of Midwest Ear Specialists at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.
Noeth is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing in 2009 and her master of science in nursing with a specialty as an adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner in 2013. Since then, she’s completed a certificate as a family nurse practitioner.
“I’m happy I found such a rewarding environment where I have the opportunity to work with both children and adults,” Noeth says. “We’re a specialty office that focuses on one area of the body so that we can fully address any issue our patients are having in that area. Our office includes clinicians, audiologists and a lab, so we have the capabilities to address many issues within the office.”
To help her patients manage chronic conditions or otology complaints, Noeth offers a variety of services including dizziness and balance disorder assessments, hearing tests and hearing instrument evaluations, surgical restoration of hearing, management of ear tumors, treatment of chronic infections, and evaluations of work-related hearing loss.
Stephanie Noeth, FNP-BC, is a member of BJC Medical Group and is affiliated with MBMC. She joins James Benecke, MD, and Midwest Ear Specialists, 3009 N. Ballas Road, Building C, Suite 380, St. Louis. The practice can be reached at 314-996-4192.
Boone receives second Excellence in Eye Donation Award
BHC has been awarded Saving Sight’s 2015 Excellence in Eye Donation Award, recognizing partner hospitals for achievements in providing the gift of sight to those needing a transplant last year.
In 2015, BHC staff helped facilitate 30 eye donations, resulting in 38 individuals receiving restored sight through cornea transplants. Overall, the hospital achieved a
54 percent consent rate for eye donation.
The Excellence in Eye Donation Award was created in 2014 to recognize hospitals that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to eye donation. Hospitals in Saving Sight’s service area of Missouri, Kansas and Illinois that achieved an eye donation consent rate exceeding
45 percent with at least 10 donors during the 2015 calendar year receive the award. Fewer than 15 percent of Saving Sight’s partner hospitals were recognized with a 2015 Excellence in Eye Donation Award. This year marks the second time BHC received the honor.
“We applaud Boone Hospital Center for empowering others to give the gift of sight and for striving to create a culture that supports donation,” says Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight. “Thanks to the generosity of eye donors and their families, and the staff at Boone Hospital Center, more people than ever before were able to receive a sight-saving cornea transplant last year.”
Monica Smith, MSN, RN, NE-BC, BHC vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, accepts the hospital’s second Excellence in Eye Donation Award. | Courtesy photo
Boone Medical Group, BHC expand services to Glasgow
Boone Medical Group and Boone Hospital Center opened a new primary care location in Glasgow, Mo.,
April 11 with family nurse practitioner Melinda Hart, FNP-BC.
Hart is the full-time provider on site, with Paul Schoephoerster, MD, providing care part time. Hart uses evidence-based practice to provide the best quality care for each patient. “I want each patient to feel that whatever they need, no matter how big or small, I’ll make sure their needs are met,” Hart says. “Their health care will be customized to fit their lifestyle and their needs.”
A native of Glasgow, Hart has lived in mid-Missouri throughout her education and training. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Central Methodist University in 2005, Hart practiced at BHC and physician offices in Fayette, Boonville and Marshall, Mo. She received her master of science in nursing from Graceland University in Independence, Mo., in 2013 and has since been serving the Cooper County area.
“We are excited to add primary care services in Glasgow, making it easier for residents to access quality care close to home,” says Jim Sinek, BHC president.
BHC’s affiliation with Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall, Mo., will also give patients a close-to-home option for hospital care. “Our relationship with Fitzgibbon Hospital is ideal for this clinic,” Sinek says. “If patients can be treated at Fitzgibbon and are more comfortable with that location, the transfer of care will be easy and seamless. And if they want or need to be treated at Boone, we are just down the road.”
Boone Medical Group – Glasgow, 108 Market St., Glasgow, Mo., can be reached at 660-338-5909. Providers are members of Boone Medical Group and are affiliated with Boone Hospital Center. For more information, visit boonemedicalgroup.org.
Members of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce join in the official ribbon cutting for Boone Medical Group – Glasgow with Dr. Paul Schoephoerster; Melinda Hart, NP; and Amanda Martin, practice manager; first, second and third from left, and Jim Sinek, BHC president, fourth from right, and Shauna Harrison, regional administrator, third from right. | Courtesy photo
Unit gets TRAN-SIT car transfer simulator
Thanks to the CH Auxiliary, the comprehensive medical rehabilitation (CMR) unit has a new TRAN-SIT car transfer simulator. The new simulator moves up and down to the height of a car, truck, van or SUV. The simulator is used for inpatient rehab patients and other patients throughout CH, including those who have had surgery, a stroke or any condition for which they require assistance getting in and out of a vehicle.
CMR occupational therapists Caitlin Clark, left, and Kaleena Giesing provide demonstrations with the TRAN-SIT simulator to hospital and auxiliary leadership and CMR staff at an appreciation reception April 22. | Photo by Bret Berigan
‘Have a Heart’ event raises money for Heart Walk
The CH Heart Walk team raised about $2,200 at the “Have a Heart” fund-raising event April 25, at Hendel’s Restaurant in Florissant.
The event featured appetizers, a cupcake-decorating demonstration by local pastry chef Lia Weber, and a drawing for a 60-inch smart TV. Dana Edwards, case management, won the TV.
Attendees had fun and raised money for the CH Heart Walk team at the annual “Have a Heart” fund-raiser April 25 at Hendel’s Restaurant in Florissant. From left, Janet Hinrichs and Susan Birch stand with pastry chef Lia Weber, who demonstrated how to decorate festive cupcakes. | Courtesy photo
Disability awareness luncheon presents challenges
In honor of Occupational Therapy Month, the CH occupational therapy staff’s disability awareness luncheon April 27 came with a twist — invitees had to eat simulating an assigned disability. Participating, from left, are Heather Wallace, OTR, assisting Rebecca Kasthuri, social worker, CMR, illustrating the deficit of Parkinson’s disease using wrist weights, a swivel spoon and weighted utensils; Jean Ragusa, rehab tech, illustrating stroke with left-sided weakness and perceptual deficits, with Amy Haynes, COTA, assisting her; Kaleena Geising, OTR, assisting Jeanette Palmer, PCA, CMR, illustrating Guillian Barre and use of a mobile arm support; and Tiearies Thompson, OTR, assisting Brenda Wolff, PCA, CMR, illustrating stroke with right-side weakness and motor planning deficits. After participating, staff members were better able to relate to the frustration that patients may experience while eating. | Photo by Bret Berigan
Winter 2016 nurse fellows class graduates
The CH Graduate Nurse Fellowship Program congratulates the Winter 2016 class of newly graduated registered nurses at CH. The Graduate Nurse Fellowship, under the direction of MaryAnn Niemeyer, MSN, RN-BC, empowers new RN graduates with critical tools needed to be highly skilled, compassionate and professional patient care clinicians by building on their academic foundation. Key learning seminars, small group activities and shadowing opportunities augment the new nurse’s problem-solving ability, providing a vital link between school and the working environment.
The Winter 2016 class of CH nurse fellows includes, seated, from left, Monique Daniels, neuro/ortho; Tim Garner, NWHC ED; and Miranda Myer, oncology; and standing, from left; Caitlyn Miloshewski, renal/tele; Jamie Cori Vandygriff-Dapper, intensive care unit; Nicole Muehling, renal/tele; Amelia Honeywood, renal/tele; Demi Kessler, telemetry; Samantha Pauli, progressive care unit; Paige Johnson, oncology; Katelyn Phipps, progressive care unit; Elissa Ernst, renal/tele; Samantha Estrada, surgical; Danielle Falk, NWHC ED; Abby McNear, oncology; Cassie Hoots, medical; and Kelsey McGuire, medical. Toree Wallace, intensive care unit, is not pictured. | Photo by Bret Berigan
Christian Hospital High Performers honored
The Service Excellence rewards and recognition team hosted a CH “High Performers Social” April 27. Each quarter the team recognizes different departments, and each department selects one high-performing employee who is invited to a reception in their honor.
Ron McMullen, CH president, and members of the executive team greeted each honoree at the April 27 reception, which included a ceremony reading the name and reason why each employee was chosen to attend.
CH High Performers for the first quarter of 2016 include: Sherry Boster, chemistry lab; Erin Burton, recovery center; Greg Dunn, security; Dennis Fowler, plant operations; Denise Gray, centralized scheduling; Joel Hobart, patient support services; Michele Jones, radiology technical; Linda Rains, house surgical assistants; Mary Scheibel, GMC physical therapy; Jennifer Smith, pain management; Hannah Soward, 5th floor medical; Beth Weilmuester, NWHC emergency department; and Jocelyn Wyms, outpatient infusion.
High Performer awardees attended the “High Performers Social,” sponsored by the Service Excellence rewards and recognition team April 27. | Photo by Bret Berigan
CH Foundation ‘Heart of a Hero’ recognizes hard work
The following employees earned “Heart of a Hero” awards in April for their dedication to excellence and commitment to providing compassionate care: Melissa Lee, CH emergency department; Ken Brueggeman, Johnna Gibbs, Betty Konieczny, Tierra McCottrell and Tony Wallace, nursing resources; Beverly McPherson, respiratory care; and Sherie Barton, 9 telemetry.
The CH Foundation’s Heart of a Hero program recognizes the hard work of physicians, nurses, housekeepers, volunteers and other hospital staff. For more information, contact the CH Foundation, 314-653-5162 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
December Employee of the Month teaches his ‘magic’
Jerry Pearson, BJC Home Care Services clinical application specialist, often saves the day when software doesn’t cooperate with the needs of Home Care field staff, earning him December Employee of the Month honors.
Recently, Pearson researched a way to teach a field nurse how to transfer a photo of a patient’s wound to the physician office while still being compliant with HIPAA, thus providing faster care. By teaching the technique to the field nurse, he made sure possible future occurrences can be handled directly by the nursing staff.
“Jerry has taught me so much over the years,” says another nominator. “He is willing to teach me how to make corrections myself or for staff in my area, instead of just fixing the error and then the next time having to call him again. The staff finds that this saves them time, knowing how to correct common glitches rather than waiting for help.”
Pearson’s lessons aren’t the only reason staff members like to interact with him. He has the ability to make them smile at every interaction. “He has a great sense of humor and can make me smile even over the phone,” a nominator says. “He always finds time to help and does it with a kind and helpful spirit that enables the staff to prevent future frustrations.”
January Employee of the Month seeks out solutions
Karrie Vantiegehem, Alton Home Care staff nurse and team lead, “understands the endless needs of field staff and the follow up they have each day,” says one nominator. “Her smile is contagious and her positive attitude is one that is admired by many.”
Vantiegehem is the BJC Home Care Services January Employee of the Month.
It’s not just that Vantiegehem understands how the team operates, but also how she offers her help whenever it’s needed. She has offered to take on shifts when the field staff is overloaded and has also taken administrative on call on the weekends, answering calls and helping staff get schedules adjusted quickly. She does all of this with a focus on meeting patients’ needs. Vantiegehem faxes labs, writes orders, returns patient calls and orders supplies to make sure each patient is cared for. The staff comments daily on how helpful she is.
This past year, Vantiegehem learned the ICD 10 changes and attended Oasis education to bring back to the staff.
“She wants to be a part of safe, quality care,” says her nominator, “so she works hard to do all she can to help out. She remains positive no matter how challenging the day, will help with any task and offers herself when she sees a need.”
Sewall provides extraordinary care
Alicia Sewall, a nurse in the CVR, earned MBMC’s most recent DAISY Award. She was nominated by a patient who said, “I was in the hospital for three nights and received extraordinary care from Alicia. She possesses the unusual combination of professionalism and true warmth. She made a tense situation very comfortable for my wife and me with her smile and good cheer.
“Her clinical expertise saved me from a host of additional problems. My wife and I have experienced many interactions with medical professionals. Alicia is at the top of the list because she is a true professional who provided us with extraordinary, competent and compassionate care.”
Bridgeman gives presentation on proper sharps disposal
Michelle Bridgeman, RN, house supervisor, presented a program at MBSH on safe sharps disposal as part of her Saint Louis University BSN program. The presentation, “Don’t let disease brew in the community,” detailed the dangers of improper sharps disposal and offered safe alternatives.
The presentation was particularly timely, since many communities are challenged by finding an increasing number of used syringes discarded around their cities, Bridgeman said. For example, the Sullivan Police Department reported only five discarded needles in 2010. That had increased to 89 in 2015. A March 9 article in the Sullivan Independent News reported 23 reports of discarded syringes in just the first two months of 2016.
Because of this increasing problem, it’s important for the public to know the dangers of being stuck by a used needle and the proper way to dispose of household-generated sharps (hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets and other sharp items that have the potential for transmitting infectious disease), Bridgeman said.
Seven billion sharps are discarded in the trash every year, said Bridgeman, and up to 850,000 people are injured each year by improperly discarded sharps, which can cause infections and disease. Just a simple prick from an infected needle can pass along hepatitis C or HIV, she noted.
After Bridgeman’s presentation, which detailed proper sharps disposal methods, representatives of MBSH’s New Vision medical stabilization program explained how their service helps individuals addicted to opiates, prescription drugs or alcohol.
The session ended with a lively discussion between medical providers and community leaders about what might be done locally about the discarded sharps problem.
Ladonna Wideman is Star Service Team Member for April
Ladonna Wideman, lead call center representative, has been selected as the Star Service Team Member for April. Wideman has worked in the patient access department at PHC since 2010.
The nomination from her peers reads, “Our April Star Service employee is a very good trainer and a very patient person! You can count on her to be there to help out whenever and wherever she is needed. She smiles at and greets everyone she comes into contact with. When you work with her, teamwork is a primary focus. She lives our values of compassion, optimism, integrity and loyalty every day. She is a real pleasure to work with and a true asset to the BJC/Parkland family.”
Wideman says she loves her job and was surprised to win the award. “I love the people. Knowing you’re helping someone, even with a simple question or directions, makes the day worthwhile,” she says. “I love my co-workers, too.
“There are so many good employees here at Parkland,” she says. “I was humbled by the words in my nomination.”
Those interested should complete the application and submit it no later than July 8, 2016. To download the application, visithttp://tinyurl.com/aux-scholarship.
Brenda Hanser retires after 30 years
Brenda Hanser, who retired from the SLCH Heart Center, began her BJC career in 1985 as a pharmacy secretary at the former Jewish Hospital of St. Louis. In 2001, she started working at SLCH in surgical services, moving to the pediatric ICU in 2010 and then to the Heart Center.
She saw technology advance rapidly during her career: “When I started, very few people had beepers, and cell phones weren’t even heard of,” she says.
She urges those just starting their careers to take advantage of the educational opportunities BJC offers.
Hanser says she’s enjoyed the people she’s worked with along the way and still stays in touch with former colleagues from Jewish Hospital. “I’ll miss my co-workers,” she says.
Rose Roberts retires after 31 years
After working for 10 years at the old St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard, Rose Roberts came to SLCH in 1985. She’s worked in food and nutrition for the duration of her career, first as a cook, then in catering, next in baking and then, finally, back to catering.
It’s no surprise that Roberts spent her entire career in one department. “I loved my job and the people I worked with,” she says. “My best memories center on all the people I have met.”
Though she’ll miss her “job family” in retirement, she says there’s one thing she definitely won’t miss — her 3 a.m. workday wake-up time.
Maureen Seper retires after 30 years
After working in data entry and being a stay-at-home mom, Maureen Seper went back to school to earn a nursing degree. She got a job at SLCH after graduation, despite a hiring freeze. “I was grateful to be employed,” she says.
Seper worked in the float pool for about four years and then settled on 9 West in hematology/oncology. At that time, the floor also cared for kidney and liver transplant patients.
The key to a long SLCH career, she says, is to never stop learning: “Every day there is something new to learn or observe. Be open-minded to change,” she says.
“I’ve been so fortunate to work at the bedside for 30 years,” she says. “And I’ll miss the kids, families and my co-workers, some who are lifelong friends.”
TRISL honored as ‘Partner in MS Care’
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has recognized The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis and TRISL outpatient physical therapist Cathy Luhman, PT, MSCS, as a Partner in MS Care. The honor acknowledges TRISL’s dedication to providing optimal care and support to people living with MS.
Luhman is a multiple sclerosis certified specialist. Her work providing the highest level of care to patients with MS was instrumental in securing the recognition for TRISL.
The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis’ Cathy Luhman, physical therapist, second from left, and Brendan Tanner, therapy operations director, right, accept the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Partner in MS Care recognition from Rebecca Fehlig, left, and Suzanne Carron of the MS Society. | Courtesy photo
Happy 104th birthday, Johnnie
It was an exciting day at VNRC Jan. 18, as Johnnie Rivere celebrated her 104th birthday.
Rivere, a resident at Village North since 2005, lives independently in her own apartment. She loves to smile, sing and talk with people about a variety of subjects. She plays cards and enjoys eating out at restaurants.
She says there’s no secret to being 104, but she does say that she has lived her life treating people the way she would want to be treated.
Village North threw a birthday celebration for Rivere, complete with friends, a piano player playing her favorite songs, balloons, a champagne toast and plenty of cake.
Johnnie Rivere celebrates her 104th birthday at Village North Retirement Community.
| Courtesy photo