Page 1

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice …” – William Jennings Bryan

Winter 2011

New era begins

College installs President Elizabeth MacLeod Walls

Better health now Tim Sweeney says LifePointe saved his tomorrows

Heart to heart Two paths, one destination

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 1

3/1/11 11:11 AM

JOURNEYS Winter 2011




PEDIATRICS Her next steps


BryanLGH HEART INSTITUTE Heart to heart




MEDICAL STAFF SPOTLIGHT Ask the doctor: Why you need a medical home


NEW AT BryanLGH Hypothermia stops potential brain damage cold


CRETE AREA MEDICAL CENTER CAMC first to earn Medical Home recognition






COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES Benefiting from Hollamon’s vision


BryanLGH FOUNDATION New ventures and 2010 Employee Campaign


VOLUNTEER UPDATE Young volunteers prep for future


INDEPENDENCE CENTER She celebrates recovery


55PLUS 55PLUS Advisory Board member links Independence Center with Boys’ State


LIFEPOINTE Seamless care in action


In memoriam Herbert Reese, MD 1929-2010

On the cover: The late Dr. Herb Reese, one of the region’s pioneers of heart surgery, is featured in an article beginning on page 4.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES Meeting needs in crisis



Statesman William Jennings Bryan, one of the original benefactors of BryanLGH, said:

We welcome your comments. For more information about Journeys, please contact the Advancement team by calling (402) 481-8674. To learn more about BryanLGH programs and services, visit us at

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Journeys tells our story of how BryanLGH chooses to achieve. This free publication is mailed quarterly to our employees, physicians, volunteers and the communities we serve.

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 2

OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPORT Your contributions help us care for those who come to BryanLGH at every stage of life. To find out how you can participate, please contact the BryanLGH Foundation by calling (402) 481-8605.

President & CEO, BryanLGH Health System Kimberly Russel President & COO, BryanLGH Medical Center John Woodrich Chief of Staff, BryanLGH Medical Staff Ryan Whitney, MD Vice President of Advancement Bob Ravenscroft Director of Public Relations Edgar Bumanis Editor Paul Hadley

3/1/11 11:12 AM


BryanLGH President Kimberly Russel (left), Celerion Vice President Philip Bach and BryanLGH Vice President of Patient Care Kathy Campbell at the announcement of a new relationship between the organizations.


elcome to Journeys from BryanLGH. This new publication is just one way we’ll connect with the BryanLGH family ­— our staff and volunteers, medical staff, students and alumni, donors and community leaders who share their time and guidance on our board of directors. Most importantly, Journeys is the crucial link to our patients and their family members. That’s why each issue will feature stories from your friends and neighbors — people who turn to BryanLGH for expertise and care. This month our cover story features the late Herb Reese, MD, a true pioneer and champion of Lincoln’s medical community. Dr. Reese and businessman Blake Whitney recall the early years of heart care in Lincoln and share their insights about the evolution that has positioned BryanLGH and Lincoln on the forefront of future heart care. Today, we are fortunate to have their sons, David Reese and Ryan Whitney, MD, on our leadership team. Enjoy this wonderful recount of how two dynamic pioneers passed that same spirit on to their sons. On page 16, you’ll enjoy an interview with Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, PhD, who was installed as president of the BryanLGH College of Health Sciences last summer. Learn what she has

planned for one of Lincoln’s fastest-growing colleges. This edition also contains our annual community benefit report. During fiscal year 2010, BryanLGH contributed more than $78 million in quantifiable community benefits. Please take a moment to learn how BryanLGH, your comprehensive, locally owned and governed health system, is making our communities better. In 2011, BryanLGH celebrates a significant anniversary. For 85 years, we’ve looked forward, anticipated needs and built the region’s most comprehensive health network. We’ve taught, mentored and passed on our knowledge to next generations. While uncertainty hovers over national healthcare reform efforts, I promise you one thing: Backed by an unparalleled, collaborative team of physicians and health and wellness professionals, BryanLGH always will be here to deliver a better future for the communities we serve. Helping you prepare for what’s next in your life will always be what’s next in ours. Thank you for being part of this journey.

Kimberly A. Russel President and Chief Executive Officer BryanLGH Health System

BryanLGH Journeys 1

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 1

3/1/11 11:12 AM

Olivia is becoming more independent every day, according to her parents, Jason and Michelle Grieser of Lincoln.

Her next steps Thanks to life-saving measures in the BryanLGH pediatrics unit, Olivia’s progress is right on track

2 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 2

3/1/11 11:12 AM



wo-year-old Olivia Grieser teaches us every day about purpose and possibilities as she learns to walk and to talk. A year ago, such accomplishments seemed remote as she battled pneumonia and complications from lifethreatening heart and respiratory conditions. Michelle and Jason Grieser of Lincoln praise our pediatrics staff and intensive care specialists for helping save their youngest child. She was just a toddler on Oct. 27, 2009, the day her parents rushed Olivia to the Institute for Women’s & Children’s Health at BryanLGH East. “We came to the pediatrics unit that evening because she was quivering and had bluish lips and wasn’t holding her oxygen saturation,” Michelle said. “She had been diagnosed the day before with strep, but even after three doses of antibiotics, her condition had worsened.” Olivia struggled to breathe. It proved to be a restless night for the whole family. The next morning, pediatrician Robert Koch, MD, showed the Griesers chest X-rays that revealed how incredibly sick she was. Olivia had pneumonia, and, concerned about further deterioration, the doctor recommended moving her to the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. “In order to make this trip, she needed to be hydrated and possibly receive a blood transfusion,” Michelle says. “What happened next was a complete shock.” Olivia suffered respiratory distress and ultimately cardiac arrest — twice. Her mother remembered, “I was in the waiting area and heard ‘Code Blue, Room 214,’ over the intercom and realized it was the room of our little girl! I was thinking, Father in heaven, what is your plan? I don’t understand.” With tiny, blond-haired Olivia amidst a roomful of care givers using life-saving measures and another contingent of experts in the wings, the Griesers relied on faith as they resigned their child’s care to others. “There was a point when Olivia stabilized enough for Jason and me to be allowed into the room. There was an opening for me to lay a hand on her as I prayed for the team surrounding her,” Michelle said. “I’d describe the scene as organized chaos, but it was strangely quiet to me as I tried to make sense of it. “I learned that day that when lots of people in medical garb come charging into your room, it usually isn’t good. Thank God they were prepared and executed their best.” Olivia was cleared to travel later that afternoon, and Michelle

Aquatherapist Michelle Wiggins helps Olivia during a water therapy exercise at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.

accompanied her on the emergency helicopter flight to Omaha. Besides pneumonia, she was treated for septicemia, sepsis, cardiac dysrhythmia, respiratory failure, cardiomyopathy and other conditions. MRI scans revealed Olivia had survived a form of stroke, and later her lungs began to worsen. Gradually her health improved. Olivia was able to return home to Lincoln and begin physical, occupational and speech therapies. In June, she celebrated her second birthday, and she continues to amaze by achieving what textbooks state is improbable. Michelle says Olivia, with the help of a special walker, is taking steps and gaining her independence. And she’s beginning to string words into short sentences. Addressing a group of managers from throughout BryanLGH last summer, Michelle emphasized that everyone has a hand in success. “We are created unique, so it is only fitting that every outcome requires many various talents,” she said. “Even if you work behind the scenes, you are a part of the process.” Michelle added, “The perseverance I have witnessed in Olivia inspires me to be a better mother. We believe she lives to fulfill God’s purpose for her, and we believe in you at BryanLGH and your part in that day’s miracle — the survival of our little girl.” n For information on how you can support pediatric care at BryanLGH, contact the BryanLGH Foundation at (402) 481-8605.

BryanLGH Journeys 3

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 3

3/1/11 11:12 AM

Retired cardiovascular surgeon Herb Reese, MD, and his youngest son, BryanLGH Vice President David Reese, shared family memories while leafing through a book about University of Nebraska sports. Dr. Reese was an All-American wrestler, and he and his father (also named Herb) lettered for the Cornhuskers in football.

4 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 4

3/1/11 11:12 AM


heart Heart to

Generations reflect on and affirm cardiac excellence

Editor’s note: Interviews for this article were conducted in October and November 2010. On Dec. 17, Dr. Herb Reese passed away, with his family by his side. He is greatly missed, but the legacy he left ensures he will be remembered always.


orty-five years of medical breakthroughs in Lincoln, Neb., have profoundly changed how broken hearts are mended. Herb Reese, MD, was on the front line when it all started. “After graduating from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine and gaining experience in chest and general surgery at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Colorado, I moved to Lincoln in 1966,” said the thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon. “I was beginning my practice at the dawn of a new era.” In that era, the organization then known as Bryan Memorial Hospital was much smaller — but its doctors and administration had big plans. They embodied the inspirational words of the institution’s namesake, William Jennings Bryan, who noted, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice …” Eager to be recognized among the elite facilities, surgical teams at BryanLGH chose to try the latest innovations. Dr. Reese said doctors were poised to do this and could count on full backing from President Eugene Edwards. “There were very few specialists committed to heart surgery, but Gene would find out what people needed and make the effort to get it — that’s what really got things rolling,” he pointed out.

Another Nebraska pioneer, businessman Blake Whitney, concurs. In 1969, fresh out of college, this Massachusetts native was a surgical instrument salesman for a national medical supply company. “I was a skinny kid in awe of the doctors and of Gene,” he recalled. “The O.R. was the doctors’ workshop, so he made sure they had the best tools available. A hospital is just a building — it’s people that make an organization great — and Gene created an atmosphere that helped recruit the best doctors and staff. “BryanLGH was an early adopter, and they were better organized to support the physicians and deliver care. I was in Nebraska until 1996, and Bryan Memorial continued to grow the entire time because it has always had a spirit of innovation and excellence.” Historic Events Dr. Reese teamed up with surgeon Steve Carveth, MD, cardiologist Walt Weaver, MD, and other pioneers in introducing historymaking care, such as cardiac catheterizations and heart valve repairs. Nebraska’s first vein bypass was performed here in January 1970. “The whole field of cardiac bypass surgery was brand-new — and we had one of the first intensive care units, which was essentially a large room with patients separated by curtains,” said Dr. Reese. “This new surgery proved very effective, so the patient load kept increasing until the hospital had to catch up by adding new rooms, labs, recovery areas and so forth. Bryan was by far the leader in these types of innovations, by embracing all the new technology.” In 1986 Lincoln’s first heart transplant was performed at Bryan

BryanLGH Journeys 5

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 5

3/1/11 11:12 AM

Memorial Hospital. The team, as it had when introducing heart valve and bypass procedures, prepared for this life-sustaining surgery by operating on dogs in a special O.R. in the hospital basement. “It took a lot of practice, but finally the opportunity arose: We had a match between donor and patient, and we did the transplant,” Dr. Reese said matter-of-factly. The whole hospital knew the first transplant could happen at any time, but the surgeons didn’t announce it until the procedure was completed — which left the administration “a little sore,” he added, laughing a bit at the memory. And how did he share the big news with his family? BryanLGH Vice President David Reese, the youngest of Herb and Ginny Reese’s eight children, says his father behaved that evening as if it had been just another day! “After supper we probably watched TV or played our ‘Stampede’ video game, but that was about it. He was just ‘Dad’ and very lowkeyed about what we’d later realize was a landmark accomplishment,” David Reese said. During the next decade, about 85 heart transplants and a dozen lung transplants were performed at BryanLGH, making the BryanLGH program one of the most distinguished in the country. Those were heady times, introducing technology and skills that would set the stage for implanting mechanical hearts and using robots in surgery. As much as Dr. Reese cherished practicing medicine, “faith, family and friends” trumped his vocation. Throughout 25 years as a surgeon in Lincoln, and two stints as chief of staff, he always made

Dr. Reese (left) was a major player in introducing heart transplants and other new surgical procedures to the Midwest.

time for loved ones. David Reese remembers many skiing and scuba adventures as a family — followed by obligatory slide shows — and how even with a busy schedule his father somehow managed to attend his children’s activities. As a father of four children himself, David marvels at how his parents were able to raise eight. “It’s a running joke in our house that every day’s a party for Dad, that he always wants people to have fun and enjoy themselves,” he continued. “Seeing that side of him while recognizing the sacrifices he and Mom made have provided an example of how we should try to live our lives.” Making connections Whitney was based in Omaha for his first job, with a sales territory covering Nebraska, South Dakota and part of Iowa. He became friends with many physicians. Three included cardiologists Scott Coatsworth, MD, and Robert Hibbard, MD, and heart surgeon David Hughes, MD, at Omaha’s Bishop Clarkson Hospital. His son, Ryan Whitney, MD, recalls those doctors frequently visiting the Whitney home. Such early connections would have a big impact on this future interventional cardiologist. When Ryan Whitney was in junior high school, his father arranged to bring him to see an open heart surgery. “I was tall for my age,” Dr. Whitney reflected. “They gowned me up, and I stood in the back until the operation began. Then I moved closer until I could see down into the operating field — which was pretty amazing.” Blake Whitney said, “Afterward, I asked Ryan what he thought, and he said, ‘Wow — I’d like to do that.’ He ended up being a cardiologist instead of a surgeon, but he was always very interested in heart care and credits that experience for helping find his calling.” New leaders emerge Whitney ran a company that sold medical devices throughout the Midwest, then was recruited to lead businesses in Arizona and then Georgia. That third stint created an Internet sensation known as webMD. “We kind of backed into it,” he recalled. His Atlanta-based company was using fax machines to send thousands of reports to heart centers each month but had no guarantee physicians could quickly receive the information. That company developed a web presence which allowed clients to easily access and print data from practically anywhere.

6 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 6

3/1/11 11:12 AM

BryanLGH Chief of Staff Ryan Whitney, MD, (left) and his father, businessman Blake Whitney, had a front row seat to the evolution of heart care.

Eventually, webMD grew from a target audience of mainly physicians to excelling at providing health information for the general public. Dr. Whitney says, “I was a medical resident at the University of Iowa when webMD was first getting started in the late 1990s. Dad would ask me to go onto the site to try its features or review text and give my opinion. So, technically, I was the first MD on webMD.” The younger Whitney had his eyes on one institution during his cardiology fellowship in Omaha and jumped at the opportunity to join Drs. Coatsworth, Hibbard and Hughes at the BryanLGH Heart Institute. “That was in 2003, and clearly it was the best option possible,” he said. Now he’s the chief of staff at BryanLGH. “I told Ryan, despite the extra work load that comes with being the chief, it’s a fantastic, irreplaceable education,” Blake Whitney pointed out. Like Herb Reese, Blake Whitney balances work and family. This hard-working executive divides time between homes in Georgia and Florida and enjoys visiting his children and grandchildren. “In recent years, I’ve consulted a number of companies, made investments and served on some boards. I’m launching a new company involved in the sleep obstructive breathing area. As I look back, what may have seemed like a misstep at the time usually led me to other things that I found really interesting, so I’ve absolutely enjoyed

Ryan Whitney, MD, grew up around physicians, such as cardiologists Scott Coatsworth, MD, (left) and Robin Hibbard, MD, and thoracic and cardiac surgeon David Hughes, MD, and was pleased to eventually have them as mentors and then partners in the BryanLGH Heart Institute.

it all,” he said. Added Dr. Whitney, “I look up to him quite a bit. He’s been an inspiration and a valuable resource to me during my professional career and in life in general.” Giving back Herb Reese was on the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center later in his career. He retired in 1991 but continued to socialize with colleagues from those earlier years. He also stayed true to BryanLGH. A couple years ago, he helped the BryanLGH Foundation raise funds to build the new BryanLGH College of Health Sciences facility. “It’s important to give back, especially in the education fields. I enjoyed that project, and when you visit local hospitals and physician offices, you see so many Bryan-trained nurses because of their great

BryanLGH Journeys 7

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 7

3/1/11 11:12 AM

training and abilities,” Dr. Reese said. “The hospital made another big, right decision in expanding the school.” Herb and Ginny Reese can boast about children and grandchildren who found niches in health care. Besides David at BryanLGH, son Chuck Reese, MD, is a pathologist and chief of staff at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center; granddaughter Sara Copple, RN, is a Bryan School of Nursing grad who’s an intensive coronary care nurse; and grandson Nathan DeNell, DO, is a family practice specialist in Lincoln. David Reese was promoted to a senior manager for BryanLGH Medical Center about three years ago and in the summer of 2010 became vice president of clinical and support services. He recalled, “When I said I wanted to go into healthcare administration, one of the very first things Dad told me was, ‘Make sure you take care of the doctors, because you won’t have any patients without them.’ That’s stuck with me, that the relationships and the collaboration between hospitals and physicians are so key to success.” On the horizon Expect continuing changes in heart care, as even less-invasive procedures are introduced, and shorter recovery times become the norm. Dr. Reese has witnessed many trends in recent years — stents commonly hold vessels open; many patients are benefiting from bypass grafts using mammary arteries instead of veins; and doctors are foregoing open surgery to repair heart valves by threading instruments through arteries. “Technology has advanced so much,” he said. “And drugs have been developed to help reduce cholesterol problems and actively reduce the risk of heart attacks.” Dr. Whitney pointed out, “When Herb Reese and Dad started, surgery was pretty much the option for heart patients. We’ve since moved to less-invasive procedures, such as percutaneous procedures like angioplasty and stenting. We’ve also seen quite an advancement in the way we treat things medically, and the next big frontier is prevention of heart disease through societal changes — diet, lifestyle and activities.” Blake Whitney sees more government regulations and less reimbursement as major challenges unless providers can be efficient as well as patient centered. But the Old Guard of Dr. Reese, Blake Whitney and other pioneers has confidence that the next generation, like David Reese and Dr. Whitney, will provide the leadership and adopt the innovations to keep BryanLGH in command of its destiny. “New dynamics are in play, but strategists say uncertainty creates opportunities,” Blake Whitney concluded. “It’s been BryanLGH’s history, and it’s the BryanLGH future.” n

New faces at

BryanLGH Welcome these physicians to the Medical Staff of BryanLGH Ghazala Ahmed, MD, psychiatry, joined Plaza West Psychiatrists, (402) 474-1511. Dr. Ahmed graduated from Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1990 and completed a psychiatry residency at John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas. She has practiced in Scottsbluff, Omaha, and Marion, Ind., and at Veterans Affairs Clinics in Fayetteville, Ark., and Conroe, Texas. Before joining Plaza West Psychiatrists, Dr. Ahmed was a staff psychiatrist at Richard Young Hospital, Kearney.

Amy Barker, MD, psychiatry, joined BryanLGH Heartland Psychiatry, (402) 483-8555. Dr. Barker graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, Omaha, in 2005 and completed a UNMC/Creighton University Medical Center psychiatric residency and a child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship.

For information on how you can support heart care at BryanLGH, contact our BryanLGH Foundation staff by calling (402) 481-8605. 8 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 8

3/1/11 11:12 AM


Andrew Bohart, MD, FACP, internal medicine and primary care, joined the BryanLGH Physician Network, (402) 483-8500. Dr. Bohart graduated from the Creighton University School of Medicine in 1993 and completed an internal medicine residency at Northwestern University, Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Health Centers, Chicago, Ill. He is board certified in internal medicine. He returns to Lincoln after practicing in Minnesota. He is a former department chairman at BryanLGH, chief of staff at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and vice president and chief medical officer at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.

Kelli Bremer, MD, psychiatry, joined BryanLGH Heartland Psychiatry, (402) 483-8555. Dr. Bremer graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, Omaha, in 1994 and completed post-graduate training at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. She is board certified and practiced at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before moving to Lincoln in 1999. Dr. Bremer has been in private practice in Lincoln, and served as a consulting psychiatrist for the PIER Program, Directions Employee Assistance Program, Touchstone and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Health. Daniel Chruscicki, MD, ophthalmology, joined Eye Surgical Associates, (402) 484-9000. In 2004, Dr. Chruscicki graduated from SUNY (State University of New York) Stony Brook School of Medicine, then completed a residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan, N.Y., and a vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. He is board certified in ophthalmology and practiced in New York before moving to Nebraska. Dr. Chruscicki also served as an associate adjunct surgeon at New York Eye and Ear Hospital and was a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Carrie Dell, MD, pediatrics, joined the Lincoln Pediatric Group, (402) 489-3834. While enrolled at Hastings College, where she earned a bachelor’s in biopsychochemistry, Dr. Dell was a certified nursing assistant and physics teaching assistant. She graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine, Omaha, in 2007 and completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. Robert Rentfro, MD, MPT, physiatry, joined Neurological and Spinal Surgery, (402) 488-3002. He earned a Master of Physical Therapy at Loma Linda (Calif.) University and graduated in 2003 from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Before enrolling in medical school, he was a staff physical therapist at BryanLGH. Dr. Rentfro completed the Lincoln Medical Education Partnership’s family practice residency program, as well as a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Hospital/ Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and an interventional pain medicine fellowship at the Florida Spine Institute, Clearwater, Fla.

Satya Thippareddi, MD, family practice, joined Urgent Care at LifePointe, (402) 481-6343. She graduated from Siddhartha Medical College, India, in 1990. Dr. Thippareddi also earned a post-graduate medical diploma in obstetrics & gynecology at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Karnataka, India, and completed the Lincoln Medical Education Partnership’s family practice residency program. She is a staff physician at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Clinic at Shenandoah, Iowa, as well as an emergency room physician and medical director of Gardenview Care Center.

Jude Cook, MD, physiatry, joined Midwest Rehabilitation, (402) 488-3766. Dr. Cook graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine in 1992 and completed a residency at the Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Ill. He is a fellow and diplomate in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Cook was the stroke rehabilitation program director at Immanuel Rehabilitation Center, Omaha; practiced in Lincoln; and since 1999 has been medical director of Methodist Rehabilitation Center, Omaha.

BryanLGH Journeys 9

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 9

3/1/11 11:12 AM


Ask the doctor: Why you need a medical home

Michael Sayers, MD, Family Medicine of Lincoln, part of the BryanLGH Physician Network

Q: What is the primary role of a family physician? The family physician personalizes and provides high-quality care through every phase of the patient’s life. In family medicine, we extend our care to people of all ages, backgrounds and health situations. We provide a full range of services, from routine health screenings and examinations to comprehensive, continuous care. Q: Why is it important to have a family practice physician? Studies have shown that people who have access to frequent care tend to not get sick as much, and having a personal family physician can help prevent trips to the emergency department. An ongoing relationship is another advantage to having a family physician; patients who already are comfortable with a doctor are able to communicate better. Doctors maintaining such relationships are able to factor in personal issues such as stress or life changes when creating your individual care plan. Q: What should I ask when looking for a family physician? It is important to make sure the doctor will be able to assist with personal health needs. Background, education, personal beliefs and the doctor’s general philosophy all are relevant questions to keep in mind when searching for a physician. Every family physician practice is unique, and you should know what services are provided so that your needs will be accommodated. Q: What is a medical home and why should I have one? In the medical home concept, patients receive comprehensive, primary care which serves as an aid in improving their health. You have access to one physician for continuous, long-term care, so a relationship is created over time between that doctor and you. It is important to have a medical home, where all aspects of your health are incorporated, and specialty care is available when needed. Q: How can having a medical home (family physician) help prevent future health problems? People who have a medical home receive vaccinations regularly, identify health problems earlier and learn the steps to prevent potential diseases and illnesses. In a patient-centered medical home practice, a physician-led team coordinates treatment and assures healthcare needs are addressed. Compared to a typical healthcare system — which is geared toward reacting to an immediate health concern — a medical home looks at the patient’s overall condition, incorporates health education and emphasizes preventing future issues. For example,

10 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 10

3/1/11 11:12 AM

a hypothetical 50-year-old man who smokes, is overweight and has higher than normal blood sugar goes to the emergency department and, after receiving treatment for his immediate concern, returns home; in a few years, he may develop diabetes and conditions related to his smoking and obesity. But in the medical home practice, that patient could find out right away he’s on the road to diabetes. Before leaving, he receives tips for managing weight, blood sugar and quitting smoking; he’s scheduled for diabetes education and nutrition appointments; and there will be follow-up calls or visits. The difference? Later that patient will be active, able to work — and diabetes may have been avoided. (Please see page 14 for a related article about medical homes.) Q: How can I spend fewer medical dollars? People who have a family or primary care physician may spend fewer medical dollars overall because they are receiving annual exams to ensure the quality of their health. By seeing a physician regularly, illnesses and diseases can be prevented or treated early, before health conditions become more severe. Q: What is the advantage of urgent care after hours? Urgent care is a necessary part of the medical team. It is important for you to have a medical home and to also be aware of access to shortterm, acute care. Facilities such as BryanLGH’s Urgent Care at LifePointe provide great medical care when you need to be treated right

away, but they don’t serve as a medical home and should be used only for immediate care. Urgent Care at LifePointe, with your approval, provides information about an urgent care visit to your primary care physician. This supports the medical home concept and helps ensure that your primary care doctor has a complete overview of your care. Q: What are the advantages of electronic medical records? There are many advantages to having electronic medical record systems linking hospitals and physician offices. That’s why Urgent Care and primary care offices in the BryanLGH Physician Network have electronic medical records, to support the highest quality of care for our patients. Capturing data and sharing necessary information becomes an immediate and efficient process. Multiple facilities can access information, so you don’t have to wait for each provider to receive your records from previous visits. Electronic records also yield searchable information, which is a real benefit. For example, if there is a national medication recall, doctors can search the electronic files and immediately notify affected patients. n BryanLGH Physician Network includes many primary care physicians and specialists, who are accepting new patients. To learn more, go to

Meet the new residents Eight 2010 medical school graduates have begun residencies at the Lincoln Family Medicine Program. BryanLGH supports this three-year program through the Lincoln Medical Education Partnership. The new residents are, from left: Sarah Morgan, DO, Kirksville (Mo.) College of Osteopathic Medicine; Sara O’Connell, MD, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha; Christopher Strong, DO, Kirksville (Mo.) College of Osteopathic Medicine; Brenda Simon, DO, Des Moines (Iowa) University Osteopathic Medical Center; Cameran Grange, MD, Saint George’s University Medical School, Grenada, West Indies; Leslie Dempsey, MD, New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque; Bradley Dempsey, MD, New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque; and Jamie Vitamvas, MD, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls.

BryanLGH Journeys 11

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 11

3/1/11 11:12 AM


n the midst of last summer’s heat wave, 48-year-old Michael Cates found hypothermia to be his best option for surviving the effects of a life-threatening cardiac arrest. On July 16, Michael was getting ready to leave for Pershing Elementary School to begin his shift as custodial supervisor. Michael’s wife, Christina, and daughter Mariah were inside, beginning their own routines. But what was shaping up as a typical Friday morning suddenly changed. Michael’s enlarged heart had given him problems off and on for years; this time would be the worst. He grabbed the arm of the love seat to brace himself. Christina asked him if he was feeling dizzy. He said, “I think so,” so she told him he’d better sit down for a minute. She walked into the kitchen and soon sensed something was very wrong by the way their 10-year-old daughter cried out, “Mom!” Michael’s head had fallen against the

Hypothermia stops potential brain damage cold Unusual protocol saves Michael’s life

12 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 12

3/1/11 11:12 AM

N E W AT B r y a n L G H back of the couch, his eyes bulged and rolled back in his head, and his chest was pressed out away from the back of the couch. His body appeared very stressed. Air was leaving his body, so Christina called 9-1-1 and sent Mariah to a relative’s nearby home for help. Michael’s heart had stopped beating. The emergency dispatcher told Christina — who had CPR training — to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A nephew and Christina stretched Michael out on the floor, and the dispatcher explained the new breath-to-chest compression ratio and the importance of letting the chest rise and fall in between compressions. Michael’s heart didn’t begin beating again until paramedics shocked his heart back into rhythm. An ambulance whisked him off to BryanLGH East. While waiting to share his story with local TV crews in the cardiac catheterization lab, Michael Michael has little memory of how those Cates, right, jokes with his physician, Doug Fiedler, MD, that he loves BryanLGH but hopes he measures helped him. never has to be in that room again. Hypothermia protocol lowered Michael’s body tempera“Christina had me sit down; the next thing ture to slow his metabolism and save brain cells. I knew, it was four days later,” he said with a smile. “I only know what she and my doctor told me went on.” Pulmonologist Doug Fiedler, MD, notes that restarting a person’s no one knew how much of the old Michael remained. heart after cardiac arrest is only half the battle — the bigger problem is Christina kept the faith, praying for her husband’s recovery, damage to the patient’s brain cells, which begin dying soon after blood as did many others. She reminded him that Sunday was their stops circulating to them. anniversary and gently chided, “Don’t try to get out of it; you At BryanLGH, the medical team explained to Christina that need to wake up.” Michael’s brain had been deprived of oxygen for more than seven Michael opened his eyes the next day. He was back, sharing minutes during his cardiac arrest, so brain cells already were beginning to his sense of humor and thankful to be surrounded by family and struggle, endangered by toxins given off by suffocated cells. friends. The team suggested Michael would benefit from hypothermia “I was pretty out of it from the medication, I guess, but I’m so protocol. It involves pumping cold saline into the aorta to drop body grateful to be here,” he added. temperature below 93 degrees for 24 hours. This creates a stable environMichael also received an internal defibrillator to address his ment to help vital organs survive. heartbeat issue. Now he’s back at work and back to his duties as a “Cooling the body reduces the amount of re-profusion injury to the church officer. He also returned to BryanLGH to thank his care brain,” said Dr. Fiedler. “The brain is the most delicate organ in terms of providers and share his story with the local media. possible damage from being deprived of oxygen. Once a brain cell dies, it “I can’t express how well I was treated here,” Michael said. doesn’t come back; so by slowing the metabolism, we reduce the amount “All of the nurses and doctors were great, and the intensive care of oxygen the brain needs.” manager, Mona Reynolds, was inspirational for my family.” After the 24-hour chilling period, Michael remained unresponsive. He concludes by noting, “Never take life for granted, because His doctors wouldn’t be certain if the treatment had been effective for you can be gone in five minutes. I’m blessed to be here, and I’m at least 48 hours. Less than 10 percent survive such cardiac arrests, and feeling great.” n

BryanLGH Journeys 13

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 13

3/1/11 11:12 AM

CAMC first rural clinic to achieve medical home recognition BryanLGH Health System’s Crete Area Medical Center Physician’s Clinic is the first rural health clinic in Nebraska to earn Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The NCQA is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. CAMC Chief of Medical Staff Russell Ebke, MD, noted, “In a patient-centered medical home practice, a physician-led team oversees each patient’s care. This team coordinates the patient’s treatment and ensures all healthcare needs are addressed, from preventative to acute care.” The patient-centered medical home is a promising model of healthcare delivery that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of care. PPC-PCMH recognition identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians. Instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits, clinician-led care teams coordinate treatments across the healthcare system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the bench marks of patientcentered care, including open scheduling, expanding hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems. “The patient-centered medical home promises to improve health and health care,” says NCQA President Margaret O’Kane. “The active, ongoing relationship between a physician and a clinician in a medical home fosters an alltoo-rare goal in care: Staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place. “PPC-PCMH Recognition shows that Crete Area Medical Center Physician’s Clinic has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.” n

Partners in


n the summer of 2006, a blood thinner became a part of life for John and Anna Mae Buser. Both were in their late 60s and in separate incidents had atrial fibrillation, a feeling like the heart was quivering out of the blue — Anna Mae as she sat in the living room after dinner and John (a few months later) just after he went to bed. The long-term treatment prescribed was coumadin, an anticoagulation therapy that decreases the clotting ability of blood and helps prevent blood clots and strokes.

14 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 14

3/1/11 11:12 AM

CRETE AREA MEDICAL CENTER It’s a far cry from a two-week antibiotic or typical prescription. The Busers will take coumadin, also known as Warfarin,® for the rest of their lives, and that means close monitoring of their blood to keep levels within an appropriate range. Medication levels too low can put a patient at risk for blood clots and side effects of heart disease; levels too high pose a risk for bleeding. The Coumadin Clinic at BryanLGH’s Crete Area Medical Center Physician’s Clinic makes monitoring easy and convenient. For CAMC, the clinic is just one example of enhancements that complement their recent designation as a medical home facility. CAMC was the first rural health clinic and one of three statewide to earn Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Coumadin Clinic demonstrates one way of embracing the medical home model of healthcare delivery that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of care. “Just like diabetes care, coumadin is something that has to be kept on top of. The clinic helps with long-term outcomes and that’s what a medical home is supposed to do — give preventative and planned care and make it more complete,” said Ronda Erway, CAMC director of pharmacy. For patients such as the Busers, a medical home means they can save time and money. According to the National Institutes of Health, a patient receiving coumadin therapy can save $1,600 annually due to fewer emergency room visits or hospital admissions due to complications, and the Coumadin Clinic at CAMC could save that patient another estimated $600 a year due to less lab draws. To the Busers, who use the clinic once or twice a month, the most important thing is that it’s convenient. Before the clinic opened, checking levels meant lab visits. A doctor would call with the levels and correct dosage, but that sometimes meant waiting by the phone or wondering if they would hear back in time to fill the prescription before the pharmacy closed or before they left town to visit one of their five children. “With the new clinic, it’s so much faster,” John said. It’s as simple as a finger stick and a machine that reads the levels. Before they leave the clinic, they speak with a pharmacist to learn if medication adjustments are needed. “We know how we stand before we walk out,” Anna Mae added. It means a lot in a household that has dealt with its share of health issues. In the living room of their Crete home, the couple pulls out journals of their health history. Entries chronicle John’s hip replacement surgeries, bypass surgery and the malignant mela-

John and Anna Mae Buser proudly call CAMC their medical home.

noma on his heel that resulted in amputation of his foot in 2008. The journals contain notes on medicine and doctors’ visits and are a symbol of one other important feature of medical home facilities, such as CAMC. Medical homes promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians. Each patient’s care is tended to by a team that coordinates treatments across the healthcare system. Almost all of the Busers’ medical care for major illness began at Crete. When it continued with other physicians or specialists, CAMC physicians remained in the loop. “It’s nice to know all our records are in one place and that our care givers are aware of our health history,” Anna Mae said. They have a long history with local providers who have been a part of their lives since they moved to Crete in 1986. Now retired from several careers, including veterinarian and dispatcher for John, and many years of working for Immigration and Naturalization Services in Lincoln for Anna Mae, CAMC remains their primary health facility. They always will need care to keep on top of coumadin levels, but now that care is more convenient, Erway concludes. n To learn more about programs at BryanLGH’s Crete Area Medical Center, contact Jody Vondra at (402) 826-6581.

BryanLGH Journeys 15

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 15

3/1/11 11:12 AM


New era begins College installs President Elizabeth MacLeod Walls in historic ceremony

College of Health Sciences President Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, PhD, addresses the audience during her installation at Saint Paul United Methodist Church. Among the participating dignitaries are the Rev. Rex Bevins (left); former College President Phylis Hollamon; BryanLGH College Board Chair Marilyn Moore, PhD; the Rev. Dr. Ann Sherer-Simpson, Bishop of the Nebraska Area Methodist Church; and BryanLGH Health System President Kimberly Russel.

16 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 16

3/3/11 2:03 PM


parents steeped in academia. ugust 20 was a highlight on the They (as well as Elizabeth and her BryanLGH time line of signifisister, Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black) are cant achievements. On that teachers. Elizabeth’s father, Dr. Roger date, we officially installed Cognard, taught English at Nebraska Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, PhD, as Wesleyan University for 35 years. Her president of BryanLGH College of mother, Dr. Anne Cognard, commuted Health Sciences. to Omaha to work at the College of “It was a beautiful day and an exciting Saint Mary when Elizabeth and her series of events that allowed the comsister (now an associate professor of munity and alumni to interact with our English in Maryland) were girls. Anne faculty, staff and the administration. I’m Cognard later taught at Lincoln East very grateful for the support,” said Dr. High School for 20 years and was the MacLeod Walls. 2001 Nebraska Teacher of the Year. According to this Lincoln native, “Mom is my hero and role model it was an honor to retell the story of as an educator and an innovator. She’s benefactors William Jennings Bryan and an immigrant from Scotland, she’s his wife, Mary Baird Bryan. bright and creative, and she’s incredibly “The donation of their home and supportive. I found teaching was in my surrounding farmland in 1922 essentially blood, too,” Dr. MacLeod Walls said. founded not only the hospital but also The new president earned an unthe college,” she explained. “We’re called dergraduate degree at Hiram College to extend their mission of being civic(Ohio), where she planned to go into minded and caring for our fellow human Faculty Senate Chair Theresa Delehoyde, EdD, enters public policy or politics but majored in beings. To have the privilege to present with the college mace during the academic procession. history and eventually reset her sights on that message was the best moment of the a career as an educator. entire installation for me.” She entered a doctoral program at Texas Christian University She also appreciated having the ceremony in Saint Paul United — her parents’ alma mater — and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Craig Methodist Church, because the Methodist Conference was the MacLeod Walls, enrolled in TCU’s seminary. original caretaker of the Bryans’ gift and shepherded the process for

establishing Bryan Memorial Hospital and Bryan School of Nursing. “What a rich history there is between these institutions,” she added. The new president succeeded Phylis Hollamon, who retired in 2009 after four decades of affiliation with BryanLGH, including the last 15 years as head of the college. “The installation was a mountaintop experience for me,” Hollamon reflected. “The long transition to becoming a fully accredited institution of higher learning had at last come to a resounding conclusion. As I sat at the front of the church watching the faculty proceed down the aisle, I could see their pride of accomplishment. But I restrained myself from shouting, ‘The transition is over — you have prevailed!’”

Family traditions Dr. MacLeod Walls was born at Bryan Memorial Hospital to

Kim Leighton, PhD, (left) and Phylis Hollamon share a moment before the installation ceremony.

BryanLGH Journeys 17

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 17

3/1/11 11:12 AM

“By the time I graduated, I was teaching mid-level courses and fully expected to become a professor,” she said. “In fact, I was offered a tenure track position at an Indiana university, but Craig was presented a phenomenal opportunity to come to Lincoln to begin a new church.” She recalled, “It was an absolute adventure for us to move back to my hometown, with Craig starting a congregation but me without a job. I was fortunate to be hired by Nebraska Wesleyan, which provided a wonderful academic apprenticeship.” There she learned about the administrative side of academia, first working in university communications and teaching in the liberal arts seminar curriculum, then moving to academic affairs.

Change of plans “I was recruited away to be the executive director of a Lilly Endowment grant, which provided educational opportunities for clergy, and I was happy doing that for several years,” the president continued. “But I got a call from a former Nebraska Wesleyan colleague, who had been recruited by Phylis to help get the college accredited.” That colleague, Bette Olson, was leaving BryanLGH to return to Nebraska Wesleyan; she recommended Dr. MacLeod Walls as her replacement. “My first year here as director of institutional effectiveness meant working almost exclusively on the assessment and accreditation

process,” said MacLeod Walls. “In my second year, Phylis had me take over as dean of general education, and I served as interim president while she was on leave. It was a good fit, and I learned a lot.” In 2009, the College Board of Trustees elected her interim president upon Hollamon’s retirement and, after a national search, named Dr. MacLeod Walls president. The rest is history.

Looking ahead “I’m so fortunate to have had mentors who have nurtured me,” Dr. MacLeod Walls said. “Phylis was the most recent of those and in many ways the most profound.” Hollamon is equally enthusiastic in her support for Dr. MacLeod Walls. “I knew that my hopes and dreams for the college were safe with Elizabeth,” said Hollamon. “During the accreditation process, she played an invaluable role and converted challenges into stepping stones. I knew she was right for the tasks ahead.” The college’s newest president is focusing on enhancing the college’s public profile, program offerings and endowment. “We’re looking strategically at new program development so that our curriculum evolves based on changing patient care needs,” Dr. MacLeod Walls said. “I’m blessed to work with a fantastic team, and the education available at the college is exceptional.” n

2011 Alumni Calendar

Tuesday, March 1 — Alumni Award nominations due. See for more information.

Wednesday, April 20 — Alumni gathering, 4:30-6 p.m., Old Chicago, SouthPointe, 2918 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln.

Wednesday, March 16 — Alumni gathering, 4:30-6 p.m., Old Chicago, SouthPointe, 2918 Pine Lake Road, Lincoln.

Save the date: Friday-Saturday, June 10-11 — Alumni Weekend. Watch your mail for more details.

Tuesday, April 5 — Autoimmune Syndromes, by Amy Garwood, MD. Social hour and tours of Simulation Center from 6-7 p.m., and Dr. Garwood’s presentation begins at 7 p.m. in the Conference Center at BryanLGH West. Register for this free event by calling (402) 481-8692 or e-mail

For more information on events or tickets, contact Brenda Neemann at (402) 481-8692 or e-mail her at

18 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 18

3/1/11 11:12 AM


Retired Vice President of Nursing Phyllis Bovee (left), retired College President Phylis Hollamon, Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, PhD, and retired School of Nursing Director Elaine Garrison gather on the porch of Fairview.

Benefiting from

Hollamon’s vision


ur new president of BryanLGH College of Health Sciences says today’s record enrollment, unique learning experiences and inspired faculty can be traced directly to her predecessor’s vision and drive. “During her 15 years as director and then president, Phylis Hollamon was remarkably innovative and forward-thinking,” noted Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, PhD. “It was her vision to seek degreegranting status and accreditation. “If not for Phylis, we probably wouldn’t have our baccalaureate degrees in nursing and health professions, the flagship master’s program in nurse anesthesia or our associate degrees.” The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in

2008 accredited the college, which is composed of the School of Nursing, School of Nurse Anesthesia, School of Health Professions, a full general education division and a Research and Professional Practice Center. “Phylis set us up to do great things, and as the new president, I benefit from the team she enlisted for that journey,” Dr. MacLeod Walls said. Lifelong lessons “Our faculty, staff and administration are committed to our mission; they’re optimistic; and I marvel every day at what they accomplish,” the president continued. “We encourage each other to

BryanLGH Journeys 19

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 19

3/1/11 11:12 AM

high clinical expectations. really push boundaries, “Clinical competency is because that’s the culture at the heart of what we do, Phylis established.” but I’m also a firm believer Dr. MacLeod Walls in making sure our students points out that the college’s are well educated across traditions stretch back 84 several disciplines, including years to its very first nursing the social sciences, humanischool directors. ties and fine arts,” she said. “We get to build upon “Our students graduate as that history, and I can critical thinkers who also are count on a wonderful, rich outstanding clinicians.” relationship with Phylis that helps me and the faculty Ready for success and resonates with alumni. Establishing the I hope it’s comforting for Center for Excellence in them to know that the Clinical Simulation with person at the helm is Former Bryan Memorial Hospital President Gene Edwards and College President BryanLGH and Southsomeone Phylis mentored,” Elizabeth MacLeod Walls (center) unveil a portrait of Phylis Hollamon (left) during the east Community College she said. installation week events. The artwork will hang in the college library. reinforces how the college Hollamon graduated embraces trend-setting from Bryan School of teaching. It’s one of the largest hospital-based programs of its Nursing in 1965 and was a staff nurse at the hospital for three years kind and features a nationally known leader in the simulation field, before beginning a 41-year career at her alma mater. During that span, classrooms in an actual patient care unit, and a family of simulation she went from assistant instructor to medical-surgical coordinator, then mannequins to provide a wide range of challenges. (See page 21 for from associate director to assistant administrative director, president more details.) and dean of the college. Everything about the college, from textbooks and facilities to its “I continue to be humbled by the recognition given to me for my curriculum, is geared to address continually changing patient care role in the life of the school,” Hollamon said. “Like Yankees’ manager needs. On top of that, students volunteer to help at local benefit Casey Stengel pointed out after winning the World Series, ‘I couldn’t events because Hollamon and her colleagues emphasized the imhave done it without my players.’ portance of blending hands-on learning experiences with commu“I’m most proud of the graduates who claim that their education nity service. Graduates can claim: You get more from an education was the launching pad for successful careers. We have more than 4,600 at BryanLGH. living alumni, and I encourage them to continue to actively participate “Phylis and I and our alumni would agree that having a broad in the work of the college.” base of knowledge helps our graduates be effective providers. Looking ahead, we’re interested in sustaining our reputation for academic Preparing for tomorrow and clinical excellence, but we also want to serve the evolving needs This year’s enrollment is 528 — the largest in the college’s history. in the community,” said Dr. MacLeod Walls. Dr. MacLeod Walls asserted, “It was inevitable we would grow “That’s why volunteering and good citizenship are emphasized as we became accredited and word got out that we were a four-year, at the college, and students see very early that they’ll use their dedegree-granting institution.” gree to truly make a difference in the world.” n According to the president, our reputation for prepping students for real world careers is key. The faculty strives to ensure that the curriculum is appropriate. Students have lecture and research opportunities without sacrificing

For information on how you can support BryanLGH College of Health Sciences, call the BryanLGH Foundation at (402) 481-8605.

20 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 20

3/1/11 11:12 AM

B r y a n L G H F O U N DAT I O N

New ventures benefit future care givers Gifts to the BryanLGH Foundation facilitated a unique collaborative effort this year — establishment of the Center for Excellence in Clinical Simulation, which opened on the West site in January 2010. This joint venture among BryanLGH College of Health Sciences, Southeast Community College and BryanLGH Medical Center is just one way your gifts to the Foundation benefit the community through excellence in healthcare education. This collaboration allowed the two colleges to create the Center, a feat that neither could have done alone. BryanLGH is now home to a full complement of patient simulators available in one location, which greatly enhances our ability to teach students and other healthcare professionals about the diverse health needs of those in our community. The Center houses three adult simulators, one of which has software specific for anesthesia students, and a pediatric simulator — all purchased with the help of generous people like you. The Center provides a higher level of learning, which translates to excellent patient care for those we have the privilege to serve. To see the Center in action, go to the video gallery at n To discuss how you can make a difference by supporting the BryanLGH Foundation, call (402) 481-8605 today!

BryanLGH Employee Campaign exceeds expectations Thanks to the many BryanLGH co-workers who contributed to last fall’s “Be a Difference Maker” 2010 Employee Campaign. Their gifts to the BryanLGH Foundation totaled $367,000 and will support many capital and programmatic needs at BryanLGH.

BryanLGH Foundation welcomes new officers Cliff Carlson, planned giving officer

Carlson joins BryanLGH after working the past four years at Kenexa, where he was director of the Global Talent Management Division. Before that, he worked at his alma mater, Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he was a major gift officer. He also received a post-baccalaureate certificate from the CASE Summer Institute at Dartmouth College, N.H.

Heidi Cuca, major giving officer

Cuca has served on the BryanLGH Foundation Board and has been vice president of development for the Arbor Day Foundation and development officer for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. She was the statewide field director of the Osborne for Governor Committee and served as legislative aide to State Sen. Ed Schrock and special assistant to Gov. Kay Orr. Cuca also was assistant athletic director of marketing for the University of Nebraska Athletic Department for 13 years. n

BryanLGH Journeys 21

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 21

3/1/11 11:13 AM


rew Smith, a student at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, has been a volunteer in the emergency department at BryanLGH West for more than a year. He’s pursuing a nursing degree — he’s been accepted to the School of Nursing at BryanLGH College of Health Sciences — because this diverse profession offers a variety of career paths, such as obstetrics, emergency medicine and forensics. Smith heard about BryanLGH volunteer opportunities through a school e-mail. He wanted to get hospital exposure to see how physicians and nurses interact while caring for patients. He requested to volunteer in the Trauma Center at BryanLGH West, where he knew there would be

Nursing student Drew Smith volunteers in the BryanLGH Trauma Center so he will be exposed to a wide variety of procedures and treatments.

22 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 22

3/1/11 11:13 AM


BryanLGH offers college students volunteer opportunities to work in a healthcare setting and create relationships with professionals. Volunteering also assists them in graduate or medical school applications and opens doors to shadowing and observation experiences. Students serve in many areas, such as the emergency department, nursing units, lobby services, escort, admissions, mental health, cardiac and vascular services, and radiology. BryanLGH Volunteer Resources offers many opportunities for students to participate — these are just a few of the 115 college students volunteering at BryanLGH.

a variety of procedures and treatments performed, and he would receive a diverse education. “I wanted to get a feel for the area that I hope one day to be working in,” he said. The BryanLGH Volunteer Resources department has 115 college students committed to volunteering. This past summer Smith was invited to observe an emergency medical case during his night shift. “I was able to be in the room from start to finish. I could see and hear everything the physicians and nurses were doing,” he said. “It was a privilege to be in the room and watch everything that was going on.” Smith enjoys working in the hospital environment and with the nurses in the ED. He would like to have a greater idea of how things operate in the department and wants to gain as much experience now as possible, so that he knows what to expect when he receives his nursing license. Director of Volunteer Resources Ellen Beans stated, “College-

age volunteers bring us eagerness, enthusiasm, knowledge and ideas. The students offer the connections to colleges and in the end, their services as healthcare providers to BryanLGH.” n The BryanLGH volunteer program offers a comprehensive, educational experience for students who are pursuing a medical career. For more information about volunteer opportunities for all ages and abilities, contact BryanLGH Volunteer Resources at (402) 481-3032 or visit our web site,

BryanLGH Journeys 23

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 23

3/1/11 11:13 AM

Pam Handy shares her story to give hope to others struggling to recover from alcoholism

24 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 24

3/1/11 11:13 AM



“That environment wasn’t a healthy place for me because there was am Handy hasn’t had a drink in 23 years. drinking among the employees before, after and sometimes even dur“That was quite a while ago,” she stated. “But rather than ing work. There had to be something better,” she explained. call myself a recovering alcoholic, I prefer saying I’m in Handy wanted to be a counselor. Although she didn’t have enough long-term recovery.” credits for a college degree, she logged plenty of experience in the In September she represented Nebraska in the National A&E School of Life. Pro-Act Recovery Walk in As she and her older historic Philadelphia, Pa., son worked on resolving where thousands celebrated their addictive behaviors, she independence in America’s suddenly found herself in a birthplace of freedom. familiar setting. “I was part of the Now it was her younger Honor Guard, helping son who was in treatment cheer on 11,000 who for behavioral problems. walked that day — it was “Today, when talking to so energizing!” she said. groups at the Independence The walk covered less Center, I share that our first than two miles, but for therapy session was one of Handy it represented a the most painful experiences much longer journey. I ever had,” she said. “I had Personal issues? Besides to sit quietly while he talked alcoholism, she’s survived about how he’d been hurt by cancer and is being treated Pam Handy (wearing ball cap, fourth from the left in the second row) was in the things I said and did. for bipolar disorder and Honor Guard at the National A&E Pro-Act Recovery Walk last summer in Philadelphia. “The ‘old me’ would have multiple sclerosis. screamed, but after going “My early recovery through the program, I was able to tell him that he had every right from alcoholism was an uphill battle — I’d crest that hill only to find I to be hurt and angry. We couldn’t change what had happened, but we had to work just as hard to not slide back,” she says. “On top of that, I could learn to do things differently as we go forward.” was divorced, and I chose to leave a job I’d had for 20 years.” That’s proved to be a map to success for Handy. When her older son was in enough trouble that it appeared the At the Independence Center, she was an on-call patient activity teen would be removed from home, Handy admitted him into a technician before accepting a full-time position at the front desk. Youth Intensive Outpatient program at the BryanLGH Independence “When Jerome Barry became director 10 years ago, he asked me to Center and joined the ranks of many other parents in the family care be his secretary, and I’ve been that ever since,” she said. program. She didn’t count on getting admitted to a treatment program for “At the Independence Center, I get more than I give. Although herself, but that’s what happened. people often come here beaten down, in just a week or so they begin “I’m sitting there with women young enough to be my daughters to smile and respond. One of my co-workers says we work in a and thinking I couldn’t possibly learn anything from them,” Handy miracle factory, and I’m sure that’s true. I’m reminded every day of remembered. “But I soon learned an invaluable lesson: It doesn’t how blessed I am,” Handy added. matter what your age is, we are truly more alike than different.” “I hope my story shows others that they, too, can enjoy being in It was time for change. recovery.” n Handy completed the treatment and became a volunteer at the For information about programs at the BryanLGH Independence front desk. Later, she became a volunteer group leader. Center, please call (402) 481-5268. To learn how you can support the She was starting over, first going through a treatment program, BryanLGH Independence Center, contact the BryanLGH Foundation then getting a divorce and leaving her job. staff by calling (402) 481-8605.

BryanLGH Journeys 25

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 25

3/1/11 11:13 AM

55PLUS Advisory Board member links BryanLGH Independence Center with Boys’ State


hen Bob Craig joined the BryanLGH 55PLUS Advisory Board he didn’t realize his new role would benefit another organization very close to his heart. Bob served 30 years on the American Legion Cornhusker Boys’ State Board, and he remains an active supporter of its mission. After hearing a presentation about the BryanLGH Independence Center at an Advisory Board meeting, Craig was so impressed with what the Center has to offer to the community that he asked director Jerome Barry if he would present to the students at Boys’ State. “He gave a wonderful overview of what happens in drug and alcohol abuse situations. I was enthralled with how much it encompassed and how many adolescents the Independence Center serves,” said Craig. “Students do not always know how to handle peers who are in these situations, and Jerome’s presentation enabled them to see a different perspective and learn how to deal with their surroundings,” he added. Boys’ State focuses primarily on developing outstanding students’ leadership skills. “These are future leaders who are role models to other adolescents in their communities,” Craig said. He hoped Barry’s presentation would make these students more aware of the overall problem of alcohol and substance abuse and learn steps for addressing such issues within their peer groups.

26 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 26

3/1/11 11:13 AM

55PLUS The Independence Center offers a variety of services and levels of care for adults and adolescents who are suffering from substance dependence and abuse. “I love the opportunity to share with others how to better understand addictions and the impact addictions have on individuals, families and our communities,” said Barry. A few of the topics discussed at Boys’ State were how to understand the nature of addictions; how to define addictions; the top three drugs that lead people to treatment; and the role of intervention/treatment/recovery. Barry was invited to speak again next year on Understanding Addiction Treatment and Recovery. “The students were very attentive, had relevant questions and appeared genuinely interested in the topic,” Barry recalled. “This is a great opportunity for BryanLGH to be involved in the community.”

Craig, a 55PLUS Board member of two years, enjoys being a part of the program because it is an excellent way to be involved in the medical center and meet new people who are proactive in maintaining and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. “We are so pleased when people like Bob volunteer to be on the Board. They value the program and are great advocates for both 55PLUS and BryanLGH,” said Kathy Wolf, manager of 55PLUS. The 55PLUS Advisory Board has 20 dedicated members who are actively involved. It offers opportunities to collaborate and share ideas on how to improve 55PLUS benefits, and it’s a place where they can advance their knowledge about BryanLGH. n If you are interested in becoming a member of 55PLUS and its Advisory Board, please contact Kathy Wolf at (402) 481-3155.

Learn all about it! Call (402) 481-8355 to register for these 55PLUS educational programs, which are offered at no charge from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Bryan Plaza Conference Center: • Disorders of the GI Tract – James Sorrell, MD, on Tuesday, March 8. • Eating Out Healthfully – Thursday, March 24, with nationally known speaker Madhu Gadia of Connecticut. • A Sneezer’s Guide to Hay Fever – Vinjay Mehta, MD, on Tuesday, April 12. • Physiatry: A Surgery Alternative – Robert Rentfro, MD, on Thursday, April 28.

Join us for adventures! We have an exciting year of travel planned for 2011. 55PLUS promises wonderful attractions, great food and the camaraderie of fellow members. But act soon — tours sell out quickly, and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. To request a brochure, call (402) 481-3355 or (800) 742-7844 and ask for 55PLUS; or visit and click on “55PLUS” under “Join Our Clubs.” Select “Travel” to download brochures.

The 55PLUS Advisory Board includes (front row, from left) Kathy Will, Janice Sammet, Marilyn Duven, Shirley Wimmer and Shirley Barnell; (2nd row) Bob Lundberg and Harold Monismith; (3rd row) Gary Smith, Bob Craig and Kathy Wolf; (4th row) Beverly Wakely and Connie Doehring; (5th row) Don Mehring and Tish Loomis; and (back row) Robert Mitchell, Bob Matoush, Connie Svik, Betty Place and Lori Lee. Marci Albert, Marvin Friend, Ron Futrell, John Kuntz and Rich Oehlerking also are on the Board.

Day Trips • All About Hastings – Tuesday, May 17, or Thursday, May 19. • Life is Sweet – LeMars, Iowa, Thursday, June 16. • Brownville Village Theatre & Spirit of Brownville Dinner Cruise – Tuesday, Aug. 9, or Thursday, Aug. 11. • Mahoney State Park Melodrama – Friday, Sept. 16 or 23. • Amelia Earhart and Haunted Houses – Tuesday, Oct. 4, or Thursday, Oct. 6. Multiple-Day Trips • Branson Music Express – Wednesday-Saturday, April 27-30 (four days). • Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and Black Hills Adventure – Thursday-Wednesday, July 7-13 (seven days). • Tennessee Valley Railroad featuring Nashville and Memphis – TuesdayTuesday, Oct. 18-25 (eight days). • Kansas City Christmas – Friday-Saturday, Dec. 2-3 (two days).

BryanLGH Journeys 27

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 27

3/1/11 11:13 AM

Seamless care in action Tim Sweeney sees first-hand why a hospitalbased wellness facility is a good thing

Heart patient Tim Sweeney says LifePointe was a big factor in his recovery.

28 Winter 2011


im Sweeney was, by his own admission, out of shape. Like many middle-aged folks, the demands of work and life got in the way of taking care of himself. “I was overweight and not exercising,” the 57-year-old said. When he and wife Jody were out walking their dog one day, they happened past LifePointe, then still under construction. “We should join when it opens,” Jody said. In December 2006, they did. They bought their workout gear, eager to make some positive, healthy changes. Then, by way of a dog’s trip-up, Jody broke her ankle. This brought them to Urgent Care — also, incidentally, at LifePointe. While Jody’s ankle healed, which included physical therapy at LifePointe, Tim got cracking on his new exercise regimen. He started feeling really good, losing 30 pounds in the process. The former marathoner rekindled his passion for running and started training hard for the Lincoln Half-Marathon. Meanwhile, Jody — with the help of LifePointe classes such as yoga and use of the spa facilities — got back into her own exercise groove. The couple had planned a trip to Texas, where Tim was going to continue his marathon training. But he noticed during his more recent runs that he was labored, feeling fatigued. As someone with a history of irregular heartbeats, Tim, at Jody’s insistence, checked in with his cardiologist, Steven Krueger, MD, at the BryanLGH Heart Institute the Friday before they planned to leave. Tim didn’t get the results that day, but he was told not to leave town. On the follow-

L i fe Po i n t e ing Monday, he got the results of his echo and CT scan — Tim had a large aortic aneurysm. Doctors also found that he needed mitral valve repair, aortic valve replacement and a procedure to help with his arrhythmia. Tim, a partner in Dental Designs in Lincoln, spent five days in the hospital and about a month at home to recover. The couple admits that many people might view this sort of thing as a major setback. But they focused on the positive: A life-threatening health issue was diagnosed and successfully treated, before the unthinkable could happen. The Sweeneys are unabashed fans of LifePointe and the BryanLGH Heart Institute. “It’s a seamless entity,” Tim said. “Everyone knew what was going on with my situation and my care at every step. We are lucky to have facilities that are connected like this, that can provide someone with surgery, rehabilitation and then ongoing wellness.” Being a member of LifePointe was a major factor in Tim’s recovery, he added. “First of all, since I had started getting into shape, I went into the surgery weighing less. But the whole program — going from surgery at BryanLGH into rehab and then back into my exercise routine — was flawless,” he said. Today, Tim and Jody regularly go to LifePointe for workouts

and spa treatments. The parents of three and grandparents of four plan to stay active and well for a long time. Tim notes, however, that his views on exercise and working out have changed just a bit. He still runs, but not as far. And through LifePointe personal trainer Jonathan Cook, he’s learned the importance of cross training — most notably Tim has added weight lifting to the mix. “He’s been great,” Tim said of Jonathan. “He keeps me motivated. He showed me the importance of using a heart monitor and how it helps manage my workouts. I also really learned the importance of watching my diet and burning more calories.” Tim is a big proponent of the FitLinxx system of weight training offered at LifePointe. “Jonathan set it all up for me, showed me how the machines keep track of all my work-outs and how much I should be lifting. You can’t cheat with this system,” he said with a grin. The couple, sweethearts since high school, count their blessings. “It’s not a stretch to say LifePointe saved my life. We’re totally commited to this facility,” Tim said. n For more information about LifePointe’s program and facilities, call (402) 481-6300 or log onto For a listing of related events, see the calendar on page 33.

Tim Sweeney is so passionate about the health advice he gets at LifePointe, that he and his partner in Dental Designs, Doug Barrett (far right), bring LifePointe to the lab. On an occasional basis, exercise physiologist and health coach Kristi Beyer (in blue jacket), visits the lab during lunch to talk about the importance of stress management, diet and other lifestyle topics that Tim hopes his staff will take to heart.

BryanLGH Journeys 29

Meeting needs in crisis Mental Health ED helps thousands 30 Winter 2011

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 30

3/1/11 11:13 AM



very year thousands come to the BryanLGH Mental Health ED, seeking a safe haven from personal chaos. This program — housed in the emergency department at BryanLGH West and coordinated by mental health services — provides emergency care for all ages, as well as crisis assessment for deciding if hospitalization is needed. It’s available every day, around the clock, at 2300 S. 16th St. A mental health nurse assesses each patient, then consults with an emergency room physician and an on-call psychiatrist to plan the next step. During a typical month, they have more than 500 visits. “This is a component of the emergency department, although we provide care for everyone presenting to the hospital with possible mental health needs,” explained Larry Widman, MD, medical director for adult mental health and the Independence Center at BryanLGH. “In the Mental Health ED we determine the level of evaluation needed, and our goal is to triage each person to determine if they should be hospitalized.” Dr. Widman and four other psychiatric hospitalists from the BryanLGH Heartland Psychiatry group join local psychiatrists in providing follow-up help for those admitted as inpatients. BryanLGH has provided a full range of mental health services in Lincoln for more than 70 years, and manager David Miers, PhD, says the Mental Health ED and related programs for emergency and trauma patients are examples of BryanLGH’s commitment to continuing this legacy. “Our staff is very active in suicide prevention issues, and we also worked with our Trauma Center team to develop a screening tool to detect post traumatic stress,” Dr. Miers added. “Trauma medical director Dr. Reginald Burton was instrumental in helping us get this started. Patients go to our specialty clinic for screening and then could be referred Larry Widman, MD, to the Counseling Center. It’s all part medical director for adult of the larger picture of patient care at mental health and the BryanLGH.”

David Miers, PhD, (left) accepts a Suicide Prevention Awareness Week proclamation from Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy on behalf of the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Miers notes that mental health issues touch every area of a medical center, from trauma to heart patients and women’s and children’s health. That means practically any patient might someday need the Mental Health ED. “These hospital-based programs are so important because they add to the full array of care offered at BryanLGH,” he said. n For more information about mental health services, please call the Counseling Center at (402) 481-5991. Reginald Burton, MD, director of trauma and surgical critical care

Independence Center

David Miers, PhD, says the Mental Health ED at BryanLGH West is a valuable starting point to successful treatment.

BryanLGH Journeys 31

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 31

3/1/11 11:13 AM


NHA Board Chair Daniel Griess

John Woodrich (left) accepts the Be

55PLUS manager Kathy Wolf, Vice President Bob Ravenscroft, Zymrite

(left) presents Ken Foster with the

Prepared Award from Lt. Gov. Rick

Memeti and environmental services supervisor Mike Hanigan and man-

Excellence in Service Award.

Sheehy on behalf of BryanLGH.

ager Paul Maize celebrate Memeti’s Beyond Expectations recognition.

Heartland Health State cheers Alliance salutes BryanLGH for Foster for service Olympic support

They’re going Beyond Expectations

Ken Foster, BryanLGH vice president of regional development and strategic planning, received this year’s Excellence in Service Award Nov. 2 during the annual Nebraska Hospital Association (NHA) Convention. The NHA honored Foster for his work with the Heartland Health Alliance, which is composed of BryanLGH and 39 other hospitals. He was instrumental in creating the Diabetes Education Consortium, which brings certified diabetes educators to communities throughout the region, and Foster has helped Alliance member hospitals secure more than $2 million in grants to fund a telehealth network, cardiac monitoring, defibrillators, ambulances and other projects. n

Beyond Expectations is a new program that allows patients and family members to make a gift and recognize staff members, physicians and volunteers who go beyond expectations to provide excellent care. Zymrite Memeti, environmental services, and anesthesiologist Ron Hachiya, MD, are among the first to be honored by grateful patients. They received special pins that signal this achievement to others. Recognizing care givers with a note of thanks and a gift in their honor is a meaningful way to celebrate their work, and your gifts can make a difference in the lives of others. A patient’s daughter wrote, Memeti “… went way beyond the call of duty to help find a

BryanLGH Health System and the Cornhusker Chapter of the American Red Cross together received this year’s Be Prepared Award for joint efforts on behalf of Special Olympics athletes during last summer’s USA Games in Lincoln. The annual award from Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy recognizes organizations for excellence in emergency preparedness and disaster response. BryanLGH Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer John Woodrich accepted the award on behalf of the system during a Sept. 30 presentation at the Capitol. n

Ron Hachiya, MD, left, received a Beyond Expectations pin from Vice President Bob Ravenscroft.

lost cell phone. What a great employee and friendly smile to have at BryanLGH.” Referring to the surgery staff and Dr. Hachiya, a patient said, “From making me laugh to holding my hand while I went to sleep, thanks for everything.” To learn more about the Beyond Expectations program, please contact Kathy Wolf at (402) 481-3155. n

32 Winter 2011 201

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 32

3/1/11 11:13 AM

C A L E N DA R O F E V E N T S Women’s Day Life Balance in 67 Easy Steps Saturday, March 19, 8:30 a.m. - noon. Bryan Medical Plaza Conference Center, BryanLGH East. Cost: $22. The goal of the annual Women’s Day is to honor women from all walks of life whose accomplishments distinguish them as exceptional individuals worthy of our praise and admiration. It is a celebration that also educates the public on the cultural, social and economic diversity of women’s lives and work, as well as an opportunity to network with other women and create long-lasting relationships. To register online, go to For more details about this event, call (402) 481-8886.

We salute Trauma Champs BryanLGH Trauma Center Tribute to Trauma Champions Thursday, April 28, 5:30 p.m. Rococo Theatre, 140 N. 13th St. BryanLGH is hosting this very special evening to honor the hundreds of professionals dedicated to saving lives and to recognize two of the year’s remarkable trauma survivors — Jason Kort and Cody Van Pelt. Jason Kort Cody Van Pelt For more information, contact the BryanLGH Foundation at (402) 481-8605.

BryanLGH Kids Health & Safety Fair Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Zone B Parking Garage at BryanLGH East. It’s free! This annual event provides families with opportunities to learn about the many children’s health and safety programs offered at BryanLGH Medical Center and other Lincoln organizations. With a multitude of interactive exhibits, demonstrations and entertainment, this will be an opportunity for kids and parents to learn valuable health and safety lessons in a fun and festive atmosphere. For more information, call (402) 481-5643.

Come to the BryanLGH Diabetes Fair on Aug. 27. A variety of screenings will be available from 9 a.m. - noon at LifePointe.

BryanLGH Diabetes Fair Small Steps. Big Rewards: Prevention, Treatment and Control Saturday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. - noon. LifePointe, 7501 S. 27th St., south of Pine Lake Road. Cost: See below. If you have diabetes, you can make simple changes to your life to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Could someone you care about have diabetes and not know it? This event, featuring cooking demonstrations, helpful speakers, screenings, vendors and new specialty products, could improve your life! • Blood pressure screenings and foot assessments are free. • Lipid panel and blood sugar screening, with no fasting required. Get instant results for cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, HDL and blood sugar levels. Cost: $30. • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) screening. There are limited appointments available, so you must pre-register. Cost: $10. For more information about the BryanLGH Diabetes Fair, please call (402) 481-6305.

BryanLGH Run to Overcome 2011 Adam’s Race Sunday, Oct. 9, 12:30 p.m. 5K, 10K and Kid’s Fun Run. LifePointe, 7501 S. 27th St., south of Pine Lake Road. Be part of this inaugural event! This year’s run is in memory of critical care nurse Adam Zetterman, RN. For more information or to register for the Run to Overcome, contact Justin Pfeifer by calling (402) 481-5643. BryanLGH Journeys 33

1600 S. 48th St., Lincoln, NE 68506


Address service requested

Journeys Winter 2011 FINAL.indd 34

3/1/11 11:13 AM

Journeys, Winter 2011  

Statesman William Jennings Bryan, one of theoriginal benefactors of BryanLGH, said:“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of cho...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you