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Spring 2015

Healing Comes with The Meaning of Care Page 10

President’s Letter Imagine using cancer to kill cancer. Imagine turning someone’s cancer and white blood cells into a personalized treatment that triggers the body to find and destroy its cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Science fiction? No, this is one of the many groundbreaking international clinical trials currently underway at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. This is the personalized, precision medicine that is the future of cancer treatment and the best hope for many, including an Omaha husband, father and grandfather whose late-stage kidney cancer had spread to his lymph nodes and spawned tumors throughout his lungs. Now, with his cancer responding to treatment, this man can again look forward to a future with his family.

John M. Fraser

President and CEO Methodist Health System

Our commitment to giving people with illness or injury more hope, more time and a better quality of life drives innovation, teamwork and medical excellence throughout Methodist Health System. Every day, we battle cancer and other diseases. We fight to protect the lives and health of the youngest and most fragile babies in our neonatal intensive care unit. We do all this while our physicians, staff and volunteers surround patients and families with the supportive care they would give their own family members. As the stories that follow illustrate, personalized medicine is not new to Methodist. Our approach remains a unique combination of leading-edge treatment and a very human touch ‌ just one more way we live The Meaning of Care. Sincerely,

h ochie wit Ron Der dkarni, MD. a Niyati N

Cancer Treatment of the Future

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NICU Success Page 8

Healing Comes with The Meaning of Care Page 10

Lung Screening Covered by Medicare Early detection and prevention of lung cancer took a giant step forward when Medicare announced it would cover lung cancer screenings for those who meet the requirements.

Teri Tipton Is DAISY Champion Teri Tipton, MSN, RN-BC, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer for Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital, was honored recently at a recognition ceremony as a DAISY Champion for her exceptional support of the DAISY program. Teri is described as “a role model for all as a compassionate, kind, honest and hardworking team player” whose presence at every DAISY award celebration illustrates her enduring commitment to the recognition of nursing excellence. She is a strong advocate for the nursing profession as demonstrated through her involvement in shared governance and her continued support of professional certifications, continuing education and nursing research toward quality improvement.

Designated as a lung cancer screening center of excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance, Methodist is one of only 250 such sites across the country.

illiams Photo by Brad W

Now, those who need it most will have access to and coverage for a low-dose CT scan to screen for lung cancer, a test that can save more lives than any cancer test in history. “The Medicare decision signals a new day where lung cancer transitions from the number one cancer killer to a treatable, curable disease,” said Deb Meyers, program manager of the Methodist Lung/Thoracic Oncology Clinic. “We commit to those at risk to provide high-quality screening and follow-up care.” This ruling finalizes a draft decision issued in November 2014 that brings the benefit of screening to approximately five million American seniors, the most at-risk group for lung cancer. Per the Medicare decision, those who would qualify for the screening must meet the following criteria: • 55-77 years of age • Asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of lung cancer) • Tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (one pack year = smoking one pack per day for one year) • Current smoker or one who has quit within the past 15 years

Teri Tipton is shown with Steve Goeser, Methodist Hospital president and CEO.

With Teri’s leadership, Methodist’s shared governance system has evolved into an interprofessional model that enhances patient outcomes and collaboration between caregivers.

• A medical care provider’s written order for a low-dose CT scan obtained at a shared decision-making appointment. Methodist has been a recognized lung cancer screening site since 2001 and was the first hospital in the region to participate in the I-ELCAP trial starting in 2006. Methodist performs more than 400 screenings a year.

breast ered in support of me. th ga ns fa 40 ,6 17 ga s at the Pink Out cancer awarenes

Bluejays’ Loss Still a Win for Breast Cancer Awareness While it wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard, the Jan. 17 Creighton men’s basketball game scored a big win in the hearts of more than 17,000 fans. The Creighton vs. Cancer Pink Out raised awareness for breast cancer and prevention of the devastating disease. Sponsored for the past four years by Methodist Health System, the event drew 17,640 fans who sported bright pink T-shirts handed out by volunteers. In the first half, thousands took to their feet, raising cards in support of who “I STAND FOR…” in the fight. “We have been so honored to be a part of this great partnership. Each year it just keeps getting better and better,” said Stephen Zubrod, chief marketing officer for Methodist Health System. “Fighting breast cancer is one of the most important things our team at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center does every day, and we’re proud to be out here in the community, sharing in the experience with the fans.”

Spring 2015


Hematologist-oncologist Ralph Hauke, MD, FACP, shares more good news with Mike W. about his cancer’s response to experimental treatment.

Treatment Today CANCER



Personalized immunotherapy transformed Mike W.’s * cancer cells into cancer-fighting therapy. “No one likes to hear that cancer word.” Mike W., 65, a retired electronics sales representative, was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer, in January 2014.

Mystifying Symptoms Mike’s cancer journey began in mid-2013 with seemingly unrelated symptoms: first, a nagging cough; later, a loss of energy and weight. “I suddenly had to wear suspenders with my pants,” Mike said. “How could I drop 20 pounds with no change in eating habits? It was mystifying.” about kidney cancer, the couple wondered what the future would hold.

A fist-sized tumor grew in and around his left kidney. It was a stage 4 metastatic cancer that had spread to his nearby lymph nodes and lungs. Yet rather than despair, he greeted the diagnosis with hope.

We are gaining the answers we need to totally transform cancer care.

– Ralph Hauke, MD, FACP “I felt very lucky to get this cancer when I did and not a few years earlier, when I would have been told to go home and put my affairs in order,” Mike explained. For Mike, real hope springs from his participation in an international oncology research treatment trial available at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. The trial may hold the key to halting Mike’s cancer and to discovering whether this experimental approach may one day become the standard of care for patients like Mike. *Mike’s full name is withheld because he is an active participant in an ongoing clinical trial.

Mike and Jean W. welcome the hope and knowledge gained by clinical trial participation.

A visit to his internist that fall led to a series of inconclusive tests. By this time, Mike was experiencing a terrible taste in his mouth, and gastric reflux was suspected. “Mike would start a meal and not finish it,” Mike’s wife, Jean, said. “We knew he was eating less but couldn’t believe how weight fell off his body. By the start of 2014, he’d lost over 40 pounds.” The answer came after a urinary infection prompted a referral to urologist Judson Davies, MD, who made sure Mike had a CT scan within 48 hours. “I had the scan at noon Friday, and Dr. Davies called me at home that night,” Mike said. “I knew it couldn’t be good news.”

“Renal cell carcinoma is highly curable if found early, when still confined to the kidney, but if found later, when metastatic, overall survival is not good,” Dr. Davies said. “We tend to talk in terms of maybe one or two years, at most five, and nearly 15,000 people die from kidney cancer each year.” Yet the more the couple talked with Dr. Davies about next steps, the easier it was to stay positive. Dr. Davies reassured the couple that there are more weapons in the cancer arsenal and more oncology expertise than ever before. “Even with metastatic cancer, there is hope, and we have therapies and world-class care right here in Omaha,” Dr. Davies said. “The diagnosis was not as grim as it could have been,” Mike explained. Only one of Mike’s kidneys was cancerous; the other was healthy and strong. And, Continued on page 6

Uncertain Future, Strong Hope Mike and Jean understood all too well that cancer can kill. Mike lost his mother to pancreatic cancer; Jean lost hers to ovarian cancer. Knowing little

Spring 2015


ping the spread of op st in ss re og pr tumors. A discussion of shrinking existing d an er nc ca s e’ ik M

A microscopic view of Mike W.’s stage 4 kidney cancer.

r, MD, of the and Charles Moshe ll specimen. D, M , hl Ko e an Sh cancer ce Pathologists Center, consult on a y og ol th Pa st di ho Met

as the ADAPT trial, which tests the experimental immunotherapy that could be Mike’s best hope.

although his cancer had metastasized, its advanced stage could qualify Mike for a very promising clinical trial. The trial offers newly diagnosed metastatic kidney cancer patients like Mike a gateway to a personalized cancer immunotherapy. Earlier phase two clinical trial results were so encouraging that the FDA fast-tracked this trial phase to compare effectiveness of the experimental immunotherapy treatment with the current standard of care. Only 450 patients are being accepted into this groundbreaking stage 3 clinical trial available at selected sites in North America, Europe and Israel. Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center is home to nearly 80 cancer prevention and treatment trials, including this one, known

Swift, precise tu is required fo mor sample preparatio n r the ADAPT clinical trial.

Understanding ADAPT ADAPT is an acronym for the trial’s name: Autologous Dendritic Cell Immunotherapy (AGS-003) Plus Standard Treatment of Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma. Though the name is bulky, the science behind the trial is elegant and innovative. The goal is to increase the effectiveness of today’s more targeted chemotherapy with a fully personalized cancer-fighting immunotherapy made from the patient’s own cancer and immune system cells. Hematologist-oncologist Ralph Hauke, MD, FACP, oversees the care of the eight ADAPT study participants enrolled at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. “In just the past decade, we have moved from chemotherapies that kill any rapidly dividing cell, in cancerous or normal tissue, to a new era of less toxic chemotherapies targeted to specific cancer proteins and pathways,” Dr. Hauke said.

This personalized, tumor-specific immunotherapy can trigger a patient’s own immune system cells (shown here) to recognize and destroy kidney cancer cells.

According to Dr. Hauke, targeted chemotherapies protect healthy tissue better, produce fewer side effects than most other chemotherapy drugs and buy patients more time, but not enough long-term remissions. Why? Because even when two patients have


the same cancer (stage 4 clear cell renal carcinoma, for example), their cancers’ genetic variations, ability to mutate and the individual differences in immune system response are still too great for a single chemotherapy to work equally well. “Today, the most exciting breakthroughs are in immunotherapy,” Dr. Hauke said. “These advances build on what we have learned at the molecular level about tumor-specific vaccines and what triggers a person’s immune system to shut down or ramp up against cancer. We are gaining the answers we need to totally transform cancer care.”

Making a Difference The more the Mike and Jean learned about ADAPT, the more they hoped Mike would qualify and be among the two-thirds of participants chosen for the treatment

It’s a designer drug — made from Mike’s cancer just for Mike’s cancer. – Jean W.

arm of the trial. Those participants receive the personalized vaccine plus the well-established oral chemotherapy treatment shown to slow tumor growth in advanced kidney cancer. The other one-third of trial participants, the control group, receive only the chemotherapy.

Regardless of whether selected for the experimental treatment arm or control group, Mike viewed any trial participation as an opportunity to make a difference.

Mike’s Designer Drug

Specialized, Coordinated Care

Mike’s tissue samples went to ADAPT trial sponsor Argos Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company based in Durham, North Carolina. Argos uses a proprietary technology to extract ribonucleic acid, or RNA, the tumor’s genetic code, from the kidney cancer and combine it with the patient’s white blood cells, which are modified to act as an immune system activation switch.

The first step in treating Mike’s cancer was removal of the diseased kidney and confirmation of the cancer’s spread. The surgery was performed at Methodist Hospital in February 2014, in careful collaboration with the physicians and staff involved in Mike’s overall care and potential participation in the ADAPT trial.

The white blood cells are collected by leukapheresis, a blood filtration process Mike underwent a month after surgery. Much like a plasma donation, leukapheresis draws blood from the vein of one arm, passes it through a special centrifuge to separate and collect the necessary cells, and then returns the blood to a vein in the other arm.

“This is a time-critical procedure,” Dr. Hauke explained. “The key to the treatment arm of the trial is a clear cell renal carcinoma tissue

The activated white blood cells and RNA from the cancer tissue samples are transformed into a personalized, injectable immunologic therapy designed to spur the body to recognize and destroy its own cancer cells.

“Either way, and no matter what the doctors learn, good news or bad news,” Mike explained, “they will learn something important in helping others.”



Or, in the simpler terms Jean uses, “It’s a designer drug — made from Mike’s cancer just for Mike’s cancer.”

Good News Lung CT scans show significant tumor shrinkage over Mike’s first year of trial participation.

sample that is fresh. A countdown starts the moment the surgeon cuts the blood supply to the diseased kidney.” “We had no more than 30 minutes to get the kidney on ice, transport it to our tissue lab, extract viable (living) cancer tissue samples to freeze and prepare properly for rush courier pickup,” said pathologist Shane Kohl, MD, of the Methodist Pathology Center. The surgery and tissue submission were successful. Mike and Jean were thrilled to learn Mike had met the criteria and had been accepted into the treatment arm of the ADAPT trial.

“I needed no radiation therapy, no ports or IVs for chemo,” Mike said. “I just take a pill and every six weeks get three shots that feel like mosquito bites.” The results are encouraging. “Mike has stayed stable and achieved the hoped-for response: tumor shrinkage in his lungs,” Dr. Hauke said.

Hope and Opportunity Mike is delighted to have more quality and quantity time with Jean, their four children and five grandchildren. While still a fairly active retiree and enthusiastic cyclist, Mike confesses he now moves at a slower pace.

Two Mike W.s: The groom with his dad and best man.

“I do tire easily,” he admits, “and need a special reason to stay up until midnight.” One of the best possible reasons came in December, when Mike was best man at his son Mike’s wedding. Mike and Jean danced joyfully at the reception, celebrating with family and friends. Mike and his family are filled with hope for his future and for other cancer patients who may benefit from the knowledge doctors gain from clinical trials like this one. “My story is not one of tragedy but of great opportunity,” Mike said, “and I have every intention of making it through.”

Story by Julie Cerney

A National Leader in Oncology Research Oncology research helps speed the identification and adoption of safe, effective new cancer therapies. At Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, every patient is evaluated for eligibility in cancer prevention and treatment trials approved by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Trial participation is entirely voluntary. Only about 3 percent of adult cancer patients nationwide participate in clinical trials, according to the NCI, compared to a 20 percent participation rate at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, where clinical trials are overseen by a highly trained, multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists in collaboration with the patient’s primary care provider.

For more information, call (402) 354-5890 or visit Spring 2015


Five-year-old Jack L

ambert shares gig

gles and smiles w

ith his mom, Bran


Success Boost!



Methodist Women’s Hospital was the last place Brandi Lambert, 28 weeks pregnant with her third child, expected to end up that day. 8

She went for a “just in case” checkup after noticing her baby hadn’t moved in a while. She expected to stop to get groceries, then be home by noon. But when doctors didn’t see the baby responding as they hoped on an ultrasound, an emergency C-section changed those plans.

“It was a rush of emotions and people,” said Brandi. “The doctor said, ‘He’s a good size for 28 weeks.”’ At just four pounds, Jack was big for his age. Size was in his favor. His lungs, however, had some growing to do.

physicians on staff who took care of little Jack. “The lungs are one of the last organs in the body to mature during fetal development. Many babies we take care of couldn’t survive without us.” Jack spent a roller coaster 62 days in the Methodist Women’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit, the only level-3 NICU in West Omaha. With a highly skilled and experienced staff on hand, Jack and his entire family were in good hands. “We take care of the sickest and smallest babies, and we see more of them than any other NICU in the state,” said neonatologist Thomas Seidel, MD. “That’s why we have a large physician-led team taking care of the babies from the delivery room until they go home.” Last year more than 630 babies received care in the Methodist Women’s Hospital NICU, a number that’s grown quickly since it opened its doors in 2010 and will likely continue to rise with growing birth rates in Nebraska. But while the numbers and the experience are impressive, what’s even more impressive is the personal touch each child and family receives during their stay.

Stacey Crom, RN

“They had to resuscitate him, but he was alive,” said Brandi. “That first week was really touch and go. He was in respiratory distress and got very, very sick those first few days.” “If you are born prematurely, many of your organ systems are still developing,” said Brady Kerr, MD, one of six board-certified

“We not only strive to give great care with the latest technology, we go one more step above to make every individual experience excellent,” said Stacey Crom, RN, a NICU nurse with 13 years of experience. “It’s never easy. But we have the privilege and opportunity to make a difference and help these families get through what may be a difficult time.”

quickly, at a time when it’s hard to learn. That’s why we really take a team approach to family-centered care.” Today, Jack is a healthy, happy four-year-old who’s hitting all his developmental milestones. He’s already taller than his older sister and is

Brady Kerr, MD, and Thomas Seidel, MD

closing the gap on his big brother. And while his earliest days weren’t easy, his mom, Brandi, says she’s grateful not only for the care Jack received, but also for the care and compassion she and her whole family found along the way. “From the person who let me in the door to housekeeping, the aides, nurses and doctors, I just felt like everyone was on my team.

They completely saved my son’s life.

– Brandi Lambert

They were my best friends through the whole experience, and I could not have done it without them,” said Brandi. “I would never have picked anywhere else besides Methodist Women’s Hospital. It was a great experience. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. They completely saved my son’s life.”

Story by Katina Gordon

“It’s incredibly stressful for new parents,” said Dr. Seidel. “They have to learn a lot very

Spring 2015


Terry Bah Methodi l shares a laugh w s nurse Nic t Jennie Edmund ith s ole MacF arlane. on


COMES W ITH AR E THE MEANING OF C At Methodist, healing is about more than just medicine. It comes with a kind touch, a caring smile and a compassionate nature. Methodist providers


know kindness can translate into better outcomes and a better overall patient experience.

a hug or sitting down and listening to what they have to say. Sometimes that can make the biggest difference in the way somebody heals.”

“It’s not always just a drug or an IV drip, a medication or a procedure,” said Nicole MacFarlane, RN, an ICU nurse at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital. “Sometimes it’s

Every day, patients experience the healing and hope that comes with a stay at Methodist. Here are just a few examples of how and why we deliver The Meaning of Care.

Kelli Chandler sh her father, Mark ares a kiss with her wedding day.Windorski, on

lped and Sebastian Edwards he an Ke ri Lo s rse nu l ita sp Methodist Ho for the Windorski family. create special memories “That morning when they came in and told us,” said his wife, Roxie, “death was the furthest thing from our mind. We weren’t expecting it.”

A sudden infection and quickly growing tumor turned precious years into days. Mark and his family, always at his Methodist Hospital bedside, were stunned to learn he had little more than two weeks left to live.

So Dad Could Be There “It just meant everything to have him there,” said Kelli Windorski Chandler, choking back her tears. “I’m his only daughter. It’s the only time he got to walk anybody down the aisle.” When doctors diagnosed Mark Windorski’s lung cancer in February 2014, they thought he had three to five years to spend with his tightknit family. He expected to be there for Kelli’s wedding in May.

At that moment, they become your family. You ask yourself, ‘What can I do to make this situation better?’

When the devastating news came, Kelli didn’t even want to think about her upcoming wedding. Methodist nurses, however, had other ideas. Sebastian Edwards, RN, and Lori Kean, RN, had grown especially close to the Windorski family during Mark’s illness. “At that moment, they become your family,” said Sebastian. “You ask yourself, ‘What can I do to make this situation better?’” They suggested the family hold their wedding at the Methodist chapel so Mark could be a part of the ceremony and celebration — and give his daughter away. “Just their compassion, all of them,” said Roxie. “They sat and took care of him just like he was their family member, like they would treat any of their own family members.” Continued on page 12

– Sebastian Edwards, RN

Spring 2015


is wife Kay, talk Terry Bahl and h er Susie Rose. with housekeep Ron Derochie and

his daughter, Kath y Rohloff

“We tried to make something awful into a happy time for him,” said Lori. “It was something he needed and wanted to be a part of before his life ended.”

“Every single one of them helped in a different way to make our stay in the hospital the best it could be,” said Kelli. “Every single one of them helped my dad feel loved.”

Methodist staff and the Windorskis scrambled. The bride and groom enlisted help from both sides of their extended family to line up tuxes, flowers and a cake in a single day. Kelli cancelled her wedding dress order and purchased one off the rack.

“All the stars aligned perfectly, and it was just meant to be,” said Sebastian. “That family will always have a place in our heart.”

“As long as it was white and my dad was there to see it,” Kelli said, “that’s all I wanted.” The day of the wedding, nurses distracted Mark so the family could get ready for the surprise ceremony. When it was time, staff lined the hallway to see the beautiful bride. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. “She walked in the room and Mark was in shock. He asked me, ‘Am I dying today?’” said Roxie. “He looked at her and said she was like an angel.” Kelli says she will never forget her father walking her down the aisle and dancing to their song, “Butterfly Kisses.” For that day, the joy drowned out the pain. “The experience of being able to walk her down the aisle,” Roxie said, thanking the staff for their compassion, “he was like a new person.”


An Unexpected Patient By his own admission, Ron Derochie is a stubborn man. But that particular day in August, his own health was the last thing on his mind. “I was more concerned about Kathy than anything that was going on with me,” said Ron. His daughter, Kathy Rohloff, a 39-year-old mother of three, had been diagnosed with cancer. “We were all worried she was going to die,” said Ron. Kathy’s care was in the hands of Niyati Nadkarni, MD, a gynecologic oncologist with Midwest GYN Oncology at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. “She laid out the entire care plan from step one,” said Kathy, who said Dr. Nadkarni answered every one of her questions. “I walked into her office thinking my life was ending,

and I walked out feeling hopeful.” Ron accompanied his daughter to Methodist Hospital for her four-and-a-half-hour surgery to rid her body of cancer. It was going to be a long day. As they checked in that morning, they met surgical liaison nurse Joanie Nelson, RN. Kathy remembers asking if Joanie would be her nurse for the day. “She said she was there to take care of my family,” said Kathy. “I didn’t realize how true that was.”

Niyati Nadkarni, MD

In the surgery waiting room, Joanie spent time with Ron, not only updating him on Kathy’s progress in surgery, but just talking and connecting. “If we had not made that personal connection,” said Joanie, “he probably wouldn’t have told me about his arm.” While mowing his lawn a few days before, Ron felt a bug bite his left arm. By the time Kathy’s surgery rolled around, the bite mark

Going the Extra Mile was surprisingly red, swollen and itchy. He mentioned this in passing to nurse Joanie, insisting it was no big deal. “I told him it really needs to be looked at today,” said Joanie. “I tried to impress upon him how a staph infection or cellulitis can get really bad really fast.” Ron shook off Joanie’s repeated requests to have his arm treated. “I had bigger things on my mind than worrying about my arm,” said Ron. Joanie grew more concerned as she watched the redness expand with each passing hour. When Dr. Nadkarni came out of surgery, Joanie explained the situation. “Joanie told me the red mark looked like it was getting worse,” said Dr. Nadkarni, who took a personal interest. “I was worried he would get a horrible infection and didn’t think he would go without coaxing, so I walked him down to the emergency room.” Methodist emergency department physicians confirmed Ron’s infection was severe. They put him on strong oral antibiotics. When the redness continued to grow the next day, they took a more intense approach with antibiotic injections to get the infection under control. “Infections like this can progress rapidly, sometimes causing sepsis, organ failure and death,” said Joanie. “I’m pretty sure if Dr. Nadkarni hadn’t personally walked him to emergency care, I suspect he would have let it go, and we’d be looking at a different outcome.” Today, the family is healing. Ron is doing much better, and Kathy is cancer-free. “I firmly believe if Dr. Nadkarni hadn’t taken action, my dad wouldn’t be here today,” said Kathy. “I’m eternally grateful to Dr. Nadkarni and nurse Joanie for not only helping me beat cancer, but also saving my dad’s life.”

Housekeeper Susie Rose and nurses on the third floor of Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital cried with happiness the day Terry Bahl was discharged. After 56 days in their care, Terry had become like family — his wife, Kay, too. Susie, who formed a special friendship with the Bahls, said, “I was so inspired by his courage, strength and his faith.” Terry, an avid cyclist, had just completed riding his bike on his second leg of a trek across America when he experienced uncontrollable bleeding and unexplained bruising. The cause? An acute, fast-moving leukemia. Terry needed a rigorous inpatient chemotherapy regimen. Until the treatment was finished, this active athlete had to stay in isolation to protect his weakened immune system. “To see Terry go from being healthy and cycling 2,400 miles to being in an oncology office,” said Kay, “was really a shock.” Knowing Terry would be in their care for a month or more, hospital staff worked to make him and his wife as comfortable as possible. “Right off the bat, people were really friendly,” said Terry. “When they found out I cycle, they had a stationary bike sterilized and brought in.” “When you have somebody here for that length of time, you get to know them and their routines,” said Nicole MacFarlane, RN, one of the nurses caring for Terry. “We tried to do our best to break up the monotony.”

family to have a large space to themselves. A conference room was disinfected and an air purifying machine was brought in. “It was so unexpected,” said Kay. “Their compassion blew us away.” As Thanksgiving stretched toward Christmas, the staff could see the extended stay wearing on Terry. That’s when a little Elf on the Shelf began to make its way around the halls. Susie, the nurses and staff hid the elf in a new spot each day.

It was so unexpected. Their compassion blew us away.

– Kay Bahl

On the last day of Terry’s stay, the team had one more surprise in store — a real, live, fully costumed Elf on the Shelf. “It just made me teary,” said Nicole. “It really was perfect for his last day.” “This is all kind of emotional, because we were treated so well,” said Terry. “We had so much fun. The staff was very compassionate and went above and beyond.” “Those 56 days are a blur now,” said Kay, “but we have said if we had to do this all over again and had to be somewhere, this was the place. It couldn’t have been better.”

Story by Katina Gordon

“We were not only his nurses, but adopted as his family, too,” said Myong Drake, CNA. As Terry’s 30-day stint edged closer to Thanksgiving, his blood counts were not yet what doctors wanted. Nurses and staff acted quickly to find a place in the hospital for the entire Bahl family to safely celebrate the holiday. “Everybody started pitching in,” said Denise McCurley, RN, who helped arrange for the

Denise ng Drake, CNA; From left: Myo icole MacFarlane, RN; and l McCurley, RN; N , RN, with Terry and Kay Bah h g au b Ta ie Madd

Spring 2015



Methodist Hospital

Celebrating 5 YEARS OF

The 1891 Society Named for the year in which Methodist Hospital was established, the 1891 Society recognizes the current giving of loyal donors who support the programs and projects of Methodist Hospital Foundation. We thank the following friends who have made a gift between October 1, 2014, and January 31, 2015.


Nora Chesire

Nora Chesire is known at Methodist Women’s Hospital as an expert cuddler.

From the day the doors opened, Nora has been cuddling babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at least once a week. As she holds, comforts and whispers to these tiniest of patients, she thinks about the impact of this unique hospital. “Building a facility like this took real vision,” said Nora. In June, Methodist Women’s Hospital will celebrate its fifth birthday. From the very beginning, the goal was clear: create a medical campus devoted to women’s health. This campus is the only one of its kind in the area and has quickly become a regional center of expertise. Many call this the “baby hospital” because so many moms choose Methodist, but women of all ages come here to get well and stay healthy. From annual checkups to life-saving surgery, women from a five-state region trust their healthcare to the experts at Methodist Women’s Hospital. Donors contributed more than a third of the dollars that made the multimillion-dollar campus possible. One of the first donations came from Methodist’s volunteers. They are part of a group called Volunteers


In Partnership, or VIP. The VIP includes hundreds of volunteers like Nora. They not only share their time and talent, they support Methodist financially too.


Gifts and pledges $100,000 and greater Robert & Marilyn Cassling The Holland Foundation The Lozier Foundation Methodist Medical Staff Methodist Volunteers In Partnership Larry & Linda Pearson

The VIP donated $322,000 to building Methodist Women’s Hospital. That’s in addition to the thousands of hours they spend each year helping throughout the facility. From cuddling preemies to running the gift shop to greeting patients, volunteers are a vital part of the entire operation.


“We pledged our support to this project because we saw the need for a female-focused facility,” said Linda Rajcevich, director of volunteer services and pastoral services at Methodist. “On a daily basis, we get to see the tremendous difference this hospital is making in so many lives.”

Gifts and pledges $10,000 to $49,999

There’s been a lot of growth in its first five years. Methodist Women’s Hospital is already exceeding capacity in areas like the NICU. “We are excited about what the future holds and will be here offering support,” said Linda. For Nora, more growth means more babies and more time spent cuddling. “It’s the best volunteer job in the world,” said Nora. “I’m watching miracles happen.” To find out how you can support Methodist, go to or call (402) 354-4825.

Gifts and pledges $50,000 to $99,999 Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation The Harper Family Foundation The Mammel Foundation Suzanne & Walter Scott Foundation


Anesthesia West, PC Chad Bauerly, MD Monte Christo, MD Mark D’Agostino, MD Tad Freeburg, MD Michael Grubb, MD Gregg Hirz, MD Stephen Hosman, MD Wes Hubka, MD Kent Hultquist, MD Kent Hutton, MD Paul Jacobsen, MD John Lindsey III, MD Robert Moore, MD Thomas Ohrt, MD John Peterson, MD Kelli Peterson, MD Hap Pocras, MD Douglas Rennels, MD Chris Robertson, MD Josh Smith, MD J. Kenneth Tiojanco, MD Mark Wilson, MD Dr. & Mrs. Gary J. Anthone Khalid A. Awad, MD Dennis & Cathy Blackman 8401 WEST DODGE ROAD, SUITE 225 OMAHA, NE 68114 (402) 354-4825 Jim & Marge Eggers Mr. & Mrs. John W. Estabrook John & Debbie Fraser Charles M. “Mike” Harper The Kim Foundation Jack & Stephanie Koraleski Leap-for-a-Cure Drs. Thomas McGinn & Annamaria Nagy Drs. John & Kathleen Mitchell Nebraska Methodist College Alumni Association Michael & Dr. Irina Popa Newcomb O’Keefe Elevator Company, Inc. The Pathology Center Jiri Bedrnicek, MD John Gentry, MD Christine Hans, MD Gene Herbek, MD Teresa Karre, MD Shane Kohl, MD Diana Nevins, MD Deborah Perry, MD Andrew Rasmussen, MD Gregory Smith, MD Alan Torell, MD Thomas Williams, MD Perinatal Associates, PC Robert Bonebrake, MD Brendan D. Connealy, MD Joshua D. Dahlke, MD Neil Hamill, MD Michael Levine, MD Todd Lovgren, MD Andrew Robertson, MD Hemant Satpathy, MD Radiologic Center, Inc. Lisa A. Bladt, MD Kevin M. Cawley, MD Paul S. Christy, MD Ryan A. Dvorak, MD Merlyn D. Gibson, MD David J. Hilger, MD Richard A. Kutilek, MD Van L. Marcus, MD Kevin L. Nelson, MD Nick L. Nelson, MD Temple S. Rucker, MD Linda A. Sing, MD Kristofer A. Vander Zwaag, MD Scare Away Cancer Charlotte R. Schultz Amy L. Scott Family Foundation The James P. Verhalen Family Foundation


Gifts and pledges $5,000 to $9,999 Baird Holm Sally A. Becker Mary & Lowell Boetger Bridges Investment Counsel, Inc. Dr. & Mrs. Douglas E. Brouillette Dr. & Mrs. Jonathan E. Fuller Michele & Doug Grewcock Louis E. Hanisch, MD Investors Realty, Inc.

Dr. & Mrs. F. William Karrer Adam & Kathryn Koslosky Dr. & Mrs. Rudolf Kotula Lynne Lyons Omaha Lancer Hockey Foundation Cyndy Peacock Project Pink’d, Inc. Edwin C. Schafer, MD Margaret E. Sterling Spencer & Joy Stevens Ed & Bessie Svajgr The Urology Center Peter M. Gordon, MD Brett C. Hill, MD Brett R. Jepson, MD Harvey A. Konigsberg, MD Steven C. Koukol, MD R. Michael Kroeger, MD Patrick B. Leu, MD Stephen S. Lim, MD Gernon A. Longo, MD Jon J. Morton, MD


Gifts and pledges $1,000 to $4,999 Jason & Josie Abboud Michael & Julie Ahrens Brian & Patricia Arends Dr. Deanna Armstrong & Dr. Thad Woods Tony & Donna Arrowsmith Judith & Robert Bachman Sandra & Charles Beermann Sue & Chris Behr Dr. & Mrs. Daniel G. Bohi Elizabeth & Bo Borisow Gail & Neil Boston Jean & Don Brinkman Mark & Jodie Brooks Mark & Irma Burmester Randy & Suzanne Burns Linda Burt & John Rebrovic Art & Jan Burtscher Dr. & Mrs. John Cannella CastleArk Management, LLC Centris Federal Credit Union Charley’s Angels Photography Dr. Jason Cisler Robert M. Cochran II, MD Bob Cohn Jan Cole Deborah M. Conley David R. Crotzer & Rebecca J. McCrery Dr. & Mrs. Mark D’Agostino Lisa L. Davidson Susan K. Davis Roy & Gloria Dinsdale Georgina A. Draur Hopkin, PhD Dr. Randy Duckert & Mrs. Jamie Duckert Dr. Greg & Michele Eakins Tom & Sue Eiserman Jerry & Kathy Ellwanger William & Barbara Fitzgerald Wm. Tate & Denise Fitzgerald Judith A. Fleissner

An Affiliate of Methodist Health System

Ruth L. Freed, PhD Susan Freund Russell Fries & Ruth Dickson Steve & Brenda Goeser Viola Gottschalk Todd & Heidi Grages Richard C. & Pat Hahn Brad L. Hansen Jennifer Harm Carolyn Harper Dr. & Mrs. Herbert A. Hartman Jr. RyAnne Hastings Nick & Amy Henderson Patricia & Roger Hertz Joshua A. Hite John & Lynne Holdenried Jeffrey V. Morgan & Holly A. Huerter-Morgan Larry Hutchinson Jennie Jacobs Andy Johnson Michael B. Jones, MD Dennis & Susan Joslin Sara Juster Jeff & Gale Kangas Dr. & Mrs. Darren R. Keiser Mary E. Keitel Brady & Melissa Kerr Joseph Kirshenbaum Ed & Diane Klima Marla & Roger Kniewel Nancy Koehler David & Michelle Koraleski Jean Korff Kelly & Sue Korth Dr. & Mrs. Robert L. Kruger Janet & Vernon Kuhl Dr. & Mrs. Richard A. Kutilek Dr. Jack & Kathy Lewis John Lohrberg, MD & Amy L. Peck Stephen & Susan Long Dr. & Mrs. William Lydiatt Barbara & Mark Maas Shirley Mackie Sean McMahon & Tracy Madden-McMahon Linda & Mark Mann Fred Massoomi Don Matson Barbara McCraw Dr. & Mrs. Harry E. McFadden J. Paul & Eleanor McIntosh Mary McNulty Steven & Susan McWhorter Juli & Kevin Meador Margaret Medeiros Mid-Continent Irrigation, Inc. Midwest Head & Neck Surgical Oncology Andrew Coughlin, MD Robert Lindau, MD Daniel Lydiatt, DDS, MD William Lydiatt, MD Oleg Militsakh, MD Aru Panwar, MD Alan Richards, MD Russell Smith, MD

Cindy Mirfield Modern Woodmen of America Peter & Laurie Morris Reighe & Burton Nagel Dr. & Mrs. Stephen M. Nielsen Dr. Charles & Karen Olson Dr. & Mrs. Daniel R. Olson Mark D. Omar, MD John W. Pemberton, MD Diane Persing Gerard Pfannenstiel Anton & Ellen Piskac Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey C. Popp Dr. & Mrs. Trent W. Quinlan Diane & Tad Randolph Dr. & Mrs. Neal Ratzlaff Reagan Elementary School Julie A. Richards Kevin & Diane Rochford Chris & Sharlon Rodgers Ron & Sue Rohlfs Dr. John & Ruth Sage Charlotte P. Schenken Gerald & Patricia Schnecker The Scoular Foundation Thomas & Kathleen Seidel Steven & Sue Seline Jean & Robert Seykora Dr. & Mrs. Bill Shiffermiller Dr. Pamela J. Smith Margaret Spencer Milton N. Stastny, MD Betsy J. Stephenson, MD Summit Strategies Group Mitchell Swanson Britt A. Thedinger, MD The Thielen Family Bob & Charlene Thome Dr. and Mrs. Alan G. Thorson Teri Tipton Ashley Truckenbrod Mr. & Mrs. William C. Truhlsen Cindy Urban Bob & Sharon Wagner Eugene & Renie Waltke Brian Ward, MD Katherine Waters Dr. Ronald & Linda Wax Wear Yellow Nebraska Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. Linda Wheeler Andrew Whiteing Nancy Whitney Heidi & Jeff Wilke Adam & Sarah Yale Our friends who wish to remain anonymous.

Spring 2015


Nonprofit U.S. Postage PAID Omaha, NE Permit No. 563

An Affiliate of Methodist Health System

8303 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68114 Spring 2015 Volume 5 – Issue 1

The Meaning of Care magazine is published by Methodist Health System Marketing & Public Relations. Free subscriptions are available by emailing your request to

Chief Marketing Officer Director of Public Relations Writer/Associate Editor Writer/Associate Editor Art Director Photographers

Š2015 Methodist Hospital, an affiliate of Methodist Health System

Stephen Zubrod Claudia Bohn Julie Cerney Katina Gordon Chris Thompson Chris Rich Chris Thompson

The Meaning of Care - Spring 2015  
The Meaning of Care - Spring 2015