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May 16, 2010

Celebrating the contributions of outstanding health care professionals and volunteers

BROUGHT TO YOU IN PARTNERSHIP WITH


ABOUT

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 2

‘‘

The ordinary man is involved in action — the hero acts. An immense difference.” — Henry Miller (1891-1980) American author

H

ealth Care Heroes honors organizations and individuals in the health care field who epitomize the spirit embodied in the word “hero.” Too many of these individuals and organizations never receive the recognition they deserve. The goals of the program are to recognize excellence, promote innovation, encourage emulation of successful programs, educate the general public, contribute to the enhancement of the value and quality of health care and ultimately give recognition to those most deserving. Awards were presented on May 12 at a celebration breakfast honoring the recipients at the Horizon Convention Center. Community Achievement in Health Care Honors a company or organization that has successfully implemented a program that has addressed an acknowledged problem in health care administration or delivery. Physician Honors a physician whose performance on the job is considered exemplary by patients and peers. Nurses (RN LPN NPA) Honors a nurse whose performance on the job is considered exemplary by patients and peers. Non-Physician Honors an individual from allied health fields such as CNA EMT/Paramedics and lab technicians whose performance in the delivery of care is considered exemplary by patients and peers. Volunteer Honors an individual who is not employed in the health care field but has had a major impact on the delivery of health care through volunteer work.


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 3


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 4


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NOMINEES

MARY ADKINS, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL DWAYNE ADRIAN, MUNCIE INTERNAL MEDICINE JENNIFER ALFORD, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SABER BAHRAMI, GOLDEN LIVING CENTER DARLA BAKER, FIRST CHOICE AMBER BARNARD, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER CHRIS BARTTRUM, DELAWARE COUNTY EMS ANTHONY BEEMAN, WATERS OF MUNCIE KELLY BEESON, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL KELLY BEESON, LAB CORPORATION STEPHANIE BOWMAN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL NANCY BRAKE, MUNCIE FAMILY PRACTICE CINDY BUCHANA, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JENNIFER BUNCH, FAMILY PRACTICE CENTER DR BURGERMISTER, JAY COUNTY MICHAEL BURRELL, MUNCIE SURGICAL ASSOCIATES MARTHA SUE BUTLER, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL WILLIAM CASSEL, ASSOCIATES IN SURGERY NEAL COLEMAN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL LESLIE COWAN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MARY KAY DALTON, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER MARGARET ANN DEBOY, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL BRIAN EDDY, ST. JOHNS CINDY EVANS, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL KELLY FANNIN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL PAIN CENTER STEVE FARMER, AMERICAN HEALTH NETWORK WILLIAM FISHER, MEDICAL CONSULTANTS JOYCE FITWATER, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MIKE FOSTER, EATON EMT HOLLY FRANKLIN BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL GEGORY GAHL, AMERICAN HEALTH NETWORK NAN GIBSON, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL RYAN GOODSPEED, CENTER TOWNSHIP FIRE WILLIAM GOSSETT, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ANGIE HARTMAN, WESTMINSTER VILLAGE MARK HAYES, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL TERRI HELBLING, MERIDIAN SERVICES JAMES HIATT, GENOA PHARMACY MELINDA HINES, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ROBERT HUNTER, ALBANY FAMILY HEALTH CARE CHRIS INGENTIO, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JULIE JOHNSON, FAITHFRIENDS HOME HEALTH CARE SHARON JONES, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SHARON KENNEDY, MUNCIE COMMUNITY SCHOOL SARFRAZ KHAN, MERIDIAN SERVICES CAROL KUNDENRECH, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL HOSPICE JOESPH LANDWEHR, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL NANCY LEE- BROWN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL


NOMINEES

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 6

DAN LIPPICCLO, VOSS CENTER FOR WOMEN MARK LITZ BRIAN LUMPKIN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MAHNAZ MAHOODI, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL RON MARTIN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL KIMBERLY MAULLER, AMERICAN HEALTH NETWORK THOMAS MELHAM STEPHEN MILLER, US HEALTHWORKS MEDICAL GROUP GARETH MORGAN, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JIMMY MORGAN, GOLDEN LIVING CENTER DARYL MORRICAL, MEDICAL CONSULTANTS SUSAN MORRIS, DEL. COUNTY HEALTH DEPT SUSAN PAIGE, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JASON PIERCE, BALL STATE UNIVERSITY ELIZABETH PINO, OPEN DOOR JIM AND LINDA PROUDFOOT, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CHRIS QUINN, IVY TECH COMMUNITY COLLEGE KIELY REDNOUR, DELAWARE COUNTY EMS DONALD REED, JAY COUNTY DANIELLE RICHARDSON, ST. VINCENT HOSPITAL RICHARD RISING, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CANCER CENTER JASON ROGERS, DELAWARE COUNTY EMS GWENDOLYN ROOK, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MARY ROWLETT, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MAX RUDICEL, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MELANIE SCHREINER, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL VANCE SHARON, GOLDEN LIVING CENTER LINDA SKIDMORE, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL CHRISTY SNEED, THE WOODLANDS JOSEPH SPAHR, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JEANNE ST. PIERRE, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL TODD STARKEY, GOLDEN LIVING CENTER SHARON STEPHENSON, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL JULIE STOTLER, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL LYNN THORNBURG BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SHARI VANEULANDER, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL OR VNS TERRIE VANNATTA, ASSOCIATES IN BEHAVIORAL COUNSELING RYAN WALLACE, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MILES WATER, AMERICARE BRYAN WEAVER, DELAWARE COUNTY EMS LIESLIE WEDDLE, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL THOMAS WHITEMAN, MUNCIE OTOLARYNGOLOGY ASSOCIATES DONNA WILKINS, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL & DELAWARE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT JENNIFER WILSON, BALL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL BOB WRIGHT, MUNCIE HEALTH AND REHAB CENTER TOWNSHIP FIRE DEPARTMENT DELAWARE COUNTY EMS MERIDIAN SERVICES


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 7


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 8


COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 9

Meridian Services

WHAT THEY SAID: “Meridian Services has shown outstanding leadership and commitment to their mission of providing the best mental health services for the communities it serves.” MILIUS SAID: “There is a certain spirit here among the Meridian staff, a nurturing, caring, proud spirit. And it sounds cliché but it’s true, they really care about the patients they see and they care about each other.”

FINALISTS

Meridian Services is a community mental health organization with more than 400 employees, about two-thirds of whom are clinical staff, with six board certified psychiatrists. Their expertise includes individual, group, marriage and family counseling, addiction groups and mental health disease management. With offices in Muncie, New Castle, Portland, Winchester and Richmond, Meridian is able to serve more than 9,000 individual clients per year. “We’re so much more than just traditional mental health,” said Meridian President and Chief Executive Officer Hank Milius. “Our business is to integrate patients into the community seamlessly in a way that doesn’t draw too much attention – true integration.” Meridian is a community-owned not-for-profit agency maintaining a 20-bed geriatric unit and managing a 16-bed adult unit at Ball Memorial Hospital. Meridian also has a primary care clinic on its Muncie campus, is licensed to place children in foster care and offers residential opportunities for the chronically mentally ill to live in group homes and apartments. “Meridian is probably the area’s best kept secret,” Milius said. He attributes Meridian’s success in large part to a great executive staff, a board of directors composed of strong community leaders and employees who have a heart for the work they do.


FINALISTS

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 10

COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT Delaware County EMS

With three locations in the county, Delaware County EMS responds to all 911 emergency calls in the city of Muncie and in the county areas that don’t have their own EMS services. The staff of 49 EMTs, mostly paramedics, responds to nearly 13,000 calls per year, most in less than five minutes. Paramedic Lieutenant Jim Culberson said the DCEMS has the most modern equipment available and all trucks carry the same 40 medications and advanced equipment, allowing for advanced life support and immediate acute care. The trucks all carry a 12-lead EKG for quicker interpretation of heart rhythms, allowing for better detection of heart attacks. “This cuts down on the time in the emergency room before patients get the definitive care they need,” Culberson said. DCEMS has an umbrella of teams called Variable Incident Pre-hospital Emergency Response, or VIPER, which has divisions actively involved with the city’s and county’s bomb squads, SWAT teams and hazmat teams. Culberson said Delaware County EMS, under direction of Bryan Weaver and Medical Director Dr. Jan Kornilow, is continually raising its standards of care through frequently updated protocols, modern technology and continuing education. DCEMS hopes to eventually add new stations to allow quicker response times. WHAT THEY SAID: “All members of DCEMS have a deep passion for caring and the treatment of their community.” CULBERSON SAID: “It’s Dr. Kornilow’s liberal confidence in us that allows us to make decisions. He’s constantly looking for anything out there to make our jobs easier and to improve patient care.”


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 11


VOLUNTEER Nan Gibson

FINALISTS

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 12

Nan Gibson has always worked closely with children. But never as closely as cuddling babies in the Ball Memorial Hospital NICU. As a volunteer, she spends about four hours once a week in the NICU holding, feeding and changing premature and sick babies. Gibson retired from the Delaware County Health Department where she was the receptionist in the nursing division and Shots for Tots program. After her retirement and the death of her husband, she felt a miserable emptiness, she said. Dr. Donna Wilkins, a neonatologist at the BMH NICU, suggested Gibson volunteer as a baby cuddler. “I thought I was doing it for me,” Gibson said, “but now I know I’m there to cuddle these babies and pray for them and for their families.” Gibson volunteered years ago at BMH delivering pitchers of water to patients. Now she not only cuddles babies, but also volunteers as a receptionist at the Ball State Alumni Center and crochets rectangles that a group of NICU nurses piece together to make afghans for wounded soldiers. Gibson has two daughters, three step-sons, four grandchildren and six step-grandchildren. She also has one great-grandson and several step-great-grandchildren. WHAT THEY SAID: “We are grateful for the time and energy that Nan puts in to spend with not only us but with our babies. She is a true reflection of the core values of our hospital.” GIBSON SAID: “It’s not what you’re doing, it’s why you’re doing it. You expect nothing in return. It’s rewarding to do something for someone else.”

Jimmy Morgan

In 1951 at age 14, Golden Living Center resident Jimmy Morgan broke his neck in a diving accident and was completely paralyzed. But he was fortunate to be included in an experimental drug trial shortly after his accident and regained some movement in his hands and feet. Morgan, who worked out of his home as an accountant before his retirement, spends his days at the Center surfing the Web and creating a monthly newsletter titled “The Golden Living Center – Muncie News.” He includes poems, recipes, quips, cartoons, informative articles and Golden Living Center news, birthdays and events. He personally delivers the newsletter to all of the residents and employees at the Center. “I’m not a journalist,” Morgan said. “I haven’t had any journalism training. The staff and residents both like it. That’s why I do it.” He delivers the postal mail to the residents every day it runs, too. He also enjoys researching all kinds of aircraft on the Internet. And he has at least 13 Bibles in his room, including one in its original order that is written in plain English. Morgan grew up in Waveland, Ind., and has been a resident at Golden Living Center for seven years. WHAT THEY SAID: “Residents, family members and staff have grown to anticipate the delivery of the newsletter. They know that they will be informed, entertained and educated.” MORGAN SAID: “If it’s something I think might be of interest, I put it in there.”


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 13


PHYSICIANS

Dr. Sarfraz Saeed Khan, Meridian Services

FINALISTS

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 14

Dr. Sarfraz Khan is a board certified staff psychiatrist at Meridian Services. He came from Pakistan 11 years ago to Muncie in 2006 by way of Massachusetts, Florida and Iowa (to name a few); and from medical school to psychiatry by way of internal medicine, cardiac surgery and cardiology. At Meridian, Khan rotates service at Ball Memorial Hospital’s inpatient psychiatric unit, is the medical director for Meridian’s Ellison House for sub-acute care, sees office clients regularly and is head of the Assertive Community Treatment program. ACT is designed to help certain psychiatric patients to live healthy and productive lives in their community under the direction and supervision of the ACT team. “They can maintain their life,” he said, “but they are being watched closely.” He makes house calls if patients miss appointments, which is often a sign of trouble. Although it can be frustrating when patients don’t follow their treatment plan, such as discontinuing medication prematurely, Khan said, he finds it especially rewarding when depressed patients come out of their depression. Khan and his wife have five children. He enjoys time with his family, exercises regularly and is an avid reader. WHAT THEY SAID: “He treats the whole person and encourages and participates in cooperation with the family doctor and the client’s family.” KHAN SAID: “I am very lucky to have my staff. They believe in helping patients before they know they need help.”

Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Ball Memorial Hospital Emergency Department

Dr. Jennifer Wilson’s work as a physician doesn’t end in the Ball Memorial Hospital emergency room where she works 16 shifts a month. She also helps staff the family practice residency clinic, goes on several mission trips every year and is the outward focus director at her church. “One of my passions is mission work,” she said. “The ER gives me the flexibility to help here and in underserved areas.” In January Wilson went to Haiti, but the earthquake aftermath caused numerous logistical problems getting injured people the help they needed. She will be returning to Haiti to work in a hospital during her next mission trip in May. Wilson was part of the Indiana Delegation to the State Department of Health following hurricane Katrina. Just two weeks after the hurricane she traveled to Biloxi, Miss., and worked in mobile medical clinics. Her passion is evident in her upcoming missions schedule. Later this year she will go to Haiti, Mexico and Kenya. She also plans to attend the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, Ky., in November. Wilson enjoys spending time with family and friends and looks forward to becoming an aunt for the first time in May. She also enjoys sports and traveling (just for fun). WHAT THEY SAID: “She is a great advocate for patients and their families and works to assure they have what they need emotionally as well as physically.” WILSON SAID: “I became a physician to serve the least of these with the gifts I’ve been given.”


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 15


NURSES

Nancy Lee Brown, Comprehensive Breast Health Center

FINALISTS

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 16

To say Nancy Lee is passionate about breast cancer would be an enormous understatement. She has spent the last 30 years in oncology nursing, the last 12 years at the Comprehensive Breast Health Center for Ball Memorial Hospital as a nurse navigator. She also volunteers her time outside of work with Cancer Services of East Central Indiana Little Red Door organizing breast cancer awareness events and free mammograms for uninsured women. At the Breast Center, she says, she can make a difference in how a woman’s breast cancer journey begins by being kind, caring, supportive and available. “My days are filled with great moments – many hugs, tears and holding hands,” Lee said. “I feel so honored to go along with people through this difficult journey. I am here to walk with this person. I will not abandon them. I will always tell them the truth no matter what and I try to be gentle and yet very clear. Lee enjoys spending time with her husband, Martin Brown, as well as with family and friends. She has two children, Niccole and Scott; three step-children, Jonathan, Joy and Sarah; and three granddaughters, Abigail, Haley and Madison. She also enjoys working in her yard and vegetable garden. WHAT THEY SAID: “Nancy is skilled, competent, caring and incredibly passionate about helping others.” LEE SAID: “It’s not about me. It is about each woman, each family.”

Mahnaz Mahmoodi, Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University

As a nurse educator, Mahnaz Mahmoodi can’t help but develop close relationships with her Ball State University undergraduate senior nursing students. She spends 12 hours a day, five days a week with them. She checks in on all parts of their daily routines to ensure they not only learn the skills, but also the science of nursing. She has been a member of the BSU clinical nursing faculty since 1997. “I love teaching the students,” she said. “I feel that by teaching you learn from students, patients and families.” When Mahmoodi’s husband passed away in Ball Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit in 2002, she was able to understand more from the patient’s and family’s perspective about compassion and empathy, she said. “I saw how it is to be on the other side,” she said, “and how patients are suffering.” Mahmoodi, a Ball Memorial Hospital nurse of 25 years, works in the critical care units at least one day on the weekends. It helps her keep her own nursing skills sharp and she enjoys the patient contact, she said. Mahmoodi has three children in Muncie: Kevin Tabari, a Ball State senior, Nadia, a Ball State junior and Cameron, a Burris Laboratory School senior. WHAT THEY SAID: She has earned the highest respect from physicians, nurse colleagues, managers and others in the health care arena because of the exquisite care she delivers to patients and families. MAHMOODI SAID: “All people are capable of love, courage and endurance,”


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 17


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 18


NON-PHYSICIAN

Terrie Vannatta, Associates in Behavioral Counseling

Vannatta and her business partner, Michele Boberg, hope to see their practice continue to grow. They would like to move to a new building, add more therapists and serve more people. WHAT THEY SAID: “Her kind, caring and passionate demeanor enables people in their darkest and hardest times to open up, take a risk and begin to heal.” VANNATTA SAID: “I want to make a difference in people’s lives, see them grow and become who they want to be.”

Todd Starkey, Golden Living Center

Six years ago Todd Starkey lost his job at Chevrolet. Fortunately he had already returned to college at Ball State University as a non-traditional student and pursued a degree in psychology. Since then he has gained 56 friends with Alzheimer’s disease. “They may not be the people their families knew,” Starkey said, “but they’re my friends just like they are.” Starkey is the director of Alzheimer’s care at Golden Living Center in Muncie. His work is never routine and is always innovative. He and his Alzheimer’s friends play games, practice complimenting each other and hold weekly church services. “It’s a party every day!” he said. “I empower them. We are doing programs, not just activities.” Starkey and his male patients have a men’s club every Thursday. They have coffee and donuts and sort out the day’s news. In the past he has held a pinewood derby and a fair at the facility, and has taken a few patients out for target practice with a BB gun. “I teach my employees to engage the patients,” Starkey said. “It gives them purpose. That’s probably the most powerful thing. They just want to feel useful.” Starkey and his wife, Terrie, have been married for 28 years and have three children: Kacie, Thomas and Shelby.

WHAT THEY SAID: “Todd is one of those rare individuals who truly loves his job, and who meets each day and every challenge with a fervor to make the lives of others better.” STARKEY SAID: “I teach my employees to engage the patients. It gives them purpose. That’s probably the most powerful thing. They just want to feel useful.”

FINALISTS

Terrie Vannatta of Associates in Behavioral Counseling came to Muncie in 1985 to attend Ball State University. She holds a PhD in psychology from BSU. After working in private practice in Anderson, May 16, 2010 • PAGE 19 Ind., and for the non-profit Cambridge House residential treatment facility for abused and delinquent girls age 12-21, she returned to Muncie and opened her practice in 2003. “I feel that being a counselor is a big part of me and that the training I have gone through has helped me be better at that,” Vannatta said. “But I feel called to do it. It’s something I feel very passionate about.” In her practice, Vannatta does routine therapy with individuals, couples and children. She particularly likes counseling women. “I love to work with women who are on the verge of discovering themselves and need some empowerment tools to do that,” she said, “such as the ability to identify and express their needs in a way others can understand and meet them.”


WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 20

NON-PHYSICIAN

William Gossett, BMH Emergency Department

W

illiam Gossett wears numerous hats in the Emergency Department at Ball Memorial Hospital. He is a registered nurse and an EMT/Paramedic who regularly spends 12-hour days working on emergency preparedness issues and performing audit reviews of the emergency management operations in seven counties. As the EMS and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator based out of the BMH Emergency Department, Gossett works between the hospital and emergency medical services as a liaison for training and educational needs. He works with EMS on understanding policies, procedures, issues and complaint resolution. “If it’s pre-hospital – from police or fire to the Sheriff’s department – if it has a medical component, we’ve got our hands in it to help provide guidance and training,” Gossett said. Gossett attributes much of the EMS success to Dr. Jan Kornilow’s liberal nature as the EMS medical director. He said Kornilow allows paramedics to provide many of the same life-saving measures as the emergency room staff provides. They have access to the most current training in pre-hospital cardiac and stroke care. And he feels fortunate that all of the counties he works with have the same training, medications and equipment, which allows for continuity of care among them. “In EMS, the whole goal a lot of times is to bring patients back here [to BMH],” he said. “We want to see them get the care needed and be treated locally so their own doctor can follow up with them. If specialized care (cardiac, stroke, etc.) can be accomplished here at BMH and there is a working relationship between your family doctor and your specialist, it is a win-win situation.” CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 21


WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 22

There’s a lot of good things happening here. I’ve been very fortunate to do what I love to do.” — William Gossett

His responsibility as emergency preparedness coordinator involves developing disaster preparedness plans, such as hospital evacuations, anthrax and bomb threats, tornado and severe weather protocols and Hazmat situations. In fact, Gossett leads the hazmat team at BMH. The challenge for Gossett, he said, is staying current with technology, implementing changes and improvements within the hospital and expecting the unexpected (such as the anthrax scare at Muncie’s AMA last month). Gossett is also a member of the Tactical Medic Team, a group of paramedics that works with the Sheriff and police departments’ SWAT teams. When a SWAT team gets a call, the tactical team joins them on the scene in case of a medical emergency. Gossett is also a member of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department tactical team. Additionally, Gossett serves in the volunteer role of sheltering officer for Delaware County Emergency Management. In the event of a tornado, earthquake, ice storm or other natural disaster, the DCEM partners with the Red Cross to find shelter for the displaced until either their home has been restored or alternate facilities have been coordinated. As point of contact, Gossett is helping establish a Medical Reserve Corps. Within the next six months, he said, he hopes to have organized a group of health care professionals who can respond in the event of a disaster. The group would provide shelters, alternate care facilities and other non-traditional medical settings. He is currently working with the Federal government on gathering information about this service, and beginning the funding procurement process. “If we have people from all branches of health care we can run a small field hospital,” Gossett said. Time management and a supportive wife are vital to Gossett’s many roles at the hospital and in the community. He said his job keeps him on the go Monday through Friday, and the second Tuesday of every month is often a 14-hour day. But he gets to make his own schedule – somewhat – and is glad that his job is not inside the hospital all the time. Gossett also has a bachelor’s degree in human resource management and a master’s degree in health care management. He spends his spare time with his wife, Tammi, and their two children, Mitchell and Hayley. He enjoys spending time at home whenever possible. WHAT THEY SAID: “William has set the gold standard for other nurses to strive, and has been a positive force spreading professionalism to health care.”


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 23


WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 24

NURSE

Susan Morris, Delaware County Health Department

K

eeping the people of Delaware County safe and healthy is number one on Susan Morris’s task list. As the county’s environmental health specialist she makes it happen. Her response to this past winter’s H1N1 epidemic – organizing 24 vaccination clinics in an orderly rapid-fire manner – is a prime example of her passion and gift for public health service. A licensed practical nurse, Morris has been at the Delaware County Health Department for 17 years, spending her first five years in the nursing division organizing children’s immunization clinics and raising the state’s immunization rate. For the past 12 years as an environmental health specialist, she maintains disaster preparedness, performs food inspections and provides health information and services to people who don’t know how else to access health resources. “We make a difference in people’s lives and that’s what success is,” she said. When H1N1 threatened a deadly flu epidemic last fall, Morris made a difference. She was notified in September that vaccines would soon be on their way to Delaware County. Immediately, she contacted the state licensing board for a list of registered LPNs who had noted on their licensure a willingness to volunteer in health emergencies. Morris mailed 720 postcards inviting those nurses to assist at the vaccination clinics she was already organizing. “If you use volunteers it makes you feel good about what they’re doing. It makes people feel good about their community.” The response of 115 volunteer nurses provided the workforce she had hoped for to keep the clinics running as planned. Beginning in October and running throughout the winter months, Morris held 24 H1N1 vaccination clinics at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The location was ideal because it offered plenty of CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 25


WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 26

‘‘

It was neat to see that we were making a difference.” — Susan Morris

heated space for the clinic as well as ample parking, she said. But getting the supplies was not always ideal in light of the public being frightened. “Trying to manage the amount of vaccine we had was frustrating because we just didn’t have enough,” she said. “We wanted to get as many people protected as we could with the amount of vaccines we had, as quickly as we could get them. I didn’t want to create a panic. So when we got a shipment we got the vaccines out there.” Morris and her team were able to set up and operate clinics within 24-48 hours of receiving the vaccine shipments. But, she said, it was challenging to keep up with all of the changes trickling down from the manufacturer and the state Department of Health with respect to handling and giving the vaccines. Nonetheless, due to Morris scheduling one-hour time slots for clinic appointments, clinic crowds were manageable and nobody ever waited more than 15 minutes. Morris took the vaccines to schools in January hoping to vaccinate as many school age children as possible. About 24,000 vaccinations were administered county-wide, including those given by private providers. Morris attended all but two of the clinics. Ironically, she had to miss those two clinics because she was ill. All of this, she says, “says a lot about [DCHD medical director] Dr. Wilkins and our team of employees. I love my job. I love the people I work with.” For the two years before H1N1, the DCHD loaned Morris two days a week to the Gateway Health Clinic at the YWCA. There she provided health care, medication and vaccinations to people with no money or insurance. She also helped organize a disaster preparedness exercise at Delta High School in April 2009 involving emergency management teams from 13 counties. Using a State-provided anthrax scenario, participants organized response measures and successfully processed more than 700 kids through paperwork, antibiotics and out the door in an hour. In addition to her environmental health specialist role, Morris still works in the county’s nursing division as needed and represents the Delaware County Health Department at summer fairs and festivals. And she’s prepared to tackle the next Delaware County health emergency. “I feel confident that we could call on our volunteers and they could help us,” she said. “We have enough people in different agencies in our county that work well together. We could handle it.” She said she enjoys spending time with her family, taking short trips with her husband, working in her yard and garden, and participating in her church choir. She and her husband of 37 years, Tim, have three adult children: daughter Lesley and son-in-law Adrian, son Michael and daughter-in-law Carissa, and son Matthew and daughter-in-law Samantha. They also have four grandchildren: Riley, Ruthie, Charlee and Carter. WHAT THEY SAID: “As a nurse, Susan’s keen compassion mixes with her environmental and preparedness skills allowing her to create responses to public health emergencies which not only protect the citizens of Delaware County from serious health threats but also educate the public.


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 27


WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 28

‘‘

I like to have something in my hands. So I can do this, take care of my time and feel like I’m taking care of somebody else.” — Lois Vardaman


VOLUNTEER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 29

Lois Vardaman

WHAT THEY SAID: “Hopefully we would all be so fortunate to experience dedication and energy like hers, no matter our age.”

WINNER

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ince 1994, Lois Vardaman has logged more than 10,700 volunteer hours at Ball Memorial Hospital. She crochets tiny pink and blue caps for newborns. All of the babies at BMH receive a cap. She also sends a few to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. “A friend of mine was doing this,” Vardaman said. “She told me, ‘as much as you enjoy this, you should volunteer at the hospital.’” She originally signed up through Retired Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, a national network of volunteers over 55 years old. In 1990 she joined the Volunteer Resources at BMH. Now 100 years old, Vardaman says she makes one cap a day, on average, though now she has to depend on someone else to get her supplies and deliver the caps to the hospital. Her son, Jim, designed a yarn dispenser for her from two-liter bottles with individual compartments for each skein of 100 percent acrylic pale blue and rose pink baby yarn. It sits next to her swivel rocker chair within easy reach. “I’ve been trying to get caught up since the big birthday party,” she said. Vardaman’s family and friends held a 100th birthday celebration for her at Selma Christ United Methodist Church on March 7. The guest book shows 217 entries. Her son made a scrapbook display board of her 100 years, including photographs of her husband, children and grandchildren. She has hundreds of photographs from the day of her birthday party. As a member of the Selma Women’s Club, Vardaman also makes comfort items for Riley patients. Once a year at a monthly meeting, the group sews dog pillows for boys, pinafores for girls and pockets for the children who use walkers. “I don’t like to hear people say ‘I’m bored,’” she said. “There’s always something you can do to help someone else, even if it’s just a phone call.” Vardaman volunteered in her church on committees and doing whatever needed to be done when she was younger, and is also a member of the Modern Farm Wives Home Economics Club. The club meets monthly for a lesson on food, crafts or general knowledge. “When people began to have electric stoves and refrigerators,” Vardaman said, “we were taught how to use them.” When she was first married, she and her husband, Dallas, were farmers. He passed away 23 years ago. If he had lived just three more weeks, she said, they would have been married 59 years. Before her husband’s death, they traveled to Florida every year. In 1984, Bartow, Fla., Mayor Michael J. Marchman presented Vardaman with a Key to the City for 27 years of return visits. The key and corresponding declaration hang on what Vardaman calls her “wall of fame.” Also hanging on that wall are a 95th birthday recognition from Senator Allie Craycraft, a Fifty over 50 recognition from the Community Center for Vital Aging and a 2008 Millennium Service Award for being the eldest RSVP volunteer member that year. Retired from the Selma post office after working 17 years, every day 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and as a substitute counter clerk, Vardaman says she’s done nothing unusual since her retirement. She doesn’t just sit around and she doesn’t enjoy TV very much. She just gave up driving – voluntarily because she thought it was about time – less than a year ago. She does enjoy talking to her sister, who is 16 years younger and lives in Florida. Vardaman has one son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Janet Vardaman. Her daughter, Beverly Redman, passed away in 1998. She also has one grandson, two granddaughters, four great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter.


PHYSICIAN

WINNER

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 30

Dr. Donna Wilkins, Ball Memorial Hospital NICU & Delaware County Health Department

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r. Donna Dr. Donna Wilkins decided as a teenager to become a physician. She used to follow her family doctor on Saturday morning rounds. It was during her month in the Riley NICU as a junior medical student that she decided on her specialty. A board certified neonatologist since 1979, Wilkins relocated to Muncie to become Ball Memorial Hospital’s first board certified neonatologist 30 years ago and there she decided to stay. She attends all c-section and hi-risk deliveries. During her years, the NICU has served one set of quadruplets and several sets of triplets and numerous of sets of twins. On a typical day in the NICU she sees 12 babies, but it has a capacity for 16, though that doesn’t stop Wilkins from making room for more – the NICU has served as many as 25 babies at one time. “I feel that a lot of people are unaware of our NICU at Ball,” Wilkins said. “We have state of the art equipment and a great NICU nursing staff. Several of the nurses have been employed in the NICU almost as long as I. I feel the nursing and physician staff in the NICU truly work together as a team.” In her routine work, Wilkins examines all of the babies in the NICU and creates a daily plan of care for each of them. She also consults with preterm labor patients and gives the fathers NICU tours to see what to expect while their babies are hospitalized. “The past 30 years have been very rewarding,” she said. “I’ve cared for many critically ill babies who after a long hospitalization in the NICU have grown up to be healthy adults. It’s great to have them come back to visit and sometimes we are now caring for their preterm babies. We’ve seen several second generations the past few years.” A baby Wilkins said was the sickest baby for the longest time is now a healthy adult attending medical school. Other babies she has cared for have returned several years later – healthy – to visit, while others have returned to volunteer at the hospital. Wilkins also serves as the Delaware County Health Officer. She took the post in 1988, overseeing personnel, policies, ordinances and food inspections. This past winter she was closely involved in planning and implementing the H1N1 vaccination clinics. In 2006, she worked with the tobacco-free coalition to make Delaware County smoke-free in restaurants and other places where children are present, and is interested in further research on infant mortality and childhood obesity, she said. “Childhood obesity is a major concern in the United States and we are going to turn our attention to that issue,” Wilkins said. “Children need to get more exercise and play less video games.” She is an entrepreneur, as well. Wilkins deepened an interest in photography five years ago when her first grandchild was born. She is now in business with Genesis Portraits, the baby portrait studio at BMH. The last couple of years she has taken fetal demise pictures. When a baby passes away, she offers the parents a portrait session. After some digital touch-up, Wilkins sets the pictures to music and provides the family with a photo video. As her interest in digital photography and editing has grown, she has become more interested in digital scrapbooking. Once the owner of Scrapaholics, a scrapbooking supply store in Muncie that is now closed, she now enjoys creating digital layouts, she said. She also designed the cover for a recipe book, “Recipes from All Walks of Life,” which will be sold for $10 through the NICU to benefit the March of Dimes. Outside of her caretaking roles, Wilkins raises leader dogs. She first became involved in 1996 at the suggestion of a DCHD colleague. After contacting Leader Dogs for the Blind, a not-for profit agency, she received her first puppy. She teaches the dogs basic obedience and takes them everywhere – including church, restaurants, the grocery and DCHD – so they are exposed to all kinds of places and people. She finished raising her sixth leader dog in April 2009. Eventually, Wilkins would like to have a breeding stock female leader dog and have puppies. Wilkins has four sons, Jay, Jeff, Mark and Mitch, and six grandchildren. Her seventh grandchild is due in July. WHAT THEY SAID: “Dr. Donna Wilkins is known as a tireless advocate on the behalf of her patients, most of whom are critically ill newborns who are unable to express their needs.”


May 16, 2010 • PAGE 31

WINNER

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The past 30 years have been very rewarding. I’ve cared for many critically ill babies who after long hospitalization in the NICU have grown up to be healthy adults.” — Donna Wilkins


WINNER

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We’re not just an ulcer center. We take care of patients. We delve into all aspects of their health. We know the wound is just a symptom of the underlying problem.” — Dr. John Eliades

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 32

COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT

The Wound Healing Center at Ball Memorial Hospital

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he Wound Healing Center at Ball Memorial Hospital not only heals wounds, but saves limbs. Through their physician driven program, specialized wound care and state-of-the art technology, they are capable of healing persistent wounds and helping people return to their lifestyle. A rectal cancer patient who could neither sit nor stand due to her radiation wound was able to return to work and get back to her lifestyle after treatment. A Ball State University athlete’s wounds were healed so that he could return to sports. And saving a limb from amputation is always a success story. “Before the Wound Healing Center, there were many in the Muncie and surrounding communities who suffered in embarrassed silence for moths and even years with wounds that would not heal,” said Beth Proctor, a former employee of the Wound Healing Center. “It is the staff’s multidisciplinary approach and special techniques that cure 85 percent of our community’s non-healing wounds.” The Center staff includes Medical Director Dr. John Eliades, who is a board certified surgeon, Program Director Judy Mansker, clinical Manager Kathy Cheslik and Hyperbaric Oxygen Technician Amy Wimbley. Physicians, registered nurses and nursing assistants, all specially trained in chronic wound care at Ohio University, work together to develop personalized treatment regimens for every patient. The entire staff at The Wound Healing Center works together to see their patients through the process of healing. Through patient education and continuing medical education for nursing facilities and home health care providers, the Center strives for continuity of care. The Center staff is continually updated on treatment options and attends regional symposiums on wound healing and hyperbarics. Several of the staff members go to the annual national symposium. “We have the most experienced and most cooperative staff – a very unique staff,” Eliades said. “Teamwork, in reality, takes place here. It’s collaboration.” Most commonly the Center sees diabetic foot ulcers, lower leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, bone infections, slow or non-healing surgical wounds and failing or compromised skin grafts or flaps. These wounds can have underlying related issues that prevent the normal healing process, such as diabetes, poor circulation and nerve damage. Therefore the patient’s initial visit is comprehensive, including a thorough heath history, wound measurements and photographs, a physician assessment and other testing. “Some patients have had their wounds for literally 15 or more years,” Cheslik said. “We determine the cause by looking at the patient as a whole. We are thorough in getting to the bottom of the problem.” Cheslik says the physicians and staff have a blend of dedication, passion, TLC, knowledge and personal care that goes above and beyond. They send get well, birthday and sympathy cards to their patients on a regular basis, adding a sincere personal touch to their professional relationship. “When you see them so often they become an extension of family,” Cheslik said. By often, she means as often as Monday through Friday for eight weeks. One of the high-tech treatments at the Wound Healing Center is the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. Patients whose wounds require this therapy receive 100 percent pressurized oxygen for two hours for an average of 20 to 40 consecutive treatments. Only


May 16, 2010 • PAGE 33

WINNER about 10 percent of patients meet the criteria for HBC therapy. The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is used to treat diabetic foot ulcers, failing or compromised skin grafts or flaps, chronic bone infection and wounds caused by radiation therapy. The chamber is a one ton enclosed unit with a reclining bed, clear acrylic shell and two-way communication. Patients can see out in all directions and watch television or rest during treatments. Treatment is supervised at all times. The Center uses TCOM, or transcutaneous oxmetry, another state-of-the art system, to determine adequacy of circulation in small blood vessels. In a process similar to an EKG, this 30 minute non-invasive, nonpainful test shows the oxygen and nutrient flow to the skin near the chronic wound. The test is useful in diagnosing hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, in a wound and the necessity of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. More than 2,000 wound dressings and wraps are available at the Wound Healing Center. Eliades also uses debridement and sometimes skin grafting. While most patients wounds are debrided to remove dead skin and stimulate new skin growth, skin grafting occurs less often. Small grafts are done at the Center. Eliades sometimes uses bioengineered tissue substitutes made from human tissue to treat venous ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers. This surgical procedure is also done at the Center. The Wound Healing Center, which opened in January 2006, follows the treatment models and protocols of the National Healing Corporation. WHAT THEY SAID: “It starts with the diagnosis of the cause of the ulcer and ends with the cheers of the staff and patient at healing.”


SPECIAL HONOR

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 34

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Dr. Max Rudicel, Ball Memorial Hospital Emergency Department & Open Door Right Start Clinic

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idnight Max, as Dr. Max Rudicel is know in the Ball Memorial Hospital emergency room, has treated thousands of patients during his almost 40 years as a Muncie physician. The family practice trained doctor started his service in the ER in 1971 working the midnight shift. He began working in private practice in Middletown, Ind., that same year. “I think my shift ended there at midnight and started in the ER at 12:01,” he said. Born and raised in Muncie, Rudicel attended Burris Laboratory School grades 1-12, where his father was the basketball coach. He played basketball at Burris and for three years at Wabash College, and played baseball at Wabash, as well. He followed his father’s footsteps in 1988-1989 as the Yorktown girls’ basketball coach, and later in 1999-2005 as the assistant men’s coach there. But his Uncle Max, a doctor, had an influence, too. Rudicel started working at Ball Hospital right after high school. “I made 65 cents an hour washing test tubes back in 1962,” Rudicel said with a chuckle. His first promotion brought him 75 cents an hour for drawing blood. Rudicel said his parents let him save all of his income, so he was able to pay his entire medical school tuition at Indiana University from his own savings. As a Muncie physician, Rudicel keeps more medical hours than many of his contemporaries. He is a full-time obstetrics practitioner and the medical director at the Open Door Right Start Clinic, the Muncie Community Schools and Muncie Central Bearcats team physician, the Head Start doctor, was the Indiana Steel and Wire doctor for a while and has served two terms for a total of 20 years as the Delaware County Jail physician. And he still works full-time as a midnight doctor in the BMH emergency room. September 1970 marked Rudicel’s first of more than 6,000 baby deliveries. Between 1971 and 1987 in family practice he delivered 25-30 babies a year. Since 1987, that number has grown to about 375 annual deliveries. He has delivered multiple generations within some Muncie families. And he often hears, “you delivered me,” when he is out in public. “I work only overnights in the ER because it frees up my days,” Rudicel said, “and 99 percent of the stuff you do in labor and delivery is enjoyable. This medical community has always been very nice to practice in. As a teaching hospital there is always an OB resident on call, or a surgeon to do the appendectomies.” During his nearly four decades at Ball, Rudicel notes a few changes. The biggest one, he said, is the amount of time people spend in the hospital. When he first began practicing medicine, pregnant women labored in a 7-bed ward, and then spent as much as a week in the hospital following delivery while their babies went to the nursery. Now BMH has all private rooms and babies room-in with their mothers. In the ER, the use of the CAT scan has been a big change. There are so many reasons for its use, he said, and it’s recommended regularly for patient evaluation. Paperwork has changed, too. Patient charts used to be as detailed as, “cut on right arm,” but now include multiple pages of histories and evaluation remarks. In 1995 Rudicel was presented the National Head Started Humanitarian Award at the National Head Start conference in Chicago; and at a Head Start banquet in 2003, Muncie Mayor Dan Canan honored Rudicel with a Key to the City and declared Oct. 28 Max Rudicel Day.


“It was the first time ever a day was declared in perpetuity,” Rudicel said, then added, “but we still don’t get the day off.” Somehow Rudicel makes time for recreation, too. He has played softball on the BMH Skid Row team and on the Keller Tile team, plays golf occasionally – not enough, he said – and has walked two half-marathons. He and his wife of 45 years, Barbara, visit Hawaii every year and try to attend most of their grandsons’ athletic activities. Barbara raises Morgan horses and is active on the board of the American Morgan Horse Association. Rudicel jokes that he and his wife sometimes have a race to see who can deliver first – her mare or his patient. Rudicel plans to retire from the emergency room in April 2011, but says he will keep practicing obstetrics a while longer. He and Barbara have two adult sons and three grandchildren: Rob, daughter-in-law Emily, and granddaughter Sophia; and Scott, daughter-in-law Leigh and grandsons Alex and Austin.

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WHAT THEY SAID: “I realize how truly blessed I have been to have had the opportunity to work with this unique individual… this tireless, selfless physician whose greatest joy is found in healing the pain and illness of his fellow man. It is from his example that I have learned how to not only care for the patient, but more importantly how to care for the person.”

The best part is the feeling much of the time that you’ve helped somebody in some way with their life.”— Dr. Max Rudicel


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 36

Presented by The Star Press & Ball Memorial Hospital, A Clarion Health Partner MARY VANNATTA Sales Executive ELIZABETH RICHMAN Custom Publications Coordinator TOM ROTHROCK Digital/Marketing Director HEATHER AULT Marketing Executive ALL STORIES AND PHOTOS BY:

DAWN FLUHLER | Freelance writer KYLE EVENS | Photographer / Berwyn Studios


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 37


SPONSORS

May 16, 2010 • PAGE 38

Title Sponsor | Ball Memorial Hospital Ball Memorial Hospital was founded in 1929 as both a teaching hospital and regional tertiary referral center for Muncie and Delaware County. Today, Ball Memorial Hospital serves as a destination health facility for the people of East Central Indiana, and is home to nearly 400 physicians and more than 45 medical specialties including a Cancer Center, Cardiology program, Total Joint and Spine Center, and specialized services for women and children. • www.accesschs.org

Open Door Health Services Open Door Health Services is a non-profit, federally qualified community health center. • www.odbmh.org Audibel Our ultimate goal: to bring better hearing to the world. • www.audibel.com Westminster Village A licensed, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community serving East Central Indiana. A tradition of excellence since 1974. Experience you can trust. • www.wvmuncie.com Morrison Woods The Morrison Woods Health Campus offers a complete continuum of care and services to suit your needs. • www.morrisonwoodshc.com


Health Care Heroes • May 16, 2010 • PAGE 39

Integra Specialty Hospital Focused acute care dedicated to assisting patients to recover from serious illness and injury. • www.Integraspecialty.com Meridian Services Meridian Services is a regional, private, not-for-profit behavioral health care system offering a range of inpatient and outpatient services. • www.meridiansc.org Lifestream Life. On your terms. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people at risk of losing their independence. • www.lifestreaminc.org Makris Vision Group Makris Vision Group offers a full range of eye care services, from a comprehensive exam to the most delicate eye surgery all under one roof. • www.makriseye.com In-kind Sponsors • Work Wear Xpress • Dillman’s Furniture • The Golden Rule Store • Silvertowne • KitchenAid Experience • Awards Plus • Carter Jewelers



Health Care Heroes