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Neonatal attraction

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

The cutest little patients handled with extra care


WATERLOO —Sharyn Fleming’s career choice can be summed up in three small words. “I love babies,” said Fleming, 53, a registered nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo. Fleming’s aspirations to care for the littlest patients date back to childhood. She went to school and landed a job in a well-baby unit at a relatively small Iowa hospital. Watching transport teams come and take the sickest infants to larger hospitals with more sophisticated resources clinched her decision. Today, she has 28 years experience as a neonatal nurse, 11 spent at Covenant, a hospital with a level II regional NICU. The designation allows Covenant to care for high-risk mothers and newborns, provide a wide range of support and follow-up services and maintain a transport team. A passion to help vulnerable newborns and premature infants leads some neonatal nurses to their specialty. Area nurses say they love doting on the little ones, helping them get strong enough to go home. After all, neonatal nurses get the “cutest little patients in the hospital,” said Amanda Wagner, 31, a staff nurse and clinical educator for the neonatal intensive care unit at Allen Hospital in Waterloo. Allen Hospital carries a level II designation, Wagner said. Neonatal nurses are trained to care for healthy newborns and mothers as well as select pre-term cases and newborns with mild infections or some complications. Some nurses are also cross-trained in labor and delivery. “I thought for awhile I might want to do more labor and delivery, and now I get the perfect balance,” Wagner said. “I get a little bit of both.” Caring and empathy must be

BRANDON POLLOCK / Courier Staff Photographer

Staff nurse Jordan Tovar writes notes on 3-week-old Olivia Flanagan at the Covenant Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit on March 29. balanced with the ability to be selfless, decisive and level-headed, especially in dicey situations. Neonatal nurses are trained to look for the smallest sign — such as a heart murmur — that may signal a more serious problem. Babies battling health problems can go from stable to very sick in minutes, Fleming said. “The stress level can be high. You have to have a lot of critical thinking skills,” she added. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 10 percent of newborns need some form of medical assistance, and 1 percent of newborns require intensive care, Wagner said.

Even without major medical concerns, preemies and newborns need to be handled with extra care. “They say every medicine you give to a newborn baby that little is high-risk,” Wagner said. “It’s definitely an art to handle babies that are really small. There are a lot more considerations.” Premature birth occurs in up to 13 percent of pregnancies in the U.S., according to, a service of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A child born before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered pre-term. Neonatal nurses are respon-

sible for all aspects of care, from starting intravenous therapy to administering feeding and medication, and monitoring ventilators and body temperatures. “When they are born premature, everything is premature,” said Tricia Spading, the nurse manager for the NICU at Covenant. To minimize stress, nurses use a light touch, avoid unnecessary stimulation and use a soft, comforting tone of voice. Rooms are kept dark, temperatures are monitored, babies may be tightly swaddled and noise levels kept at bay — all to simulate a womblike environment.

Nurses also help concerned parents understand what is going on and how to be involved in their little one’s care, said Latisha Scott, a neonatal nurse at Covenant who is studying to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. “A huge part of it is being able to work with families and being able to talk to people during difficult times and being open to learning,” Scott said. Brittany and Jeffery Flanagan of Ackley appreciate the patience and compassion shown by the nurses caring for their daughter, Olivia Renee.

See NICU, page 7

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

La Porte City Nursing and Rehab a unique facility, a unique setting LA PORTE CITY — La Porte City Nursing & Rehab Center is set amidst 13 acres of rolling hills and evergreen trees on the northwest edge of La Porte City just 10 miles southeast of Waterloo. A 46-bed skilled nursing facility, the beautiful building opened in August 2004 and boasts a unique setting for seniors. The center is decorated in a warm, woodsy lodge style with elements from nature featured throughout. “La Porte Lodge,” as it is often referred to, looks more like a mountain resort for a weekend getaway than a nursing facility. La Porte City Nursing & Rehab Center has offered skilled nursing care in a clean, comfortable and homelike environment since 1966. It is Medicare- and Medicaid-certified and accepts most private insurance for inpatient stays and outpatient therapy. Staff work directly with physicians to provide residents with the highest level of care. Rehabilitation services are also offered on an outpatient basis, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. The facility has helped many residents return to a more independent lifestyle which many times includes returning home. Nurses and therapists coordinate care to assist orthopedic and stroke patients to reach their highest level of function. Outpatient services focus on assisting individuals to regain function through exercises and treatment. Specialized nursing services offered include:

■ Wound care. ■ Pain management. ■ Tube feeding. ■ Antibiotic therapy. ■ Post-operative care. ■ Ostomy care. ■ Hospice. The center offers 12 semi-private and 22 private rooms, each with a bathroom accessible to the physically challenged. Each room is furnished with a bed, multi-option lighting, a call system for nursing care, an armoire, a small chest-of-drawers, a large bureau and a chair. Each room also is equipped for cable TV and telephone service access. Within the facility you will find: ■ A conference room for family and physician meetings. ■ A beauty salon with services offered five days a week by a licensed cosmetologist. ■ A fully-equipped therapy room. ■ An ice cream parlor. ■ A beverage bar for self-service to residents and visitors. ■ A large patio for relaxation and family gatherings. ■ A living room with fireplace. ■ Cable television. ■ An aquarium . The high quality of service is recognized throughout the area and even the nation. The facility was named by US News & World Report as one of the toprated facilities in the state and received a 5-star rating on the website. For more information or to schedule a tour of the beautiful lodge, call (319) 342-2125.

For all you do,

Thank You Nurses!



because it’s about living

We celebrate Nurses Week and the caring that never stops. Our compassionate nursing staff is committed to excellence and providing quality care to those who matter to you.

ask the questions. make the call.

La Porte City

Nursing & Rehab Center 1100 Hwy. 218 North, Laporte City, IA Iowa’s Largest Not-For-Profit Senior Care Provider


319.272.2002 :: waterloo . independence . grundy center . waverly . hospice home





SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

Providing comfort Cedar Valley Hospice focuses on comfort and education WATERLOO — When nurses choose to work in the hospice and palliative care field, it is not a decision made lightly. For many, it is a calling. This specialty is vastly different from most others. It carries a uniqueness incomparable to many positions, says Krista Mulder, Cedar Valley Hospice nurse outreach representative. “Many people have misperceptions about hospice nursing,” she said. “My goal is to help other health care professionals understand the significance of hospice for the patients and families we care for.” Hospice nurses perform many traditional nursing duties such as observing, assessing and recording symptoms, but have a particularly tough job because they know the patient for whom they are caring is terminally ill. The medications hospice nurses administer and the symptoms they record aren’t intended to aid a patient’s recovery, but rather to make their remaining days as comfortable as possible. Most duties involve minimizing pain. The focus is on optimizing and celebrating life while realistically preparing patients and families for as comfortable a death as possible. Hospice care is what is known as comprehensive palliative medical care — treatment to reduce pain and troubling symptoms as opposed to treatment to cure. The majority of hospice and palliative nurses say knowing they have assisted patients to optimize the time they have left with their loved ones — on their terms

— is the most gratifying experience of their nursing career. Although being a nurse of any kind is difficult, hospice nursing requires an exceptional temperament, one that embodies great caring, patience and resolve. Hospice nurses are often asked how they can work in such a depressing environment dealing with death every day. “Many words come to mind when I reflect on my job,” said Laura Edler, Cedar Valley Hospice nurse educator. “The work is extremely challenging and very rewarding but never depressing. I value what I do, because I am seriously reminded each day that every moment matters.” Hospice nurses are part of an interdisciplinary team including physicians, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and trained volunteers. Together, they develop a plan of care specific to the wishes of each patient, providing pain management, emotional support and expert medical care. Whether keeping a promise to a family member that their loved one will not die alone or alleviating a patient’s symptoms, hospice nurses and aides say it is a personal and professional honor to care for patients and their families at such a vulnerable time. At Cedar Valley Hospice, nurses and aides are specially trained by Edler in pain management and symptom control techniques to alleviate the suffering often associated with a life-threatening illness. More than 65 registered nurses and 25 hospice aides cared for 1,011 hospice patients


Cedar Valley Hospice registered nurses Krista Mulder and Laura Edler assist in providing education to hospice and palliative care professionals. and their families last year with skilled patient care and education. The majority of Cedar Valley Hospice nurses and aides have earned the designation of certified hospice and palliative care nurse or certified hospice nursing assistant. These professionals must have at least two years of full-time experience in a hospice nursing practice and pass exams administered by the National Board for the Certification of Hospice Nurses. Cedar Valley Hospice is a notfor-profit organization serving Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Grundy, Tama, parts of Benton, Chickasaw, Delaware, Fayette, Hardin, Linn and Marshall counties. Cedar Valley nurses are available 24 hours per day on an on-call basis for emergencies. For more information, contact Cedar Valley Hospice at (800) 617-1972 or visit www.

Thank You! to all our dedicated nurses who provide quality services through their exceptional skills and extraordinary care.

We are a proud member of the Care Initiatives family:

Ravenwood Nursing & Rehab Center A non-profit facility 2651 St. Francis Dr., Waterloo, IA 50702 Phone: (319) 232-6808 We are currently accepting applications for RN positions.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012




Care Initiative Nurses committed to caring for Iowans WATERLOO — Ravenwood Nursing and Rehab Center is part of the Care Initiatives Corporation, the largest not-for-profit provider of long-term health care in Iowa. The staff is committed to providing personalized service with an emphasis on the individual’s right to dignity and respect. The Ravenwood staff has 1,258 combined years of experience with 56 licensed nurses and 75 CNAs . The nursing staff is skilled in advanced wound management, IV therapy, tracheostomy and tube management. Staffers provide compassion and understanding to residents and families and strive to return residents to their greatest degree of independence, minimizing their disabilities. Well-planned nursing care is vital to helping residents achieve their goals, whether to return home, to an assisted living set-


The staff at Ravenwood Nursing and Rehab Center is committed to providing personalized service. ting or to remain in the long-term care facility. The attention given by the nursing staff also includes interventions to meet spiritual, social and nutritional needs, as well as hands-on nursing care.

Promoting family involvement and working with therapy, social services and activities staff are also important nursing roles. Ravenwood supports nursing staff members and encourages

Honoring Excellence on Nurses’

further education and career growth. Many experienced nursing staff members started out as certified nursing assistants and are now licensed nurses who bring vital understanding, skills

and insight to the care of our residents. Some nursing staff have over 30 years of experience and act as mentors for new nurses. The nursing staff is committed to providing quality, cost-effective care in a homelike environment. With the overall changes in the delivery of health care, hospital stays have been shortened and the acuity of residents in the longterm care setting has increased. Licensed nurses provide skilled nursing care to residents and their families in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team that includes physicians, social workers, physical, occupational and speech therapists, activities staff, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, dietitians and hospice staff. Care conferences are conducted on a routine schedule and as needed, based on individual progress or concerns.

See RAVENWOOD, page A10

Day and Every Day

These are no ordinary hands. These are the hands of nurses.

We appreciate our NURSES and the work they do.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare




SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

Nurses: Advocating, leading, caring at NewAldaya Lifescapes CEDAR FALLS — “You’ll live better!” It sums up the hard work and dedication of the caring staff at NewAldaya Lifescapes. The nursing staff — the leadership and the care they provide — has 94 percent of patients and family members saying they recommend NewAldaya Lifescapes. NewAldaya employs over 50 highly professional licensed nurses, including LPNs and RNs. The staff provides roundthe-clock nursing care seven days a week. The nurses provide highly skilled services such as medication administration and monitoring, physical assessments, wound care, IV medication and fluid administration and direct care staff supervision. Above and beyond these responsibilities come the nurses’ passion and concern for the people. They are carrying out NewAldaya’s Christian caring mission at its core. On a campus where innovation is at an all-time high, NewAldaya continues to trailblaze the way in the field of long-term care in the Cedar Valley. A new lifestyle center, Main Street, is putting the emphasis on wellness. With the support from grant funding, NewAldaya has begun implementation of the “Live better. Live well” program. The program has a two-fold focus: wellness and the reduction of hospital re-admissions. “Health and wellness of residents, staff, family members and the community are of priority to NewAldaya Lifescapes,” says Millisa Tierney, executive director. “Improved strength and resistance training is critical to longevity and personal well-being.” Classes are offered targeting the abilities and desires of staff, residents and everyone in between. With nearly 200 individuals utilizing the new Wellness Center each week, NewAldaya is trailblazing the

way for better living. As a premier skilled and rehabilitation provider in the Cedar Valley, NewAldaya offers INTERACT II —Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers. The program helps to identify early warning signs that may prevent a person from needing to be re-admitted to the hospital. Staff receives regular and ongoing professional development and training on the job. Nurses at NewAldaya Lifescapes are on the cusp of innovation with the transition to electronic record keeping. Additionally, NewAldaya will soon be announcing the opening of a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center this summer. The community of nurses at NewAldaya Lifescapes is broad and encompassing of all areas on campus. In addition to being leaders on the frontline, trained nurses also serve as members of the administration team, including directors, managers and even the executive director. NewAldaya’s nurses are truly advocates, leaders and superior providers NewAldaya Lifescapes nurses, from left, Marta Sulentic, Pam Andersen and Nikole Blackledge. of care.


Thank you to all our Nurses for making every day a “New” day at NewAldaya Lifescapes!

(319) 268-0401 7511 University Avenue Cedar Falls, IA 50613

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

NICU From page 2 Olivia was born at Covenant on March 8 at 30 weeks gestation. She weighed just 3 pounds, 12 ounces and measured just over 16 inches long. “Any questions we have, what they are doing, they are happy to explain it to you,” Brittany Flanagan said. When a monitor in Olivia’s room interrupts a quiet conversation with a loud beep, Jeffery doesn’t flinch. Nurses have explained all the sounds, equipment and procedures. Nurses also dote on the parents and mark Olivia’s milestones in a memory book fashioned by Fleming. All these little details are comforting, especially when the Flanagans have to leave Olivia’s bedside for work and sleep. “It’s nice to know we can call at any time,” Jeffery Flanagan said. Scott, who considers herself a ‘kid person,’ never expected to work in a NICU. The feelings of empathy that draw many of her colleagues to the profession initially caused her reservations. “All I could think of is all those tiny, tiny preemies and how scary it was to take care of them,” Scott said. An internship changed her mind. “I was there one day and I called my mom and told her, ‘I don’t want to do anything else.’ I loved it,” Scott said. Keeping emotions in balance when infants aren’t doing well is tough. Nurses are taught to be professional, and there are avenues for debriefing after a crisis, such as talking to a social worker. “It can be a very intensive, difficult job,” Wagner said. “Our good days outnumber our bad days. When we have bad days in the NICU it can be devastating to the families.” Nurses love the infants and families, but discharge days mean a job well done. “The best day is the day the baby gets to go home. Everyone is so proud the baby’s made it through all their challenges and graduation from the NICU,” Wagner said.




HEALTHCARE EMPLOYMENT Nurse Practitioners, RNs, LPNs, Medical Assistants Send resume to: Human Resource Department P.O. Box 2758 Waterloo, Iowa 50704 319.235-5390 FAX 319/287.9249

We specialize in you.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare To apply go to Find us on Facebook:

RN’S-GROWTH OPPORTUNITY Come join our growing staff of long term employees at


A 24 yr. old URAC Accredited National Healthcare Co. Offering a

FT Time Case Management Position In our Independence location

Use your knowledge to determine treatment options, coordinate care and resources for patients and families. No Nights, Holidays or Weekends. Must be an RN w/ Min. 3 yrs acute care or HHC exp. Hospice or Oncology a Plus! Fax resume to: 847-741-1728 Or call 877-429-7345 X 3426 with questions

RNs Part-Time First and third Shift. Long term care experience required.

CNAs Part-time 2nd shift. Rehab Aide part-time 1st shift. APPLY IN PERSON.


Denver Sunset Home 235 North Mill Street, Denver, Iowa 50622

WO-052012048 WO-052 W O-052 012048 O 012048 20 48

Tripoli Nursing Home has openings for

LPNs and RNs apply in person or send resume to 604 3rd St., S.W. TRIPOLI, IA 50676

“Creating Family, Enhancing Lives”

NURSES Every Other Weekend 6:30PM-7AM RN Package Part Time and Full Time positions available. Apply online at:

KAPLAN UNIVERSITY IN CEDAR FALLS Invites applications for faculty positions for our

Associate Degree Nursing program The University is searching for highly motivated individuals, who identify student success and learning as top priorities, while using innovative teaching strategies. Valid Iowa License and MSN required. Interested applicants should send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and three references with contact information to:

KAPLAN UNIVERSITY Attn: Faculty Search 7009 Nordic Drive, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613

e-mail to

Full TIme, Part Time and Casual Positions Open Registered Nurse Licensed Practical Nurse Certified Nursing Assitants Join our dynamic team with a caring work environment that provides Excellent Benefits and Bonus. 2305 Crescent Dr., Cedar Falls, IA 50613 Phone: 319-268-0489




SALUTE TO NURSES bilitation unit at Covenant Medical Center following a stroke. Lee says she was inspired so much by the outstanding care the other nurses and therapists provided that she joined the team. Now, Lee calls upon her personal experiences to help educate and comfort families of stroke patients, adding a degree of personal compassion in her everyday responsibilities. ■ The enjoyment of everyday


Iowa Wheaton Outstanding Nurses for 2012 are, front, from left, Jewell Jones, Maggie Lee, Cecelia Deich, Barb Grapp and Bridget Kuennen; and, back, from left, Amy Streittmatter, Francene Folkerts and Traci Douglas.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare nurses making all the difference What do you get when you combine a caring personality, a commitment to satisfaction and a tireless passion for improving the lives of others? You get one of the Iowa Wheaton Outstanding Nurses for 2012. Wheaton is honoring eight standouts this year who were nominated by their peers. ■ Jewell Jones worked in business before deciding to pursue nursing. Now 11 years into it, she enjoys the camaraderie among her peers at the Covenant Medical Center 5-general medical unit. She takes every opportunity to make her patients laugh and does all she can to ensure patients and their families are comfortable while at the hospital. ■ The outpatient clinic at Sartori Memorial Hospital is where nurse Francene Folkerts finds her passion. She coordinates the staff in this unit and approaches patient care through education by explaining every aspect of care to the patient. The variety of procedures and her fellow nurses are what have kept Folkerts com-

ing to work the last 27 years. ■ The nursing profession has changed a lot in the past 40 years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Cecelia Deich’s love for working with people. She found her love for nursing while taking care of her ill grandmother. The rest, as they say, is history. She still continues that labor of love at Covenant Medical Center at the 2-general cardiac unit. She says she has enjoyed seeing the changes in nursing and looks for opportunity in every challenge. ■ Bridget Kuennen is one nurse patients will likely see if they come to the hospital with a heart issue or undergo a heart procedure. She specializes in cardiac rehabilitation, providing education to patients about the heart, and also assists patients with the exercise portion of cardiac rehabilitation at the Kimball Ridge Center. Each patient is very special to Kuennen and she works to ensure that each one feels special and welcome while under her care. ■ A nurse’s responsibilities are

often extensive, but that doesn’t bother Traci Douglas; she always finds time to laugh with her patients, which helps put them at ease. The outpatient center at Covenant Medical Center conducts more than 200 different procedures, and Douglas is one of the nurses who makes every patient feel welcome and comfortable while in her care. She has wanted to help people through nursing since she was a young girl. ■ Amy Streittmatter of Mercy Hospital in Oelwein likes to get to know her patients before tending to their needs on the medical unit. She properly introduces herself to every patient and enjoys talking with each about personal interests, family members and anything else that helps build a positive rapport. She sincerely enjoys spending time with her patients and watching the progress as they heal. ■ A tragedy in Maggie Lee’s life turned into opportunity when a loved one was admitted to the acute medical and physical reha-

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012 work keeps Barb Grapp coming back to the 3-general medical unit at Covenant Medical Center. She enjoys the camaraderie of her fellow nurses and admires their caring personalities. Barb’s rule of thumb is to “treat people how you would want your family to be treated, then you never go wrong,” she said. Her co-workers say she will always go above and beyond for not just the patients, but their families too.

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012




6 at Allen Health System named ‘Great Iowa Nurses’ WATERLOO — For a second consecutive year, six Allen Health System nurses have been named to the list of 100 Great Iowa Nurses. Allen has had a total of 34 nurses named Great Iowa Nurses since the 100 Great Iowa Nurses program started in 2005. This year, two of the nurses are from Allen College, three are from Allen Hospital and one is from Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center. The Allen College nurses are Allen College Chancellor Jerry Durham and assistant professor Mavis TeSlaa. The Allen Hospital nurses are Lois Bonefas, retired director of patient advocacy; Barb Burkle, Allen Digestive Health Center advanced registered nurse practitioner; and Alisha Engel, 2 Heart nurse manager. The Grundy County Memorial Hospital nurse on the list is Jennifer Havens, chief


Allen Health System nurses named to the 100 Great Iowa Nurses are, from left, Mavis TeSlaa, Barb Burkle, Jerry Durham, Alisha Engel, Jennifer Havens and Lois Bonefas. The nurses were recognized at the eighth annual celebration of Iowa’s Great Nurses for 2012. clinical officer. The nurses were recognized at the eighth annual celebration of Iowa’s Great Nurses on May 6 in Des Moines. The University of Iowa College of Nursing, the Iowa Nurses

Gale Hennager Barbara Hershberger Amber Hines Jennifer Howell Jordan Ingles Jacqueline Jorgensen Carolyn Junk Renee Keninger Shawna Kuehl Allyson Landphair Jennifer Laube Paul Lovell Niki Maas Kathleen Mangrich Tiffany McEwan Kelli Meskimen Lisa Moeller Kem Mulder Melanie Neff Kathryn Ogburn Mary Patterson Anna Liza Persson

care facilities and school and office nurses. Nurses named to the list must hold a current Iowa registered nurse license and have practiced nursing for a minimum of three years. Nominations are reviewed

CVMS Medical Assistants ts

CVMS 2012 Nursing Staff Trisha Arnold Karie Benson Joan Blanchard Denise Britt Jennifer Bruce Dixie Burk Barbara Burkle Diane Castle Patricia Caya Chelsea Cheeney Chelsea Christensen Kandis Ciesielski Jon Clinton Brenda Cooper Scott Doyle DeAnn Eilers Laura Foote Susan Frost Julie Gleason Melissa Groeneveld Kari Haislet Ashley Hall

Association’s Iowa Nurses Foundation and the Iowa Hospital Association organize the Iowa’s Great Nurses celebration. Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care including hospitals, long-term

Lisa Phillips Karen Plum Amanda Ridder Erin Roberts Diane Rogers Elizabeth Rogers Jeanne Rothamel Abbie Schrader Abbie Schwark Carrie Shepard Julie Starbeck Bridget Stark Bethany Trask Sarah Tully Natasha Vogel Melissa Walztoni Amy Weber Katrina Willems Sara Yoder

Merri Burgart Melissa Gitch Mandi Koenen Toni Lambert Erica Martens Roberta Meyer Vanessa Miranda-Grundy Cari O’Brien Amy Ohl Judy Owen Kelly Rourke Koleen Weber Kristina White Casee Wilken

by a panel of judges. Selections are based on the significance of each nominee’s contribution to the profession of nursing. A list of all Great Iowa Nurses from 2005–2012 is available at www.




SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012

Long-term care nursing creates family relationships CEDAR FALLS — The people registered nurse Sue Weber works with are not patients she sees only occasionally. Instead, in serving nearly the same group of older adults each day, she creates a bond with them that feels more like family. That difference hooked Weber on a nursing career in long-term care 14 years ago after years working in a local hospital. As the director of nursing at Western Home Communities’ Martin Health Center, Weber oversees a large team of RNs, LPNs, nurse assistants, aides, housekeepers, launderers, dining staff and others who create a home for 100 residents. “We do everything possible to keep our residents comfortable and happy,” said Weber. It is a team effort. Each person has a role, and each role has value, Weber says. Without each person doing his or her part the team can’t function the way it must for the benefit of residents. One valued team player is Jeri Nelson, a certified nurse assistant who joined Western Home Communities more than 24 years ago. Nelson is known for doing the little extras that make residents feel special, such as putting fresh flowers in women’s hair and making sure the men are shaved and looking sharp each day. “Jeri works here because she loves it and wants to be here,” Weber said. “She has a kind heart, gentle, skilled hands and always puts our residents and their families’ needs ahead of her own.” Martin Health Center practices

RAVENWOOD From page 5 Ravenwood nursing staff is involved in charitable and benevolent causes as well as education, which improves the quality of life for elderly residents within the community. Some of the events staffers support by donation

where attention to the needs of others takes priority.” Nursing in long-term care is unpredictable and often stressful for caregivers tending to the needs of those in frail health. Weber keeps a devotional book, “Grace for the Moment,” on her desk. She and other nurses read

from it daily to help prepare them for whatever situation may arise. The reward comes from knowing residents are happy and living their best lives possible. “We all love what we do here,” noted Weber. “It shows through the tears and smiles we all share daily.”

A century of... COURTESY PHOTOS

LPN Martha Rodriguez, left, of Martin Health Center, discusses a resident’s care with a physical therapist at Western Home Communities.

a continuity of care philosophy that places caregivers with the same residents rather than rotating them throughout the build-

ing. This allows caregivers to become familiar with the needs of those they serve and creates an environment where residents can choose when they wake up, what activities they participate in and how their day unfolds. Weber credits her entire staff for their kindness, courtesy and knowledge, and says the culture that permeates Martin Health Center starts with the administration. Compassion, integrity and empathy are core values of the organization, which serves nearly 800 residents from independent living to assisted living to nursing care. “Our leaders guide us in a way that we all look forward to coming to work,” Weber said. “We often start meetings with prayer, and that sets the tone for an excellent working environment

and active participation include the American Heart Association Heartwalk, Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk and Older American’s Month Walk. Ravenwood is also a Partner in Education with Irving Elementary School. Students from Allen College, Hawkeye Community College and Kaplan University are embraced and mentored by the nursing staff, which is dedi-

cated to nursing education. Innovations in medical care to better resident outcomes are currently being piloted by Ravenwood nurses in conjunction with Allen Hospital. Through the congestive heart failure pilot program, efforts are being made to prevent rehospitalization and complications by providing immediate attention to resident condition changes.

Jeri Nelson, CNA, joined Western Home Communities in 1987 to care for nursing residents.

care compassion kindness help service professionalism competence empathy integrity smiles love Thank you, nurses, for all you do for our residents!

SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2012




Waverly woman lands a spot on 100 Great Iowa Nurses list WAVERLY — As a bedside nurse, Andrea Anhalt, BSN, RN-BC, is a great example of excellence at Waverly Health Center. She has been a part of the medical-surgical team for more than six years. Anhalt was chosen as WHC’s 2011 Excellence in Nursing Award winner and was recently selected as one of 100 Great Iowa Nurses. One of Anhalt’s nominators wrote, “Through her role as a bedside nurse, charge nurse, preceptor and council member she keeps the patient at the center of her work. She is an advocate for patients and their families. Andrea is dependable and can be counted on to support her team and meet the needs of our patients.”

Connecting with patients is simple for Andrea. “I enjoy making patients happy and healthy on many levels through patient-centered care. I feel that everything I do is focused on giving better care to each of my patients. We always work to provide up-to-date and evidence-based care.” Anhalt focuses on more than just the health needs of her patients. “I try to focus not only the daily tasks needed to take care of patients, but also things that will make each patient’s care specific to them and support their best health status. Some of the little things I have found often make a big difference.” Another one of Anhalt’s nomi-

nators noted, “Andrea’s greatest contribution to nursing is her commitment to patient-centered care. She is the nurse you would want taking care of you or a loved one. She works with the whole health care team to meet the patient’s needs. As a bedside nurse, Andrea is a coach and role model to others.” Providing patient-centered care is the cornerstone and mission of Waverly Health Center. WHC has two of the newest 100 Great Iowa Nurses in Anhalt and Randy Wirtz, ARNP-BC, nurse practitioner in the Nashua Clinic and walk-in clinic. Since the 100 Great Iowa Nurses recognition began in 2005, 10 nurses COURTESY PHOTO from WHC have been chosen for Andrea Anhalt, a nurse at Waverly Health Center, was named one of the the honor. 100 Great Iowa Nurses.

(L-R) Alisha Engel, Mavis TeSlaa, Dr. Jerry Durham, Lois Bonefas, Jennifer Havens, Barbara Burkle

We have great nurses. You get great care. Every year, nurses across the state select and honor 100 Great Iowa Nurses. This year, six more Allen nurses made the list. Thirty-four Allen Health System nurses have been named Great Iowa Nurses since the program began in 2005. Our nurses have been caring for the Cedar Valley since 1925. Year after year, Allen has great nurses. Year after year, you get great care.

Salute to Nurses - 2012  

A salute to area nurses.