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PacesetterUnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge Fall/Winter 2014
A smart judgement call may have saved
District Court Judge Kurt Wilkes life.
2 UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
In this issue of Pacesetter
New Doctor ...................................... 3
Celebrating our Employees .........4
Meet Greg Porter ............................ 5
Creating a Successful ACO .........6
A Home for Health & Wellbeing ...........................................8
A Right Judgement Call .............. 10
Finding Purpose ............................... 12
Spoken from the Heart ............... 14
The Pacesetter is published by UnityPoint Health Trinity Regional Medical Center Marketing and Public Relations. All rights reserved: No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any way without written permission from Trinity Marketing and Public Relations.
Trinity Marketing & Public Relations802 Kenyon Road Fort Dodge, IA 50501 515-574-6511
unitypointfortdodge.orgSue Thompson, CEOUnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
The point of unity is you.
Happy Holidays! During this holiday season its important to take time to reflect on the many blessings in our life. UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge has much to be thankful. Here is my list of our blessings, I hope I havent missed anyone. A Supportive Community As an organization we have been blessed with a community who gives generously to UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge and Trinity Foundation. We see the power of your support daily and are honored by your heart for our mission. Our Patients & Families We are grateful and humbled that you entrust us with your health care needs. This is a responsibility and honor that we do not take lightly!Our Physicians We are blessed with physicians who love what they do; physicians who are connected to the reason they chose medicine as their profession and vocation, who give time and talent to their patients many times at the expense of their own family. We thank you and are so very grateful for the work you do!Our Employees It is our employees who make UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge a great place to work. They care deeply for their patients and co-workers and go beyond the call of duty each and every day. We thank you, we applaud you, and we are inspired by you. Board Members To our remarkable, dedicated board members who volunteer their time to represent the spirit and interest of our community, providing strategic vision and thoughtful guidance to our organization and its leaders thank you!Our Volunteers We are blessed with many wonderful Volunteers! They come to work at Trinity and provide a special touch to our patients, families and visitors day after daybecause they love giving back. Our organization wouldnt be the same without them. Thank you for the gift of your time!Community Leaders Thank you to those who lead our community with a positive vision for the future of a growing and prosperous community and region. UnityPoint Health It is an honor to be a part of UnityPoint Health. This affiliation gives us the opportunity to live the promise of the point of unity is you each and every day.My Leadership Team The leadership team that supports me each and every day and their tireless passion for building and strengthening our health care system for the future you are all a blessing. Regional Relationships The growing relationships we enjoy across the region, especially with the communities and hospitals served by our physicians, including Eagle Grove, Humboldt, Lake City, Pocahontas, Sac City and Storm Lake. We are grateful for the outstanding patient care they provide. Sitting in the heart of the holiday season, we all have much to which to be thankful. I am thankful for you and your enduring support for our mission and the work that we do. I wish you much health and happiness in the coming year.Blessings to you!
Welcome New Doctor to UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
Christine Segreto, D.O.UnityPoint Health - Berryhill Center is pleased to welcome Dr. M. Christine Segreto.
Dr. Segreto is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, but she will see patients of all ages at Berryhill. She previously served as the Medical Director of Seasons Center for Behavioral Health and the Medical Director of the Spencer Hospital Inpatient Mental Health Unit.
Dr. Segreto received her Medical Degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, Des Moines University. She completed a Residency in General Psychiatry and a Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Karl Menninger School of
Psychiatry in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Segreto also has a special interest in Attention Deficit Disorders.
Dr. Segreto will begin practicing with Berryhill Center in January of 2015.
UnityPoint Health Berryhill Center is an outpatient behavioral health clinic that provides a complete range of psychiatry and counseling services to individuals, families, and couples of all ages. We treat depression, stress, panic disorders, pho-bias, child behavioral disorders, bereave-ment, and addictions.
Berryhill Center has several outreach clinics in the communities of Fort Dodge, Algona, Clarion, Hampton, Humboldt, Pocahontas and Webster City.
To learn more about our services please call 1-800-482-8305 or visit unitypoint.org/berryhill.
The point of unity is you.
Helping you through lifes challenges.
Celebrating Our EmployeesAt UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge, we know it is our employees that are making a difference everyday in the lives of our patients and their families. We celebrate the following employee anniversaries from October through December.
We offer: Medical Insurance/Health Savings Account Dental Insurance Vision Plan Flexible Spending Account Paid Time Off Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Life Insurance Tuition Assistance Wellness Program Retirement Savings Plan Cafeteria Discount Employee Recognition and Appreciation Events Robust Leadership Development Programs
Are You Ready for a Rewarding Career?
UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge has a variety of positions open. If you enjoy making a difference in your community and working in a family atmosphere check out our employment opportunities at www.unitypoint.org/careers.
Employees With 25+ Years of Service5 Years of Service Jessica AdamsKatie AndrewsChad BaedkeTaria BrandtDonna Davis Andrea Delaney Diane Dellachiesa Megan HannaCindy Polk Sarah SchluterShelly TreloarAshlee Wood
10 Years of Service Marcus AndersonKristin BurnsJenny CarlsonMichele JohnsonAmy PedersonCynthia Sweeden
15 Years of Service Susan Allard Jessica HaubJessica Lane Sandra LaubenthalDavid Wienhold
20 Years of Service Michelle BallRobin CobbJoann HarrisSheila Hefley Katherine MillerSusan QuadeLynda RoeJulie Samuelson
25 years of Service Lynn Hanish - Trinity Pharmacy Debbie Joslin - UnityPoint Clinic
- Family Medicine in Buena Vista
Claire Peterson - UnityPoint Clinic - Central Billing Office
Donna Stebug - UnityPoint Clinic Administration
Wanda Thilges - UnityPoint Clinic - Pulmonology
30 years of Service Janice Goche - UnityPoint
Clinic - Family Medicine in Humboldt
35 years of ServiceKim Dunne - Trinity Health
Information ManagementGregory Porter - Trinity Surgery
40 years of ServiceDiane Davis - Trinity Clinical
Performance Improvement Carolyn Matteson - UnityPoint
Clinic - Family Medicine in Eagle Grove
Christine Shunkwiler - Trinity Respiratory Care
45 years of ServiceLinda Fitzgerald -
5The point of unity is you.
I have to be honest, I didnt grow up thinking I want to be a nurse, shares Greg Porter, surgical nurse, but science always came easy for me and I really en-joyed all the sciences. So when it came time to graduate high school and make that, What do you want to be? decision, the field of nursing seemed to fit best for my interests. That life decision has fit Greg well and has opened more oppor-tunities than he realized when he made the choice.
It was 1979 when Greg first started his career as a nurse at Trinity on the Medi-cal Surgical patient care floor, and then transitioned to Surgery in 1981. Today, Greg works as a first assistant surgical nurse, as well as carrying many creden-tials which he has duly earned. A surgical first assistant works directly under the su-pervision of a surgeon. Not only do they assist and collaborate with the surgeon during surgical procedures, they also play an important role in the patients care before, during and after surgery.
Greg often meets with patients and their families before surgery. Meeting with a patient and their family is a part of my job that I really enjoy, states Greg. A lot of times they are really nervous before-hand, I try to calm their fears by answer-ing any further questions they may have. Even though its a short period of time, that face-to-face interaction to assure them they are in good hands and we truly care about them makes a big dif-ference.
Greg credits the daily teamwork and ca-maraderie of his co-workers that makes his job satisfying. Its important to like what you do every day, and its also important that your job is challenging, Greg states. Surgery never gets boring. You are always on your toes and you get to help people when they are very dependent on you to be at your best.
The leadership at Trinity has always en-couraged me to achieve a higher level of care, Greg shares. Whether it is to gain certifications or learn new technology to
aid in surgery, they have always been my greatest champion to do better. Trinity offers its employees tuition assistance for approved formal advanced educa-tion courses.
Greg has made a difference at Trinity and the surrounding communities as he has served several years as a volunteer fireman with the Callendar Fire Depart-ment. He helps train Trinity employees in fire safety and how to use the fire extinguisher. As an avid cyclist, Greg has also been very encouraging to his fellow co-workers to ride their bike to work to get fit and healthy.
Thanks Greg for making Trinity a great place to work.
Meet Greg Porter, BSN, RNFA, CNOR
nt Centered Care
ions of Care
6 UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
The Pioneer ACO Model is an innovative way to provide care. It encourages health care providers to work together to coor-dinate patient care across the continuum, enhance commu-nication among patients and providers and other health care partners, improve access to health professionals, empower patients and families to make informed choices about their care and create a more efficient and cost effective delivery system.
What does this mean? The health care system many of us grew up on made money every time a patient had surgery, spent a night in the hospital or had a MRI. It was a traditional fee-for-service payment system. Unlike the fee-for-service payment system with the Pioneer ACO model, health care systems are rewarded for helping pa-tients stay well and out of the hospital. Its a health care model based on quality rather than quantity, added Sue Thompson, President and CEO, UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge.
Year two completed. While it is an ongoing effort to improve quality while reduc-ing costs, we are proud to announce Trinity Pioneer ACO has successfully completed the second year operating under the Pioneer ACO model, shared Pam Halvorson, Executive Spon-sor. Trinity Pioneer ACO met the quality performance stan-dards set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by completely and accurately reporting on all 33 clinical quality measures and achieved a minimum attainment on at least 70% of measures in each domain. The domains include: patient/caregiver experience, care coordination/patient safety,
preventive health and at risk population. In addition, Trinity Pioneer ACO fell within at least the 30th percentile of each of the clinical quality measures. By entering effective treat-ment, preventative care, and patient satisfaction scores into a complex formula, the Trinity Pioneer ACO demonstrated it was able to lower members expected health care costs for the year, becoming eligible for shared savings.
In total, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported an estimate of $96 million in model savings while generating $68 million of shared savings by Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), in which 11 pioneers earned shared savings. By generating this amount of savings, Pioneer ACOs overall were able to decrease the trend by approximately one percent, lowering spending for the Medicare population than the traditional fee-for-service operating model. Of the 11 pioneers, Trinity Pioneer ACO achieved 2.7 percent savings or $1.2 million. Being eligible for shared savings is not only excit-ing, it shows that everyones hard work is paying off, stated Dr. Lincoln Wallace, Trinity Pioneer ACO Medical Director. The $1.2 million in shared savings will be used to reinvest into Trinitys infrastructure and given back to ACO participants (i.e. physicians and other health care providers) as an incentive for keeping our patients healthy and out of the hospital when not necessary.
In early 2012, Trinity Regional Medical Center, UnityPoint Clinic, Berryhill Center and UnityPoint at Home, began working together to form the Trinity Pioneer ACO. Nationally, one of only 32 Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), Trinity Pioneer remains one of the most rural and has one of the smallest population bases. While it may be small in comparison to the other ACO participants, its hard work continues to show a strong, positive impact across the eight county service area in Northwest Central Iowa including Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Wright, Sac, Calhoun, Webster and Hamilton.
nt Centered Care
ions of Care
A round of applause. The ask to all physicians and staff was big, really big, explained Sue Thompson. Moving to an ACO model was not simply a change in a workflow or challenge to think outside the box. It fundamentally required changing the culture of medi-cine - the way providers work as a team, relate to one another and deliver care to a patient, shared Thompson. It required all our specialists and primary care providers to find common ground with mutual risks and rewards, to collaborate as a team and coordinate care with a patient, acknowledging the patient is an important member of the care team too. Then on top of changing the culture of medicine, we challenged our providers and staff to help identify inefficiencies and waste, to lower the cost of care per patient, Thompson added. Clearly it was no small feat, yet we demonstrated that even a small ACO could successfully meet the models robust standards and qualify for shared savings.
Through collaboration with our patients, physicians, hospitals, clin-ics, and community we have accom-plished a great deal in the past two years. And it is because of everyones hard work and focus on improving qual-ity and outcomes, we are turning a once intriguing concept into a reality, Thompson proudly stated.
Whats to come? As Pioneer ACOs keep working on improving patient care and lowering costs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will continue to raise the bar by adding to the already rigorous quality benchmarks and payment methodology. The work gets more complicated, so stamina continues to be an important attribute of people doing the work, said Pam Halvorson. With an adaptive design, and multi-year transition, the Pioneer ACO model is built in a way to provide new incentives for providers and patients so that they remain engaged and committed to the model.
With the leaders, providers and teams dedicated to the ACO vision, I believe we have what it takes to help reshape
the rural health care system. We have a tremendous future, shares Pam Halvorson.
Through collaboration with
our patients, physicians, hospi-tals, clinics, and community we have accomplished a great deal in the past
two years. And it is because of everyones hard work and focus on improving
quality and outcomes, we are turning a once intriguing concept into
8 UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
What is a Patient Centered Medical Home?Patient Centered Medical Home is a team-based approach to providing quality, coordinated care. While the concept isnt entirely new, now more than ever before, the models primary focus is proactively addressing a patients needs to ensure they receive appropriate care, at the right time and place. Its a hub
for ideal patient care, explained Amy Palmer, UnityPoint Clinic Process Excellence Project Manager. It encourages routine visits, preventative care and promotes wellness.
A Patient Centered Medical Home model provides: coordi-nated care, tools and resources on managing chronic diseases
and medication education, as well as a variety of other services. A medical home model delivers better continu-ity of care and it looks at the whole picture for the patient, instead of just one piece of the puzzle, stated Charity Hayes, ARNP. It encourages patients to not just come in when they are sick, but to come in when they are healthy in hopes of being more proactive with their health.
How does it work?Patient Centered Medi-cal Home incorporates the following five functions and attributes:
Patient CenteredThe Patient Centered Medi-cal Home concept starts with building a relationship with the patient and identifying their personal health goals.
On Thursday, November 6, 2014 UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Eagle Grove received the highest level of recognition by National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). As a pilot clinic, Family Medicine Eagle Grove is the first clinic in the Fort Dodge region to successfully transition over to this innovative approach to delivering health care. Encouraged by the success and proven results, UnityPoint Clinic is in the process of transforming all its primary care practices to a medical home model.
A Home for Health & Wellbeing
P A T I E N T C E N T E R E D M E D I C A L H O M E
Dr. Dustin Smith catching up with patient Dick Sadler, since his last appointment.
9The point of unity is you.
TRADITIONAL CARE MEDICAL HOME CARE
Care is determined by chief complaints or reasons for visits Patients health needs are systematically assessed for plan of careCare plan is determined by todays problem and available time today
A proactive plan to meet patient needs without visits is developed
Scheduled time and memory or skill of provider determines care Evidence-based guidelines standardize and determine care delivery
Patients coordinate their own care Patients care is coordinated by a prepared team of professionals
Quality of care is based on how well provider was trained Quality is measured and results are used to improve itUrgent care is scheduled in the next available appointment and walk-ins
Same day access and non-visit contacts manage urgent care needs
Patient is responsible to tell us their medical history Clinic track tests, consultations and follow up after ER and hospital
Clinic is organized to meet the providers need A multidisciplinary team is organized to serve patientsAdapted from Daniel Duffy, MD School of Community Medicine, Tulsa Oklahoma
Working with the patient, so you know what means the most to them, said Carolyn Matteson, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Eagle Grove Manager. A care coordinator then helps form a team of specialists.
Each team is unique to a patient; however it can include: providers, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, educators, and a care coordinator. The entire care team is then collectively responsible for providing care, education and support that the patient needs to be successful, ultimately improving effectiveness, safety, and efficiency. We want to help patients help themselves, so the better their health will be, stated Carolyn.
Care CoordinationAs a team, coordinated care is delivered so that a patient re-ceives the best care for all his or her needs, Amy shared. Care coordination is the act of sharing and communicating informa-tion with all the various providers, nurses, and individuals on a patients care coordination team. Important pieces of informa-tion shared include: family history, specialists notes, dates of past doctors appointments, test results, current medications, and each doctors action plans. Primary care providers are fa-miliar with what the specialists are doing and the specialists are in tune with what the primary care providers are doing, Dustin Smith, M.D. described. Communication is key.
Access to ServicesThe Patient Centered Medical Home is structured in a way that actively recognizes barriers to services and finds solutions. If a patient isnt doing what their provider told them to, there is a reason, Carolyn Matteson explained. Our job is to figure out the why and break down any barriers that are in the way, Care Coordinator, Rhonda Hollingshead added. Historically, when a patient didnt show up to a doctors appointment, it was just assumed they didnt want to come. Now we are following up with the patient to see why. More often than not, there is a barrier behind a patient not showing up to their scheduled appointment.
With the help of a care coordinator, the team follows up with the patient and eliminates the barriers. A care coordinator works with the care team to provide education on medication, nutrition, exercise, and other topics important to a patient. They can also help with scheduling appointments and arranging transportation to the appointment. In addition, the care coordi-nator and entire care team assists individuals with setting goals and coaches them with developing a plan to achieve their goals.
Safety & QualityAs mentioned above, using a Patient Centered Medical Home model helps ensure that a patient receives quality care, at the right time and place. It also allows a patients care team to keep a close eye on their care and overall wellbeing. If a patient needs to see a specialist, their care coordinator can help set up an appointment to make sure its within an appropriate timeframe. The model emphasizes the importance of an ongoing patient-provider relationship to guarantee that an individuals health is being managed appropriately over time and care is constantly being coordinated. Therefore, not only is a patients current medical condition being managed or treated, but preventative measures are being taken along the way.
While many of these services and actions have been a part of health care delivery for decades, the process has never been formally tracked. Weve always been interested and dedicated to delivering the best patient care, shared Dustin Smith, M.D. This model merely helps us better keep track of all the moving parts that are a part of caring for a patient, while taking a more proactive approach.
The Patient Centered Medical Home is available to all patients. It is intended to help empower patients to be active participants in their health care and to take of advantage of services that will help them get the care they need. UnityPoint Health is proud to be making this innovative approach to quality care a reality to our patients and the communities we serve.
10 UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
He thought it was just indigestion that Sunday morning in late August, but as Kurt Wilke continued with his regular exercise routine, something just didnt seem right. I rarely have indigestion which was my first indication something was not normal, explains Kurt, then it seemed to get worse the longer I worked out so I told my wife, Sandy, that we probably should go to the Emergency Room. Fortunately for Kurt, a long-time area District Court Judge, he made the right judgment with this call.
Kurt arrived at the Trinity Emergency Room where clinicians quickly did an EKG and ran blood tests, which appeared normal. A CT scan was then performed to ascertain if there were issues with Kurts gall bladder which also returned normal. I was ready to go home believing that I just had a bad case of indigestion, but thankfully Dr. Cookman, an Iowa Heart Center cardiologist, was more suspicious, reports Kurt, so he required that I be admitted for observation and to run a few more blood tests.
After admission, two more blood enzyme tests were performed with both showing that Kurt was having a heart attack. One of Kurts small arteries was 100% blocked and his main artery, sometimes referred to as the widow maker, had 70% blockage. Dr. Cookman was able to perform a balloon angioplasty which opened the small artery, but the main artery would require open heart surgery.
Two of my sons are physicians and they were impressed with the level of care that I received at Trinity, states Kurt. They told me that many hospitals would have sent me home after the first couple of tests that proved negative, and my heart at-tack would have continued to serious heart muscle damage or worse. We are so fortunate to have a medical center like Trinity here in Fort Dodge.
11The point of unity is you.
While the heart attack may have changed Kurts work sched-ule, it was the weeks and months following that changed Kurts lifestyle. Within a week of his surgery Kurt would start Trinitys Cardiac Rehab program. At first I was very lethargic from the surgery and it took a while to get back into action, reflects Kurt. But as I continued to follow the exercise course in cardiac re-hab and make changes to my diet I began to regain my strength and feel very well.
My previous diet was horrible, Kurt confesses, I was told that the blockages to my arteries were the result of years of unhealthy eating. I travel often in my occupation and it was
so easy to stop at fast food places for a quick lunch. The nutritional classes provided by Trinity through Cardiac Rehab were an eye opener. I never realized how excessive sodium, sugar, and carbohydrates can so dramatically damage ones vascular system. Today, under the watchful eye of Sandy,
Kurts meals consist mainly of fruit, vegetables, and lean meat. One of the things we learned during Kurts class is to focus on purchasing healthier food that is located around the edges of the grocery store, Sandy explains, I used to casually read food labels, now I read them all the time, especially looking at the sodium content, and it is really shocking how much sodium is contained in prepackaged food items.
Since his heart attack Kurt has lost in excess of 25 pounds and feels great. He credits the caring staff with Cardiac Rehab for helping him make significant life changes. These professionals are amazing. They do a great job of encouraging and teaching. I am so impressed with the heart program at Trinity and I feel so lucky that we have such a program in Fort Dodge.
From his experience Kurt advises, If something doesnt feel right to you dont hesitate to get it checked out. I had no chest pain whatsoever, so a heart at-tack was far from my thoughts. But I was fortunate because I went in early enough to avoid any heart muscle damage. If I had ignored the persistent indigestion I would have been in serious trouble. I have also learned that it is never too late to make changes in your diet and your lifestyle. Healthier food and exercise are, in my opin-ion, the keys to healthier living. If you need to change, do it now before a serious life-changing health event forces you to do so.
Talk the Talk & Walk the WalkJoin Trinity Cardiac Rehab and Kurt Wilke on
Saturday, February 7, 2015, at the Cross Roads Mall for
Talk the Talk & Walk the Walk.
The walk will begin at 9:00 am to raise funds for the Ameri-can Heart Association. Kurt and Sandy will speak at the event to share how they were able to make significant life changes towards better health. Lipid panel screenings will
also be offered from 7:30 - 9:00 am before the walk.
Kurt working out hard his last days of Cardiac Rehab with nurse and coach, Jessica Meyer. Cardiac Rehab is a program for people who have had a heart attack or other incident concerning the heart. Cardiac Rehab includes an exer-cise and education program for cardiac patients and those considered at high risk for heart disease. The program includes heart monitored exercise, education and counseling for patients and family members.
If something doesnt feel right to you, dont hesitate to get it checked out.
I was told that the blockages to my
arteries were the result of years of
12 UnityPoint Health Fort Dodge
Anger, guilt, sorrow are just a few emotions Tracy openly shares about his journey with cancer. Tracy was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009 at the young age of 49 when he was having terrible stomach pain. After his pri-mary doctor, Dr. Peimann, ordered a few blood tests, he then ordered a colonoscopy a test Tracy was determined to never to have.
The guys at work would talk about their experiences around having a colonoscopy and I swore I would never have one, admits Tracy. But when you get to a point where you are so sick, you dont care anymore, you just want answers and to feel better.
Tracy underwent surgery to remove a mass in his colon, and at that time was given a positive prognosis. It wasnt until two years later, an uncomfortable sensation on his left side sent him back to Dr. Peimann. It really wasnt pain-ful, just kind of an odd sensation. Maybe it was a little nudge from God, reflects Tracy. A CT scan would show five lesions; four on his liver and one on his pelvic lymph nodes. A biopsy would confirm, the lesions were cancerous.
My mom was with me when I received the re-sults that my cancer was back and had spread. I was told I had stage four colon cancer, and it just really crushed me, stated Tracy.
Finding When you receive a diagnosis of cancer, its devastating, shares Tracy Phillips. Youre in total shock. And you cant help but ask, Why me? Why do I have this awful disease?
Meet Tracy Phillips and his friend Brody. Tracy sees each day as a gift as he continues to battle colon cancer.
The lesions on my liver were situated in a way that surgery was not an option. Dr. Elsway played it pretty straight with me that they could manage it for about two years. I told my mom then, I was going to need help to get through this.
Never one to be emotional because, men dont cry, Tracy can remember moments of crying for no reason, I always thought only the really mentally ill people needed to take medication, but I knew that if I was going to be able to fight this disease I had to be mentally strong.
With the help of anti-depressants, Tracy was able to find the inner-strength to get into a place emotionally that he was happy again and could find purpose for his life. As a man who had worked all his life in the trucking industry and also a
recreational pilot, Tracy needed some type of outlet that made him feel like he was contributing to the world. And he found it at the Trinity Cancer Center.
I discovered early in my cancer treat-ment that if I talked about what I was going through, I felt so much better, he states. Tracy soon found friendships with other cancer patients during his chemo-therapy treatments, they were and con-tinue to be what help him stay motivated to fight. One particular friendship was an old friend also diagnosed with cancer which would evolve into forming todays current C-Club at the Cancer Center. C-Club is a support group for cancer patients who meet on a monthly basis.
At first it was just a couple of us with Michele Johnson, a social worker at the center, shares Tracy, but it has slowly emerged into a larger group. Some are pretty faithful in coming and some only come a few times, and thats ok. Dealing
with cancer is a journey and everyone needs to deal with it in their own way. I discovered that the more I try and help others the better I feel. He continues, You can tell when someone is there for the first time to get chemo, and it is scary. I try and help them by encouraging them and tell them about my experience. When I tell them that I have had over 100 treatments and am still standing strong, I can see on their face an Okay, I think I can do this. If I can help one person find inner strength and courage, then I feel like Ive accomplished something in life.
Everyone at the Cancer Center has given so much to me in the way of support and encouragement, by helping other cancer patients get past anxiety and depression I feel like I am giving something back, states Tracy. The Cancer Center has such a family atmosphere; they bring so much joy to my life and all the patients they serve. I really dont know how they do it.
While this has been a journey that Tracy probably wouldnt have chosen for himself, he is working hard to make it one that has meaning. I encourage everyone that has cancer in their family to have a colonoscopy, he states. Honestly, I think 50 is too late to have your first one. People should have them earlier; Ive seen way too many young people diagnosed with colon cancer. Tracy also reminds us, People are so busy that they end up taking life for granted. Cancer has a way of reminding us to treat each day as a gift, and along the way do what you can to help the people around you.
I told my mom then, I was going to need help to get through this.
C-Club is a support group for anyone diagnosed with cancer. Meetings cover a range of topics dealing with treatment to health and nutrition. The group meets the first Monday of every month. For more information call 515-574-6778.
Tracy in his spot at the Trinity Cancer Center chemotherapy room as he takes his treatment. During this time, Tracy enjoys his friendships with both the staff and other cancer patients.
spoken from the
It was a Monday morning and Ellen had mentioned her heart just didnt feel right, shared Earl Barmore, Ellens husband. Despite not feeling one hundred percent, it was she who drove to Iowa Heart for an appointment. She always wanted to do the driving.
What the couple thought was going to be a routine doctors appointment, turned into a nightmare. Ellens heart was out of sync. It was soon learned she also had what the doctors described as a raging infection. Ellens conditions were severe, and with her age and frailness electronic shock procedures to get her heart back in sync posed too great a risk.
Despite everything the doctors could do, Ellens health rapidly deteriorated. It was a bolt out of the blue and the next thing we knew she wasnt eating or drinking anymore and she became unconscious. Then hospice started being discussed among our family, recalls Earl. The entire family was in agreement that the Hospice Home was now the best option. He added, We were all somewhat familiar with the idea of hospice but had no idea just how incredibly wonder-ful and caring it would beboth for Ellen and the family!
On Saturday, six days after being admitted to the hospital, Ellen was transferred to the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home. While Earl and Ellen called Humboldt home, Earl expressed, Distance wasnt a factor. We heard great things about the home and knew it was a very special place, where she would receive the
best care. All the family felt the same way.
Earl went on to explain the familys immediate reactions upon arriving to the Hospice Home.
The building and grounds were so beautiful, peaceful and comforting. Amazed by the first impression of the facility, Earl further explained how touched they all were by the staff. They are all saints, son-in-law Buzz
said, as Earl nodded his head in agreement. Earl chimed in, We were really impressed.
The facility was so beautiful and the nurses were genuinely caring and unbelievably accommodating.
They constantly checked on Ellen to make sure she was not in any level of discomfort and immediately took appropriate steps whenever necessary. We were so fortunate to have a place like this for Ellen and for our family.
Earl went on to explain the strong bond between his family, We have an extremely close family! Buzz agreed, Yes. And
HeartWe were all
somewhat familiar with the idea of hospice, but had no idea just how incredibly
wonderful and caring it would be...
Paula J. Baber Hospice Home
Hospice is not about how you die its about how you live.
The Paula J. Baber Hospice Home is a place where individuals with life-limiting illness can come together with staff who will support their end-of-life choices with extraordinary care and compassion.
There are eight patient suites at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home. Each suite has all the amenities that a patient and their loved one need for a comfortable stay. The spacious main bedroom allows for any necessary medical equipment while maintaining a comfortable area for family members who choose to stay with their loved one. Each suite has an adjoining living space including an entertainment center and a hide-a-bed for family mem-bers to stay.
The home was built with family in mind, providing everything a family would need while staying with or visiting their loved one. There is a family kitchen with all the necessities to make a meal and adjoining dining room. A family room is also pro-vided to relax and watch TV including a childrens area so they can watch a DVD, read or play games.
For more information about the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home please call (515) 574-8500 or visit www.unitypoint.org.
we all wanted to be here for mom. But, after a couple of days of no one leaving her side began to take its toll, we decided to try shifts. That idea didnt work out quite that way, however. One or two of us would go back to Humboldt for a few hours, to catch a short nap and freshen up, but then wed all be back here again. We just didnt want to be away from her, so everyone ended up staying pretty much 24/7, Buzz smiled.
Touched by the genuine hospitality of the staff Earl said, We honestly couldnt ask for anything without finding it was already there. They made sure you didnt have to worry about a thing. The kitchen was always stocked. They found places for our family to sleep. They even baked cookies at home, and brought them in for us, he said. They made us feel like their family.
The Barmore family made themselves at home and soon began to make friends with staff, as well as with other families who were there with their own loved ones. In one breath we were sharing laughs and in another we were all sharing in the grieving process, Buzz explained. We knew it was going to be very, very hard say-ing goodbye to mom but soon realized it would also be sad to say goodbye to our new extended family.
The time finally came for Ellen eight days later, on Sunday, September 7, 2014. The family and nurses had kept her comfortable, and she went peacefully.
We never second guessed the Hospice Home as being the best place. The experi-ence was truly remarkable, something you often dont think of when youre talking about end of life, Earl shared.
If the need for hospice should ever come for me, I would want to be brought here. Not just because of the comforting care I know I would receive, but for the experi-ence I know would make it so much easier on my family, as well, Buzz expressed. Earl added, I just want to make sure people are aware that this option is available to them and their families. It is an amazing place with a very special staff. Looking at each other Buzz and Earl said, We cannot say enough good things about the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home. We cant do it justice, it is just incredible.
Above: Memories held close, the Barmore family surrounding Ellen with love and laughter. Above left: Still dancing in their later years at a wedding. Earl and Ellen met at a dance at the Bohemian Hall in 1946.
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