Sherri Johnston-McDowell Retires After 44 Years

On Monday, December 5th Sherri Johnston-McDowell was honored with a celebration for her 44 years of commitment and dedication to Burgess Health Center.

“Sherri truly leads with her heart in all she does. Watching her navigate all of her roles in her career and life is nothing short of amazing,” said Erin Brekke, Vice President of Support Services at Burgess Health Center. “She has an absolute heart of gold, who cares for all people.”

Sherri began her career at Burgess after she graduated from nursing school and the rest is history.  During Sherri’s 44 years she has held many roles, but none can compare to the role of caregiver.

“I have so many wonderful stories of my caregiving opportunities and have made so many lifelong friends along the way,” said Sherri. “As I reflect on my time here at Burgess my thoughts don’t take me to the positions I have held or my time as a Director, but the relationships and interactions I have had with my peers, patients, and the communities we serve.”

Through Sherri’s hard work and devotion to her Home Health and Hospice team and Burgess Health Center, she has ensured the success of the department for future generations to come.

Thank you, Sherri, for an incredible 44 years. Take the time to celebrate all of your accomplishments, enjoy your newfound freedom, and always remember what a positive difference you’ve made at Burgess.

Sharon Taylor – Leaving a Legacy

On Monday, November 21, Burgess Health Center celebrated Sharon Taylor’s legacy as she retires from full-time work at Burgess Health Center.

Sharon’s career began 48 years ago working part-time for Burgess to set up the education program. Since then, the impact she has had on Burgess is one for the record books.

“Sharon has always supported Burgess and has been the organization’s biggest champion and advocate,” said Erin Brekke, Vice President of Support Services at Burgess Health Center. “You can feel the pride Sharon has for this organization, and over all these years, through difficult times of change, that has never wavered. Even through a pandemic.”

Sharon was instrumental in the success and startup of many organizations, programs and departments at Burgess. Including establishing the education program, the Home Health Department, the Swing Bed Program, Employee Wellness and Community Wellness programs, and Burgess’ own employee-funded organization, Burgess People Care. In more recent years, she oversaw Infection Control and Prevention, Compliance and Risk Management, and Privacy and Accreditation.

For her commitment and devotion to Burgess, Sharon received a Guardian Angel Award and an engraved paver with her name in the Healing Garden both from Burgess People Care.

“It has been an honor to work at Burgess over the last 48 years, and I want to offer my sincere thanks to our employees whose hard work and dedication have allowed us to achieve so much,” said Sharon. “I also want to thank our patients and communities for their ongoing support. I have worked with many individuals over the years and am confident that my predecessors will continue excellent leadership for Burgess. It has been a pretty smooth transition.”

Sharon’s hard work and dedication to Burgess has created some big shoes to fill. The legacy she is leaving will be impactful for the future of Burgess, our patients, and the communities we serve. Sharon has decided to stay on as PRN (as needed) to assist in the transition of her multiple roles. Thank you, Sharon, for providing us with 48 years of knowledge and expertise. Here’s to a happy retirement and wishing you all the best!

Photo from left to right: (back row) Mark and Jenny (Taylor) Dehn, Sharon and Gary Taylor, Jessica Taylor (front row) Merrick Dehn, Graham Riley, Denver Riley

 

Guardian Angel Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nomination of Abbie Nielsen, RN in the Inpatient Services Department, for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

The family of Carolyn Westergaard want to recognize and thank Abbie for her attention, confident care, and professional concern for Carolyn during her last loving hours.

Abbie was knowledgeable and alert to health details, such as calling Dr. Garred and making Carolyn comfortable during her brief stay at Burgess Health Center. Carolyn and her family trusted her health to the medical professionals at Burgess.

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.

Photo: Dr. John Garred, Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director, Kathy Westergaard (Carolyn’s daughter-in-law), Abbie Nielsen, and Chris Cleaver, Director of Inpatient Services.

Guardian Angel Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nomination of Brooke Barnett, RN and Critical Care Paramedic in the Emergency Department, for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

Shari Pithan recognizes and thanks Brooke for going above and beyond in providing exceptional care. Pithan was involved in a car accident, and Brooke was one of the first paramedics on the scene.

“It was a very scary situation, and Brooke calmly answered and explained all my questions,” said Pithan. “She is very kind and helpful and rode all the way to Omaha with me. Burgess is lucky to have her”.

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.

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Photo: Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director, Karla Copple, Director of Emergency Services, Brooke Barnett, and Mona Pithan, Shari’s daughter-in-law.

Burgess Auxiliary Awards Five Scholarships

Five scholarships of $500 each are awarded each spring to area high school seniors and first-year college students that wish to pursue a career in a health-related field.

The 2022 recipients are as follows: Emma Gross, graduate of Whiting Community School plans to attend the University of South Dakota for Radiological Technician; Cole Halverson, graduate of West Monona High School plans to attend Morningside College for Pharmacy Biochemistry; Calliyah Mareau, graduate of MVAOCOU High School plans to attend WITCC for Nursing; Caden Nielsen, graduate of Boyer Valley High School plans to attend the University of Iowa for Nursing (Nurse Anesthetist); and Sydney Seward, graduate of Westwood High School plans to attend WITCC for Nursing.

Applications are available January through March online at www.BurgessHC.org/auxiliary or at the Burgess Health Center front desk and accepted until April 1.

 

Burgess Teams Recognized for Excellent Care

Every day at Burgess Health Center, our emergency crew responds to numerous 911 calls, whether a patient transfer or stand-by at a house fire. They show up ready and willing for what they are about to face. And they did just that, and more recently when a call came that a family was injured in a motor vehicle accident on I-29. Not only did the emergency crew respond, but upon return to the hospital, several departments offered assistance to keep everyone involved in the accident cared for and safe.

“In healthcare, you always hear it is a team sport. Here at Burgess, we talk a lot about our team and how great our team is. Then something like this happens where 16 individuals selflessly focus on a patient, their family, and everything impacting them,” Carl Behne, CEO at Burgess Health Center.

A recognition event was held at Burgess Health Center on Thursday, July 7, honoring those who exemplified incredible teamwork and commitment to three patients involved in the motor vehicle accident.

“Our staff members are all amazing clinicians, but they are also some of the most caring and compassionate staff I have ever worked with,” said Karla Copple, ER Director at Burgess Health Center. “They go above and beyond for all the patients they care for.”

Those honored this morning for their teamwork, collaboration, and unwavering commitment were Patrick Prorok, Sarah Solberg, Kelsey Gray, Steve Gordon, Jon Pinkelman, Elsa Roslansky, Jenny Coble, Brad Prescott, Jessica Renz, Dawn Bonham, Dr. Waseem Alounk, Melissa Allen, Morgan Ridder, Rachel Pinkelman, Duane Renz and Sara Keenan.

“You begin to really understand why the word team is used the way it is. Individually each of them did great things. Collectively they were amazing,” added Behne. “We are very proud of them.”

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Photo: Back left to right: Carl Behne and Rachel Pinkelman

Front left to right: Morgan Ridder (holding Logyn and Lincoln Ridder), Karla Copple, Kelsey Gray, Steve Gordon, Sarah Solberg, Jon Pinkelman, Dr. Waseem Alounk, and Sheriff Jeff Pratt

Not pictured: Patrick Prorok, Elsa Roslansky, Jenny Coble, Brad Prescott, Jessica Renz, Dawn Bonham, Melissa Allen, Duane Renz, and Sara Keenan.

Guardian Angels Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nominations of five Burgess employees for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

Erin Brekke, her father, John Coil, and her sisters Allison Johnson and Tami Coil, want to recognize and thank Corrina Schild, Cindy Vaughn, Steve Gordon and Lynette Dunham by nominating and donating in honor of their beloved mother, Trudy Coil.  These remarkable and caring individuals went above and beyond to care for Trudy, including difficult transitions of care, making sure her daily needs were met, and of course refilling her stash of Diet Coke.

“Trudy looked forward to each and every one of these invested caregivers,” said Brekke. “They were all true angels providing reassurance and comfort for mom. There are so many special people here that have impacted mom or our family in such a positive way over all of these years”.

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.

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Photo rear, left to right: John Coil, Erin Brekke, Corrina Schild, Cindy Vaughn, Steve Gordon, Carl Behne, CEO, Lynette Dunham, Dr. John Garred, Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director; front, left to right: Tami Coil and Allison Johnson.

Guardian Angel Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nomination of Jenny Kenney, social worker in the Home Health/Hospice Department, for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

Donna Jacobs, and her husband Ray, want to recognize and thank Jenny by nominating and donating in honor of her beloved mother, Evon Blakely. Jenny went above and beyond to care for Evon, including arranging weekly FaceTime visits so Jacobs could communicate with her mother from her home in Arizona.

“We so looked forward to her weekly visits,” said Jacobs. “Mother would perk up when Jenny arrived, even when mother was not feeling the best. Compassion is essential in this role and Jenny exuded this quality”.

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.

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Photo: Sherri Johnston-McDowell, Director of Home Health/Hospice, Jenny Kenney, Linda Handke Nepper, Evon’s daughter-in-law, Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director, and Carl Behne, CEO.