Grateful Patient & Family Program

Recognizing care that is Beyond Expectations at
Mary Greeley Medical Center

Grateful Patient

"From the moment we arrived at valet
parking, until the time we left, we were
treated with the utmost compassion and
respect. Thank you for providing such
wonderful people to care for us."

Has a caregiver provided exceptional patient care for you or a loved one? Did someone make an incredible impact on your experience by going above and beyond?

Say “thank you” by making a gift in honor of an employee, physician or volunteer who went beyond your expectations.

Each staff member, physician and volunteer honored by one of our grateful patients or family members will receive:

  • Recognition at a special “Beyond Expectations” ceremony
  • A lapel pin to wear proudly
  • Your personal note recognizing their great care

I want to say Thank You!

Beyond Expectations Honorees

There are many reasons patients and families choose to support Mary Greeley Medical Center while honoring caregivers who have gone beyond their expectations. Here are some of their impactful stories...  

Pictured are from L to R: Mim Patterson, David Hoffman, Bev Kruempel, MaryAnn Gardner, President & CEO Brian Dieter

Hospice Volunteers Help Dreams Come True

David Hoffman recently recognized volunteers MaryAnn Gardner, Bev Kruempel and Mim Patterson for helping organize a family wedding at the Israel Family Hospice House. David wrote:

“Judie went to Mayo Clinic last October for what was supposed to be a day visit. She never returned home. Although her condition required immediate hospitalization, it was not immediately clear how serious her situation was. As her condition slowly deteriorated, she came to realize that she was not going to live to be a part of some things she had set her heart on. In the end, bedridden by a stroke, she came to Hospice House where she died three weeks after being admitted.

One of the things Judie had been looking forward to was the wedding of her son, Ian. The ceremony had been scheduled to take place in late December in Washington, D.C., but it became clear that she was not going to be able to attend. In the face of Judie’s disappointment, many wonderful people stepped in to bring a little joy to her collapsing world. First, Ian and his fiancée, Julia, willingly agreed to hold a ceremony at Hospice House. Evonne Fitzgerald and the staff of Hospice House allowed a room of their facility to be converted temporarily to a wedding chapel. Craig Palmer, the minister of the Hoffman’s church in Ames, agreed to officiate the ceremony, and even Judie’s hair stylist volunteered to make a special visit to Hospice House to fix her up for the ceremony. She looked radiant. The week before the ceremony, Judie was an active participant in planning every aspect of the wedding. It gave her, and everyone else, something positive to concentrate on in that awful time.

Three volunteers at Hospice House--Mim Patterson, Bev Kruempel and MaryAnn Gardner--deserve special mention for their efforts. Mim and Bev, who were longtime friends of Judie, worked diligently behind the scenes to set up the wedding and reception and made sure that things ran smoothly. MaryAnn, who previously had not even known Judie, volunteered her professional photography skills to produce a beautiful pictorial account of the proceedings. Their efforts brought real joy to Judie at an otherwise joyless time. The kindness they showed will be long remembered.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured are from L to R: Sheila Bright, Brian Dieter and Claudia Kaiser

Wife Honors Hospice House Nurses for Going Beyond Expectations

Mary Lou Fleming recently recognized nurses Sheila Bright and Claudia Kaiser for the exceptional care they provided Don Fleming’s at the Israel Family Hospice House.

Mary Lou wrote:

“Don was in hospice three days and he had excellent care. I especially remember Sheila because she was with him almost constantly and she was concerned for me, too. Shelia even worked a double shift when a co-worker was unable to come in. She and Claudia were with him when he passed away. All the staff was very caring and helpful. Thank you for everything.”

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Pictured are from L to R: Dr. Venkatesh Rudrapatna, Megan Mulvihill, Chris Hunizker, Andy Hunziker

Doctor Honored for Going Beyond Expectations

Chris Hunziker recently honored Dr. Venkatesh Rudrapatna for his exceptional care of her husband, Gary during his cancer journey. In addition to recognizing Dr. Rudrapatna, the family also helped create a family comfort suite on 5A oncology to serve others.

“Thank you Dr. Rudrapatna for treating Gary in such a caring and positive manner. Thank you for allowing Gary to do almost everything that he wanted to do while managing his treatment path. Finally, thank you for allowing Gary to have a good quality of life during his final years. 

Gary and I wanted to do something to benefit other cancer patients and their families. Due to the generous support of our friends and family, this room was created for that purpose. When we were at Mayo, patients and their families were able to access ice and warm blankets without bothering nurses and other staff and that was not available at Mary Greeley. Thanks to the support and guidance from Neal Loes, Gary’s closest friend, this room became a reality. Gary also loved Stick’s furniture, having grown up being neighbors with the Grant family. Gary was an artist as well. As such, it is so wonderful to see the beautiful artwork created by the staff at Stick’s that represents Gary’s life.”

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Pictured are: Front Row (L to R): Rachel Brekke, Jo-el Sprecher, Melissa Peterson, Kathy Blome, Courtney Friest, Michaela Friest, Dr. Dan Fulton Back Row (L to R): Tom Lunaburg, Janelle Browning, Gary Darr, Chris Blome, Emily Hager, Jon Hager Not Pictured: Dr. Debra Prow

Family Honors Doctors & 5A Oncology Team

Kathy Blome and her family recently recognized a team of MGMC doctors and nurses for the exceptional care they provided during Michael Blome’s cancer treatment. The team included:

  • Dan Fulton, MD
  • Debra Prow, MD
  • Rachel Brekke, BSN, RN, OCN, CRNI
  • Janelle Browning, RN, OCN
  • Gary Darr,BSN,RN
  • Tom Lunaburg,PCT
  • Melissa Peterson,BSN,RN
  • Jo-el Sprecher,BSN,RN,OCN

Michael’s wife, Kathy wrote:

“I know this is late coming but this last year has turned my life upside down. Michael was diagnosed with leukemia on February 10, 2017 and passed away March 28, 2017.

I would like to thank everyone on the 5th floor oncology staff – but especially recognize Melissa Peterson, Gary Darr, Rachel Brekke, Jo-el Sprecher, Tom Lunaburg and Janelle Browning. They went above and beyond, staying past shift and coming in early after having only a few hours of sleep. Dr. Prow and Dr. Fulton provided excellent care – answering endless questions and never making us feel rushed. Dr. Fulton reached out to us after Mike passed to see how we were doing, Rachel attended the funeral service and Melissa reached out and we’ve had dinner together

They were all angels here on Earth! Thank you for the support then and the continued friendship now.”

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Pictured are: Brian Dieter, Dr. David Smith, Tara Carlson, Nurse Liz Stuck, Dr. Jay Swanson

Family Shows Gratitude for Extraordinary Care with Gift in Honor of Dr. David Smith, Dr. Jay Swanson and Liz Stuck RN

Tara and Lee Carlson are sincerely grateful for the care they and their son Knox received at the Birthways Unit and recently recognized Dr. David Smith, Dr. Jay Swanson and Nurse Liz Stuck for their extraordinary care.

Tara wrote:

“On Monday, April 2nd our son Knox was born at Mary Greeley via scheduled induction due to some health concerns. When Knox was born it was right at shift change and Dr. Swanson and Nurse Liz stayed with us the whole time! When Knox was born, he had low blood sugar and was having breathing problems. Dr. Swanson noticed this right away and went and found the NICU nurse coming on shift to come take a look at him. The NICU nurse and Dr. Smith came down to my room right away and took him to the NICU to evaluate him more. Knox continued to have some breathing problems through the night but seemed to start getting better the next day.

On Tuesday, Liz came in on her day off to check on Knox and me!

On Wednesday morning at 1:30 a.m., Knox started struggling to breathe again. They called in Dr. Smith and he quickly recognized Knox needed more help. They called the Blank Children’s Hospital neonatal transport team. Dr. Smith pulled us aside and told us what the transport team would be doing when they arrived. We were prepared for them intubating Knox, which they did.

On April 10th, Knox graduated from the Blank Children’s Hospital NICU. There is a good chance that Knox would not have made it without the quick action of the team at Mary Greeley. We cannot thank you enough for the great care!”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured from left to right are: Kristen Senjem, RN; Heather DeJong, RN; Miranda DeLarm, RN; Karen Edgington, Heinrik Edgington, Dr. Beth Soulli, Dr. Alia Thomas

Birthways Recognized for Exceptional Care

On March 21, Karen Edgington was admitted for an induction and ended up spending five nights in Birthways. After a stalled labor and unexpected c-section, her baby boy, Heinrik, was born and admitted to the NICU for 2 ½ days.

Karen and her husband, Adam, have high praise for Dr. Beth Soulli, Dr. Alia Thomas, and Nurses Kristen Senjem, Heather DeJong and Miranda DeLarm who kept her comfortable and informed about her condition and that of her baby on a regular basis.

Karen writes:

“After 4 hours of pushing, my husband and I were exhausted and Dr. Soulli said we needed to make a decision. We felt so unprepared going in for a c-section.

I was emotional and sad that I couldn’t give birth naturally. Kristen was supposed to get off at 7 a.m. but stayed with us until after the c-section and I was in recovery. She went above and beyond expectations to make sure I was okay. She was so supportive and gave me special encouragement.

And, even though Dr. Soulli was off call at 8 a.m., she went back to the office to arrange her schedule so she could come back and do the c-section. She was amazing at explaining everything during surgery. She knew this was not my initial plan, but she did everything she could to help.

Nurse Miranda reminded me I needed rest and that I needed to heal as I had a major abdominal surgery. She could tell it had been a rough few days and took the time to talk with me, which helped my nerves and anxiety.

Dr. Thomas and Nurse Heather were also amazing and spent so much time with me. They answered all my questions and kept me well informed.

Kristen, Heather, Miranda, Dr. Soulli and Dr. Thomas – thank you for your amazing care! You truly made a difference for me and my husband! Even though we have two six year olds at home, you treated us like new parents and made sure we had all the educational tools we needed.

All the Birthways staff is amazing and deserves recognition for their amazing care.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured are: Dr. Debra Prow, Dana Sprecher and Brian Dieter

Family Shows Gratitude for Compassionate Care with Gift in Honor of Dr. Debra Prow and Dena Sprecher RN

At Mary Greeley we constantly strive to meet the needs of our patients and to make their experiences better. Our partnership with McFarland Clinic allows both organizations to seamlessly provide care that goes above and beyond expectations. Recently Marcia and Mark Granzow recognized Dr. Debra Prow and Dena Sprecher RN were for going the extra mile in caring for Curtis Flessner.

Curtis’s sister Marcia shared:

We are so thankful for the understanding and great care Dr. Prow, Nurse Dena and the whole oncology team provided my brother during his cancer treatment. Curtis had special needs and Dr. Prow was wonderful to help explain his treatment plan in a way we could all grasp. The whole team knew his name and never treated him like a number. They were always helpful. It was not just his lymphoma but also his heart that brought us to the end of treatment. Dr. Prow and her team, especially Dena helped us navigate all the end-of-life care decision including hospice care, financial obligations and paperwork. What a blessing!

We are so grateful for Dr. Prow and Dena. They were wonderful, always fighting for us and going beyond what we expected. Thank you.

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

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MGMC Foundation
1111 Duff Ave.
Ames, IA 50010