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: Brian Dieter, Dr. Merchant, Rae Reilly, Lynn Lanning

Dr. Merchant and Lynn Lanning Recognized for Going Beyond Expectations

Rae Reilly is grateful for the excellent care her husband Peter received as a longtime patient at Mary Greeley Medical Center while being treated for stage 4 duodenal cancer.

For a year and a half, Peter received excellent and compassionate care from Oncologist Dr. Joseph Merchant, McFarland Clinic Oncology Services Director Lynn Lanning, others on the oncology team and those on Mary Greeley’s 5th floor.

“Dr. Merchant was such a blessing to both Pete and me,” Rae said. “He had a way of getting Pete to listen to him and to ‘follow the doctor’s orders’ – not an easy task. Even when we saw him outside the doctor’s office, he would make a point of checking on us, giving Pete his ‘Hairy Eyeball Test’ and responding to my concerns. I continue to be very grateful for the care both of us received.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured are: Jamie Wilkens, Brian Dieter, Susan Donaldson and Michelle Sweeney

Michelle Sweeney and Jamie Wilkens Recognized for Extraordinary, Compassionate Care

Susan Donaldson is grateful for the excellent care she and her husband Larry received during his final day at Mary Greeley Medical Center. So much so, that she made a donation in honor of Michelle Sweeney and Jamie Wilkens through the Beyond Expectations program.

Susan writes, “On Larry’s last day, we thought he was going to be transitioning to another facility for continued care. Michelle Sweeney in Social Services was very helpful in explaining things to me. However, then Larry took a turn for the worse and was admitted to ICCU. Michelle continued to stay by my side and support me until my brother-in-law arrived. She kept me up to speed on what they were doing and testing for, and comforted me along the way. I was thankful she was there for me to lean on as I really needed that at the time. She couldn’t have been more helpful.”

She went on to say, “As things progressed in ICCU, Nurse Jamie Wilkens worked hard all day to stay on top of what Larry needed. She not only kept him comfortable, but was very responsive to my needs as well – keeping me informed of what was going on. It was Nurse Jamie who was watching the monitor when Larry slipped away and came to tell me the news. Even though I was holding Larry’s hand, I didn’t realize he had passed away. Jamie was very professional and capable, yet so very kind and compassionate. I am thankful for the exceptional care she provided to Larry in his final hours.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured are: Sarah Heikens, Brian Dieter, Susan Donaldson

Sarah Heikens Goes the Extra Mile

Larry Donaldson was a patient at Mary Greeley Medical Center for eight days before he passed away on January 16, 2018. His wife Susan recalls, “The day Larry died, I had taken my dogs to the groomer. When I returned to my car, it wouldn’t start. I called a cab and they said it would be about a half an hour wait. Soon after I hung up, I got a call from the hospital saying Larry was having an episode and that I should head back there as soon as possible. When I told the person on the phone that I just called a cab and that it would be at least 30 minutes, she said to stay put and she would come and get me. That angel was Sarah Heikens. She picked me up and took me to the hospital. Larry had gotten a little better by then, but passed away later that night."

"I still can’t believe that she put everything on hold to come and pick me up! Sarah definitely went above and beyond expectations to make sure I was there for my husband when he needed me. I will be forever grateful.”

Sarah Heikens serves as the Interim Director of Medical Telemetry at Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Front row: Nurse Ruthie Castro Santana & Rae Reilly. Back row: President and CEO Brian Dieter, Nurse Janelle Browning, & PCT Tom Lunaburg

5th Floor Oncology Staff Recognized for Compassionate Care

In the spring of 2016, Peter Reilly was diagnosed with stage 4 duodenal cancer and died Nov. 2, 2017. According to his wife, Rae, during the 18 months in between he received extraordinarily compassionate care from many on the oncology team, nurses Janelle Browning and Ruthie Castro Santana, PCT Tom Lunaburg and others on Mary Greeley’s 5th floor. He experienced a variety of serious reactions to treatments, but hospital staff and oncology staff always provided professional and compassionate care to get him through those difficult times.

“Special praise goes to Janelle Browning who stayed more than 6 hours past her shift one night to see Pete through what presented as symptoms of a heart attack (turned out not to be a heart attack, but it was very scary). I understand Janelle went home around 1:30 a.m. after finishing up her paperwork,” Rae said. “I continue to be very grateful for the care both Peter and I received.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Dr. Grant Goldsberry and Radiologic Technologist Tiffany Crandall recognized for going Beyond Expectations

In recognition of Dr. Grant Goldsberry and Radiologic Technologist Tiffany Crandall, on behalf of Amanda Lass and her family.

At Mary Greeley we constantly strive to meet the needs of our patients, no matter what their age, and to make their experiences better. This is very important with children as the medical center can be a scary place sometimes -- full of unknowns. It can cause stress and anxiety not only for the patient, but the family as well.

Amanda Lass is grateful for the care and light atmosphere her daughter Samantha experienced when taking some tests in Radiology.

Amanda writes:

“I want to recognize Tiffany from Radiology and Dr. Goldsberry for the great way they took care of my daughter.  My daughter has been having some health issues over the last few months.  She has had to endure several tests and procedures.  She was honestly most worried about drinking the barium for her upper GI.  She was afraid she would be sick. 

Tiffany was the first person we met and she made her feel at ease.  She described all the items that she may have to drink, she discussed exactly how the procedure would go.  She made jokes and talked to her like she wasn’t a child.  Tiffany was even so nice to take a picture with me and my daughter because she thought our outfits were so awesome! 

Dr. Goldsberry came in and also made light of the situation.  They made jokes, talked about Dunkin Donuts, and took the time to explain some of the images he saw.  It was such a light atmosphere, I never thought I would say this but they made drinking barium FUN!  We aren’t dealing with a life-threatening issue but watching your child struggle is one of the hardest things I have had to do. The small things matter no matter what a patient is facing.  People like Tiffany and Dr. Goldsberry have made this so much easier.  We appreciate what they did for our daughter and it will not be forgotten.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

How You Can Help

Make a Gift

Thank you for supporting Mary Greeley Medical Center.

Contact Us

MGMC Foundation
1111 Duff Ave.
Ames, IA 50010

Hope Gala

Hope Gala 2018 Teaser

Follow us on Facebook to receive event updates, view auction previews and more.

Scholarship Opportunities

Are you pursuing a career in healthcare? Several scholarships that are now available.

Applications are due March 30 by 4 pm.

Apply Today!

Annual ReportFoundation Annual Report Cover