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: Eichenberger, Halverson, Dunavan, Hillemna, Rasmussen, Shapiro

Employee Honors Multiple Physicians, Nurses and Department Teams for Going Beyond Expectations in Caring for Her Husband

Kelly Maher, a RN on Mary Greeley’s 4C unit recently recognized several physicians and staff for their extraordinary care of her husband Kevin. This display of gratitude is especially meaningful because we know we are often our worse critics and as caretakers it is challenging to the ones receiving care. Kelly was deeply touched by the compassionate care they received and wrote:

  • Rupal Amin MD, Internal Medicine
  • Jason Rasmussen MD, Cardiology
  • Robert Shapiro MD, Cardiology
  • Patrick Tracy DO, Hospitalist
  • Lisa Briese, House Manager
  • TJ Carroll, Paramedic
  • Jenica Dunavan Lead RN
  • Hannah Eichenberger RN
  • Maggie Halverson RN
  • Jessica Hilleman RN
  • Sarah Kraus PCT
  • Andrew Luchessi RN
  • Katlyn Lyons RN
  • Charis Maldonado PCT
  • Aric Phillips RN
  • Summer Thielen PCT
  • Julie Yoder, Paramedic

“I would like to recognize the following individuals who in some way cared for my husband upon his admittance to the Mary Greeley Emergency Department, via Urgent Care North with Rapid A Fib with RVR and then to my unit 4C. From the moment he was brought by ambulance all the way to his timely discharge, he received exceptional care. I believe each person mentioned below went beyond expectations and made Kevin’s experience better than expected. Kevin said the Julie and TJ, the two paramedics who transported him were professional and focused.

Dr. Amin spent over an hour with him and made sure to invite me into the room explaining his condition and ways to help him relax. She was absolutely amazing. He really wanted to discharge early on Monday. Dr. Rasmussen okayed the discharge early and Dr. Amin did the discharge. He was so grateful for their promptness and for Jessica and Charis for getting him ready for discharge and out by 8:30.

Also kudos to House Manager Lisa for ensuring he was on my unit along with Lead RN Jenica.

I am so proud to work with such great people and to be a part of Mary Greeley and was so touched by the beautiful care he received. Thank you to all.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

Pictured are Front Row (L to R): Katie White, RN; Kate Hulshizer, RT; Heather Allen & Family, Brooke Lund, RT; Katie Duncan, RN, Back Row (L to R): President & CEO, Brian Dieter; Linda Peterson; Suzanne Briggs, RT; Dr. John Hardie; Brian MacPhail, Physicist; Samantha Gray, Dosimetrist

Patient Honors Bliss Cancer Center Teams

Heather Allen recently recognized Dr. Debra Prow, Dr. John Hardie and their respective teams for their compassionate care throughout her cancer journey.

Heather wrote:

“Dr. Prow has been with me since the beginning when I was first diagnosed with stage III inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in 2010. She and her team are extraordinarily compassionate and knowledgeable, and always go the extra mile to ensure that I am comfortable both physically and mentally. We have developed a strong relationship, a mutual trust that we are both fully invested in treating my cancer. Although I hate having an oncologist in my life, my gratitude for her expertise and care is boundless. This relationship has made it easy for me to bring love, frankness, honesty and positivity to my appointments, further facilitating my treatment.

Dr. Hardie is one of my favorite doctors because he answers all of my questions. He and his team are a wonderful group of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals!! I have worked with them to treat my brain tumor, which has had me more fearful than my other cancer treatments. Their words and expertise have been essential to helping me cope with my fears.  They have started to feel like family. 

During one appointment with particularly good scans Dr. Hardie was so excited to show them to me! My sisters were at the appointment with me, and although I was totally engrossed in the pictures, my sisters were watching Dr. Hardie, and they said that he was like a proud papa: scrolling through the images; finding the best images for me; then smiling, rocking back on his heels, and folding his arms when he paused for me to take a photo.

On another day, I was treated by one of the dear nurses who took care of me back in the day of my twice-daily chest wall radiation, and she remembered me. She gave me her arm when she called me from the waiting room, and ceremoniously walked me back to the treatment room. Also, I had forgotten to take off my glasses, so she removed them from my face, and I apologized that she had to touch the dirty things. I hadn’t properly washed them since Puerto Rico, and the saltwater splatters made them look rather gross, I’m sure. After treatment, before she handed my glasses back to me, she cleaned them with a proper lens-cleaner towelette. Then she again gave me her elbow to walk back to the waiting room. This is above and beyond! And I’d like to emphasize the power of touch--after a big hug from the spouse, followed by taking the nurse’s arm to walk back to the treatment room, I certainly walked a little bit taller and felt a little bit more confident about what I was about to endure.

Another time, I was terribly sick after chemo, and was already home for the day following an appointment at oncology. Dr. Prow’s office called and said I needed to come back in for another blood draw because something went wrong with the first. Well, Diane from the lab came to my house and did the draw so that I wouldn’t have to come back in to the clinic!!!

This type of patience and attention to detail has been consistent over the past 8 years, and it is deeply appreciated. I think it is the depth of compassion that these professionals display for their patients that sets them apart from their colleagues at other institutions. I have not encountered such genuine warmth elsewhere. Thank you.”

Read more Beyond Expectation 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.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

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.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

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.”

Read more Beyond Expectation stories

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MGMC Foundation
1111 Duff Ave.
Ames, IA 50010
515-239-2147
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