Grateful Patient & Family Stories

There are many reason patients and families choose to support Mary Greeley Medical Center while honoring caregivers who have gone beyond their expectations. Below are some of these 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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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!”

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.”

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.

Pictured are: Dr. Jeremy Fields, Jane Jackson RN, Shelly Nagel RN and Shakir Spells PCT

Dr. Jeremy Fields, Jane Jackson, RN, Shelly Nagel, RN and Shakir Spells, PCT were recently recognized for going the extra mile in caring for a patient.

The grateful wife shared: 

My 90-year old husband was admitted and prepped overnight to have a colonoscopy with Dr. Fields the next morning. Such fun for all involved! Shakir and all of the 4B team were super attentive, constantly all night. The procedure went well thanks to the amazing Dr. Fields and Jane Jackson. I stayed with him overnight two (2) nights so was well aware of his excellent care. Thank you to Shelly Nagel for putting together an exceptional team and thank you to everyone who took care of us. We cannot imagine better care.

Pictured are: (Top) Dr Jonathan Burns and Brian Dieter, (Bottom) Dr Chug, Brian Dieter and Kelly Maher

Family honors Dr. Jonathan Burns, Dr. Jotesh Chug and Kelly Maher, RN for going Beyond Expectation

Since 2014, we have celebrated gratitude at Mary Greeley Medical Center by providing an opportunity for patients and families to thank caregivers who went above and beyond their expectations — while also making a gift to support the medical center.

In recent weeks Dr. Jonathan Burns, Dr. Jotesh Chug and Nurse Kelly Maher were recognized for going the extra mile in caring for a patient.

The patient’s family shared:

Our son Paul was admitted to the emergency department in great distress. Dr. Burns’ exceptional care and diagnosis of his problem led to his admission to the hospital. Once he was in the hospital, Dr. Chug treated him with the utmost compassion and respect. In addition, Nurse Maher not only gave excellent care to our son, but was kind and thoughtful to us, his concerned parents. Thank you!

Stories like these exemplify the mission and vision of Mary Greeley and we are honored to be recognized for doing what is right.

Pictured are: Nurse Lyndi Yoder, Callie & Avery Ayers and Brian Dieter

Nurse Lyndi Yoder Recognized for Going Beyond Expectations

On March 30, 2018, Lyndi Yoder, RN was recognized for going the extra mile in caring for Avery Ayers.

Avery’s mother, Callie wrote:

“We are so grateful for the care we received from Lyndi during our Birthways stay. Lyndi was our night nurse and was very attentive to Avery. While giving her a bath, Lyndi noticed blood in her ear. She took her to the NICU to make sure there wasn’t a problem. It ended up being nothing but as first time parents it was a comfort to know Lyndi was so thorough in making sure Avery was alright.

We could not imagine better care. Thank you!”

Pictured are: Brian Dieter, President & CEO of Mary Greeley Medical Center, Jill Muehe, Nurse Kaitlyn Baumgardner, Dr. Joseph Merchant, Nurse Ariel Gurerra, Kerri Peterson, Deanne Peterson, Mitch Peterson, Nurse Jessica Colby

Dr. Merchant and Oncology Team Recognized for Going Beyond Expectations

The Peterson Family is grateful for the excellent care their Mom, Judy Peterson, received as a longtime patient at Mary Greeley Medical Center while being treated for cancer.

Judy came in for treatment every week for 3 ½ years and she received extraordinarily compassionate care from Dr. Merchant and the whole oncology team.

“When we first started coming to Mom’s appointments, Dr. Merchant was very professional and would always shake each of our hands before we jumped into the details of the day. At our third appointment he missed shaking Mom’s hand before logging on to his computer. She piped up right away and said, ‘What about me dweeb?’ Our jaws dropped but that comment got Dr. Merchant and Mom laughing. From then on, they were constantly joking back and forth, trying to out-do one another. Dr. Merchant opened up to Mom and made the whole process easier. He was of course, still professional, but also so personal and we could tell he really cared.

Everyone that came into contact with Mom was wonderful but we especially want to recognize Jill Muehe and Nurses Kaitlyn Baumgardner, Jessica Colby and Ariel Gurerra. Jill made it so easy to lineup appointments and work with our schedules. Mom loved Ariel, Kaitlyn and Jessica so much she kept trying to set them up with her grandsons.

Mom’s contagious laughter kept us all going. It seems like we laughed more than cried during this process. It’s crazy to say, but we looked forward to our visits. Thank you.”

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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

Lynn Miller, Dr. Larry Otteman, Nurse Jan Martin, Ellen Rasmussen, President and CEO Brian Dieter

Dr. Larry Otteman and Nurse Jan Martin Recognized for going Beyond Expectations

Lynn Miller and Ellen Rasmussen are sincerely grateful for the compassionate care Ellen received during her cancer journey.

“When you hear the words, ‘the test results are positive. You have breast cancer,’ your world comes to a standstill and spins out of control at the same time. Shock, fear, and questions flood your mind and body. Your life hits a wall and you need all the care and support you can get. That is where we were when Ellen and I heard those words in October 2011,” Lynn said.

“An incredible team of doctors, nurses and the chaplain were there to help us through the journey,” he continued. “When Ellen started the chemotherapy phase of her treatment we were blessed to have Dr. Larry Otteman as her oncologist and Jan Martin, RN, as her infusion nurse. At every visit we were greeted with their thorough explanation of what was happening and what to expect. Their genuine concern for us as people, not just patients, was obvious. We left every session with confidence and hope. Their positive attitude, skill and expertise combined with their genuine concern for Ellen, me and her children were evident at every visit. It all resulted in the best treatment possible.”

Nurse Ruthie Castro-Santana and Dr. Swaleh Bahamadi Recognized by a Grateful Patient

Family of repeat patient honors Nurse Ruthie Castro-Santana and Dr. Swaleh Bahamadi for Excellent and Compassionate Care

Joanne Driscoll lived alone and sometimes referred to her stays at Mary Greeley Medical Center as her “spa.” Although all the nurses on the oncology unit were wonderful, Ruthie Castro-Santana was very special to her.

“It was a highlight of her day when Ruthie stopped in, often when Joanne was not even assigned as her patient,” one family member stated. “Ruthie lifted her spirits and redirected her thinking when necessary. She learned how to best communicate with Joanne and respected what made her unique.”

Joanne was among the first patients Dr. Swaleh Bahamadi cared for when he came to Ames. “It was a privilege to watch their relationship evolve. What a gift to have a doctor provide such excellent care throughout the seven years of Mom’s treatment,” a family member stated.

Dr. Bahamadi found creative ways to get around Joanne’s fears by explaining new procedures and trying a less frightening way to approach the treatment she needed. The family appreciated the way he often leaned in to talk to her. When the time came, Dr. Bahamadi struggled to explain to Joanne that her cancer had advanced because he truly cared for her. When she told him that she had chosen hospice care, he got down on his knees to talk to her as an act of compassion.

Dr. Travis Mattson and Rev. Katherine Werner Recognized for Compassionate Care

Illinois Family Shows Gratitude for Compassionate Care with Gift in Honor of Dr. Travis Mattson and Rev. Katherine Werner

At Mary Greeley we constantly strive to meet the needs of our patients and to make their experiences better. In an emergency room visit, this is so important due to the level of stress patients are dealing with. A family from out of state shared with us their great appreciation for the care their mother received last year.

The family was facing a middle-of-the-night emergency, when a patient who had fallen at home arrived in critical condition in the Emergency Department. The daughter was extremely grateful for the care her mother received and she made a gift in honor of Dr. Mattson and Rev. Werner. She wrote: “We needed an honest and compassionate way of telling us the bad news. Dr. Mattson took all the right steps for a proper diagnosis and we knew Mom was in good hands. Chaplain Werner was helpful to us while the medical team worked. We were really in shock. She has a wonderful manner and was able to make a difficult situation more bearable.”

Dr. Cari Low Recognized for Extraordinary Care

Dr. Cari Low Recognized for Extraordinary Care

Ron and Laura Frantzen recently recognized Dr. Cari Low for her caring treatment of Ron’s brother, Kim, before his death in January. Although he was well taken care of by many specialists, nurses, respiratory therapists and other staff, they pointed out Dr. Low in particular for patiently taking the time to discuss the whole case and for helping them to understand the decisions that needed to be made.

As Ron and Laura noted, “Dr. Low explained, she listened and she advised, always with extraordinary care and compassion. Her calming, confident manner was exactly what we needed.”

When the family came to the realization that Kim was not getting better and the decision needed to be made whether or not to take Kim off of life support, Ron asked Dr. Low, “Do you think we are making the right decision?” Her response was, “Yes, I do. And if it was my brother, I’d do the same.”

“It was a great relief to hear that from her. I believe it takes a brave, caring and compassionate doctor to make that statement and it was very comforting to us knowing that we were making the best decision for Kim,” said Ron.

“It has been difficult to put into words just how much we appreciate Dr. Low,” Ron continued. “She was a true blessing in what was a very difficult time for me and my family.”

For making a difference in the lives of so many and in recognition of the Frantzen family’s gratitude, Brian Dieter presented Dr. Low with the Beyond Expectations pin that is a symbol of the Grateful Patient program.

Dr Curtis Waite recognized for going Beyond Expectations

Marshalltown Couple Show Gratitude for Compassionate Care with Gift in Honor of Dr. Curtis Waite

At Mary Greeley we constantly strive to meet the needs of our patients and to make their experiences better. In an emergency room visit, this is so important due to the level of stress patients are likely dealing with. The Paustian family greatly appreciated care they received last spring.

Although the outcome of the ED visit was a difficult diagnosis to hear, the Paustians were so grateful for the skills and care provided to Terry that his wife Julieanne made a gift in honor of his doctor. She wrote: “Dr. Waite, you are gifted. Your manner of addressing us shared respect for Terry and helped us feel confidence in you. We came in for possible strep throat, and with Dr. Waite’s Individual attention to achieve a diagnosis, we began Terry’s cancer journey. We are so grateful for the kindness shown us at Mary Greeley.”

Sara Haveman being recognized for going Beyond Expectations

Patient’s Spouse Grateful for Diabetes & Nutrition Education Center

Sarah Haveman was recently recognized by Rae Reilly, a patient’s spouse, for going “Beyond Expectations” during her husband Peter’s care this fall. As a token of her appreciation for Sarah’s specialized nutritional counseling (through the William R. Bliss Cancer Center) during Peter’s cancer treatment, Rae honored Sarah with a gift to the Foundation through the Grateful Patient and Family Program.

Rae said, “We met with Sarah before Pete’s chemo sessions started. Both of us found the information she provided extremely helpful – both the content and the way the information was organized. You have our grateful thanks for providing a valuable service to Mary Greeley patients. Thank you.”

Birthways Staff - Joline, Candace & Abby

Birthways Staff Goes Above & Beyond

“We are so appreciative of the care and support received when our son Michael was born under emergency circumstances last December. Doctors, nurses, staff….everyone was top notch and we will never forget them. Thank you!” - The Harmon Family

Those being recognized are Joline Dye, Candace Flakoll, and Abby Schmitz, as well as former employee, Chelsea Eaton, who has since moved out of state.

Mary Greeley Staff Goes Beyond Expectations

Mary Greeley Staff Goes Beyond Expectations

Betsy was so grateful for the care that she made a donation in honor of several staff members who played a key role in the events that saved her life in April 2015.

Read all of Betsy's Story

Ron and Andrea

Andrea Poland & Ron Smith - Quality Management

“Ron and Andrea are skilled professionals whose schedules are very full even without the addition of new projects like our surveys. We know they went beyond the call of duty to help us, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts.” - Frankee Oleson

Michelle Hofbauer

Michelle Hofbauer - Hospice

“Mom is 97+ and her toe nails are difficult to care for. Michelle soaked her feet and gave Mom a very thorough and caring pedicure. Mom was very grateful for this. Thank you.” - Hospice Patient's Family
Julie Berg

Julie Berg - Birthways

"Nurse Julie was with us throughout the morning on the day our son was born. Throughout the day, she provided us with care that made us feel like we were family and like we were her top priority. My husband said she stayed a few hours over her shift to help with our care after I had to have a c-section. A few days later we were lucky enough to have her again and the way she cared for us and our son was unparalleled. She made our stay at Mary Greeley very comfortable, like we could ask questions or for help with anything and she was there for us in our first days as new parents. We could never thank Julie enough; we just hope she knows the difference she made for us and how much it was appreciated." - Cody and Chelsea, Grateful Parents
Cardiac Rehab staff receive Grateful Patient Award

Patty Huisenga, Sue Tjelmeland, Gina Smith, Brenda Hoshaw & Anita Ley - Cardiac Rehab

“The professional staff of the Cardiac Rehab Program is one of the many groups at Mary Greeley Medical Center that have had a huge impact on my life since my heart attack in June of 2014 and subsequent heart attack in April 2015.

During rehab I developed a wound on my heel and they suggested it could be more than a blister and suggested I consult my PCP as soon as possible. In the end I needed to have stents put in my leg and a couple toes amputated. Because of the rehab staff, the problem was caught early and likely saved my foot and maybe my leg.

They all fill many roles in the program. They are nurses, educators, physical trainers, and sometimes just someone to talk to. I can’t imagine not having them as a resource during this critical transitional time in my life.

I would like to recognize the staff of the Cardiac Rehab Program (Patty Huisenga, Sue Tjelmeland, Gina Smith, Brenda Hoshaw and Anita Ley) for going beyond my expectations and providing me with excellent professional care.” - Dave, Grateful Patient
Photo of CFO Gary Botine presenting Grateful Patient award to Deb West and Amy McCormick.

Deb West & Amy McCormick - Home Health

“It is hard for me to believe how many months have passed since my life changed dramatically after a serious cardiac event last June. I remember very little of the day I spent in Mary Greeley’s emergency department and cardiac cath lab. What I do remember, however, is my road to recovery and the exceptional people who have helped me get to where I am today. In particular, I am grateful to two very special home health nurses, Deb West and Amy McCormick.
The skill and confidence in wound care they demonstrated when caring for me in my home was NOT unexpected. What WAS unexpected and so appreciated was the way they treated me like family. Even though wound care can be tedious and sometimes painful I always looked forward to their visits. They demonstrated concern for my comfort and wellbeing in ways I never expected.” - Grateful Patient
Alaina Bickel receives Grateful Patient Recognition from Chief Nursing Officer Neal Loes.

Alaina Bickel - Medical Telemetry

“Alaina is a nurse’s nurse and a patient’s nurse! An excellent care giver. But also a decision maker, a problem solver and she knows how to relate to her patients and coworkers. She’s a standout!” - Mimi, Grateful Patient

Grateful Patient Roy Clausen

Dr. Shane Hopkins, Susanne Briggs, Whitney Holtzen & Alyssa Hannasch - Radiation Oncology

“Thank you for your loving care, you will be a friend forever to me. I will bring (my grandson) Prince back to see you, and thanks to the other staff and caretakers also.” –Roy Clausen, Grateful Patient

Amber Sleeth Williams, Cortney Runyan and Brigett Lebeau Messa receive Grateful Patient Awards.

Nick Wells - Guest Services; Amber Sleeth Williams, Cortney Runyan & Brigett Lebeau Messa - Medical Telemetry

“I was in a state of disbelief and when we got to my dad’s room I suddenly panicked because I had no idea where his wheelchair was. Nick assured me that I didn’t have to worry, that he would find it and bring it to us. He did just that. It seems like a small thing, but I really needed that help at that moment. I was very, very grateful for Nick’s thoughtfulness and excellent service.

My father was ultimately diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with a very poor prognosis. His nurse, Amber, stood quietly and calmly in the background as we told my father of his terminal diagnosis. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see she was wiping tears from her eyes. She was sincerely sympathetic, and she went beyond the call of duty over and over again.

Cortney was my dad’s Patient Care Technician during much of his hospital stay. She was not assigned to him on his last day at MGMC, but she stopped to say good-bye and wish us well because she was afraid she wouldn’t be back before we moved to the Israel Family Hospice House. That last greeting reinforced Cortney’s wonderful empathy and was very meaningful to all of us." - Grateful Family Member

“Brigette made my father, who was experiencing a burst of energy, feel safe and confident he was going to the best place for his end of life care. Brigette was our safety net during circumstances that could have been overwhelming.” –Frankee and Jim Oleson

Ruth Castro Santana receives the Grateful Patient Award.

Ruth Castro Santana - Oncology

“Ruthie – the nurse from Heaven. When my wife was in the hospital Ruthie was the best. She would explain things when asked. She would do extra things for my wife. She was always happy to be there. The last night my wife was there she stayed late to make sure she said goodbye.” –Gene Welsh

Shelley Sedivy and Karen Crosser receive Grateful Patient Awards

Shelley Sedivy & Karen Crosser - Emergency Department

“I will be forever convinced that allowing me to be in the room with Dave, allowing me to be involved in his care, allowing me to get our daughter on the phone so she could speak with her father, tell him she loved him (for what could have been the last time), made all the difference in Dave’s subconscious determination to eventually find his way back to us.” –Betsy Schoeller, Grateful Family Member

Amy Gustoff, Sharilyn Kadolph and Jason Holland receive Grateful Patient Awards

Amy Gustoff, Sharilyn Kadolph & Jason Holland - Cardiopulmonary Services

“Despite the terror that seized my heart when I realized I could lose Dave that very day, I was gratefully aware of the calm, compassionate professionalism demonstrated by your staff. While their calm competence may be partially the result of performing skills that for them have become routine, may they always remember that for patients like Dave and their family members like me, their skilled hands, bright minds and caring hearts calm fears and offer hope.” –Betsy Schoeller, Grateful Family Member
Mike Techentin and Rod Jones receive Grateful Patient Awards

Mike Techentin & Rod Jones - Mobile Intensive Care Unit

“We will be forever grateful that you were both there on what turned out to be a fateful day in our lives. Thank you both for your care and diligent attention to Dave that night and for your caring and compassion for Stephanie and me as well. Thank you for providing both patient and family care.” –Betsy Schoeller, Grateful Family Member

Cardiac Cath Lab

Jeanette Morris, Hiram Philo & Sarah Buckels - Cardiac Cath Lab

“They were compassionate, caring professionals and conveyed a respectful and dignified attitude. I must admit the faces became a blur and yet I clearly remember Sarah telling Stephanie and me to talk to Dave; he would not be able to respond but he would hear us. I will always believe that, in his subconscious, Dave knew he was in good hands and he knew we did not want him to leave us, which helped him come back to us.” –Betsy Schoeller, Grateful Family Member

Dr. Larry Otteman

Dr. Larry Otteman - Oncology

“It was a four-and-a-half year journey that started as melanoma. We were very thankful that Dr. Otteman was David’s doctor and guided us through the experience. I appreciated everyone’s care and concern and willingness to help in any way they could.” –Mary Peterson, Grateful Family Member

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MGMC Foundation
1111 Duff Ave.
Ames, IA 50010