Category Archives: News

Noble Nurses: Donovan and McCord

We are celebrating the hard work, compassion, and dedication of nurses everywhere. Here at Ringgold County Hospital and Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic, our thanks go out to all the nurses in our hospital and clinic who care for our community every day. Each month, we’re profiling two more outstanding nurses for their contributions.

 

Jillian Donovan, RN has been in healthcare since she earned her EMT certification in high school. She grew up on a horse farm in Stanberry, MO and headed off to Northwest Missouri State as a pre-med student. “When I was a junior in college, I realized I wasn’t going to spend as much time with people if I continued on the path to become a physician,” she explained. “So, I transferred to Northern Central Missouri College for nursing school and graduated in two years. I had oodles of the prerequisites!”

A 2009 graduate, along with her RN, she’s a certified ER nurse and a certified sexual nurse examiner. “I’m blessed that we live in a wholesome community,” she said. “I don’t have to use that very often.” Jillian’s nursing career has been varied. She’s been the director of nursing for a nursing home, the director of a hospice, and a pediatric hospice nurse, as well as working in hospitals. In 2017, a friend recommended she reach out to Molly Kayser, the nurse manager at Ringgold County Hospital. “I was hired on the spot!”

She works three 12-hour shifts each week, primarily in the ER and in acute care. “I love working the night shifts,” said Jillian. “The friendships I’ve formed have been absolutely unbelievable. They’ve made every minute worth it.”

The most satisfying part of her job as an ER nurse is knowing that critical thinking and her nursing skills can make a life or death difference. “When someone shows up in the ER who needs help, I have the privilege to help them get through it.” Jillian also says that RCH has fantastic Emergency Room physicians. “They respect the nurses, they’re knowledgeable, and they’re truly patient oriented.”

A resident of Missouri, she says she was initially worried about transitioning to RCH. “I wasn’t a member of the community, but I was welcomed with open arms. Feeling part of a team has made this a rewarding experience. Molly has been an exceptional manager and given me a lot of opportunities.”

A wife and mother of two small children, Jillian is balancing it all. She sums it up, “My husband is a paramedic, too. We chose to do this with our lives. It’s clearly what we were meant to do!”

 

Sarah McCord, RN grew up five miles outside of Grant City, MO on a cattle farm. “We had lots of animals and taking care of them really inspired me to want to take care of people,” she said. In high school, a friend talked to her about a career in physical therapy and that started her on her path in healthcare. But after starting school to become a physical therapy assistant, Sarah determined it just wasn’t her thing and that nursing was a better fit.

After earning her LPN, she took about two years off from school and worked in a nursing home in Mt. Ayr. Then Sarah enrolled at Southwestern Community College and became an RN. Not satisfied to stop there, she worked full time at Ringgold County Hospital while attending WGU to earn her MSN degree. Plus, she managed to have a baby boy at the same time! “It was hard,” she admitted.

She’s been at RCH for almost four years now and works in the ER and on the Acute floor. “I work three 12-hour days normally, but during the pandemic I picked up another shift to help out. Thankfully, it’s a lot better now,” she said.

According to Sarah, her job is really rewarding. “It’s the patients. Some people are so humble about the care they receive, and they appreciate it so much,” said Sarah. “We build great relationships. It makes it all worthwhile.”

When Sarah first started at RCH, she only knew a few people. But the staff has really become like a family to her now. “People just don’t leave,” she said. “It can be hard to get a job here. And once you do, you become very bonded. I don’t ever want to leave!”

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Ringgold County Hospital Welcomes New CEO

Joseph Mangiameli, CEO

Joseph Mangiameli will begin his duties as Chief Executive Officer of Ringgold County Hospital, an affiliate of MercyOne, on July 26, 2021. The current CEO, Gordon Winkler, is retiring after 34 years of service to the hospital.

Joseph brings more than 20 years of health care experience to this role in both administrative and clinical settings. As an administrator, he has directed primary care, hospital based, surgical and medical specialties, having most recently served as market vice president of operations for CHI Health in Omaha. He has clinical experience in cardiovascular, intensive care, emergency, and public health as a registered nurse, including chief nurse roles for the United States Army Reserves and Nebraska National Guard.

“I look forward to building relationships with our team at Ringgold County Hospital and within the community of Mt. Ayr,” Mangiameli says. “If we believe in each other and are engaged in our goals, we are going to do some really great things.”

“We are very excited to welcome Joseph,” said Kathi Braby, chair of Ringgold County Hospital board of trustees. “In addition to his administrative roles, Joseph’s hands-on experience in the medical field gives him a great understanding of employee needs.” The Ringgold County Hospital team is confident he will help extend the personalized, excellent care available locally into the future. We treasure the opportunity to work together in advancing our mission of providing the highest quality patient care in a compassionate and personalized manner. 

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Noble Nurses: Quigley and Gilmore

Julia Quigley, RN

Tara Gilmore, RN

Julia Quigley began her nursing career when she was small child. She may not have been an official employee, but she was helping her mother with an infant brother who needed specialized care when she was just eight years old. She figures it was that experience, along with her mother as a role model, that guided her to nursing.

After growing up in Omaha, NE, she went straight into nursing school at Creighton University and graduated in 2004. Her first four years as a nurse were spent in the hematology and oncology special care unit at the Nebraska Medical Center. “I worked with all ages. We did chemo and bone marrow transplants and critical care when it was needed,” she said. “Patients there are going through the hardest time of their lives, and they’re often there for a long time. When you’re a nurse, you try to make it better for them while they’re going through their struggles.”

After marrying in 2008, she and her husband moved to Chicago where she continued to work. When her daughter was born, she slowed her schedule and did agency nursing when she was needed. She took time away from nursing when her second child came along. “Life was just too busy, so I stayed home with them for a while,” she said.

In 2013, for a variety of reasons, the family moved from Chicago to Lamoni. “God just wanted us to move there! And we wanted to be closer to both of our families who are now only three hours away.” In addition, they wanted a lifestyle that is impossible in a big city. “We’re hobby farmers with lots of fruit trees, chickens, and goats. We wanted to have the freedom to do that and create a better spot for our kids.”

Five years ago, she decided to go back to work full time. She interviewed at a hospital in Missouri, and with Denise Coleman at Ringgold County Hospital. “Once I met the staff here, it was no contest,” she said. “I knew this was the place for me.” She no longer works full time, but does one, 12-hour shift every Monday on the acute care floor.

“I think RCH is a wonderful place to work,” said Julia. It’s a really healthy and positive environment with good leadership. We all feel like we’re part of the family and we look out for each other.”

Inspiration can come from many places. Sometimes it’s found in a book or a movie. Sometimes it comes from a teacher or church leader. And sometimes it’s a person close to you who inspires you to follow in their footsteps.

For Tara Gilmore, it was her older sister who inspired her to become a nurse. “She’s done it all, from patient care to management,” said Tara. “I watched her and learned from her perspective every step of the way,” said Tara. Although she was inspired to pursue nursing, “life got in the way,” so it didn’t end up being Tara’s first career. The mother of two girls, she started working in the medical field as a pharmacy tech after her children were born. “Back then, you didn’t need to be certified to start. I studied and passed all the tests so I could be hired. I became a Certified Pharmacy Tech while I was working,” she said.

When the pharmacy where she worked closed, she took the opportunity to go back to school, and graduated with her RN degree in 2014. A native of Creston, she started working at the hospital there, did a short stint with a hospice, and has been at Ringgold County Hospital for the past five years. “I really like working in surgery,” said Tara. “It’s my passion to ‘fix’ people and make them better. Most of the surgeries we do are elective, and I love seeing people go home better than they were when they came in.”

It’s her coworkers and the atmosphere at RCH that Tara loves. “We have the best team. It truly helps coming to work every day when you love the people you work with. We’re like a family!”

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Noble Nurses: Wheeler and Johnson

We are celebrating the hard work, compassion, and dedication of nurses everywhere. Here at Ringgold County Hospital and Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic, our thanks go out to all the nurses in our hospital and clinic who care for our community every day. Each month, we’re profiling two more outstanding nurses for their contributions.

Kelsey Wheeler, LPN

 

Jayla Johnson, RN

Kelsey Wheeler was an athlete growing up in Gravity, IA. “My hometown is so small that you’ll miss it if you blink!” she said. She and her three siblings went to Bedford schools, where she played softball, volleyball and ran track. She headed to Nebraska Wesleyan for college, intending to become an athletic trainer. “I tried softball for a little bit in college. I wanted to follow the sports thing through. I really don’t know what inspired me, since science wasn’t my thing in school.”

Kelsey learned about nursing through personal experience. “My mom has MS, and she was receiving treatment in a hospital. I started talking to the nurses there and realized that appealed to me more than athletic training.” So, she switched schools and career paths and headed to North Central Missouri College to get a nursing degree. She graduated with her LPN in 2014.

Following graduation, she moved back in with her mother to care for her, which led to a job with a home health agency. She cared for her mother as well as other patients. “It was a great introduction into a nursing career,” said Kelsey.

When she learned about an opening at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic, she applied. “I liked the idea of the routine, and the Monday-to-Friday schedule.”

Kelsey loves the day-to-day interaction with the clinic patients. “I feel as if they’re my patients. I’ve been able to learn the whole community. Growing up in Bedford, there was such a strong sports rivalry. It’s been great to see that everyone here in Mount Ayr is so caring. It’s a nurturing and loving community.”

With a five-month-old daughter, she is planning to stay at the Clinic for the foreseeable future. “The Mount Ayr Medical Clinic is my second family!”

 

Jayla Johnson got some practical advice from her mother which set her on a nursing career path. “I was leaning towards becoming a beautician,” she said. “My mom reminded me that were at least 10 beauticians in the county, and that I needed a profession that would guarantee a job. So, I took a health occupations class while I was in high school. At the same time, I started a job as a Certified Nursing Assistant at the nursing home. I realized that I liked taking care of people!”

She didn’t waste any time. Two days after high school graduation, she began her studies at Southwestern Community College and earned her LPN in 1998. She continued to work at the Clearview Nursing Home and oversaw a walking program and did wound care. “I really liked wound care and taking care of the elderly,” said Jayla. “It has always been my favorite. They have all kinds of stories to tell.”

Although she loved her job, she realized that she wasn’t going to move up any further until she got her degree as a registered nurse. So, she “took a leap of faith”, quit her job, cashed out her 401K, and went back to school full time. “I leaned on my significant other and my family for support. I wanted to focus on school.” It took her about 14 months, and she became an RN.

After graduation, she started at the hospice in Mount Ayr. “They taught me a lot. I enjoyed building the bonds with the entire family, not just the patients.” When a friend recommended she apply for an opening at the Ringgold County Hospital Visiting Physicians Clinic, she hesitated, thinking she wouldn’t be good at it. But eventually, she was convinced and is so happy in her job. “I love the variety of all the clinics,” she said. “I still trim nails, and I love that.” She does all the clinic prep work, pulling labs and notes for the doctors. She does the scheduling and assists the physicians during the actual clinics. And, she’s backup for cardiac rehab and stress testing.

The favorite part of her job is seeing all the people and caring for them. “I like knowing they can count on me.” And like her work in hospice, she cares for the entire family helping them navigate through the patient’s healthcare. “I create a game plan and make the necessary referrals and schedule appointments.”

Jayla enjoys the variety of work in the Clinic. “Going back to school and getting my RN has really paid off,” she said. “I only wish I had done it sooner!”

Nurse Spotlight: Caring Is Our Calling!

Ringgold County Hospital is celebrating the hard work, compassion, and dedication of nurses everywhere. We are especially thankful for all the nurses in our hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic who care for our community every day. Each month, we’re profiling two more outstanding nurses for their contributions.

 

Kris Swank grew up in Corning, IA, not far from Mount Ayr. Around 2003, she began working at Iowa Select Farms. “It was fun for a while,” she said. “But it started taking its toll on my lungs and it was really physically demanding.” After 11 years, she decided she needed to make a change for health reasons.

Knowing that she needed a career she could count on, she decided to pursue nursing. In 2012 she started nursing school at Southwestern Community College. “I graduated in 2014, and when I saw an opening at Ringgold County Hospital in 2015, I applied. I’ve been here ever since!”

Kris started as a nurse on the acute care floor, spent some time in the Emergency Room, and then moved into the surgical department. “I really liked surgery when I was doing my rotations in nursing school, so it had always been my goal,” she explained.

In a typical day, she cares for patients when they come in and gets them prepped for surgery. “We prepare necessary paperwork, complete assessments, obtain vital signs, start IV’s, and administer medications. We also follow our patients through surgery as well as into recovery and make sure they have everything they need.”

She loves the challenges that surgical nursing brings. “We’ve been busy. Some of it is related to Covid, but some of it is because we also provide infusion services from simple injections to administering chemotherapy.  We have also added cataract surgeries and a pain management clinic!” She doesn’t prefer one kind of surgery over another, though. She enjoys caring for her patients and making sure they’re comfortable.

Kris has a difficult time pinpointing her favorite part of working at Ringgold County Hospital. But like many others on the nursing staff, it all comes back to her coworkers. “They’re the best!”

 

Kate Couch got her start and fell in love with nursing during high school at an assisted living facility. Her mother alerted her that there was an opening, so she interviewed and got the job. “Until then, I really had no idea that I was interested in geriatric care,” she admitted. “It was a good introduction to nursing. You become really familiar with that select group of residents. You develop relationships and bonds. It’s very rewarding to see how you’re appreciated.”

After graduating from Bedford High School, Kate Couch went to Southwestern Community College to earn her nursing degree. She graduated in 2011. “When you live in a rural area, nursing school is a good option,” she said. After graduation, she continued to work at Vintage Park Assisted Living. Once her first child was born, she moved to St. Francis Family Health Care in Maryvillle. After her second child came along, she spent some time at home caring for her children before joining the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic in 2015. The Clinic has been a good fit for the mother of three, (with another due in July!)

Awesome coworkers and the ability to build long term relationships with her patients is what Kate Couch loves most about her job as a nurse at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic. “It’s overall a really rewarding job,” said Kate. “We are all focused on what we need to do to keep everyone healthy.”

Like all healthcare workers, Kate has seen a lot of changes since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Things are starting to look up and get back to normal. Everyone is doing what they need to do now. At the beginning, many people didn’t take it seriously, but when it got to us, it opened up peoples’ eyes.”

Kate enjoys being part of the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic team. Along with her coworkers and patients, she appreciates being trusted by the medical providers. “Because we’re trusted, our patients trust us.”

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