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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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Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic Welcomes Scott Bland, DO

Scott Bland, D.O.

Scott Bland, D.O.

The staff of the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic is pleased to welcome Scott Bland, DO, to the clinic. Dr. Bland and his family are relocating to Mount Ayr in June, and he’ll begin practicing on July 6. A healthcare professional with a wide variety of interests, Dr. Bland didn’t go directly into medicine as a career. “My undergraduate degree was in interdisciplinary studies,” he laughed. “It’s a liberal arts degree and I collected a lot of random credits!”

After working in various jobs including construction, he decided one really hot day to go back to school. “If I had been a better carpenter, I may have made a difference decision. But it was clear that it wasn’t the career for me!”

He went back to college during nights and weekends to get the credits he needed to be accepted into medical school. “While you’re in medical school, you’re not allowed to have another job, it’s full time.” he explained.  All in all, it took him 11 years and he’s now completing his residency in Greensboro, NC.

Dr. Bland, his wife Desiree, and their two teenage children are all looking forward to the move to Mount Ayr. “I was looking for a rural environment for our family,” he said. “We’re all excited about less traffic and more space to run around.” With his relocation, the Iowa National Guard is gaining a flight surgeon as well. He’s transferring his commitment to Iowa and will serve one weekend a month, and two weeks a year for the Guard.

“Do you know what I love about medicine?” he asked. “I love to give people a high-five for the wins. I love helping them get through something, and over time becoming part of the process to keep them healthy. I find that really interesting!” As a primary care physician in the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic, Dr. Bland will be serving patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and he’s looking forward to becoming a valued part of the community.

To schedule an appointment with Scott Bland, D.O., call the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic at 641-464-4470.

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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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Longest Tenured Employee at RCH

Kathi Schuster, CNO

Ringgold County Hospital’s longest tenured employee is Chief Nursing Officer, Kathi Schuster. Like many people with a passion for helping others, she knew from the time she was a freshman in high school that nursing was going to be her career. “My mother died of a heart attack when I was 12,” said Kathi. “It’s why I got into nursing.” In fact, she began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at RCH before she even went to college.

She was accepted into the Methodist School of Nursing in Des Moines when she was a junior in high school. She decided to finish high school and enjoy her senior year before entering the program. “It was a three-year program that ran year-round,” she explained. “We only had three weeks off every August. When I graduated, I was a Registered Nurse. I chose nursing because of my experience with the nurses at Ringgold County Hospital. They obviously knew what they were doing, and I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be the best.” She added that she eventually did get into management and got another degree in business administration.

Her first nursing job was at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in pediatrics, where she had done her clinical training. Then she met her husband, who is from Mount Ayr, so she started looking at area hospitals. “I interviewed at other places, but I thought this was a better fit for me. I liked the direction this hospital was going. I liked the people. It was clear that everyone respected the nurses and worked as a team. Some other hospitals had a little more ‘stuff’ but the people weren’t as friendly.” It certainly has proven to be a good fit since she started at RCH in April 1982 and has never left!

According to Kathi, back then when she worked as a full-time RN, they did everything, “Emergency Room, Operating Room, Medical/Surgical, Obstetrics, we did it all! I loved it! My favorite was Obstetrics and the ER.” At the time, RCH was considered a Sole Community Provider Hospital and had 46 beds. “When I started, it was nothing to have both halls completely full. The rules have since changed significantly. We used to admit patients for things that are outpatient procedures now.”

After two years, Kathi was selected to help develop an entire program for the new Harold Hughes Center, a Chemical Dependency Unit. “I developed all the policies and procedures and assisted the Director of Nursing with a hospital-wide nursing standards and procedure manual.”

In 1988, Kathi was urged to apply for the Director of Nursing position at RCH. “There had been several people in the position, and it was clear we needed some stability,” she said. Again, Kathi made a career move that was a good fit. She remained Director of Nursing until 2005 when she was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer. “I’ve been responsible for all the nursing units: acute care, ER, surgical, out-patient,” she said. Over the years, she acquired additional departments including physical therapy, laboratory, radiology and the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic. “I’ve got very good managers!” Now her job is less clinical and more administrative, so she was pleased to pitch in and help during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s been kind of fun to get back to my roots!”

Kathi is proud of the orientation she’s developed for nurses new to RCH. “When I first started, we were expected to just jump in anywhere on the first day. I wanted to be sure that all of our nurses have advanced cardiac life support training. I implemented a policy that nurses have to work a year on the floor before working in the ER. I’m very proud of that.”

Technology has made the biggest changes at the hospital since Kathi started almost 40 years ago. “I actually think that having Electronic Health Records has helped,” she said. “It has standardized orders. In the past we had to go from memory. Things are now at our fingertips.”

Having such a long history in one place, Kathi has seen it all. One of the most significant milestones was helping design the current facility, which was built in 2009. “Our CEO Gordon Winkler really shined when we were building the new hospital,” said Kathi. “He allowed everyone to have a voice and it showed a lot of teamwork.”

After such a long and illustrious career, Kathi’s compassion and empathy are demonstrated when asked about the highlights. “Seeing other nurses grow, be successful, and move up in their own careers is my favorite part of the job.”

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