Neither snow, nor wind, nor dark of night…

Now, many of you are at home, maybe shoveling your way out, maybe waiting for a plow to liberate you–but that’s ok, is available anywhere you have an internet connection. So while you’ll have to wait to get back to the KSB network to enjoy The OC, ELMER, or the S drive, you can catch up on The Pulse from the comfort of your own home.

A blizzard for the record books has come and gone, and we’re still here! It seems everyone has a story about mile-high snowdrifts, hurricane-force wind gusts, power outages, thundersnow, or a whiteout. And while we’ll be sharing those over lunch for the next several days, I wanted to record a few great stories of my own here on The Pulse.
First, while the Amboy, Ashton, Oregon and Polo clinics as well as TSC and Commerce Towers offices are closed today, KSB Hospital remains open and fully-operational. Thanks to the dedicated effort of employees in all departments, we were open and well-staffed throughout the storm. I’ve heard so many stories of hard-work, dedication, and teamwork that I lost count. I want to specifically recognize a few people whose actions really stood out.
  • Carol Gugerty, Chief Nursing Officer, is the gold-standard in patient care and employee morale.  Carol arrived at work bright and early before 7 a.m. on Tuesday and didn’t leave until 9 a.m. Wednesday.  She worked through the night, tracking call-offs from those who simply could not make it in to work and she managed what limited resources she had available to adequately care for our patients.  Carol’s positive, can-do attitude is exactly what we all needed as the stress of the storm set in.  Carol has always been an amazing leader in times like these, and she dove right in and worked hard once again yesterday.  Carol  isn’t one to ask for recognition, and she was quick to say, “At a certain point, everyone who is here just stays here and works, and nobody else can really make it in.”
  • Val Pfoutz, Director of Intensive Care, braved challenging road conditions and made it in to KSB from her home near Franklin Grove in order to help staff the nearly-full ICU.  Val stepped in and answered the call when others were stuck away from work.
  • Dr. Earel Belford manned the Emergency Room and stayed in town overnight to assist with emergency department operations.
  • J.D. Grant, Plant Operations, picked up and delivered employees around town in his own personal vehicle to ensure that new staff could relieve the all-night crew.
  • Dr. Kurt Crowe called Dr. Joe Welty to volunteer to check-in with Dr. Welty’s inpatients since Dr. Welty lives outside of town and may not be able to make it to the hospital.
  • Jamey Postlewaite, Director of Housekeeping, brought his personal snow blower into service and helped clear the sidewalks at Town Square Centre.  
  • The entire Plant Operations Department, for their round-the-clock coverage and snow-removal.  Several Plant Ops guys stayed overnight and did everything they could to clear and control the sidewalks, parking lots, and roadways on campus.  For those who made it to work today, I think we can agree that the KSB campus is the best plowed, cleared, and salted place in the county today!
  • Anita Dunphy, Nursing Supervisor, was on hand to take over when Carol Gugerty finally went home this morning, and Anita worked all morning, even though she’s scheduled to be back at work tonight.
  • Kathy Schafer, Director of Surgery, found herself with a schedule of surgical patients and a bit short on staffing because of the storm, so Kathy herself scrubbed in and assisted with surgeries. 
  • I heard of several people who were on call and realized that road conditions would threaten their ability to respond…so they came and stayed all night.
Of course, there are so many more people to thank.  I know it’s been a difficult couple of days, with schools and daycares closing and difficult travel.  Last night we opened up the sleep lab, Classroom 2, our apartments and some vacant patient rooms for staff to catch a couple hours sleep during a busy shift.
Thank you all for your dedication and hard work during this remarkable storm.  All of you who went above and beyond helped make this a seamless experience for patients and a team-building experience for every employee.  Do you have a story of excellent patient care or employee teamwork to share?  Add it in the comments section below!

At the end of the storm (and sometimes even during it) what really matters is the best employees made KSB a safe, caring environment, even under challenging conditions.

Once again, It’s The People!

  • Alicia Carlson
    Posted at 21:34h, 02 February Reply

    I always park in the parking lot up on 2nd street next to the dentists office so I don't have to drive around looking for a spot every morning. Last night I started to pull out of my spot and got stuck right away. I called Plant ops and spoke with Eric, who had Rick come right up and plow so that I could get out. He then waited to make sure that I did indeed make it out of the parking lot. I can't tell you how much I appreciated that! I would have had to leave my car overnight which would have been much worse in the morning! Thanks so much to all of Plant ops for what you do!

  • Suzanne Ravlin
    Posted at 21:38h, 02 February Reply

    A special thanks to every worker and team member at KSB, you make me so proud to say I work with you and as a member of the KSB team. Thank you.

  • David Schreiner
    Posted at 22:50h, 02 February Reply

    Linda Mickelson has left a new comment on your post "Neither snow, nor wind, nor dark of night…":

    I'd like to thank my staff for their incredible teamwork during the storm.

    The in-town Medical Imaging staff offered to work last night and today so the "out-of-towners" didn't have to travel. For some of them, that meant working a different shift than scheduled or in a different modality than their routine.
    I'd like to specifically mention: Laurie Burke who drove home yesterday afternoon, and then came back during the height of the storm at 6pm because she was on call for Ultrasound. She didn't want to get stranded on the country roads, but more importantly, she didn't want to compromise patient care, so she came back to stay overnight and then worked again today.

    Also — Sandra Harshman, who drove from Sterling at 3pm yesterdayto help cover Xray and CT on 2nd shift, knowing she may not be able to make it home.She couldn't leave Dixon last night, so she stayed with a co-worker.

    A HUGE thank you to the others who worked last night or today so the rest could stay safe: Roy, Laura, Danielle, Cindy, Marv, Janette, Ann, Jessica, Dona, Bekah, Christinamercy,and Dr Almassy.

    Also, to our overnight Radiologist group, Vision Radiology, who offered to start an hour early so Dr Almassy could get home safely.

    I would like to thank Teresa Calhoun, Tracy Young, and Dwight Oltmanns for their part in the school closing updates that Dwight sent out yesterday. I think it was a great idea, and helped staff know what was going on outside of KSB so they could plan accordingly for their families.

    To Amanda and Pat in Central Scheduling, who helped us confirm or rearrange schedules.

    I could name so many more specifically for their help….so to the rest of the KSB family for helping us do our part, thank you!

    Posted by Linda Mickelson

  • Risha
    Posted at 23:16h, 02 February Reply

    I wanted to thank Dr Crowe and Dr Drengenberg for both texting offers to help if my patients needed me before I could get there. My husband was trying to unbury our plow 3/4 of a mile from our home at midnight last night and didn't get it out until noon today. Also a thanks to the nursing supervisor (Donna Sandoval), lab, switchboard and local pharmacies for helping outpatients get the care they needed via phone consults and remote ordering help.
    -Dr Raven

  • Jenn Soltow
    Posted at 13:13h, 03 February Reply

    A Big Thanks to Matt Payne covering the Echo schedule!!!!

  • Sue Prosch
    Posted at 13:57h, 03 February Reply

    Once again the ED team rose to the occasion and we made it "through the storm!" Barb Fordham, Carley Lindenmeyer, and Nicole Wolf worked the night shift on Tuesday and graciously stayed here until the day shift staff was able to make it in. Nicole had volunteered to work a double shift on Tuesday so that her coworker didn't have to venture out into the storm Tuesday night. Carley stayed until around 10:00 to cover the day shift. Maggie White's "other" job was cancelled so she agreed to work the 7-3 shift and even stayed until after 7 pm. Sara Fordham and Stephanie Schreiner arrived for their shifts as soon as the snow plowing allowed. Hillary Thomas gave up her day off to cover a call off. Doug Sears volunteered to help cover in the ED working Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. Mark Stach "gave up" a nursing orientation shift to fill the spot of the 3-11 ED tech.

    Dr. Belford was here through it all and Dr. Zarnke came in early as the ED census took a leap around lunch time and we needed an extra doctor to keep the flow moving.

    Barb Fordham returned for the night shift on Wednesday along with Kathy Keller and Louella Blackburn and the department continued to function as though we didn't have 18 inches of snow and blowing winds all around us!!

    All departments went out of their way to make sure our patients were cared for in a timely manner. There are not enough ways to say thank you to all of those involved to convey the meaning; however, I will try. THANK YOU for being "The People" at KSB Hospital. We appreciatel all that you do not only during the biggest snow storm but every day.

  • Sara Apple
    Posted at 14:44h, 03 February Reply

    A HUGE thank you to Barb Keith, Jan Deets and Dr. Deets for coming in on Wednesday to manage ALL of the KSB medical Group phone calls and triaging patients. They braved the Blizzard of 2011 and made us proud to call them our co-workers! Thanks for your dedication!

  • valarie
    Posted at 16:50h, 03 February Reply

    A special thanks to the ICU staff who stuck together and pulled through a very busy two days! Kim Long stayed after her 12 hour shift for an extra 4 hrs (to make it a 16 hr shift!) to cover, Tiffany Hummel spent the night here at the hospital after working 12 hrs and then worked another 12 hrs the next day, Jim McDermott came both days he was scheduled and was willing to pick people up, Barb Sims came in for her 3-11 shift on tues, spent the night and continue helping the floor until she could get home (which wasnt until 9pm on wed!), Anita Dunphy and Stacey Dillard(from peds) worked the 11-7 shift on tues night, Alex Apple and Mark Sheets came in and worked tues night also to cover shifts on their days off and Mark went and picked up a staff member for the day shift! Thank you to Merilee Cater, Pam Ellis, Tammy Strub, Sylvia Wade, Lee Ann Luther, and Desiree Kierczynski for coming in and being so very helpful! I am so proud of the ICU for showing such teamwork! THANK YOU!

  • David Schreiner
    Posted at 16:58h, 03 February Reply

    Sent from Jean Brechon:


    I just want to say, that days like yesterday are some of my favorite days to work.

    Over the years, I have seen this happen before. It has always been the same. Everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, just comes together, and teams up and does whatever it takes, to get done what needs to be done.

    It is one of those times that you get the "warm fuzzy feeling" and are extremely proud to be part of such a great organization, that is more like one very big family, that pulls together when the going gets tough.

    Jean Brechon

  • Saad
    Posted at 17:12h, 03 February Reply

    "Special thanks to Sue Welty, histology supervisor, for being so dedicated and responsible. After finishing her day shift on Monday afternoon, she went home. However, when the blizzard started to get really bad, she was worried that she wont be able to make it to work on Tuesday morning. Although the visibility was really bad and driving is very dangerous, She decided to leave home and head back to the department at 7:30pm, Monday evening!
    With the help of a lot of coffee, she spent the night in the pathology suite, she made sure the tissue processor is not failing when electricity kept bouncing on and off, and started her normal work day (at 6:00am) Tuesday morning by performing her usual daily tasks, she left back to her home on her usual time on Tuesday afternoon and reported back to work as usual on Wednesday. What she did is amazing, no one would fault her if she did not drive in the middle of the blizzard just to make sure slides will be available and ready for me on time.
    Thank you Sue."

  • Holly Williams
    Posted at 17:18h, 03 February Reply

    The Respiratory Staff came to town on Tuesday and stayed the night in the Sleep Lab to ensure that we were staffed appropriately for Wednesday. Thank you Chris and Jeanne for making sure that we had people her to care for our patients! John was also able to dig his way out and come in to help them out. The night shift staff also beared the storm and made it to work to relieve their coworkers. Thanks to Deb, Shad, and Dave for finding your way through the blizzard! I appreciate your determination and dedication.

  • Tracey Corning
    Posted at 21:26h, 03 February Reply

    I want to say that I am so proud of my Central Scheduling Crew. When the blizzard hit and the snow was waist high, I had all shifts covered and had offers to cover for the next couple of days. Teamwork is what is right at KSB, look around we are surrounded by it.

  • Joann Smetters
    Posted at 23:56h, 03 February Reply

    I want to thank Michelle Baird for her dedication to KSB. To ensure that she would be at work on Wednesday, she brought a change of clothes and spent Tuesday night at a hotel in Dixon. I talked to her several times Wednesday morning about the phones at TSC (they were down due to the power outages on Tuesday evening) and she ended up sending Matt Reed over. All phones were working Thursday morning when everyone returned to work because of Michelle and Matt. Thanks guys!

  • Dr. Laxman Iyer
    Posted at 02:13h, 04 February Reply

    On Monday night/Tuesday early morning around 2:00am, one of my patients got very ill in ICU and as you know the weather was bad.  I was called in to see the patient, as I was on call.  I contacted Dr. Elbzour for his input. Even though he was not on call and it was the middle of the night, he came in to help.  We stayed until 5am when the patient was stable.  This is way beyond what is expected of “A STAFF CARDIOLOGIST” who is not on call.  On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when we had the worst weather in 25 years, the same patient got very ill around 12:30am, I was not able to get out of my driveway.  Dr. Elbzour was more than kind enough to come to the hospital and take care of the patient all night long.  This surpasses collegiality and ordinary care.  This just goes to prove that Doctors are part the “It’s the People” at KSB and I am proud to be associated with colleagues like Dr. Elbzour.
    Also, I want to recognize J.D. and Eric from Plant Ops. On Wednesday early morning when I was not able to get out of my driveway, I contacted J.D. and Eric and without hesitation, they were willing to send help to get me to the hospital.  This brings me to Scott Hickey from ER.  He drove to my house in the blizzard like conditions.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t get through to my driveway.  Be that as it may, it was extremely courageous and nice of him to offer himself to the dangerous task of driving in the bad weather.  It’s people like J.D., Eric, and Scott that makes us proud to be part of the KSB “family”

  • Bev Young
    Posted at 12:44h, 04 February Reply

    A big thank you to all Med/Surg staff who were able to work during the blizzard. Tuesday night by 3rd shift, many were not able to come to work. Several 2nd shift staff stayed to help. Marsha continued with charge duties so I could do patient care and Satin, Lynda, Melissa, Bev and Linda stayed, too. Andrea and Sharon were not scheduled to work, but live in town and came in. Sharon made it after being stuck in her driveway and street for 1.5hrs. Maureen came in early and slept until 3rd shift so she could be available. Brad, Beth and Sheila also made it in from town.
    By day shift, many had called off, so Maureen, Andrea, Beth, Brad, Sheila and I stayed to work and left about 4:00 that afternoon. Maureen, Brad, Sheila, Sharon and I returned that night for 11-7 shift. Marsha stayed and slept during the day to be available for 3-11 that afternoon. Kim, Rachel, Sam, Sue, Diane, Liz, Tracey,and Lonnie made it in for day shift. Kim snowmobiled in and took over charge duty. Everyone pitched in with amazing teamwork! The 3-11 staff Wed. afternoon were all mostly able to come in as were many of the 11-7 staff. Our patients were very understanding during all the transition of staffing. The meals were very much appreciated by all our staff, as were the rooms available for them to sleep in. A big thank you to plant ops for picking up many of our staff and taking them home, and for all the plowing and shoveling to keep our hospital safe.

  • Barb Stockton
    Posted at 15:05h, 04 February Reply

    Wow, you are all amazing people. KSB is truly blessed to have all of you on it's team. I am proud to work for such a caring organization who clearly, puts each other and the patients first.

  • Kathy Smith
    Posted at 20:56h, 04 February Reply

    I can't say enough about the great lab staff. They pulled together and had a whole schedule arranged to insure coverage. Louise stayed from Tuesday through Thursday, Ruby and Sam provided phlebotomy coverage beyond their usual shifts. Michelle came in for the night shift even though it was her regular day off, since her coworker could not get in from Sterling. Regularly scheduled staff members Tonya, Arlene, Mary Ellen,Diane, Marlene and Jill all made it in to keep the lab going. Sue Welty became concerned at the peak of the storm that she would not get in in the morning, so she drove in and spent the night babysitting her instrumentation to make sure the power flickers did not damage her specimens. I am so proud of the lab staff, they look at what needs doing and do it! Thank You for being the fantastic group you are.

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