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Mother's Day Stories from UnityPoint Health Families

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Mother's Day Stories from UnityPoint Health Families

Mother’s Day reminds us to spend extra time spoiling moms and caretakers, making sure they know how much we appreciate them and all the things they do for us. Mothers are inspiring and often push their children to be their best. After developing common values and skills, some children even take after their moms, following in their career footsteps. This year, we went searching to find the mother/daughter and mother/son pairs within the UnityPoint Health walls. Some work in the same facility, some do not. We were overwhelmed with all the responses from across the system and couldn’t add them all, but here are some who agreed to let us share their stories.

Mother: Carla Ideker (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)
Daughter: Rachel Clark (Grundy County Memorial Hospital)

Carla Ideker & Rachel ClarkWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“That she not only followed in my footsteps, but she also went further in her career,” Carla said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“We don't tell people that we are mother and daughter. When people find out, they are at first surprised, and then they say, "Oh, I can see it now!" Carla said.

Mother: Dixie Husemann (Finley Hospital – Dubuque)
Daughter: Julie Bartmann: (Finely Hospital – Dubuque)

Dixie Husemann & Julie BartmannWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“Always hearing from patients over the years how Julie treated them with compassion and dignity. I know Julie, but it is wonderful to hear it from patients she had taken care of,” Dixie said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“How many times over the years hearing, ‘I didn't know Julie was your daughter!’ Julie has over 30 years of service, and I have over 26 years,” Dixie said.

Mother: Lisa Loesch (Women’s And Children’s Center – Cedar Rapids)
Daughter: Morgan Hanson (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)

Lisa Loesch & Morgan HansonWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“While I don't know that I would want to work directly together, our departments do intertwine quite a bit. It’s been nice to be able to get her perspective on what might have gone on in the Emergency Department prior to admission here, and I know she enjoys updates on patients they may have sent to us (within the limits of HIPPA of course!). And just talking out a good or bad day together is a nice advantage to have. Morgan was born here, volunteered, worked as a tech and now as a nurse in several different departments, and she still drives around the corner on Coe road and says, ‘I love St.Lukes! It’s like coming home!’ She renews my spirit of nursing on a regular basis!!” Lisa said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“For her flight requirements, Morgan has to spend a certain number of hours in different departments, one of them the NICU. On one of her 4-hour requirements, we got to go to a delivery of 32 week-old twins. She was with me throughout the whole experience, from the OR to the NICU and throughout the admission. As icing on the cake, everything went extremely smoothly. We had such a good time admitting that baby together! We went out to eat when we got off because we didn't want the day to end!” Lisa said.

Mother: Cindy Parks (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Daughter: Virginia Daily (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)

Cindy Parks & Virginia DailyWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“We sometimes get to have lunch together,” Cindy said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I get to hear all the time about how my daughter is a hard worker and very caring and goes above and beyond for her patients, and that is what I was hoping for. I am very proud of the woman that she is and will continue to be,” Cindy said.

Mother: Donna Prier (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)
Daughter: Melissa Prier (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)

Donna Prier & Melissa PrierWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“We get to see each other at work and say hi to each other,” Melissa said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Donna works in the ICU, and I work PRN on 3W and full time in the heart center. Thus, every now and then, we take care of the same patient, and the patients can usually tell we are related. I also have to say that I grew up visiting my mom while she was working in the ICU with my dad, and it was because of her I wanted to be a nurse and I have always loved St. Luke’s,” Melissa said.

Mother: Julie Bevard (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Son: Jeremy Bevard (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)

Julie Bevard & Jeremy BevardWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I enjoy seeing his excitement as he learns new routes and meets the various faces of UnityPoint Health across Central Illinois,” Julie said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“We both tend to be shy, but since UnityPoint Health is more like a family, you can find a zone of comfort and be free to blossom into more than you thought you could be,” Julie said.

Mother: Debbie Siggins (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)
Daughter: Amanda Siggins (St. Luke’s Hospitals – Cedar Rapids)

Debbie Siggins & Amanda SigginsWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I see and hear her giving excellent care to our patients the way we would like our own family members to receive,” Debbie said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I have worked at St. Luke's for 28 years. Amanda has served in many roles with me as a volunteer with different activities for employees. She would come in and sell uniforms to second and third shift associates. She loved helping with the associate picnics and many Women's Care programs. We have been going on the Chicago shopping bus trip together for 16 plus years together. It is hard for associates to believe that Amanda is old enough to work at St. Luke's. Time sure does fly by when you are having FUN!” Debbie said.

Mother: Sue Digmann (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)
Daughter Madison Digmann (St. Luke’s Hospital – Cedar Rapids)

Sue Digmann & Madison DigmannWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I like being able to see my mom more. I am now a college student, and it is good to be able to still connect with each other when we aren't living together,” Madison said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“When I first applied for my job at the Women and Children's Center, I went to visit my mom before my interview, so she could help guide me to where I needed to be. Thinking that her badge could get us anywhere in the hospital, we took the tunnel over to the Women and Children's Center. When we got to the building, Mom went to badge us in and it wasn't working. Because she didn't know her badge didn't work in that department, we got stuck in the stairwell. We couldn't badge to go up or to go back into the tunnel. We ended up having to go out a fire exit and go through the front doors of the building. I was deathly afraid I was going to be late for my interview and not get the job,” Madison said.

Mother: Annie Emerson (Cedar Rapids Westside Family Practice)
Daughter: Samantha Moore (Cedar Rapids Westside Family Practice)

Annie Emerson & Samantha MooreWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I get to see her smile every day. Watching her develop into a great employee that is dependable and enjoys what she is doing. She makes me very proud!” Annie said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Samantha is a PSR, so she is very busy all the time. It has been difficult for her to call me by name. She calls me Mom. Coworkers and patients get a real kick out of Mom. My thought was that everybody would start calling me Mom,” Annie said.

Mother: Teresa Amonett (UnityPoint Health – Meriter)
Son: Grant Brooks (UnityPoint Health – Meriter)

Teresa Amonett & Grant BrooksWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“Grant is a Fitness Tech at the Wellness Center. I enjoy that I get to see him every once in a while when I am over there for a management meeting, or as we have an all-staff get together. But, the best part is the pride I feel. He often has UnityPoint Health – Meriter employees as his clients. I have had these employees (sometimes people I didn’t know even knew who I was, and certainly didn’t know he was my son prior to working with him), come up to me telling me how much he helped them, how nice he is, and how much they loved working with him! He is very good at what he does, and I am very proud of him. I love that my colleagues get to see that, too,” Teresa said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I am always nervous to speak in front of large groups. At the first therapy staff all-staff meeting in which my son would attend, I had a lengthy presentation. To help with my nervousness, I usually have one of my staff designated to purposely smile at me from the audience, so that when I look at her, I remember that staff are supporting me and it gives me courage. This time, Grant ended up sitting right in front of her, blocking my view of her. Suddenly, I was feeling even more nervous, realizing that my son was there, and I would be presenting in front of him! As I started speaking and tried to look at my designated ‘smiling’ friend, I couldn’t see her. Instead, I saw my son; but as I looked at him, he was smiling, looking very interested in what I was saying, and looking proud. That gave me all the strength and courage I needed! My speech went well, and I had fun doing it! (In fact, I think they practically had to pull me off the stage—Ok, maybe not quite, but it did feel good!)

Mother: Mary Hunsley (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Son: Ben Hunsley (UnityPoint Health Corporate – Peoria)

Mary Hunsley & Ben HunsleyWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I've always enjoyed the family atmosphere at Methodist, and I wanted to share it with my family. My son, daughter and grand-daughter have all worked as student volunteers. Now, my son is employed as an analyst in the Corporate IT department. Also, my husband is an escort at UnityPoint Health – Methodist and has given over 2,000 hours of service. When I graduated from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing 46 years ago, I did not realize what an impact the Methodist family would have on my family,” Mary said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Working in IT, my son has had to deal with all sorts of computer education issues. He once told me that he told a group of nurses that if he could teach his mom to use the computer, he could teach anyone. I must say that having a ‘contact’ in IT has saved me many times,” Mary said.

Mother: Geri McGonegle (Penn Avenue Medical Building – Des Moines)
Daughter: Lisa McGonegle (Blank Children’s Hospital – Des Moines)

Geri McGonegle & Lisa McGonegleWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I love being able to follow in my mother's footsteps by becoming a physical therapist with UnityPoint Health. She is my role model in many ways, but I will always remember being inspired by watching her work hard and dedicate so much of her time and energy to caring for her patients. This led me to my own path of becoming a PT and when looking for a job, I knew I would be happy at UnityPoint Health. I have seen my mom enjoy serving this company for 30 plus years! When I started with the company, I loved hearing all of the great things everyone had to say about working alongside my mother. It made me so proud,” Lisa said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“My first time observing PT was with my Mom at the Penn Medical Clinic. I loved watching her interact with her patients with true compassion and professionalism. This helped me decide I wanted to be a PT, but I never imagined we would both be working for the same company! It is so fun for us to continue to learn together,” Lisa said.

Mother: Linda Zinnel (UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge)
Daughter: Kristin Thompson (UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge)

Linda Zinnel & Kristen ThompsonWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“Our journey goes back 14 years ago, not only do I get the privilege of working with my daughter at UnityPoint Health, we also received our nursing degrees together. We both started as nurses on 3North at Trinity Regional Medical Center and were able to carpool together when we worked the same shifts. We kept our relationship professional while at work and have developed many wonderful memories. Over the past years, our positions have both changed, I still work at Trinity as a charge/patient care flow nurse. She now works for our surgery clinic. Our paths still continue to cross while at work, and it is great,” Linda said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“It is quite rewarding when the patient starts off in the surgery clinic with Kristin, then sometimes have to transition to the surgical floor where I am located. When the patients find out that their first nurse was my daughter and now they have me on the surgical floor, it's kind of ironic. How neat that when they are discharged the circle connects again, and the patient will follow up with my daughter in the clinic when discharged. It is very rewarding to see the care coordination, and to know that it involved both of us. It is great to hear all the nice things that patients have to say about each of us when the other is not around,” Linda said.

Mother: Meoka Johnson (Blank Children’s Pediatric Clinic – Des Moines)
Daughter: Shondalae Johnson (Blank Children’s Pediatric Clinic – Des Moines)

Meoka Johnson & Shondalae JohnsonWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I feel a sense of pride when people compliment her on the great job she is doing. I love the great customer service she gives to all of our patients and families. Most of all, I love that she has fallen in love with working for Blank Children’s Pediatric Clinics just as much as I have,” Meoka said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“When she first started, we would do lunch and always get stares followed by the question, ‘Are you two related?’ We would look at one another and smile. ‘Yes, this is my daughter,’ I would answer. She has developed great relationships with everyone here and has actually acquired a couple nicknames. Meoka Jr is my favorite,” Meoka said.

Mother: Kacey Eaker (Care Integration Optimization – Peoria)
Son: Kyle Eaker (Clinical Excellence – Peoria)

Kacey Eaker & Kyle EakerWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I like knowing my son's professional side. It is a lot different than the side we see at home. I get to see his work ethic, his determination, his professional sense of humor and his heart for helping people. I like seeing how proud he is when he says, ‘My mom works at Methodist,’ and the confidence that comes when he says, ‘and I work there too!’ He is at Iowa Wesleyan majoring in Biology with a concentration in medicine and minoring in Psychology and Chemistry. He works here at UnityPoint Health during breaks and over the summer. I am so proud of him and his plans to continue in health care! We both believe in the missions and values of UnityPoint Health – Methodist and are blessed by the opportunity to work here,” Kacey said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I was June 2015 Employee of the Month. At the ceremony, family is encouraged to stand up and say something. In front of my supervisor and director, vice presidents and fellow coworkers, he stood up and shared something pretty personal about me. While I turned red in the face and wanted to hide under the table, everyone laughed hysterically. They still talk about how awesome that moment was today. I'm still not sure if I want to laugh or hide,” Kacey said.

Mother: Susan Schroeder (Trinity Medical Center – Moline)
Daughter: Margaret Schroeder (Trinity Medical Center – Moline)

Susan Schroeder & Margaret SchroederWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“It's nice to be able to share our work experiences, and the fact that I can maybe help her 'decompress' after a trying shift. Meg is just beginning her journey in health care, and I like to think that I'm a helpful resource. From the feedback that I get from her co-workers, she's doing an outstanding job, and that makes me so proud,” Susan said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Well, now that Meg is in the thick of patient care, she can now understand why sometimes I need to collapse when I get home,” Susan said.

Mother: June Koster (Buena Vista Clinic – Storm Lake)
Children: Son-in-law Evan Franzmeier, Emily Bodholdt, Amanda Thompson and Megan Koster (Buena Vista Regional Medical Center)

June Koster & Evan Franzmeier, Emily Bodholdt, Amanda Thompson & Megan KosterWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“It is interesting to share new knowledge and developments in each of our areas of expertise,” June said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Well, I used to work in the OB department at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center for 15 plus years, shortly after I left my two oldest daughters started working there! So, there has been a ‘Koster girl’ working there for many years!” June said.

Mother: Anita Steenhoek (Parks Area Family Physicians – Des Moines)
Daughters: Laura Edenburn (Des Moines Billing Office) & Sarah Merrill (Methodist West – West Des Moines)

Anita Steenhoek & Laura Edenberg & Sarah MerrillWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“They both decided to work with the system after seeing how much I enjoyed my working here. They also enjoyed going with me to work when we could bring our children to work for take daughter or son to work day. If we have questions about policies or something we can usually figure it out amongst ourselves. I have worked at UnityPoint Health (Iowa Methodist Medical Center) for 40 years. Their father also worked for the system before he passed away in 2007! A real family affair,” Anita said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Being able to all go as a family to Cubs night when we could get free tickets to UnityPoint Health night,” Anita said.

Mother: Kristy Oswald (Blank Children’s Hospital Neonatal Transport Team)
Son: Brian Oswald (Public Safety – Des Moines)

Kristy Oswald & Brian OswaldWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“We actually work opposite shifts unless one of us goes into overtime. What is nice is that we understand what a ‘rough’ shift means. No words are necessary for support. I am proud that Brian now gets to meet my work family. While we work in completely different areas, we work with many of the same wonderful people,” Kristy said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“One day my 12 hour shift turned into 18 hours. Brian called to see how I was doing and I told him I was about to clock out. Next thing I know he is in the unit giving me a ‘staff escort’ to my car. Trust me, at one a.m. that was appreciated. I never thought my own son would be driving me to my car,” Kristy said.

Mother: Rosalyn Cranston (Iowa Lutheran Hospital)
Daughters: Kimberly Von Ahsen & Krista Hill (Iowa Methodist Medical Center)

Rosalyn Cranston & Kimberly Von AhsenWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“My mother has always been an inspiration to us hence the fact that two out of three of her children ended up in health care and at UnityPoint Health. My mother could definitely tell you some stories of working at UnityPoint Health together. My mother has been with her job her entire career and so have my sister and I,” said Rosalyn’s daughters.

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