All posts by Valerie Hess

Valerie Hess is project coordinator for the Community Development Office. In her six-year career at Wyoming Medical Center, she has worked in quality and regulatory, nursing administration and administration. She found her passion in the Community Development Office and now leads the hospital's social media platforms. She is pursuing her degree in business administration. She is the mother of a spunky 2-year-old daughter and considers herself a closet video-gamer.

WMC employees give back this holiday season

tree

Christmas is a time of giving, and that rings true for the employees of Wyoming Medical Center. Not only do our employees take care of the sick and injured on a daily basis, they take their giving attitude out into the community to help our friends and neighbors.

This year, a few departments got together to give back to our community in amazing ways – check out their stories.

Sending Wyoming soldiers some cheer

The respiratory department adopted three Wyoming soldiers for Christmas.  These soldiers are currently on deployment and without family. Each soldier received three gift boxes loaded with candy, personal care items and iTune cards to open for Christmas . Each soldier also received a stocking from Santa.

“This was a wonderful experience to participate in as it was our pleasure to provide for others who are keeping us safe and placing their lives on the line each day for us” said Gail Parker, manager of respiratory care.

A special thanks to Connie Wood for helping organize this event.

Employees from Finance "stuff" the tree on Pediatrics
Employees from finance “stuff” the tree on Pediatrics.

Stuff the tree

The WMC finance department raised over $300 to put toward gifts for our pediatric patients. This year they decided to decorate a tree and stuff it full of goodies. Items that were “stuffed” into the tree are for various ages and include: 120 stuffed animals, 25 stress balls, 30 toy cars, 12 decks of cards, 100 bracelets, 12 finger puppets sets, 12 soft sports balls, and coloring books.

A special thanks to Kylie Gibson, Ted Notestine, Paula Gorsuch, Martha Schuler, Chris Parks and Corie Perry for organizing this event.

Food collection

Laboratory staff organized a food collection for the Restoration Food Pantry. Donations began Dec. 6 and will continue to be picked up weekly until Christmas.  As of Dec. 19, eight bags of food have been donated to the local food pantry.

A special thanks to Dana Becker and Micky Hazen for helping organize this event.

A representative from Meals on Wheels accepts a check for $300 from the WMC Patient Finance Department/WHMG Central Business Office
A representative from Meals on Wheels accepts a check for $300 from the WMC Patient Financial Services Department/WHMG Central Business Office.

Abandoning the gift exchange

This year, Patient Financial Services and Wyoming Health Medical Group Central Business Office decided to share the spirit of the season a little differently than they usually do.  Rather than their standard department ornament/gift exchange, they chose to support a local charity. They sent out a survey asking staff which of three charities they would like to support. Meals on Wheels was the lucky selection and the departments raised a combined $300 total for the program.

A special thanks to Julie Stengel, Anita Neubauer, Llwetta Windsor and Sherry Bohannon for organizing this event.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Healthcare Professional Awards

Healthcare Professional Award Committee members pose before the ceremony begins.
Healthcare Professional Award Committee members pose before the ceremony begins.

On Sept. 25, 2013 Wyoming Medical Center recognized the staff members that go above and beyond at Wyoming Medical Center. The theme of this year’s banquet was a “Speakeasy.” The award ceremony, held annually is to  recognize WMC’s  clinical and non-clinical employees working in ancillary departments which include non-nursing, CNA or physician roles.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Healthcare Professional Awards!

* Caring: Lee Anne Chase, patient access specialist

* Education: Matt Stanton, pharmacy education coordinator

* Leadership: Alisha Havens, Foundation development director; and Samantha Anderson, referral center facilitator

* Mentoring: Keith Hartnett, physical therapy

* Safety: Brett Lay, financial counselor; and Sheridan Jennings, patient access specialist

* Practice: Dianna Baudrau, housekeeping; Steve Dyer, security; and Toby Steen, paramedic

* Quality: Linda Schulz, case manager; Jillian Riddle, volunteers and Angels coordinator

* Service: Lindee Zespy, employee services; Chris Vayo, housekeeping; Robin Ryberg, supply clerk; and Robin Garner, patient navigator

* Team Player: Kelsey D’Arcy, respiratory therapist; Alina Young, Medicare/Medicaid biller; and Aimee Virachack, financial counselor

* Department of Excellence: Patient Financial Services

Special thanks to the Healthcare Professional Award committee that made this event such a success!

Scroll down for more photos from the evening.

HCP Awards_2
The theme of this year’s banquet was a “Speakeasy.”
Vickie Diamond, President & CEO gives opening remarks at the ceremony.
Vickie Diamond, president & CEO, gives opening remarks at the ceremony.
via phone & Tamara Hawk, Samantha Anderson, referral center facilitator accepts the Leadership award
Via phone and Tamara Hawk, Samantha Anderson, referral center facilitator, accepts the leadership award.
Leadership: Alisha Havens, Foundation development director
One of the winners  in the leadership category, Alisha Havens the WMC Foundation development director.
Service: Lindee Zespy, employee services
One of the winners in the category of service, Lindee Zespy from employee services.
Caring: Lee Anne Chase, patient access specialist
One of the winners in the category of caring, Lee Anne Chase a patient access specialist.
Team Player: Aimee Virachack, financial counselor
One of the winners in the category of team player, Aimee Virachack, financial counselor.
Department of Excellence: Patient Financial Services
The 2013 Department of Excellence, Patient Financial Services.

Hooping for Health: “Can fat girls hula-hoop?”

My shadow hooping, my first day home with my new hoop.
My shadow hooping, my first day home with my new hoop.

I got the inspiration to begin hula-hooping in April, from pictures and videos of one of my friends having a great time hooping. It looked like something fun and I wanted to learn. From the kids section at Target, I bought two hula-hoops, one for me and one for my 2-year-old daughter (she’ll grow into it, right?). I tried it when I got home and failed miserably to keep the hoop around my waist. The hoops now sit outside unless my daughter plays with them.

Cut to July.

I needed something healthy to start blogging about to contribute to our new hospital blog. Healthy has not been a lifestyle my family and I have dedicated ourselves to living. Don’t get me wrong. We have tried multiple times to change our lifestyle — from trying to cut out soda, buying an elliptical (which now is collecting dust), and growing a garden to have healthy fruits and vegetables. We have good intentions, just horrible follow-through.

This is what prompted my “Can fat girls hula-hoop” Google search. I needed healthy inspiration and maybe fat girls just couldn’t physically hula-hoop. But I wasn’t going to give up just yet.

The results of my Google search were surprising. Not only could fat girls hula-hoop, it is actually an amazing weight-loss program that is growing in popularity. Even a few celebrities have joined the craze.  Hooping for 10 minutes can burn about 100 calories, and you are using your core muscles to keep the hoop up. You do, however, have to use an adult hoop, not one from the kids aisle at Target.  Adult, weighted hoops tend to work better for weight loss, and for beginners.

This was it. I was going to hula hoop!

I contacted a well-known Casper hooper, Natallie*. I had been told she could make the weighted hoops I needed. I told her I wanted to learn to hula-hoop and wanted mine to be pink and snazzy. Before making my custom hoop, she wanted me to try out different sizes and weights. She wanted to meet at a park here in town — during a music festival, a public place, with people – watching me learn!

The 2 hula hoops I purchased at Target inside of my pink snazzy new hoop!  You can see the extreme difference in size - but the larger the hoop the easier it is to learn.
The 2 hula hoops I purchased at Target inside of my pink snazzy new hoop! You can see the extreme difference in size – but the larger the hoop the easier it is to learn.

Deep breaths. I was so not ready for that, my intention was to purchase the hoop and fail miserably in my backyard 100 times until I finally got it, but I went to meet with her anyway. Another first-time hooper was there too, which made me feel a little better. I stood with the hoop around my back as she explained the different weights of hoops, where you can hoop on your body (arms, legs, neck, etc.) and that bruising is normal!

Then she said, “Go ahead and spin it.”

I laughed out loud, but Natallie reassured me that it would be ok. “Here goes nothing.” I thought. I spun the hoop and down it went, sigh. She reminded me that posture is very important, and keeping my shoulders back and looking forward and up would help.

The more I tried, the better I got. I am by no means an expert, but I can at least keep the hoop up for a couple minutes. I ordered my hoop, which I should get within the next week or so.

I know that hooping isn’t going to be the only thing I need to do to shed pounds, but it may be the motivation I need to change other habits to help lose weight and become healthier.

Health Benefits of Hula Hooping

  • Ten minutes of hooping burns 100 calories.
  • Muscles used include abs, obliques, glutes and others when hooping on other parts of the body.
  • Use a weighted hula-hoop for added resistance for shaping and sculpting muscles.
  • Hula-hooping is less of a chore and more fun, so it can improve your mood.
  • Increases flexibility of the spine to help prevent back injuries.

*Natalie is a well-known Casper hooper who not only loves hula-hooping, she also makes each hoop especially for you! Proceeds from her hoop sales go to charities. If you are interested in purchasing a hula hoop find her on Facebook by joining the Casper Hoopers group page. 

Valerie HessValerie Hess is project coordinator for the Community Development Office. In her six-year career at Wyoming Medical Center, she has worked in quality and regulatory, nursing administration and administration. She found her passion in the Community Development Office and now leads the hospital’s social media platforms. She is pursuing her degree in business administration. She is the mother of a spunky 2-year-old daughter and considers herself a closet video-gamer.

Glow Sticks & Zombies – Oh my! Get out and move at some of the last runs of the summer

Looking for an excuse to get out and enjoy the last days of summer? Here are a couple of runs/walks that are fun and family friendly. Plus proceeds benefit a good cause.

Defying Limits Walk/Run

All proceeds will go to the Barr Foundation Amputee Assistant Fund, which provides financial assistance to amputees for their medical and limb loss costs. It includes a half-kilometer walk and 5 and 10K walk/runs.

When: 8 a.m. Aug. 10

Where: Stratton Real Estate/Blue Cross Blue Shield parking lot, 231 E. Midwest St.

Cost: $20 for the half-kilometer walk, $30 for the 5 and 10K run/walks.

Click here to register.

Hear on the Range 5K

Children wearing lights and glow sticks sprint the final section of WMC’s 5k Glow Run/Walk last month. There is still time to get out and get moving at one of the several community runs/walks this summer – including another glow run. (Photo by Dan Cepeda Photography)
Children wearing lights and glow sticks sprint the final section of WMC’s 5k Glow Run/Walk last month. There is still time to get out and get moving at one of the several community runs/walks this summer – including another glow run. (Photo by Dan Cepeda Photography)

If you enjoyed the Rev3 Glow Run – or if you missed it – here is another chance at a bright evening run. ​Gather your brightest outfit, glow sticks or other flashing items for the Hear on the Range 5K. Proceeds benefit the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund which provides support for children with a hearing loss.

When: Registration at 6:30 p.m., race begins at 8:30 Aug. 16

Where: Crossroads Park, 1101 N. Poplar St.

Cost: $25 before Aug. 15, $30 for on-site registrations, $200 for teams of 10

​Click here to register.

Casper Zombie 5K

This isn’t your standard cross-the-finish-line-first type of race. To get out of this one alive, you’ll have to outrun a hoard of moaning zombies.

Each 5K runner receives a flag belt with two flags. Zombies will try to gather as many flags as they can, meaning they “zombified” you! Prizes will be awarded for the fastest runner that ends with both of his or her flags, best-dressed runners and zombies, and zombies who collect the most flags. There is also a 1K Run for kids under 12 after the last wave of the 5K race.

All proceeds will benefit Joshua’s Storehouse and its Milk for Minors program.

When: Waves begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 7; children’s 1k will follow the last wave of 5k runners.

Where: Casper Mountain Trail Center, 9301 S. Circle Drive

Cost: $25; free for the children’s 1K run

Click here to register, but there is no need to register for the children’s 1K race

Sports physicals are $35

Attention all volleyball, football and other fall athletes: Time is running out to get your sports physical. If your student athlete hasn’t yet got his fall sports physical, time is running out. They are available at Sage Primary Care for $35.

Physicians Assistant, Matthew Strand, of Sage Primary Care is now offering sports physicals for $35. A physical is required before participating in sports sanctioned by Natrona County School District.

Sage is located at 1020 S. Conwell St. in Casper. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, or call (307) 265-8300 to schedule an appointment.

For more information on Sage, visit its website.

Members of the Wyoming high school all-star North and South teams compete in the 2013 Shrine Bowl at Natrona County High School in Casper. If your student athlete hasn’t yet got his fall sports physical, time is running out. They are available at Sage Primary Care for $35.
Members of the Wyoming high school all-star North and South teams compete in the 2013 Shrine Bowl at Natrona County High School in Casper. If your student athlete hasn’t yet got his fall sports physical, time is running out. They are available at Sage Primary Care for $35. (Photo by Dan Cepeda Photography)

West Tower rising

As you drive down Second Street, glance up as you pass our new West Tower. On top you will see a pine tree, flanked by American and Wyoming state flags.

So, what exactly is it doing there?

The tree marks the completion of the West Tower’s highest point. It also pays homage to a construction tradition dating back to ancient Scandinavia. A thousand or more years ago, Scandinavian builders cut lumber from the surrounding forests. They placed trees on top of their new buildings to appease the displaced tree-dwelling spirits.

Today, trees are still used to “top out” a project, symbolizing growth and good luck. Haselden Caspar/ Pope JV and WMC  had their topping out ceremony on May 10. The pine tree on the West Tower will eventually be used in the West Tower’s landscaping.

You will notice even more changes to our West Tower in the coming months. Now you see a skeleton of a building. This summer, you will see framed interiors, window outlines and brick walls.

In June, workers poured 1,500 cubic yards of concrete on the three floors. Through August, crews will back fill the remaining structure — piling dirt around the concrete foundation — allowing them to frame and sheath the exterior. Then, you’ll be able to see where the windows and doors will go. By the end of July, you should start to see the brick walls go up.

The exterior framing and brick facade of the MRI building will be done in June and equipment is scheduled to be installed at the end of July. It will open to patients in late October.

Between 50 and 70 tradesmen will be on site throughout the summer. When the interior work begins this fall, there will be about 170 workers on any given day. Medical centers have unique and specialized specifications, requiring unique and specialized contractors. These include certified medical gas installers and IT technicians.

The West Tower will open in 2014, providing 98,000 feet for state-of-the-art medical care, 20 private patient rooms, a new mother-baby unit taking up an entire floor and more services devoted to patients and their families.

WMC earns designation for patient privacy

From L to R: Danielle Krucheck, Chief Compliance Officer Matt Frederiksen and President and CEO Vickie Diamond
From L to R: Danielle Krucheck, Chief Compliance Officer Matt Frederiksen and President and CEO Vickie Diamond

Wyoming Medical Center has become a FairWarning® Ready Certified Care Provider at the Professional Achievement Level, demonstrating its dedication to patient privacy.

Leading care providers, such as Wyoming Medical Center, are taking cutting-edge measures to ensure patient information is protected at all times, and patient privacy monitoring is one of the essentials.  In order to receive the best care possible, a growing number of physicians, clinicians, administrators and affiliates must have access to patient information, and, while the vast majority of those involved in care use sound judgment, from time to time, a care worker may mistakenly or purposefully access patient information that isn’t necessary. FairWarning®’s patient privacy monitoring solutions provide Wyoming Medical Center with the ability to detect these anomalies, train staff and prevent future occurrences.  Patient privacy monitoring is also essential to HIPAA, other federal and state law compliance.

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Eating Right: Napa Valley Glazed Salmon

Submitted by Cornell Colbert, Director of Food and Nutrition Services

Serving size: 1 fillet

1 –             4 oz.. salmon fillet
1-1/2 tsp   Honey
1/4 tsp       Thyme
1/2 tsp       Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp       Grated lemon rind
1/8 tsp       White pepper
Continue reading Eating Right: Napa Valley Glazed Salmon