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Great River Health Systems employees, program receive state awards

October 14, 2013

Three Great River Health Systems employees and a program at Great River Klein Center were recognized this month at annual meetings for statewide associations.

The Klein Center took top honors in three categories at the Iowa Health Care Association’s Quality Awards for Long-term Care Excellence ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 2, in Des Moines. They were:

  • Administrator of the Year – Ann Abolt                    
  • Activity Specialist of the Year – Dianna Rounds    
  • Life Enrichment Program of the Year – Klein University

The association represents more than 650 Iowa nursing homes, assisted living and residential care facilities, home health agencies, hospice, and independent senior living and retirement communities.

Abolt has been Klein Center administrator for four years. She led the center through the introduction of households and neighborhoods to create a more homelike environment, and the design, construction and move into the new building this past March. According to her nomination, “Ann’s strength of character and dedication to those she serves is amazing. Her sincerity, hard work and dedication have made the Klein Center a true home for elders and an amazing place to work for our staff.”

Rounds’ 40th anniversary at Great River Health Systems is next month. She has worked at the Klein Center since 1997. She was the Klein Center’s Employee of the Year in 2005.

“When Dianna learns about an elder’s interest, she goes above and beyond to make it happen,” her nomination read. “She reminds staff of things that makes elders smile. Her supervisors and peers respect the work she does.”

Klein University is a summer school program that helps elders find joy in lifelong learning. Ten weekly classes are offered. Elders who attend at least seven classes participate in a graduation ceremony and those who attend all classes “graduate” with honors.

Clinical Nurse Educator Carol Eibes was one of 10 Hospital Heroes recognized Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Iowa Hospital Association’s annual meeting in Des Moines.

Hospital Heroes have performed heroic acts or have tirelessly given their time, talent or expertise to better their organizations, patients or communities. More than 70,000 hospital employees in Iowa’s 119 hospitals and health systems are potential Hospital Heroes.

Eibes was named a Hospital Hero for her actions in helping a patient who is Cherokee Indian leave the hospital with a bone that was removed during surgery. Usually, bones are destroyed by a company that specializes in medical waste.

After receiving the request as the patient was being taken into a surgical suite, Eibes researched the Cherokee belief that bone is one of the four souls, and it is needed to cross over to the next life. After getting approval from the Laboratory’s medical director and the patient’s surgeon, Eibes had the bone sterilized and presented it to the patient when he awakened from surgery.