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The Mercy Touch® — Experienced

Experience "The Mercy Touch." Words and pictures can only suggest our advanced technologies, our dedicated staff, and our compassionate philosophy. To be truly understood, The Mercy Touch must be experienced. Here are letters from our patients who had the opportunity to experience it firsthand.

Have you experienced the Mercy Touch? Share your story here.


Palliative Care Program Through Mercy Medical Center

To Whom it May Concern:

We would like to express our sincere appreciation of the Palliative Care Program through Mercy Medical Center and the benefits it provides to chronically-ill individuals and their families.  Before our brother's illness became debilitating, he was an accomplished computer software engineer, 49 years old and living independently.  He has been in the program since June 2007.  This program has allowed us to be his family again instead of his caregivers.  While we were upset about his illness and prognosis, it was necessary for us to step in and provide for his physical needs.  While happy to help him, over time this weighed heavily on our family.  In addition to caring for his health and other aspects of his life, we also have our own responsibilities and work.  Many tasks and stressors have been taken over by the Palliative Care program.

This program has been a godsend for our family.  Thankfully, his insurance covers Palliative Care and Christine Harlander was very open to the fairly new idea of Palliative Care in the home.  Chris Tibesar coordinates our brother's care and has optimized and stabilized his condition.  She is a wonderful resource and educator for the caregivers and our family.  Of utmost importance is the compassion she shows for him, us and the caregivers.  She has made herself extremely available to his caregivers and our family.  Chris has communicated well with the physician to keep the focus on providing the care that is beneficial for him.  Bob, the physical therapist, was very helpful with exercises and meaningful conversation with him.  Helpful information was also procured through consultations with nutrition services and occupational therapy.  The availability of a chaplain is a very important support even though our family has a church and pastor in Cedar Rapids.

We wanted to thank you and let you know what a valuable service you provide for chronically-ill individuals and their families in the Cedar Rapids community.  Maintaining and enhancing this program is of utmost importance for the individual and their family.  It is an enhanced level of living for their family.  It is an enhanced level of living for the ill person, a home lifestyle more desirable and more economical than a nursing home.  Hopefully this will be available for many others in the future. 


Gratitude for Intensive Care Unit

Dear Mercy,

My wife and I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the exceptional professional and personal attention given to our daughter, Nikki Vance, for the last two weeks in the ICU.  It was very comforting for us in our time of sadness and confusion, when everything was happening so quickly with her condition, that everyone took the time to explain exactly what was transpiring.

Please extend our thoughts and thank yous to the following people who have touched and helped us so much:

Dr. Cowden, Katie Kavenaugh, all the nurses and staff involved during this time, Christine Harlander, Christine Hehr, Kim Pinneke, Dr. Cearlock and Chaplain Dan Hoeger.

Again, thank you, and please accept this donation that we would like to earmark for the needs of Mercy's Intensive Care Unit.


Successful Surgery

Dear Administration,

On April 16, my daughter had surgery performed by Dr. Abernathey at your hospital which was very successful.  I am writing to congratulate you on the staff in the surgery center, 8th floor patient care and throughout the facility.  Everyone was so caring and thoughtful and helpful.

The facility alone is fabulous, but without your wonderful staff it would be incomplete.  Hotels do not have such great accommodations as your hospital.

Congratulations to all!  I would certainly be willing to be treated at Mercy.


A Smile on Everyone's Face

Dear Timothy Charles,

Please forgive the lateness of this response.  I have filled out several of these surveys, so let me sum up my comments as follows:

We moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in June 2000, my first residence in Iowa.  I have had the pleasure of being in Mercy many times.  Two hip surgeries, donor vein, blood work, etc.  All the construction these past eight years has changed the looks considerably, but one thing has never changed: the smile on everyone's face, the concern and professional approach to my comfort and well-being.  I don't know where you find all these good people, but I have yet to find one grumpy person.

I will soon be 93 thanks to all the good care at Mercy Medical Center - keep up the high standard of patient care and welfare.


Personal Care Given to Mother

Dear Mr. Charles,

A little over a year ago on the afternoon of December 12, 2007, a rescue vehicle from Cedar Rapids Fire Station No. 5 brought to the Mercy Medical Center emergency room an elderly woman who had suffered a stroke.  The woman, 92 years old, was our mother.

Early that evening, my brother received a phone message from a gentleman in the emergency room named Chad asking him to call the hospital.  When he did, he spoke with Dr. Brian Edeker, who professionally and with great empathy explained to my brother that our mother had suffered a severe stroke and would not recover.  My brother explained that we both lived out of town and requested that our mother be kept on life support until we arrived in Cedar Rapids the next day.  Dr. Edeker said he would honor our wishes, place our mother in the intensive care unit and attempt to keep her alive until we arrived.

We arrived the next day and met our relatives at the Medical Center and spent the remaining hours of our mother's life in the intensive care unit with her.  We learned from our aunt and cousin of the great professional and personal care our mother had received throughout the night of December 12 and the morning of December 13 from both the emergency room staff and the Intensive Care Unit staff.  My brother and I experienced that same professionalism and caring upon our arrival, not only toward our mother but also us.

We cannot remember their full names but of particular note was a nurse by the name of Lisa who spent the night of December 12 attending to our mother and supporting our aunt and cousin; a nurse by the name of Debbie who attended our mother and supported my brother and I on December 13, and finally a Sister who spoke to both of us concerning the decision we had to make taking our mother off of life support.

I am a registered nurse and currently am the Executive Director/CEO of the Association of Peri-Operative Registered Nurses.  I did have the opportunity to share my gratitude with Carol Watson, your CNO, at a meeting this past year.  In addition, we want you to know that the ER and ICU staffs of your Medical Center are extremely professional and compassionate individuals.  My brother and I will be eternally indebted for the compassion and professionalism they showed to our mother.  They are exceptional professionals and you should be very proud of them.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank these women and men for what they did for our mother on December 12 and December 13, 2007.


Positive Experience at the Birthplace

To Whom it May Concern,

I had a baby in November and wanted Mr. Charles to know how very happy I was with the treatment by all nurses on the Birthplace, but especially Linda, Darlene and Lauri.  Linda and Darlene work at the Birthplace and Lauri is a lactation nurse.

I can't say enough about the fabulous staff at Mercy. They are like family and my treatment consisted of hugs and personalization.

I also had the pleasure of working with the cardiopulmonary department. Again, fine staff.


Staff are Among the Most Caring and Compassionate People

Mr. Charles,

In November my wife of more than 28 years passed away on Z81.  I am writing to tell you something you already know.....that the staff at Mercy Medical Center are among the most caring and compassionate people I've known!  During her seven-year battle with cancer and heart failure, she made regular visits to the ED.  Occasionally, she was admitted and spent time in ICC, Z41 and Z81.  The nursing and physician staff in the ED and inpatient areas are top-notch and treated us (not just her) with kindness and expert care.  The Lab, Dietary, Social Services, Pastoral Care and Radiology departments saw a lot of her too and exhibited the same "Mercy Touch."  I have been a critical care nurse for more than 20 years, so I know good care when I see it!! Perfect?  No, but you have every reason to be proud of these people!  I won't name them all, for fear of leaving someone out but perhaps you could copy this letter to those areas.

In addition, Anne Nugent and Tim Hehr have been incredibly supportive and patient with me as has almost everyone I know here.  It was and is still difficult to come to work many days, being around sick and dying people.  It triggers a lot of memories for me.  I am blessed to be surrounded by these same caring people, thanks again.


Great Experience in Therapy for Knee Replacement

Dear Nici,

I am enclosing a couple of GEMM cards, but the small space on the card for the reasons just isn't big enough.  I was discharged today from therapy and nursing for my second knee replacement operation, following discharge for the first one in early December.

Bob Rhea was my therapist and I doubt there is a finer therapist that I could have had.  Bob was always there when he said he was coming; he was prepared and his manner was very conducive to making the therapy meaningful and helpful.  Better than that, he's a nice guy and I looked forward to his visits even though I knew my knee was going to hurt, as he encouraged me to go just a little bit further.  My progress was enhanced because of his attention and efforts.

And I'd almost go through it again if I could have Deb Schmidt for a nurse. Almost.  She, again, was there when she said she would be, always with a smile.  We had good conversations about the drugs and she carefully explained to me the progressions through the recovery.  I felt that her examinations were thorough and helped me to feel confident that healing was progressing as it should.  I still can't believe that she is from Norway and hasn't seen "The Final Out."

Total satisfaction on my part with the services of Mercy Home Care, and I know that many others are receiving this same great service.  Thanks for what you do so well.  Truly another example of the "The Mercy Touch."


Gratitude and Thanks for the Wonderful, Professional and Very Caring Staff

Dear Mr. Charles,

It was a pleasant surprise seeing you and your wife yesterday on my way to the Mercy Digestive Health Center.  The real reason I am writing to you is to express my gratitude and thanks for the wonderful, professional and very caring staff who took care of me.

I was running a few minutes late and so this added a little to my stress level.  Rodney, my nurse, was very reassuring and calm.  His overall demeanor did a lot in helping me to relax as I was late and had come alone.  Rodney was professional, competent and had a very caring attitude.  Kudos also to Jesse and Shari who took me to the procedure room and cared for me afterwards.  (I had to wait about an hour for a girlfriend to give me a ride home.)  They were kind, professional and very attentive as well.

I am grateful for the caring staff and doctors at Mercy Medical Center.


Mercy Staff were Exceptional in Their Jobs

Hospital Administrator,

On May 7, 2009, I had a colonoscopy at Mercy Medical Center.

I just want to commend your staff for being caring and interested in my comfort and well-being.  I received a note from Mercy thanking me for choosing Mercy for the procedure.

If I'm reading the names right, the personnel who helped me while I was there were Ruth, Jesse, Pattine and Jenn.  They all were exceptional in their jobs.

Thanks for making it as good an experience as it could be.


Surgery was Great Experience

Mercy Medical Center Friends,

I had surgery at your facility on Ground Hog Day.  I was apprehensive; I knew the risk and I was prepared.  WOW!  What a great experience.  I was on the 8th floor.  It had beautiful rooms, wonderful care and sincere compassion.  Everyone was excellent.

Dr. Abernathey, of course, is a gift from God.  Carrie R. from pre-surgery, very easy to talk to and compassionate.  The first IV I've had in my life that didn't bruise.  Alicia, my first RN after surgery.  She was so patient with me and very positive.  Brenda was very nice, she was a Coe student RN.  Andrea, smiley nurse that discharged me.  Thank you!  Food, Room Service...all great.  Wow! Thank You!


As a Patient and a Volunteer Amazed at Professional and Friendly Manner of Everyone

Mr. Charles,

I volunteer at Mercy Medical Center as a greeter.  Ever since I started volunteering I have been amazed at the professional and friendly manner of everyone I come in contact with.  I got to experience "The Mercy Touch" from a different perspective when I was brought into the emergency department by ambulance after rupturing a disk in my back while bending down to get the mail.

I cannot remember everyone I came in contact with, but would like to convey to you some of the outstanding individuals who made my stay a pleasant one, under the circumstances.

Dr. Pospisil and his emergency room staff showed compassion and professionalism in determining my problem and trying to minimize the pain.

Dr. Tim Sagers who was covering for my family doctor that weekend.  I saw him in the emergency room and he also called on me in my room.  What a pleasant guy!

The x-ray technician used the utmost care in transferring me from the bed to the table so as not to aggravate the pain.

I was admitted to 8th floor and the nurse named Nancy O. who got me settled in and had to ask me all those necessary questions on arrival was a riot.  Her sense of humor made everything easier.

The radiologist who was called in to give me my MRI Sunday was very cheerful.

All of the nurses I had during my stay were top-notch, but I have to single out Savannah, my day nurse both Monday and Tuesday, who went out of her way to make me feel comfortable, and Kim, my night nurse after surgery, really worked hard assisting me different times during the night to walk the halls of 8th floor, as well as making sure my plumbing started to work after surgery.

I also want to mention Father Blocklinger who made a special trip to my room Sunday to give me a blessing just minutes before he was scheduled for Mass downstairs.  Sister Marilyn Ward and Sister James Marie who called on my Sunday afternoon.  Sr. Peg Murphy who came to my room Sunday afternoon and helped both my wife and I make out Advance Directives for Healthcare, which we should have done years ago.

Judy Shimek who I had to bother numerous times getting my schedules covered.

I didn't get to order food very often because it was uncertain when I would have surgery and had to be ready.  The times I did get to call room service, the voice on the other end of the phone was always friendly and helpful as was the food service woman assigned to my floor.  That room service program is awesome and the food was great!  I wish I could have ordered more often.

Last, but not least Dr. Abernathey worked very hard to fit me into his busy surgery schedule.  I had never met him but knew of his reputation from escorting many, many people to his office as a volunteer.  I feel lucky to have gotten him and know he did a good job correcting the problem.  I was able to move the leg right away on the recovery table after having a laminectomy.

I am home now recovering but cannot wait to get back and once again be a part of the outstanding team at Mercy and once again practice "The Mercy Touch."


Compassionate and Caring Service During Outpatient Surgery

Dear Mr. Charles,

I wanted to drop you a note to let you know the kind of compassionate and caring service your staff rendered to me for my outpatient surgery on April 6, 2009.  It was obvious to me that the kind of care that was rendered to me is truly a reflection of management style.  Hats off to you and your entire staff for a job well done.


Mercy Staff were Exceptional in Their Jobs

Dear Mr. Charles,

I underwent back surgery at Mercy in February 2008.  I am a young, healthy woman who has undergone many other simple surgeries in the past.  Last May, I experienced a rare, serious complication post-intubation and was told that this problem may occur again with future surgeries.

Ironically, I was more nervous about the anesthesia than the back surgery itself.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to breathe when I came out of anesthesia.

I'm nominating Dr. Parsons, anesthesiologist, for the Mercy GEMM award because he is the BEST anesthesiologist I've encountered.  Before this most recent surgery, Dr. Parsons requested my records from the other hospital and had a very good understanding of the previous situation prior to entering my pre-op room.  He went through every detail very thoroughly and asked many questions to clarify the situation.  He genuinely listened to my concerns and answered every question.  He proactively had a plan in place to hopefully prevent any complications and communicated this plan to the point that both my husband and I felt very comfortable about the surgery.  He also communicated this to the post-op nursing staff and he was there when I awoke.  Dr. Parsons and the nursing staff made sure I was completely stable before transferring me up to the floor.  I've never had an anesthesiologist take so much time and provide so much reassurance.  I feel very fortunate to have him as part of my surgery team.  I can't thank him enough for his time, effort, knowledge and compassion.