Macumber Makes Career Strides at MRHC

Elaine Macumber

When Elaine Macumber and her husband, Jeremia, moved back to Manning, there weren’t any dental assistant jobs available in the Manning community. Having previously worked as a dental assistant, she was interested in continuing her career in the medical field without having to travel out of town, so she took a job at MRHC as a medical records/admissions staff for about a year until moving into materials management. One day, MRHC Chief Nursing Officer, Michelle Andersen, called Macumber and ultimately changed the trajectory of her career. Elaine Macumber

“I told Elaine, ‘I think you would make a great nurse and we’ll even pay for you to go to school’, and she did! She is not the only one. We try to mentor and help our employees with leadership development both externally and internally,” shared Andersen, RN, BSN.

Macumber went on to utilize the tuition program at MRHC to complete her LPN and RN education at Western Iowa Tech Community College.

“MRHC has provided me with a lot of career advancement,” Macumber said. “With the tuition assistance, the decision to go to school was easier on me. We didn’t have to worry about the financial obligation that school has with it, and I could focus on learning. Nursing school is a tough schedule anyways and with flexible hours at MRHC I was able to work full-time while in school and it really helped me get through. There are also a lot of great nurses at MRHC who helped me learn quickly.”

Macumber started her nursing career at MRHC working in ER/acute care before moving to the specialty clinic as a staff nurse. She took on additional training in the specialty clinic to be able to mix and administer chemotherapy and perform cardiac stress tests.

“The experience working in acute care and ER was great. I got to see a lot of good teamwork and you get to see a lot and learn from the house supervisors who guide you,” Macumber shared.

Now serving as the Specialty Clinic Manager, Macumber manages staffing and takes care of all specialty clinic provider needs. She will also continue as a clinical nurse in the specialty clinic performing infusions, assisting patients in consultations with the specialty doctors, and educating patients prior to surgical procedures.

“I really enjoy the specialty clinic,” Macumber said. “We have ten different clinics that we assist with, so every day is something different. I enjoy talking with the providers and learning as much as I can from them. I plan to work in the specialty clinic for a long time and we hope to expand our services when the need in the community presents.”

Not only does Macumber enjoy her role in the specialty clinic because of the variety of her work and the ability to continually learn something new, the people also make a big impact.

“I love the team environment here at MRHC, every employee has the patient’s interests at heart,” shared Macumber. “We work together to make our patients’ experience as pleasant as possible and still have fun while we do it.”

Specialty Clinic Services

The MRHC specialty clinic has several specialty doctors that see patients in Manning on a regular basis. Services include cardiology; dermatology; ear, nose, and throat (ENT); infusions; mental health; OB-GYN; orthopedics; pain clinic, podiatry; surgery; urology; and wound care. Visit www.mrhcia.com/events to learn more about the specialty area, the specialist or doctor(s) who provide the clinic, and what day they are available. For more information or to set up a consultation with any of the doctors, please call (712) 655-8100.

If you would like to join the MRHC team, visit www.mrhcia.com/careers or call (712) 655-2072 for more information on current job openings.

McLaughlin Helps MRHC Thrive

Amy McLaughlin

For Amy McLaughlin, a career in healthcare was never the initial plan. But with the support and resources from Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC) and MercyOne, she not only found herself working in healthcare but helping lead a rural hospital, serving as the Chief Financial Officer at MRHC. Amy McLaughlin

“Healthcare is never something I intentionally sought out, it sort of found me instead,” said McLaughlin, CPA, CHFP. “After moving, I was looking for a career in finance closer to my new home rather than commuting to Omaha. This role just so happened to be vacant and turned out to be the perfect fit.”

McLaughlin graduated from Iowa State University where she received her undergraduate degree in accounting and started her career at ConAgra Foods, working in internal audit, consumer-branded finance, and mergers and acquisitions. After moving to Audubon, she found her way to MRHC in 2015.

“Anytime we can recruit a young finance professional to serve at one of our Iowa rural hospitals is a win,” said MercyOne Network Finance Executive, Sandra Christensen, CPA, FHFMA. “Amy has been no exception to this. She works hard every day to grow in knowledge and expertise to ensure the community has access to great healthcare. We feel so fortunate to have her in the CFO role at MRHC.”

Even though McLaughlin did not have a background in healthcare, MRHC saw potential and gave her the support and resources she needed to succeed.

“MRHC took a leap of faith and invested resources in me to help me gain the knowledge and experience that’s shaped me into the healthcare finance leader I am today,” McLaughlin said. “They have always been supportive of me furthering my education in both finance and healthcare. MRHC paid for the courses and exam to help me become a Certified Healthcare Finance Professional (CHFP), funded my tuition in the IHA Advanced Leadership Academy, and they pay for my Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) memberships.”

Since McLaughlin is technically an employee of MercyOne and represents the affiliate connection between the two organizations, she is able to benefit from additional resources.

“It’s often overwhelming trying to navigate the intricacies of healthcare finance. Being a MercyOne affiliate and employee has allowed me to tap into their pool of resources and vast areas of expertise when we have questions or need help navigating certain situations,” shared McLaughlin. “It has also allowed me to build a network of other rural CFO’s and finance professionals to bounce ideas off of and share best practices.”

Even with the resources and advantages that come with being a MercyOne affiliate, there have been no shortage of challenges in McLaughlin’s time at MRHC. Rural hospital finances are unique in that you can have increased hospital usage, increase your prices for services, and still lose money due to the complexities of both federal and commercial reimbursement.

“The biggest difficulty we run into is when insurance payers reduce their reimbursement rates. As a Critical Access Hospital, we don’t have a lot of control over what we get paid for the services we provide. We are constantly evaluating what our projected reimbursement will be versus the cost to provide the service,” McLaughlin said. “Unfortunately, at times it forces very difficult conversations and decisions about whether it makes sense to continue to offer something that’s unprofitable. We try to stay proactive and use a forward-thinking approach when faced with reimbursement challenges, but it’s certainly a struggle every year.”

McLaughlin recognizes that healthcare finance is constantly evolving, and she will need to continue to find ways to proactively stay ahead of the challenges that rural healthcare facilities are faced with. But she has been able to help MRHC overcome challenges, find success, and achieve several exciting milestones, including starting new service lines.

“We are continually evaluating and expanding service lines based on our communities’ needs, and I’ve been fortunate enough to aid in the startup of a couple in my time here including Senior Life Solutions, Wound Care, and total joint surgeries,” shared McLaughlin. “It’s always exciting when we get to offer a new service to our patients, especially as there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to be done first.”

In addition to helping MRHC grow and succeed financially, McLaughlin also enjoys her work at MRHC because of the people.

“There is a fun, energetic, and supportive culture at MRHC, second to none. Everyone here matters, no matter what their role is,” shared McLaughlin. “The people here are so selfless and go above and beyond to serve our patients, the community, and each other on a daily basis.”

If you would like to join the MRHC team, visit www.mrhcia.com/careers or call (712) 655-2072 for more information on current job openings.

Dickson Takes Advantage of Career Opportunities at MRHC

Shelby Dickson

Shelby DicksonMRHC Registered Nurse, Shelby Dickson, is grateful for the opportunity to thrive in a career close to home and make a difference in healthcare. Even at a young age, Dickson knew she was meant to work in the medical field.

“I went to school for radiology and soon realized that I wanted to be involved in the problem-solving piece of patient care,” said Dickson. “I chose nursing because there are so many areas you can work in as a nurse. After getting my CNA and working as an aid on a Med/Surg/Peds floor, I found out that I loved patient care and that it was where I wanted to be.”

Dickson continued with nursing school at DMACC in Carroll and graduated in 2009. She worked in Med/Surg/Peds at Saint Anthony Regional Hospital until 2014 and then worked at a private clinic in Carroll for a year before accepting the health coach position at MRHC.

“At MRHC, employees can potentially wear a lot of hats, and I always took that as an opportunity to learn more and be helpful,” Dickson said. “As the Health Coach, I was a resource for the clinic nurses, so I continued to learn more about the clinic processes which has brought me to the position I am in today.”

Dickson has continued to advance in her career at MRHC and now works as the Clinic Director.

“MRHC has given me opportunities to learn and advance in my career. When the Clinic Director position opened, I had learned enough about the clinic that I was ready to take on a challenge and move up,” she said.

Dickson attributes her ability to advance and excel in her career partially to the management team at MRHC.

“Linn [Block] is always suggesting leadership classes and workshops to help me learn how to be an effective leader. Many managers have been supportive to me when it comes to new obstacles. There is always someone ready to listen and help guide you,” Dickson said.

Even when the pandemic presented new challenges, Dickson felt supported and empowered to make important decisions for staff and patients.

“Administration is always listening to my ideas, and we talk a lot about empathy here – putting yourself in the patient’s shoes. Keeping patients at the center of every decision we make benefits patients,” said Dickson.

The MRHC management team recognizes Dickson’s value to the hospital as well as how she has made significant changes to benefit patients and make the clinic an overall good place to work.

“Shelby has showed continued growth in her ability to lead our Family Practice Clinic, and she is well respected by the team,” said MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Shelby sees her role as ensuring our community has convenient access to quality, primary care providers.”

As for the future of her career, Dickson is eager to continue to advance in her education as well as grow in her role at MRHC.

“I love the people that I work with and the mission of the hospital. I hope to get my bachelor’s degree and take on more responsibilities here at MRHC.”

For a list of current openings or to apply at MRHC, go www.mrhcia.com/careers or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.

Paul Heiman Finds a Home at MRHC

Paul Heiman, employee at MRHC

Paul Heiman, employee at MRHCAfter serving in the United States Marine Corps for four years, MRHC employee Paul Heiman worked several manual labor jobs before he decided to go to college and get his degree.

“I wanted to either study business or nursing but ultimately chose business and graduated with honors from Western Iowa Tech in 2012,” said Heiman. “After graduating, I accepted a job managing a durable medical equipment store. I worked there for five years and then accepted a position at MRHC as a Revenue Cycle Specialist and Patient Services Representative in December of 2017.”

Heiman has continued to advance in his career at MRHC and now works as the Patient Financial Services Coordinator in addition to helping in Admissions and Health Information Management (HIM).

“I started working in Admissions and the Business office equally. After a few months I asked for more and was given some HIM tasks as well,” said Heiman. “Everyone here is very supportive and wants you to thrive to better yourself. Sarah Lorenzen is my supervisor in Admissions, and she has always wanted what’s best for me and encouraged me to strive for it.”

Paul’s everyday approach is patient-centered and he strives to lead with a team-mentality. This is evident in the ways he is always looking to help patients, connects them to the right resources, and seeks to improve processes across departments.

“Paul is very versatile serving in many different areas of the hospital,” said Sarah Lorenzen, MRHC Patient Access Manager. “He is an excellent employee and sets an example to others.”

Not only is Heiman thankful to work for a supportive healthcare organization but one whose leadership inspires and motivates its employees to better themselves and advance in their careers.

“MRHC has a safe work environment and outstanding leadership. This is the best job I have ever had and the people I work with make it even better,” shared Heiman. “I would love to continue to work at MRHC until I retire.”

For a list of current openings or to apply at MRHC, go www.mrhcia.com or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.

Blackwell Advances in Career and Education at MRHC

Jackie Blackwell, employee at MRHC

For Manilla local, Jackie Blackwell, healthcare was always the plan for her career path, but she never quite anticipated where she would be today. Jackie Blackwell, employee at MRHC

At the young age of 14, Blackwell began her career in healthcare as an environmental aide at the Manilla Manor. After she received her CNA in 2006, Blackwell worked at the Manilla Manor for one year and then started working full-time at the Manning Plaza in high school during weekends and evenings.

“I liked getting to know the residents – you become close to a lot of them. I knew I wanted to be a nurse, so it was just kind of learning the routine of healthcare and connecting with the residents,” said Blackwell, RN, BSN, CPHQ, who now serves as the Compliance/Privacy Officer and Director of Quality, Patient Advocacy & Risk Management at Manning Regional Healthcare Center (MRHC).

After receiving her RN degree from Iowa Lakes Community College, Blackwell started at St. Anthony’s on the ortho floor, meanwhile continuing to work for the Manning Plaza as needed. In 2012, she started in the Med/Surg department at MRHC and later accepted the OB Coordinator position, eventually going full-time in UR and Quality. As Blackwell experienced various roles throughout the hospital, she grew to enjoy the management side of healthcare.

“I needed my bachelor’s to keep doing clinicals and advance into a management role, so in 2018, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. The hospital paid for that,” said Blackwell.

Blackwell has now found herself advancing in her career as well as her education once again – an accomplishment she attributes to the generosity and support of MRHC.

“Last summer, Linn [Block, MRHC CEO] asked me if I was interested in pursuing my MBA. I was, however, I planned on waiting until my kids were older. I figured I might as well do it now while my kids are young and not in many activities. Now I am in my first year at Nebraska Methodist and should graduate in December of 2023 with my MBA in healthcare. It’s an online program, and I can do my preceptors with Linn right here at MRHC. It’s been good,” shared Blackwell.

Even though Blackwell is a mom and works full-time on top of taking classes for her MBA, she says that the support she receives from MRHC makes it all possible.

“I probably wouldn’t have pursued my bachelor’s or master’s degrees if MRHC had not paid for it. That’s a lot of money upfront,” said Blackwell. She went on to add that “Linn and Michelle [Andersen, RN, BSN, MRHC Chief Nursing Officer] have been great in helping me advance in my career and helping me become a manager. Michelle mentored me a lot when I was on the floor, and Linn always asks how I’m doing in school. If I have a question, we’ll talk about it. All of the senior team really help – they take the time out of their busy days to sit with me and go through stuff so that’s helpful. I have a lot of support.”

Blackwell also credits some of her success to her co-workers as well as the positive team environment at MRHC.

“Everyone is super supportive of each other, and if we know someone has a busy schedule or a huge project that they’re working on everyone is always asking ‘what can I do, can I help you with anything?’ so there is a lot of support and checking in,” shared Blackwell. “Plus, healthcare is a challenge and changing every day. We all have to be adaptable, work together and trust that everyone is trying to do their best right now with things quickly changing, so supporting each other is huge,” she adds.

While healthcare is everchanging and evolving, one constant for MRHC in the past few years has been their leadership.

“Here at MRHC, not only do we prioritize employee satisfaction, recognition, appreciation, and retention, but we also have an ongoing commitment to training and developing our leaders,” said Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA.

Blackwell is not only grateful to work for a healthcare organization close to home, but also one that prioritizes its patients, employees, and families as well.

“I live just eight miles away so it’s nice not having to drive and waste that time away from my kids,” said Blackwell. “[MRHC] is flexible with things like having a sick kid at home and adjusting your hours to a different day. They are a very family-oriented facility and organization, which is important.”

For a list of current openings or to apply at MRHC, go www.mrhcia.com or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.

Vonnahme Thrives in a Career Close to Home at MRHC

Taya Vonnahme, Recovery Center Director at MRHC

Taya Vonnahme has always had extraordinary goals for her career in healthcare. What started out as working as an activity assistant at the Manning Plaza back in 2005, eventually led to her current role as the Director of the Recovery Center at Manning Regional Healthcare Center and several more credentials behind her name. Taya Vonnahme, Recovery Center Director at MRHC

“I knew I wanted to be in healthcare since I was young after watching the impact my family had on people in the community as healthcare providers,” shared Vonnahme, MSN, RN, ARNP, tCDAC.

After becoming a CNA and working at the Plaza throughout high school, Vonnahme received her LPN from Iowa Lakes Community College in 2009. After transitioning to MRHC full time as a discharge planning nurse in 2011, she continued to add jobs to her title until 2015 when she applied to go back to school for her RN. Once she graduated with her associate’s degree in nursing, she transitioned to a house supervisor at MRHC and eventually obtained her BSN from Walden University in 2018. Earlier this year, Vonnahme continued her education at Walden and earned her master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

“MRHC has been an amazing support in my financial ability to go to school,” Vonnahme said. “They helped pay for part of my associate’s degree and paid for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Their financial assistance made for less stress in my life as a full-time student, nurse and mom, among everything else in our busy lives.”

Vonnahme continued to advance in her career at MRHC throughout her education. She transitioned from her role as a house supervisor to the Director of the Recovery Center in October of 2020 and continues to work in the ER. Vonnahme provides all the medical care for recovery center clients, including inpatient and outpatient detox, history and physicals and any other medical needs, with the anticipation that she will become their primary care provider in the future.

“I have set my goal to have my DNP (doctorate in nursing practice), so I have enrolled in a doctorate program with a commitment from MRHC to pay my tuition there as well,” said Vonnahme.

Not only is she grateful for the opportunities and financial support that MRHC has given her, Vonnahme is also thankful to work for a healthcare organization close to home.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I have always made it clear that the reason I work in Manning is being able to take care of those I know,” Vonnahme said. “This community is where I was raised and I’ve been shown how important community support is. This [career] is how I can continue to support my community.”

Vonnahme also shares that she would not be where she is today without her co-workers or the positive team environment at MRHC.

“I work closely with our frontline staff here at MRHC, and we have an amazing team helping each other out from every situation that arises each day,” said Vonnahme.

The team environment at MRHC continues to build despite the many challenges that healthcare has faced in the past 18 months. Although these uncertain times in healthcare are everchanging, the senior leadership team believes that one way they can help motivate and inspire staff is to invest in them as people and in their careers.

“MRHC is supportive of staff who have a desire to grow within the organization,” shared MRHC CEO, Linn Block, RN, BSN, MHA. “Taya’s progress is truly a testament to her drive for learning and caring for those in her community. Taya is a valued employee who is truly thriving close to home.”

For a list of current openings or to apply at MRHC, go www.mrhcia.com or call (712) 655-2072 for more information.