“Cycling is an essential component of my life,” says Liz. “When Joey Dale died, biking was my saving grace. When Kevin joined me in cycling adventures, it brought us closer together and strengthened our marriage.” Last year, Liz and Kevin participated in the 20th annual Tour de Wyoming, cycling 365 miles in six days. The 2016 Tour de Wyoming, which started and ended in Sheridan, included two mountain ascents. “It’s definitely a testament of your true grit,” says Liz who has participated in the Tour three times now. Liz does her winter fitness training mostly indoors using a stationary bike trainer that her bike mounts onto. “I do basic fitness training all year long,” she says. “But in preparation for the events this summer, the intensity and distance training regimen will get a lot more serious starting in January.” Cycling is now a family affair. In fact, Liz, Kevin and three of their four adult children cycle and have applied to ride together in the 2017 Tour de Wyoming. Liz is passionate about biking and recommends it to anyone interested. She says, “age should not be a barrier to anyone interested in cycling.” She estimates the average age of the 350 cyclists who participated in the 2016 Tour de Wyoming to be around 55 and as many as 16 of those riders over the age of 75.
On the job, Liz is a social worker by profession and manager of the case management department.
Hospital case managers advocate on the patient’s behalf to make sure they receive the care that is medically necessary. Starting at admission, they work collaboratively with physicians and members of the healthcare team to assess and predict what the patient’s medical needs will be when they are discharged. Together they develop a care plan for the patient. Case managers are also experts in identifying and securing community resources for patients and their families in support of that care plan. A case manager also works to prevent insurance claim denials and, at times may negotiate with insurance companies to pay for a treatment that the patient needs in order to get better.
“To initiate the care plan in the most efficient and cost effective way possible, we case managers have to know a little about a lot of things,” says Liz. “We have to understand human behavior, recognize life altering changes in a person and comprehend complex legal and healthcare payment systems. It is our job to help patients and their families find solutions to challenging medical and mental health circumstances in all hospital settings. Sometimes that calls upon us to get very creative.”
“Our night shift crew is an amazing team,” says Etchechoury. “We are not just co-workers. Over the years we have grown to become more like family. We regularly get together outside work and even plan family camping trips together! Crocheting just happens to be a creative outlet for most of us. We often share or teach each other new stitches. One year we even taught Dr. Goddard how to crochet, so that he could make a scarf for his wife for Christmas!”
Sheridan Memorial Hospital delivers 35 to 45 babies a month. Depending on individual speed and the embellishments that one may choose to add, each beanie can take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to crochet. That equates to approximately 300 total hours of volunteer time for the year.
“Parents are incredibly grateful for the crocheted beanies,” says Jazz Scott. “So many of them have commented on how cute, unique and well made the beanies are. They are especially touched when they discover that the beanies are the product of our night shift ED nurses and CNAs time, energy and generosity. In addition, those of us who work in Women’s Health feel proud that we get to adorn Sheridan newborns with crocheted beanies courtesy of the Trauma Mammas.”
The Trauma Mamas hope the crocheted beanies will send another message about the pride they have working in the Emergency Department at Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
“We want the community to know that we are really good at what we do here,” says Etchechoury. We know people have a choice about where they get their care and we want families to feel good about the care they receive here.”
Etchechoury, herself, is a 17-year veteran employee with Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
“I started working here in the days when curtains were the only thing separating each of our emergency rooms,” says Etchechoury. “I have seen such positive change over the years. We have a completely different culture than what we had before. Everyone is a valued member of the team.”
Gail Carlson, RN
Kim Estep, RN (travel nurse)
Kristen Etchechoury, RN
Lauren Kutt, CNA
Amy Lewis, RN (travel nurse)
Debra Popp, CNA
Missy Rubie, RN
Dana Wagner, RN