Spencer Hospital nurses Carol Hartig, Dee Hoger, Beth Hopkins, John Lyon and Margaret Molitor have been selected as three of Iowa’s 100 Great Nurses for 2020. They were to be honored at a special celebration in Des Moines on May 3; however, the event was canceled due to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re so proud of these five outstanding nurses,” commented Brenda Tiefenthaler, VP of Patient Care and Informatics at Spencer Hospital. “It’s disappointing they won’t have the opportunity to enjoy the special celebration held in their honor and for the other 95 honorees this year, so we encourage our coworkers and community members to let them know how much they’re appreciated.”
The 100 Great Iowa Nurses program identifies 100 outstanding nurses every year whose courage, competence, and commitment to patients and the nursing profession stand out above all others. These nurses go above and beyond to contribute significantly to the profession of nursing. Collectively, these five Spencer Hospital nurses have 148 years of experience, yet rather than counting the years, they remember the moments.
“It may sound corny, yet for me, touching people’s lives and having them touch mine is what I love most about nursing,” shared Margaret Molitor.
Carol Hartig responded similarly: “I think what I’ve always enjoyed about nursing is the interactions with patients and their families and to make their hospital experience as positive and comfortable as possible.”
Nurses combine many skills into their daily work which go far beyond their healthcare training, and the role of educator is one they typically feel comfortable filling. “I love to teach people about their health and how to maintain a healthy status,” explained Beth Hopkins.
Dee Hoger agreed: “I love providing education and helping patients, families and coworkers improve their quality of life.”
Over Hoger’s 44 years as a nurse, she’s worked in a variety of roles, currently serving as a certified clinical nurse leader and working as a clinical informaticist. “With every role, I’ve looked for ways to improve the quality of patient care and safety. I am very proud to be a nurse and know that I have made a difference in a person’s life.”
In the last couple decades, nurses have also become technologically savvy. Like Hoger, John Lyon has also fulfilled numerous nursing roles in multiple departments, yet currently also works as a clinical informaticists.
“I have always loved helping people,” Lyon said. “As time has passed, I still help people, just now in other ways and through technology. I also really loved spending time with my patients when I worked the floors.”
Those who were instrumental in nominating these exceptional nurses for the 100 Great Nurses honor, had many glowing comments.
Regarding John Lyon: “I cannot praise John enough for his connectedness that he shows. John never puts himself first and is always eager to do what it takes to help his fellow nurses and all he comes in contact with.” He is instrumental in helping humanize the myriad of technology we use in patient care.”
In nominating Carol Hartig, it was noted: “Carol has touched so many lives. From providing outstanding bedside nursing care for over 35 years to educating and mentoring new nurses, and by volunteering to enhance patient care at the hospital with the emergence of the new volunteer program she initiated.”
In detailing some of Margaret Molitor’s acts of kindness: “Margaret is an extraordinary nurse. She stays active with her patients even after discharge. When she cares for a patient, she gives them fun little rubber ducks to brighten their day. She has even helped arrange a tea party for a patient and her daughter to celebrate her birthday. Many patients go out of their way to express how much they appreciate Margaret.”
Beth Hopkin’s nominator emphasized the connection Beth has with her home health clients: “Beth is the definition of what all nurses aspire to be. Her kindness, patience, and compassion make her an extraordinary nurse. She works long hours to ensure her patients are able to remain in their homes. She acts as an advocate for her patients, ensuring all of their physical and emotional needs are being met.”
In nominating Dee Hoger, it was shared: “Dee is visionary in her thinking as it relates to the future of nursing, especially I the area of informatics and electronic health record development. She is calm amidst chaos and always professional in her approach. Her commitment to her job and attitude motivates others. She is willing to help anyone at any time of the day.”
Through their induction into the 100 Great Nurses, these five nurses join several other Spencer Hospital nurses who have been selected for the honor previously:
Marcia Larson – 2006
Linda Casey – 2009
Judy Fox – 2009
Deb Johnson – 2009
Francel Graham – 2010
Mindy Sylvester – 2010
Dee Vaage – 2011
Laura Armstrong – 2016
Colette Rossiter – 2016
Ben Armstrong – 2017
Laura Manwarren – 2017
Brenda Tiefenthaler – 2017
Joyce Tewes – 2018
Jeri Wescott – 2018
Melissa Brent – 2019
Colleen Hart – 2019
Jolie Threlkeld – 2019
Carol Hartig – 2020
Deanne Hoger – 2020
Beth Hopkins – 2020
John Lyon – 2020
Margaret Molitor – 2020
Feature image: Pictured are, from left, Beth Hopkins, Carol Hartig, Dee Hoger, John Lyon and Margaret Molitor.