The Meaning of Care Magazine

Cultivating Compassion: Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital's Commitment to Community Runs Deep

Published: Dec. 20, 2023

Nicole Brunow calls Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital her second home. 

"There’s just something about the camaraderie among the employees that I’ve never experienced anywhere else that I’ve worked," said Brunow, BSN, RN, the hospital's diabetes education director and sexual assault nurse examiner/sexual assault response team coordinator. 

But that welcoming environment doesn't stop within the hospital's walls. It extends into the community, where employees actively participate in several events and initiatives. Morgan Keysor, MSN, RN, Jennie Edmundson’s Progressive Care service leader, believes that involvement outside of work gives her a greater sense of purpose. 

"We come to work every day and help our patients, and being involved with events gives you that sense of community and belonging," Keysor said.


Employee Ambassadors Making a Difference

Keysor is one of several Jennie Edmundson Employee Ambassadors – staff members who help bridge the gap between the Jennie Edmundson Foundation and other hospital staff members and departments. She’s worked at Jennie Edmundson for eight years, and she became an ambassador earlier this year.

Keysor has been involved with many community events over the years, and she likes being a part of planning them and getting a behind-the-scenes perspective. This insight allows her to better inform her colleagues throughout the hospital about opportunities to make a difference like participating in events hosted by the Foundation or donating to the Caring Campaign.

Lisa Warneke, an employee ambassador and administrative assistant for Pre-Admissions at the hospital, understands the importance of connecting with employees whose days are filled by patient care and who might not be as informed about opportunities to give back.

“We reach out to let them know that they can make an impact,” she said, “even if it’s just a small donation.”

Employee ambassadors also help lead the charge of creating an unmatched employee culture.

For example, each new hospital employee receives a handwritten letter from an ambassador that extends a warm welcome to Jennie Edmundson and Methodist Health System. This personal gesture is a testament to the compassion-filled environment that defines the hospital.


Impactful Events 

One way that hospital departments come together to support the Foundation is by creating gift baskets for a silent auction during the annual Spirit of Courage events. These baskets might include summer grilling essentials, seasonal-themed items or even tickets to sporting events and concerts.

The Spirit of Courage Celebrity Gala and Golf Tournament is just one of the many events the Foundation hosts throughout the year. Other outings like Dance to the Beat, Wheels of Courage and Pink Out SW Iowa allow employees and community members to attend, sponsor and volunteer to raise awareness and make a difference.

The spirit of giving back goes beyond these events organized by staff members from the Foundation and hospital. The Foundation, along with Jennie Edmundson and Methodist Physicians Clinic, is deeply involved in a range of community events, such as the Walk to End Alzheimer's, the Out of the Darkness Community Walk and the Corporate Cup. 

"Our patients come from the community, so what better way to be involved, educate them and just care for them than to be out in the community, versus them coming to meet us on their worst days," Keysor said.


Contributing to Specific Initiatives

Another way employees contribute to the community is through the Caring Campaign – Methodist’s annual employee giving effort – which empowers them to donate funds for initiatives at Jennie Edmundson and throughout the health system. 

The Foundation’s greatest need for the most recent campaign was aimed at creating a state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Care Center at the hospital. 

MJE Wound Care Clinic staff
Jennie Edmundson Foundation team members Samantha Fragoso and Jennifer Cody-Wickstrom presented the Jennie Edmundson Wound Care Center team with their 100% employee giving certificate and prize basket. 

Donations have also supported:

  • Caring for Our Communities, which connects people in need with community health and behavioral health experts who will help find appropriate health care, access existing community resources, obtain health-related education and affordable medications, and navigate the health care exchange 
  • Charitable Patient Care Fund, which works to identify and assist patients who are unable to afford health care services, including co-pays, procedures, medications and transportation
  • Medi-Van, which provides transportation for people dealing with chronic disease or undergoing therapy


“I give to the employee Caring Campaign because our facilities are full of fantastic people that positively affect people’s lives,” said Trevor Mayberry, Jennie Edmundson’s director of facility operations. 

Chuck Bardon, a trauma registrar in the Emergency Department, also expressed the significance of giving.

"I give because there are so many unfortunate people in our community that need help,” he said. “And this is a great way to pay it forward."


Fostering Excellence in Care

At Jennie Edmundson, compassion, community and camaraderie aren’t just words – they’re a way of life. Employees are dedicated to making a difference, and their impact touches the lives of many.

"We really care about our jobs. We really care about our patients. And we really care about our coworkers," Brunow said. "Those of us who have stuck around – even through some of the really difficult last few years – we’ve created such a bond. We’re here for our patients, and we want to make sure that we’re providing the best possible care."

As an employee ambassador, Keysor takes pride in showcasing what it means to provide excellent care at the hospital and in the community. 

“That follow-through really makes a difference in not only our patients’ lives but also our employees’ lives,” she said. 

Keysor added: “While you enjoy seeing your coworkers here at work, you also get to do fun things that are great for our community outside of work.”

Glenwood PT
The Methodist Physicians Clinic Glenwood Physical Therapy team pose for a photo with their certificate for 100% participation in the 2023 Employee Caring Campaign.

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About the Author

Anthony Robinson, a content strategist for Methodist Health System, joined the marketing team after spending over five years as a college athletics public relations professional. He enjoys being able to use his writing ability to tell compelling stories that embody The Meaning of Care

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