This week we’re having a conversation with Nancy Zimmerman, Administrator of Comanche County Hospital, in Coldwater, Kansas. Comanche County Hospital was recognized by the National Rural Health Association as a 2017 Top 20 Critical Access Hospital Best Practice in Patient Satisfaction.
“My only qualification was that was that I wanted to make sure this hospital would be here forever, and that was 27 years ago.”
Nancy Zimmerman grew up on a farm and attended a small school with 7 students in her 8th grade class. She went to a consolidated high school with 48 in her graduating class, the largest ever. Nancy attended Wesley School of Nursing in Wichita, Kansas, and upon graduation, came back home. She still lives in the same county.
Nancy is married with 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
This week we’re having a conversation with Sarah Hughes, Housing Navigator for United Healthcare. Sarah joined United Healthcare Community Plan of Nebraska as the Housing Navigator in 2016. Prior to coming to UHC Sarah worked at a social services agency in the Omaha Metro for 12 years. During those twelve years, Sarah worked with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, housing of those experiencing homelessness, and most recent was as the lead of the Omaha Metro Street Outreach Team.
“In December last year, he came up for an opening 3 days before Christmas, so I was able to house him right before Christmas”
Sarah uses the model of trauma informed care and strength based case management when working with UHC members.
Sarah has led many taskforces and initiatives before coming to UHC in relation to homeless and housing. In her current role, Sarah assists the most vulnerable members in the communities she serves and reconnects them to housing and other social supports.
In her free time Sarah enjoys traveling with her family and playing with her puppy, Gus. Sarah also volunteers her time on Street Outreach in the Omaha Metro and at an area Domestic Abuse shelter.
This week we’re having a conversation with Roger Knak, CEO of Fairview Regional Medical Center in Fairview, OK. Roger has been the CEO at Fairview since 2006. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Russell Regional Hospital where he oversaw the transition to becoming a Critical Access Hospital with a hospital based nursing home. When Roger first went to Russell Regional hospital, he started as the Director of Emergency Services. In 1996 he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, and in 2000 he was promoted to CEO.
“You’re not going to change the health of the community at an academic center. You’re going to do it at the frontline of the small community.”
Roger began his career in healthcare in the pre-hospital setting as a professional firefighter paramedic. At the encouragement of nursing staff, he returned to college and obtained his Associate Degree in Nursing from the University of the State of New York in 1990. Roger then served as a flight nurse and transitioned into the hospital setting becoming the Director of Emergency Services in a rural Kansas hospital.
Returning to school Roger received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from Friends University in Wichita Kansas. Continuing his education, Roger returned to Friends University and obtained his Master’s in Business Administration.
Roger remains active in multiple community organizations and lives in Fairview Oklahoma with his wife. He has two married children who with their families have also chosen to make Fairview Oklahoma their home.
This week we’re having a conversation with Nicole Weathers, MSN, RN, the Program Manager for the University of Iowa College of Nursing - Online Nurse Residency Program. With nearly a decade of experience in rural healthcare, Nicole understands the unique challenges rural facilities face when it comes to recruitment and retention of the nursing workforce.
“The role of the nurse is changing and healthcare is changing and in order to meet the demands of healthcare we’re going to have to change too so we need to build these bedside leaders.”
Under Nicole’s leadership, the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program has grown and developed reaching nurses in several states throughout the United States.