Community Impact Publication 2020


“One of the biggest challenges facing the screening lab has been staffing it,” said Wendy Ward, Great Plains Health director of patient safety and risk management. “Initially, there was very little known about COVID-19, and it scared a lot of people. Those who stepped up were willing to stay

Although the screening unit came together quickly, one can expect the same quality, safety and level of care as provided inside the Great Plains Health facility. “We follow the same protocols at the screening lab as we do inside the hospital,” explained Ward. “We use two patient

out in the elements, risk contracting the virus, and also self-quarantine away from their own family.” Ward continued, “For example, Stephanie Jacobsen, RN, couldn’t see her grandkids for months. She was willing to give up her time with her loved ones to help serve

identifiers, and Dr. Freitas has personally monitored the process of collection to make sure everything is done in a safe and professional manner.” Those working at the screening lab have also had the opportunity to help alleviate fears and spend time talking with patients. “There is so much conflicting information

“We follow the same protocols at the screening lab as we do inside the hospital.” -WendyWard Great Plains Health director of patient safety and risk management

our community.” Ward also named several others: “Ginger Irdman, Tina Heinzen, Candi Myers, Carrie Obrien, Beth Obrien, Shelby Malsbury, Veronica Sederlin, Heather Jensen and Erin Arensdorf—they all went above and beyond the call of duty to staff our front lines. This wasn’t something they were forced to do—they put themselves out there to help others.” Ward also noted the hard work and long hours of the quality department staff, along with the lab technicians and staff.

out there, a lot of people are afraid.” said Ward. “We are able to talk with them, share our experiences and let them know we care.” Although the working conditions can be challenging, there are many community members who show appreciation. “There isn’t a week that goes by without some sort of thanks from a community member. Sometimes they deliver food, drinks or even treats. We really appreciate that.”

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