Mary Lanning Residence Well being Division Celebrates 5 A long time of Service | information

For Mary Zimmerman, working with Mary Lanning Healthcare gives home care providers like occupational therapist Janell Consbruck independence.

Consbruck, who is also a certified lymphedema therapist, has been working with Zimmerman at Zimmerman’s Hastings home since December 2021 to help ease the effects of lymphedema.

Lymphedema is the accumulation of fluid in the body’s soft tissues when the lymphatic system is damaged or blocked.

Zimmerman has had lymphedema since her lymph nodes were removed as part of treatment for the breast cancer she was diagnosed with in 2004.

Consbruck performs manual lymphatic drainage to reduce Zimmermann’s swelling.

Consbruck even applied for grants on Zimmerman’s behalf to help purchase compression sleeves for her arms that Zimmerman can put on and take off himself.

“Every little thing, when you’ve lost so much independence and you’re getting a little bit of it back, is just heaven,” Zimmerman said. “You want to go out and yell at the neighborhood, ‘Hey!’ ”

Zimmerman was one of more than 900 patients who benefited from Mary Lanning’s home healthcare services last year.

Mary Lanning’s Home Health Department celebrated its 50th anniversary in April.

“What impressed me about her was her determination and her interest in her patients,” Zimmerman said of Consbruck. “She wanted to get that grant for me, come hell or high tide, and she got it, and I certainly benefited from it.”

Zimmerman called Consbruck a hero.

“You can tell in five minutes if someone cares about their work or if it’s just a paycheck,” she said. “I’m no longer an expert at that.”

When Mary Lanning began providing home care services, there were fewer than 12 staff. With all of the home care services that include Home Health, Hospice, Healthy Beginnings, Palliative Care and Lifeline, Home Health has 45 employees.

“What I’m telling people is that we basically do everything except surgeries or delivering babies at home. It’s quite amazing what we’re doing,” said Carrie Edwards, director of Mary Lanning Home Care Services.

Mary Lanning Home Health serves patients within a 60 mile radius including all or part of Adams, Buffalo, Clay, Fillmore, Franklin, Merrick, Nuckolls, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Kearney, Thayer and Webster counties.

Shirley Harms was Mary Lanning’s first Home Health director.

“I think it’s pretty cool because we only had five directors here, which I think says a lot about the program,” Edwards said of the milestone anniversary. “The staff that have come here, some have never had anything to do with home health until they came here and they absolutely love it. The majority of our employees here absolutely love their job and it shows.”

Edwards has been in her position since 2010. However, she began working for the department in 1999 while she was in nursing school as a certified home nursing assistant.

“I fell in love with home nursing because you get to know the patient better,” she said. “You see them at their worst and then at their best.”

Some of the home health care staff have been with the department for decades.

“That consistency is key to the caring, healing touch that our employees bring to the table,” said Edwards.

This consistency extends to office staff as well.

Laura Blackford, department biller, has worked for Mary Lanning for 42 years, including 29 years with Home Care Services.

“I really enjoy working with the staff and I just feel like we’ve made a huge impact on patients’ lives with their health,” she said. “We are a great support for the community.”

Nurse-navigator Amy Coe now answers patients’ calls, takes referrals and works with insurance companies – but has been visiting patients’ homes for about 15 years.

“It was nice, you could hear all kinds of stories from patients, their life stories,” she said. “It was nice to meet her in her home.”

Billing Specialist Sara Alsharabi has been with Home Health since August 2021.

She was attracted to the family atmosphere. Even when she visited the office for a job, she was impressed by everyone who worked there.

“Then they called back and offered me the job, and it was literally the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “The working hours are so flexible, the cooperation with the employees is so good, the benefits are great. I love how good our nurses are with the patients and care so much about them. Every single nurse does everything for their patients. It is wonderful.”

Alsharabi is a CNA himself and has made patient visits.

“The patients are so nice, but the caregivers are so nice too,” she said. “It’s like they’re family. You walk through the door and immediately there is a smile. Patients joke and feel comfortable with you. I think it’s great because you know it took so long to build that relationship with that patient. It’s not something that happens overnight. They work hard to get through to that patient and give them the care they want, when they need it. I think our helpers are doing a really good job. They really do.”

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