Rural Roots. That is how I like to introduce myself. I lived and grew up in small town Nebraska (Plymouth and Ord) and currently reside in small town Nebraska, Roca! I think the biggest city I have ever dwelt in for very long is Lincoln.
Having said that, I couldn’t be more at home when I travel out into the rural areas, specifically rural hospitals and health care clinics. I’ve known since about the age of five that I wanted to be a Nurse. I shared this with my Grandmother and she said “yes, go be a nurse, we need more nurses”. Years later her blessing stuck and in 1985 I became a LPN, (graduated from Southeast Community College in Beatrice), in 1991 a RN-BSN, (University of Nebraska Medical Center –Lincoln), and in 2000 I received my Master’s in Health Services Management from Clarkson College, Omaha, NE. It’s now 10 years later and I have been completely satisfied with where my Nursing journey has taken me….Rural Nebraska, Rural Health.
Experiences along the way….I started out in Crete and Beatrice working as a bedside nurse in many different areas of care. Emergency Room to Long term care to Home Health. In 2000 just after receiving my Master’s degree I was asked to come on board at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and work in Case Management for the then 30 bed, Medical Oncology Unit. This was a very fast paced, detail-oriented job with the chance to make many contacts with many healthcare providers. In 2003, I was asked by the Chief Medical Officer to consider a position in the Performance Improvement Department working specifically with Medical Staff and Performance Improvement initiatives. I made the change and with this job I got my first taste of Performance Improvement with the hospital’s then six Critical Access Partners. A co-worker and I, with the assistance/advice of Nancy Brown from the Division of Public Health Licensure, developed a mock survey tool which was built around the defined State Rules and Regulations for Critical Access Hospitals. Two times per year, we took it out to our hospitals and ran a “mock survey”. The tool is just that. A tool for hospital Administration and Staff to best learn about a survey process and through a combined approach interpret as best possible the State rules and regulations as they pertain to the Critical Access environment. In the long run, it is my hope and mission to help hospitals create an environment that is sound and safe for our rural population. It is an approach to help you (as CAH staff) succeed in an ever-changing environment with many demands.
It is important to note that during the year of 2009 to 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity to continue my travels throughout Nebraska by serving as the first Field Coordinator for the Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety. I had opportunities to meet and greet many of you in your work settings, conduct root cause analysis sessions and roll out educational initiatives for hospitals (not just CAH’s) as they pertained to the identified needs of hospitals across Nebraska.
In October, 2010, I re-joined forces with Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and I am back in the office of Rural Health Services. Not only do I get to work with the mock survey again but I also get to learn aspects of our mobile diagnostic services which takes me again, out into the rural areas with a great team of individuals.
It’s been a great run and I look forward to the opportunities that are in store out in rural Nebraska.
Please feel free to contact myself or any team member of Saint Elizabeth Health Services with any questions.
“Bring your best game to work every day”
Amy Thimm, RN, BSN, MSHSM
Rural Health Coordinator
Saint Elizabeth Health Services