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Snowstorm Heroes

snowstorm-heroesThe deluge of snow and the blast of record-breaking low temperatures in January tested the grit of Beacon Associates. The perseverance and dedication of our Beacon staff conquered the winter assault and showed how despite harsh weather conditions, our Associates go above and beyond in making a difference in the lives of others.

Below are just a few of the many amazing stories of bravery:


When you’re a hospital social worker, you never quite know what requests you might get from a patient or family member. Still, the position of social worker requires you to do what you can to respond to the needs of patients and their loved ones.

Such was the case on the frigid morning of Monday, Jan. 6, when during her rounds, Cindy Lemp, LCSW, a social worker for Memorial Trauma Services, learned that a patient’s sister-in-law had left her medication in a nearby hotel room. Because of the major snow on Sunday, she stayed in the hospital Sunday night, unable to get back to her hotel room to retrieve her daily medication that prevents seizures. With a ban on all vehicles except emergency vehicles, the woman was running out of options—and time was of the essence.

Cindy knew something had to be done quickly in order to prevent the woman from suffering a seizure inside the hospital. After discussing the situation, Holly Tuholski, a trauma nurse practitioner, Cindy contacted Security to see if they would drive the woman to the hotel, but due to liability reasons, they could not. However, Dan Rutledge, director of Memorial Security, recommended that he drive Cindy to the hotel to pick up the medication. The woman agreed, and when they arrived at the hotel, Cindy packed up all the woman’s belongings, including the medication, and brought them to the hospital. The patient expressed appreciation to Cindy and Dan for their above and beyond efforts.

According to Mark Herriman, Memorial Hospital Pharmacy Director, Cindy and Dan did the right thing under the challenging circumstances. That’s because Memorial Pharmacy can only dispense medications to hospital patients, and the woman was not an inpatient. Additionally, Memorial Team Pharmacy is able to only dispense medications to Associates and their families. Memorial also does not have an outpatient pharmacy license. This left Cindy and Dan to take the action they did.


In Memorial’s Heart & Vascular Center and 7 South, nurses, Brandi Reinke, Jeanne Alford and Berri Beuker, stayed in a hotel Sunday, Jan. 5 rather than travel to their homes west of South Bend. Because of their kindness, they were able to work in place of other nurses who were unable to get to work on Monday. Hats off to Brandi, Jeanne and Berri!


Associates of Elkhart General’s Post-Surgical Unit packed clothes and supplies when they came to work on Sunday, Jan. 5, anticipating the impending blast of snow and cold. Rather than go home after work, they stayed the night inside the hospital, dubbing their overnight experience, the “Slumber Party,” and making the best of a challenging situation.

Patients showed their appreciation to the staff by sharing compliments about how caring and dedicated they were to spend the night to ensure patients were well taken care of. Great job to the following Associates:

Daryl Miller, R.N.
Jenean Halsey, Secretary
Karen Eggleston, R.N.
Elizabeth Magyar, CNA
Misty Charles, R.N.
Lisa Riebersal, R.N.
Lori Kaminski, R.N.
Karen Yoder, R.N.
Nancy Lewinski, R.N.


Marlis Welsch, Sabrini Dini and Evelyn McGinnis, all nurses in Memorial’s Mother-Baby Unit, were heading home in the same vehicle when they noticed an older man fall down into a snow bank along Monroe Street in downtown South Bend during the evening of Monday, Jan. 6. Bearing below-zero temperatures, they got out and helped the injured man into their vehicle. Paramedics arrived and transported him to Memorial’s ER.


Beacon Finance gets a big thank you for ensuring Associates received their paychecks on time. Being a payroll week and with the snow emergency falling on a Tuesday, this presented unique challenges for the staff. Once the snow emergency was lifted, the dedicated payroll team came to work to work the late shift and successfully processed 6,400 Associate direct deposits so everyone would be paid without the possibility of delay. A special thanks to Cheryl Lint, Jann Moore, Kim Osmanski, Mary Sappington and Yvette Glover.


Kudos to all Associates who helped transport fellow Associates to and from work during this spell of winter weather. Below is a list of names of Beacon staff who assisted with transporting staff during the emergency (in either personal vehicles or security vehicles-including Beacon’s Hummer).healthworks-hummer

  • Dan Rutledge (Security)
  • Larry Britt (Security)
  • Don Wolf (Security)
  • Adam Koch (Security)
  • Larry Perkins (Security)
  • Dean Jones (Security)
  • Ben Stayton (Security)
  • Ron Paul (Security)
  • Terry Staggers (Security)
  • John Tomaszewski (Engineering)
  • Don Sappington (Engineering)
  • McKenna VanDyke (Patient Relations)
  • Greg Bingaman (Trauma)
  • Mark Herriman (Pharmacy)
  • Jeff Costello (Administration)
  • Steve Huffman (Administration)
  • Derek Taylor (Radiology)
  • Ray Kiendl (Radiology)
  • Greg Piper (Materials Management/Purchasing)
  • Donna Wortinger (Nursing)

Thank you to everyone across Beacon for your inspiring work in the face of weather challenges.