Integrity HCP LifeSaver of the Month


Schieber Named Integrity Life-Saver


Caption: Bonnie Schieber, Nurse Manager of SCKMC's emergency unit, was named "Lifesaver of the Month" by Integrity Healthcare Professionals who operate the emergency department.

Integrity Healthcare Professionals, who manage the physician services for the emergency department at SCKMC, have announced the selection of Bonnie Schieber as their most recent "Lifesaver of the Month" at the local hospital.

In making the announcement, one of the two founding partners of Integrity, Dr. Joseph O'Donnell, stated "Bonnie is really the glue that holds this unit together. Everyone looks to her for leadership. If there's ever any question about what to do in a certain situation, they all look to her for the answer."

At first skeptical about the idea of having to do a rotation in emergency medicine during her nursing training, Schieber recalls a pivotal moment. "We had a patient in critical condition who had to be life-flighted out of our facility to a center with greater capability. I remember helping load her in. I felt a sense of tremendous achievement when that helicopter took off. I knew that our actions were going to save this woman's life." She pauses, then reflects, "I knew at that moment that this is what I wanted to do with my life." 

This feeling of accomplishment and being that someone in a time of need is why Bonnie Schieber loves being a nurse. Working in the Emergency Department as Nurse Manager, Schieber leads thirteen other fulltime nurses in one of the highest stress and chaotic environments of SCKMC. Schieber believes that positivity and good morale is the glue that keeps the team together. "If you start getting negative it’s very contagious; that’s why I like to keep the good energy going and keep everyone motivated. I don’t want people to hate coming into work, I want it to be fun." Schieber states.

Schieber is no stranger to getting into the action with fifteen years of experience working for SCKMC as a Registered Nurse in both Medical Surgery and Emergency Room, as well as her current post. "I am exactly where I want to be" she proclaims. "People are going to have accidents, people are going to get hurt, and they’re going to need help from somebody, and I like the fact that I am that person that gets to help." The most rewarding experience for Schieber is being able to save a life, and the human connection that patients and the staff express. At the end of the day "you feel like you’ve done a good job, it’s rewarding." 

In addition to saving lives Schieber’s duties as Nurse Manager include: directing any situation that arises, continuing medical education with the staff, scheduling, and responding to any complaints or concerns from patients, family members of those patients, and employees. Schieber insists she has no interest in switching her role at SCKMC. "This position gives me the opportunity to work with the public and continue my education by attending meetings/conferences with other Nurse Managers, Leaders, Doctors throughout the state. 

I also really enjoy the patient care and taking care of them in the way a nurse cares for the patient." A large part of what keeps Schieber motivated is her coworkers. "We call ourselves family; I love every one of them." 

Ever since being a little girl Schieber reveals she has "always been interested in medicine." Picking out anatomy books at book fairs, and "watching all the doctor shows." When ultimately deciding to choose nursing as her occupation Schieber told herself "I’m going to be a nurse, because I know I’ll always have a job." Another reason is that this field brings flexibility that appeals to her. "There’s different kinds of nurses, so if I get tired of being one type of a nurse I can be another. I have endless options, so that’s why I decided that nursing was the way to go."

"I’m very happy with where I’m at" professes Schieber. "I really enjoy working here, you hear so much negative, but I haven’t experienced any. This is pretty much the only place I know, and I don’t have any desire to go anywhere else."

Bonnie Schieber graduated High School from Arkansas City in 1999, earned an Associate's degree from Cowley College and acquired her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Southwestern College. Her ability to lead by example, overall performance, and positive outlook makes her Lifesaver of the month and an indispensable member of SCKMC. 


Bonnie Schieber (center), Nurse Manager of SCKMC's emergency unit, was named "Lifesaver of the Month" by Integrity Healthcare Professionals who operate the emergency department. Co-founder Dr. Joseph O'Donnell (right) and Physician's Assistant Debra Schrag (left) join Schieber in one of the trauma rooms at the hospital.

Bonnie Schieber (second from right), Nurse Manager of SCKMC's emergency unit, was named "Lifesaver of the Month" by Integrity Healthcare Professionals who operate the emergency department. From right to left: Integrity co-founder Dr. Joseph O'Donnell; Schieber; Debra Schrag, Integrity Physician's Assistant; Hospital CEO Jeff Bowman; Hospital director of risk management and quality performance Shayla McDonald.


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Blatchford Named Integrity Life-Saver


Caption: Integrity Healthcare awards its “Integrity Lifesaver of the Month” award to Dr. Tyson Blatchford, center. Bonnie Scheiber, Team Leader in the ER, presents the award, accompanied by Julie Jones of Integrity Healthcare.

Along with all their years of advanced education, specialized training and intensive experience, there’s something else that many surgeons have learned to trust. Some people call it “intuition.”

“Something just didn’t seem right,” Dr. Tyson Blatchford explains about a patient who came in at the end of his emergency room shift back in January. “You develop this sort of ‘sixth sense’ after a while and something didn’t fit.”

The patient, who had a history of respiratory problems, was complaining about shortness of breath and so the South Central Kansas Medical Center physician ordered lung X-rays and a small battery of lab tests. “When the X-rays came back, I checked for pneumonia but the lungs were clear.” Experience and intuition pushed the physician to continue examining the X-ray.

“I saw the telltale indication of ‘free air’ in the abdomen, right below the diaphragm and knew we had a significant problem.” While “free air” might sound good at a convenience store when you’ve got a slow leak in a tire, it’s a very bad sign in medicine. In this case, it indicated a perforation in the digestive tract. Confirming factors included elevated lactic acid levels and white cell count. The patient’s condition was actually much worse than the person realized.

“We were looking at symptoms of early sepsis and shock, partially masked by medications being taken,” Dr. Blatchford recalls. “This patient didn’t have time for a one-hour ambulance trip and weather conditions had grounded life flight operations. We had to do something and do it right away.”

That something was emergency surgery to close the hole and remove the contaminating leakage.

Later that day, road conditions improved and allowed transfer to a Wichita facility with the resources and expertise needed for continued treatment and follow-up. Dr. Blatchford’s timely diagnosis and surgery is credited with saving the patient’s life.

In recognition, Integrity Healthcare Professionals designated Dr. Blatchford as their "Integrity Lifesaver of the Month" at SCKMC. Integrity has sponsored this award since taking over management of ER services at the hospital back in January of 2016.

Dr. Joe Odonnell, one of two founding partners of Integrity, commented, "Dr. Blatchford is an absolute blessing to our facility on many levels. From the operating room to the bedside, you will find no rival to his intense focus and passionate care on behalf of his patients. Tyson helps lead the way in providing a truly patient-centered experience which is what makes the care at SCKMC so special."

The Arkansas City native’s interest in medicine manifested at a very early age. “My mom says that when I was a little kid, I was fascinated by this medical magazine published by Better Homes & Gardens. Even though I couldn’t read, I would sit and turn the pages and look at the anatomy pictures.” However, it was a very personal experience during Blatchford’s first year at Cowley College that really crystallized his career choice.

“My mom was hospitalized, and the doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing her problems. She was experiencing organ failure and in very serious condition, but they couldn’t explain why. I started researching her symptoms to see what I could find out.” His mother’s physicians continued their diagnostic search as well. “Fortunately, they didn’t give up. Eventually they were able to figure out that she had systemic lupus.”

His mother survived, albeit with repercussions that still affect her today. Blatchford completed his degree at Cowley, graduated from Southwestern College and completed a medical degree at KU Med School. He later completed additional training at Carilion Clinic/Virginia Tech School of Medicine. His interest in trauma medicine led him to serve as a trainer/educator for medics serving the Southern Kansas SWAT Team. The physician explains, “I helped train them in CPR and trauma treatment such as gunshot wounds, blast injury, chemical exposure and so on.”

There is at least one aspect of trauma and emergency treatment that the doctor finds especially rewarding. “You make an immediate difference for someone and sometimes that difference is that the patient continues living.” Here the surgeon reflects for a bit. “We spend a lot of time treating chronic conditions, things that you’re never going to cure. This is very different; this is life or death.”

In such intense situations with such high stakes, all the training, the experience, the skill—and the intuition—come together. And, there’s one more element that comes to play, at least for this native son and professional surgeon.

“I feel like God is always with me during surgery, guiding me in my judgment, guiding my hands. He’s given me this ability and I believe he helps me use it.” He notes with some humor the stereotypical view that “some doctors think they’re God.”

Then he confesses, “I feel close to God during surgery. Even closer than I feel in church.”

Without this particular intervention, one patient would have been a lot closer.