Beatrice Community Hospital Expands Staff

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center recently expanded its rehabilitation staff by four, and the new employees are eager to start their employment with the hospital.

A BCH press release shared details about the new hires, who will work to get patients back to leading normal lives.

Recently joining the department as a full-time physical therapist is Kasey Murphy, an Odell native.

Murphy wanted to work close to home, and also at a hospital with state-of-the-art equipment. BCH fit both bills.

“I grew up here, had ties here and just wanted to come back,” Murphy said. “I’ve always wanted to work in a rural area. Rural settings present the opportunity to work with patients of all ages and with varying diagnoses. And to have aquatics and pediatrics in the rehab department and to have this wonderful new hospital – all that was a pull.”

Murphy knew in high school she wanted to do something in the medical field and after watching the physical therapy her grandparents underwent, she knew that was what she wanted to do.

“I liked the idea of building that personal relationship with people,” Murphy said. “Being able to help someone return to the activities and lifestyle they enjoy is wonderful.”

Murphy earned a bachelor’s degree in health science as well as a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She and her husband, Trevor, a Wymore native, live in Beatrice.

Three other therapists joined the rehab department to assist in an on-call basis. These new hires include Tanya Kilpatrick, an occupational therapist; Amanda Thimm, a physical therapist; and Amanda Kuehn, a speech therapist.

Kilpatrick earned her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication disorders from the University of South Dakota.

The Hickman native is no stranger to the Beatrice Community Hospital. Kilpatrick completed a clinical rotation and worked part-time for the hospital in 2010.

Kilpatrick said she enjoys the team philosophy at the hospital’s rehab department which allows her to monitor her patients through a continuum of care that might include speech and physical therapy, as well as occupational therapy.

“I just like being able to help people regain their independence and help people to enjoy things they did before and get back to meaningful activities in their life,” she said.

Thimm earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in physical therapy from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.

Her husband, Brad, is a Beatrice native and the couple returned to Beatrice to join the family farming operation.

Thimm, a Missouri native, said she has felt welcome since her first day on the job.

“I love the comradery and the family-type atmosphere of my co-workers at the hospital,” Thimm says.

But it’s the patients who matter most."

“I’ve always just enjoyed helping people and seeing them progress, seeing them get back to their normal life or back to doing something they love to do like sports or a hobby,” Thimm said. “I’ve learned so much from my patients after 8 1/2 years. It’s not just me teaching them but what they have taught me.”

Thimm returned to work in late January following the birth of her son Brendan in October.

Kuehn earned her bachelor’s degree in speech, language and hearing sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and two master’s degrees from Minnesota State University. One in speech language pathology and one in emotional and behavioral disorders.

“I like helping people get back to eating what they want to eat, and talking with the people they want to talk to and just enjoying life again,” said the Beatrice native.

Working at the Beatrice Community Hospital is a family affair for Kuehn. Her mother, Bonnie Riekenberg, is a long-time surgical nurse at the hospital.

“Everyone remembers me and is willing to help me,” Kuehn said, “and the new facility is great.”


Published by the Beatrice Daily Sun February 21, 2013

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