According to Webster’s Dictionary, a hero is “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities,” and “one who shows great courage.” This past year many healthcare professionals have been recognized as heroes for their noble qualities and courage, including this week’s SDAHO Healthcare Hero, Lacey Rohrbach. Lacey is the Director of Nursing for the Bowdle Nursing Home. The SDAHO Healthcare Hero campaign recognizes and celebrates healthcare heroes across the state.
Since 2011 Lacey has worked for the Bowdle Nursing home. Through the years Lacey has enjoyed serving the residents and getting to know them and their family members. Healthcare continues to grow and change in both large and small communities; Lacey appreciates the small-town atmosphere that allows her and her team to focus on quality care when changes do occur. “The South Dakota healthcare system is always growing and changing as it does anywhere, but I feel that South Dakota people are more family oriented and not just a number.” Those that work with Lacey say she works tirelessly to promote the well-being of each resident and staff member she serves. “Lacey continuously pursues the highest quality of care and safety for each of the residents that call Bowdle Nursing home their home.” – Kaitlyn Randall, MSN, RN – Dir. Quality & Compliance, Bowdle Healthcare Center
Lacey grew up on a ranch south of Chamberlain. While in high school, Lacey worked as a CNA in Chamberlain. She remembers a particular nurse that inspired her to consider a career in healthcare. “I had a nurse, Misty that inspired me to be like her. She always took care of everyone with a smile and was so fun, energetic and always had a loving touch. She pushed me to continue to follow my heart and become a nurse and to never give up.” After graduating from high school, Lacey furthered her education through the University of South Dakota nursing outreach program in Pierre. After earning her nursing degree, Lacey knew she wanted to stay and work in her home state. “It has never been a thought to move out of state. I love the rural lifestyle and I plan to keep it that way.”
Once COVID-19 hit rural America Lacey quickly engaged with her team to ensure the residents and staff had a safe and protected facility. “Throughout this last year Lacey collaborated with our interdisciplinary team to ensure the safety and protection of the residents against COVID-19. Through the face of adversity, she continued to promote a good quality of life for each resident.” Kaitlyn Randall, MSN, RN – Dir. Quality & Compliance, Bowdle Healthcare Center Lacey says the pandemic impacted healthcare in so many ways, including rural healthcare. “We have definitely learned to roll with the punches. Every day there were so many new guidelines, regulations, changes to follow and keep up with.” Lacey says the constant changes made her and her team think outside of the box and be creative to figure out ways to safely accomplish everyday life. Lacey says it was and still is important to remind her team of how historical this past year has been. “We are making history and one day we will look back and say look what we lived and worked through!”. Lacey admits that working through COVID-19 was far from easy, but they made it and she is so proud to say they survived and will one day share their stories to younger generations. “As guidance continues to relax, Lacey is actively pursuing safe means to get the residents outside of the facility. Specifically, several of our residents have a strong desire to go fishing and even though some are wheelchair bound, she is determined to find a means to take them fishing this summer. She is constantly providing joy in the lives of each of our residents. We are all blessed to work with this hero.” Kaitlyn Randall, MSN, RN – Dir. Quality & Compliance, Bowdle Healthcare Center
Now that life is getting back to normal Lacey is once again doing one of the things she loves, which is just talking with the residents. She says she appreciates the history many of the residents have to share and no matter the age she continues to learn something new from each of them. “Making those we care for feel special and loved is an awesome job.” When asked how she feels about being called a healthcare hero, Lacey is quick to recognize her colleagues and even those who work outside of healthcare. “Every person in healthcare is a hero. Many other workers outside healthcare are heroes as well. It takes everyone to make the world work and if at the end of the day you go home and know that you made a difference, tried your best and gave your job 110%, to me you are a hero.”
Thank you Lacey Rohrbach for all you do!
If you know someone that is a healthcare hero and would like to nominate them, visit us online and nominate them today. https://sdaho.org/heroes/