It was a super day at the Greene County Medical Center when super heroes (the medical center’s executive team) arrived to announce that Laine Custer, RN in public health, had been selected as an Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) “Iowa Hospital Hero.”
The IHA defines a hospital hero as “any Iowa hospital employee or physician who has performed a heroic deed or tirelessly given of their time, talent and expertise to improve their organization and the world around them.”
As a Greene County Medical Center public health nurse for 23 years, Custer has worn many hats over the years – but it’s the coat of many colors she wears as she trains, teaches, heals and mentors that makes her a real hero for so many.
As a public health nurse, she has cared for thousands of Greene County residents in time of physical need. “Laine Custer has consistently exemplified our department’s mission of ‘taking care of the community,’” said public health director Becky Wolf. “She is an ‘above and beyond’ nurse, someone I would desire to care for my own loved one.”
As an instructor for Greene County High School’s health occupation classes, she has mentored hundreds of students over several years. Many of these students go on to a career in nursing, and some of them become part-time or full-time employees at Greene County Medical Center. Her impact on young people is incredible and is visible in the hallways of the medical center on a daily basis.
She is also a mentor for co-workers, as was made evident in her receiving the nationally recognized DAISY Award after a nomination by fellow public health RN Sarah Borgeson, who noted Custer’s encouragement and compassion when working with co-workers. “It is a true gift to work with Laine,” said Borgeson. “She is resourceful, has a positive attitude and is quite often doing more than required for her fellow staff, clients and students.”
As a recently designated master trainer in the “A Matter of Balance” fall prevention program, Custer has been improving the health and well-being of the elderly in our community one person at a time. She also helps organize and lead the “Psychological First Aid Training” course for medical center employees, volunteers and community partners who might be called upon in a community disaster.
During her 23 years at the medical center, Custer has been instrumental in countless committees that have improved the patient environment. She has also been instrumental in planning employee events that boost morale and encourage team work.
Custer represents the best in kindness and genuine love for what she does. She is a hero for many at Greene County Medical Center and in Greene County, a medical center spokesperson said.
Custer was officially recognized at the IHA’s fall annual meeting on Oct. 7.