When White Salmon Council Woman, Donna Heimke stumbled while exiting her vehicle outside the courthouse, she fell forward, landing on her back. “I was hopeful everything was okay, but I soon realized something was very wrong,” said Heimke. As her pain increased and she was no longer able to stand, she was transferred by ambulance to Skyline Hospital.
“During our time in the Emergency Department we received all of the necessary medical procedures, but what impressed us the most was the amount of caring attention given to my wife,” explains Dave Heimke, Donna’s husband. Heimke’s accident resulted in a broken femur in two places. After having orthopedic surgery and spending three days in acute care, she was transferred to Skyline Hospital’s Transitional Care Program to begin the healing process.
Transitional care is a program which allows smaller, rural hospitals to open up their beds to provide inpatient care to those patients – like Heimke – who no longer qualify for acute care, but who are not quite ready to return home due to needing services such as physical or occupational therapy, wound care and IV or respiratory therapies. Often, it means those patients can receive the care they need closer to home, and for Heimke – with her established local roots – this was vital.
“It made me feel good to be in my hometown. It took a load off my husband and meant the kids didn’t have to travel 100 miles to come and see me,” said Heimke. “Everyone was just wonderful. I don’t think I could have received better care anywhere.” When asked about her care at Skyline, Heimke said, “From the first person who took care of me to the last, each and every one was constantly responsive to my every need. I never felt I was imposing, and things were always done in good cheer and with a smile. Not only was I allowed to have my dog Essi visit, but they went out of their way to set up my bible study group to meet in the activities room so I could keep some semblance of normalcy even while in the hospital. Truly remarkable! “In addition to regaining my health, I’ve made some wonderful friends,” smiled Heimke. “Skyline is a very valuable asset to our community and we can’t thank the staff enough for the tremendous, high-level care they provided. My stay helped prepare me to return to my everyday life and I am proud to say I went home both physically and emotionally stronger.”