Wall of Fame
*St. Francis Memorial Hospital has established a Wall of Fame in the rehabilitation department, to honor patients for their outstanding courage and determination as they complete their rehabilitation therapy and continue to persevere through challenges.
*These patients have worked hours, weeks, months, and even years of extended intense rehabilitation to meet our goals, as well as their own personal goals. They exceed expectations and continue thriving in their journey to recovery.
Mission Statement: The purpose of the St. Francis Memorial Hospital’s Rehab Wall of Fame is to recognize the determination and dedication of patients as they complete their rehabilitation therapy and continue to persevere through challenges. These individuals have achieved noteworthy and outstanding accomplishments related to their rehab journey. They are an inspiration not only to the therapists, but for other patients to thrive in their personal rehab journeys. These patients have been nominated by a variety of therapists for their hard work, courage, and dedication on their road to recovery.
Wall of Fame Recipient
Robert ‘Bob’ Neesen
“There is always someone who has it worse, just depends on how you deal with it.”
If you couldn’t walk for almost two years, you might feel pretty helpless. Bob Neesen “never wanted to feel that way” about his situation. In April of 2013, Bob needed a total knee replacement surgery on each leg. Following the first knee replacement surgery, his doctors discovered an infection which ultimately postponed his second knee surgery. This was difficult for Bob. “I would see people on TV walking like it was nothing, it made me jealous as hell!” Bob finally had both knees operated on and he was ready to start his rehabilitation journey at St. Francis Memorial Hospital. First, Bob began tackling the challenge of standing. Once standing was accomplished, he moved on to walking. He recalls many inventive gadgets including a “tree-stand deal”, which was used to increase strength in his legs. With a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease and all the recent changes to his body, Bob knew his house needed changes too. Bob and his dog, Duke, went to work! They worked on widening doorways and making other tools to make life easier. Bob recalls a contraption which allowed him to stay in his wheelchair inside yet still let Duke in and out of the backyard. You can see that Bob, and Duke, are a smart, creative pair. Today, Bob is back to “hunting, fishing, and goofing off!” He and Duke also enjoy walking outside and gardening. Bob also enjoys using the walking track and stationary bikes at Wimmer Wellness Center. Bob lives life to the fullest and hopes others will remember that “there is always someone who has it worse, just depends on how you deal with it!”
Bob has many people to thank for their help during his rehabilitation. Bob is amazed by his daughter, Kelly, and granddaughter Shelby. “They had busy lives of their own, but they still helped me keep everything going”. He is grateful for all the friends and neighbors who helped him get to his outpatient therapies at Wimmer Rehabilitation. Bob is also extremely thankful for the staff at St. Francis. “When I needed something, you were always there. You made this more than your job; you made this a friendship!” These ‘friends’ appreciate Bob’s ability to make us think creatively and his willingness to try anything set in front of him.
Wall of Fame Recipient
Fifty Years of Dedicated Service
Lavina Steffen’s journey at St. Francis Memorial Hospital began December 2, 1963 and formally came to an end on December 2, 2013. Your math is correct, that is 50 years to the day! Lavina says “that’s when I decided to retired” but many would say she continues to have a strong impact on Wimmer Rehabilitation and Wellness Center! Lavina is honored on the Wall of Fame for her hard work in years of employment and overall dedication to service.
Lavina started her working career as a nursing aide in 1963. She remained on the patient floor for five years, before other departments started vying for her help. In her 50 years of employment at St. Francis, she worked within Radiology, Cardiology, Pharmacy, Obstetrics, and Rehabilitation. Across the various departments, Lavina specifically enjoyed “working with patients, taking care of them, and getting them back home again.” While working in the rehabilitation department, Lavina learned that the journey can be long and difficult at times. Her advice to current and future rehabilitation patients is to “keep up and follow the exercises given” and also “make sure you prove yourself in therapy”. Throughout her time at St. Francis, Lavina saw many things change and update! For example, within the rehabilitation department, she mentioned “it has really expanded; we used to be in one small room down the hall.” She would advise other staff members to “do good work, make sure you listen, stay positive, and bring your patience to work every day!” Lavina also said that things have a tendency to “get scattered sometimes”. To this, Lavina will always continue to say “we’ll get it done, just relax, we’ll get it done!”
Lavina has continued to come to St. Francis since her retirement, three times a week for use of the Wellness Center. She states wellness is important because it “keeps your body and your mind right”. With wellness, “I want to keep doing things I want, like going to my family’s games and activities, so my mind and body have to be able to keep up!” Lavina credits her health to her habits and routines with exercise. St. Francis Memorial Hospital, as well as Wimmer Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, thanks Lavina Steffen for her dedication, service, and wisdom.