Thrive by IU Health

May 11, 2023

Sometimes, we truly are family

IU Health Arnett Hospital

Sometimes, we truly are family

Team is one of IU Health’s core values. We count on and care for each other. The hours we spend at work tend to make our team members like a second family.

Sometimes, team members are actually family.

In honor of Mother’s Day, several mother-daughter team member pairs share what it’s like to work alongside each other each day.

Ava Snodgrass and Brigitte Saltsman

“To be like my mom has always been the goal,” says Brigitte Saltsman, radiation therapist with Arnett Cancer Care. “She has the best big heart, has always been super supportive and would do anything for anyone.”

“Brigitte is a lot like me,” says Ava Snodgrass, medical assistant with dermatology. “She is very soft hearted, loving and forgiving. She will bust her hind end to get something done — don’t tell her she can’t do something because she will prove you wrong.”

Ava Snodgrass and Brigitte Saltsman
Brigitte Saltsman and Ava Snodgrass

Case in point, Saltsman made it into the radiation therapy program at Ball State University, a program where only six are accepted per year. Her journey into healthcare started by hanging out with mom. Snodgrass worked in a nursing home then joined the family practice of Manley Scheurich, MD. At the age of 15, Saltsman got her certified nursing assistant (CNA) license so she could get her foot in the healthcare door. She researched several areas of interest, but cancer care intrigued her the most when her father was diagnosed.

“I love my job,” says Saltsman. “We create a safe place for the patients on their journey to the other side of cancer. It is so rewarding when they complete their treatments. We gave them a future.”

Like Saltsman, Snodgrass got into healthcare following her mom around a nursing home.

“As a child, I would tag along and read to the residents,” says Sondgrass. “I fell in love with the population.”

In high school, Snodgrass got her EMT license but quickly learned that was not for her. Once Scheurich retired in 2006, she found a new home in dermatology.

“I love this department,” says Snodgrass. “There is always something neat to learn.”

Snodgrass stresses the importance of wearing sunscreen to her red headed, fair skinned daughter, sharing that she has seen too many young people with melanoma.

The pair work across the street from each other on Ferry St. but rarely see each other at work. Home, however, is a different story.

Saltsman and her family moved in with Snodgrass and her husband last fall when they sold their house quicker than planned. Saltsman’s husband and her father are building a new house for the family in addition to their full-time jobs.

“When she moves out, I am going to cry,” says Snodgrass. “I love having my grandbabies at home.”

“The kids may stay with her, when we move out,” jokes Saltsman. “The house is Camp Runamuck but everyone is happy and clean. Whoever gets home first starts dinner.”

Kelli Greeno and Baeli Maxwell

“Who doesn’t love working with their child?” says Emergency department (ED) nurse, Kelli Greeno about her daughter Baeli Maxwell. “Seeing her through the eyes of patients and co-workers just warms my heart. Not everyone has the benefit of seeing their child excel professionally.”

Baeli Maxwell and Kelli Greeno
Baeli Maxwell and Kelli Greeno

Maxwell works with her mother as an ED tech on the night shift at IU Health Frankfort Hospital.

“I love being in the ED,” says Maxwell. “Not knowing what I am going to see during my shift keeps it exciting. Every day is different.”

Greeno agrees. She has had a calling to healthcare since high school. She started as a rehabilitation aide and held several different positions within the hospital before becoming a nurse.

“I was fascinated and motivated by helping people,” says Greeno. “Getting them back to living their best quality of life and being given the opportunity to help someone when they need it most is the most rewarding feeling.”

When Maxwell was a baby, Greeno found herself a single parent and in need of a career that would support them both.

Greeno worked as a nurse in the ED for eight years before taking a break and trying other areas of nursing including clinical risk management, nursing leadership and hospice. The COVID-19 pandemic convinced her to return to emergency nursing.

Maxwell soon followed. Like her mom, she has felt the call of healthcare. Within a month of Greeno returning to the ED, Maxwell applied for an inpatient tech position and soon after transferred to the ED.

“Baeli is very skilled and takes pride in her work. She anticipates our every need,” says Greeno. “I am so proud of her. I used to remind myself to treat her as I would any of my team members, but we are all family — and sometimes I must use my mom voice.”

“Once a mom, always a mom and even at work, Baeli will often ask what I am feeding her for dinner,” says Greeno.

“We live just down the road from each other, but we give ourselves space,” says Greeno when asked about their relationship outside of work. “The ED can be so chaotic and stressful at times. By day three, you often need to step away and decompress.”

Connie Jordan and Kayla Rogers

Healthcare is the Read family business — at one point, three generations worked at White Memorial Hospital. Marcia Read helped train her granddaughter, Kayla Rogers as a unit secretary. She was blessed to live long enough to see Rogers get her nursing license.

“Healthcare just made sense,” says Rogers who grew up in the hospital with her mom, Connie Jordan, as a nurse on the inpatient unit, and grandma, (Marcia) as a unit tech in the inpatient unit.

Kayla Rogers and Connie Jordan
Kayla Rogers and Connie Jordan

“All my girl scout badges were in healthcare or science,” says Jordan. “I received the Gold Award for developing the candy stripe program. I sewed the sashes, interviewed applicants and hired the candy stripers.”

That experience has served Jordan well for the past 39 years. Today, she is the manager of inpatient services at White Memorial. Rogers prefers the unknown of the Emergency department.

“I love being constantly on my toes,” says Rogers, who has been a nurse for nine years.

Even though they work in separate units, the mother and daughter do see each other in some capacity every day — even if it is only a quick hello.

Work does not affect family time — or does it? The pair have been known to talk too much about work for the rest of the close-knit family.

“Why can’t we be grandparents first?” asks Jordan, who might be slightly jealous of her husband who is retired and watches Rogers’ son, Owen and soon, his new baby brother. “He doesn’t want to go with mom and dad, it is always grandpa.”

“She puts everyone before herself,’ says Rogers of her mom. “She is a hard worker, a great mentor and always willing to help others.”

“She is the apple off my tree,” says Jordan. “She is softer spoken than I am. I don’t sugarcoat it. Kayla has flair.”

Stephanie Summerfield and Dakota Summerfield

Stephanie Summerfield, program coordinator for cardiovascular services, went back to nursing school to provide a second income for her growing family. He daughter Dakota stepped in as the second mom.

“I admire her dedication and selflessness,” says Dakota of her mom. “I cannot imagine going to school with four children. She would always sacrifice for us — whatever we needed. She would still make it to our school events. It has really shaped how I look at the world.”

Dakota and Stephanie Summerfield
Dakota and Stephanie Summerfield

After working several years as an inpatient nurse, Stephanie transferred to cardiovascular services. She finds being in an administrative role is more challenging and not something you leave at the end of the day.

“I love working with the cardiovascular patients,” says Stephanie. “There are stressors, but nothing that is causing a panic attack.”

While Stephanie works during the days, Dakota has worked the past three years on the night shift as a patient care assistant at Frankfort and Arnett hospitals.

“I told her it would be hard work, but she jumped right in,” says Stephanie. “She was training others within five weeks. You might not see it at home, but I knew she had it in her.”

Since the pair work opposite shifts and Dakota no longer living at home, you might think they would rarely see each other. However, there is a daily shift exchange of coffee for the one heading into work.

Like her mother, Dakota plans on starting nursing school in the fall.

“I love the interaction with the patients,” says Dakota. “Knowing I can make an impact on their healing.”

Mary and Molly Lewis

“People call me ‘Mom Lewis’ or Molly’s mom, even though I have been here longer,” says Mary Lewis, registration supervisor at IU Health Frankfort Hospital about her daughter Molly Lewis, who joined the Frankfort team as a patient care technician last year.

As a tech on the inpatient unit, Molly helps with a lot of patient care from changing linens to bathing. Taking patients on walks is her favorite activity, and no walk is complete without a stop to introduce the patient to mom.

Molly and Mary Lewis
Molly and Mary Lewis

“Molly is an open book,” says Lewis. “She is sweet and compassionate. She makes friends with every patient and team member. It makes me happy when I see her at work.”

“It is nice to go visit with her,” says Molly. “Sometimes I stop by to vent or just to chill. Mom will come see me on her breaks. If I am worked up, she relaxes me. If it has been a rough day, she will bring me a coke or a shake. When I work nights, she will bring me dinner. I love her cooking.”

Outside of work, the pair will have Starbuck dates and even meet up at the grocery store. And often Molly can be found at Lewis’ dinner table with her siblings. Being the oldest of the three, Molly is protective, especially of her brother Dillon. As a high school project, Molly wrote a book about her brother and autism — this is how the family explained to Dillon he had a special gift called autism.

“She was always writing about Dillon,” says Lewis. “She is a great big sister. I would not have survived without her.”

Lewis says Molly is also a great gift-giver. She does her research. It is her love language. She likes to spoil her mom.

Molly shares that her mom is shy but is really funny and has a big heart.

“She likes to hang out with me,” says Lewis. “That is the best gift of all.”

Kristy Reid and Hagen Brewer

“It is a super proud mom moment to see my child follow in my footsteps and even take it further,” says Kristy Reid about her daughter Hagen Brewer.

Reid has been a patient care assistant (PCA) for 25 years, with four years at White Memorial hospital. As a single mom, she was looking for a career that would support her and her daughter. After all these years, she still loves what she does.

Kristy Reid and Hagen Brewer
Kristy Reid and Hagen Brewer

“I enjoy the conversations with the patients as I am helping with their needs,” says Reid. “I remind the students constantly to not get sucked into the negativity. No one wakes up and says, ‘I think I will spend the week at the hospital.’ You are here for 12 hours — make it mean something.”

Brewer has always wanted to be a nurse. She started working as a PCA after watching her papa pass away in the Emergency department (ED). She worked as a PCA all through nursing school.

“I love being able to share compassion for the patient and their family. This is a major event for them,” says Brewer. “I enjoy making personal connections. I want to know them as a person. And I always want to know what I can do better to help them.”

Brewer rotates through the ED and the medical/surgical unit, which means the pair often work side by side.

“I try not to say, ‘hey mom,’ but it happens,” says Brewer. “We work well together. We both have a strong work ethic. We help each other — we make a great team.”

When they are not working on the same unit, they will check in via text. Reid wants to make sure Brewer has the tools she needs, even if it is just a drink. The texting continues outside of work as well.

“I have to Facetime with my squishy every day,” says Reid about her granddaughter Everlee, who was born on her birthday. (The “lee” part of Everlee is Reid’s middle name.)

“Hopefully Everlee will have the passion for healthcare and make three generations,” says Brewer.

It works because of teamwork.