PCRMC Certified Nurse Midwives Celebrate Accomplishments

Phelps County Regional Medical Center’s (PCRMC) midwifery program offers care for women throughout every stage of life. PCRMC Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) Heather Wildebrandt and Karen Ulrich are proud to celebrate their two-year anniversary. One of the most notable accomplishments Wildebrandt and Ulrich would like to recognize is expanding birthing options within the community.

PCRMC’s midwifery program officially launched in February 2016 and has helped families welcome more than 200 babies. Some families have even welcomed or will soon welcome a second child through the program.

Midwifery-led care throughout pregnancy and birth differs slightly from traditional, physician-led care. Certified nurse midwives are educators who join with patients and their families to work toward mutually identified goals. Midwifery care involves high touch, low intervention, continual education and constant support.

Wildebrandt and Ulrich feel that they have been well accepted into the local birthing community and feel supported by their OB/GYN physician colleagues. “We have an excellent collegial relationship,” Wildebrandt says. “As the program continues to mature, we hope to further develop those relationships and bridge the gap between physician-led and midwifery-led prenatal care to provide a seamless patient experience.”

Both Wildebrandt and Ulrich are proud of the impact their services have had; some of the added services include provider bedside support, massage and aromatherapy during labor.

Wildebrandt and Ulrich are eagerly anticipating additional changes in the near future that will continue to support uninterrupted birth, such as the addition of prenatal exercise classes and the ability to listen for intermittent fetal heart rate during labor. By continuing to support uninterrupted birth, Wildebrandt and Ulrich expect to continue positively influencing the local birth outcomes.

“We enjoy working with families to achieve the birth experience they hope for,” Ulrich says.

“When patients are proud of themselves and their birth experience, I know I’ve had a part in that and that’s when I am the proudest,” Wildebrandt says.

For more information about midwifery or the PCRMC Women’s Health Center and Maternity Services, please call (573) 426-2229 (BABY) or visit


PCRMC’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program Benefits Patients in Many Ways

Jodie Donati, a lifelong resident of the St. James/Rosati area, has lived the vast majority of her life without any heart or lung problems. With the exception of an incident when she experienced shortness of breath early last year, Donati, now 88 years old, has led a healthy life.

However, that changed in June of 2017, when she started having symptoms of what she thought was simply indigestion. When her left arm began hurting, Donati’s daughter rushed her to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Emergency Department.

It turns out Donati was diagnosed with coronary artery disease (CAD), which occurs when plaque builds up in the heart’s arteries. When this happens, the plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle.

“I had three arteries that were blocked, but I didn’t feel anything until the fourth was blocked,” Donati recalled.

PCRMC Cardiologist Timothy Martin, MD, FACC, CCDS, cared for Donati during her hospital stay. She received her preliminary care at PCRMC, but surgery to remove the plaque in her arteries took place in Springfield. To help clear the blockage, Donati had a small expandable tube known as a stent placed into the blocked arteries.

After her surgery, in the fall of 2017, Donati began rehabilitation with PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary (Cardiopulmonary) Rehabilitation program. Through this service, patients who have had heart or lung problems receive a combination of supervised exercise and education.

An individualized plan is created for each patient to help recondition his or her heart and lungs, regain strength, prevent the condition from worsening, reduce the risk of future heart or lung issues and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Located on the first floor of the PCRMC Medical Office Building, the PCRMC Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation gymnasium offers exercise equipment for patients to improve their heart and lung capacity.

Donati tries to exercise at PCRMC about twice a week, usually about 15 minutes on one of the gym’s treadmills. She also performs arm exercises and sometimes uses the stationary bicycle to help build up her strength.

“This is exercise I wouldn’t do at home,” Donati said. “This is the best thing I’ve done for myself.”

After her surgery, there was a time when Donati was walking with a cane, but she no longer has to use one.

PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation care team consists of highly trained and skilled professionals who work with patients to monitor their exercise. “They caution you not to do too much for too long and watch to make sure you don’t overdo it,” Donati said.

Donati said she enjoys working with PCRMC respiratory therapist Helen Thomure as well as Becky White and Melanie Stulce, both RNs with the PCRMC Cardiac Rehabilitation unit.

Another aspect that Donati enjoys is the social atmosphere of the gym. “You get to meet people and talk to them while you’re exercising,” she said.

In addition to exercise, Donati has learned how to keep her heart and lungs healthy. “We had a dietitian come in and we got to ask questions, which was nice,” she said.

In addition to nutritional counseling, PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program also offers tips for stress management, smoking cessation and other lifestyle changes designed to prevent or reverse the development of cardiac and pulmonary diseases.

“I would definitely recommend this to other people who have had heart or lung problems,” Donati said.

Patients with certain heart and lung issues, such as those who have suffered heart attacks or have congestive heart failure, persistent asthma or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can qualify for the services provided by PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Most private insurance companies provide coverage for these rehabilitation services, too.

For more information about PCRMC’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services, please call 573-458-3110.


Mary Bruns, DO, Receives Rolla Chamber’s Spirit of Rolla Award

Mary K. Bruns, DO, a family medicine physician at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Bond Clinic in Rolla, won the 2018 Spirit of Rolla Award at the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce’s 98th Annual Banquet held Saturday, January 20, 2018, at the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.

The Spirit of Rolla Award is sponsored annually by Kent Jewelry and presented to a woman in the community for recognition of significant achievement and/or lifetime contribution to the spirit of giving that is so indicative of Rolla and the surrounding community.

Dr. Bruns began seeing patients at the Bond Clinic in 1990, but she has been practicing medicine for more than 50 years. Dr. Bruns enjoys promoting health and wellness as well as preventive medicine in the adult and pediatric patient populations. Dr. Bruns received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in science from Northeast Missouri State University in Kirksville. She earned her Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (A.T. Still University) in 1966.

Prior to coming to Rolla, Dr. Bruns was previously employed by the Kirksville Osteopathic Hospital in Kirksville, Missouri; Scotland County Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Missouri; and Metropolitan Medical Center (formerly Normandy Osteopathic Hospital) in St. Louis, Missouri.

She is certified with the American Osteopathic Board of Family Practitioners. She is a member of the following professional organizations: the American Osteopathic Association, the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Central Ozark District of Osteopathic Physicians, and the American College of Utilization Review Physicians.

She has been the Professional Director of Utilization Management at PCRMC since 1999. Additionally, Dr. Bruns has been the PCRMC Peer Review Medical Director since 2010 and currently serves on the PCRMC Credential Committee and PCRMC Medical Executive Committee.

Outside of work, Dr. Bruns volunteers her time by serving on the Rolla Salvation Army and ABLE (Achieving Better Lifestyles for the Elderly) Commission boards. Dr. Bruns is an avid animal lover and often rescues stray animals, especially dogs, and has found loving homes for a number of those animals.

Dr. Bruns is also very committed to her family: her husband, Dr. Ed Bruns, retired; three daughters, Cindy, Cathy and Crissy, who are all practicing physicians in Oklahoma; and multiple grandchildren.


Over 1,200 New Winter Accessories Collected for Students

Thanks to the kind and generous giving spirit of Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) employees and the community, area students can keep a little bit warmer this winter.

A total of 1,264 gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, socks and other winter accessories were collected during the “Share the Warmth” drive, sponsored by the PCRMC Mission Possible team.

During the drive held from late November 2017 through the new year, both PCRMC staff and the public were invited to donate  new winter clothing items for local children who would otherwise go without these warm necessities.

“It was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for this cause. I was very pleased to see that more than 1,200 items were donated,” said Tracy Limmer, PCRMC Mission Possible team member.

On Friday, January 5, 2018, members of the PCRMC Mission Possible group sorted and delivered the winter clothing accessories to area public schools in Rolla, St. James, Newburg, Edgar Springs, Waynesville, Dixon, Salem and Vienna.

“The schools were very appreciative of our donation,” Limmer said.


first baby 2018

PCRMC Welcomes First Baby of 2018

A New Year’s Day arrival received a special welcome from the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Obstetrics Department nurses and staff.

Mathis Zephryn Hooper was the first baby born at the hospital in Rolla, Missouri, in 2018, arriving at 10:58 a.m. Monday, January 1. He weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21 inches long. Mathis was welcomed by his mother, Andromeda Hooper, of St. James. This is Andromeda’s first child.

Andromeda’s due date was December 29, 2017, but Mathis decided to wait until the new year to be born. “A lot of my family told me they thought he would be a New Year’s Day baby, but I didn’t believe them,” Andromeda said.

As part of a long-standing tradition at PCRMC, the first baby of the new year receives gifts and baby items to commemorate the event. Several local businesses donated these items.

This year, Mathis and his family received a welcome basket filled with baby items, including diapers and wipes from Big Lots; a book and a toy from Rolla Books & Toys; a baby ring from Kent Jewelry; a baby ring and water bottle from Taylor’s Jewelry; a piggy bank and shaker cup from First State Community Bank; a cooler bag, cup and other items from Phelps County Bank; a $20 gift card from Cupcakes & Cravings; a Pack ’n Play from Walmart; and $100 worth of baby items from the PCRMC Marketing Department.

On average, more than 800 babies are born at PCRMC each year.