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2022 Salute to Nurses — Honoring local nurses who make a difference

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NURSE: Andrea Bouchard, BSN, RN

Andrea Bouchard

St. John's United nurse Andrea Bouchard is photographed on Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2022.

EMPLOYER: St. John's United

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University - Bozeman

FOCUS: Case Management


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

In high school, Andrea Bouchard thought she wanted to be a nutritionist. However, she ended up in college pursuing a biology degree to become a pharmacist. She loved the biochemistry aspect of pharmacy and even went so far as to get a job as a pharmacy tech while in school.

Nursing wasn’t even on Bouchard’s radar until one of her professors suggested it. She had been told of her empathetic ways and heard people say she had a servants' heart but never considered it because she so enjoyed the science part of pharmacy.

“I’m thankful my professor said something,” Bouchard said. “I’ve always loved helping people, and nursing is much more hands-on.”

As a case manager at St. John’s United - Mission Ridge, Bouchard is beyond hands-on – she’s the resident liaison, advocating for residents. Bouchard guides the residents and their families as they transition into or out of independent living or assisted living.

“Without a doubt, I love helping and advocating for our residents,” Bouchard said. “I love taking a challenging, complicated situation and helping our residents navigate it with the dignity they deserve.”

Bouchard not only dives in nose-first, but she anticipates the needs of others before they know what they need. She thrives on being prepared, remaining practical and having options available. It’s why she loves the quote by Louis Pasteur, ‘Chance favors the prepared mind.’

“Andrea is the go-to for all things nursing at Mission Ridge,” said Karna Rhodes, senior administrative officer at St. John’s United. “She treats each resident as though they are family. It’s a delight knowing she advocates with such passion and knowledge to ensure the community of Mission Ridge is happy and healthy.”

NURSE: Beth Brosam, BSN, RN

Beth Brosam

Stillwater Billings Clinic’s Beth Brosam poses for a portrait at the Billings Gazette on Friday, April 8, 2022.

EMPLOYER: Stillwater Billings Clinic

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana Tech of the University of Montana 

FOCUS: Clinic and Ancillary Services


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

 It was inevitable.

Beth Brosam has memories of wanting to become a nurse that dates back to around age four. Raised by what she says had to be one of the coolest nurses around, Brosam remembers observing her mom’s work ethic and skillset and noted her passion and perseverance.

 “I remember viewing nurses as superheroes at an early age – I was raised by one,” Brosam said. “I have memories of being at my mom’s work whenever she had to work late – and I watched everything she did. She would frequently tell me that I would be a nurse one day. It was never a question for me when it was time for college.”

 In addition to Brosam’s mom, her aunt was also a nurse. Between the two, she took advantage of many opportunities to shadow areas of nursing while still in high school. Fast forward to becoming a nurse, Brosam took on her mom’s work ethic and thirst to learn. Her experience includes prison rotations, drug and rehabilitation, trauma, clinic, and floor settings - to name a few.

 “For me, being a nurse is an all-inclusive position,” Brosam said. “There hasn’t been a role or field that I haven’t loved.”

 Today, Brosam serves as clinical coordinator at Stillwater Billings Clinic. Passionate about providing the resources the community needs - the integrated hospital and clinic facility brings together a physician clinic and hospital services in a convenient and hometown feel. Those characteristics of Stillwater drew Brosam in four years ago, confirming her niche – community.

 “When I came to Stillwater Billings Clinic, I felt like my heart was in the community,” Brosam said. “I love being able to make a personal connection out in the community such as the local grocery store and also be their care provider.”

 In addition to a sense of community, Brosam says kindness is the key. Many of the patients the clinic sees are in their most vulnerable state. Brosam said bringing a little positivity and kindness to the room is the least she can do in their bout of weakness. “Growing up, I learned – if you’re not kind, you’re the wrong kind.”

 “Beth’s abundance of kindness, warmth, compassion, and love for all life embodies what nurses should strive to be,” said Natasha Sailer, director of clinic and ancillary services at Stillwater Billings Clinic.

 To Brosam, it comes naturally. Perhaps, it was the superhero that raised her. Sailer went on to say that Brosam’s compassion and kindness for others spill over to the staff she leads daily. “She leaves an impression on every heart she encounters,” Sailer said.

 When asked about her steadfastness during the pandemic, she didn’t flinch. Brosam acknowledged the challenges and adjustments needed, but her resolve to love others well never wavered.

 “Sure, it was a difficult time,” Brosam said. “But, whether it’s a pandemic or something else, the route of what we do has not changed – the attitudes have. Attitudes are ever-evolving, so I always tell my staff to keep their attitude right, and the rest will fall into place regardless of our circumstances.”

NURSE: Jayden Mueller, RN

Jayden Mueller

Billings Clinic’s Jayden Mueller poses for a portrait at the Billings Gazette on Friday, April 8, 2022.

EMPLOYER: Billings Clinic

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University - Bozeman

FOCUS: Inpatient Cancer Care


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Jayden Mueller never imagined she’d be a nurse, let alone begin her career during a historical pandemic. During high school, she decided her career trajectory would be teaching. But one day, her mom suggested she try health care.  

“I jokingly thought she was crazy for suggesting that path,” Mueller said. “However, I ended up shadowing one of her nurse friends during spring break of my senior year. I came home from my first day and told my mom I wanted to be a nurse.”

Mueller reflected on her time shadowing in a surgery center and shared how she admired the various positions. Yet, it was the pre-and post-operative nurses that resonated with Mueller.

“I remember thinking that’s what I want,” Mueller said. “The pre-and post-operative nurses were directly involved with the patients – while they were awake. I knew at that moment that was the kind of relationship I wanted with my patients.”

She had half of the equation under her belt. It was Mueller’s preceptorship at a fusion center that determined the field. While there, she saw some of the same cancer patients regularly and formed the deep relationships she so enjoyed.

So, oncology it was. Today, Mueller works as a registered nurse on the inpatient cancer care floor at Billings Clinic. The patient population on the floor primarily consists of patients with cancer and have other medical needs and patients receiving chemotherapy but need to be monitored and require inpatient care.

“I love forming relationships with all of my cancer patients,” Mueller said. “I love getting to know their stories, but I also love their outlook on life. I find my patients extremely positive despite what they’re going through. You can learn a lot about someone if you listen. There’s so much more to a patient than what’s going on with them physically.”

For Mueller, listening and showing empathy is like second nature to her, and part of that process is anticipating the needs of others. She treats each patient based on the kind of day they’re having; their specific personality; and then meets them where they’re.

“When I walk in their room, I know what kind of day it is,” Mueller said. “I know my patients well and realize sometimes they may need a joke or a hand to hold while they cry. I try to fulfill their needs and meet them where they’re at for that particular day - and sometimes moment.”

“Jayden advocates for her patients and cares for her team well,” said Austin Bourassa, nurse manager of inpatient cancer care at Billings Clinic.

It’s been nonstop for Mueller. The last two years of her young career have certainly been difficult, but she feels better equipped than perhaps someone else who only has two years under their belt – with no pandemic experience.

“It’s not something you wish for – a pandemic,” Mueller said. “I had to hit the ground running after nursing school. The last two years have shaped me as a nurse. But I’m thankful for everything I had to learn so fast. I’ve learned to become quick on my feet and can take on critical situations with ease.”

Bourassa shared how Mueller has been a light in such a dark time. He raved about her work ethic and positivity. He also noted her keen willingness to learn and grow and her desire to be part of the solution to problems that may arise. “When I think of an outstanding nurse, Jayden is at the top of the list,” Bourassa said.

“It’s one of the most fulfilling jobs,” Mueller said. “And, because of my team, during the last two years, I’ve never felt more supported. Ultimately, my patients need my nursing care, but they also need my shining, smiling face or maybe a hug, a joke, or just a listening ear. At the end of the day, as a nurse, I know I’ve impacted someone’s life, and that’s unmatched.”

NURSE: Krista Goudy, BSN,RN

Krista Goudy

Billings Public School’s Krista Goudy poses for a portrait at the Billings Gazette on Friday, April 8, 2022.

EMPLOYER: Billings Public Schools

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University - Bozeman

FOCUS: School Nurse


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Taking care of others is all Krista Goudy has ever known. Growing up, her mom was a nurse, and as a teenager, she helped patrol the slopes and hills with her dad, a ski medic.

At Montana State University, she took a popular common course of action and worked as a certified nursing assistant. Upon graduation, she began her career at St. Vincent Children’s.

“I always knew I wanted to work in the maternal and child health field, in some capacity,” Goudy said. “Those are the most vulnerable populations, and I wanted to make a difference. There was a time when I thought I’d go back to school to be a nurse-midwife, but I’ve just really enjoyed my work with pediatrics and have never left.”

For the last 11 years, Goudy has worked for Billings Public Schools. The district serves over 16,000 students in grades K-12, including 22 elementary schools, six middle schools and three high schools. Goudy works between two schools; one elementary school and one middle school.

“While I currently don’t work with the high school students, the little kindergarteners up to the eighth graders provide me with plenty of variety,” Goudy said. “I enjoy the different medical incidents that come across my plate each day – I never know what to expect.”

Goudy’s role as a school nurse is to provide comprehensive health services to the students to optimize their learning. It isn’t always about a Band-Aid or the occasional ice pack – there’s much more. Her role includes many more behind-the-scene services and forms of care. Goudy provides assistance and education for preventive and screening services and immunizations. She also comes alongside the families to assist and care for children with chronic conditions.

“Krista is like the Swiss Army Knife of care for us,” said Angie Gray, associate principal, Ben Steele Middle School. “She takes care of our students with significant health needs and helps with the daily mishaps that happen at school, and she does it with a smile and a caring heart. Krista has been invaluable in helping us navigate COVID-19, contact tracing, and making sure we’re following the updated CDC and county guidelines.”

“Krista is an amazing, kind, and considerate nurse and individual,” said Tamra Covington, director of student services, Lincoln Center. “I’ve never seen her without a smile on her face.”

NURSE: Samantha Grover, RN

Samantha Grover,

Billings Clinic nurse Samantha Grover is photographed on Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2022.

EMPLOYER: Billings Clinic

NURSING PROGRAM: City College at Montana State University – Billings

FOCUS: Labor and Delivery


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

It took being in labor to decide a final career path for Samantha Grover. Something about Grover’s first birthing experience sparked an idea – a desire. It dawned on her that she could share her heart for moms and babies by becoming a labor and delivery nurse.

“I could tell my labor and delivery nurse loved her job, and to me – that spoke volumes,” Grover said. I realized in that instance that I could be part of helping moms bring life into the world while also helping calm their nerves and seeing them through it.”

At the time, Grover worked as a hairdresser and also in the laboratory at the Billings Clinic. With a new baby in the mix and her two steady jobs in tow, she began taking college courses as a nontraditional student.

Today, Grover’s primary concern is putting her patients first, ensuring they have the best experience possible. And with Grover, that includes every patient. Before heading to labor and delivery, Grover started her career on the cardiac floor. She stressed how every patient (and their family members) deserves the same care and experience. It's no wonder Grover’s favorite aspect about being a nurse is making connections with her patients and their families.

“If you think about it – it’s different when you’re sick, and there’s something wrong with your heart,” Grover said. “That’s definitely a different experience versus coming in and having a baby. For the most part, women giving birth are healthy and happy to be at the hospital. However, many patients with cardiac issues don’t want to be at the hospital – but they deserve the same type of warmth, friendliness, and exceptional care as anyone else.”

Giving birth is an emotional and stressful experience for moms where changes are happening fast. No matter the story, the type of patient, or the situation – Grover’s invested in each of her patients.

“Sam quickly makes personal connections with her patients and their families and peers,” said Angela Lile, nurse manager, inpatient obstetrics at the Billings Clinic. “She has an uncanny ability to remain calm and kind in every situation. We’re lucky to have Sam on our team.”

NURSE: Jana Hinkle, RN WCC

Jana Hinkle

Jana Hinkle

EMPLOYER: Advanced Care Hospital of Montana

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University – Billings

FOCUS: Wound Care


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Hospitals have a lot of codes, and they’re usually not the good ones. However, at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana, one code couldn’t be more welcome – Code Irvin. When you hear this code over the intercom, there’s a big celebration to follow. The hospital has a ceremony for every single patient that leaves the facility.

“It's called Code Irvin because that was the name of the first patient ever discharged from our facility,” said Jana Hinkle, wound care team lead nurse. “The ceremony includes the staff lining the hallways while we ‘clap’ them out of the building. It’s one of the best things about my job – watching our patients leave out the front doors.”

Uncertain of her career path after high school, Hinkle began working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). That decision was a game-changer and led her back to school to eventually become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Hinkle worked as an LPN in long-term care and clinic nursing for several years and eventually bridged into the nursing program to become a registered nurse.

“When I arrived here 12 years ago, I realized that long-term acute care hospitals see a lot of wound care patients,” Hinkle said. “I initially split my time between the medical-surgical floor and wound care. As the years have gone by, I’ve worked more in wound care, but I also work in critical care in our step-down intensive care unit. Our patients spend so much more time here than in a traditional hospital because they’re recovering from a serious illness or injury.”

Hinkle said her patients have already spent their time at one of the larger hospitals, but they’re too sick to go home or to a nursing home or even a rehabilitation facility. She said the average length of stay for a patient is around 26 days; however, extensive wound care healing can take weeks and sometimes months to heal.

Patients at Advanced Care Hospital often require additional critical care services for medically complex conditions such as trauma, infectious diseases, wound healing, cardiovascular disease, stroke, amputation and ventilator weaning.

“With long-term acute care, my role is to get them to a place where they can manage at home by themselves,” Hinkle said. “I’m always excited to see my patients improve and progress in their treatments and look forward to where they go from here.”

Being a wound care nurse is not for the faint of heart. It can be challenging and requires compassion, patience, meticulousness and a strong stomach. According to Aubrey Peterschick, CEO at Advanced Care Hospital of Montana, Hinkle surpasses those traits. “Jana is one of the most passionate, hardworking nurses I’ve ever met,” Peterschick said.

NURSE: Anessa Hopf, BSN, RN

Anessa Hopf

St. Vincent Healthcare’s Anessa Hopf poses for a portrait at the Billings Gazette on Friday, April 8, 2022.

EMPLOYER: SCL Health, St. Vincent

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana Technological University

FOCUS: Oncology


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Growing up, Anessa Hopf was always a helper. Her mom worked in daycare, and she remembers helping with the little kids - volunteering for anything that came her way. Hopf loved every minute of it, so becoming a nurse was the natural step.

Hopf was drawn to the oncology field because it hit close to home. A grandpa she never got to meet passed away from colon cancer, and her aunt was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer. She’s had other special people in her life be affected by cancer too.

“It runs in our family,” Hopf said. “Maybe that drew me into wanting to know what the procedures were for somebody going through cancer. I’ve seen many types of cancer throughout my life, and it’s rewarding for me to process with them.”

As an oncology nurse, Hopf sees the good, bad and ugly. She works on the medical, oncology and palliative floor; the staff there refer to it as 3Fortin. In addition to oncology, she also treats patients on the medical-surgical floor who may have, for example, pneumonia or a kidney injury. Hopf also works with palliative patients.

“With palliative care, we’re taking the last leg of their life and helping them stay comfortable,” Hopf said. “We focus on doing what we can, but sometimes that leads to inpatient hospice.”

No matter which area of ‘3Fortin’ she’s working, Hopf is notorious for building emotional connections with her patients. She’s emphatic about speaking to her patients at eye level. Hopf says she gets on her knees or squats to look directly into their eyes.

“I make it a point to get on their eye level,” Hopf said. “I hold their hand, talk, listen, and we even laugh together. It’s the best part of my job. I try to give them hope, telling them it will be OK, and I’m here for them.”

Hopf said her oncology patients at St. Vincent’s receive chemotherapy infusions and could be there for a couple of days, or her patients may have to receive chemotherapy for 24-hours a day for five days straight. After creating the emotional connections, she said it’s even better when her patients return after chemotherapy to tell her they’re in remission.

“Forming those relationships can also make it hard,” Hopf said. “With our floor also handling palliative patients, we see a lot of end of life. Some days are tough. I’m fortunate enough to have my sister work with me as a nurse. She works on the same floor, and we’re able to talk and support each other emotionally.”

Hopf’s invested in seeing her patients get better. She leads by example and loves others unconditionally. Nurse manager Crystal Holy Cross shared, “Anessa is extremely driven and strives to advocate for each patient while providing the best care. Her compassion and kind heart show with every encounter she has.”

For Hopf, she’s just doing her job and trying to lead by example. To her - it’s simple. “I always ask myself, if this was one of my family members, how would I want them treated,” Hopf said. “I think having that mindset helps ensure they’re getting the best care from me.”

NURSE: Emily Pester, BSN, RNC-OB

Emily Pester

St. Vincent Healthcare’s Emily Pester poses for a portrait at the Billings Gazette on Friday, April 8, 2022.

EMPLOYER: SCL Health, St. Vincent

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University - Bozeman

FOCUS: Labor and Delivery


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

A music major in college, Emily Pester never had nursing on her radar. However, listening to and studying alongside her dormmates in the nursing program brought music to her ears. It was a fluke that she shifted her interest to nursing.

“My goal was to be a music teacher, but I lived in a dorm with several nurses,” Pester said. “I realized I enjoyed what I was learning and switched majors. It was definitely an accident.”

Pester began her career as a cardiac nurse. She was open to anything upon graduating and not set on any field. With so many options, the possibilities were endless. After gaining some experience, she switched to labor and delivery, where she’s been bringing new life into the world for eight years.

“Working in labor and delivery is an amazing thing to be a part of,” Pester said. “I have the privilege of bringing new life into the world while simultaneously helping a mom give birth with dignity. It’s a remarkable way to help moms during such a huge adjustment in their lives.”

She tries to make the mood lighter and as stress-free as possible. Realizing each mom and their circumstances are different, she meets each one where they are at any given moment. Sometimes that’s with extra love or a little humor.

Pester shared that it’s also a time for her to support moms who aren’t as fortunate to take their baby’s home. She has a heart for those suffering through sorrow and loss. With an already established bereavement program in place for moms, dads and family members, Pester immediately got involved.

“Bereavement is such a hard spectrum of care in the world but so important,” Pester said. “Making sure there’s exceptional care and memories for those who have to leave the hospital without their baby is one of my passions. Part of the grieving process starts with ensuring each woman knows they are cared for and preserving their baby’s memories.”

The traits of a nurse like Pester bring a sense of ease to her clinical supervisor, Betsey Romulus. “Emily is lively and loving. She is a compassionate nurse and has a huge heart for our labor and delivery bereavement program. She is a tremendous asset to the team.”

NURSE: Shara Boschee, RN

Shara Boschee

Shara Boschee

EMPLOYER: RiverStone Health

NURSING PROGRAM: Miles Community College

FOCUS: Hospice


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

After high school, Shara Boschee enrolled in the navy as a boatswain’s mate (BM) petty officer. Not sure of her career path at the time, this versatile position was an ideal choice. Boschee called it a grunt position, but it’s much more. Without one, a ship can’t get underway. BMs are responsible for the ship’s hull, deck maintenance and operations. They can also serve as helmsmen and lookouts or stand as security watches. It’s often referred to as the lifeblood of the navy.

During the last two years, Boschee has been the lifeblood for homebound patients all over Yellowstone County. Equipped with home health care experience and training, she vaccinated RiverStone homebound patients during the pandemic.

“Shara’s contributions to the pandemic response were invaluable,” said Kimberly Brown registered nurse supervisor at RiverStone Health Hospice Home. “She provided countless COVID-19 and flu vaccines to our patients within RiverStone Health Home Care Services who might otherwise not have been able to receive them.”

Boschee made these visits in addition to her usual work responsibilities as a nurse at RiverStone Health Hospice Home. Two years later, she continues to work full time at night at the Hospice Home and provides vaccinations for homebound patients once a week.

“Riverstone began community vaccination sites for COVID-19 as soon as the vaccines rolled out,” Boschee said. “I worked several of these clinic sites and was asked at one of them if I’d be willing to vaccinate Riverstone’s homebound patients as I had homecare experience and training. It became a ripple effect, and word spread throughout the community.”

Boschee has always loved the geriatric field, but it increased after seeing her grandma’s treated. It prompted her to become a certified nursing assistant after serving in the navy and later becoming a registered nurse.

“When I returned from the navy, my grandma was in a nursing home,” Boschee said. “I noted that she had been wearing the same clothes for five to six days in a row, and I said – that’s enough and jumped ship. Before starting at RiverStone’s Hospice Home nearly six years ago, I spent much of my nursing career in nursing homes. I love that population!”

At the Hospice Home, she makes patients feel safe, respected and heard. She shared how she’s a part of their journey until the end.

“Shara’s been providing thoughtful and compassionate care to our Hospice Home patients for several years,” Brown said. “Her skill set, kindness and empathy are infused upon everyone she comes into contact with.”

NURSE: Dianne Kimm, BSN, RNC

Dianne Kimm

St. Vincent Healthcare nurse Dianne Kimm is photographed on Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2022.

EMPLOYER: SCL Health, St. Vincent

NURSING PROGRAM: Montana State University - Bozeman

FOCUS: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit


By Jennifer L. Mason, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Dianne Kimm never really considered anything other than nursing. She remembers helping others as early as middle school and decided on nursing, specifically for babies. 

“I always enjoyed taking care of babies, so I knew I’d probably be a pediatric nurse somewhere along the way,” Kimm said. “But when I was in nursing school, I learned about the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and decided to become a neonatal nurse.  

Kimm also learned about transporting babies by air from smaller communities to larger hospitals and thought that would be exciting to do for a while. She was a neonatal flight nurse for roughly 25 years.”

“Being a flight nurse was challenging and rewarding,” Kimm said. “It was time to move on, and I switched to the NICU.” 

With 40+ years under her belt, Kimm has managed to stay up-to-date on the most current and best practices in an ever-evolving field. Kimm’s manager, Melissa Jennings, shared, “Dianne is able to integrate new information in the care she provides to infants.”

Kimm’s favorite part of being a NICU nurse is knowing she can make a difference in the life of a tiny human and the baby’s family. “Moms and dads are in a situation they’ve never anticipated, and it’s hard,” Kimm said.

Faith plays an important role in Kimm’s work as a nurse. Ultimately, she wants to bring glory to God through her work with parents and coworkers. In fact, she prays for it – that He would use her as a beacon of light through her work in the NICU.

 “It helps me to remember that whoever I’m dealing with – they’re all image-bearers of God and; therefore, deserve to be treated as such,” Kimm said. “I consider it a privilege, and it motivates me.”

Jennings expressed the uncertainty parents are going through with a baby in the NICU. “When you imagine who’ll be taking care of your sick baby, you hope it’s someone like Dianne.”

NICU nurses care for the most fragile patients that often require around-the-clock care. While the field can be one of the most difficult, it’s also rewarding. Kimm takes the time needed with each parent and listens carefully to their questions and concerns.

“Diane has a way of slowing down the overwhelming NICU world that can swirl around parents and help them see each feature and personality trait of their infant,” Jennings said. “She’s compassionate and tender with each family she cares for and has been monumental in getting them through some of the toughest days of their lives.”

To view the honorees online, visit


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