Kim Buckner, RN, CHPN
Riverways Hospice
of Ozarks Medical Center
West Plains, Missouri
NATIONAL WINNER
2003 CHEROKEE INSPIRED COMFORT AWARD

Kim Buckner, RN, CHPN

Clinical Care Coordinator Kim Buckner puts patients and staff before illness.

With no kidneys and a daily prospect of death for over a year, Kim Buckner, RN, CHPN, could have swapped nursing for disability. Instead, the clinical care coordinator at the Riverways Hospice of Ozarks Medical Center, in West Plains, Mo., avoided taking sick days. Only her closest colleagues knew she was ill. During weekly dialysis sessions, Kim reviewed charts and talked with staff and patients’ families by phone. Available for her staff 24-7, she annually donates countless hours to help staff members prepare for a certification exam. After waiting 15 years, she received a transplanted kidney in July of 2003. She can’t wait to return to full-time work.


Kim could have taken the easy way out and chose to receive disability years ago, but she refused. Her illness is never an excuse either in her professional or personal life. She is truly an inspiration to all. She has more dedication, determination and courage than anyone we know.
- Renee Biermann
Winner's Nomination

Kim Buckner's nomination was submitted by Renee Biermann, certified hospice nurse, Riverways Hospice of Ozarks Medical Center, West Plains, Missouri:

Dedication …To devote wholly and earnestly to some purpose.

A perfect example of this is Kim Buckner, RN, CHPN, who is the clinical care coordinator for Riverways Hospice. Almost fifteen years ago she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. Since that time she has worked a full-time schedule, only missing work for doctors' appointments or hospitalizations. During 2002, she suffered numerous health problems related to her disease process.

Kim currently receives hemodialysis three times per week. While at the dialysis clinic, she can be found with a briefcase full of work and her cell phone beside her. Even with her own serious health issues, Kim has continued to be available to her staff for questions, feedback and brainstorming. This allows us (her staff) to be able to provide our terminally ill patients and their families the highest quality of care.

Currently, the staff nurses are preparing for the certification exam to become certified in Hospice and Palliative care. Two evenings a week Kim opens her home and gives of her time, expertise and knowledge to help prepare the staff for the exam. Most evenings she is visibly exhausted; however, she always finds an inner strength to go forward.

Kim doesn't get paid for this extra time or the time she spends on the phone at 2 a.m. with her staff when they have a client in crisis. She believes her compensation is doing what she loves to do most: Caring for patients, their families, and the hospice team.

We sometimes forget how truly ill Kim is or that she is awaiting a transplant. Because of her dedication and personal strength, no matter how she feels, you will always find her with a smile.

Kim could have taken the easy way out and chose to receive disability years ago, but she refused. Her illness is never an excuse either in her professional or personal life. She is truly an inspiration to all. She has more dedication, determination and courage than anyone we know. Kim is an excellent example of not only an incredible woman but also an exceptional healthcare provider. She truly deserves this award.

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