Meet these Methodist transplant caregivers and their canines

They work as a team on the transplant unit and when they’re away from the hospital they have another team member. These caregivers love their furry companions.

They range in age from six months to 11 years – the dogs, that is. And their owners . . . well, these nurses have experience working with IU Health ranging from one to four years.

IU Health Transplant is one of the largest and most comprehensive centers of its kind in the region and, last year was ranked the eleventh largest by volume in the United States. At IU Health Methodist Hospital a team of caregivers combine clinical research and teaching excellence to care for heart and lung patients. IU Health performed 51 lung transplants last year and 13 heart transplants.

These caregivers all have a couple of things in common: They love their jobs on the transplant unit and they love their pups.

For most, the dogs offer comfort at the end of a stressful day. For some, their pooch is their hiking buddy. Here’s more:

  • Jordan Weed has been a nurse at IU Health since July 2018. Her three-year-old dog Heidi loves to relax outside and has her own pool.

What Jordan loves most about IU Health? “Working in transplant you get to give your patients another chance at life. You get to see them at their lows and highs. They go from being short of when breath getting out of bed to being able to jump up and down and walk laps without the aid of oxygen. It’s amazing and I’m forever grateful to be able to see what patients go through and accomplish but also to be part of their support system.”

  • Kalyn Scheidler has worked as a Patient Care Assistant with IU Health for one year. Her one-year-old dog Zoey loves to join her on hikes. Zoey is also a registered emotional support dog.

What Kalyn loves most about IU Health? “I love seeing positive patient progress after their transplant. A patient may go from no longer being able to do their favorite activities to being able to do those activities again. Their joy is contagious.”

  • Lindsey Casselman will celebrate two milestones in July. It will be her one-year anniversary of working as a nurse at IU Health and her dog Elmer celebrates his sixth birthday. She says Elmer is a spoiled dog who loves long cuddle sessions, long car rides and getting treats at the drive-thru window.

What Lindsey loves most about IU Health? “I love my coworkers who are passionate about their jobs and always willing to help each other. My favorite thing about working with transplant patients is the connections we get to make with them. They tend to be with us for long periods after they receive their transplant so we get to know them and their families really well.”

  • Meghan Tar also began working as a nurse at IU Health last year. Her dog Fitz, is a year old. On her days off she loves to take him for walks along Mass Ave downtown. Fitz likes stopping to say, “Hi” to everyone.

What Meghan loves most about working for IU Health? “I love the patients and their families. New transplants usually spend at least a few weeks here so we get to know them and their families. It is so rewarding when they come back to visit and we see how well they are doing at home.”

  • Jackie Coleman has been a nurse at IU Health for four years. Her white shepherd Denali is almost 11, and her black shepherd Juneau is three. They love going on hikes and enjoying an ice cream treat afterward. “It’s a great way to stay active and relax during my time away from work,” said Coleman. “They are always excited to see me when I come home from work. It’s a good way to come home after a busy or difficult day.”

What Jackie loves most about working for IU Health? “The patients are definitely the best part of working on the transplant floor. We see many of them multiple times a year for various reason and visits, so it becomes a small family-like environment.”

  • Morgan Britt has been a nurse at IU Health for three years. She has a 2-year-old whippet named Crosby and a 2-year-old greyhound named Jasper. She loves going on long walks and dog dates with her pups.

What Morgan loves most about working for IU Health? “I love the patients. We’re one big family.”

  • Alex Beardsworth has been a nurse at IU Health for two years. Her dog Zebedee is two and loves hiking.

What Alex loves most about working at IU Health? “The patients. It’s a big transplant family.”

  • Martha Bill has been a nurse at IU Health for two years. Her dog Buddy likes to go to local parks and for long walks. “Just being him, helps me relax. His tendency to make me laugh puts me in a good Mood,” said Bill.

What Martha loves best about working at IU Health? We get to know our patients and their families well. I enjoy having to think about the different components of their care and involving them through education so they can enjoy and take of their new gift successfully once they are discharged.

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
Reach Banes via email