(L to R) Bonnie Arnold, manager, health science library, Dave Crane, president and CEO of Adventist Midwest Health.
Hinsdale – Bonnie Arnold never studied to be a police officer, but she does a lot of investigative work for Adventist Midwest Health.
As manager of library services, Arnold manages the libraries that are located at Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial hospitals, and provides library services for employees at Adventist GlenOaks and Adventist Bolingbrook hospitals.
A huge part of her job is responding to requests for information from physicians, nurses, other medical personnel, from patients and their families, and from community residents. That’s when she puts on her investigator’s cap, the one that resembles what Sherlock Holmes wore.
“Every day is different and interesting, because you never know what they will ask,” said the Countryside resident. “It’s like being a detective, and believe me, I won’t stop until I find what I’m looking for.”
Whether it’s copying and emailing a medical journal article to a staff physician, or searching for the best practice for treatment of a disorder for a newly-diagnosed consumer, Arnold is dedicated to providing excellent customer service.
“Bonnie performs hundreds of literature searches each year,” said Dr. Gary Lipinski, regional vice president/chief medical officer, of medical staff services. “By helping our physicians in their research, she helps them provide cutting-edge patient care. And a little known fact is that our libraries are open to the community. She assists numerous patients and their families in helping them to understand the illness and the treatment they are receiving.”
For her dedication to the mission of Adventist Midwest Health and her long service in bringing health information to staff and consumers, Arnold was awarded the organization’s shared services Pillar Award at a recent leadership conference.
Arnold began working in the nurses’ library at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in 1977, while she was still a student. She earned a bachelor’s in science degree in social work at George Williams College in Downers Grove, now Midwestern University.
“At that time the hospital had nursing students from Michigan who lived in a dormitory on the second floor of Tupper Hall,” Arnold recalled. “The young women would come down in their pajamas and slippers to study.”
Over the years, the nurses’ library grew to include other volumes and journals for physicians as well, and Arnold’s responsibilities grew. She divides her time between her offices in the libraries at Adventist Hinsdale and Adventist La Grange Memorial hospitals, and makes sure employees at Adventist GlenOaks and Adventist Bolingbrook have her contact information.
She still works closely with nurses. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is going for Magnet status, a program developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to put the focus on nursing excellence.
“I’m teaching the nurses how to do research,” Arnold said. “Just when I think that I’ve done it all, something new comes along.”
Arnold enjoys working with Adventist staff (“the people here are fantastic” she says) and with patients and families. Patients are given information about the library, and Arnold’s phone number, as part of their packet. Residents can come into the libraries and read journals.
“It’s basically word-of-mouth,” Arnold says of community use of the libraries.
“It’s nice to be able to help people, to give information to physicians, and to help the community,” she added. “A diagnosis can be scary, but it’s even scarier when you have no information. Having the information about a particular disorder makes it easier to understand. Some consumers come in with a long list of questions.”
Working in a medical setting runs in the family. Arnold and her husband Bill have twin daughters who are 25. One is an emergency room nurse and the other is an emergency medical technician who will enter nursing school in January.
“I tell my girls that I’m not going to quit until they name a library after me,” Arnold said. “But then they remind me that libraries are generally named after people who have died. I think I’m going to work for a long time.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Media contact: Patricia Reynaert, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Patricia.Reynaert@ahss.org; 630-856-2354