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Employee Emergency Fund Helps Horizon Nurse Fill Financial Gap

A combination of two shoulder surgeries in two years and a bout of COVID led Horizon nurse Pam Eichstadt to apply for Horizon’s Employee Emergency Fund. 

Pam’s shoulder issues became a persistent source of pain brought on by years working in a nursing home. An MRI detected a torn rotator cuff as well as a variety of other tears amounting to significant damage. Her orthopedist fixed it with surgery. Two months later she fell on the ice, hitting her elbow and tearing a tendon in her shoulder that also needed surgery. Three months after she was able to return to work, she contracted COVID and had to stay home again.

“I had no time built up to take so I would be without money,” she said.

She decided to apply for $400 to help with needed expenses until her health improved.

“It’s been one thing after another,” she said. “It really was a blessing to have that money to be able to take care of groceries and bills.”

Pam’s father passed away from COVID in 2020 and her mother just died recently. She has worked as a nurse for more than 30 years, so it was natural to help take care of them as well. She and her husband Merle live in Huron which has been her home for the last three decades. She’s originally from Verdigre, Nebraska. Her daughter Lisa lives in Alabama with her husband and son. Pam's son Jordan lives in Huron. Merle has three sons, Jake, Dan and Nate who all have their own children. Pam and her husband also have a black Lab named Bandit they love and spoil. She has worked for Horizon for 9 and a half years initially on the medical side, but she switched to Behavioral Health a year ago.

“I’ve learned a lot in the clinic setting,” she said. “I think patient care is number one,” she said. “We should make sure the patient is getting the care they need. I’ve always felt that way ever since the day I graduated.”

In her years working in health care, she’s seen plenty of people who could use a little help like she received from the Employee Emergency Fund.

“I think it’s beneficial, and it’s actually comforting when someone knows they can get some medical help,” she said. “I donate to it. I have for a long time. I think it’s a great program.”