A PROFILE ON MARILYN BAUMANN
"I've been practicing nursing for 31 years, and I’ve had the good fortune to be a staff nurse from the day I started to the present," said Marilyn Baumann, a 1983 Jewish Hospital School of Nursing alumna and chair of the alumni advisory council. "I still do bedside patient care."
Her career has been wide-ranging, to say the least. "I'm kind of a jack of all trades because I have rotated through many different areas. I worked for 25 years as a float nurse, going where I was needed. I routinely worked in the transplant unit, a pretty exciting place."
Currently working in case management at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Ill., Baumann hasn't lost her hands-on outlook. "I can still make an impact and meet important needs in a variety of ways by analyzing the chart, working with doctors to manage care, checking medications for timing and potential interactions, transitioning patients to home and more."
Though Baumann has cared for all kinds of patients in all kinds of situations, she noted a single common denominator: "The biggest barrier to a patient’s recovery is often lack of knowledge. Technology is great, but patients are human. When people are frightened, they don't hear what you are saying. If you can make a patient comfortable at a basic level, then you can educate them. One of the things I learned in school is that the patient is part of the team; we need to help our patients understand that role."
Throughout her career, Baumann has remained involved in the welfare of the school. This year, she became chair of the alumni advisory council. "I have been a part of the alumni council since it began. I owe my career to this school, and I was happy to accept this new leadership position," she said.
"Marilyn is incredibly invested in Goldfarb School of Nursing, and since she took the position of chair, the vibrancy of the council has skyrocketed," said June Cowell-Oates, director of alumni affairs and program officer for student affairs and diversity at Goldfarb. "Since I’ve been in my position at Goldfarb, we’ve been working to bring unity to the legacy schools. We have more than 8,000 alumni from the various identities the nursing schools have taken since 1902. Those alumni and those institutions are our foundation, and today we are a world-renowned medical center. We want to focus on that strength."
Baumann has a similar focus. "One of my goals is to engage the graduates, break down silos and shape a common identity for the school that embraces all its entities," she Baumann. "Our alums are valuable to our students. Out in the field, you can just tell when a nurse is a graduate of Goldfarb. Our alums have a great deal to offer to nurses and our students today. I want them to feel united and to support the mission of the school."
A longtime member of the St. Louis Junior League, Baumann also looks at the impact she and Goldfarb can have on her community. "Typically nurses are task oriented," she observed. "At Goldfarb they are also committed to strengthening partnerships with the community and looking at opportunities outside bedside nursing. It's just a great school. Everything is all top-notch, and I'm so proud to be a part of it."