Friday, July 24, 2015

Photos: CoxHealth colleagues 'Stuff the Bus' for local kids

Our thanks to everyone who came out at Cox South and Cox North on Thursday to help us Stuff the Bus with school supplies for local kids!

If you couldn't make it by, it's not too late - the bus will be collecting backpacks and supplies at Walmart Supercenter locations in Springfield, Nixa, Ozark, and Republic on Saturday, July 25 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Click on the image below to see the list of needed supplies:


Most Wired: CoxHealth recognized for IT advances

CoxHealth has been named one of the nation’s 2015 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems by Hospitals and Health Networks based on the 17th annual Most Wired Survey. CoxHealth is one of only 338 organizations designated as Most Wired for excellence and innovation in informational technology.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Come tour the new cardiac cath lab at Cox Branson

Cox Branson invites community to open house on Wednesday, July 22

When a person has a cardiac event, seconds count. Having a local hospital ready to provide top-quality care can make all the difference.

On Wednesday, July 22, the community is invited to an open house at Cox Medical Center Branson to learn about its newly renovated cardiac catheterization lab, or cath lab, which will open to patients the following day. The newly renovated cardiac cath lab has been complete with the latest technologies.

The cath lab is an examination room with diagnostic imaging equipment that allows doctors to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart and then treat any stenosis or abnormality discovered.

The open house runs from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 22. Guests are invited to park in the inpatient parking garage located between the hospital and Plaza One and then enter the hospital through the main entrance. The cath lab is located on the second floor of the hospital.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

U.S. News & World Report names Cox South among best in state

Cox Medical Center South has been recognized as one of the best hospitals for 2015-16 in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report. The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals ranking, now in its 26th year, recognizes hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

Cox South is ranked as No. 5 in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report, recognized in southwest Missouri, and is rated high performing in the complex medical specialties category of pulmonology and for the care of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. High-performing hospitals exceeded expected national standards of care.

Cox South is the only Springfield hospital to be ranked in the top 5 in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report.

“We are delighted to be named on this prestigious national rankings list, now four years in a row,” says Steve Edwards, CoxHealth President and CEO. “U.S. News & World Report has been regarded as the public’s most trusted source for hospital ratings. To be considered the very best in our market and in the top 5 in our state is a reinforcement of the incredible hard work of thousands. We thank our physicians, staff and volunteers for their tireless dedication toward advancing medical care in the community we all love and call home.”

For 2015-16, U.S. News evaluated hospitals in 16 adult specialties and ranked the top 50 in most of the specialties. Less than 3 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals that were analyzed for Best Hospitals 2015-16 were nationally ranked in even one specialty.

“A Best Hospital has demonstrated expertise in treating the most challenging patients,” says Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “A hospital that emerged from our analysis as one of the best has much to be proud of.”

In rankings by state and metro area, U.S. News recognized hospitals that perform nearly at the level of their nationally ranked peers in one or more specialties, as well as hospitals that excel in multiple common procedures and conditions.

U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition or extra risk because of age or multiple health problems. Objective measures such as patient survival and safety data, adequacy of nurse staffing and other data largely determined the rankings in most specialties.

The specialty rankings and data were produced for U.S. News by RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. U.S. News used the same data, as well as the new Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings, first published in May, to produce the state and metro rankings.

The rankings are freely available at and will appear in the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2016” guidebook, available in August from the U.S. News Store.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

CoxHealth supports back-to-school drives

In July, CoxHealth is contributing to the community with back-to-school collection drives. Many families with school-aged children don’t always have the resources available to purchase backpacks and supplies so students can start the year off right. Together we can help make a difference! Check out the information for your campus below. Thank you for participating!

Springfield: For the fourth year, CoxHealth will participate in Stuff the Bus, a community effort to provide backpacks full of school supplies to Springfield-area school kids. 1906, the employee store, has a limited supply of pre-filled backpacks in the store for $22.50 or purchase backpacks and supplies and bring them to our Stuff the Bus drop off locations on Thursday, July 23: Cox South from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Cox North, 2-3 p.m. Click the image below to see the full list of supplies:

Branson: We’re collecting school supplies for students in the Blue Eye School District. Items being collected include notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, scissors, glue, glue sticks, erasers, folders, highlighters, dry erase markers and backpacks. For a complete list of items needed, visit Donations may be dropped off in the cafeteria and the media relations /Skaggs Foundation office, located in Plaza One, Suite 404.

Monett: We’re collecting school supplies for students living in Barry and Lawrence counties.Items being collected include notebooks, pencils, pens, crayons, scissors, glue, glue sticks, erasers, folders, highlighters, dry erase markers and backpacks. Donations may be dropped off in the blue bin by the Kronos time clock on the hospital’s first floor.

Cox South's NICU moves into new space

Thirty years ago CoxHealth made an impressive move, transporting its Intensive Care Nursery patients from Cox North to the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cox Medical Center South.

Wednesday was another monumental move as the tiny lives in the NICU were carefully moved into the new NICU inside the West Tower.Each baby required a complete team of experts on hand as they were slowly transported through hallways to their now private rooms. On Thursday, the children in the pediatrics unit will be moved to their private rooms, completing the move of inpatients into the West Tower.

The CoxHealth Library shared a few images from the last time we made a NICU move -- here are a few highlights from the move from Cox North to Cox South in 1985:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Free valet parking provided at CoxHealth

CoxHealth now has free valet parking for patients and guests. Working with Springfield Parking Company, free valet is provided from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday at the North Entrance of Cox Medical Center South, and later at the West Tower Entrance.

The expansion at Cox South means the addition of two clinics and other outpatient services to the hospital campus. With those changes, CoxHealth researched the best way to accommodate patients and added demands on parking.

The valet service is a safe and secure way to manage parking while using underutilized areas of our parking lots to store the vehicles.

CoxHealth is the only hospital in Springfield to provide free valet parking for its patients and guests.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Celebrating the Cox South expansion

Bio-Med's Barry Kise shared this image of a rainbow over the new Cox South expansion.

More than 1,000 community members joined us on Saturday for the Cox South Expansion Community Celebration! Our thanks to everyone who came out and to all the CoxHealth employees and volunteers who made the celebration possible!

See CEO Steve Edwards' personal reflection on what the expansion means for our future in this cover story from the June CoxHealth Connection.

Be watching for a special commemorative CoxHealth Connection about the Cox South expansion in the coming weeks!

CoxHealth and community leaders gathered to cut the ribbon on the new facility.
Community members enjoyed guided tours of patient floors in the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital and the Jared Neuroscience Center.
Guests heard a presentation on our neurological services from Stroke Center Director Dr. Richard Jung at the Jared Neuroscience Center.


In Pediatrics, the custom "bubble walls" were a hit with kids and adults alike.
CEO Steve Edwards and other CoxHealth leaders spent the day meeting with guests who came to tour the expansion.
Outside, families enjoyed the Kids Safety Fair, which featured live music, a Cardiac Kids demonstration and Springfield's Batman.
Saturday's live music included a special CoxHealth volunteer performance of "We Believe in Miracles," led by Dr. Peter Situ of Radiation Oncology. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Taking pride in CoxHealth's next step

Be among the first to see inside the new Cox South expansion on Saturday, June 27. Click here for the full event details!

CEO Steve Edwards says the Cox South expansion will be ‘better access to better care’ for our community.

When the new expansion at Cox South opens in June, we will all be witness to a turning point in CoxHealth’s evolution. When the ribbon is cut, it will mark a moment that builds on more than a century of history and sets the stage for future decades of health care.

Perhaps no one at CoxHealth has a more personal perspective on this moment than President and CEO Steve Edwards. His career has grown alongside the expansion of the health system and his history here extends back to his childhood, when he would walk the halls of Cox North with his father, longtime administrator and CEO Charlie Edwards.

Now, Edwards says the Cox South expansion stands ready to help us achieve the legacy desired by all health care leaders: bringing the best care to patients and ensuring future success.

“My dad was the kind of person who would never want his name on a building, he would just want the work to continue,” Edwards says. “What would matter most is that we’re continuing to get better and striving to serve our community.”

Providing that service requires a special kind of planning, since a hospital is a permanent fixture in a rapidly changing field. While many businesses are chasing quarterly results, health care is in the unique position of having to plan for decades. Consider that the last time CoxHealth added a facility this size was in 1985, with the construction of Cox South. By that standard, the expansion we’ll open in a few weeks will have to meet our needs at least through 2045.

Edwards says that thanks to the foresight of leaders like VP of Facilities Management Rod Schaffer and the designers, architects and CoxHealth employees who have offered their expertise and feedback, the expansion will position us well for the future.

The new patient tower gives us flexibility and additional capacity for future growth, as well as surge capacity in an emergency. In the meantime, the new design reinforces key elements of care that keep us all focused on what’s most important: our patients.

“It is better access to better care,” Edwards says. “Just the notion of private rooms reduces the chance of infection and it provides much needed serenity.”

That privacy allows for patients to have their families close by and allows family members to participate in important decisions.

“There are a lot of great reasons for private rooms, but first and foremost is the sense of humanity,” Edwards says. “At our most vulnerable point, it’s nice to have that privacy and time with your family. Good design can make care more compassionate and this creates a more nurturing environment.”

You can see the compassion-driven design in the new neonatal intensive care unit, which now features private rooms.

“If you look at the rows of bassinets in the old NICU, you can see that parents were an afterthought in the 1980s. They are so much a part of the care now and our nursing staff and our architects have put so much emphasis on the family,” Edwards says.

“This space brings families back. The parents are not going to have to go through doors with buzzers to see their daughter for a few minutes. They can be in that room, they can sleep in that room. It’s the way care should be.”

On the Pediatrics floor, Edwards points out the special design elements that CoxHealth Foundation President Lisa Alexander and System Chief Nursing Officer Karen Kramer helped to add: a bubble theme and a bright color palate – “It looks modern, clean, warm and colorful all at the same time.”

That patient-centered design extends to the inpatient neuroscience floors as well.

“In traditional hospital design, so many rooms were like an assembly line, making the patient stare at walls or at the ceiling,” Edwards says. “Every room here is designed so the patient has a view out the window.”

The design also offers features that can improve our practice. For example, the sinks are visible to patients, so caregivers can wash their hands in full view. Edwards points out that there’s science behind that: we’re more likely to wash our hands regularly if we’re being observed.

“Buildings are just shells, but they can influence behavior,” Edwards says. “Twenty years from now, I hope this design will endure and prove to have helped us give even better care.”

As the project’s completion draws near, the final touches on the exterior are making a seamless transition between the new expansion and the original Cox South facility. Those changes are drawing public attention and creating a sense of community pride in the project.

“If I’m at dinner or a soccer game, people will come up to me and compliment me as if I deserve credit, even though I haven’t raised a single hammer!” Edwards says. “There are thousands of people who have made this happen. What I like most is how much pride people are taking in it. It’s reassuring to hear employees and the community have that sense of pride in moving forward.”

For Edwards, the unique accomplishment of leading the organization through the final expansion on our main campus is a source of personal pride and a fulfillment of a mission. We asked: As a kid walking the halls with his father, would he have ever foreseen being a part of a project like this?

Edwards pauses to think. “I think the humble thing to say is no, but I kinda did,” he says with a laugh.

“If someone asked me what is my greatest accomplishment at Cox, there’s nothing that comes to mind, because there’s nothing that I’ve uniquely or solely done. We have all done these things. We have 10,000 employees and none of this would happen without them. I’m not saying that trying to be humble, it’s just true.

“I dreamed, I imagined, I hoped that someday I could prepare myself to be in this position. Almost miraculously it came to fruition. It is a testimony that if you know where you want to end up and you work toward that for decades, it’s more likely to come true.”

Edwards says that through school and through his training at Barnes and Baylor, his dream was to get the best ideas and bring them back home to southwest Missouri.

“More than anything else, I just wanted to be part of this organization. I feel like it’s an extension of my dad’s work. In so many ways, he crafted me and formed my character. Now I have this sense of duty. It is not about doing it for yourself, it’s about those thousands of people before you. And for me, those thousands include my own father.

“He would be really pleased to know how much we have grown and how much more we’re doing for our community,” he says. “I’m fortunate to be here. It’s the town I grew up in, the town my kids are growing up in – you want to make it as good as possible.”

‘A powerful moment’ for CoxHealth
CEO Steve Edwards says Saturday’s ribbon cutting is a time to reflect on a unique point in the organization’s history.

“To see this open is a powerful moment for our development. I’m proud of it and I want people to see it and be proud of it. I want our employees to say, ‘I love this place and I am proud to have a hand in designing this.’”

As the opening draws near, Edwards says he thinks about people like Larry Lipscomb, former board chair and grandson of Lester E. Cox.

“We both share a long history with the organization and there’s a kinship there. My father worked with his grandfather. I think of people like that and I hope they’re proud.”

And he thinks of his own father, former CEO and longtime administrator Charlie Edwards. “He’d like the design. He was amazingly frugal, so he’d have lots of questions for me – why did we use this material?” Edwards says with a laugh.

“He and (longtime administrator) Neil Wortley both committed their lives here. I hope they would be proud; I would love to have their approval.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Join us Saturday to celebrate the new Cox South expansion

Join us at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 27 -- bring your family, take the tour and share your best photos in social media with the hashtag #coxhealthcelebrates

In May of 2013, CoxHealth broke ground on the expansion of Cox Medical Center South. For the past two years the community has watched in awe as the 10-story building sprouted into the sky. In just a few short days, before patients are placed in the new space, the doors will open to the public for viewing.

The best time to tour the new west tower at Cox South is Saturday, June 27, during an open house celebration and Kids Health and Safety Fair, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. with tours to follow.

CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards said the expansion is designed to meet the area’s health care needs now and into the future. 

 “This is an exciting time for CoxHealth and the community it serves. The opening of the patient tower marks the culmination of many years of planning. Looking forward, we know that to continue to provide the absolute best patient care and meet the needs of our growing and aging population, we must have facilities designed for the highest standards of care and efficiency. This expansion places us securely at the forefront of health care in the Midwest.”

Following the open house, departments will begin moving into their respective space inside the 343,000 square-foot, $130 million addition to Cox South. The first floors, making up the Dee Ann White Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be moved in first. Then the upper floors, making up the Jared Neurosciences Center will begin moving in July. Work will continue on the exterior of the original hospital, including upgrades and new design elements to match the new construction.

Events taking place during the open house on June 27 include a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the new building, free stroke risk assessment with a stroke nurse, and a Kids Health and Safety Fair in the parking lot west of Ferrell Duncan Clinic at 1001 E. Primrose.

Check out a map of the event and see a full list of activities below (click on the images for full-size, printable versions):

The free stroke risk assessment includes an evaluation by a stroke nurse for risk of stroke. In addition, a pharmacist will be present to answer any questions on medications. The screening is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment is necessary, but participants can pre-register by calling 417-269-INFO.

The Kids Health and Safety Fair will benefit all ages, and will focus on prevention safety for children. CoxHealth Pediatric Trauma Coordinator Lana Martin explained that the summer season is also trauma season. “With children out of school and more outdoor activities that are often associated with injuries, every emergency room across the country sees an increase in younger patients. The most common types of injuries, which are also preventable, include motor vehicle crashes, water-related incidents, pedestrian accidents, falls, dog bites and bicycle, skateboard and rollerblade incidents.”
More than 30 agencies will be represented, helping children and their parents have a happier summer by learning how to prevent injury and avoid hazards.

One of the many interactive stations will concentrate on bicycle helmet safety. “We will have a helmet sizing station,” said Martin. 

“Just bring your bicycle helmet with you and we’ll make sure it fits appropriately. You can also make your helmet personal by stopping by our helmet decorating station.”

While at the Kids Health and Safety Fair, parents can pick up an ID kit for their child. Just a few of the activities the kids won’t want to miss out on include fun exercises with KOHL’s CARDIAC Kids, the Teddy Bear Clinic where children can have their teddy bear or doll checked out and bandaged up. Plus, there will be plenty of fun photo opportunities with the Cox Air Care helicopter; Sparky, the American Red Cross dancing fire hydrant; Springfield Batman; and Ronald McDonald.