Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Family spends Christmas Eve caroling at Cox

Every year, the extended Johnson family does a service project at Christmas. They’ve performed skits at a local nursing home, prepared meals for families at the Ronald McDonald house and more. This Christmas Eve, the family chose to share their time and talents with staff, patients and visitors at Cox South.

Richard and Avanell Johnson (above) both spent a significant amount of time at Cox South over the past year and a half, as first Avanell, and then Richard, recovered from heart surgery. One of their daughters, Sara Guest, says, “The whole family was so happy with the personal care our parents received from the nurses, staff and doctors. We just wanted to find a way to give something back.”

Fourteen members of the Johnson family, ranging in age from 8 to 76, sang traditional Christmas carols on 300 East and West, and in Inpatient Dialysis, Surgery Waiting, Surgery Holding and the SICU/NTICU waiting room. Some family members even provided accompaniment with flute and guitar.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CoxHealth volunteer paints ornament for White House Christmas tree

Dr. Rebecca Burrell, long-time CoxHealth volunteer and adjunct art professor at Drury University, recently attended a eception hosted by first lady Laura Bush to honor the artists who decorated ornaments for the White House Christmas tree.

Senators and representatives from every district in the country selected an artist to paint an ornament for the tree. Burrell was selected by Rep. Roy Blunt to create an ornament in keeping with the first lady’s request for a “Red, White and Blue Christmas.” Burrell’s ornament not only incorporates the first lady’s wishes, it also includes elements reflecting our southwest Missouri heritage.

The ornament’s design includes the Missouri symbols of dogwood blooms and a bluebird, and a farm scene. Burrell says the farm was actually inspired by the old barn on her family’s farm in Barry County, where she grew up.

Developing the design required a lot of thinking and planning. “The challenge was to
design in the round and make the ornament beautiful to be seen from any angle,” she says.

Burrell says attending the reception for the artists was a “beautiful time,” and the
event reaffirmed for her the role of the arts. “Despite all the discord and uncertainty, the economy and our current political climate, all the areas of our country were represented at the White House that night, through an old-fashioned Christmas symbol,” she said.

Burrell received the six-inch blank ornament from the White House in July, and returned the finished artwork in October. The ornament will remain at the White House. At Cox, she volunteers with the Healing Through the Arts program.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Experts, friends, neighbors on parade

CoxHealth took its “Be Heart Smart” message to the streets Saturday, Dec. 13 for the annual Springfield Christmas parade, whose 2008 theme was “At the Movies.”

The Heart Smart Kids band, which originally appeared in a promotional video now playing at Campbell 16 and Hollywood Theater, joined representatives from Marketing and Planning and Pre-Hospital Services to remind parade spectators to “Get up and exercise!” Christmas treats of heart-healthy popcorn were an extra crowd pleaser.

To view the Heart Smart video, visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

North ED sends holiday surprise to soldiers

Several soldiers stationed in Iraq will get something extra this Christmas thanks to donations from the staff at the Cox North Emergency department.

In late October, unit secretary Sherry Phillips (left, alongside unit secretary Jen Brunner) began an effort to create a Christmas surprise for her son’s Army unit. Phillips’ son, Sergeant First Class Shane Johnson, is stationed with 29 soldiers at a patrol base in Iraq. Phillips saw a list of commonly needed items for soldiers at a local bank, and soon she and the staff knew what they needed to do.

“Not every soldier is in Baghdad,” Phillips says. “They’re in an isolated patrol base – it’s desert, rocks and them. They don’t have access to the things people might assume they do.”

The department collected eight large boxes full of supplies – including an assortment of personal and hygiene items not readily available where the unit is stationed. Items include envelopes, paper, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, razors, soaps and sunblock.

The ED also donated $120 to cover shipping for the boxes, which were sent on Nov. 1. Phillips says the donations have been a great way to offer support to a cause that’s affecting many employees.

“There are a lot of our own employees who are in the reserves and are over there,” she says. “Everyone knows someone who has family in Iraq.”

Breakfast with Santa at Cox South

The annual “Breakfast With Santa” event will be held at the Cox South cafeteria Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9-10:30 a.m.

Children’s breakfasts will include a pancake, one strip of bacon and a small drink for $1.89. Photos with Santa will also be available for $3.

All proceeds go to Children’s Miracle Network, so gather the kids and come out for a morning of holiday fun!