Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Get a jump start on your New Year’s resolution


Are you thinking about losing weight in 2010? Have you considered surgical weight loss? Are you curious about the different surgical techniques? Would you like to know if surgical weight loss is right for you?

If so, attend CoxHealth’s Surgical Weight Loss Program Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 5:30-7 p.m., in Foster Auditorium at Cox South, 3801 S. National. Attendees can learn about the Lap-Band System for surgical weight loss, the physical and mental requirements that make you a good candidate for weight loss surgery, and more.

You must attend the program to be considered for the surgical weight loss program. For more information, call 875-3593.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Staff members bring early Christmas to students at Campbell Elementary


This afternoon, two kindergarten classes at Campbell Elementary in Springfield will get an early Christmas present courtesy of employees at CoxHealth.

For the second year in a row, staff members in Sterile Processing and Engineering at Cox South have gathered gifts for 37 children at Campbell. The kids will receive a variety of toys and winter necessities when staff members visit the school today.

“We’ve had a great outpouring of support,” says Ellen Gray, director of Sterile Processing. “Not only do the kids get the toy they told their teacher they wanted, they also get jeans, a sweatshirt, socks, scarves, gloves and caps.”

Staff members have also gathered supplies for the teachers — everything from Play-Doh to hand sanitizer.

Gray’s mother taught at Campbell Elementary for several years and last year, Gray had the idea of sharing Christmas with students at the school.

“The principal was more than delighted to let us adopt a couple of classes,” she says. “It’s been very satisfying for the staff, seeing the students opening their presents and just knowing that we’re helping these kids.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

Parents can learn real-world parenting strategies

CoxHealth presents a new series of parenting classes, “Parenting Strategies for the Real World.” Classes are held on Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in Classroom C300 at Cox North, 1423 N. Jefferson Ave.

The classes, presented by parent educator Tony Massey, will cover tactics for parenting elementary-, middle- and high school-aged children. Techniques to manage problematic behaviors including power struggles, bullying, drug use, fighting and more will be covered.

There is no fee or registration required for this class. For more information, call 269-3275.

Cox College honors graduating class with commencement exercises today

Cox College held graduation ceremonies for 40 nursing students today in Weiser Gymnasium on the Drury University campus. State Representative Bob Dixon spoke at the event.

Dr. Anne Brett, president of the College, says, “In looking at other colleges and programs, Cox College graduates are continuing to get full-time jobs with good salaries and good career opportunities.” Approximately 70 percent of the graduating class has accepted employment with CoxHealth.

Representative Dixon challenged the graduates: “While health care reform is on the minds of everyone today, as health care professionals you can do more to reform health care than any politicians in Washington. Your commitment to competence, consistency and compassion can change the face of health care.”

Interestingly, this graduating class includes seven men – that’s nearly 20 percent of the class. Nationally, most graduating nurse classes are approximately five percent male.

Cox College began as Burge School of Nursing in 1906. The school has long been recognized for its high standard of nursing education and the quality of its graduates.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Employees make their mark on new ED’s final beam


Cox employees braved the cold temperatures this afternoon to sign a beam that will complete the construction of the steel frame of the new Emergency Department.

The beam, which is painted “Cox Blue”, will be hoisted in place during a “Topping Out” ceremony at 2 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11, on the Cox South campus. Employees are invited to attend.

On Thursday, employees added their signatures, messages and artistry to the beam. You can see video of the signing on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywVEUnPJZ8s) or on Facebook. Become a fan of CoxHealth!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Deal opens path for OTC students seeking nursing degree


Cox College and Ozarks Technical Community College are partnering to ease the transition process for students graduating from OTC who want to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing degree at Cox College.

During a signing ceremony on Wednesday, Cox College president Dr. Anne Brett and OTC president Dr. Hal Higdon (above) signed two articulation agreements providing a path for two different groups of OTC students interested in earning their BSN.

The first agreement arranges for qualified OTC graduates who have earned an associate of arts degree to transfer into the Cox College BSN program. The college and OTC have worked together to create a curriculum plan for students enrolled in the associate of arts degree program to meet all of the prerequisites for the Cox College BSN program.

The second agreement allows OTC graduates who have completed the associate of science in nursing degree, which qualifies graduates to take the registered nurse exam, to transfer directly into Cox College’s RN-to-BSN degree program.

“Moving nurses to the bachelor degree level is a goal of the profession, and these agreements will facilitate that process. Additionally, there is now an opportunity for any associate of arts student at OTC, including A+ students, to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing in 4 years,” says Dr. Brett. “This will benefit not only our students and our institutions, but also the community as a whole.”

As part of the agreement, Cox College will visit OTC once each semester to provide a workshop for interested students detailing course pre-requisites, application processes and Cox policies, in order to ensure a seamless and timely transition. Cox College will give priority consideration to up to seven qualified OTC graduates per year who apply to the BSN program.

Cox College partners with Drury to offer dual degree


Thirty years ago, the average age of someone graduating from a nursing program in the U.S. was 21. Students could expect at least 40 years in the profession.

Today, the average age of nursing school graduates is the mid-30s, giving them less time before retirement. Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College, says the aging of the nursing workforce is one of the contributing factors of the current nursing shortage.

Cox College is teaming up with Drury University in Springfield to offer a new program that aims to reverse the trend. The two schools have announced the creation of a dual degree program designed to target high school graduates interested in a career in nursing.

“The goal of this new program is to try to bring the average age of the nurse graduate down,” says Brett. “It will allow Cox College and Drury to attract students together that they could never attract alone.”

Students in the dual degree program will be admitted into Drury University and take general education courses. They’ll then take nursing courses at Cox College. At the end of the four-year program, students will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Cox College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drury University.

“This program will capture students who want a bachelor’s degree in nursing but also want the college experience,” says Dr. Brett. “They want to play sports, live in fraternities or sororities and have the social environment that Drury can offer as well as the quality educational experience that both schools can offer. It’s an exciting partnership.”

CoxHealth guarantees an initial employment interview to qualified graduates from the dual degree program for posted positions. Students are also eligible to apply for up to $10,000 of student loan forgiveness over the first two years of employment at Cox.

The dual degree program will be available for students beginning with the fall 2010 semester.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CoxHealth offers educational program for surgical weight loss candidates


Have you ever considered surgical weight loss? Are you curious about the different surgical techniques? Would you like to know if surgical weight loss is right for you?

If so, attend CoxHealth’s Surgical Weight Loss Program Tuesday, Dec. 15, from 5:30-7 p.m., in the Magnolia and Redbud meeting rooms inside Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National. Attendees can learn about the Lap-Band System for surgical weight loss, the physical and mental requirements that make you a good candidate for weight loss surgery, and more.

You must attend the program to be considered for the surgical weight loss program. For more information, call 875-3593.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Free prostate cancer screenings available at CoxHealth

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men. The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. African-American men and men with close family members who have had the disease are more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Are you at risk? Warning signs include:
• frequent urination, especially at night
• pain or burning with urination
• difficulty starting or stopping the urine flow
• inability to urinate
• blood in the urine
• weak or intermittent urine flow
• pain with ejaculation
• constant pain in upper thighs, hips or lower back.

CoxHealth Hulston Cancer Center will offer free prostate cancer screenings 8 -10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14, in the ground floor conference room of Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National. The screenings will include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

Participants must be at least 50 years old (or 45 with a family history), and not have had a PSA test in the last year. Registration is required by Nov. 21.

For more information or to register, call 269-INFO.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new way to communicate across cultures


When Esmerelda Cruz Aleman of Branson gave birth at Cox South in mid October, she had access to the experts in Labor and Delivery and they, in turn, had support from a new service that helps caregivers communicate with patients who speak limited English.

Being hospitalized can be a stressful experience for anyone and for those who speak little or no English, it can be even more challenging.

Caring for these patients has long involved working with in-person interpreters or caregivers who are fluent in another language. Occasionally, staff members have even communicated through a patient’s family members — a practice that is a major error when dealing with health information.

This month, however, the formal introduction of the Language Line service will create a single, consistent source for translation services.

It’s a move that’s designed to improve patient safety and help CoxHealth better serve a rapidly growing part of the community.

“Springfield traditionally hasn’t been a diverse population, but we are becoming more and more diverse and we’re starting to see our need for language interpretation with micro segments of the population is increasing at a rapid rate,” says Vicki Good, CoxHealth’s director of nursing. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to meet that demand.”

Language Line is a California-based company that provides access to interpreters in more than 170 languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Staff members will be able to access a translator by calling an 800 number, where an operator will connect them with an interpreter.

For common languages such as Spanish, Language Line officials estimate that a translator will be available in 3-20 seconds. Less common languages may require more time, but waits will still be less than 90 seconds.

Frederique O. Rich, a business development executive for Language Line, says the company works with about 95 percent of all health care providers in the United States, offering everything from transcription services to phone-based and in-person translation.

For the phone service, Language Line employs more than 8,000 interpreters, all of whom have passed language proficiency tests and undergone a curriculum of courses on translation skills. Interpreters specializing in health care also have training in medical terminology and concepts and many also have skills in a variety of specialties, such as oncology.

Rich says the service has become popular as hospitals work to serve their patients in a way that improves patient safety while remaining cost conscious.

“The system is efficient, especially when hospitals are resource strapped,” she says. “Most medical errors come from poor communication. When you add a layer of foreign language, that risk multiplies. It’s important to have the right resources.”

Getting the right resources in place at Cox has been a goal for Nursing Administration since they first began exploring Language Line as an option. The demand for translation services has been on the rise and the costs of working with local, in-person translators can be startling: Last year, Good says the system spent between $600,000 and $800,000 on translators.

A lot of that cost comes from the way in-person interpreters are paid. Interpreters typically charge by the hour, from the time they are dispatched until a patient’s appointment or procedure is complete. In the case of a surgery, for example, an interpreter would be on duty throughout the entire procedure, even if translation were only needed for pre- and post-op care.

Nursing Administration also spent a lot of time seeking out and coordinating with local interpreters. When a patient needed a translator, staff would go through a list of approved interpreters. For an urgent care visit, they would look for one who could drop what they were doing and come right away. For a scheduled appointment, it was a matter of coordinating a time when the doctor, the patient and the interpreter would all be available.

“Face-to-face translation isn’t quick and it isn’t cost effective,” says Nursing Administration’s Ruth Loy, noting that Language Line will replace all of the current procedure with a phone call. “This is instant, it will help when doctors are making rounds or if an employee just meets someone in the hall who doesn’t speak English.”

Loy says it has been a challenge to find face-to-face interpreters for the increasing variety of languages staff members are working with. While Spanish is the most frequently encountered, Russian, Vietnamese and Romanian are also becoming common.

Switching to Language Line will allow staff access to interpreters in all of those languages, while eliminating the time spent coordinating with, and billing for, an in-person interpreter.

In the long run, Good and Loy say Language Line will offer a higher quality service for less. The service is budgeted for a $150/month fee plus translation at a rate of $1.40 per minute.

Good says the system is key to making sure all staff can communicate with non-English-speaking patients in a consistent manner, regardless of the situation.

“For the safety of our patients, we want to have guaranteed, rapid access to a competent interpreter,” Good says. “At any point, our staff will be able to pick up the phone and reach someone who can assist them. You can be assured that when you get somebody on the phone you have someone who is nonbiased and competent and can relay the information.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Work on diverging diamond intersection to cause delays near Cox South


For those who use James River Freeway to come to Cox South, now is the time to find and start using an alternate route.

Bob Edwards with the Missouri Department of Transportation warns that construction on the National-James River interchange and the accompanying underpass access to Cox South will make National Avenue “a major choke point” for traffic.

In mid-October, construction began on a new, $10 million interchange for the intersection of National Avenue and James River Freeway. Over the next 10 months, the interchange will be transformed into a “diverging diamond” configuration similar to the one at Kansas Expressway and Interstate 44.

When the project is completed, scheduled for August 2010, the intersection will provide smoother traffic flow with less “stand still” time and a lower risk of rear-end collisions.

In the meantime, though, construction will mean slow moving traffic through the area, with lane closings, narrowed lanes and lane shifts on National. Access will remain open to Cox from National throughout the project.

Edwards says from now until March and possibly July of 2010, National Avenue will have only one southbound lane open to traffic from just south of Primrose Street to the bridge over the freeway. Northbound National Avenue will have two lanes of traffic open.

Drivers need to be prepared for traffic to move slowly through the entire project, especially during the busiest times of day.

Crews will work to widen the National Avenue bridge to provide three lanes in each direction and extra lanes will be added to the ramps from James River onto National. An additional lane will be added in each direction on National south of the bridge to Kingsley Street and North of the bridge to Bradford Parkway. The project also includes an additional lane in each direction on James River between National and Campbell Avenues.

In addition to the changes on the overpass, CoxHealth has committed $3 million for ramp access to Cox South from National. The design will eliminate the left turn lane from northbound National into the driveway south of the current ER. Instead, drivers going north on National and wishing to turn into the campus will make a right at Bradford and then loop under National via a new underpass that will emerge west of National on the service road near the employee parking lot.

The traffic effects of the project include:
• At times, lanes on the National Avenue bridge will be reduced to one through lane and one left-turn lane in each direction
• In the area between the bridge and Primrose, National will be reduced to three lanes
• Nighttime lane closings will be needed at times on James River between National and Campbell.

When completed, the project is expected to provide smoother traffic flow around the south campus and accommodate increasing traffic for the new Emergency Department and future expansions.

Frequent updates on the construction can be found at the following locations:
• Modot.org/Springfield
• Springfieldmo.gov
• Twitter.com/modotspringfiel
• Twitter.com/cityofsgf
• Nixle.com (sign up and receive free project updates via e-mail or text message).

CoxHealth Honor guard escorts veterans before their visit to Washington


The CoxHealth Honor Guard helped to honor World War II veterans who were on their way to visit the WWII memorial and other sites in Washington D.C.

The veterans were taking part in the Ozarks Honor Flight program that sends veterans to the nation’s capitol so they can visit the memorials that are dedicated to their service and sacrifice. The flight is at no cost for the veterans.

The CoxHealth Honor Guard was asked to participate in the send-off. The members of the Cox Security department greeted the veterans and escorted them through the airport in Springfield.

“It was an honor to participate in the event,” says Joe Rushing, director of Cox Security. “It was great to see the smiles on the veterans’ faces. They really appreciated the support.”

Rushing says the Honor Guard returned that evening to help greet the veterans as they arrived back home.

The CoxHealth Honor Guard was formed earlier this year and is made up of CoxHealth Security officers. The officers have volunteered their time to learn how to perform the precision movements and to how to properly wear the elaborate uniforms required of an honor guard regiment.

The guard is available to represent CoxHealth as casket guards and casket bearers at the funeral of any board member or administrator who should pass away. The honor guard also serves as casket bearers for any CoxHealth employee who passes away. Rushing says the honor guard will also represent CoxHealth at the funeral or memorial service for any state dignitary.

The CoxHealth unit is one of only a few fully-dressed honor guards in Springfield. The group will be available to provide a full military funeral service with a flag folding ceremony and 21-gun salute for any law enforcement agency that loses an officer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Traffic slowdowns to increase on National near James River


The Missouri Department of Transportation says increased driving delays are expected on National Avenue at James River Freeway (Route 60) starting Thursday evening, Nov. 5, as a road construction project shifts to its next stage.

The traffic pattern change includes reducing National Avenue to only one southbound lane for a short distance south of Primrose Street. It will be fully in place by Friday morning, Nov. 6, and will remain in effect through the spring of 2010.

Drivers who need to reach nearby CoxHealth facilities, including Cox South Hospital, and the many other businesses along National Avenue will be able to do so, but it probably will take more time to get there. However, drivers who use National Avenue to commute through the area, especially southbound during afternoon rush hour, are urged to find other routes to avoid the construction and reduce the congestion along the corridor.

Construction of an underpass and service road underneath National Avenue is about to begin. That is why it is necessary to narrow down National Avenue and shift traffic to the east side of the street.

Here’s what will happen:

* National Avenue will have only one southbound lane open between Bradford Parkway (south of Primrose Street) and the bridge over James River Freeway starting some time Thursday evening, Nov. 5. Even though only a 500-foot long section of National Avenue will be narrowed down, major driving delays are expected, especially for southbound National Avenue traffic.
Southbound National Avenue will have two through lanes open across the bridge and a separate left-turn lane to eastbound James River Freeway.

* Northbound National Avenue will have two lanes open on the bridge over the freeway — one through lane and one left-turn lane onto westbound James River Freeway.
North of the bridge, National Avenue will have two lanes open through the work zone. The goal is to minimize traffic backups on the westbound James River Freeway off-ramp to National Avenue.

* In late March or April, traffic will be shifted to the west side of National Avenue, with two lanes open for northbound traffic and one lane open for southbound traffic. This will allow the east side of the underpass to be built.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CoxHealth, Skaggs partner to operate new Clinic at Walmart in Branson

Today, Walmart, CoxHealth and Skaggs Regional Medical Center announced a new collaboration – “The Clinic at Walmart” operated by CoxHealth in partnership with Skaggs Regional Medical Center. This new convenient care clinic will be located in the Branson Walmart supercenter at 1101 Branson Hills Parkway and will open Monday, Nov. 2. The clinic will offer the same fast, affordable access to basic health care services available at Springfield-area locations, and will be the first location in Branson. This is CoxHealth’s fifth in-store clinic in an area Walmart supercenter.

This clinic will be operated as a joint venture between CoxHealth and Skaggs. CoxHealth will oversee day-to-day operations of the clinic, while nurse practitioners and collaborating physicians will be provided by both health systems.

“We’re happy to be able to collaborate in this partnership, and to bring The Clinic at Walmart model to those who live in and visit Branson,” says David Taylor, CoxHealth vice president of Regional Services. “This partnership allows us to work jointly with Skaggs and offer yet another avenue to provide quality, affordable care to the community.”

“The Clinic at Walmart has provided us a great opportunity to partner with CoxHealth to provide another location for area residents and visitors to access medical care for minor illnesses,” says Joan Phillips, Skaggs Interim CEO. “The delivery of health care services is ever-changing. As Baby Boomers age and Generation Y and X seek medical services, they are looking for convenience. So it is exciting to see three organizations come together to provide that convenience at The Clinic at Walmart.”

The clinics serve as an alternative for people at least 18 months old who are sick enough to need care, but aren’t sick enough to need the level of care available in an emergency department or urgent care clinic. The clinics are also an affordable option for patients who might otherwise postpone or avoid care because they lack insurance, have concerns about the cost, or are away from home and in need of basic medical services.

The clinics offer upfront pricing and prompt access to acute and preventive care for common health ailments treatable without urgent or emergency care, including sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, earaches, bladder infections, insect bites and stings, cholesterol screening, blood sugar testing, vaccinations, drug screening and routine physicals. Clinics offer walk-in service seven days a week and evening hours.

Walmart has 44 in-store clinics in 12 states. For further information about “The Clinic at Walmart”, please visit www.walmart.com/clinics. For more information about CoxHealth, please visit www.coxhealth.com. For more information about Skaggs Regional Medical Center, please visit www.skaggs.net.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cox announces H1N1 distribution plan

Patients of CoxHealth physicians are asked to call their primary care physician’s office to be placed on a list to receive H1N1 vaccine.

Vaccine must first be distributed to those patients at highest risk of suffering complications from the H1N1 virus, as identified by the CDC. When patients call, they should be prepared to answer a few basic health questions so staff can place them on the appropriate list according to their risk group. When vaccine for their group becomes available, they will be notified.

CoxHealth clinics will receive a relatively small number of doses each week, so it may take some time before vaccine is available for everyone. When vaccine is received from the Health Department, it must be used within the week, so patients must be prepared to come into their physician’s office with very little notice. If a patient is not available to receive vaccine when contacted, their name will remain on the list for the next available shipment.

The administration fee will be filed with private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Patients are reminded to practice good infection prevention techniques while they wait for vaccine: cover your coughs or sneezes, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and stay home if you are sick.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Silent auction to benefit CMN



The CoxHealth Pastoral Care department will hold a silent auction to benefit Children’s Miracle Network Friday, Oct. 16, 7 a.m. - 4p.m., in the main lobby of Cox South, 3801 S. National Ave.

A variety of items will be available for bidding. All proceeds benefit CMN.

CMN of CoxHealth is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for sick and injured children living in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Funds raised benefit CMN projects such as the C.A.R.E. Mobile – a children’s clinic on wheels – medical equipment, financial assistance and educational programs.

For more information, please call Children’s Miracle Network at 417/269-KIDS.

Class offers parenting, communication skills

CoxHealth will hold the two-day “Prepping for Parenthood” class Friday, Oct. 16, from 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 17, from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. The class will be held in suite 110 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Primrose.

Expectant couples will learn new communication and conflict management skills. For more information or to register, call 269-LADY.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

National and James River construction to close lanes beginning October 1


The Missouri Department of Transportation has announced that one northbound and one southbound lane of National Avenue on the bridge over James River Freeway will be closed during daytime hours beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, and lasting into the week of Oct. 5.

Crews will begin removing a concrete median down the center of the bridge.

Crews will close the lanes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 1-2.

The outside through lane will be open in each direction and a very short left-turn lane will be available for National Avenue drivers who need to access James River Freeway. Driving delays are expected during the work.

No work is planned over the weekend and all lanes on National Avenue will be open to traffic.
However, on Monday, Oct. 5, crews will resume work on the National Avenue bridge. Each day through the week, a lane in each direction on the National Avenue bridge will be closed during the day.

Weather and/or construction delays will alter the work schedule.

Starting the week of Oct. 19, more extensive work is scheduled to begin on the project.

That’s when long-term lane closings and traffic shifts will be needed on National Avenue between Bradford Parkway north of the bridge and Kingsley Street south of the bridge over the James River Freeway.

Drivers can expect slow-moving traffic with delays getting through the work zone, with workers and equipment set up close to traffic.

Monday, September 21, 2009

CoxHealth takes first place in contest encouraging biking, walking to work


CoxHealth has won first place for a second year in a row in the 2009 Bike, Bus, Walk to Work Week Challenge sponsored by Ozark Greenways.

The Cox Fitness Centers (represented by group exercise coordinator Sheryl Deboer, right) accepted the BBWW trophy recently. Cox won in the large-size business category for having the most participants in this year’s challenge.

Ozark Greenways says more than 90 businesses and schools participated in the challenge to use bicycles, the city bus, walking and carpooling as transportation to and from work or school.
Fitness Centers director Chris Flouer says he’s proud that so many Cox employees found other ways to get to work besides driving a car.

“This shows we are not only a leader in health care, but we are leaders in our community,” says Flouer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Screenings determine your risk for osteoporosis

Next year, studies estimate more than 52 million U.S. men and women aged 50 or older will suffer from osteoporosis and low bone mass. The majority may never know until they suffer a fracture from a minor fall, or in advanced cases from a sneeze or even spontaneously.

CoxHealth can help you determine your risk for osteoporosis at an osteoporosis screening, sponsored by The Women’s Center at CoxHealth Friday, Sept. 18. People found to be at an increased risk of osteoporosis can also get a bone density screening for the low fee of $25.

“Screenings for osteoporosis are important to prevention and early detection,” says Patti Roper, RN, CDT osteoporosis nurse educator. “For most people, osteoporosis is a preventable disease if they do the right things, such as getting the recommended daily amount of calcium, doing weight-bearing exercises and not smoking. For those who don’t get screened and take other preventative measures, osteoporosis can be a painful and life-changing disease.”

Screenings are for those ages 21 and older. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 269-LADY. Screenings will be held in Suite 110 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Primrose.

Monday, August 31, 2009

CoxHealth offers advance directives clinic

Have you ever wondered who would make decisions for you if you were injured or became ill and couldn’t do so for yourself? If so, now is the time to take action.

The public is invited to an Advance Directives Clinic, 3-4:30 p.m., Sept. 14, in Conference Room C at the Meyer Center, 3545 S. National. This free clinic is for those who want to learn about and complete advance directives such as living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care decisions.

Notary service will be provided. Call 269-3616 to register or for more information.

Second Springfield location of The Clinic at Walmart opens today

The Clinic at Walmart operated by CoxHealth, located inside the Walmart Supercenter at 2021 E. Independence in Springfield, opens today.

The clinic offers fast, affordable access to basic health care services such as check-ups, immunizations, screenings and treatment of minor injuries for patients at least 18 months old. Extended and weekend hours (Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.) offer area residents a convenient, reasonably priced alternative to emergency departments and urgent care clinics when only routine care is needed. No appointment is necessary.

CoxHealth network affiliated insurances, Medicare, Medicaid, cash, check, and credit or debit cards are accepted.

The clinic is the fourth location of The Clinic at Walmart operated by CoxHealth, and the second location in Springfield. For a full list of clinics, visit www.coxhealth.com. Additional locations are planned for later this year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Recipies for healthy back-to-school breakfasts

Healthy minds need healthy bodies. While this time of year brings groans from kids wishing the summer had never ended, www.coxhealth.com gives moms and dads lots of ideas to get the school day started right with six delicious, healthy breakfast recipes.

Smart Foods
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts and some plant oils have been linked to increased brain function in seniors and infants. According to the America Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent cardiovascular disease. But how can you get your family to eat fish in the morning before school or work? Our Smoked Salmon Breakfast Bruschetta video gives step-by-step instructions on how to make a yummy scrambled egg sandwich all ages will love. It contains just 195 calories but is loaded with whole grains and protein that will keep your family full all the way until lunch. Just log on to www.coxhealth.com and click on the Health eCooking link.

Healthy Versions of Old Favorites
For more traditional fare, five additional recipes this month give healthy variations of tried-and-true breakfast favorites. Our Low-Fat Blueberry Muffins bake up fluffy and light with just 32 milligrams of cholesterol and one gram of saturated fat. Our Peanut Butter and Jelly muffins provide a portable version of a kids’ favorite meal. Green Tea Smoothie, Pecan Coffee Cake and Pumpkin Waffle recipes round out the healthy breakfast offerings featured this month.

All Health eCooking recipes are approved by registered dieticians and tested by professional chefs. Recipes include tips for healthy baking and cooking and contain verified nutritional values. Our database provides a wide range of options for those in search of heart healthy, gluten free or diabetic recipes. So get your day off to a healthy start and find hundreds of other healthy recipes at www.coxhealth.com.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Parents can learn real-world parenting strategies

CoxHealth presents a new series of parenting classes, “Parenting Strategies for the Real World.” Classes are held on Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in Classroom C300 at Cox North, 1423 N. Jefferson Ave.

The classes, presented by parent educator Tony Massey, will cover tactics for parenting elementary-, middle- and high school-aged children. Techniques to manage problematic behaviors including power struggles, bullying, drug use, fighting and more will be covered.

There is no fee or registration required for this class. For more information, call 269-3275.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Clinics offer alternative for athletes injured in Friday night play


CoxHealth and Ferrell-Duncan Clinic are again offering Friday Night Clinics to all area high school athletes with sports-related injuries, beginning Friday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. The clinics offer an alternative to crowded emergency rooms when care is needed for a non-emergent injury sustained during play.

The clinics will be held in The Bone and Joint Center, 3555 S. National, Suite 200, in Springfield. Each Friday Night Clinic team is led by an orthopedic surgeon and includes a nurse, certified athletic trainer, radiology tech and clerical staff. Minor radiology exams are also available on-site to assist the physician with patient evaluation.

Insurance claims will be filed. Coaches and athletic trainers can refer an athlete to the clinic by calling 417-269-7778. The final sports injury clinic of the season will be Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Doctors to discuss women’s midlife issues

The Women’s Center at CoxHealth invites area women to “Women’s Midlife – It’s Not a Crisis,” a physician panel discussion about a variety of women’s midlife topics and issues 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27.

The physicians will discuss menopause, incontinence, robotic surgery options, cosmetic procedures, varicose veins and more. A light dinner will be served, and varicose vein and Achilles bone density screenings will be offered from 4-5:30 p.m.

The program will be held in Foster Auditorium at Cox South, 3801
S. National. There is a $15 fee. For more information and to register, call
269-LADY.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Clinic at Walmart" opens this month in Independence Supercenter


Today, Walmart and CoxHealth announced a fourth location of “The Clinic at Walmart” operated by CoxHealth, to be located in the Independence Walmart supercenter, 2021 E. Independence, in Springfield. This convenient care clinic will open Monday, Aug. 31. The clinic will offer the same fast, affordable access to basic health care services available at all other locations, and will be the second location in Springfield.

Amy Lea, director of clinics for CoxHealth Regional Services, says all clinic locations have remained busy this summer with patients seeking treatment for outdoor injuries and minor bug bites. “We’re also seeing a demand for sports physicals as families get ready for the fall sports season,” she said.

The clinics serve as an alternative for people at least 18 months old who are sick enough to need care, but aren’t sick enough to need the level of care available in an emergency department or urgent care clinic. The clinics are also an affordable option for patients who might otherwise postpone or avoid care because they lack insurance or have concerns about the cost.

The clinics offer upfront pricing and prompt access to acute and preventive care for common health ailments treatable without urgent or emergency care, including sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, earaches, bladder infections, insect bites and stings, cholesterol screening, blood sugar testing, vaccinations, drug screening and routine physicals. Clinics offer walk-in service seven days a week and evening hours.

Walmart has 37 in-store clinics in ten states. For further information about “The Clinic at Walmart”, please visit www.walmart.com/clinics. For more information about CoxHealth, please visit www.coxhealth.com

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mark your place in Cox history with ED brick project


Want to make a statement that will stand the test of time? Employees and the community have a chance to be part of the construction of the new Emergency Department through a fundraiser offered by the CoxHealth Foundation.

Donors will be able to sponsor one of 2,200 bricks that will be used in a pathway in the ED garden. The bricks will be engraved with up to three lines of text, such as names, special messages, remembrances or favorite sayings.

The purchasers of the first 500 bricks will receive a second brick for free - give it as a gift, remember another special occasion, honor a parent or grandparent, put the grandkids' names out for all to see! It's your choice.

Each brick costs $100 and payroll deduction is available in $25 increments for employees. Donors will also receive a miniature brick as a keepsake of their donation.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will support grants for patients who cannot afford care through the Foundation’s Good Samaritan Fund, which helps provide financial grants for patients to the ER who cannot afford their care.
For more information, call 269-7150.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No baby handbook? Try BabySense


Having a new baby in the house can be an exciting time, but it also brings plenty of new duties and responsibilities. And as the saying goes, babies don’t come with a manual. As part of an ongoing commitment to families, CoxHealth will offer the popular “BabySense” class twice in August:

• 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 12
• 6:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26

Hosted by the CoxHealth Women’s Center, BabySense is led by an experienced childbirth educator and is geared toward expectant moms and dads, to help them prepare for the changes a newborn brings.

The class teaches parents how to meet the everyday needs of their child. The course covers the basics of baby care and addresses many safety issues, ranging from baby-proofing your home, to car seat and sleep safety. Parents are also coached on handling crying and offering comfort to their infants, selecting childcare and more.

BabySense is open to the public, but registration is required. There is a $20 fee. Class will be held in suite 130 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Primrose. For more information or to register, call 269-LADY.

'Basic training' for fathers-to-be


There may not be a manual that tells you how to be a father, but the CoxHealth Women’s Center offers the next best thing – “Fatherhood: Basic Training.”

For men only, and presented by a seasoned father and professional, this class will cover topics including what it means to become a father, birth and bonding, caring for mom and baby, and more. A question and answer session will also be included.

Nancy Bolduc, director of The Women’s Center, says, “This is an informal discussion between an experienced father, and fathers-to-be. Having a baby is a life-changing event, and we want fathers to be as prepared as possible, and to understand how important they are.”

The next “Fatherhood: Basic Training” class will be held 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, in Cafeteria Meeting Rooms A and B at Cox South, 3801 S. National. There is a $20 fee. Call 269-INFO to register.

Expert to explain links between genetics, cancer

Science has proven there is a link between our genetic make-up and our risk for disease – especially cancer. You can learn more about genetics in cancer treatment and the process of genetic testing by attending “Genetics and Cancer,” a part of the Hulston Cancer Center Educational Series.

During this program, CoxHealth genetic counselor Mary Owen will discuss how your genes play a role in cancer formation, hereditary breast cancer and colorectal cancer syndromes. She will also cover why hereditary cancer syndromes predispose you to different types of the disease.

“Genetics and Cancer” will be held 10-11 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 13, in Suite 120 of Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National. For more information or to register, call 269-5257.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cox College now offering Master of Science in nursing

In 2008, nearly 50,000 qualified nursing school applicants were turned away from entry-level programs due to a shortage of nursing faculty and clinical sites. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for nurses continues to grow.

To address the nursing faculty shortage, Cox College will admit its first Master of Science in nursing (MSN) class for the 2009 – 2010 academic year beginning this August. The MSN program at Cox College will have two tracks: Nurse Educator and Clinical Nurse Leader.

The Nurse Educator track is available for nurses with a baccalaureate degree (BSN) who want to take an educator role in college or university nursing programs or other health care settings. The Clinical Nurse Leader track prepares BSN nurses to seek advancement in clinical leadership roles within health care organizations.

Upon completion of the degree, the graduate is eligible to sit for the national certification exam as a Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Leader.

Cox College’s MSN program was designed for the working nurse and can be completed in 12 months of full-time study. Course work can be completed primarily online or through a blend of classroom and online work. Each course takes eight weeks to complete, and a total of 36 credits are required to complete the program.

For more information about Cox College and the MSN program go to the college website, www.coxcollege.edu, or contact the admissions office at 417-269-3083

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pain Management Clinic to host class for those with chronic pain

Individuals who have experienced pain for three months or more are encouraged to attend the class “Explain Pain,” an informative discussion on pain and pain management.

The next Explain Pain class will be held from 4:30-6 p.m., Tuesday, July 14, at the CoxHealth Center for Advanced Pain Management, 1011 E. Montclair.

Participants will learn how the brain interprets pain, how other systems in the body are involved in coping with pain and how to reduce pain through self-management techniques.

There is a $5 fee for this program. For more information or to register, call 269-INFO.

The Center for Advanced Pain Management offers evaluation, diagnosis and interventional treatment for the management of pain and related disorders.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Clinic at Walmart opens in Ozark July 6


Today, Walmart and CoxHealth announced a third location of “The Clinic at Walmart” operated by CoxHealth, to be located in the Ozark Walmart supercenter, 2004 W. Marler Lane. This convenient care clinic will open Monday, July 6. The location will offer the same fast, affordable access to basic health care services available at the Springfield and Republic locations.

“Our existing clinics have seen a steady demand from patients who seem to appreciate the accessibility and affordability of ‘The Clinic at Walmart’ operated by CoxHealth,” says Tom Luthy, administrative director of CoxHealth Regional Services. “We’re excited to continue to bring this model of care into more of the communities surrounding Springfield.”

The clinics serve as an alternative for people at least 18 months old who are sick enough to need care, but aren’t sick enough to need the level of care available in an emergency department or urgent care clinic. The clinics are also an affordable option for patients who might otherwise postpone or avoid care because they lack insurance or have concerns about the cost.

The clinics offer upfront pricing and prompt access to acute and preventive care for common health ailments treatable without urgent or emergency care, including sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, earaches, bladder infections, insect bites and stings, cholesterol screening, blood sugar testing, vaccinations, drug screening and routine physicals. Clinics offer walk-in service seven days a week and evening hours.

Walmart has 32 in-store clinics in nine states. For further information about “The Clinic at Walmart”, please visit www.walmart.com/clinics. For more information about CoxHealth, please visit www.coxhealth.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make plans for Frisco Runaway Triathlon

The first annual Frisco Runaway Triathlon will be held on Saturday, June 20, in Willard.

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Willard Community Building, located at 222 Jackson St.

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The triathlon includes a 300-yard swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a 5K run.

Triathlon Information:

Pre-Registration Fee: $40 Day of Registration Fee: $45

USAT Insurance Fee: $10 (required) or $30 for the yr.

Race Day Registration/Sign In: 6:30am – 7:15 a.m.

Pre-Race Meeting with participants: 7:15 a.m.

Pre-Race Packet Pick-Up: Friday June 19th from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Community Building

Fee includes a shirt for everyone who pre-registers.Medical personnel will be on hand to assist with any emergencies. Participants must be at least 15 years old. Helmets are required and all bikes must pass a safety inspection.

Food and drinks will be provided for participants.

Proceeds will benefit Children’s Miracle Network. For more information, call 417-742-2262.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hulston Cancer Center celebrates survivors

Hulston Cancer Center at CoxHealth invites cancer survivors, their families and caregivers to a special event celebrating cancer survivorship.

Survivors’ Sundae will be held 2-4 p.m., Sunday, June 7, at Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National. This is a free event but registration is requested by June 3.

This is the fifth year Hulston Cancer Center has honored cancer survivors and those who care for them during their treatment at the center. Autum Bragg, community oncology educator, says the first year about 13 people attended, but the event has steadily grown so that last year more than 100 people came.

“We started holding these events so that our patients could truly celebrate being survivors,” says Autumn Bragg, community oncology educator at Hulston Cancer Center. “Since most of the time the patient’s caregivers are with them through the treatments, appointments and the emotions, we want to celebrate with the families as well,” says Bragg.

Guests will enjoy ice cream sundaes donated by Andy’s Frozen Custard, coffee and tea from Starbucks and iced tea from Chick-Fil-A. Participants will enjoy games, activities and door prizes, plus entertainment provided by Hulston Cancer Center’s volunteer piano players.

Participants can register by June 3 for Survivors’ Sundae by calling 269-INFO.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Open house planned to unveil new ambulance in Republic

CoxHealth has added an additional ambulance to the Republic ambulance station.

“This additional ambulance will provide advanced life support service for the communities of Republic, Billings and Clever for an additional 12 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Mike Dawson, CoxHealth EMS operations manager.

The existing ambulance will continue to provide 24/7 coverage for the area. In addition, the station maintains a back-up ambulance to provide uninterrupted coverage should a frontline ambulance need maintenance or repairs.

Stop by the open house on Saturday, May 16, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., to see the new ambulance, meet the crew and enjoy burgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings. The Republic ambulance station is on Illinois Ave, behind Burger King.

Monday, May 4, 2009

ED groundbreaking begins new era in emergency medicine



Today, CoxHealth broke ground for the health system’s new 78,000 square-foot Emergency Department, and announced a major donor gift that’s helping to make the expansion possible.

The donation, generously given by Mr. and Mrs. Larry and Tracy Lipscomb and Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Cathryn Cox Lipscomb (above), creates the Lipscomb Family Wing of Cox South, which will be built south of the existing outpatient center and will house the new ED.
The new ED will have 62 beds – a significant improvement over the 23 that are available in the existing facility – and is designed in five “pods” that can be opened or closed throughout the day as needed.

“We are excited to usher in this new era in emergency medicine for Southwest Missouri,” said Robert Bezanson, CoxHealth president and CEO. “This Emergency Department was designed with staff input to create a better work environment for them, and to enhance our patients’ experiences. It truly is a great thing for Cox, and for our community.”

Not only will the new ED provide for a better patient and family experience, it includes a number of “green” initiatives designed to help the environment. Among these are a construction site waste management and recycling program, the use of regionally produced renewable building materials, abundant use of natural light, water use reduction appliances, and more.

The total project cost is $52.5 million, financed by a Sept. 2008 bond issuance. Construction is expected to be complete in August 2010.

CoxHealth also announced a new fundraising campaign, designed to drive resources to patient needs to compliment the new facility. Donor options are available at a variety of levels, and correspond with name recognition on a room within the center. People interested in giving to the campaign should contact the CoxHealth Foundation at 269-7150.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Class offers answers on surgical weight loss

Have you ever considered surgical weight loss? Are you curious about the different surgical techniques? Would you like to know if surgical weight loss is right for you?

If so, attend CoxHealth’s Surgical Weight Loss Program Thursday, , May 14, from 5:30-7 p.m., in Foster Auditorium at Cox South, 3801 S. National. Attendees can learn about the Lap-Band System for surgical weight loss, the physical and mental requirements that make you a good candidate for weight loss surgery, and more.

For more information, call 875-3593.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Learn the basics of breastfeeding at CoxHealth

New moms and moms-to-be can learn the nutritional and emotional advantages of breastfeeding during the class “Breastfeeding Basics.”

The class offers practical information on breastfeeding, from preparation to the all-important “how to” breastfeed, and is presented by a certified lactation consultant. Breastfeeding Basics will be twice in May:

• 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, May 13
• 4:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 27

Class is held in Suite 130 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Pimrose. There is a $25 fee and registration is required. Call 269-LADY for more information.

Cox College hosts open house for prospective students


Cox College wants people to know that the need for nursing and health sciences professionals is still strong – even in this struggling economy.

“While the health care industry isn’t ‘recession-proof,’ it does tend to be ‘recession-resistant,’” says Lindy Biglieni, Cox College director of admissions. “As people loose their jobs or simply look for more stable careers, we want them to know Cox College can help.”

This Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., the college will hold an open house for prospective students. Refreshments and tours of the campus will be provided, faculty will be on-hand to answer questions, and information about scholarships and courses of study will be available. “This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone interested in nursing or a health sciences career to learn about the steps they need to take and what the college has to offer,” she says.

The college will waive the $45 application fee for anyone who applies during the event. Cox College offers Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing, an Associate of Science degree in medical assisting, and certificates in medical transcription and medical billing/coding.

The college is located at Cox North, 1423 N. Jefferson, in Springfield. For more information, visit www.coxcollege.edu

Friday, April 24, 2009

CMN to give away 'fantasy' outdoor children’s play set

Children’s Miracle Network of CoxHealth will give a “fantasy” outdoor play set, valued at $1300, to one lucky winner during the 2009 Children’s Miracle Network Telethon Sunday, May 31. The drawing will be held live at approximately 4:15 p.m. on KY3.

A $10 ticket is all you need for your chance to win. Tickets can be purchased:

•in the CMN office, 3525 S. National, Suite 203
•at The CoxHealth Meyer Center, 3545 S. National
•online at www.coxhealth.com – just scroll down and follow the link.

The play set, donated by Wal-Mart, is on display at the corner of National and Walnut Lawn in Springfield. For more information, call CMN at 269-6853.

Security department gives back with CoxHealth Honor Guard


The tragic death of CoxHealth Security officer Monte Ruby last year prompted an outpouring of support for the department and Ruby’s family. The same thing happened when former Cox Security officer, Greene County Deputy Sheriff Gary McCormack was killed in a traffic accident in 2007.

Now, the Cox Security department wants to give back.

Staff members have formed the CoxHealth Honor Guard which made its debut at the April department head meeting.

“Our goal is to make employees proud and to thank them for donating their time and financial support to help the families of our employees who lost their lives,” says Security director Joe Rushing. “We had to figure out somehow to pay them back.”

Rushing says the Security officers volunteered their time to learn how to perform the precision movements and to how to properly wear the elaborate uniforms required of an honor guard regiment.

The guard will be available to represent CoxHealth as casket guards and casket bearers at the funeral of any board member or administrator who should pass away. To request the guard’s services, families should contact the Security department or Human Resources department.

The honor guard will serve as casket bearers for any CoxHealth employee who passes away as well. Rushing says the honor guard will also represent CoxHealth at the funeral or memorial service for any state dignitary.

The CoxHealth unit is one of only a few fully-dressed honor guards in Springfield. The group will be available to provide a full military funeral service with a flag folding ceremony and 21-gun salute for any law enforcement agency that loses an officer. The honor guard of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department served as casket guard at Officer Ruby’s funeral.

“Now we are able to help other law enforcement agencies who don’t have an honor guard,” says Rushing. “It’s all about giving back.”

The CoxHealth Honor Guard’s first official duty will be participating in the nationwide observance May 8 to honor of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2008. A special memorial service will be held in Springfield at the Grace Assembly Church at 9:30 a.m. The names of fallen officers, including Officer Ruby’s, will be read aloud.

Retail clinic opens new path to care


When Adrian Juncos of Springfield needed to get a rash on his arms checked out, he found himself weighing his options. Urgent care? A walk-in clinic? Then he remembered his dad mentioning a new clinic in the South Campbell Walmart.

On the clinic’s opening day, Juncos was among the first of dozens of area residents to seek care at Walmart’s first in-store clinic in Missouri.

“I had checked out a few other places, but this clinic was only 50 dollars for a visit,” Juncos says. “I just came and checked it out – I didn’t even know it was the first day.”

Nurse practitioner Kim McGinn-Perryman saw Juncos and wrote him a prescription, which he promptly filled at Walmart’s pharmacy.

“In 30 minutes, I was taken care of,” he says. “It was smooth and professional – it was a good experience.”

Since the clinic opened at the beginning of March, nurse practitioners have seen an average of 24 patients each day, more than the 17-18 organizers had expected. The clinic is drawing in a mix of patients, mainly for coughs, colds and respiratory and other minor infections.

Many of the patients seen at the clinic may be sick enough to need care, but not ill enough that they would pursue an urgent care or emergency department visit. A $50 stop at Walmart, though, is serving as an affordable entry point to health care – care many might otherwise postpone or avoid altogether.

“So far, the clinic has exceeded our expectations,” says Tom Luthy, administrative director of Regional Services. He says the patients he’s talked to are grateful for the retail clinic option, due in large part to the simplicity of the pricing.

“People know what they will be charged and they can plan for the cost of the visit.”
About 60 percent of patients are paying cash for their visits, while the remaining 40 percent are billing insurance. Luthy says plenty of the cash payers may be insured as well, but they may have high deductibles or other reasons for seeking care at the clinic.

“This is really the right time for this – it’s meeting a need we didn’t know was as big as it is,” says Luthy, who points out that more clinic locations will be announced soon, beginning with a location in Republic. “We’re seeing husbands and wives who have been laid off as well as those who might have no insurance or who can’t afford other options.

“It’s not the convenience, it’s the access and affordability that people really need.”
Danny Morris of Fordland came to the clinic on opening day after being referred by his primary care physician. He had caught a chest cold a month earlier and had been unable to shake it. Like Juncos, he was in and out of the clinic in a few minutes.

“It went really well, and this means a lot with me not having insurance,” Morris says. “Sometimes, I can’t go to the doctor any other way.”

Nurse practitioner Lorri Julian-Trotter says in her first day at the clinic, at least a third of the patients she treated were uninsured.

“A few were college students or young people who are working at jobs where they don’t provide insurance,” she says. “I think we’ll see a lot of younger people.”
Nurse practitioners say the clinic is a chance to work in a unique setting with quite a bit of autonomy.

“A retail clinic has some diversity to it,” McGinn-Perryman says. “It’s a good thing for the community and it’s a positive thing for the nurse practitioners – it’s a different sort of experience and I think they’ll enjoy that. It’ll change the way Cox utilizes nurse practitioners.”

Luthy says that in addition to expanding opportunities for nurse practitioners, the new retail clinics will become an established path of care that works alongside all the services offered by CoxHealth.

“The clinics aren’t competing with anything or replacing anything,” Luthy says. “We see these as offering a complementary service.”

Elise Jones, who manages the clinic and frequently works at the front desk, says she sees daily how the clinic is serving the community.

“We’ve had so many patients who might not have actually sought care because of insurance reasons,” she says. “Some people who might not have gone to a doctor to be seen are actually being seen and that’s exciting.

“We really are being there for those who need it, and that’s right there with the Cox mission.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Transporter to donate kidney for brother’s transplant


Sarah Shelburn has known for most of her life that her younger brother, Nathan, would one day need a kidney transplant. Since she was 16, she’s known she wanted to be the donor.

Nathan was born with chronic renal failure and now as he is preparing to graduate from high school, it is time for the transplant. On May 27, Sarah, who is a transporter in Radiology, will travel to Kansas City with Nathan for an operation that could save his life.

It’s a life-changing event, but Sarah says it’s just part of being a big sister.
“Everybody goes on about ‘you’re a hero, blah, blah, blah,’ but I don’t look at it like that,” she says. “He’s my little brother and I just didn’t hesitate.”

The Shelburn family will travel to Kansas City to be near Nathan and Sarah as they undergo the transplant at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Sarah will be hospitalized for 4-5 days, while Nathan will be in for 10-14. His total recovery time will be 8-12 weeks, but he should start feeling better right away.

Most of the procedure itself is covered by insurance, but the Radiology department has held fundraisers to help cover the costs of the family’s lodging and time away from work. So far, they have raised more than $5,000, with a goal of $10,000.

“My coworkers have helped out and supported us, it’s amazing,” Sarah says. “I’ve been in tears quite a few times over fundraisers and seeing how giving people are. We’re very, very grateful.”

A fund has been established for the family’s expenses at the Bank of Billings (744-2567) and donations can be made to:

The Kidney Fund for Nathan Shelburn
P.O. Box 70
Billings, MO 65610

Diabetes fund announces first grants


The Cox Family Medicine Diabetes Fund recently announced its first round of grant awards, which will provide funding to four projects designed to improve the health of people with diabetes and related chronic conditions.

The fund, founded by Dr. Larry Halverson (at left, above), was created in the summer of 2007 with a goal of raising $5,000,000 to improve the health of area diabetes patients. The first four grants offer funding for projects proposed by some of the staff directly involved in diabetes care.

“This type of grant encourages people on the front lines to do something helpful and constructive to improve health care without having to go through all of the hurdles of a large grant writing process,” says Dr. Tim Fursa, faculty physician at Cox Family Medicine Residency. “I think we’re going to see a lot of good come of these small grants. It’s a wonderful approach.”

The recipients of the first four grants are:

Amanda Mellington, LPN, Family Medical Care Center: $500 for efforts to help persons with chronic conditions stop smoking. The grant will provide for educational materials such as books and brochures and incentives for a smoking cessation competition.

Rhonda Robinson, FMCC clinic administrator (center, above): $500 for strategies to increase the number of diabetic persons who receive periodic complete foot exams. Funds will go toward educational materials explaining the importance foot exams and incentives including towels and socks.

Jessica Spickard, FMCC secretary: $500 to foster efforts to increase exercise habits in people with diabetes. Grant provides for educational materials, diet guides, diet journals and pedometers for patients.

Tim Fursa, MD, (right, above) and Eric Wolfe, DO: $250 to uncover and treat underlying depression in poorly controlled diabetic patients. Funds will support efforts to screen patients for underlying depression covering the costs of mailings, telephone calls and brochures.

“These awards represent the fund’s first efforts to energize community health improvement at the grassroots level,” Dr. Halverson says. “When fully funded, the Family Medicine Diabetes Fund will support long-term projects that will serve our community.”

The Family Medicine Diabetes Fund is an Endowment Fund with a mission to improve health and reduce healthcare costs for people with diabetes and similar chronic conditions who seek care at the Family Medical Care Center.

For more information or to contribute to the Diabetes Fund, contact Lisa Alexander, president of the CoxHealth Foundation, or Larry Halverson.

Free skin cancer screenings at Hulston Cancer Center

CoxHealth Hulston Cancer Center will hold free skin cancer screenings 8 a.m. – noon, Saturday, May 2, in suite 100 of the Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National.

If you are between 20 and 40, the American Cancer Society recommends having your skin examined by a physician every three years. If you are over 40, a skin exam should be performed annually. A self-exam should be done monthly.

There is no fee for the Hulston Cancer Center screening, but appointments are required and you must not be under the care of a dermatologist. Register by April 30 by calling 269-INFO.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Volunteers honored at appreciation banquet


CoxHealth honored the roughly 1,200 volunteers who share their time with the hospital at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet, held in Springfield on Sunday afternoon.

Among those recognized was Clara Davis, who at 94 is CoxHealth’s oldest volunteer.

Davis (above with Volunteer Services’ Pat Long, Barbara Frogue and Stephanie Spradling) has volunteered at Cox since 1996. In that time, she has worked in a variety of areas including the billing department and Family Medical Care Clinic at Cox North.

Davis was among an elite group of volunteers recognized with the Presidential Points of Light Award, given to those who have volunteered more than 4,000 total hours. Other volunteers receiving the honor were:

Mary Alice Campbell, 5,069 hours.
Phyllis Anderson, 4,219 hours
Dorothy Breier, 4,002 hours
Charlotte Bruff, 4,220 hours
Lillian Kinion, 4,122 hours
Rose Waterman, 4,102 hours
Jo Anne Waite, 4,269 hours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Clinic at Walmart to open in Republic


Today, Walmart and CoxHealth announced a second location of “The Clinic at Walmart” operated by CoxHealth, to be located in the Republic Walmart supercenter, 1150 US Hwy. 60 East. This convenient care clinic will open Monday, May 4. The location will offer the same fast, affordable access to basic health care services available at the Springfield location – check-ups, immunizations, screenings, treatment of minor injuries and more.

“We’ve seen a great demand for services at our South Campbell location. In the first month of operation, we treated nearly 600 patients, from 76 different zip codes and 8 different states,” says Tom Luthy, administrative director of CoxHealth Regional Services. “We know the need for the type of affordable, accessible care offered by these clinics extends beyond Springfield, and we are excited to meet those needs by opening this clinic in Republic and others in the coming months.”

Many of the patients seen at the clinic in Springfield have been sick enough to need care, but not necessarily ill enough to warrant a visit to the emergency department or urgent care clinic. A visit to “The Clinic at Walmart” operated by CoxHealth, however, serves as an option for many who might otherwise postpone or avoid care. Luthy says the patients he’s spoken with are grateful for the retail clinic option and appreciate the upfront pricing.

“This is really the right time for this – it’s meeting a need we didn’t know was as big as it is,” says Luthy. “We’re seeing people who might have no insurance or who can’t afford other options. It’s not the convenience; it’s the access and affordability that people really need. Bringing this model beyond Springfield will greatly increase the number of people we’re able to serve.”

The clinics offer prompt access to affordably priced acute and preventive care for common health ailments treatable without urgent or emergency care, including sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, earaches, bladder infections, insect bites and stings, cholesterol screening, blood sugar testing, vaccinations, drug screening and routine physicals. They are open for walk-in service seven days a week, including nights and weekends. Walmart has 32 in-store clinics in eight states.

For further information about “The Clinic at Walmart”, please visit www.walmart.com/clinics. For more information about CoxHealth, please visit www.coxhealth.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Women’s Center offers osteoporosis screenings

Because osteoporosis is a silent, progressive weakening of the bone, many people do not realize they have it until they suffer a fracture. The CoxHealth Women’s Center will offer osteoporosis risk assessments and, for those at increased risk, bone density screenings for $25 on Friday, March 20.

Screenings will be held in Suite 110 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Primrose. The screening is for men and women aged 21 and older. Take this opportunity to find out if you are at risk.

You must have an appointment, so call 269-INFO today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Comedy event benefits Cure Kids Cancer


Join Cure Kids Cancer and Last Comic Standing comedian Ralphie May for the 2009 Brewhaha event Friday, April 3, at Icon Nightclub, 307 Park Central East in downtown Springfield.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $35 per person (ages 21 and over only). Local opening acts, a silent auction, food from Big Whiskey’s and an appearance by NFL player Grant Wistrom round out the evening. Proceeds benefit Cure Kids Cancer and the Grant Wistrom Foundation.

Cure Kids Cancer is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and saving the lives of children with cancer by raising funds for local pediatric programs. The 170 Cure Kids Cancer hospitals provide diagnosis, life-saving cancer treatments and pediatric cancer education programs that help children with cancer and their families find hope for the future. All Cure Kids Cancer funds remain local to help local children. For more information about Cure Kids Cancer, visit www.coxhealth.com.

The Grant Wistrom Foundation was founded in July 2002, and strives to provide pediatric cancer patients with time to “just be children.” For more information about the Grant Wistrom Foundation, visit www.grantwistrom.net.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Gold medalist Nastia Liukin visits patients



Gymnast Nastia Liukin shared stories and signed autographs for several patients in the Pediatrics unit at Cox South on Saturday. The Olympic champion made time for the visit prior to her afternoon appearance at the Missouri Winter Games.

“It just reminds you not to take anything for granted,” Liukin told members of the media who covered her visit. “I’ve done a few of these kinds of visits before, the rest of the day you’re always thinking about them and you just hope to put a big smile on their faces.”

Liukin chatted with several patients and families on the floor, meeting one teenage patient who had waited to be released so she could meet Liukin. She also stopped to write words of encouragement in the journal of another teen.

Liukin also autographed photos and posters that will be auctioned off by Children’s Miracle Network.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Join Cox for 21st annual Baby Affair

Whether you’re planning a pregnancy, already expecting, or a brand-new parent – or even a new or expecting grandparent – the 2009 CoxHealth Special Delivery Baby Affair is for you!

Come and go as you like, and enjoy this special event designed with all things baby and parenting in mind. The event is 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, March 7 at the Outpatient Center entrance of Cox South.

Participants can take advantage of a full day of activities including seminars on breastfeeding, relaxation during childbirth, infant massage, the popular Fatherhood: Basic Training class and more.

There will be a maternity fashion show, door prizes throughout the day and tours of the CoxHealth Special Delivery Suites and Mother/Baby Unit.

Convenient parking for the Baby Affair is provided near the Outpatient Center entrance (southwest side of Cox South, 3801 S. National).

For a complete schedule of events or for more information, call The Women’s Center at 269-LADY, or visit www.coxhealth.com.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Onsite CPR training provided by CoxHealth

CoxHealth is designated by the American Heart Association as an Emergency Cardiovascular Community Training Center. That means church groups, scout troops, civic organizations, fitness club employees – any group of at least six or more – can have CPR classes taught onsite at their location by one of our AHA certified instructors.

Onsite CPR classes range from general public certifications to health care provider courses for licensing purposes and include: adult, child and infant CPR, automatic external defibrillator training, choking relief and two-man CPR. Classes are provided throughout the area.

A generous grant from the CoxHealth Foundation helps offset the cost of certain classes. For more information, course prices or to schedule onsite CPR training, call 269-4117.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Walmart clinic expands care options


This month, CoxHealth is partnering with the nation’s largest retailer to offer a new level of accessibility and convenience with the opening of The Clinic at Walmart.

The retail clinic opened March 2 in the Walmart Supercenter located at 3315 S. Campbell in Springfield. The clinic, which is Walmart’s first in-store clinic in Missouri, is staffed by a nurse practitioner and specializes in fast, affordable access to basic health care for immediate, mild conditions, including sore throats, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, earaches and bladder infections. No appointments are necessary and evening and weekend hours will allow added flexibility and access to care.

“By joining with Wal-Mart to operate The Clinic at Walmart, CoxHealth is one step closer to ensuring the health and wellness of our community,” says CoxHealth CEO Robert Bezanson. “Our Joint Commission accreditation demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest-quality care. Our clinic is staffed with licensed health care providers for extended hours – including weekends – so families can receive care without a long wait. We hope the clinic will also help ease the burden on our emergency rooms, by providing people with minor illnesses and ailments with another convenient, reliable treatment option.”

Cox officials say the clinic is key to expanding health care access in the Springfield area and changing the way care is delivered. The location inside Walmart will allow busy families to make a quick stop with no appointment and receive care without scheduling a doctor’s appointment or taking time off from work.

“It’s a very progressive idea and the clinic will be a point of access for our system that will offer convenience and affordability,” says Dr. Kerry Randolph, medical director of Regional Services. “The delivery of health care is in transition and we have to look at novel ways to get care to the public.”

Leaders at Cox also say the time is right for a retail clinic, especially given the economic environment. By providing a way to access treatment inside a popular retailer like Walmart, the clinic brings affordable care directly to those who need it.

“In times like this when the economy is struggling, people are having a harder time accessing care,” says Steve Edwards, CoxHealth’s senior vice president. “The new clinic is very affordable and most importantly it’s going to help us further our mission at a time when we’re worried about people accessing care. I’m excited about it – I was excited about it years ago when we started planning, but now there’s a profound calling to do this.”

The addition of the clinic also presents a new way for CoxHealth to reach new patients and be positioned for future growth.

“While it’s important to watch our spending, it’s still key to grow new business and be poised to increase market share when the economy rebounds,” Edwards says. “We’re holding off on some important positions elsewhere in the system and people may wonder why we’re going ahead with projects like the clinic. The answer is: because of growth. And this is growth that’s consistent with our mission.”

Plans for the clinic have been under way for the last few years, since Cox submitted its first proposal in December 2006.

“This has been three years in the making,” says David Taylor, vice president of Regional Services. “We’re excited it’s here and ideally we could see growing this throughout the region.”

Wal-Mart has 28 in-store clinics in seven states and officials say partnering with an organization like Cox has substantial benefits for everyone involved.

“Because CoxHealth is a well known and respected health care provider in the community, our customers will benefit from the convenience of prompt, professional care from an organization that they know and trust,” says Alicia Ledlie, Wal-Mart’s senior director of health business development.

“What a time to be a partner with Wal-Mart,” Edwards says. “When retailers across the country are seeing drops in business, Wal-Mart’s customers are turning to them now more than ever because Walmart has a very good value proposition. They offer high quality products at an affordable price and it’s a great partnership for us.”

Note: The term “Wal-Mart” refers to the corporate entity. “Walmart” refers to the brand name of the company’s U.S. operations. - ed.

Free injury and trauma prevention programs, car seat checks available to public

CoxHealth is a Level II trauma center dedicated to injury prevention for all ages. That’s why we offer free community education programs on injury and trauma prevention, and free car seat safety checks.

The programs, provided by the CoxHealth Trauma Services department, are taught by trauma nurse clinician Jami Blackwell. Blackwell’s background includes years as an ER and flight nurse. “Education like this really goes a long way toward helping individuals avoid needing a trip to the ER or a doctor visit,” says Blackwell. “I can say from experience, a little safety up front can make a big difference later on.”

Injury and trauma programs are available to civic organizations, church groups, scouts and schools of any size, and are appropriate for any age group. Any group wanting to learn more about reducing injury risk can request a program. Topics include: bike, ATV, seatbelt, water, fire, driving and home safety, and fall prevention. People interested in trauma and safety prevention can e-mail injuryprevention@coxhealth.com, or call 269-0919.

Many injuries to children are a result of improperly installed car seats. Fortunately, taking a few minutes with a certified car seat installation technician who can determine if the equipment is being used correctly can prevent these injuries. People interested in free car seat safety checks can e-mail carseats@coxhealth.com, or call 269-0919.