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

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 – 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 For more information about CoxHealth, please visit