Monday, August 23, 2010

Learn about joint replacements, how to save yours at free program

More than 770,000 Americans have a knee or hip joint replaced each year, and experts predict this number will skyrocket as the baby boomer generation continues to age. Damage done to joints can accumulate over time, causing extreme discomfort, limitation of movement and more.

Dr. Bill Duncan, an orthopedic surgeon at CoxHealth’s Meyer Orthopedic Center, will present a free program with information on joint replacements and steps you can take now to help preserve your joints later in life.

“Joints in Motion” will be held 9 – 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 28, in the Ozark Room at the new Meyer Orthopedic Center on the corner of National and Walnut Lawn in Springfield.

Dr. Duncan will talk about how your environment and activity level affect your joint health, the effects of arthritis, how to improve your mobility and reduce your discomfort, and more. To register, visit of call 269-9898.

Friday, August 20, 2010

CoxHealth leaders receive Patriot Award

Security director Joe Rushing receives the ESGR Patriot Award from Lt. Cmdr. Brian Rich of the Navy Operational Support Center in Springfield. Rushing was nominated for the recognition by officers Caleb Padgett and Brian Simpson.

Gary Verch of EMS is presented the Patriot Award from Lt. Cmdr. Brian Rich. He was nominated by EMT and Air Force Reservist Crystal Craver.

Two leaders at CoxHealth were recognized Thursday for their ongoing support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserves.

Gary Verch, Communications Manager for EMS, and Joe Rushing, director of Public Safety and Security, were both presented with the Patriot Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

ESGR is a Department of Defense agency that serves as a liaison between employees and employers. The group provides education for employers and regularly recognizes employers that make outstanding efforts to accommodate employees serving in the National Guard and the Reserves of all military branches.

“These awards are in appreciation for the support you’ve given these employees,” Phillip Dixon, a retired Guardsman who serves on ESGR’s Springfield Committee, told the honorees. Dixon was joined in presenting the awards by Lieutenant Commander Brian Rich, commanding officer of the Navy Operational Support Center in Springfield, which works with 300 reservists.

“It’s the exceptional employer that goes the extra mile and does what’s necessary to make sure employees don’t have to worry,” Dixon says. “The last thing someone who is deployed needs to have on their mind is anxiety about their job.”

Verch was nominated by Crystal Craver, a Reservist who is also an EMT at CoxHealth. Rushing received the nomination from Reservists Brian Simpson and Caleb Padgett.

In the last year, ESGR has presented roughly 30 Patriot Awards to employers throughout southwest Missouri.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Demand leads to expanded programs, extended deadlines at Cox College

An increase in demand – this fall, enrollment is up 18 percent over the same time last year – has led Cox College leaders to expand programs and extend registration deadlines in several areas.

“We’ve extended the application deadline for the spring semester,” says Dr. Anne Brett, president of the college. “The deadline has been pushed back from Aug. 15 to Sept. 1 for January 2011 entrance into the nursing programs.”

Additionally, the college has added a weekend Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program that will begin with 20 students in January 2011. “There’s been a lot of interest in the ASN program and a weekend option makes it more accessible for people who work during the week,” says Brett.

Students who wish to apply for the two-year program, which offers theory and clinical courses on Thursday evenings, Fridays and Saturdays, must have all general education pre-requisites finished before they can begin program.

Also due to increased demand, the college will admit an additional 30 students to its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in January 2011. The college currently only admits students into the BSN program once a year for the fall semester. Brett says this additional opportunity fills a need in the community. “There is a movement in the profession toward having more bachelor-trained nurses, and this will allow more nurses the opportunity to pursue their degrees,” she says.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Course prepares tweens for responsibilities of babysitting

Girls and boys ages 11 – 14 who are interested in babysitting should attend the Babysitting Basics class Saturday, Aug. 21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in Suite 130 of the Turner Center, 1000 E. Primrose.

This informative class will focus on child safety, first aid and age-specific activities for children. There is a $30 fee, and lunch is included. For more information or to register call 269-LADY.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plan ahead for safety in summer heat

Photo: WikiHow

This week is shaping up to be one of the hottest of the summer and the right preparations can be key to safety. We often think of emergency kits during the extremes of winter, but a well-stocked kit is just as valuable during record heat.

Jason Henry, CoxHealth’s Emergency Management officer, passes along a few tips, compiled in part from and

1. Evaluate where you work and how far you live from work. Don't think of it in regular transportation terms. Ask yourself what you would do if you had to get home without the use of a car or public transportation during an emergency. Discuss with your family what you may do in an emergency if they can't reach you by cell phone.

2. Coordinate with your co-workers and exchange ideas for creating individual jump-and-run bags ideal for your situation, urban area, and workplace.

3. Use a large, canvas, water resistant backpack with several compartments and padded shoulder straps. A waist strap will help distribute weight and make the bag easier to carry long distances. Think function over fashion.

4. Add reflective tape to backpack and include any type of head covering (the more the better).

Pack water and high-energy dried or canned food. Pack at least one bottle of water for every family member (more if possible). Routinely check the bottles for leaks. Place them in a plastic container w/ lid or something to contain the water if the bottle were to rupture. Peanut butter, granola bars, dried fruit, and canned food of any kind are great options.

6. Get a poncho or other rain gear that compacts nicely.

7. Pack a whistle and first aid kit with sunscreen in your backpack.

8. Pack a pair of athletic shoes and comfortable socks in your backpack.

9. Pack a large umbrella or tarp to assist with providing shade if needed. Make sure to include straps or bungees to hang the tarp.

10. Purchase a portable charging unit for your cell phone and place it in your car.

11. Maintain a functioning flashlight. Test the batteries often.

12. Purchase a box of dust masks from the local hardware store. Fires are common during excessive heat periods and the masks may be a life-saver if you were forced to leave your vehicle.

13. Hide some cash (not too much) in your backpack. ATMs, debit card machines, etc., are notorious for not working during large emergencies. It is suggested to hide a spare house key here as well if appropriate.

14. Add an all-purpose pocket tool or Swiss Army knife if possible. Include a can opener.

15. Pack a battery-operated radio or purchase a hand-crank radio (doesn’t require batteries). Often important emergency information and directions is given over the radio.

Is surgical weight loss right for you?

Studies have shown that successful surgical weight loss patients experience a wide variety of health benefits after surgery, including improving their diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea and more.

Those considering surgical weight loss are invited to attend a free program 5:30 -7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 10. Physicians and representatives from CoxHealth’s Surgical Weight Loss Program will discuss the Lap-Band System for surgical weight loss, the physical and mental requirements that make a good weight loss surgery candidate, and more

The program will be held in the Dogwood Room in Hulston Cancer Center, 3850 S. National, in Springfield. For more information call 875-3593.To learn more about the CoxHealth Surgical Weight Loss Program visit for a podcast, frequently asked questions and more.