Friday, January 28, 2011

CoxHealth Network dedicates new location

CoxHealth Network cut the ribbon on its new location yesterday during an open house that featured representatives from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, local business leaders, members of the community and CoxHealth employees.

“We’re excited to be in this new space and we’re moving forward on an agenda of being more visible in the community,” Brett Kirkman, vice president in charge of CoxHealth Network, told the group. “We are the gateway for the commercial customers that use the CoxHealth system and we want to be as visible and accessible as possible.”

CoxHealth Network’s new offices are located at 3354 S. National Ave., on the northeast corner of Walnut Lawn and National.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Harlem Globetrotter visits Pediatrics

Patients on the Pediatrics unit at Cox South were treated to a visit from Harlem Globetrotters player Aundre “Hot Shot” Branch on Tuesday morning.

Branch was in town promoting the Globetrotters upcoming event at JQH Arena on Feb. 3 and he spent a half-hour meeting with patients and their families.

“I’m headed down to do a surgery right after this,” he joked with staff as he made the rounds on the seventh floor. He took time to show off some of the famous basketball-spinning moves he’s honed in his eight seasons with the Globetrotters.

Branch is a Houston, Texas, native who had a standout career at Baylor University before joining the Globetrotters. In his time with the team, he’s worked with the “C.H.E.E.R. For Character” program, which promotes character development among elementary school students. He says staying involved with kids is a big part of giving back.

“It’s just another way of the Globetrotters showing that we care, outside of playing the game of basketball,” he says. “It’s a way for us to interact with our fans and reach out in the community. We call this the Smile Patrol, just getting out and trying to get the kids to smile.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cardinals players visit Pediatrics

Current and former St. Louis Cardinals players made a stop in Pediatrics during the Cardinals Caravan visit to Springfield in January. Former third baseman Ken Reitz joined pitchers Shelby Miller and Jaime Garcia (from left, below) in touring the unit and talking with patients. They also took the time to sign memorabilia for young fans.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wellness journey paying off for Cox staffers

Angela Bradford of Environmental Services keeps a photo of herself from last fall (left, top) on her iPhone as inspiration for her wellness journey. So far, she’s lost 75 pounds. In the past year she’s worked out regularly with her friend and co-worker Danica Childress (below) who has lost 85 pounds to date.

On her iPhone, Angela Bradford keeps a reminder of how far she’s come. It’s a photo from September 2009, before she joined the Wellness Program at CoxHealth and began working out.

Angela’s husband, Blake, a National Guard reservist, was deploying for a year-long tour in Afghanistan and Angela saw an opportunity to develop new habits and focus on her health. Over the last year, she’s headed to the Meyer Center for a workout after her days’ work in Environmental Services.

She worked with her wellness coach and with a trainer and now, 75 pounds later, she’s singing the praises of the Wellness Program.

“It’s helped me keep my head in the game; if you want to lose it, you’ve got to stay with it,” she says.

The first time Blake came home on leave, Angela says he greeted her with one word at the airport: “Wow.”

“That felt great,” she says with a laugh.

Angela has done a lot of walking and weightlifting and she’s made dietary changes, such as cutting out soda and fried foods.

She also hasn’t been doing it alone: Danica Childress, a friend and co-worker in EVS, has joined her in working out and eating right. To date, she’s lost 85 pounds.
“At first she lost weight faster than me, then I started losing more,” Danica says. “It’s motivation to have someone doing it with you.”

Between the two of them, Danica and Angela have been involved in a lengthy list of CoxHealth and community wellness activities, everything from poker walks and “Biggest Loser” competitions to the Tour de Cox bike ride.

When asked what changed about her diet, Danica responds: “everything.”

“It’s a total lifestyle change,” she says.

This fall, Danica is signing up for the Wellness Program for the first time, while Angela is making plans for her cash award for participating.

“It’s great to have something like this in a business where you work and it’s awesome that you earn money by getting healthier – I love that part,” Angela says. “When my money gets here this time around, I’m buying new clothes – I need ’em!”

Cox North staffers take grassroots fitness approach

During a Thursday lunch hour at the CoxHealth Fitness Center at Cox North, Shana Krol (center, in white, above) and a team of exercise enthusiasts gather for a short, intense workout led by trainer Tony Stokes.

This day’s group workout is just the latest step in a mini-wellness revolution that Shana started in Patient Financial Services last year. During the 2009 Christmas season, she and several co-workers decided they didn’t want any part of the over-eating that can go along with the holidays.
“We just decided we’re not going to do this any more.”

Instead, she and her co-workers started their own weight-loss group. The team weighed in weekly and shared tips and support through a regular e-mail newsletter.
“This gives us accountability, you don’t want to be the one caught at the vending machine,” Shana says with a laugh. The idea quickly spread through the office and into other departments such as Accounting and the business office. Participants at Cox South also got in on the group, joining Shana’s e-mail list and weighing in on Tuesdays.

“I think other people saw me and said, ‘If a big girl can do it, I can do it, too,’” Shana says.

While many participants work on their own and weigh in each week, Shana and a core group work out daily during the lunch hour. They began by walking at the Drury University campus in good weather and climbing the stairs at the Medical Tower when the weather was bad. They soon moved to the fitness center, where more co-workers saw what they were doing and got involved.

The group does 14-week cycles of workouts and weigh-ins; whoever loses the most weight each cycle receives a gift basket, with
t-shirts and donated fitness-related items. They’re now in the midst of their third cycle, with 52 people participating.

“That group really shows what the motivation from one person can do,” says Tony, who leads one or two workouts each week at the Fitness Center. “She sends out a regular e-mail and keeps people weighing in each week. She’s motivated people to really change their lives.”

Those life changes are obvious when Shana rattles off the weight-loss successes of her co-workers: 41 pounds here, 23 pounds there. In total, the group lost 599 pounds in the first round, and more than 400 in the second.

Nathan Mattany was the biggest loser in the last cycle, shedding 50 pounds since he began working out in April.

“Shana just kept pestering me to join,” Nathan says. “I was 27 years old and 300 pounds, this has saved my life.” He joined the group soon after the birth of his daughter. “Heart disease runs in my family; I’ve gotta be here for her. Now, I’m down to the weight I was at when I was 15 years old.”

Billing specialist Darlene Kent says the group has helped her turn her health around. She had her left knee replaced and she was on track to have the right one done as well. Now, 40 pounds lighter, she’s been able to keep her right knee and get off of her diabetes medication.

“This has been life-changing for me,” she says.

Many participants say the group has been key in getting everyone in the gym and providing them the support to keep going.

“We have people at all different levels,” says Christie Donnelly of Patient Financial Services. “When we started this, the thought of me and a gym was out there, but when I started losing weight it got a lot easier.

“We all have times where we lose weight and where we gain weight, but we always support each other and get back on track. What will make you successful is to not stop.”