Friday, August 19, 2011

CEO Robert Bezanson announces retirement

President and CEO Robert H. Bezanson will retire effective Dec. 31, 2011, Larry W. Lipscomb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CoxHealth announced today.

“Bob has provided vision and firm leadership that has led the organization forward,” Lipscomb said. “Despite recent economically challenging times, CoxHealth is well-positioned for success now and in the future. He will be greatly missed. We wish him a healthful and joyful retirement.”

Lipscomb said the Board has asked Bezanson to serve as executive advisor to them and the new CEO for a period of time. His duties will include assistance with philanthropic efforts, support with operational continuity, and sharing his knowledge and contacts within the health care industry.

Bezanson has served as President and CEO of CoxHealth since Aug. 1, 2004. Prior to serving as CEO he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer since October 1995. Previous positions held at CoxHealth from 1981 to 1995 include Administrator of Cox South, Administrator of Shared Services, and Assistant Administrator.

Bezanson, 65, says he believes the timing is right for the transition. “The leadership is in place and can pick up the pace and not miss a step,” he said.

During his 30-year career at CoxHealth, Bezanson was involved in virtually every construction project for the health system on the Medical Mile. As President and CEO, Bezanson hosted CoxHealth’s centennial celebration in 2006, marking 100 years of service to the community. CoxHealth has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 100 Integrated Health Networks by SDI (formerly Verispan) six times.

Most recently Bezanson oversaw $120 million in capital projects including the Meyer Orthopedic Center, CoxHealth Surgery Center and the state-of-the-art Cox South Emergency & Trauma Center. In 2010, CoxHealth was recognized as Developer of the Year by the Springfield Contractors Association, in part because the majority of these construction dollars were kept local and provided jobs at a time when the economy was faltering.

Bezanson also brought innovative technology to CoxHealth, including robotic surgery, the Toshiba 320 CT, and a new MD 902 Explorer helicopter.

Bezanson serves on the Boards of Missouri Hospital Association, VHA Mid-America, Mid-America Transplant and Springfield Innovation, Inc., and as an ex-officio Board member for Isabel’s House. He formerly served on the Boards of Springfield-Greene County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, United Way and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Executive Committee of the CoxHealth Board has appointed an Executive Search Committee that will determine the future leadership of the organization.

See the full story of Mr. Bezanson's career at CoxHealth here

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Friday night lights = Friday Night Clinics

CoxHealth and Ferrell-Duncan Clinic are again offering Friday Night Clinics to all area high school athletes with sports-related injuries, beginning Friday, Aug. 19 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. 27. For more information about Friday Night Clinics, click here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Volunteering offers a chance to give back

Throughout CoxHealth, the work of being the best for those who need us is supported daily by a team of dedicated volunteers. With a constantly growing array of service options, Volunteer Services always has new opportunities for those who want to experience the personal satisfaction of being a volunteer. CoxHealth’s volunteers come from all walks of life, but they have at least one thing in common: a desire to give back to the community by supporting our patients and their families. Here are the stories of three familiar faces you may have seen making a difference around Cox South.

Susan Bryant
volunteer at the Cox South Gift Shop

When Susan Bryant left her job as a bank teller, she began looking for a part-time opportunity where she could remain active in the community. She saw an ad in a local paper seeking volunteers at the Cox South Gift Shop.

“I thought that would be perfect,” she says. That was five years ago; she’s been working in the gift shop ever since. “It’s been so nice; it’s just what I needed to fill in that spot.”

She says she likes the fast pace of the gift shop and the chance to interact with patient families.

“You meet all the people who are visiting patients and you get to feel like you’re a bright spot in their day,” Bryant says. “A lot of people just need someone to talk to and I enjoy being there for them.”

She says she had never really considered volunteering before she saw that original ad. Now, she recommends it to anyone who has a few hours a week to spare.

“The customers appreciate that you’re there and I really enjoy the people I volunteer with,” Bryant says. “It’s a great place to be, around caring, nice people who want to be there and who want to help.”

In addition to working in the gift shop, Bryant also serves on the Auxiliary Board.

“You’re doing something to help the community a little bit and that feels good,” she says. “We affect people’s lives just by being something positive.”

Jacquetta Lyman,
volunteer in Urgent Care

Jacquetta Lyman’s mother was a nurse for 20 years. But it wasn’t until her mother became ill with dementia and Jacquetta and her sister began taking care of her that Jacquetta decided she wanted to work in health care.

“When she first got sick, it was tough to accept,” Lyman says. “I had to really find the patience to take care of her. I would want somebody to treat me with the same dignity.”

After her mother passed away, Lyman went back to school to study to be a medical assistant. She completed her externship and now, as a new graduate, she’s volunteering in the Urgent Care at the Turner Center.

“The experience has been good,” she says. “I feel like I’m giving back to the community and I really enjoy that.”

She spends her mornings working at the front desk and helping patients into the facility. Recently, she’s also been assisting in the gift shop, where she enjoys being a shoulder for patient families to lean on.

“If I’m able to listen to someone’s problems when they come in and I can be someone they can talk to, that’s one of my favorite parts,” she says.

She’s planning to pursue certification as a medical assistant and eventually earn her master’s.

“I haven’t decided where I’ll specialize, I just know I want to work with patients,” she says. That’s a desire that is reinforced working with patients in the Urgent Care.

“Volunteering makes you feel good that you’re doing something to help somebody else,” she says. “I love what I do; it’s a wonderful thing.”

Brian DeSpain
volunteer in Pastoral Care and at Hulston Cancer Center

Brian DeSpain (seen above with patient Marian Walsh during his morning rounds) spent 28 years working in heavy maintenance for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway until a back injury ended his career a little more than 10 years ago. He left with disability, but he quickly got restless and needed something to do with his time. He checked into volunteering at Cox and found out about an opening in Pastoral Care.

“I feel like the Lord pointed me in this direction,” he says. “I had gone through a lot and I wanted to give something back.”

Over the last decade, he’s spent his volunteer days rounding with patients throughout the hospital. He asks if they need anything from Pastoral Care, such as a message passed on to their church or a meeting with a chaplain. Often, though, he simply offers a warm greeting and a willing ear for those who need it.

“The patients are so glad we come to see them,” he says. “They always thank us for what we do.”

He says he enjoys the people he works with and he’s constantly thankful for the relationships he’s developed while volunteering.

“Everyone I work with is so friendly,” he says. “If you have the chance to give of your time, this is a wonderful place to do that.”

When he’s not seeing 60-90 patients a day with Pastoral Care, DeSpain can often be found at the lobby desk in Hulston Cancer Center, where his wife, Sandra, works in Radiation Oncology. He greets patients, helps with wheelchairs and does everything he can to make people feel welcome.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people,” he says. “I always give the patients and visitors a big smile. That’s an important thing, just to be friendly and show them that you care.”

Want to help?

Do you know someone who would make a good volunteer? To learn more about opportunities to make an impact in the community by volunteering at CoxHealth, call 269-4169, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Daisy awards recognize compassionate care

Three nurses at Cox South were recently honored with Daisy Awards, which recognize outstanding nursing care. Nurses receiving the award are:

Sharon Bibler, CREW critical care

Sharon was nominated by Frank Marsh (above) who joined her for her award presentation. Mr. Marsh’s father had been hospitalized several times over the course of a year, the final time in Critical Care at Cox South. From the nomination:

“From the minute Sharon came on duty we felt like she was a part of our family. She talked to us and explained everything she did. At that point, dad was pretty much in a coma-like state, but she talked to him like he could understand her. She would tell him what she was doing, like rolling him over or adjusting his pillows. Sharon treated us as if dad was her only patient.

“After dad passed, Sharon gave us all the time in the world we needed to say our goodbyes. She even came to each one of us and gave us a hug to let us know she cared. … The way Sharon handled the situation was not only professional, she made us feel like it was personal – like she was a good friend of our family. We appreciate her efforts tremendously. Sharon was the best part of that very trying time and we are very thankful she was there to help us through this process.”

Rachael Powell, Pediatrics

Rachael (center above, with with chief nursing officer Karen Kramer and nurse manager Lorinda Rehagen) was nominated by a co-worker for the extra care she provides to children on the unit. From the nomination:

“Every time we have one of our chronic kids she always does a special thing for them – she finds out what they like to eat, has it delivered and pays for it out of her own pocket, and then takes her lunch in and eats with them! These kids always look forward to this special day with Rachael. Some of our chronic kids don’t have much and the time Rachael spends with them makes them feel special.”

Aaron Daulton, 300 West

Aaron (with Karen Kramer above) was nominated by a co-worker after hearing from a patient’s family about the care he provided during a CAT Team call. From the nomination:

“Aaron had been working with this particular patient and family all day – they had a difficult decision to make determining code status. The patient was 90 years old but still very alert and not wanting to give up on life yet. Aaron spoke very compassionately with both the patient and family to help them with their difficult decision. In the end, the patient and family both agreed for her to be intubated.

Aaron was waiting for a critical care bed while she continued to decline. Aaron called for the CAT Team and the patient was subsequently intubated in the room. Aaron stayed by her side, holding her hand. He was a great comfort to the family and they wanted to make sure this fact was passed along.”

About the award

DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The Foundation was formed in January 2000, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). The only positive thing Pat’s family experienced during his eight-week illness was the skillful and compassionate care he received from his nurses - even when he was totally sedated. So they created The DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses to recognize the super-human work nurses do every day all over the country. More information can be found here.