Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CMN accepts donation from partnership fundraiser

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth benefits from a fundraiser by Ozarks Coca-Cola / Dr Pepper Bottling Company and 72 regional Casey’s General Stores. During the month of February, for each 20oz Coke or Dr. Pepper sold at a participating Casey’s General Store, a donation was made to CMN Hospitals.

“They raised a total of $2,700,” says Tim Siebert, Executive Director, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (at left in above photo). “This donation and show of support by two local businesses is greatly appreciated and a great reminder of the lives we serve at CMN Hospitals of CoxHealth – our local children.”

Donations to CMN Hospitals of CoxHealth financially supports sick and injured children in the Ozarks by helping their families pay for medically related travel expenses, medical equipment purchases and much more.

Free screening helps determine individual risk of stroke

Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 610,000 or 77% of them are first or new strokes.

A stroke screening can help determine your risk for stroke, and outline preventative steps you can take to help reduce that risk. CoxHealth Stroke Center invites you to a free screening Friday, June 6, 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Cox North Hospital, Fountain Plaza Room, 1423 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO.

This free screening will help you learn more about how you can prevent a stroke, based on your personal risk factors. Each screening includes an individual risk assessment, blood pressure and heart rate checks, lipid profile and education. No food or drink, only water, is allowed 12 hours prior to your appointment time.

To register, call 417/269-INFO.

101 Day Weight Loss Challenge winners drop nearly 60 pounds

Branson CoxHealth Fitness Center 101 Day Weight Loss Challenge winners Dan Baker and Teresa Melton will be starting this summer off with shopping sprees and massages as well as a combined 58 pounds lighter.

Baker, who dropped 12.1 percent of his body fat since early February, lost a total of 41 pounds to win the men’s division of the 101 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

Melton shed 6.9 percent of her body fat and 17.4 pounds to earn the top spot in the female division.
A total of 60 people signed up for the challenge this past winter.

Chris Thaller, CoxHealth Fitness Center Manager, explained the annual contest is based on overall body fat loss. Thaller said that the challenge, which is in its second year, is designed to help improve health and wellness in the Branson community.

“I think this brings out the competitiveness in people and there is camaraderie in the group setting and there is accountability in the group setting,” Thaller said. “Usually people are a lot more likely to succeed if they are with a group.”

During the 101 Day challenge, participants had the chance to access the Branson CoxHealth Fitness Center, personal trainers and the opportunity to participate in unlimited boot camp classes each week.

The 101 Day Weight Loss Challenge was sponsored by Tanger Outlets Branson, My 100.1 KOMC, Silver Dollar City and Branson Bank. Baker and Melton each received $250 Tanger Outlets Branson shopping sprees, massages and one-year fitness center memberships.

Located on the upper level of the Branson RecPlex, CoxHealth Fitness Center Branson is a spacious 7,500 square feet. A health and fitness center membership also allows access to all of the inside facilities at the RecPlex; additional fees may apply to outside facilities and some classes. For more information about CoxHealth Fitness Center Branson, call 417-348-0060 or visit and click on “Fitness Center.”

Friday, May 23, 2014

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals annual telethon to be held May 30-June 1

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth has financially supported sick and injured children in the Ozarks by helping their families pay for medically related travel expenses, medical equipment purchases and much more.

The annual CMN Hospitals Telethon is a great opportunity for our community to become a part of the miracle. “Financial support from the public means we can help provide assistance to local children who might otherwise be unable to afford much needed medical treatment,” says Tim Siebert, Executive Director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “One-hundred percent of gifts and proceeds will help local kids. They may be a neighbor, a friend or a family member.”

The telethon will air live on KY3 10:30 p.m. – Midnight, Saturday, May 31 and 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, June 1. The live broadcast from Cox Medical Center South in Springfield will feature inspirational stories of many local children and their families who have been helped by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Last year CMN Hospitals of CoxHealth raised more than $1.5 million to help local kids.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Athletic Advantage summer camps for young athletes

School is just about out and it’s time for summer camps to begin. Help get your young athlete ready for the sports season this summer with Athletic Advantage summer camps at CoxHealth.

“These camps are for any current or future athlete,” explains Jess Hamlet, Athletic Advantage coordinator. “This is great for elementary and middle school students working on coordination and balance, and high school students working to improve their game for a scholarship.”

There are two age groups available, 12 and younger and 13 and older. Participants ages 12 and younger will work on proper running mechanics, flexibility, speed, agility and power drills, injury prevention, proper squat technique and cardio. The older age group will provide complete body strengthening, improve vertical jump, flexibility, plyometrics, speed, agility and power drills, injury prevention, core strength and cardio.

Camps are held in the CoxHealth Meyer Center the weeks of June 2-6, June 16-20, July 7-11 and July 21-25. Younger group sessions are 1 – 2:30 p.m. and the older group meets 2:30 – 4 p.m. The cost is $50. Sign up for your chosen class one week early and receive a $5 discount.

For more information or to sign-up call 417-276-1974 or email

Hepatitis A vaccination update

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department will hold a mass vaccination clinic at Remington’s at 1655 W. Republic Road. Vaccinations will be provided starting May 22, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and will continue May 23 from 7 a.m. – noon.

CoxHealth is assisting with this community health concern by administering Hepatitis A vaccine provided by the health department to those affected. Those who aren’t able to go to the mass vaccination clinic can report to the CoxHealth Urgent Care at Cox South, 1000 E. Primrose, May 24-26 from noon to 4 p.m.

Mercy will also offer vaccinations at the Smith Glenn Callaway Clinic at 3231 S. National on May 24-26 from noon to 4 p.m.

The health department has set up a hotline from people to call if they have questions. It is at 417-829-6200.
It will be staffed from:
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 22
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 23

'Kanbans' improve processes for Pharmacy

Continuous quality improvement is all about finding ways to do our daily work better – creating efficiencies that add up to improved departmental performance.

In the Pharmacy department at Cox South, you can see an obvious sign of one of those improvements: large red tags hanging among the medications on the wall.

Those tags, known as “kanbans” in the parlance of process improvement, provide a quick visual cue that alerts staff that a medication needs to be reordered. Kanban is a Japanese word translated roughly as “signboard.” The use of signs as signals is a key part of Toyota’s manufacturing efforts, which serve as the basis of process improvement in a variety of fields.

Over the past several months, the kanbans have helped manage the flow of medication out of inventory and into use.

“In the past, we knew we had some issues with inventory management,” says Jennifer Reeves, operations director for CoxHealth’s Pharmacy department. “Sometimes there was excess product on the shelf, other times we would run low.”

Now, the kanban project has helped dial in the optimal amount of medication to have on hand. In addition to reminding staff members that a medication needs to be restocked, the cards have made that process faster and easier. Reeves says the kanban process has replaced educated guesswork with a data-backed system.

Improving processes
Inside the pharmacy, a large wall is stocked floor to ceiling with pegs filled with pharmaceuticals. Previously, a technician would walk along 20-30 feet of wall space and review the items on the pegs to determine what needed to be reordered and what needed to be repackaged. That staff member had a good sense of how quickly medications were used and they knew roughly when the pegs needed to be restocked.

“Each day, a technician was spending an hour just reviewing what was on the wall and figuring out what they would be cueing up for their work that day,” Reeves says.

To reduce that time and make sure there would always be the right amount of product on hand, Reeves and the team delved into the data of medication usage. They looked at a 120-day timeframe (60 summer days and 60 winter days) to measure the actual usage. From there, they created a “safety stock level” – the minimum amount of each medication they want to have on hand.

How it works
The kanban cards are placed on each peg, in front of the safety stock. The cards have reorder numbers and barcodes that can be scanned to reorder. The cards also include details about the kind of package a medication needs – paper, light sensitive, etc. – so the techs can sort their workflow by the type of packaging.

When a staff member gets to a kanban card, the card is placed on a separate board. At the end of the day, a tech can scan all the cards for ordering overnight. The next day when the medication arrives, that becomes the day’s workflow.

“What used to be a one-hour process is now a 10-minute process,” Reeves says. The technicians are freed up for other responsibilities, so other staff get to go out on patient floors. “Without hiring any new staff members, we’ve been able to increase our services to the nursing staff.”

Reeves says that since wholesalers deliver medications five days a week, it’s just as efficient to have multiple, small orders rather than having the pharmacy overstocked.

“We have to use all of our available space to the best of our ability and extra stock takes up extra space,” Reeves says.

Data-driven performance
Monitoring the data has been key to adjusting the days-on-hand supply in the Pharmacy. The team started with seven days on hand and they have been adjusting down as they go.

The biggest question Reeves hears when people learn of the project is, “How do you keep from running out?” She’s quick to point out that the days on hand amounts also account for variability in patients and include some extra as a cushion in case of emergency.

“We can also get most medications from another location within the system, or here in the city,” she says, noting that patients are never at risk of being unable to access medication. Reducing days on hand just makes sense when you have access to reliable data and frequent deliveries, Reeves says.

“Our controlled substances used to have 17 days on hand, for example, but there’s no need for that when we can get anything the next day. You don’t have 17 days of bread on hand at home.”

Strategy expands 
The kanban system has been in place in the pharmacy since last fall and it’s being introduced to a wider variety of medication storage areas. Staff members and leaders have also been working to spread the usage of kanbans. Ashley Digiovanni, technical supervisor, recently implemented a kanban system in the bins where liquid medications are prepared. The bins where the medications are prepared now have “critical low” cards that remind all technicians of the supply level.

Jennifer Reeves says the kanban process is continuing to expand: Kanbans will soon be in place in the IV room and staff members are evaluating usage numbers for the injectable section. Reeves expects to have kanbans used in nearly every area within the pharmacy by the end of the year.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cox Medical Center Branson invites community to help save lives

Cox Medical Center Branson is teaming up with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks to once again host a community blood drive as part of Racin’ To Save Lives.
The blood drive is set for noon to 6 p.m. Friday, May 30, in the Dogwood and Redbud Conference Rooms at Cox Medical Center Branson, 525 Branson Landing Blvd., in Branson. All participants will receive a free gift from CoxHealth.

Donors to Community Blood Center of the Ozarks provide all of the blood for patients at 38 area hospitals, including Cox Medical Center Branson.

Every five minutes on average, a transfusion takes place and it takes approximately 250 donations each day to meet the area’s blood needs.

To be eligible to give blood, donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and present a valid photo ID. For more information about the blood drive, please visit or call 800-280-5337.

'Topping-out' the expansion at Cox Medical Center Branson

Press release from CBRE Healthcare, project managers on the expansion at Cox Medical Center Branson:

CBRE Healthcare and CoxHealth celebrated the Topping Out of the new 60,000 square foot construction and renovation project at Cox Medical Center Branson on Thursday, April 24, 2014. This project will provide patients and staff access to a new emergency department (ED), expanded coronary care unit (CCU) and much more.

“This project will help us meet the growing needs of those who need us,” said William Mahoney, President and CEO of Cox Medical Center Branson. “It’s a statement of stability and confidence in our community.”

In order to make room for the new construction, the Medical Plaza Two building was demolished. Construction consists of a three-story, 42,000 square foot hospital addition and a 18,000 square foot renovation of space within the existing structure. In addition to the ED and CCU, construction also includes a third floor with shell space to allow for future expansion and growth.

Currently, the existing ED serves 37,000 patients per year. The new ED is being built with future growth in mind allowing providers to care for 55,000 - 60,000 patients each year. Improved work flow will allow for quicker patient access to services.

“Branson is a growing community and the number of patients we serve is also increasing. The expansion of our ED and CCU will allow us to expedite the treatment of our patients, and get them back to enjoying the many exciting amenities our community has to offer,” said Mahoney.

The expanded CCU will be on the second floor of the new structure and will connect to the hospital. It will include 20 private rooms, plus a large, comfortable waiting area for families. The current CCU/ICU has 14 patient beds.

CBRE Healthcare is currently providing CoxHealth Project Advisory Solutions that include: Launch Gap Analysis; Facilities Planning Committee Organization; Project Work Review and Validation; Master Program Schedule and Budget Development and Maintenance; CON Submission; Project Delivery Team Selection; Project Staffing Plan and Project Implementation Plan Development. Involvement on the project will continue through occupancy.

“The impact of this project is far-reaching and CBRE Healthcare is honored to be a part of it. Assisting CoxHealth in delivering superior care to the community is our main focus and ultimate goal,” stated Steve Higgs, Managing Director, CBRE Healthcare.

Cox Medical Center Branson is expected to open in late 2014. To learn more about the project visit To see the Topping Out Ceremony visit: Beam Camera.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

CoxHealth staffers: Mark your calendars for our return to Silver Dollar City on Sept. 6

CoxHealth employees, now is the time to mark your calendars: We’re headed to Silver Dollar City for the Employee Fall Fest on Saturday, Sept. 6! Watch for more details coming this summer in Connect Daily and on the intranet. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Crane Guys: The operators share the view from above Cox South

If you come to work each day at the Cox South campus, James Spillman and Joel Scheppert are watching over you. Not in a big brother sense, but they may be able to hand you something heavy – like a four-ton piece of steel – if you need it.

By 7 a.m., Joel and James are at their posts, perched atop the two tower cranes building the new patient tower. The small cabs enclosed in glass are their offices – “maybe it’s more like my home,” Joel says with a laugh.

In his 27 years working in cranes, Joel has traveled across the United States. Now, the Cox South project allows him to commute daily from his farm near Stark City, Mo. For James, the job is a change from his usual environment – working among Dallas skyscrapers near his home in Royse City, Texas.

The job offers a bird’s eye view of the construction site, the campus and Springfield. From that vantage point, they execute the precise movements that set the pieces in place as the tower rises out of the ground, floor by floor. Communication is key: The operators have to know where the other crane is at any given time, especially if they’re about to make a big move.

It’s a delicate process that requires teamwork and cooperation from the elements. If there’s one nemesis for guys who work 200 feet in the air, it’s the wind.

Wind is what makes it a good day or a bad day. It’s what creates the constant motion at the top of the crane. It’s your archenemy when you have a 10,000-pound load dangling from your line and workers on the ground ask you to move it “two feet to the left.”

It was the wind that gave us the chance to catch up with the operators on a spring afternoon. When it’s too windy to work safely, the cranes shut down to wait for better weather. This gave Joel and James a few rare minutes of downtime to reflect on their profession, the project and what it’s like to work above us all. Here’s what the men in the sky had to say:

What’s a typical day like?

Joel: Every day is different. On a good day, you’re busy. You might get a minute to collect your thoughts, then it’s “Joel, can you pick this or that?” By now I know what voice goes with what hard hat.

James: It doesn’t change much job to job. Columns are columns, staircases are the same, elevator walls are the same. They’re all similar, yet no two days are alike.

Joel: I like to get up there early, so I can be in place when everyone is ready to start. I usually have my orange juice and a Pop-Tart in the operator’s seat.

What’s unique about working on a project like this?

Joel: The size of this site is a lot like working in a downtown area, with The Turner Center behind me and the hospital in front of me. At least there’s room to turn 360 degrees; sometimes between buildings you don’t get that. I know how far I am from the hospital, but every time I swing around, it’s like, “man, that’s close!”

James: With two cranes when the job site is limited, it’s a challenge. Would headache be the right word? (laughs) There’s a lot of communication between the operators.

Joel: If I’m going into his area, I have to let him know I’m coming to his 2 o’clock. You know where the other guy is without asking. Except for those times when you forget and you see him out of the corner of your eye!

How long does it take to become a skilled operator?

Joel: When I get there, I’ll call you! I believe you can improve the rest of your life.

James: There’s always somebody better than you. But it’s not really us. We’re up there pulling the levers, but it’s the flaggers (crew members on the ground who guide the pick up and lowering of the cranes’ loads through radio contact with the operators) who make us look good. A lot of credit has to go to them. They do all the fine tuning.

Joel: They have one of the most important jobs on the site. They can make our job really easy or really make us work. At 200 feet up, you can get close, but there are limits: They call for another foot, but that looks like an inch to me.

What was it like working through the winter?

Joel: I don’t want to talk about it; I get depressed (laughs). It’s been a gusty spring so far. The wind has been awful, that actually may be the most challenging part.

James: I’ve been in winters and I’ve been in ice, but this is the first job I’ve been on where the trolley froze up on me. I definitely felt sorry for guys on the ground. It’s a lot harder to make the climb. When you get close to the top, it’s icy and it can be slick. A couple of times, I got on my hands and knees to get to the cab. I had to pry my door open one day.

Wind aside, what else has been challenging about this project?

James: The big challenges come later on. As we build the upper floors, it gets easier to see where the load will go and there is less line hanging down. Once the building is taller, though, it is an obstacle. There are a lot of blind picks coming up, setting glass on the side of the building opposite of the crane. Man, I hate glass. I’m always afraid that suction cup won’t hold!

Joel: They usually know if it won’t hold before it leaves the ground. I love glass! You get to pick and drop for a minute and then just repeat.

Image courtesy of KYTV. See photographer Cody Nutt's video on here.

What’s the biggest misconception about tower cranes?


Joel: They are nothing like a regular crane – they never quit moving. A lot of people can’t adjust to the fact that it moves all the time. I don’t think about it, I trust it. You have to or you can’t get up there.

James: People say, “I could do that, that’s easy.” It is, but it isn’t. There’s a lot involved in knowing how to catch the load, how to control the load and how to work with the wind that’s working against you.


Joel: Faced into the wind, if they want two inches, when you hit the button, they’re getting two feet! 

James: You definitely can’t be afraid of heights. There’s a lot of sway in the tower itself. 

I remember the first time I ran one, when I got home, my wife and I were sitting on the back deck. She turned to me and asked if I felt OK. I was fine, why? I guess I was sitting there rocking back and forth without knowing it – I had been doing that all day in the crane. 

What’s your most memorable experience working on cranes? 

James: On a job in Arlington, Texas, I set a pedestrian bridge between two buildings. That was big – everyone was out there on that one, even the mayor. I was sweating. There was no room for error. God was with me; everything was with me. There was no wind that day. The flaggers guided me and it slid right in, just like it was supposed to. That made me feel pretty good. 

Joel: I set the big brass elk in the boat area at Bass Pro. It was so windy that day, maybe 25 mph winds. They said: “Johnny (Morris) is here, it has to be set. You can set it, right?” I said, “Yeah, I think I can ” (laughs). I also set one of the houses on the “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” in Joplin. We had worked until midnight the night before and they had us arrive at 5 the next morning to set up and be ready at 5:30. Then, the house pulls up, and they tell us “we have to wait for the light to be right.” We waited on the light for about four hours! 

What’s it like to work on a project like this that will have such an impact on our community? 

Joel: We have the best view of Springfield of anyone here. We have the best view of the whole hospital. I love seeing the helicopters come in and take different paths adjusting for the wind. When it’s all done, it will be a great feeling to drive by and say, “I worked on that.” James: Springfield is a very nice town and people here ought to be proud of their city. It’s not too big, and not too small and there are places close by where you can see a bit of history.

It just makes me proud to do my part to help heal others. I’m proud to know that I had something to do with that. 

The road to 99th percentile satisfaction

Nurse Carolyn Garrison talks with patient Gaylon Henderson on the Med-Surg unit at Cox Monett. Garrison says the department has always done a good job relating to patients and recent efforts implementing tactics such as AIDET and key words have reinforced good customer care behaviors.

When it comes to patient satisfaction, the Medical-Surgical unit at Cox Monett has accomplished the nearly impossible: the department has reached the 99th percentile in satisfaction, and they’ve maintained that performance over four consecutive quarters.

Equally impressive is how they did it: by focusing on the basics. Staff members are working daily to perfect the way they interact with patients. The tactics are surprisingly simple, and they can be implemented by any of us, in any department, starting right now.

“Like any good team, we always want to be working on our game and making it better,” says Kurt Harter, nurse manager. “Our staff members do a tremendous job working together and supporting each other as a team.”

Harter says that the keys to the team’s performance lie in the tactics promoted by The Studer Group: AIDET, key words and rounding. When Harter came to the unit in early 2013, he was already familiar with the tactics from his 27-year career at CoxHealth. At Cox Monett, senior leadership was committed to “hardwiring” the Studer approach and Harter was tapped to help teach classes. In one month, 100 percent of staffers in Monett and Cassville had been trained.

Within a few months, the positive effects started to show up in the scores. Even those who doubted the tactics would work started to become believers.

Jodi Curry, a PCA with 12 years of experience in Monett, admits she was skeptical at first.

“You wouldn’t think it would really work, but it has,” she says. “We get positive feedback from patients and morale has blossomed.”

Staff members say that many of the tactics were already a part of their work, but the training reinforced those behaviors and gave them a formal structure. AIDET, for example, standardized the way staff members:

• Acknowledge patients
• Introduce themselves
• detail the Duration of what they’re doing
• Explain what they are doing as they are doing it
• and Thank the patients.

Harter says clear communication with patients is just part of providing great care.

“People think we’re in it for the patient satisfaction scores, but those scores are just a vital sign of how good of a job the staff is doing in explaining the care they’re delivering,” he says. “Explaining that care decreases the anxiety patients are having. The biggest thing a patient asks is ‘why?’ The more we narrate our care, the more we answer that question.”

Staff members also focused on using key words with patients: reminding them that they were in good hands and “managing up” their co-workers, by explaining that a co-worker or a physician has years of experience.

Leaders and staff members say the team atmosphere at Cox Monett has been key to the patient satisfaction success. Harter and Curry are quick to point out that the patients on the Med-Surg unit are supported by assistance from departments such as Respiratory Therapy and Environmental Services.
Avoiding “silos” is a big part of Cox Monett’s culture.

“Everyone knows it’s a team effort – it’s not ‘us’ and ‘them,’” says Yvette Adams, supervisor in Respiratory Therapy. Adams points out that new hires in Respiratory Therapy are informed upfront about the collaboration with Nursing, which can include passing meal trays and answering call lights.

“It’s very important to view it as areas working together for one goal: providing patient care. No one says, ‘that’s not my job.’ They say, ‘how can I help you?’”

Harter says it can be easier to see how your work affects the whole patient care team in a small setting like Monett, but the same principles apply in facilities of any size.

“Communication and accountability are the two biggest pieces of making this work,” Harter says. “It goes both ways, everybody is accountable to their supervisors and supervisors are accountable to their staff. The lines of communication are always open.”

Curry agrees: “People taking responsibility for their actions – it’s been wonderful and that’s what has taken us to the 99th percentile.”

And the department is continuing to improve: they’ve sustained their percentile ranking and they are seeing the percentage of patients rating their care as a “9” or “10” increase.

Harter says that no matter the setting, staff members have the power to make the patient experience better. Simply adopting the right behaviors can go a long way.

He points to an example Quint Studer uses: an older hospital in Chicago didn’t have the funds to renovate the facility, but they were able to improve satisfaction just by adopting AIDET and key words.

“This effort has lit a fire under people – they want to go out and try some of these tactics,” he says. “It can be tough, remembering to thank the patient, thank your co-workers and ask how you can help. People say, ‘I don’t have time,’ but you have to make it a priority.”

Friday, May 2, 2014

Join us for the Medical Mile and 5K on May 31

This year's Medical Mile and 5K is set for Saturday, May 31, at CoxHealth Fitness Centers at the Meyer Center. The event is for all ages and skill levels and includes several one-mile heats and a 5K run and walk. It's fun for the whole family and proceeds benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth. See all the details and register at

Annual Safe Summer Expo prepares kids for injury-free summer

Students are counting down the days to the end of the school year. While that means fun outside activities for them, it can also mean injuries that lead to a trip to the emergency room. The annual Safe Summer Injury Prevention Expo for kids and families highlights the common injuries children suffer during the summer months: water-related, bicycle and other wheeled sports, and pedestrian injuries.

Safe Summer, organized by Cox Medical Center Branson is Saturday, May 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dewey Short Visitor Center, 4500 State Hwy 165. It’s free to attend. Families will learn camping, water and other outdoor safety tips. They’ll have the opportunity to explore safety vehicles, have experts check car seats, and receive a free life jacket and bike helmet, while supplies last.

Keeping children safe during the summer months starts with educating parents too. “We want our children to live to their full potential by keeping them safe and secure,” explains nurse Angeline Hein, Cox Medical Center Branson. “Parents play a large role in protecting their children from some of the top summertime risks. Some quick tips families should follow include actively supervising children during activities, using correct safety gear, and leading by example.”

Sponsors and participants include 360 Emergency Services, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Branson Fire & Rescue, City of Branson Public Works Department, CoxHealth (Air Care, Care Mobile, Hospitals and clinics, Pre-Hospital Services and Trauma Services), Missouri Department of Conservation, Ozarks Wellness Network, Ozarks Chapter ENA, Taney County Ambulance District, Taney County Health Department, Taney County Sheriff’s Department (D.A.R.E), Triple C Entertainment, Trudi’s Kids (Jordan Valley Community Health Center), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Weiser Tent Service.

For more information about Safe Summer, call 417/269-INFO (toll free, 1-800-818-5239).

CoxHealth brings innovative Y-90 liver cancer treatment to Southwest Missouri

The Y-90 Microspheres surround a tumor in this rendering courtesy of SirtexMedical
CoxHealth is the first hospital in Southwest Missouri to offer new proven technology for inoperable liver cancer, Yttrium-90 (y-90). More than 30 patients at CoxHealth have benefited from the state-of-the-art minimally invasive, outpatient cancer treatment since July 2013.

While not typically a curative treatment, there are benefits for patients with metastatic liver cancer. “Sometimes you can get a transplant if the liver cancer is your primary cancer,” explains Dr. Charles Woodall, Surgical Oncology. “Y-90 can shrink tumor size to keep a patient on the transplant list longer. Additional benefits include an extended life, improved quality of life and fewer side effects as typically felt after standard cancer therapy.”

Now liver cancer patients, who previously traveled out of town for treatment, can get treated closer to home. “Of our liver cancer patients at CoxHealth, 95-98 percent of them are now being treated in Springfield,” says Woodall.

Microspheres (the yellow dots seen in the illustration above) are injected into the tumor through a catheter in the femoral artery in the groin. Resin beads containing Y-90 are inserted through the catheter and navigated into the arteries of the liver. “These tiny beads, which can fit between the ridges of your fingerprints, have a limited range of emission. This allows high doses of isolated radiation directly to the site of the tumors, causing cell death without harming surrounding healthy tissue in the liver,” says Woodall.

Patients wanting to learn more may call Ferrell Duncan Interventional Radiology at 417/269-4076.

Help local children when you shop at Walmart, Sam’s Club, through June 11

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Walmart and Sam’s Club have teamed up again this year to raise money for local sick and injured children and their families. Through June 11, Walmart and Sam’s Club associates are asking customers during check out if they would like to make a donation to CMN Hospitals.

When you shop at your local Walmart or Sam’s Club, you can purchase a “Miracle Balloon” donation of $1 or more toward their purchase with 100 percent of those funds going to your local CMN Hospital, CoxHealth.

About CMN Hospitals: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for sick and injured children living in the Ozarks. All proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ projects such as the C.A.R.E. Mobile, purchase medical equipment, provide financial assistance to children’s families and more. CoxHealth underwrites all administrative expenses of the charity locally, so that every dollar raised stays in our community and helps children. For more information on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or to donate, visit