Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Fall Fest at Silver Dollar City FAQ

CoxHealth employees are headed back to Silver Dollar City in September for the 2014 edition of the CoxHealth Annual Fall Fest. Here are a few questions and answers about CoxHealth's employee event at the park:

When is the event?

Our annual Fall Fest will be held September 6, 2014.

What does the CoxHealth Annual Fall Fest at Silver Dollar City include?

· Full day’s admission to the park.

· Exclusive ride time in the park from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and again after the park closes from 6 to 10 p.m.
· Discounts on food and refreshments. A discount list will be provided at a later time. 

· Trams will start running at 7:15 a.m. Breakfast will be offered at a reduced price at Molly’s Mill for those who want to come early. The restaurant will begin serving at 8 a.m. 

· Bingo scheduled for various times throughout the day at the Opera House. 

Who can I bring with me? 

All CoxHealth employees, including contracted employees (Crothall, Cerner, etc.) from all campuses and affiliates will be provided tickets and wristbands for themselves and their immediate family members. If your family member meets the criteria as a dependent for health insurance, you may receive a ticket and wristband for them. Immediate family members are defined as those who could be or are dependents on our health insurance plan. You don’t have to be enrolled in the health insurance plan; we are using the same definition of eligible dependent. 

· Eligible dependents would be a spouse, unmarried dependent under age 26 and legal dependents (disabled adult child, foster child, etc).There will be no exceptions. 

· Employees may bring extended family members or other guests by purchasing extra tickets and wristbands at the significantly reduced rate of $25 per guest. Be watching Connect Daily for more information about the sale of these extra Silver Dollar City tickets/wristbands for guests.

What must I have to enter the SDC park on September 6?

· CoxHealth employees and their guests will be provided their ticket and wristband before September 6 and the ticket needs to be presented when you arrive on September 6.

· The ticket must be presented for admission to the park.

· The wristband must be worn to enjoy the exclusive ride times and to obtain the vendor discounts. 

· You will not need a photo ID to enter the park, only the ticket and wristband.

· Tickets and wristbands will not be provided the day of the event. Once you receive your tickets and wristbands, please put them in a safe place so you’ll have them on the day of the event. 

When will I receive my free tickets?

This year we will be using Survey Gizmo to ask you directly how many tickets you are eligible to receive. If you do not have email access, we will get the information from your direct supervisor. 

We will then create individual ticket packets for every employee based on the information provided. When the packets are ready, managers may pick up their employees’ packets in HR. Additionally, we will arrange direct distribution for specific areas. 

Remember, once you receive your ticket packet, be sure to keep the tickets and wristbands in a safe place. We cannot replace lost or stolen tickets or wristbands. 

When will the guest tickets go on sale? 

We will announce the beginning date very soon. Tickets are will be on sale in the gift shops at South, MORH and North. Hours will vary at the different locations. Tickets will be sold until the end of business on September 4. 

Do I need to show my badge to purchase tickets?

Yes, you must show your badge to purchase extra tickets in the gift shop. CoxHealth has been provided a great price on the SDC guest tickets so we need to do our part to be sure tickets are not made available to the general public. Tickets are available for purchase exclusively for CoxHealth employees. 

Can I use payroll deduct to buy tickets?

Payroll deduction will be an option with the same guidelines as any other gift shop purchase. 

What if I am scheduled to work on September 6?

Employees working during the 24-hour period of September 6 will be provided tickets for themselves and eligible family members to be used by October 5. Distribution of tickets for post-event admission will begin September 8 after confirming that the employees reported for their shift on September 6. Employees attending after September 6, but before October 5 will not need wristbands because the discounts and exclusive ride times will not be in effect.

If I am working September 6, will I get a free lunch?

Because of the nature of the SDC event, we will not offer a free meal to working employees this year. Unlike previous years, those working on September 6 will have the opportunity to attend SDC to make up for missing the event. 

What happens if I forget my ticket or wristband?

If an employee arrives at SDC on September 6 without a ticket or wristband, SDC will expect payment at full ticket price for park entry. Without the wristband, you will not be able to enjoy the discounts or the exclusive ride times. There will be no exceptions.

What if I am not able to attend on September 6?

The September 6 date is our annual Fall Fest, offering an opportunity for all CoxHealth employees to enjoy a day at the park to visit, ride, and dine with family and friends. It is intended to be an event, not simply a free pass for admission to Silver Dollar City. Therefore, if you are unable to attend for reasons other than working at CoxHealth that day, we will not provide tickets for another day. 

As with the traditional Fall Fest event at the Expo Center, there wasn’t a make-up date for those unable to attend. As indicated above, we are able to provide a second chance for those employees who must work on the day of the event so those who work on the 6th will be able to obtain a pass on September 8 to be used by October 5, 2014.

What if I already have a season pass?

Employees who have season passes will need the wristband to be eligible for discounts and exclusive ride times. Please notify your manager that you only need the wristband. 

During our event on September 6, using the pass that CoxHealth provides, Silver Dollar City is offering CoxHealth employees the opportunity to upgrade to a season pass for the remainder of the 2014 season for the price of $30.00. This offer is available only on September 6. 

What if my guest already has a season pass?

You will need to purchase a wristband to take advantage of the exclusive ride time and the food discounts offered throughout the park. The price is $25.00 regardless if they need the admission ticket and wristband or just wristband. 

Can we bring food into the park?

Silver Dollar City allows park guests to bring their own food and small coolers into the park. The parks asks that large coolers be kept in vehicles and allows guests to go back to their car to retrieve their food. Many people put food in backpacks and bring them into the park which would work for many us during our event.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

'Biggest Loser' Marie Pearl shares her fitness journey

When Marie Pearl returned from her run as a contestant on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” she knew that to maintain her success she must make fitness a priority.

She wanted to exercise daily, find a way to share her experience and give back to her community. That’s why she decided to return to her accounting career on a part-time basis while she launched a career in fitness. This spring, she became a certified Spinning instructor and she recently joined the staff of CoxHealth Fitness Centers. We caught up with her as she got ready to teach her first class. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: How did you come to be on “The Biggest Loser”?
A: I’ve been overweight my entire life and my whole family struggles with obesity. It’s something I worked around: I tried to be outstanding in other areas – in school and my career – to hide my insecurities in myself. When my husband and I decided to start a family, and we were unsuccessful, it forced me to see the truth. I’ve been unhappy with my weight, but now it could affect my future and my ability to have a family.

I decided, “What do I have to lose?” I went to a casting call and went through the process. I went into it knowing that it was a blessing and I was going to take advantage of every opportunity and fight as hard as I could to get everything out of it.

Q: What was the most surprising part of the show?
A: The most surprising thing was how much the behind-the-scenes people and the people on the show really care about you. There are people who really care and they take their jobs on the show because they’re invested in the success of the people. It really taught me you can get outside your comfort zone, build a new support system and build a new family.

Q: How has the experience changed you?

A: It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had no idea that I could even survive it, much less get to the end and prove to myself that I’m strong and I’m worth it.

Everyone has their opinions about Jillian Michaels (laughs), but one of the things she is very good at is finding the “why.” Why are you the way you are? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you continue to do them and not change? That was a big piece for me. I had lost weight before on my own and I gained it back. I couldn’t figure out why.

Ultimately, I didn’t feel worthy of it. I lived a blessed life: my family, my education, my marriage, my friendships. I was wealthy in that respect. So, on some level, I wondered, “Why do I also deserve to be fit and healthy and look great, too?” I wasn’t sure that I was worth that opportunity. But I found peace, strength and confidence that I am worth it and it was meant to happen to me.

We all have genetic predispositions, but you get to decide what kind of life you’re going to live and what choices you’re going to make. Success is possible for everyone, you just have to decide that you’re ready and that you want it. More than you want sitting on the couch, or eating bad food.

Q: What’s your best advice for others?
A: Seriously look at your priorities. Health, fitness and being happy with your overall life is important. Stop, think and prioritize what’s important. I hope to be a parent and I hear people say, “I need time with my kids, so I don’t have time for fitness.” But what if you’re not there in 10-20 years? Taking time to exercise for 30 minutes a day for yourself pays off. Just like retirement planning, you can’t start too soon. You have to invest in your health.

When you’re ready to commit yourself to the process, you cannot do the same things every day and expect different results. Once you’re ready, I suggest investing in it – see a nutritionist, a dietitian, your doctor, a trainer – surround yourself with a support system.

I can say from experience: it is totally possible. If I can go do this in an extreme circumstance, you can make small changes at home that can make a large impact. You are able to make changes that can affect your life forever, you just have to do it. I didn’t feel empowered to take control of my life, now I feel empowered to do that every day.

Q: What role has The Meyer Center played in your success?
A: Before the show, one of my best friends had worked out at The Meyer Center for years. I knew that when I came home, I’d have a built-in gym buddy. What I didn’t realize is how much of a family and a supportive community I would get at The Meyer Center. The Meyer Center was invested in my health. The personal trainers have helped me and I love the classes. When I got certified to teach, I had options, but I wanted to be part of The Meyer Center.

Q: What made you want to teach Spinning?
A: I fell in love with it during the show. In eight hours of exercising every day, that was the part I couldn’t wait to do. There are so many people who don’t know what indoor cycling is and how it can help them – and that it can be fun! Spinning is for everyone and people may not know that. This is a way that I can be side by side with people, helping lead them on their journey.

Q: What are your short-term goals now?
A: I’m ready to find a groove with the Spinning classes and gain more experience. Personally, I’ve done a 5K and a 10K and I’m working toward a half-marathon. And, of course, I’m still hoping to start a family.

Q: How does that list compare to the list you had before this experience?
A: Whew! Well, before, I had one goal: become a mother. That’s a great goal. But before the show, I thought that was the one thing that would bring me happiness in life. Now, I find happiness in so many different places.

Before, I had tunnel vision, focused on one goal because I thought it would bring me happiness. And now … I’m just happy!

If you’re chasing “that one thing,” step back and ask, is that really going to bring you happiness? If I had become a mother as the person I was a year ago, I guarantee you I still wouldn’t have been happy.

With my new confidence, the sky is the limit. I don’t know what’s in store for me, but I’m open to it now. It’s amazing to say, but I’m happy and I want to continue to build an environment where I’m happy every day and I’m the best version of me every day.

Monday, June 23, 2014

CoxHealth welcomes Jim Anderson to its leadership team

CoxHealth is pleased to welcome Jim Anderson as its new Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs, starting July 7. Anderson, the outgoing president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, has been hailed as one of the most influential people in Springfield. He will oversee marketing, corporate communications, public affairs and advocacy at CoxHealth.

“For more than 25 years Springfield has been positively influenced by Jim’s dedication to volunteer involvement and advocacy efforts with local organizations. We are enthusiastic that as part of the CoxHealth team, he will continue to make positive changes on the part of health care for all of southwest Missouri,” says Steve Edwards, president and CEO, CoxHealth. “Jim’s direct impact on job creation in the region and his philosophy that economic development is community development mirrors the spirit of giving and community focus at CoxHealth. I am thrilled that Jim said yes to our offer to work at CoxHealth. He is a friend and a mentor and I know what an impact Jim can make for our health care system and community.

“In addition, his foresight to move the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce toward public affairs helped build a bridge between a community and its legislative representatives. With his dedication to Springfield, it seems most fitting to have him join CoxHealth, Springfield’s only locally based, not-for-profit health care system,” says Edwards.

“As I transition from the Chamber of Commerce and begin a new chapter in my life, it is an honor and privilege to join such a dynamic organization like CoxHealth,” says Anderson. “I am excited to be able to continue working for and with the great people of our region.”

Anderson taught at Jefferson City High School before becoming the school district’s director of school-community relations from 1975-1979. The following nine years he served as the president of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce before joining the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce in February 1988.

His public service experience with local organizations is extensive, serving as a past chairman for the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, past chairman of the United Way of the Ozarks, past president of the Urban Districts Alliance, past chairman of the Community Relations Board for the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield.

This VP position allows the system to place all marketing, corporate communications and public affairs personnel under one vice president.

“With increasing government involvement in health care decisions, we will need Jim’s advocacy for statewide initiatives such as transforming and expanding Medicaid,” adds Edwards. “Presently, Missouri is leaving $2 billion a year on the table, money from hospital payment cuts and tax increases that is leaving our state and benefiting other states. This is hurting Missouri jobs, as health care layoffs are being announced all over the state.” 

CoxHealth recognizes that bringing Anderson on board is a natural fit. “It is a focus of the CoxHealth board of directors that our health care system be a leader in civic engagement. We want to help develop, grow, care for and give back to the region we love and call home,” says Edwards. “We welcome Jim Anderson, a great visionary with a passion for our community.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cox Branson named 'Employer of Choice'

Cox Medical Center Branson was honored on Monday with an Employer of Choice designation. The award, presented by Joyce Gioia, President of Employer of Choice International, Inc., follows a rigorous evaluation process and was presented to Cox Branson because of its dedication to the highest level of employee relationships, a level that goes above and beyond normal practices of Human Resources.

“Employers of Choice, such as Cox Medical Center Branson, who are able to attract, optimize and retain top talent, enjoy a substantial advantage over their competitors,” Gioia said. “They will have the knowledge, experience, resiliency and power to respond quickly to their customers’ needs, delivering what customers want more efficiently and effectively than competitors plagued by employee turnover. This strength will allow them to maintain high levels of customer service and loyalty.”

The award is heavily based on an employee engagement survey and score. According to Gioia, Cox Branson received a 90 percent employee satisfaction score. Another factor that set Cox Medical Center Branson apart from other applicants was the fact that Cox Branson holds four mandatory leadership development institutes every year for leaders.
According to Gioia, at any given time, hundreds of health care organizations are in the process of attaining this award however only a handful are ever honored with the Employer of Choice award.

“This is an incredible honor to not only be named an Employer of Choice but to receive a two-year designation,” said Cox Medical Center Branson President William Mahoney.

“Over the past 13 years, only 27 other health care organizations in the nation have won this award at this time and Cox Medical Center Branson is the only health care organization in the state of Missouri to ever achieve this award. That is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees and our dedication to them. We know that health care organizations with highly satisfied employees also are the organizations with the highest patient satisfaction.”

“Cox Medical Center Branson truly is a great place to work,” said Kris Jones, Corporate Director of Talent Acquisitions. “Our senior leadership has established a culture of accountability, where everyone strives to be the best for those who need us. A transparent environment here builds trust among employees and a sense of ownership in the decisions we make. This award means a lot to everyone here, and is especially meaningful to those who have committed to connect with the changing landscape over the years.”

The Employer of Choice designation was created as a commitment to the philosophies and testimonials laid out in the book, “How to Become an Employer of Choice,” written by Roger Herman and Gioia. The book examines how enlightened employers can differentiate themselves from others by attracting, optimizing and holding on to their greatest assets, their employees.


Golf tournament in Branson to benefit CMN Hospitals

The Children’s Miracle Network of CoxHealth second annual Championship Golf Tournament at Pointe Royale Golf Course in Branson is Sunday, June 22, at 1 p.m. The tournament is a four-person scramble with a $300 team entry fee.

Win a new car with a hole-in-one at hole 12, courtesy of Pinegar Chevrolet in Branson and visit with special guest Ned Reynolds from KY3.

For more information and to register, go to or call event organizer Hank Williams at 417/334-6172.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth provides financial assistance to local children suffering from illnesses and injuries. Because CoxHealth underwrites all overhead costs for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals office, 100 percent of tournament proceeds help children with the medical care they need.

Free car seat safety check and install event Saturday, June 28

CoxHealth has teamed up with Reliable Chevrolet for a free car seat safety check and install event, Saturday, June 28, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Reliable Chevrolet, 3655 S. Campbell, Springfield.

“One of the most important jobs parents have is to keep their children safe while riding in the vehicle,” explains Lana Martin, Pediatric Trauma Coordinator, Trauma Services, CoxHealth. “With so many different types of car seats, age requirements and recalls, many parents may find the subject of car seat safety overwhelming.”

Martin explains that a correctly used car seat can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent. “It is estimated that 73 percent of car seats are not installed correctly. The most common errors we find during our checks range from harness straps being too loose or not in the right place, using a recalled seat, using an inappropriate seat for the child’s height or weight, and many more.”

The sponsor of the event is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon raises more than $1.5 million for area children

The goal for the annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon this year was $1.5 million. Thanks to an outpouring of generosity from the people in the community, the final total raised was $1,565,973.

“Words can’t express how much we appreciate everyone’s help in making this year’s telethon a success,” says Tim Seibert, executive director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth. “We are so pleased with our final results, which will help us fund our various programs and services for our local kids with medical needs.”

The funds raised will help benefit the following programs:

· Special Needs Fund, where direct assistance is provided for needs such as wheelchairs, leg braces, prescription medications, travel expenses, and much more.

· Family Care Grants that help pay for CoxHealth hospital bills, physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

· C.A.R.E Mobile, which is a mobile medical unit that provides immunizations, physicals, and treatment of common childhood illnesses.

· Educational programs such as Wasted (anti-drinking and driving), Never Shake a Baby (educates and prevents Shaken Baby Syndrome), Cardiac Kids (teaches area children the importance of regular exercise and eating healthy), Car Seat Safety program, Water Safety program and Bicycle Safety program)

· Life-Saving Equipment, including special medical equipment for pediatric hospital departments and ambulances at CoxHealth.

About CMN Hospitals: Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of CoxHealth is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to sick and injured children in the Ozarks. CoxHealth underwrites all administrative expenses of the charity locally, so that every dollar raised helps local children. For more information on Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or to donate, visit