Thursday, March 26, 2015

CoxHealth Family Medicine Residency welcomes class of 2018

Match Day is an annual tradition where medical school seniors learn where they will attend residency and programs across the country learn who their new residents will be. It’s a day filled with excitement as these physicians prepare to embark on the remainder of the education.

On Friday, March 20, CoxHealth Family Medicine Residency welcomed the class of 2018. The residents will begin their orientation on June 17. They are (top row, from left, followed by the bottom row):

· Aaron Buzard, MD, MPH, St. George’s University
· Blake Fulks, MD, University of Arkansas – Little Rock
· Meghan Guthrie, MD, University of Oklahoma
· Shannon Marsden, MD, University of Missouri - Columbia
· Caitlin Schmitt, DO, Kirksville School of Osteopathic Medicine
· Ken Starnes, MD, University of Arkansas – Little Rock
· Lisa Trask, DO, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
· Sarah Williams, MD, University of Missouri – Columbia

The Cox Family Medicine Residency program is the only primary care physician residency program in the Ozarks, working to train physicians who will be at the forefront of patient care.

A benefit to having a primary care physician residency program at CoxHealth is that many of the graduates choose to practice medicine in the Ozarks.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 27 open house set to celebrate completion of new Branson emergency department

The public is invited for a behind-the-scenes look before final phase of the ED opens to patients

After a year-and-a-half of construction, the final phase of Cox Medical Center Branson’s new emergency department is now entering completion. Before we open the newly remodeled area to patients, the public is invited to an open house event from 7-11 a.m. Friday, March 27, to help celebrate the completion of the new emergency department.

During the open house, guests will have an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at innovative new patient care areas. Hospital employees will be stationed throughout the self-guided tour to explain how the state-of-the-art project will allow Cox Branson to meet the growing need for emergency medicine in the Ozarks.

“Our vision is to be the best for those who need us and constructing the largest and most comprehensive emergency department ever in Branson is one more way we are fulfilling that vision,” said Cox Medical Center Branson President William Mahoney.

The emergency department will now consist of 26 private exam rooms, eight private clinical decision rooms, five rapid treatment rooms and two trauma rooms. The two-phase construction and renovation project began in the fall of 2013. In September 2014, the first phase of the project, which consisted solely of new construction, opened 14 private exam rooms to patients. Since that time, the former emergency department and critical care unit have been undergoing extensive renovation in order to double our space. We anticipate the new critical care unit rooms to open in late April.

Emergency Services and Critical Care Director Misty Denevan anticipates the additional patient care rooms, coupled with optimized patient flow, will decrease wait time while providing a comfortable, caring atmosphere.

“When we designed our new emergency department and critical care unit, we had one goal in mind – to create an environment where we can provide the best care for those who need us,” says Denevan.

“I’m thrilled to be able to share with the community a chance to see all of the hard work that has been going on behind the scenes to accomplish that goal and have the community celebrate with us the completion of this project.”

The open house will be a come-and-go event from 7-11 a.m. Friday, March 27. Tours will begin in the new emergency department, which is located just west of the main hospital entrance. Refreshments will be served.

CoxHealth named a Level I Missouri Stroke Center

Today Cox Medical Center South was designated a Level I Stroke Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Hospital Standards. Cox South is one of only 10 Level I Stroke Centers in the state and the only Level I Stroke Center in southwest Missouri.

There are four levels, with Level I Centers functioning as resource centers within a region, for maintaining specialized resources for the most complex patients.

“To achieve this status, CoxHealth underwent a rigorous application process along with a comprehensive and scrutinizing on-site review,” says Dr. Richard Jung, medical director of CoxHealth Stroke Center. “As the only Level I Stroke Center in southwest Missouri, we provide the highest level of stroke care in the region. Patients and their families can be confident that our staff, from pre-hospital to administration, is dedicated to improving the outcomes of stroke victims and minimizing the debilitating effects of stroke.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced its list of designated stroke centers today online at this link.

The release of the list comes on the same day the Bureau of EMS will begin enforcement of a Missouri statute that requires all stroke patients to be transported to a designated stroke center.

Cox Monett is a designated Level IV Stroke Center. Cox Medical Center Branson has applied for Level II designation and is awaiting review.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blood drive to help build back up reserves following winter storms

During recent winter storms, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks’ reserves were compromised and the blood center issued a Code Yellow Alert for all negative blood types. The blood center is reporting that donations are needed immediately.

A blood drive at Cox Medical Center Branson on March 27 will help Community Blood Center of the Ozarks rebuild its reserve.

Donors to Community Blood Center of the Ozarks provide all of the blood for patients at 39 area hospitals, including Cox Medical Center Branson.

Every seven minutes on average, a transfusion takes place and it takes approximately 230 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. Anyone planning to give is encouraged to eat well and drink plenty of fluids prior to the blood drive. For more information about the blood drive, please visit or call 800-280-5337.
To give blood, stop by Cox Medical Center Branson, 525 Branson Landing Boulevard, between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, March 27. The blood drive will be held in the Tree Rooms. Each donor will receive a gift courtesy of CoxHealth, while supplies last.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals receives donation collections from Hamra Enterprise, a franchisee of Wendy’s International

Photo: Tim Siebert, Executive Director, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth; Brittany Combs, Marketing Manager, Hamra Enterprises; Chuck Ocarz, President of Wendy’s Missouri – a division of Hamra Enterprises; Mike Hamra, President and CEO of Hamra Enterprises; Josh Sloan, Wendy’s District Manager; Wendy; and Joe Thurmon, Wendy’s General Manager.

Throughout 2014, 35 Wendy’s locations collected money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Springfield, Columbia and Kansas City. Thursday, Hamra Enterprises’ Wendy’s division presented those Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals more than $42,000 in donations.

Using the Wendy’s in Nixa, which collected the most money in 2014, as a background for the check presentation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth was presented $23,154.27.

“We depend on the generosity of businesses, individuals, foundations and organizations to bring hope and healing to children who might otherwise go without the medical attention they desperately need,” said Tim Siebert, executive director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth. “We thank Hamra Enterprise’s for the care and compassion they are sharing with the children and families we serve.”

The campaigns to raise money included donation canisters at each register, a $1 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Balloon Campaign from June 15-July 15, and a Lemon-AID for Kids campaign was held at seven of the stores.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Kansas City received $11,363.75; and Columbia received $7,947.02.

“We stand behind Children’s Miracle Network and what they do for the kids in our local communities, and we are proud of our stores for raising as much money as they did in 2014,” said Chuck Ocarz, President of Wendy’s of Missouri, a division of Hamra Enterprises. “We aim to do even bigger things in 2015, and with only being three months into the year we are on pace to double what we did in 2014.”

Hamra Enterprises’ Wendy’s division has once again selected Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as its charity of choice for 2015. This is the second year for the partnership.

About Hamra Enterprises: Hamra Enterprises is a dynamic organization owned and founded in 1975 by the Hamra family. The company's headquarters is in Springfield, Missouri and includes six companies with over 3,500 employees in four states; Missouri, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas. Hamra Enterprises is committed to providing the highest quality products and services within the hospitality industry, creating exceptional experiences for people and communities by engaging each of its restaurant neighborhoods through community service, fundraising, and other philanthropic partnerships such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish of Illinois, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. For more information please visit,

Inadequate sleep linked to numerous health risks

While many people found themselves feeling groggy the day after Daylight Saving Time, imagine if every day you felt like you just set your clocks forward an hour. For people suffering from a sleep disorder, every day can feel like that first Monday.

March has been designated National Sleep Awareness Month and a good time to consider if you are consistently getting a good night’s rest or if you could be suffering from a sleep disorder.

“It is important that patients tell their primary care physician of any changes in their sleep patterns, history of tiredness during the day or of any concerns raised by a bed partner, such as loud snoring or gasping,” says Dr. David Afshar, a physician at CoxHealth Family Medicine and Obstetrics in Branson. “An evaluation of a patient’s sleep pattern can help determine if additional testing at a CoxHealth Sleep Disorders Center is needed.”

“Adequate sleep is essential to good health,” says Dr. Jennifer Lynch, a CoxHealth neurologist who specializes in sleep medicine. “Sleep deprivation is associated with a numerous chronic diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, increased stress hormone levels, increased risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and more. Sleep loss can also aggravate or mimic many other more subjective conditions, such as chronic pain, memory impairment, mood and energy. Many people feel that they have depression, fibromyalgia, headaches or dementia and treating a sleep disorder can lead to improvements in all of these areas.”

Lack of sleep is also a safety concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cognitive impairment after approximately 18 hours awake is similar to that of someone with a blood-alcohol content of 0.05%. After about 24 hours awake, impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10%, higher than the legal limit in all states.

“If you feel like you are not consistently getting a restorative night’s sleep, you should talk to your doctor,” Dr. Lynch says. “Treatment of a sleep disorder can significantly improve a patient’s life.”
CoxHealth Sleep Disorders Centers are located in Springfield, Branson and Monett. Sleep related problems include insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, REM sleep disorders, sleep terrors, sleep enuresis, sleep walking and sleep talking. A referral by a family physician is necessary.

For more information about CoxHealth Sleep Disorders Centers or to take a sleep quiz quiz, visit and search “sleep disorders.”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Committed to community innovation

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards joined community leaders and officials from Missouri State University on Wednesday morning for the dedication of the CoxHealth Innovation Room at MSU's eFactory in Springfield. The eFactory is dedicated to entrepreneurship, growth in small business and management development. CoxHealth's partnership reflects our commitment to ongoing education and research and to the continued growth of our local business community.

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards joined Missouri State President Clif Smart for Wednesday's dedication.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Some CoxHealth clinics closed Wed., March 4, due to weather

As the winter weather continues today, some clinics have announced closures or modified hours. See the current list as of 10:30 a.m. below. Today's weather situation is evolving, so please call the clinic you plan to visit today before you drive.

Closed clinics:

Cassville Medical Care -- close at noon
CoxHealth Center Aurora
CoxHealth Center Branson
CoxHealth Center Chesterfield
CoxHealth Center Mt. Vernon
CoxHealth Center Nixa
CoxHealth Center Ozark
CoxHealth Center Republic
CoxHealth Center Seymour
CoxHealth Family Medicine - Branson West
CoxHealth Family Medicine - Forsyth
CoxHealth Family Medicine - Kimberling City
CoxHealth General Surgery (Branson) – phones only
Cox Heart Center Branson
CoxHealth Internal Medicine & Infectious Disease (Branson)
CoxHealth Pediatric Specialties
CoxHealth Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine (Branson)
CoxHealth Rheumatology (Branson)
CoxHealth Urgent Care - Branson
CoxHealth Wound Care (Branson)
Family & Occ Medicine of Monett
Family Practice & OB - Monett
Walmart clinic - Kansas Expressway
CoxHealth Center Shell Knob - phones only

Modified hours:

Cox Family Medicine & OB – Branson – close at noon
CoxHealth Orthopedics Branson – close at noon
Cox Pain and Neurology (Branson) - close at noon
Diagnostic Clinic – close at 3 p.m.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Third annual Diaper Drive by CoxHealth kicks off this month

Every year many babies in the Ozarks are born to families who cannot afford necessities for their child, including diapers. Through March 28 CoxHealth will be collecting diapers for its annual Diaper Drive and is excited that Hy-Vee is joining in to help.

Last year CoxHealth collected more than 15,000 diapers in Springfield, Branson, Monett and Cassville. Donation bins will be available March 28 at the annual Baby Affair, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Foster Auditorium at Cox Medical Center South.

Hy-Vee has a collection box at its Springfield location, 1729 W. Battlefield. Donation bins are also located at various locations at these CoxHealth properties, including:

· Cox Medical Center South
  north lobby, West Pavilion, and The Turner Center
· Cox North Hospital in Springfield
  outpatient entrance
· Cox North Fitness Center
· The Meyer Center main lobby
· Ferrell-Duncan Clinic main entrance
· Cox Medical Center Branson
  cafeteria, and Skaggs Foundation office
· Cox Monett Hospital
· CoxHealth Center Cassville

Diapers donated will support the Diaper Bank of the Ozarks in Springfield, Jesus Was Homeless in Branson, Crosslines and the Tri-County Pregnancy Care Center in Monett and the New Mom’s Closet at First Christian Church in Cassville.