Monday, June 29, 2015

Celebrating the Cox South expansion

Bio-Med's Barry Kise shared this image of a rainbow over the new Cox South expansion.

More than 1,000 community members joined us on Saturday for the Cox South Expansion Community Celebration! Our thanks to everyone who came out and to all the CoxHealth employees and volunteers who made the celebration possible!

See CEO Steve Edwards' personal reflection on what the expansion means for our future in this cover story from the June CoxHealth Connection.

Be watching for a special commemorative CoxHealth Connection about the Cox South expansion in the coming weeks!

CoxHealth and community leaders gathered to cut the ribbon on the new facility.
Community members enjoyed guided tours of patient floors in the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital and the Jared Neuroscience Center.
Guests heard a presentation on our neurological services from Stroke Center Director Dr. Richard Jung at the Jared Neuroscience Center.


In Pediatrics, the custom "bubble walls" were a hit with kids and adults alike.
CEO Steve Edwards and other CoxHealth leaders spent the day meeting with guests who came to tour the expansion.
Outside, families enjoyed the Kids Safety Fair, which featured live music, a Cardiac Kids demonstration and Springfield's Batman.
Saturday's live music included a special CoxHealth volunteer performance of "We Believe in Miracles," led by Dr. Peter Situ of Radiation Oncology. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Taking pride in CoxHealth's next step

Be among the first to see inside the new Cox South expansion on Saturday, June 27. Click here for the full event details!

CEO Steve Edwards says the Cox South expansion will be ‘better access to better care’ for our community.

When the new expansion at Cox South opens in June, we will all be witness to a turning point in CoxHealth’s evolution. When the ribbon is cut, it will mark a moment that builds on more than a century of history and sets the stage for future decades of health care.

Perhaps no one at CoxHealth has a more personal perspective on this moment than President and CEO Steve Edwards. His career has grown alongside the expansion of the health system and his history here extends back to his childhood, when he would walk the halls of Cox North with his father, longtime administrator and CEO Charlie Edwards.

Now, Edwards says the Cox South expansion stands ready to help us achieve the legacy desired by all health care leaders: bringing the best care to patients and ensuring future success.

“My dad was the kind of person who would never want his name on a building, he would just want the work to continue,” Edwards says. “What would matter most is that we’re continuing to get better and striving to serve our community.”

Providing that service requires a special kind of planning, since a hospital is a permanent fixture in a rapidly changing field. While many businesses are chasing quarterly results, health care is in the unique position of having to plan for decades. Consider that the last time CoxHealth added a facility this size was in 1985, with the construction of Cox South. By that standard, the expansion we’ll open in a few weeks will have to meet our needs at least through 2045.

Edwards says that thanks to the foresight of leaders like VP of Facilities Management Rod Schaffer and the designers, architects and CoxHealth employees who have offered their expertise and feedback, the expansion will position us well for the future.

The new patient tower gives us flexibility and additional capacity for future growth, as well as surge capacity in an emergency. In the meantime, the new design reinforces key elements of care that keep us all focused on what’s most important: our patients.

“It is better access to better care,” Edwards says. “Just the notion of private rooms reduces the chance of infection and it provides much needed serenity.”

That privacy allows for patients to have their families close by and allows family members to participate in important decisions.

“There are a lot of great reasons for private rooms, but first and foremost is the sense of humanity,” Edwards says. “At our most vulnerable point, it’s nice to have that privacy and time with your family. Good design can make care more compassionate and this creates a more nurturing environment.”

You can see the compassion-driven design in the new neonatal intensive care unit, which now features private rooms.

“If you look at the rows of bassinets in the old NICU, you can see that parents were an afterthought in the 1980s. They are so much a part of the care now and our nursing staff and our architects have put so much emphasis on the family,” Edwards says.

“This space brings families back. The parents are not going to have to go through doors with buzzers to see their daughter for a few minutes. They can be in that room, they can sleep in that room. It’s the way care should be.”

On the Pediatrics floor, Edwards points out the special design elements that CoxHealth Foundation President Lisa Alexander and System Chief Nursing Officer Karen Kramer helped to add: a bubble theme and a bright color palate – “It looks modern, clean, warm and colorful all at the same time.”

That patient-centered design extends to the inpatient neuroscience floors as well.

“In traditional hospital design, so many rooms were like an assembly line, making the patient stare at walls or at the ceiling,” Edwards says. “Every room here is designed so the patient has a view out the window.”

The design also offers features that can improve our practice. For example, the sinks are visible to patients, so caregivers can wash their hands in full view. Edwards points out that there’s science behind that: we’re more likely to wash our hands regularly if we’re being observed.

“Buildings are just shells, but they can influence behavior,” Edwards says. “Twenty years from now, I hope this design will endure and prove to have helped us give even better care.”

As the project’s completion draws near, the final touches on the exterior are making a seamless transition between the new expansion and the original Cox South facility. Those changes are drawing public attention and creating a sense of community pride in the project.

“If I’m at dinner or a soccer game, people will come up to me and compliment me as if I deserve credit, even though I haven’t raised a single hammer!” Edwards says. “There are thousands of people who have made this happen. What I like most is how much pride people are taking in it. It’s reassuring to hear employees and the community have that sense of pride in moving forward.”

For Edwards, the unique accomplishment of leading the organization through the final expansion on our main campus is a source of personal pride and a fulfillment of a mission. We asked: As a kid walking the halls with his father, would he have ever foreseen being a part of a project like this?

Edwards pauses to think. “I think the humble thing to say is no, but I kinda did,” he says with a laugh.

“If someone asked me what is my greatest accomplishment at Cox, there’s nothing that comes to mind, because there’s nothing that I’ve uniquely or solely done. We have all done these things. We have 10,000 employees and none of this would happen without them. I’m not saying that trying to be humble, it’s just true.

“I dreamed, I imagined, I hoped that someday I could prepare myself to be in this position. Almost miraculously it came to fruition. It is a testimony that if you know where you want to end up and you work toward that for decades, it’s more likely to come true.”

Edwards says that through school and through his training at Barnes and Baylor, his dream was to get the best ideas and bring them back home to southwest Missouri.

“More than anything else, I just wanted to be part of this organization. I feel like it’s an extension of my dad’s work. In so many ways, he crafted me and formed my character. Now I have this sense of duty. It is not about doing it for yourself, it’s about those thousands of people before you. And for me, those thousands include my own father.

“He would be really pleased to know how much we have grown and how much more we’re doing for our community,” he says. “I’m fortunate to be here. It’s the town I grew up in, the town my kids are growing up in – you want to make it as good as possible.”

‘A powerful moment’ for CoxHealth
CEO Steve Edwards says Saturday’s ribbon cutting is a time to reflect on a unique point in the organization’s history.

“To see this open is a powerful moment for our development. I’m proud of it and I want people to see it and be proud of it. I want our employees to say, ‘I love this place and I am proud to have a hand in designing this.’”

As the opening draws near, Edwards says he thinks about people like Larry Lipscomb, former board chair and grandson of Lester E. Cox.

“We both share a long history with the organization and there’s a kinship there. My father worked with his grandfather. I think of people like that and I hope they’re proud.”

And he thinks of his own father, former CEO and longtime administrator Charlie Edwards. “He’d like the design. He was amazingly frugal, so he’d have lots of questions for me – why did we use this material?” Edwards says with a laugh.

“He and (longtime administrator) Neil Wortley both committed their lives here. I hope they would be proud; I would love to have their approval.”

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Join us Saturday to celebrate the new Cox South expansion

Join us at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 27 -- bring your family, take the tour and share your best photos in social media with the hashtag #coxhealthcelebrates

In May of 2013, CoxHealth broke ground on the expansion of Cox Medical Center South. For the past two years the community has watched in awe as the 10-story building sprouted into the sky. In just a few short days, before patients are placed in the new space, the doors will open to the public for viewing.

The best time to tour the new west tower at Cox South is Saturday, June 27, during an open house celebration and Kids Health and Safety Fair, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. with tours to follow.

CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards said the expansion is designed to meet the area’s health care needs now and into the future. 

 “This is an exciting time for CoxHealth and the community it serves. The opening of the patient tower marks the culmination of many years of planning. Looking forward, we know that to continue to provide the absolute best patient care and meet the needs of our growing and aging population, we must have facilities designed for the highest standards of care and efficiency. This expansion places us securely at the forefront of health care in the Midwest.”

Following the open house, departments will begin moving into their respective space inside the 343,000 square-foot, $130 million addition to Cox South. The first floors, making up the Dee Ann White Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be moved in first. Then the upper floors, making up the Jared Neurosciences Center will begin moving in July. Work will continue on the exterior of the original hospital, including upgrades and new design elements to match the new construction.

Events taking place during the open house on June 27 include a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the new building, free stroke risk assessment with a stroke nurse, and a Kids Health and Safety Fair in the parking lot west of Ferrell Duncan Clinic at 1001 E. Primrose.

Check out a map of the event and see a full list of activities below (click on the images for full-size, printable versions):

The free stroke risk assessment includes an evaluation by a stroke nurse for risk of stroke. In addition, a pharmacist will be present to answer any questions on medications. The screening is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No appointment is necessary, but participants can pre-register by calling 417-269-INFO.

The Kids Health and Safety Fair will benefit all ages, and will focus on prevention safety for children. CoxHealth Pediatric Trauma Coordinator Lana Martin explained that the summer season is also trauma season. “With children out of school and more outdoor activities that are often associated with injuries, every emergency room across the country sees an increase in younger patients. The most common types of injuries, which are also preventable, include motor vehicle crashes, water-related incidents, pedestrian accidents, falls, dog bites and bicycle, skateboard and rollerblade incidents.”
More than 30 agencies will be represented, helping children and their parents have a happier summer by learning how to prevent injury and avoid hazards.

One of the many interactive stations will concentrate on bicycle helmet safety. “We will have a helmet sizing station,” said Martin. 

“Just bring your bicycle helmet with you and we’ll make sure it fits appropriately. You can also make your helmet personal by stopping by our helmet decorating station.”

While at the Kids Health and Safety Fair, parents can pick up an ID kit for their child. Just a few of the activities the kids won’t want to miss out on include fun exercises with KOHL’s CARDIAC Kids, the Teddy Bear Clinic where children can have their teddy bear or doll checked out and bandaged up. Plus, there will be plenty of fun photo opportunities with the Cox Air Care helicopter; Sparky, the American Red Cross dancing fire hydrant; Springfield Batman; and Ronald McDonald.

Friday, June 19, 2015

CoxHealth goes purple for Alzheimer’s awareness

CoxHealth is spotlighting the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Missouri Chapter as our June charity of the month! Here are a few of the departments who have sent in their group photos:

Senior Health Center 
FDC Patient Services 
900 West 

Health Information Management 
Cox College 
Urgent Care 
Cox Monett Administration 
Clinical Documentation Improvement, HIM 
Healthport Release of Information team, HIM 
Center for Professional Development 
Si3 and Physicians Billing
Cox HealthPlans Marketing 
Wheeler Heart and Vascular Center 
Patient Financial Services, Cox Branson 
900 East 
Audit and Compliance, Cox North 
Patient Financial Services 
Si3, Cox North 
Volunteer Services

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

CoxHealth Sewing Day for Kids

Looking for a great summer activity for your child? The CoxHealth Sewing Day for Kids is perfect! Children learn to sew or can practice sewing during a free event that benefits patients.

Led by CoxHealth Volunteers, Children will stuff and sew eye pillows, heart pillows for patients to use following open-heart surgery, and no-sew blankets that are provided to patients. The materials are supplied through a grant from CoxHealth Auxiliary.

“Children love participating in this activity,” says Pat Long, Volunteer Services. “They know that what they’re doing is helping patients, which gives them great joy.”

Want to help? Anyone handy with a needle and thread are also welcome to sign up and volunteer to help at CoxHealth Sewing Day with Kids.

CoxHealth Sewing Day for Kids is Friday, July 10, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Fountain Plaza Room at Cox North, 1423 N. Jefferson, Springfield. Lunch will be provided by Dominos. Seating is limited. Call 417-269-4169 to register.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CoxHealth successfully completes its new accreditation process from DNV GL - Healthcare

In the continued tradition of achieving the highest standards of quality care, CoxHealth is embracing accreditation vendor, DNV GL - Healthcare. Following a recent survey, its five hospitals, Cox Medical Center South, Cox North, Cox Medical Center Branson, Cox Monett, and Meyer Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, as well as its outpatient centers and provider-based clinics all received national accreditation by DNV. They are the only hospitals in southwest Missouri accredited by DNV GL – Healthcare.

By earning accreditation, CoxHealth has demonstrated it meets or exceeds patient safety standards (Conditions of Participation) set forth by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
DNV’s accreditation program, called NIAHO® (National Integrated Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), involves yearly hospital surveys – compared to every three years – and encourages hospitals to openly share information across departments and to seek continuous improvements in clinical workflows and safety protocols.

This national accreditation is the first step toward CoxHealth receiving international recognition for quality management through ISO 9001. DNV is the first and only accrediting organization that combines US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Standards of Participation and the ISO 9001 quality management standards.

ISO 9001 is the internationally recognized standard for quality management of businesses. It is a global standard that demonstrates a commitment to quality and process improvement.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FAQ: 2015 Employee Fall Fest at Silver Dollar City

We’re headed to Silver Dollar City for the annual Employee Fall Fest on Sept. 12! Here are full details on the 2015 event for our employees from CoxHealth Human Resources:

When is the event?

Our annual Fall Fest will be held September 12, 2015.

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

· Full day’s admission to the park.

· Exclusive ride time before the park opens from 8:30 am to 9:30 am and exclusive ride time in the park 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 and Oxford 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 are or could be 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 12?

· CoxHealth employees and their guests will be provided their ticket and wristband before September 12 and the ticket needs to be presented at the gate when you arrive on September 12.

· 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. (Lost tickets or wristbands will not be replaced.)

Can I take advantage of the After 3 Next Day Free program? Yes! For those who arrive from 3 p.m. or later, the time stamp on your ticket will allow you to visit the next day for free. The option to upgrade to a season pass is only available on September 12.

When will I receive my free tickets?

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. Check your packet for accuracy and report any needed corrections by September 9. Corrections cannot be made on September 12.

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

When will the guest tickets go on sale?

We will announce the beginning date very soon. Tickets will be on sale in the 1906 Store and can be purchases in person or on-line. Tickets purchased on-line must be payroll deduction. Tickets will be sold until the end of business on September 9.

Do I need to show my badge to purchase tickets?

Yes, you must show your badge to purchase extra tickets in the 1906 Store. 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.

What about new hires?

Starting the week of July 29, new hires will receive their tickets and wristbands at New Hire Orientation. Managers need to contact HR for other new hires who were not included in their department lists.

What if I am scheduled to work on September 12?

Employees working during the 24-hour period of September 12 will be provided tickets for themselves and eligible family members to be used by October 11. Distribution of tickets for post-event admission will begin September 13 after confirming that the employees reported for their shift on September 12. Employees attending after September 12, but before October 11 will not need wristbands because the discounts and exclusive ride times will not be in effect.

If I am working September 12, 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 12 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 12 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 12 because I have other plans?

The September 12 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 12th will be able to obtain a pass on September 13 to be used by October 11, 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 12, 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 2015 season for the price of $30.00. This offer is available only on September 12.

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 during our event.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon raises a record number of dollars for area children

Every year, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth takes a moment to recognize its supporters throughout the year as well as provide an opportunity for others to donate during its telethon.
Thanks to an outpouring of generosity from the people in the community, the final total raised was a record $1,686,910. Last year the telethon collected $1,565,973 in donation dollars.

“Words can’t express how much we appreciate everyone’s help in making this year’s telethon a success,” says Tim Siebert, 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.

Donations can be made anytime throughout the year to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CoxHealth by visiting