General

Hospital Seeks Volunteer Youth Ambassadors

joleen General Comments Off on Hospital Seeks Volunteer Youth Ambassadors

Texas County Memorial Hospital has opened the application process for area youth to join the 2015-2016 Youth Ambassador program. Youth Ambassadors are area high school juniors and seniors and area college students that volunteer their time at TCMH.

Youth Ambassadors have volunteered almost 6,000 hours at the hospital since the program began in December 2009. During the 2014-2015 school year, youth ambassadors volunteer over 2,400 hours.

“The Youth Ambassador program has been an excellent way for some of our area young people to get a taste for working in a healthcare environment and to provide a valuable service to the hospital,” April Steele, Youth Ambassador coordinator at TCMH, said.

The Youth Ambassador program at TCMH was created as an extension of the hospital’s traditional Auxiliary program.

The program is limited to 40 students. Members are chosen from a formal application process.

Youth Ambassadors are required to go through an orientation and must commit to volunteering at TCMH for four hours each month. The program includes three levels of volunteer achievement, and the three levels can be achieved based on volunteer hours and work ethic.

Since its inception, many Youth Ambassadors have reached the various levels of achievement in the volunteer program.

Several former Youth Ambassadors now have jobs working in the hospital departments. Youth Ambassadors have also received educational scholarships from TCMH.

Volunteer duties include passing out fresh linens and filling ice water cups for patients on the medical surgical floors, greeting visitors and patients at the main entrance, and reading to and talking with patients in the hospital’s swing bed program.
With the new construction, Youth Ambassadors have played an active role in greeting patients and visitors at the new front entrance and helping them find their way in the hospital.

“One hundred fifty-three students have been a part of the Youth Ambassador program, and it continues to grow each year,” Steele said.

Steele explained that the program has achieved its goal of providing area students with hands on experience and a much greater knowledge and appreciation for what goes on behind the doors of their community hospital.

“There’s a lot more going on in hospitals than just people working as doctors and nurses,” Steele said.

“Some of our current Youth Ambassadors will be able to continue to volunteer at the hospital in the upcoming year,” Steele said. “We hope to add to our ranks by opening up the program to new applicants and open up the world of the hospital to more students in our area.”

Additional information about the TCMH Youth Ambassadors and the application for the program is available at this link or from area school guidance counselors. The application deadline is Tue., Sept. 15.

Steele can also be reached by calling 417/967-1236 or 866/967-3311 or via e-mail at administration@tcmh.org.


TCMH Maintains Focus on Physician Recruiting to Meet Area Healthcare Needs

joleen General Comments Off on TCMH Maintains Focus on Physician Recruiting to Meet Area Healthcare Needs

Physician recruiting and retention continue to be a focus at Texas County Memorial Hospital, board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Since the July board meeting, two family medicine physicians have participated in site visits at the facility, Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, reported.

“We have made contract offers to both candidates that came on site for visits in the past month,” Murray said, “And both candidates have other opportunities they are looking at.”

Joleen Senter Durham, physician recruiting director at TCMH, explained that she tries to have everything in place prior to a candidate’s arrival so that TCMH can make a contract offer if the candidate seems to be a good fit with the community and the medical staff.

“We check references and gather as much information as possible prior to the physician’s arrival,” Durham said.

A physician site visit is a full day event with tours of the hospital, clinics and communities where the clinics are located, lunch with the department managers and culminating in a dinner with the medical staff.

“Candidates give very positive feedback about their site visit experience and the work done prior to the site visit to prepare them for the visit,” Durham said. A site visit may include meeting with a local realtor, providing childcare for the visiting physician’s family and taking the physician’s family to the tour the local school system.

According to Durham, studies show that less than 10 percent of physicians are willing to consider living and working in a community of less than 50,000 people.

“We are always very fortunate when a physician chooses to work in our community,” Durham said.

Jim Perry, chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees, asked Jonathan Beers, DO, internal medicine physician and chief of staff at TCMH, what makes TCMH stand out in the recruiting process.

“For me, it was the opportunity to broaden the scope of what I was able to do as a physician at TCMH,” Beers said. In addition to inpatient and outpatient internal medicine, Beers also does stress tests and endoscopy as part of his practice.

Beers explained that the community size can be hard for an outsider to grasp as well as understanding where TCMH is located and its proximity to larger towns.

“I have had the placement firms I work with tell me that our package is the best one they have seen,” Durham said. “Our guaranteed salary and bonus can be very lucrative.”

Durham noted that in addition to the salary, bonus and benefits, student loan repayment, a moving allowance, a sign-on bonus, a residency stipend and visa sponsorship are also available to potential recruits.

Beers agreed that the recruiting package at TCMH was competitive with the major challenge being the size of the communities in the TCMH coverage area.

Beers was looking for a full-scope primary care package and a smaller community to practice medicine in.

“Recruiting and retention are a challenge for healthcare facilities across the nation, but the needs are more acute in the small communities where there are fewer doctors and mid-level providers,” Durham said.

In 2015 TCMH has recruited five mid-level providers. Holly Atterberry, FNP and Ray Bruno, FNP are working full-time at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston. Sara Openshaw has completed family nurse practitioner training and will begin working full-time at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic in October. Kim Kemnitzer, FNP is returning to work part-time in the Walk-In Clinic at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston in September. Sheena Painter is currently in a family nurse practitioner training program, and she plans to work part-time for TCMH when she completes her program in 2016.

TCMH recruited Cory Offutt, MD, a family medicine and obstetrics physician, to work at the TCMH Medical Complex and at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic in 2016 when he completes his residency program.

“We have had great success in recruiting this year,” Murray said, “But we still need additional physicians.”

Durham noted that she continues to be in contact with physicians that are interested in the positions at TCMH.

“I am hopeful that we will have success with at least one of the physicians that have done a site visit at TCMH, and I’ll continue to reach out to all other potential candidates,” Durham said.

Murray has also met with two third year residents at the Cox Family Medicine Residency in Springfield, MO that are interested in providing additional weekend and inpatient call coverage.

TCMH is bringing in an additional physician to provide 48-hours of call coverage one weekend a month to help ease some of the on-call burden to the physicians currently taking call at the hospital.

“These physicians will be available from Friday evening until Sunday evening admitting patients from the emergency department and handling inpatient needs,” Murray said, explaining that obstetrics’ patients still will be handled by the OB physician on call.

Murray noted that weekend call is the busiest time for physicians, and until additional physicians join the call group, TCMH will provide this benefit for the current call group.

Murray also reported that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has accepted and approved the hospital’s application for designation as a Level IV STEMI (ST segment elevated myocardial infarction) facility. The STEMI designation will allow emergency medical services personnel to bring any patient with symptoms of a heart attack to TCMH where the hospital team will proceed with protocols to begin medical treatment to prevent cardiac muscle damage.

After the initial medical treatment, the patient would be transferred to a healthcare facility where interventional cardiology was available, if needed.

The state deadline for the first round of STEMI applications was June 22. TCMH anticipates an onsite visit by DHSS officials regarding the STEMI application in the spring of 2016.

TCMH received their designation as a Level III Stroke Center from DHSS in March of this year.

Although inpatient and outpatient revenues were below budgeted expectations for the month of July, expenses we also down for the month, Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, reported.

TCMH ended the month of July with a negative bottom line of $106,728.36 and a negative year to date balance of $1,165,164.60.

The state of Missouri has notified TCMH that they will receive cost report settlements for the hospital’s rural health clinics from 2010 and 2011. Pamperien expects approximately a million dollars for those fiscal years. There is no time frame on when the funds will be disbursed to the hospital.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Durham; Beers; Amanda Turpin, quality assurance nurse manager; Ron Prenger, and board members, Perry; Mark Hampton and Omanez Fockler.

Board members, Russell Gaither and Janet Wiseman, were not present at the meeting.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Sept. 22 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


Rupar Named as July Employee of the Month

joleen General Comments Off on Rupar Named as July Employee of the Month

Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Roxanne “Rocky” Rupar of Pomona the July employee of the month.

Rupar is a respiratory therapist in the cardiopulmonary department at TCMH where she’s worked since 2010. Rupar was nominated for the award by Lauren Toman, cardiopulmonary director at TCMH.

“Rocky is an absolute joy to work with because she is 100 percent committed to any job or task that she’s asked to do,” Toman said, adding that Rupar is known for always having a smile on her face.

Toman noted that Rupar is willing to assist her co-workers whenever needed, and Rupar will change her own plans to fill in for other staff in the department when there are schedule changes.

“Rocky honors hard work and loves her job,” Toman said.

As employee of the month, Rupar received a certificate honoring her achievement; a pin; a special parking place in the TCMH lot; one day of paid vacation; a $50 gift card, and gift certificates to Paws N Claws, D&L Florist, Janstiques and Blissful Nirvana Massage. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Rupar.

Rupar is eligible for the 2015 TCMH employee of the year award.

Roxanne Rupar (left), July employee of the month at Texas County Memorial Hospital, with her supervisor, Lauren Toman.

Roxanne Rupar (left), July employee of the month at Texas County Memorial Hospital, with her supervisor, Lauren Toman.


Uncompensated Care at TCMH More than Triple State and National Averages

joleen General Comments Off on Uncompensated Care at TCMH More than Triple State and National Averages

Uncompensated care at Texas County Memorial Hospital is more than triple the state and national uncompensated care averages, hospital board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.new front entrance

Uncompensated care is the total amount of healthcare services, based on full established charges, provided to patients who are either unable or unwilling to pay. Uncompensated care includes both charity care and bad debt.

Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, presented data collected and compiled by the Hospital Industry Data Institute (HIDI) showing uncompensated care numbers for the county hospital for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

“On average, we are writing off a much higher percentage of our net revenue than other hospitals in the state,” Murray said. “It’s frustrating and discouraging, but providing care for everyone regardless of their ability to pay is what we have to do as a county hospital. And we will continue to do so.”

In 2011, TCMH had 14.8 percent in total uncompensated and charity care costs; the state and national averages were 5.5 percent. In 2012, TCMH had 16.9 percent in total uncompensated and charity care costs; the state and national averages were 5.1 percent. In 2013, TCMH had 15.8 percent in total uncompensated and charity care costs; the state and national averages stayed the same at 5.1 percent.

“The federal government anticipated that the state expansion of Medicaid services would cut some of our uncompensated and charity care,” Murray said, “And our state legislators have opted to block Medicaid reform in our state.”

Murray noted that states that allowed Medicaid expansion have experienced 40 to 60 percent drops in uncompensated and charity care at public hospitals.

“As we have discussed in the past, Texas County has a high percentage of uncompensated care for the level of volumes we do,” Murray said.

In the financial report for the month of June, Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, reported $572,189.15 in bad debt and four charity care cases totaling $15,135.67.

TCMH has a policy that enables patients that do not have the means to cover their healthcare services needed or received to apply for “charity care” which allows the hospital to officially write off the care.

Bad debt is the amount of care that is written off because patients refuse to pay their bill or are unable to pay their bill. Sometimes patients that would qualify for charity care at TCMH do not complete the charity care paperwork, so their healthcare services become bad debt.

“Three-hundred seventy-five thousand dollars of the bad debt came through our emergency department,” Pamperien said. “And several of those patients were so ill they had to be admitted to the hospital as inpatients, incurring additional bad debt.”

Murray explained that the HIDI data is provided to the Centers for Medicare Services, which has collected the information since 2010.

“This information will be taken into consideration for future government payment systems,” Murray said.

Murray introduced Ron Prenger with CoxHealth to those present at the meeting. Prenger, senior vice president and chief hospital officer for CoxHealth Springfield and Monett, will attend TCMH board meetings as his schedule allows, taking the place of Dr. John Duff of Cox Health who retired in May.

“This is a beautiful facility,” Prenger said about TCMH. “You have positioned yourself well for meeting the healthcare needs of this county.”

TCMH has a longstanding, non-binding affiliation with CoxHealth which provides educational, purchasing and recruiting resources to TCMH from time to time.

Murray has spoken with residents of the Cox Family Medicine Residency program about providing some weekend call coverage at the hospital for a few months.

“Currently, our physicians are on call every fourth weekend, which is too much for some of them,” Murray said. “We want to lessen that burden while we work on recruiting additional physicians to the hospital’s medical staff.”

The weekend physician would provide coverage for hospital inpatients only, admitting patients when needed and handling on-call coverage needs.

Dr. Cory Offutt, a family medicine and obstetrics physician, will begin working at TCMH next summer, and he will share call coverage with the current physicians. TCMH is also actively recruiting additional physicians to work at the clinics in Houston and in Mountain Grove.

“I have two family medicine physicians that will be here for site visits this month and next month,” Joleen Senter Durham, TCMH director of physician recruiting, said.

Both physicians are not available until next summer—one is in the third year of residency and one is doing a fellowship in obstetrics.

“I am hopeful that these site visits will be successful,” Durham said. “We definitely have a need for both of these physicians.”

TCMH experienced drops in volume for inpatient and outpatients, according to the June financial report.

“Every department experienced a dip in June except for physical therapy,” Pamperien said, noting that volumes typically drop in the summer months.

Pamperien also explained that TCMH is currently paying interest only on the $19.1 million USDA loan, but principal and interest payments begin in August.

“The payment will be about $87,000 a month, which is right where we left off with our bond payments that were recently retired,” Pamperien said.

TCMH ended the month of June with a negative bottom line of $202,193.09 and a negative year to date balance of $1,058,436.24.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Durham; Prenger; Dr. Jonathan Beers; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; and board members, Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Janet Wiseman and Omanez Fockler.

Board members, Mark Hampton and Russell Gaither, were not present at the meeting.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Aug. 25 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


TCMH Offers First Gentle C-Section Surgical Delivery

joleen General Comments Off on TCMH Offers First Gentle C-Section Surgical Delivery
Baby Abel Hance was the first child born through “gentle” C-section at TCMH.  He’s here with his mother, Jasmine Atkinson and River Hance (front).  Back left to right are part of the obstetrics and surgery team at TCMH, Angela Watkins, obstetrics department director; Heather Lobough, CRNA; Dr. Christopher Baldwin, delivering physician, and Brittany Shepherd, obstetrics RN.

Baby Abel Hance was the first child born through “gentle” C-section at TCMH. He’s here with his mother, Jasmine Atkinson and River Hance (front). Back left to right are part of the obstetrics and surgery team at TCMH, Angela Watkins, obstetrics department director; Heather Lobough, CRNA; Dr. Christopher Baldwin, delivering physician, and Brittany Shepherd, obstetrics RN.

Abel Hance, one of Texas County’s newest residents, was the first baby born by “gentle” Ceasarean section at Texas County Memorial Hospital last week. The gentle C-section is a new family-centered experience available for some surgical births at TCMH.

Jasmine Atkinson of Licking, the mother of baby Hance, had a C-section scheduled at TCMH, and she and her partner, River, agreed to be part of the first gentle C-section performed by the hospital’s obstetrics and surgical teams.

Atkinson had a traditional C-section for the birth of her first child due to medical complications during delivery, and she was not prepared for the first surgical delivery experience which she called “rushed”.

“I knew I was having a C-section this time, and although I was nervous, everyone did a great job making me feel comfortable and part of the birth experience,” Atkinson said.

Dr. Christopher Baldwin, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, was Atkinson’s delivering physician. Atkinson explained that Baldwin’s lighthearted demeanor, provided reassurance for her.

Jim Spantgos, certified registered nurse anesthetist for the procedure, offered to play Beatles music during the delivery.

“I didn’t bring any music to listen to, and the music was very calming,” Atkinson said.

Gentle C-section protocols call for a clear plastic drape so the delivering mother can see the baby as soon as it’s delivered. Intravenous fluids and straps are placed on the mother’s non-dominant arm, allowing the mother the ability to hold her baby for immediate skin-to-skin contact in the operating room.

“I saw Abel’s birth. I could hear him, and I could see my surroundings. It was awesome,” Atkinson said.

Baby Hance did not have any complications at birth, so he was able to be placed on his mother’s chest in the operating room. His first breastfeeding experience was also successful, lasting 40 minutes.

Atkinson noted that with her first surgical delivery it was over two hours before she was able to see her baby.

“The gentle C-section was above my expectations,” Atkinson said, adding, “Everyone worked together in a timely manner. It was amazing.”

River Hance was in the operating room with his partner for her delivery. He was able to cut the umbilical cord for his son and have skin-to-skin contact with the baby shortly after birth, too.

“I was able to see everything,” Hance said, describing the experience as one that “blew me away”.

Angela Watkins, obstetrics director at TCMH, explained that the delivering physicians at TCMH were “very supportive” of adopting the gentle C-section whenever possible for surgical deliveries at TCMH.

“In cases where the C-section is planned and there are no medical emergencies requiring a quick surgical delivery, we have the tools and team to provide the family-centered C-section experience,” Watkins said.

Watkins noted that the immediate skin-to-skin contact in the operating room helps regulate the baby’s temperature after a surgical delivery. Breastfeeding shortly after birth also increases the likelihood of breastfeeding success after the mother and child are discharged from the hospital.

The number of births by Ceasarean section fall below the national average at TCMH, but, according to Watkins, TCMH wanted those births to be just as centered on the family experience as a traditional birth.

“Many women have found a C-section to be disappointing because they can’t see the birth, they don’t see the baby for a long time after giving birth, they can’t hold the baby after birth, and they may not even remember the birth,” Watkins said.

Originating in Europe, the gentle C-section has been adopted by some large women’s hospitals in the US in the past couple of years.

“At TCMH we pride ourselves in providing excellent one-on-one patient-centered obstetrical care,” Watkins said. “We got some clear, surgical drapes, and I worked with our surgery and labor and delivery teams to set up the protocols to do gentle C-sections whenever possible.”

Watkins complimented the surgery and obstetrics teams for working together for an “amazing” first gentle C-section.

“The gentle C-section is a new approach to a surgical procedure that hasn’t been changed in many years,” Watkins said. “It is a new way to provide a better patient experience, which is always important to TCMH.”

For additional information about the gentle C-section or other delivery options at TCMH contact Watkins at (417) 967-1260.


Local Healthcare Services Now Approved for Area Veterans

joleen General Comments Off on Local Healthcare Services Now Approved for Area Veterans
Area veterans that have this card may call the VA to receive authorization to receive medical care through TCMH.

Area veterans that have this card may call the VA to receive authorization to receive medical care through TCMH.

Texas County Memorial Hospital services, doctors and mid-level providers have been approved as a “Veterans Choice Provider” giving some area veterans the opportunity to receive local healthcare rather than travel to Veteran’s Administration facility.

Due to wait times for veterans to receive healthcare services and accessibility to those services, the “Veteran’s Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014” established the “Veterans Choice Program” with the goal of improving access to healthcare services for the nation’s veterans.

Veterans that are eligible for the Veterans Choice service can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs to request authorization to see a TCMH doctor or mid-level provider or to utilize a TCMH service such a laboratory, radiology, physical therapy or surgery. Veterans Choice will authorize a referral to the healthcare provider and provide an authorization number so the charges are billed to the insurance provider and not to the veteran.

“This is a great opportunity for TCMH to be able to provide care for area veterans that are part of the Veterans Choice program,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, said.

Murray explained that TCMH joined the Veterans Choice program after a local veteran contacted TCMH because he preferred local healthcare services rather than traveling to a VA healthcare facility.

“It is definitely not convenient for our area veterans to have to drive a long distance to get services that can be provided quickly and conveniently at the local hospital or clinic,” Murray said.

Eligible veterans must call the VA at 1-866-606-8198 and provide information from their Veterans Choice Card to request authorization to receive a service at TCMH or from a TCMH provider.

“Any veteran that’s interested in seeing a local healthcare provider or using TCMH for a service just needs to get the authorization from the VA, and we will gladly take care of him or her,” Murray said.

For additional information about TCMH services, contact Joleen Senter Durham, director of public relations at (417) 967-1258 or joleen@tcmh.org.


Physical Fitness Is a Great Benefit for Moms and Babies

joleen General Comments Off on Physical Fitness Is a Great Benefit for Moms and Babies
Tracey Arwood with a patient at the TCMH Medical Complex.

Tracey Arwood with a patient at the TCMH Medical Complex.

Tracey Arwood, certified nurse midwife at Texas County Memorial Hospital, believes in the importance of physical fitness for pregnant women. In addition to her Master’s degree in nursing and midwifery, Arwood has had three babies herself, giving her firsthand knowledge and experience with pregnancy and health.

“When there are no medical or obstetric complications, pregnant women should exercise 30 minutes a day on most or all days of the week,” Arwood said, citing guidelines recommended by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Arwood also recommends talking with your healthcare provider if you have medical conditions that might cause complications with exercise during pregnancy.

“Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits,” Arwood said. “You can maintain or even improve your fitness level, prevent excessive weight gain, prevent or reduce lower back pain, reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes or preeclampsia and decrease the risk of delivery by cesarean.”

Most types of exercise and recreational activities are safe during pregnancy. Suggested activities include walking, aerobic dance, yoga, Pilates, swimming, cycling and light weight training. Aquatic exercise can improve swelling pressure on joints, balance and body temperature.

Arwood cautions that activities with an increased risk of falling such as gymnastics, horseback riding and skiing or activities with an increase risk of abdominal trauma such as hockey, soccer and basketball should be avoided. Straining while exercising which might be done during heavy weight lifting or decreasing oxygen intake while scuba diving or high altitude hiking or skiing should also be avoided.

“Exercise during pregnancy will not cause any adverse pregnancy outcome and does not lead to preterm labor for women with an already healthy pregnancy,” Arwood said, explaining that babies will tolerate exercise during any month of pregnancy.

Arwood noted that women exercising during pregnancy need to be aware of changes to joints and the body during pregnancy.

“Abdominal growth will change a woman’s balance which can increase the likelihood of a fall,” Arwood said. “It’s also important to stay hydrated and cool during prenatal exercise.”

Women that are beginning exercise during pregnancy should start with 15 minutes of low-intensity exercise, three times a week, and increase intensity, frequency and duration over time.

Women that exercise regularly prior to pregnancy should try to maintain physical fitness without strenuous training for competitions.

“Vigorous exercise during pregnancy is not generally recommended,” Arwood said. “You should be able to carry on a normal conversation while exercising.”

Proper hydration is “essential” during exercise. Arwood also recommends eating protein and healthy carbohydrates such as peanuts or yogurt if exercising for 45 minutes or more. Excessive heat, saunas and hot tubs should be avoided during pregnancy.

“Call your healthcare provider if you experience any bleeding or leaking of amniotic fluid while exercising,” Arwood said. Other possible conditions to watch for include lightheadedness, difficulty in breathing, calf pain or swelling, muscle weakness, uterine contractions or decreased fetal movement.

Exercise during pregnancy and continued after giving birth can help with weight loss and reduce future obesity-related risks such as diabetes and hypertension.

“Postpartum exercise can help relieve stress and may alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression,” Arwood said, adding, “Immediately after giving birth, women may need to rest, heal, and adjust to a new baby, returning to an exercise routine slowly, as your body allows.”

According to Arwood, most women return to their pre-pregnancy state around six weeks after having their baby as long as there were no complications during delivery or a delivery by cesarean-section.

Arwood also noted that exercise will not affect breast milk or infant acceptance of breast milk.

“Women that are exercising and breastfeeding should increase their fluid and nutritional intake so milk production does not decrease,” Arwood said.

Strenuous exercise while breastfeeding can increase lactic acid in breast milk which an infant might reject.

“I have found that pregnancy is an ideal time for positive lifestyle changes for many women,” Arwood said. “Increasing physical activity and eating a healthy diet are an excellent way to benefit your baby and yourself.”


Wilkins Named as May Employee of the Month

joleen General Comments Off on Wilkins Named as May Employee of the Month

Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Stephen Wilkins of Summersville the June employee of the month.

Wilkins is an emergency medical technician in the emergency medical services department at TCMH where he’s worked since December 2013. Wilkins was nominated for the award by Bill Bridges, EMS director at TCMH.

“Stephen steps up and performs any task asked of him,” Bridges said, adding, “He never complains and always has a smile on his face.”

Bridges noted that Wilkins has taken over scheduling for the TCMH Medivan, driving many patients himself. Wilkins also teaches courses for area firefighters which has built relationships between TCMH and area fire departments.

“Stephen is an excellent representative of TCMH,” Bridges said.

As employee of the month, Wilkins received a certificate honoring his achievement; a pin; $100 cash; a special parking place in the TCMH lot; one day of paid vacation; a $50 gift card, and gift certificates to Paws N Claws, D&L Florist, Janstiques and Blissful Nirvana Massage. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Wilkins.

Wilkins is eligible for the 2015 TCMH employee of the year award.

Stephen Wilkins (right), Texas County Memorial Hospital June employee of the month, with his supervisor, Bill Bridges.

Stephen Wilkins (right), Texas County Memorial Hospital June employee of the month, with his supervisor, Bill Bridges.


Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Overall Health

joleen General Comments Off on Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Overall Health

ellen willisEllen Willis, physical therapist at Texas County Memorial Hospital, has treated and counseled hundreds of patients in her 14 years working in the physical therapy department at TCMH.

“There are a few key things that everyone can do to help prevent injuries and to actually improve your health,” Willis said.

1) Drink more water.

“The human body is 60 percent water, so even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue and reduced energy,” Willis said.

She recommends that men consume an average of 13 cups of fluid daily and women consume nine cups, increasing intake if you are sweating.

“Try to avoid sugar and caffeine which cause you to actually deplete water in your body,” Willis said.

Willis explained that water is needed for the health of muscles.

“Cramping and Charlie horses are much worse when you don’t consume enough water,” she said.

2) Improve flexibility.

“Spend five to 10 minutes a day stretching,” Willis said, adding that yoga or modified yoga for specific conditions is also a form of stretching.

Stretching improves muscle length and can improve activities of daily living by improving range of motion.

“Stretching decreases pain associated with aging because the joints aren’t as stiff, and it improves posture and reduces stress levels,” Willis said.

Willis noted that stretching could be done every day or at least four times a week and should not be painful.

3) Practice good posture.

Willis talks about the importance of good posture with every new employee at TCMH, and she explained that posture is the number one thing modified with physical therapy treatment.

“Proper posture minimizes stress on the spine, and helps the muscles work more appropriately,” Willis said.

Proper posture is—ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips. Proper posture can reduce neck pain, headaches and lower back pain. It can also improve shoulder function.

4) Get 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weekly.

The American Heart Association has new guidelines recommending 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly or 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

“Find something you can do to move your body—clean house, mow the lawn, take a walk,” Willis said, noting that it can be done in two 15 minute sessions daily or three 10 minute sessions.

“Do an activity that will burn a few calories, and it will also improve your heart health and lower your weight,” Willis said.

5) Get a good night’s sleep.

“Sleep is vital to overall health,” Willis said, citing increased energy levels, reduced stress and depression, improved memory.

Children ages six to 13 should get nine to 11 hours nightly. Ages 14 to 17 should get eight to 10 hours nightly. Eighteen to 64 year olds should get seven to nine hours nightly. Those over 65 years of age should get seven to eight hours of sleep daily.

“The right amount of sleep will make you feel better, and it will reduce inflammation in your body in general,” Willis said.

Willis and her team at the TCMH physical therapy department are willing to work with anybody that needs help getting on the right track with their physical health.

“Speak with your healthcare provider about whether or not physical therapy would be a benefit to you, or give us a call or stop by our department in the hospital,” Willis said.

The TCMH Physical therapy department is located inside the hospital or can be called at (417) 967-1201.


Sport Physicals Offered for Mountain Grove Area Athletes

joleen General Comments Off on Sport Physicals Offered for Mountain Grove Area Athletes

The Texas County Memorial Hospital Mountain Grove Clinic is sponsoring sport physicals for Mountain Grove area high school and middle school athletes at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic on Wed., July 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Ray Bruno and Terry Bruno, TCMH family nurse practitioners, will perform the sport physicals.

The TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic is located at 1905 West 19th Street.

There is a $5 charge for the physicals. No appointment is necessary. Athletes need to bring the MSHSAA form signed by a parent or guardian to the physicals. These forms are available through athletic coaches, and copies of the form are also available at the clinic.

For more information, contact Megan Mitchell at the clinic, (417) 926-1770.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 16 17   Next »
  • Let us know what you think

    You can contact us via the email button below or submit online using our Contact Form.

    Contact Us via E-Mail Follow Us on Facebook TCMH Buzz