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Brenda Barton is Employee of the Month

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Brenda Barton (right) is the May employee of the month at Texas County Memorial Hospital. She’s with her supervisor, Amanda Blaylock.

Brenda Barton (right) is the May employee of the month at Texas County Memorial Hospital. She’s with her supervisor, Amanda Blaylock.

Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Brenda Barton of Houston the May employee of the month.

Barton is the insurance verification coordinator in the registration department at TCMH. Barton has worked at the hospital since 1996. She was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Amanda Blaylock.

“Brenda knows all the ins and outs of our department, and she’s not afraid to tackle anything,” Blaylock said, describing Barton as “an outstanding employee”.

In addition to making sure that patients at TCMH have approval from their insurance company for the services they need, Barton also trains new employees in the registration department and registers patients for inpatient and outpatient services.

“Brenda comes to work with one thing in mind,” Blaylock said, “And that is to help others.”

As employee of the month, Barton 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; Blissful Nirvana Massage, Wher Motors, and TQ’s BBQ. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Barton.

This is Barton’s second time to receive the TCMH award; she was the January 2014 employee of the month. Barton is eligible for the 2016 TCMH employee of the year award.


TCMH Readies for Pulmonologist, Obstetrician and Nurse Practitioner to Start Practice

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Texas County Memorial Hospital is remodeling office space and putting everything in place for three new healthcare providers planning to join TCMH in June and July board members heard at their May monthly meeting.

Juan Mella, MD (right), a board certified pulmonologist, has signed a contract to work part-time for Texas County Memorial Hospital at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston beginning in mid-June.  Mella is shown here with Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer.

Juan Mella, MD (right), a board certified pulmonologist, has signed a contract to work part-time for Texas County Memorial Hospital at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston beginning in mid-June. Mella is shown here with Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer.

Juan F. Mella, MD, a board certified pulmonologist, is joining TCMH to work part-time as a clinic-based pulmonologist and to oversee the hospital Sleep Studies Lab.

“Dr. Mella approached us about working part-time at TCMH, and we were able to work out an arrangement that is mutually beneficial,” Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, said.

Mella has over 30 years experience as a pulmonologist. He attended medical school and residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He completed a pulmonology fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, FL. He’s board certified in internal medicine, pulmonology and sleep medicine, and he’s a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Mella has practiced in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, and most recently, at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains, MO.

“We have a large number of patients with pulmonary conditions,” Murray said. “Access to a pulmonologist has been a major problem for many of our patients.”

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is one of the top admission diagnoses at TCMH. The hospital has a cardiopulmonary department that is staffed 24/7, providing breathing treatments, managing ventilators, and performing outpatient pulmonary testing for a variety of issues.

The cardiopulmonary department did 105,156 procedures in 2015, an increase of almost 2,000 procedures from 2014. A two-bed sleep studies laboratory is also part of the department.

“Dr. Mella is very passionate about a sleep issues, and he looks forward to working with our medical staff and their patients in identifying and treating sleep issues,” Murray said.

The TCMH Sleep Studies Lab operates three nights each week. With Mella’s help, TCMH hopes to grow sleep study availability.

Additionally, TCMH is pursuing a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to start a pulmonary rehabilitation program for patients with moderate to severe lung disease.

According to Murray approximately 10 patients have a pulmonary function test done at TCMH each month. Over half the patients receiving pulmonary function tests at TCMH in the past year would qualify for a pulmonary rehabilitation program because they have moderate to severe lung disease.

The grant would help start the pulmonary rehabilitation program, and qualifying patients would participate in the 12-week program that would help patients improve lung function and activities of daily living.

“If we are able to start a pulmonary rehab program, Dr. Mella will also be an asset to the program and the patients involved with it,” Murray explained.

Mella will see patients in the TCMH Medical Complex, located next to the hospital in Houston. Mella will not be part of the hospital call group, but he is willing to do consultation work with patients in the hospital as needed.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work with a specialist physician that wants to continue to work in the area without call responsibilities or full-time employment,” Murray said.

Mella will begin seeing patients in mid-June.

Cory Offutt, MD, family medicine and obstetrics physician is joining TCMH after he completes residency at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in June. Offutt just completed a surgical residency rotation at TCMH working with Dr. Linda Milholen, TCMH general surgeon. Offutt began moonlighting shifts in the TCMH emergency department in May, too.

Offutt’s final residency rotation is also at TCMH—a clinical rotation with Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH internal medicine physician at the TCMH Medical Complex, the same clinic where Offutt will be based.

In late June, Offutt and his wife, Samantha, are relocating to a home they have purchased in Texas County. Offutt begins working full-time at TCMH in mid-July. He will be based in the TCMH Medical Complex, too. Offutt will see patients of all ages, and he will deliver babies at TCMH as part of his practice.

“Dr. Offutt received word this week that he passed his board certification exam,” Murray told board members. “He is very eager to start his new practice with TCMH.”

Sheena Painter, a TCMH nurse and an instructor for the Cox College of Nursing program in Cabool, has completed her family nurse practitioner program at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, KY. After completing her board examination, Painter will continue to work part-time for TCMH as a family nurse practitioner.

“Sheena will be primarily based in the TCMH Walk In Clinic, but we may also utilize her in other clinics, too, when needed,” Murray said.

Recruiting efforts are also underway for an additional full-time general surgeon and an additional full-time family medicine or internal medicine physician.

With the addition of Mella and Offutt and the growing popularity of the TCMH Walk In Clinic, remodeling work is being done to the TCMH Medical Complex.

“We are going to rearrange the flow of some parts of the clinic to make the clinic space more user friendly for our staff and for our patients,” Murray said.

The hospital’s maintenance department is doing the remodeling work in-house. The project will centralize some administrative offices and add more patient exam rooms.

Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, reported that TCMH does not have any full-time or part-time registered nurse vacancies at the hospital with the recent hiring of eight graduate registered nurses that recently completed their RN training.

“All of these nurses are graduates of area nursing programs, and prior to full-time employment, they worked part-time or did nursing rotations at the hospital,” Todd-Willis said.

Nursing students from Missouri State University in West Plains, Cox College/Drury University in Cabool and Texas County Technical College in Houston do clinical rotations at TCMH during their training programs.

“Having these area nursing programs nearby gives us an opportunity to show off our hospital to area students,” Murray said. “Many of them look forward to working full-time in their community after completing their education.”

Amanda Turpin, quality management director at TCMH, presented updated quality measurement information to board members.

According to Turpin, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) will soon make public hospital data for readmission and mortality rates for stroke, pneumonia, heart failure, COPD and heart attack. All of the TCMH scores are risk adjusted for specific patient demographics by CMS before they are reported

“Overall, our scores were good, and even with the risk adjustment by CMS, TCMH ranks better than the state and national averages for these quality measures,” Turpin said.

Cost per patient episode is also part of the information to be released by CMS, and Turpin noted that TCMH averages about $2,000 less per patient episode than state and national averages.

“We make a lot of efforts to control costs at TCMH, and I think we should be very proud that our costs are significantly lower than state and national averages,” Murray said.

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial report for the month of April.

“Inpatient and outpatient volumes were above budgeted expectations,” Pamperien reported. She noted that contractual adjustments were at normal levels for the month, and overall expenses were down for April.

TCMH ended the month of April with a positive bottom line of $58,343.46, and a year-to-date bottom line of $22,346.72.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Todd-Willis; Turpin; April Steele, administrative secretary; Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH chief of staff; and board members, Dr. Jim Perry, OD; Mark Hampton; Omanez Fockler, and Janet Wiseman.

Russell Gaither, TCMH board member, was not present at the meeting.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., June 28 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


Marlene Collins is Employee of the Month

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Marlene Collins (center), Texas County Memorial Hospital April employee of the month, with Jeff Ijames (right), her supervisor, and April Steele.

Marlene Collins (center), Texas County Memorial Hospital April employee of the month, with Jeff Ijames (right), her supervisor, and April Steele.

Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Marlene Collins of Houston the April employee of the month.

Collins is the assistant dietary department supervisor at TCMH. Collins has worked at the hospital since 1985. She was nominated for the award by April Steele, administrative assistant in the hospital’s administrative office.

“I go to Marlene daily with dietary needs for hospital events,” Steele said, describing Collins as “dedicated” and a “huge asset” to TCMH.

In the TCMH dietary department, Collins works with patients, hospital staff and visitors to the Mayuga Café. Collins also makes arrangements for special events at the hospital as well as regular events like medical staff and board meetings, nurses’ week and national hospital week.

“Marlene anticipates our dietary needs before we even know we need it,” Steele said, adding, “She keeps us on schedule with our events, too.”

As employee of the month, Collins 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; Blissful Nirvana Massage, Wher Motors, and TQ’s BBQ. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Collins.

Collins is eligible for the 2016 TCMH employee of the year award.


Hospital Honors Nurses and CNAs for Service to Patients

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In a special recognition event for all the nurses and certified nurse assistants (CNAs) that work at Texas County Memorial Hospital, a nurse and a CNA were chosen for special honors on May 6.

Shanda Melton (center) Texas County Memorial Hospital nurse of the year, with Doretta Todd-Willis (left), TCMH chief nursing officer, and John Sawyer, medical surgical department manager.

Shanda Melton (center) Texas County Memorial Hospital nurse of the year, with Doretta Todd-Willis (left), TCMH chief nursing officer, and John Sawyer, medical surgical department manager.

Texas County Memorial Hospital named Shanda Melton of Mountain Grove as the 2016 TCMH Nurse of the Year and Modena Jones of Mountain Grove as the 2016 TCMH CNA of the Year.

Melton, a registered nurse in the TCMH medical surgical department, has been employed by the hospital for six years.

“Shanda is awesome,” John Sawyer, medical surgical department director, said.

Sawyer explained that Melton takes a leadership role on the medical surgical floor by taking responsibility for all patients and processes when she’s working.

“Shanda is a ‘go to’ person for the other members of the nursing staff,” Sawyer said. “She works with the students from all the schools that send our students to us, and I regularly use her as a preceptor for new nursing hires.”

Melton also sees certain patients in their homes following their discharge from TCMH as part of the TCMH house call program for patients that are likely to be re-admitted.

“Shanda’s compassion for our patients is above and beyond,” Sawyer said.

Jones is a certified nurse assistant in the TCMH medical surgical department, and she has worked at TCMH for 11 years. This is the second time Jones has received the TCMH CNA of the Year award.

Modena Jones (center) Texas County Memorial Hospital CNA of the year, with Doretta Todd-Willis (left), TCMH chief nursing officer, and John Sawyer, medical surgical department manager.

Modena Jones (center) Texas County Memorial Hospital CNA of the year, with Doretta Todd-Willis (left), TCMH chief nursing officer, and John Sawyer, medical surgical department manager.

“Modena’s work ethic is the best you can have,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer described Jones as a well-rounded CNA that provides “great customer service and gets done every job that needs to be done”.

“Modena is a great patient advocate, and she is not afraid to speak up to others about what she believes her patients need,” Sawyer said. “She helps everyone.”

The nurse and CNA of the year received $250 cash, a plaque, an engraved crystal trophy and fresh flowers.

All Nurses and CNAs from nursing departments throughout TCMH were nominees for the annual nursing awards if they had worked at least two years at the hospital and if they had worked at least 1,040 hours over the past year. All TCMH employees were asked to vote for one nominee in each category, and awards were given based on the popular vote.

Also during the week, a mandatory nursing skills lab was provided for the nursing staff. Eleven stations provided education—some of which was hands on—on topics such as wound care, patient restraints, fetal heart tones, infection control and pharmacology.

Scrubs and Beyond of St. Louis came to TCMH to allow nurses and other employees the opportunity to shop for uniforms during the day.

Nurses are Superheroes cake

Nurses are Superheroes cake

On Friday breakfast or lunch was served to all members of the TCMH nursing staff.

TCMH currently employs 126 nurses and 23 CNAs. The nurses and their assistants work in many departments of the hospital—medical surgical, obstetrics, emergency room, surgery, intensive care, home health, hospice and clinics.


TCMH Managers Graduate from MHA Leadership Series

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John Sawyer (left) and Bill Bridges

John Sawyer (left) and Bill Bridges

The Missouri Hospital Association Center for Education’s Health Care Leadership Series recently concluded, with 63 hospital staff members from throughout the state graduating from the program. The series provides leadership training to a diverse cross section of hospital and health care supervisors and managers.

Texas County Memorial Hospital managers, Bill Bridges of Raymondville and John Sawyer of Houston, were graduates of the 2015-2016 training program. Bridges is the director of the TCMH emergency medical services department. Sawyer is the director of the medical surgical department and intensive care unit at TCMH.

“The MHA Leadership Series provides excellent training to better equip our managers to do their respective jobs at the hospital,” Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, said.

The series consists of comprehensive leadership training courses designed to enhance participant’s managerial skills. The seven-month program includes training sessions featuring topics on building and retaining customer relationships, producing a high-performance workforce, designing and revising processes to ensure quality performance, and understanding hospitals’ budgets and finances.

“Health care is an increasingly complex field,” said Herb B. Kuhn, MHA president and CEO. “The leadership series offers tools for health care leaders to strengthen their organizations and improve the quality of services offered in their facilities.”

The MHA Leadership Series is offer free-of-charge to MHA member hospitals, and TCMH has had several employees graduate from the program since the course was offered.

The Missouri Hospital Association is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City that represents 149 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its membership, the association offers continuing education programs on current health care topics and seeks to educate the public about health care issues.


Annual Hospital Audit Shows Strong Financial Position Despite Year End Loss

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Texas County Memorial Hospital ended 2015 with a net position of -$2,071,369 in excess revenues over expenses hospital board members and administration heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees chairperson, Dr. Jim Perry, OD (left), administered the oath of office to Omanez Fockler, returning board member at the meeting on Tuesday.

Texas County Memorial Hospital board of trustees chairperson, Dr. Jim Perry, OD (left), administered the oath of office to Omanez Fockler, returning board member at the meeting on Tuesday.

Stephanie Weis, partner at BKD, LLP of Springfield, MO and David Taylor, senior manager at BKD, presented the annual audit report at the monthly meeting.

“2015 was an atypical year for operating results,” Weis said, citing the loss of two doctors in the first quarter of 2015, which led to lower operating revenues of $1,848,391.

Audit results also showed that expenses at the hospital dropped by $475,145 in 2015, which Taylor described as “not common”.

“A substantial portion of expenses are fixed in a hospital of your size,” Taylor said. “It’s very hard to be responsive to volume changes, but you were able to control expenses that were controllable.”

In 2015, grants and donations to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation totaled $619,196. In 2014, grants and donations totaled $1,180,978. Although the Healthcare Foundation funds are designated for specific purposes, the numbers are included in overall year end fiscal results.

“The funds you have received for grants and donations are very strong,” Taylor said. “Numbers like these are not typically seen in a hospital of your size.”

Although revenues at the hospital were down in 2015, TCMH continued to invest in the hospital with capital purchases totaling $500,940.

TCMH made principal payments of $747,356 on the major construction project completed in 2014, and depreciation expenses made up a good portion the hospital’s losses in 2015.

“A lot of this year’s loss is related to depreciation,” Taylor said. “If you take out the depreciation, 2015 showed a ‘true decrease’ of about $450,000.”

The audit report showed a decrease in accounts receivable of over 12 percent for 2015, most of which is third-party insurance collections for clinic-based billing. Auditor called the decline “favorable”.

“Our report shows that you are doing what you can to watch any funds that are going out the door,” Taylor said.

TCMH had 83 days of cash on hand—the days the hospital could operate without bringing in any funds. The rural Missouri hospital average is approximately 50 days of cash on hand.

Construction projects at TCMH have the average age of the hospital facility down to about 10 years which is at or below Missouri hospital averages.

The debt to capitalization ratio at TCMH is at 50 percent, which Taylor called “not too high”. TCMH is in line with other hospitals in the nation.

“Your balance sheet is good, and your financial position is strong,” Taylor told board members.

Taylor pointed out that revenue from the 340b pharmaceutical program helped offset losses in 2015, and he noted that TCMH plans to grow those revenues in 2016. Additionally, TCMH has hired Dr. Cory Offutt, a family medicine and obstetrics physician that will begin working full-time in the hospital and clinic in July.

In 2015, TCMH brought $14,127,908 in Medicare and Medicaid funds into the hospital. Due to the patient population in the area TCMH relies heavily on federal funds.

Taylor spoke to board members about the shift that hospitals are experiencing as Medicare makes payments for healthcare related to value rather than volume.

“TCMH experienced some value-based payments in 2015, and there are more of those to come in the future,” Taylor said.

Taylor explained that understanding the financial path for risk-based reimbursement versus the traditional fee for service payment method is not entirely known.

Beginning this April, a pilot program for hip and knee replacement was put into place in major-metro areas of the state. Hospitals are given a bundled bulk payment for the joint replacement, and with the joint replacement, the hospital assumes a 90-day responsibility for the patient post-discharge.

“The bottom line for each joint replacement is dependent upon improving the outcome of the patient,” Taylor said. “This is forcing conversations on the coordination of care for patients.”

Taylor and staff at BKD anticipate that more healthcare procedures and services will be placed into “bundled” payments, placing the hospitals at risk financially.

As a result of the anticipated changes to the payment delivery methods for the hospitals they serve, BKD has hired non-CPA staff to help the accounting firm better understand the clinical side of the business.

BKD sends an audit team to TCMH each March, spending about a week pouring over hospital financial information from the previous year. The firm takes about a month to complete the audit information including expense statements, balance sheets, statement of cash flows and other information that comprises the financial report documents presented at the April board meeting.

BKD uses historical TCMH data and data from other healthcare facilities for comparison purposes during the audit. BKD also has access to the latest information regarding hospital payers which helps the firm reach concrete numbers in the final audit report.

“As our numbers show, there was not a significant change from the numbers you reported internally to those we are reporting,” Weis said. “You did a good job making decisions throughout 2015 based on your internal results.”

In the hospital administrative report, Wes Murray, chief executive officer, explained that he and Joleen Senter Durham, physician recruiting director at TCMH, visited the Cox Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield where they talked with residents about TCMH.

“We had a very productive meeting and provided lunch for about 15 people,” Murray said, adding, “We spoke with them about moonlighting in the ER, rural residency rotations in the clinic or surgery department, weekend hospitalist work, and full-time opportunities after residency.”

Durham noted that several of the current residents have roots in the Ozarks.

“Most residents will take a job within 100 miles of where they complete residency,” Durham said. “We are very fortunate that Cox allows us the opportunity to meet with their residents regularly.”

Ron Prenger, CoxHealth representative, pointed out that the Cox residency program was recently allowed to add an additional resident, and the program hopes to add more slots for residents in the future.

Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, presented the financial report for the month of March.

“Inpatient volumes were below budgeted expectations, but outpatient volumes were above budgeted expectations for an overall revenue of $23,261,” Pamperien said.

Due to Medicaid payment remittance for three weeks instead of two in the month of March, contractual adjustments were higher, coming in at almost 68 percent.

With the higher contractual adjustment, TCMH ended the month of March with negative bottom line of $132,017.53, creating a neative year-to-date bottom line of $35,996.74.

Present at the meeting were Weis; Taylor; Murray; Pamperien; Durham; Prenger; Anita Kuhn, controller; Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH chief of staff; and board members Jim Perry; Mark Hampton; Omanez Fockler, and Janet Wiseman.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., May 24 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.


Therapists Receive Certification in Specialized Therapy for Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

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Area residents with Parkinson’s disease have the opportunity to receive LSVT BIG, a specialized physical therapy available through Texas County Memorial Hospital and TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks.

Christie Koch, left, and Ellen Willis, right, have received their LSVT BIG certification.  Cabool resident and former Texas County judge, Brad Ellsworth, has worked with the TCMH physical therapy department for Parkinson’s disease-related therapy, but he hopes to utilize the LSVT BIG therapy in the future.

Christie Koch, left, and Ellen Willis, right, have received their LSVT BIG certification. Cabool resident and former Texas County judge, Brad Ellsworth, has worked with the TCMH Physical therapy department for Parkinson’s disease-related therapy, but he hopes to utilize the LSVT BIG therapy in the future.

Ellen Willis, physical therapist and director of the physical therapy department at TCMH, and Christie Koch, physical therapist assistant at TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks, completed LSVT BIG training and passed the test for certification.

“I am very excited to be able to offer this therapy for our patients,” Willis said, explaining that she and Koch jumped at the opportunity to get the training when it was recently offered in Missouri.

The training included work with a community volunteer, and Willis noted that even in the short time of working with the volunteer during the training program, the volunteer showed improvement in their movement.

“LSVT BIG specifically addresses amplitude of movement with patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease,” Willis said.

Willis explained that Parkinson’s disease—a neurological process that affects the brain’s ability to receive dopamine—can start in patients as young as 30 or 40 years old.

“We are not exactly sure what causes Parkinson’s disease,” Willis said. She explained that Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.

According to Willis, there are five stages to Parkinson’s disease, and any therapy a patient receives in the early stages of the disease can help delay the disease’s progression.

“The greatest improvement with the BIG therapy for Parkinson’s patients is in stages one through three, but it can be done in any stage,” Willis said.
With the new certification, Willis will do LSVT BIG therapy in the hospital physical therapy department, and Koch will do LSVT BIG therapy with patients in their home. Willis will also do in-home assessments with Home Health of the Ozarks patients before Koch implements the therapy program.

“We have had many patients at TCMH that would benefit from BIG therapy, and it’s important that those in the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease understand that early intervention is very important,” Willis said.

Parkinson’s disease slows a person’s movement and speech. It’s not uncommon that handwriting will become smaller, speech will become softer, walking and other movement will be slower and less animated. Ultimately, Parkinson’s disease will completely cripple a patient making the person unable to move and speak.

“BIG therapy identifies the specific needs of each patient such as shaving, removing a wallet, putting on socks and shoes, walking, and more in the initial assessment,” Willis said. “We develop a therapy program of seven exercises along with functional activities that we do with the patient for 16 one-hour sessions—four consecutive days a week for four weeks.”

The patient is asked to practice their exercise program at home during the therapy regimen. After the prescribed program is complete, the patient continues their daily exercises at home, checking in for a “tune up” in three to six months and meeting with a therapist as needed.

“It’s amazing to watch the changes in a patient before and after therapy,” Willis said. She described a Parkinson’s patient with a shuffling gait before therapy, and after therapy the patient will swing his or her arms while taking steps and holding their head up.

“BIG therapy carries over to other facets of the disease, too, improving speech and handwriting because of better movement techniques that carry over from therapy,” Willis said.

According to Willis LSVT BIG therapy can benefit patients for up to two years.

“The therapy program calibrates internal movement cues,” Willis said.

Willis noted that many Parkinson’s patients are home bound or they cannot easily travel to the hospital for therapy, so Koch will do LSVT BIG therapy in the home following Willis’ initial assessment of the patient in his or her home.

Like all physical therapy, a patient must receive a doctor’s order for the initial assessment.

“Most insurance will cover BIG therapy,” Willis said. She noted that some of the therapy techniques used for BIG therapy are also valuable for use with other neurologic disorders.

“Christie and I are looking forward to bringing BIG therapy to patients in the area for the first time,” Willis said.

Depending upon the need for BIG therapy, Willis hopes to have other TCMH physical therapy staff train and receive their LSVT BIG certification in the future.

For additional information about LSVT BIG therapy, contact the TCMH physical therapy department at (417) 967-1201.


Christie Koch is Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Christie Koch of Bucyrus the March employee of the month.

Christie Koch (center), Texas County Memorial Hospital March employee of the month, with Ellen Willis, physical therapy department director (far left) and Krista Elliott, Home Health of the Ozarks director.

Christie Koch (center), Texas County Memorial Hospital March employee of the month, with Ellen Willis, physical therapy department director (far left) and Krista Elliott, Home Health of the Ozarks director.

Koch is a physical therapy assistant for TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks. Koch has worked at the hospital since 2013. Koch received two nominations for the award from TCMH directors—Krista Elliott of Home Health of the Ozarks and Ellen Willis of the physical therapy department.

“Christie has great rapport with her patients,” Elliott said, describing Koch’s “positive attitude” at all times in working with patients and co-workers.

As the physical therapy assistant for Home Health of the Ozarks, Koch works with the hospital’s physical therapy department to provide physical therapy to patients in their own homes. Koch volunteers to help out the hospital physical therapy department when there are staffing needs.

“Christie manages her own schedule independently and cost effectively,” Willis said, adding, “She is a valuable asset to TCMH.”

As employee of the month, Koch 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; Blissful Nirvana Massage, Wher Motors, and Twirlee Q. A reception will be held at the hospital in honor of Koch.

Koch is eligible for the 2016 TCMH employee of the year award.


Endowed Scholarship Fund for Area Youth to Benefit from Give Ozarks Day

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is raising funds for the TCMH Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship through the Give Ozarks program on Tuesday, May 3.

Progressive Ozark Bank donated $1000 to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund to kick off the Healthcare Foundation’s Give Ozarks Day project.  Shown here at the check presentation are (left to right):  April Steele, Youth Ambassador Program director; Monica Hunter, TCMH Youth Ambassador; Earleen Holder, Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation.

Progressive Ozark Bank donated $1000 to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship Fund to kick off the Healthcare Foundation’s Give Ozarks Day project. Shown here at the check presentation are (left to right): April Steele, Youth Ambassador Program director; Monica Hunter, TCMH Youth Ambassador; Earleen Holder, Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation.

Give Ozarks is a one-day surge across the state of Missouri that is part of the national “Give Local America Day”. Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) organized Give Ozarks day to benefit its affiliate members and charitable organizations across the Ozarks region. On May 3rd donors will be able to make online donations at www.giveozarks.org to the Healthcare Foundation to benefit the TCMH Youth Ambassador Endowed Scholarship.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation is an affiliate member of CFO. Last year, the Healthcare Foundation raised $14,891 during Give Ozarks day which included a $5,000 matching grant from CFO.

This year, Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston has donated $1,000 to the 2016 Give Ozarks effort for the Healthcare Foundation.

CFO will have additional matching funds and prizes available to organizations that rally donors to participate in the 24-hour day of giving on May 3rd.

“Our goal for 2016 is to raise the endowment fund to $19,000. This is will allow us to give scholarships totaling $750 in 2016,” Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, said.

The ultimate goal of the Healthcare Foundation is to have an endowment of $25,000 that will cover two annual $500 scholarships for Youth Ambassadors.

“We are excited about growing this endowed scholarship program for the TCMH Youth Ambassadors,” Gentry said. “The Youth Ambassadors volunteered 1,795 hours in 2015 and are an important resource to the hospital.”

The Youth Ambassador program at TCMH allows selected area high school juniors and seniors and college students to volunteer in hospital departments for medical experience. Volunteer duties include passing out fresh linens and filling ice water cups for patients on the medical surgical floors, rocking newborns and greeting visitors in the obstetrics department, and reading to and talking with patients in the hospital’s swing bed program.

With the endowed scholarship, eligible Youth Ambassadors would have an opportunity annually to receive a scholarship toward higher education.

Funds donated to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation are tax-deductible. For donations to be included in the Healthcare Foundation’s Give Ozarks Day fundraising effort, donations must in the Healthcare Foundation’s hands by April 25th or given online May 3rd.

For additional information, contact Gentry at (417) 967-1377 or jay.gentry@tcmh.org


TCMH Healthcare Foundation to Award $6,500 in Scholarships

joleen General Comments Off on TCMH Healthcare Foundation to Award $6,500 in Scholarships

The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation has opened the application window for $6,500 in educational scholarships for the fall 2016 academic year.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation Educational Scholarship Program is designed to assist students that are pursuing or planning to pursue education in a healthcare related field or students currently working in healthcare that are pursuing additional education for their current career.

The Healthcare Foundation is in its tenth year of awarding scholarships in the fall and the spring. Students from towns across the county have received the scholarships.

In addition to two scholarships from the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, the Healthcare Foundation will also award the “Dr. Joe L. and Judith T. Spears Memorial Scholarship” and the “Dr. Eugene Charles Honeywell Memorial Scholarship”. Both are endowed funds that are awarded to a deserving student annually.

Healthcare Services Group Charitable Foundation, the purchasing group that TCMH belongs to, provides matching funds for scholarships given by the TCMH Healthcare Foundation. Those funds are available annually to the Healthcare Foundation and enable the Healthcare Foundation to give out an additional $3,000 in scholarships to area students.

“Educational scholarships are a major focus area of the Healthcare Foundation,” Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, stated. “The board of directors of the Foundation recognizes the need to assist areas students in their educational endeavors with hopes that the student will return to or stay in the Texas County area to provide healthcare services to area residents after receiving additional education.”

The Healthcare Foundation has awarded over $67,000 in scholarship funds since the scholarship program began ten years ago.

Endowed scholarships provide some of the educational funds, and the Healthcare Foundation hosts an annual golf tournament to raise money for the scholarship program. The annual golf tournament is planned for early June.

Eligible students for the scholarships must be accepted to or currently enrolled in an accredited university, college or post-secondary training program. Residents of the TCMH service area—all of Texas County and Mountain Grove—and students that are graduates of Texas County and Mountain Grove schools are eligible to apply. Applicants already pursuing a career in a healthcare organization, or applicants planning to pursue a career in a health field with direct patient care are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

The scholarship application asks for information about the student and requires a short essay about the student’s career and educational goals. Applicants are also asked to list community involvement activities on their application, and they may be asked to meet with Foundation board members for a short personal interview.

The deadline for the fall scholarship applications is July 1, 2016. Awards for the scholarship will be announced by September 1, 2016.

For more information about the scholarship program or to receive an application, contact Gentry by phone at (417) 967-1377 or 1-866-967-3311, ext. 4202 or by e-mail at jgentry@tcmh.org. The scholarship application and complete details are also available at www.tcmhfoundation.org.


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