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TCMH Holds 33rd Annual Employee Celebration

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Texas County Memorial Hospital gave out top employee awards and honored 38 employees with service awards at the Thirty-Third Annual Celebration of TCMH Employees on Friday at Faith Fellowship Church in Houston.  In attendance were approximately 100 employees, many with guests, for a total attendance of about 200 people.

Ellen Willis, Texas County Memorial Hospital physical therapy department director, received the Manager of the Year honor at TCMH for 2016.  Shown here left to right, Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, Willis, Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer, and (back) Wes Murray, chief executive officer.

Ellen Willis, Texas County Memorial Hospital physical therapy department director, received the Manager of the Year honor at TCMH for 2016. Shown here left to right, Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, Willis, Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer, and (back) Wes Murray, chief executive officer.

Ellen Willis of Summersville took top honors as manager of the year at TCMH for 2016.

Willis, an employee at TCMH since 2001, is a physical therapist and director of the TCMH physical therapy department.

“Ellen has taken initiative to take on additional duties and pursued additional training to bring new services to her department,” Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, said, explaining that Willis took on oversight of physical therapy services for Home Health of the Ozarks shortly after taking over as director of the PT department.

“When I asked Ellen about working with Home Health, she said, ‘We’ll make that work.’ And it has been very successful,” Pamperien said.

Willis has also pursued board certification in wound therapy and certification in LSVT BIG for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Ellen is always looking for ways to better herself,” Pamperien said.  “She’s a terrific asset for our hospital.”

Willis joined the TCMH physical therapy department in 2001, and she took over leadership of the department in 2012.

“Ellen exhibits the leadership qualities that meet our expectations for the department and the hospital,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH said.

Murray noted that Willis takes call for physical therapy and wound therapy patients at the hospital, and she’s “always willing to work with everyone as a team player”.

Willis works closely with members of the TCMH medical staff for inpatients and outpatients.

“Ellen has the respect of all of our physicians,” Pamperien said.

Brooke Whitaker, a registered nurse in the Texas County Memorial Hospital emergency department, received the Employee of the Year honor at TCMH for 2016.  Shown here are Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, Doretta Todd-Willis chief nursing officer, Whitaker, Wes Murray, chief executive officer, and Jerri Sue Crump, emergency department nurse manager.

Brooke Whitaker, a registered nurse in the Texas County Memorial Hospital emergency department, received the Employee of the Year honor at TCMH for 2016. Shown here are Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer, Doretta Todd-Willis chief nursing officer, Whitaker, Wes Murray, chief executive officer, and Jerri Sue Crump, emergency department nurse manager.

Brooke Whitaker of Licking received the employee of the year honor.

Employee of the year is limited to the individuals who have received the honor of employee of the month since the 2015 employee awards ceremony.  All employees are allowed to vote for employee of the year by choosing one employee of the month in a secret ballot vote.

Whitaker is a registered nurse in the emergency department at TCMH, and she has worked at the hospital since 2014.  Whitaker won employee of the month honors at TCMH in August.  Doctors, nurses, patients, visitors and other departmental staff members all interact with Whitaker as a nurse in the emergency department.

“Brooke is positive and energetic, and she takes initiative when she’s working,” Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, said.

Murray noted that Whitaker has the respect of the TCMH emergency room physicians.

“Brooke is known for having a sound knowledge base,” Murray said.  “She has a gift for balancing patient care with handling patients and their families and the many different situations that are presented in the ER.”

“Brooke is a ‘go-to’ employee, and her future in healthcare is bright,” Jerri Sue Crump, emergency department nurse manager said.

The managers of the year and the employee of the year were honored with an engraved plaque, $500 cash, a pin and a day of paid time off.

The TCMH Customer Quality Team honored two employees that exemplified excellent customer service in the hospital organization in 2016.   Tamma Floyd, a technician at TCMH Hutcheson Pharmacy, and Frank Steelman, a paramedic in the emergency medical services department, were chosen to receive the honor.

Tamma Floyd of Hutcheson Pharmacy and Frank Steelman of Emergency Medical Services won the top customer service awards given to employees at Texas County Memorial Hospital in 2016.

Tamma Floyd of Hutcheson Pharmacy and Frank Steelman of Emergency Medical Services won the top customer service awards given to employees at Texas County Memorial Hospital in 2016.

Floyd and Steelman were each awarded a plaque for their efforts and given a cash award.

The Customer Quality Team also recognized two departments with a “Customer Service Department of the Year” award.  TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks and Plant Operations received the honors.

Home Health of the Ozarks staff has consistently received “four out of five star” ratings and are “above average” in the scored areas on their patient satisfaction surveys in 2016.  They have been in the 90th percentile of “recommended home health agencies” for six months in a row.

The plant operations department is known for consistently providing excellent customer service to all departments within the hospital.  The department has also taken on several large in-house renovation projects in 2016 in addition to handling routine duties of the department.

Plant Operations and Home Health of the Ozarks won the customer service departments of the year award at Texas County Memorial Hospital.  Members of both departments are here accepting the award.

Plant Operations and Home Health of the Ozarks won the customer service departments of the year award at Texas County Memorial Hospital. Members of both departments are here accepting the award.

Both departments will receive a special meal in their honor.

Murray and Dr. Jim Perry, OD, chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees, and board member, Omanez Fockler recognized employees with service awards.

Linda Sullins was recognized for 40 years of service.

Terri Bailey was recognized for 35 years of service.

Nancy Branson and Kim Jordan were recognized for 30 years of service.

Kelly Bell, Kathy Carr, Angie Gimpel, and Carol Turner were recognized for 25 years of service.

Brenda Barton, Yvonne Cope, Andree Havens, and Linda Pamperien were recognized for 20 years of service.

Recognized for 15 years of service were: Hope Best, Lisa Merritt, Patty Norris, Frank Steelman, Vicky Tidwell, and Ellen Willis.

Recognized for 10 years of service were: Becky Brawley, Krista Elliott, Crystal Finley, Geoff Hall, Nancy Hayes, Colleen Lebel, and Steve Mitchell.

Recognized for 5 years of service were:  Mary Barnes, Ashley Carr, Shelby Ellison, Paul Fockler, Jonathon Gibby, Sharon Gliem, Chastidy Graen, Rick Hardwick, Tommi Hogan, Malina Jordan, Lance King, Christa Mitchell, and Janell Postlewait.

TCMH also gave out prizes to hospital employees that had volunteered at hospital events throughout the year.


TCMH Plans for New Surgery Center and New Physicians

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The new TCMH surgery department will be located between the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room and the East Wing of the hospital, on the South side of the hospital campus.  The two center windows shown here are part of the hallway outside the new department, connecting the Safe Room and Surgery to original hospital building.

The new TCMH surgery department will be located between the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room and the East Wing of the hospital, on the South side of the hospital campus. The two center windows shown here are part of the hallway outside the new department, connecting the Safe Room and Surgery to original hospital building.

Texas County Memorial Hospital board members unanimously agreed to approve a resolution accepting a $150,000 Delta Region Authority grant at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

The grant funds are designated for the planned 6,000 square foot surgery center, and with the funds, TCMH will be able to complete infill for the planned surgery department.

“This grant couldn’t have come at a better time,” Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, said.  TCMH recently signed Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden to full-time jobs at TCMH.  Dr. Jason Loden is a general surgeon, and he will arrive at TCMH in the summer of 2018.

TCMH anticipates an 18 month turnaround time on the surgery project, to be completed by the summer of 2018.

The department shell is already built and in place, located between the Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room and the East Wing of the hospital.  When the hospital built the safe room, they included space between the safe room and hospital to build a new surgery department.

“Our plant operations crew will build out the department according to the plans that we already have drawn up,” Murray said.

Several years ago, TCMH began working toward building or renovating all patient care areas in the hospital.  The final phases of the plan include building a new surgery department, and relocating and enlarging the obstetrics department in the old surgery space and relocating and enlarging the intensive care unit in the old obstetrics space.

The new surgery department is designed to house two operating rooms, an endoscopy suite, and seven private rooms for pre-surgical prep and post-surgery recovery.

The anticipated cost to complete construction on the surgery department is $990,500.  In addition to the $150,000 federal grant, TCMH will utilize funds raised during the “Care for Your Future” capital campaign and tax credits.

TCMH requested $200,000 from the Delta Region Authority for the project, so the project is still $50,000 short.

“We will continue to work toward raising funds for the surgery department and other future capital and construction needs at TCMH,” Murray said.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation currently has a brick paver project underway that will raise additional funds and create an engraved brick paver area at the front entrance of the hospital.  The brick paver funds could be utilized to continue capital projects at the hospital.

Murray told board members that the new surgery department was a key factor to recruiting Dr. Jason Loden to work at TCMH when he completes his residency in 2018.

“Dr. Loden and I have talked about the things he can concentrate on in his final months of residency to best meet the surgical needs of the patients in our area,” Murray said.  “Dr. Loden also has a lot of interest in providing wound care and offering additional services for area patients with wound care needs.”

Murray noted that Dr. Teresa Loden, a pediatrician, was welcomed by all members of the TCMH staff when she recently visited the hospital and met with hospital staff.

“In the past, our family medicine physicians have provided care for pediatric patients, and they expressed to Dr. Loden the need for additional specialized pediatric care for area pediatric patients,” Murray said.

Physicians in the emergency department at TCMH were especially vocal to Murray about the need for a local pediatrician.

“Our ER physicians have found it very difficult to get follow up care with a pediatrician for young patients that receive initial treatment in the ER,” Murray said.

Murray explained that with the recruiting of Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden the hospital’s current physician recruiting needs are filled.

Dr. Cory Offutt began working at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston in July.  Dr. Jennifer Groner began working full-time at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic in November.  Offutt and Groner are board certified family medicine and obstetrics physicians.

“Dr. Groner just completed her first week of work at TCMH,” Murray said.

Murray explained that for Groner the traditional family medicine practice is “somewhat different” than the academic setting where she has worked for the past six years.

“We’re very glad to have a full-time physician at the clinic in Mountain Grove, and we believe that practice will continue to grow with Dr. Groner at the helm,” Murray said.

The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic began working with patients this week.  The clinic is located at the end of the hospital’s East wing where four patient rooms were renovated to house the program.

TCMH recently received a $357,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) to fund a three-year outpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program.  Patients will qualify for the multi-disciplinary program following testing for lung disease.  The 12-week program will help patients improve lung function and activities of daily living.

Funds from the grant are utilized to employ a part-time secretary for the program and a full-time respiratory therapist.  Kathy Carr, cardiac rehabilitation nurse at TCMH, is also working with the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation patients. Dr. Juan Mella, pulmonologist at TCMH, will oversee the program and the patients in the program.

“Dr. Mella has already referred 22 patients to the program, and nine additional referrals have been made by other physicians to the program,” Murray reported.

TCMH has a goal of averaging four new patients each week for the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program.

Murray reported that patient referrals to the Sleep Study Laboratory are also growing.  In August the laboratory added new sleep study technology and increased availability for the lab.

“We are averaging 29 patients a month and growing,” Murray said.  Prior to Mella joining the TCMH medical staff, the Sleep Studies Laboratory averaged 10 patients a month.

“The addition of Dr. Mella’s specialized pulmonology and sleep services are working the way they are supposed to,” Murray said.  “Dr. Mella has had patients follow him from his previous practice, and he’s receiving new referrals of patients from our medical staff.”

Anita Kuhn, controller at TCMH, presented the financial statement for the month of October.

Inpatient volumes were down $322,612 from budgeted expectations, but outpatient volumes were up $354,744 from budgeted expectations.  TCMH ended the month of October with a negative bottom line of $46,999.66 and a year to date negative balance of $1,032,745.43.

According to Kuhn, the TCMH is down 83 admissions for the year in comparison to last year.  Swing bed utilization was moderate with eight admissions in October.

Present at the meeting were: Murray; Kuhn; Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer; Amanda Turpin, quality management director; Joleen Senter Durham, director of public relations; Ron Prenger, Cox Health representative, and board members Dr. Jim Perry, DO; Janet Wiseman; Omanez Fockler, and Mark Hampton.

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

Due to the Christmas holiday, the next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tue., Dec. 20th at 12 p.m. in the TCMH board room.


Two Physicians Sign Four-Year Contracts with TCMH

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Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden have signed contracts to work full-time at TCMH.  Teresa Loden (far left) is a pediatrician, and Jason Loden (far right) is a general surgeon.  They are shown here with Wes Murray, CEO at TCMH.  The couple is holding their daughters—Gabriella, a newborn, and Elliana, age 2.  Both doctors will join the hospital in 2018.

Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden have signed contracts to work full-time at TCMH. Teresa Loden (far left) is a pediatrician, and Jason Loden (far right) is a general surgeon. They are shown here with Wes Murray, CEO at TCMH. The couple is holding their daughters—Gabriella, a newborn, and Elliana, age 2. Both doctors will join the hospital in 2018.

Texas County Memorial Hospital has filled two primary care positions by signing Jason Loden, DO and Teresa Loden, DO, a husband and wife duo to four-year employment contracts.

Jason Loden is a general surgeon, and Teresa Loden is a pediatrician.

Jason Loden will work full-time in the surgery department and Outpatient Surgery Clinic at TCMH. Teresa Loden will work full-time at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston. Both doctors will provide inpatient care, too.

Currently Jason Loden is in residency at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, NE. He will complete his general surgery residency in June 2018.

Teresa Loden is a full-time pediatrician at One World Community Health Center, a federally-qualified community health center serving a predominantly Spanish-speaking population and uninsured patient base in the Omaha area.

The Loden’s grew up in Missouri–Jason in Joplin and Teresa in Swiss. They met in college at Avila University in Kansas City where they were both biology majors. They also attended medical school at AT Still University in Kirksville, MO.

After medical school, the Loden’s did residency in Omaha at Creighton University. Teresa Loden completed her pediatric residency this summer. Jason Loden’s residency is five years in length, ending in 2018.

Teresa Loden is currently fulfilling a requirement by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to work in a clinic with a medically underserved population in exchange for student loan forgiveness. Teresa Loden will fulfill the last two years of her NHSC requirement at the TCMH Medical Complex.

Last year TCMH began looking for an additional full-time general surgeon to work alongside general surgeon, Linda Milholen, MD.

The hospital contacted Jason Loden about a full-time position at TCMH, and he asked the hospital about also recruiting his wife to do pediatrics in Texas County.

“After Jason asked us about recruiting his wife, we asked our medical staff if they felt there was a need for a full-time physician specializing in pediatrics,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, said.

Murray noted that TCMH has not focused on recruiting a pediatrician in the past due to more pressing needs for physicians providing care for all ages.

“Not only was all of our medical staff very much in favor of bringing a pediatrician on board, our employees spoke up in favor of adding a pediatrician to our ranks,” Murray said.

With the addition of the Loden’s TCMH currently has their physician recruiting needs filled.

“Dr. Jason Loden will help us break in our new surgery department, and provide an additional foundation for growing our surgical services in the future,” Murray said. He added, “Dr. Teresa Loden will help us fulfill our mission as a hospital; a pediatrician will provide more specialized care for area children.”

TCMH is in the process of building a new surgery department with two operating rooms, an endoscopy suite, and private recovery rooms. When the current surgery department relocates, the hospital hopes to move obstetrics to surgery and the intensive care unit to obstetrics, creating larger patient care spaces for all the departments.

“Our hospital’s success is dependent upon a strong medical staff providing a variety of services to the communities we serve. We need our area residents to choose local healthcare providers whenever possible to help us continue to grow and to retain our physicians and primary care services,” Murray said.

Murray called Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden “a great addition” to the hospital’s medical staff.

“The future of healthcare in Texas County is very bright,” Murray said.

The Loden’s have two daughters–Elliana is two years old and Gabriella is a newborn. The Loden’s sought an opportunity in a smaller town in Missouri that was near family and where they could both practice medicine. They hope to do some farming and enjoy outdoor activities when they relocate to Texas County in 2018.


Chili Cook Off Raises $47,862 for Hospice of Care

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“Deductive Seasoning”, the Sherlock Holmes-themed team sponsored by the Houston Walmart Supercenter won the top prize of the cook off for raising the most funds for Hospice of Care--$6938.98.

“Deductive Seasoning”, the Sherlock Holmes-themed team sponsored by the Houston Walmart Supercenter won the top prize of the cook off for raising the most funds for Hospice of Care–$6938.98.

The Houston Walmart Supercenter came away as the big winner at the Tenth Annual Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off in Houston on November 5th.  “Deductive Seasoning”, the Sherlock Holmes-themed team from Walmart, raised $6,938.98 to benefit TCMH Hospice of Care.

The team from the Houston Walmart Supercenter was one of 14 different teams that cooked chili and competed for prizes in six different categories.  This year’s team fundraising effort totaled $24,897.43, which represented over half of the $47,862 raised overall through sponsorships, admission, and auctions at the event.

All of the funds raised at the Foundation event benefit TCMH Hospice of Care which provides end of life and grief support care for patients and their families in Texas County and the surrounding area.

Each five member cook off team adopted a theme, a team name, and set about raising funds for their team earlier in the year through “casual days” at work, yard sales, raffles, bake sales and other means.

The Houston Walmart Supercenter had 82 associates that volunteered to walk over 500 hours in their free time, earning the team a $5,000 donation from the Walmart Corporation which they used to benefit Hospice of Care and to boost their team fundraising efforts.

“This event would not be possible without the incredible effort of the chili cook off teams,” Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, said.

Also receiving top prizes for fundraising efforts were “Glory Bowl”, the TCMH emergency medical services team, which raised $3,907.25 to receive second place in the team fundraising category.

“Team Jayson” sponsored by Peoples Community Bank in Cabool cooked and served chili out of a giant balloon helmet. They won third place for team fundraising at the event.

“Team Jayson” sponsored by Peoples Community Bank in Cabool cooked and served chili out of a giant balloon helmet. They won third place for team fundraising at the event.

“Team Jayson”, a Cabool-based team in memory of Jayson Gentry, raised $3,338.27 for the third place prize.

About 300 people were in attendance at the event at the Texas County Fairgrounds and Community Building.  Deep Fried Squirrel, a Rogersville, MO-based bluegrass band, played throughout the day.  Twenty-one different chili recipes were available for those in attendance to sample and to enjoy all day long, too.

Chili styles ranged from spicy to white, some chili recipes were made with beans and some without beans, and there was chili made with shrimp and chili with corn.

Three chili judges representing sponsors and supporters of the event were Earleen Holder from Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston; Shari McCallister from D&L Florist in Houston, and Dr. Cory Offutt, from TCMH.  Prizes were given to the chili teams who were competing in several different categories.

“Judges Choice” and first place went to “Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture”, the TCMH obstetrics department which made a chili featuring shrimp.  The judges awarded second place to “The Mad Hatter’s Chili Party”, Security Bank of the Ozarks, which made a traditional red chili.  Third place went to “Happy Feet”, the Raymondville United Methodist Church which made Dutch oven style chili.

Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture was the theme of the TCMH Obstetrics department.  The team won “Judges’ Choice” for best chili and also won awards for the “Best Decorated Booth”, “People’s Choice” and “TCMH Choice”.

Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture was the theme of the TCMH Obstetrics department. The team won “Judges’ Choice” for best chili and also won awards for the “Best Decorated Booth”, “People’s Choice” and “TCMH Choice”.

Seven teams made an additional chili style to enter into the “spicy” category. Winning the “Spiciest Chili” award was the “Grid Iron Gang”, the TCMH medical surgical department.

The cook off teams set up booths according to their team theme on Friday and Saturday morning of the event.  All teams had a team name and a theme, and the judges awarded prizes to the best decorated booths and booth themes.

Houston R-1 School had a Lego-themed booth for “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders”.  “Team Jayson” wore matching football jerseys and had a giant helmet made out of balloons from which they served chili.  “FBLA Cowboys and Chili” was a wild West-themed booth by the Houston FLBA.

First place in the booth decorating category was “Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture”, a booth laden with fish, octopi and jellyfish.  The OB department nurses dressed as mermaids, and Dr. Christopher Baldwin of TCMH dressed as Poseidon, complete with golden triton.

Security Bank of the Ozarks sported Alice in Wonderland costumes and chili condiments that said “drink me” or “eat me”.  Their “Mad Hatter’s Chili Party” won second place in the booth decorating contest.

“Bonafide Chili” from the “Grid Iron Gang”, the TCMH  medical surgical department won for “Spiciest Chili” of 21 different chili recipes that were judged.  They also won awards for Best Decorated Booth and People’s Choice.

“Bonafide Chili” from the “Grid Iron Gang”, the TCMH medical surgical department won for “Spiciest Chili” of 21 different chili recipes that were judged. They also won awards for Best Decorated Booth and People’s Choice.

The TCMH medical surgical department’s “Grid Iron Gang” wore old-fashioned prison costumes, beards and overalls with an “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” theme to win the third prize for decorations.

Everyone in attendance was given a ballot to exercise their own vote for the “People’s Choice” in chili or chili cook off teams.  The “Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture” won first for people’s choice.  “Happy Feet” won second place in the people’s choice category.  The “Grid Iron Gang” came in third for people’s choice.

TCMH employees in attendance were given the opportunity to vote for the “TCMH Choice” among TCMH teams participating in the event.  “Under the Sea-Mermaid Couture” also won among TCMH employee voters.

Gentry noted that teams helped sell raffle tickets for a shotgun and a Kawasaki-brand utility vehicle that were raffled at the end of the event.

David Johnson of Sullivan won the UTV.  Pat Bryant of Mountain Grove won the shotgun.

As part of the day’s festivities, Gentry recognized Holder and Progressive Ozark Bank for sponsoring the Chili Cook Off since the event’s inception in 2006.  Holder has also worked as a judge at the competition for several years, too.

“Judging is always a challenge,” Holder said.  “There have been some interesting moments.”

Gentry presented Holder with a plaque in recognition of the bank’s support.

Carol Honeywell serves up chili from “Happy Feet” a cook off team sponsored by Raymondville United Methodist Church.

Carol Honeywell serves up chili from “Happy Feet” a cook off team sponsored by Raymondville United Methodist Church.

Russ Stigall, pastor of First Baptist Church in Houston, served as master of ceremonies for the event, handing out awards and making announcements throughout the day.

Dr. Jonathan Beers, medical director for TCMH Hospice of Care, praised the TCMH hospice team for providing services that rival hospice agencies in larger, metropolitan areas.

“Our hospice team is here to provide care for the whole family, and they do great work at easing a lot of pain and suffering,” Beers said.

Beers thanked everyone for their donations to the local hospice and encouraged them to continue to support the local charity.

Jake Scheets donated his time to auctioneer the live auction portion of the event.  Silent auctions also were available throughout the day.

After Saturday’s event, the cook off raised $36,060 in cash donations and $11,802 in in-kind donations.  All the proceeds raised by the Chili Cook Off support Hospice of Care and remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.

Donations came in the form of sponsorships by area businesses for chili teams, corporate and entertainment sponsorships, cash donations, and donations of items for the auctions.

The Healthcare Foundation has a designated “Hospice Fund” where the cook off funds and other donations to Hospice of Care are held.


April Crites is Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named April Crites of Bucyrus the October employee of the month.

Crites is a registered nurse in the medical surgical department, and she has worked at the hospital since 2012.  Crites was nominated for the award by her supervisor, John Sawyer, TCMH medical surgical director.

“April is a key component in what makes the med surg department at pleasant place to work,” Sawyer said.  “April is always quick to make her patients and co-workers smile with her quirky sense of humor.”

Sawyer noted that Crites willingly works in other hospital department when needed, she makes patient home visits, and she’s a preceptor and mentor to students and to new employees.

“April has a very genuine personality,” Sawyer said.

As employee of the month, Crites 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 Crites.

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

TCMH October employee of the month, April Crites (left), and her supervisor, John Sawyer.

TCMH October employee of the month, April Crites (left), and her supervisor, John Sawyer.

 


Healthcare Foundation to Award $2,000 in Scholarships

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation plans to award $2,000 in educational scholarships for the spring 2017 academic year.  The organization is currently accepting applications for the scholarships.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation Educational Scholarship Program is designed to assist area 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, and the Foundation’s board of directors has awarded scholarships totaling $73,500 in that time.  Students from towns across the TCMH service area have received the scholarships.

“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.”

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 scheduled for June 10, 2017.

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 spring scholarship application is January 15, 2017.  Awards for the scholarship will be announced by February 1, 2017.

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. 377 or by e-mail at jgentry@tcmh.org.  The scholarship application and complete details are also available at www.tcmhfoundation.org.


TCMH Joins National Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network

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Texas County Memorial Hospital will take part in a two-year Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network (HIIN) project sponsored by the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS), board members heard at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“TCMH has entered into a contract with the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) to provide data for the CMS project,” Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, reported.

The hospital will not receive any significant funding for participating in the project, but TCMH staff will have access to data and resources related to the project.

“The broad goals of the project will be an overall reduction in all causes of patient harm and a reduction in readmission of hospital inpatients less than 30 days since the first admission,” Amanda Turpin, TCMH quality management director, explained.

TCMH is one of over 100 hospitals in the state participating in the program.  The MHA will collect and compile data from TCMH and other hospitals in the state.  The state data will then be collected and compiled into national data by the American Hospital Association Health Research and Educational Trust.  The program will last two years with the possibility of a third year.

Turpin highlighted key parts of the program which include antibiotic stewardship, hospital acquired infections, workplace violence, physician leadership, patient engagement and healthcare disparities.

“This project focuses on new and upcoming CMS requirements, and it will help us prepare appropriately,” Turpin said.

There will be ongoing reporting of data to MHA and “immersion projects” that will require intense focus and rapid updating of data.  Webinars, networking, and on site education will also be part of the project.

TCMH is already making plans to participate in two immersion projects related to the HIIN project—Safe Training and Responsible Restraint (STARR) and antibiotic stewardship.

The STARR program will provide workplace violence training for TCMH staff.  With the training, TCMH will develop a violence de-escalation program to use when needed at the hospital.

According to Doretta Todd-Willis, TCMH chief nursing officer, TCMH should have a violence de-escalation program in place, but the hospital has lacked the funds for successful planning and implementation of such a program.

In 2017 all hospitals will be required to have an antibiotic stewardship program in place.  An antibiotic stewardship program is designed to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient outcomes, reduce microbial resistance, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.

TCMH will use the HIIN immersion project to develop policies and procedures for an antibiotic stewardship program at the hospital.

“While this project does require additional data collection and reporting, it is an overall benefit for our hospital,” Murray said.  “We will benefit and be better prepared for CMS regulations coming our way by participating in HIIN.”

Murray reported that an obstetrics department face lift was completed earlier in the month by the hospital’s maintenance department.

New lighting, ceiling tiles, paint, and bathroom floor covering were included in the work.

“It had been awhile since we freshened things up in the OB department, and a little bit of work has gone a long way in making improvements,” Murray said.

TCMH added family medicine/obstetrician, Cory Offutt, MD, in July.  Jennifer Groner, DO, also a family medicine/obstetrician, is joining TCMH in mid-November.

Offutt and Groner joined three family medicine physicians, an obstetrician/gynecologist and a certified nurse midwife providing complete maternity care and obstetrics services at TCMH.

“Our OB department is doing a great job providing an excellent patient experience, and with the diverse slate of OB providers we have available for patients to choose from, we hope to grow our OB services in the upcoming year,” Murray said.

The TCMH maintenance department is now working on renovating four old patient rooms on the hospital’s East wing for use in the new cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program.

TCMH recently received a $357,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) to fund a three-year outpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program.  Patients will qualify for the multi-disciplinary program following testing for lung disease.  The 12-week program will help patients improve lung function and activities of daily living.

Murray reported that funds from the grant will be utilized to employ a part-time secretary for the program and a full-time respiratory therapist.  Dr. Juan Mella, pulmonologist at TCMH, will oversee the program and the patients in the program.

Linda Pamperien, TCMH chief financial officer, presented the financial statement for the month of September.

A decline in inpatient revenue and an increase in contractual adjustments for patients that are not able to pay for their healthcare services left TCMH with a negative bottom line of $468,744.65 for the month of September and a year to date negative balance of $985,745.77.

“In September we had an average daily census of nine patients, and only nine patients were admitted to swing bed, too,” Pamperien said, noting that there were times the census dropped to two patients during the month.

Outpatient volumes were up at the hospital in September, according to Pamperien.

Murray reminded board members that TCMH physician staff levels are still not where they were several years ago.  TCMH continues to recruit for an additional full-time general surgeon.

Present at the meeting were: Murray; Turpin; Pamperien; Todd-Willis; Joleen Senter Durham, director of public relations; Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH chief of staff, and board members Dr. Jim Perry, DO; Janet Wiseman and Omanez Fockler.

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

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


Jennifer Gunter is Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Jennifer Gunter of Bucyrus the September employee of the month.

Gunter is a registered nurse in the TCMH medical surgical department, and she has worked at the hospital since June 2014.  Gunter was nominated for the award by her supervisor John Sawyer, medical surgical department and intensive care unit nurse manager.

“Jennifer promotes a positive culture in the department, especially when she works on the night shift,” Sawyer said.  “Jennifer makes night shift a pleasant place to work.”

Gunter is often requested by the emergency and intensive care departments when an extra set of hands is needed.  She also serves as a preceptor to new nurses training at TCMH.

“Jennifer is very versatile, and I’m grateful to have her working in my department,” Sawyer said.

As employee of the month, Gunter 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 Gunter.

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

Jennifer Gunter (left), Texas County Memorial Hospital September employee of the month, with her supervisor, John Sawyer.

Jennifer Gunter (left), Texas County Memorial Hospital September employee of the month, with her supervisor, John Sawyer.


Preparations Underway for Tenth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off

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2016-cook-off-logoThe Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is gearing up for the Tenth Annual Chili Cook Off on Sat., Nov. 5th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Building at the Texas County Fairgrounds.  The Foundation is hosting the event to raise funds to benefit TCMH Hospice of Care.

Jay Gentry, director of the Healthcare Foundation, is overseeing the chili cook off and related activities.  “In 2015 the Foundation brought in $48,300 for Hospice of Care,” he said.  “We have a tradition of holding an event that provides fun and entertainment for all ages and raises much needed funds for a really good cause.”

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off will feature 14 teams competing for chili prizes and in raising money for Hospice of Care.  The event will also feature live music by the band Deep Fried Squirrel, a live auction, a chili dog eating contest and booths with special foods or games as well as the opportunity to sample all the chili.

Chili cooking teams are comprised of five people and are sponsored by businesses and organizations.  Currently Intercounty Electric Cooperative; Landmark Bank; Security Bank of the Ozarks; Raymondville United Methodist Church; Houston Walmart Supercenter; Mercy Clinic-Houston; Houston High School Administration; Gentry Residential Treatment Center; Peoples Community Bank; Bank of Houston; Air Evac Lifeteam; Forbes Pharmacy Powered by Walgreens; Dr. Christopher Baldwin; Dr. Randal Qualls, and Dr. Philip Brackett have sponsored chili cooking teams.

“We have added the component of a popular band to this year’s cook off in hopes that we would bring out some additional guests that just want to eat chili and listen to music,” Gentry said.

The five-person band, Deep Fried Squirrel, hails from Southwest Missouri.  The band is known for upbeat, bluegrass and Americana original music and covers.  Deep Fried Squirrel will begin playing at 11 a.m.

A live auction held at 2 p.m. in the Community Building will be a major portion of the fundraising for the day.

The auction features handmade and donated items.  Harold Mitchell made and donated a handmade coffee table made of sycamore wood to honor of his mother who was in Hospice of Care service.  Other donated items in the auction include a Revolution 24 gun safe by Liberty Safe; one locally raised beef; a guided game bird hunt at Ozark Wings in Caulfield; a Branson holiday getaway for two, and an outdoors package featuring a YETI cooler and a kayak.

Two large raffle items will also be awarded to winners at the event.

All of the chili cook off teams are raffling tickets for a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle and a Stoeger Double Defense shotgun.  The raffle items will be immediately awarded following the live auction.

Brandon Beck, meteorologist at Springfield television station KY3, will again serve as the master of ceremonies for the day’s events.

“Hospice of Care has a long tradition and a well known reputation for providing physical, mental and spiritual care for terminally ill patients and their family members in Texas County and the surrounding area regardless of their ability to pay for the services,” Gentry said.  “Many people look forward to the annual Hospice fundraising event as a way to give back to a charity that has benefited them, their family or friends.”

Hospice of Care provides end of life care for patients and their families regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for the service.  If insurance coverage is not available, Hospice of Care may use Chili Cook Off funds to purchase medications in addition to providing care at no charge.  Hospice of Care also uses funds from the cook off for palliative care training and materials for patients and the family and friends of hospice patients.

“Our goal is to raise at least $40,000 for Hospice of Care through the raffles, cook off ticket sales, the auction and team fundraising,” Gentry said, noting that the proceeds from the Chili Cook Off remain in Texas County to benefit area residents.

The Healthcare Foundation has a special “Hospice Fund” for the chili cook off money and other hospice donations such as memorials.  “A very important aspect of the annual Hospice of Care fundraising event is that all money raised at the event will stay in the Texas County area to benefit area patients,” Gentry said.

“We want everyone to come out to our event, bring their kids, and have an afternoon of fun while raising money for a very worthy cause,” Gentry said.   “Once again, the Foundation board of directors and Hospice of Care staff are excited to bring this event to the community.”

Tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children and are available through Hospice of Care and the Healthcare Foundation at TCMH.

For more information about a sponsorship or to make a gift in support of the chili cook off, contact the TCMH Healthcare Foundation, (417) 967-1377 or online at www.tcmh.org.


Medicare Open Enrollment Underway

joleen General Comments Off on Medicare Open Enrollment Underway

Open enrollment for Medicare health and drug plans begins on October 15.

Every year between October 15 and December 7 Medicare recipients must decide if their current coverage will continue to meet their needs through the upcoming year.  Changes must be made by December 7, 2016 to be effective in 2017.

The prescription drug coverage plan that is part of Medicare coverage can cause confusion.   All Medicare recipients are required to sign up for a prescription drug coverage plan which is known as “Medicare Part D”.

Due to the required Medicare Part D coverage, many seniors find themselves looking at various insurance options.

Because Medicare covers about 55 percent of the patients seen at Texas County Memorial Hospital, TCMH offers to help area residents in the enrollment process, particularly with Medicare Part D.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, noted that Medicare coverage can be very confusing for the elderly population.

“Anyone in the market for supplemental Medicare coverage should contact his or her healthcare provider prior to purchasing the coverage,” Murray said.  “Ask your healthcare provider if they accept the insurance you plan to purchase.”

Murray cautioned that some enrollees have been told that TCMH accepts certain insurance, but the information is incorrect.

“Before signing up for anything, please make sure the insurance is accepted by your healthcare provider,” Murray stressed.

Additionally, enrollees shouldn’t sign anything without knowing exactly what they are signing for.  Copies of any signed papers should be obtained and retained by enrollees, too.

Anita Kuhn, controller at TCMH, is available to consult at no charge with area residents until December 7 each year.  Kuhn will assist those interested in re-enrolling in Medicare Part A and B, if they left it for a Medicare Advantage Plan.  She also can assist in determining the best Medicare Part D coverage for each individual.

Please contact Kuhn for a consultation appointment by calling her office at 417-967-1277 or 1-866-967-3311, ext. 4052.

If TCMH is a person’s hospital of choice, information about the insurance carriers they contract with can be obtained by calling the TCMH Business Office at 417-967-1298 or 1-866-967-3311.


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