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Holiday Giving Program Begins at Hospital

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation will begin its sixth year of “Celebrate Our Memories” in partnership with TCMH Hospice of Care this week.

Beginning Fri., Nov. 21st a nine-foot Christmas tree in the front lobby of the hospital will hold Christmas ornaments that can be “gifted” and inscribed with the name or a message in honor or in memory of someone special in their life.

The Foundation will divide all funds generated by the program with another TCMH entity—Hospice of Care, so the Christmas program actually benefits two local charitable organizations.

As part of Celebrate Our Memories, those who have “gifted” an ornament will be invited to keep the ornament as a personal keepsake of their memory at the end of the holiday season, after the tree is removed from the hospital’s front lobby.

The ornaments are hung on the tree as they are gifted. Sponsorship of one ornament is $20, and anyone can gift as many ornaments as they wish. Ornaments can be gifted by groups or by individuals. Gifted ornaments can honor a group, an individual such as a teacher, a parent, a friend, or other loved one.

Anyone who gifts an ornament can provide a name or message that will be inscribed on the ornament tag for them.

“It’s the goal of the Foundation and Hospice of Care to have at least 100 ornaments gifted in recognition of someone this holiday season,” Gentry said.

Hospice of Care uses the funding they receive from the program to provide hospice care, supplies and equipment for patients and their families in Texas county and surrounding areas. The Healthcare Foundation uses their portion of the funds in meeting a mission of ensuring the quality of healthcare services for children, women and men at the county hospital.

“I am already soliciting and receiving sponsorships for the Celebrate Our Memories program,” he said. “We hope to have several ornaments on the tree as soon as it goes up.”

Those who wish to gift an ornament should contact Courtney Owens, director of TCMH Hospice of Care at (417) 967-1279 or download a form here. Forms are also available at the TCMH Auxiliary Gift Shop located at the front entrance to the hospital.

A letter of recognition will be sent to those who gift an ornament, and ornaments will be available for pick up at the hospital after the holiday season.

All proceeds from the program will remain in the area and directly impact the local community. Any donation made to the TCMH Healthcare Foundation or to Hospice of Care is tax deductible.

Annual Chili Cook Off Raises $44,250 for Local Charity

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The Eighth Annual Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off in Houston on November 8, raised $44,250 for TCMH Hospice of Care. About 300 people visited the Texas County Fairgrounds and the Community Building trying out 24 kinds of chili.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

The Healthcare Foundation sponsors the annual Chili Cook Off to benefit the TCMH Hospice of Care. Sixteen chili-cooking teams—outfitted with a team theme that ranged from football tailgating to Japanese garden to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–served up their best meat and bean, red or white, hot or mild chili recipes.

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. Chili teams also raised money prior to the event and at the event. A live auction, silent auctions, raffles and a cakewalk also provided entertainment during the day.

Jay Gentry, director of the Healthcare Foundation, and Courtney Owens, director of TCMH Hospice of Care, organized the Chili Cook Off.

“Once again we received tremendous support from area businesses and individuals in donating to this important community cause,” Gentry said.

Attendees poured in to the Fairgrounds to taste chili and take part in the festitivies.

24 different types of chili at the 8th cook off

24 different types of chili at the 8th cook off

Dr. Christopher Baldwin, Tracey Arwood, Dr. Diana Koenig and their clinic staff had old-fashioned Coca-Cola in bottles and Crackerjacks to sell as part of their St. Louis Cardinals themed booth. Houston High School Future Business Leaders of America had a “Technolochili” booth complete with an interactive display and special chili flavorings invented by the FBLA group.

Fritos, cheese, onions, sour cream and milk were served up as accompaniments to the chili, and a few competitors served up “mild” and “hot” pots of chili.

Houston FBLA Technolochili featured special sauces for the chili samples that were developed by the Houston High School club.

Houston FBLA Technolochili featured special sauces for the chili samples that were developed by the Houston High School club.

Homemade cakes and cookies were given away at the Hospice of Care cakewalk booth. For a dollar, the cakewalks were enjoyed by young and old alike. The Hospice of Care staff also held silent auctions for homemade cakes and other treats.

Silent auctions featuring baskets of seasonal decorations, pet supplies and beauty products; artwork by local artists and tickets and gift certificates to various places in the area. The silent auction items were donated to Hospice of Care for the event.

The individual teams held raffles and silent auctions for their teams, too.

A chili dog eating contest featured chili cook off team members, local business owners and a few hospital physicians. Chris Weaver of Houston and the Roadkill Warriors cook off team won the contest.

“Miso Spicy” a chili cooking team from Community Bank N.A. won 1st place for the 3rd year in a row with their booth decorations and theme.

“Miso Spicy” a chili cooking team from Community Bank N.A. won 1st place for the 3rd year in a row with their booth decorations and theme.

Chili booths were decorated in many different ways. The Houston School Administration “Chili Builders” theme featured blocks salvaged from the old cafeteria and principals outfitted in hard hats and neon vests . The Houston Walmart Supercenter crafted a “rocket” for their “Chili That’s Out of This World” theme. The “Landmark Tailgaters” from Landmark Bank in Houston had a football theme that featured a goal post and playing field.

The Healthcare Foundation held two raffles as a way to raise money prior to and during the event. Eric Wells of Houston won the rifle. Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper.

Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper, the large raffle item that all teams sold tickets for.

Shannon Smith of Licking won the pop up camper, the large raffle item that all teams sold tickets for.

Three chili judges representing sponsors and supporters of the event were Earleen Holder from Progressive Ozark Bank in Houston, Jay Loveland from Wehr Motors of Mountain Grove, and Justin Shelby of State Farm Insurance in Houston. Prizes were given to the chili teams who were competing in several different categories.

“Judge’s Choice” and first place went to “Landmark Tailgaters” for their mild, white chili.

Landmark Bank “Tailgaters” won the Judges’ Choice top prize for their mild chili--a white chili.

Landmark Bank “Tailgaters” won the Judges’ Choice top prize for their mild chili–a white chili.

The cook off judges awarded second place to “Power Chili” Intercounty Electric Cooperative also for their mild chili. The third place “Judge’s Choice” went to “Old Country Doc” sponsored Mercy Clinic of Houston.

“Chili with the Most Kick” prize also went to “Big Country 99ers Brewhahahahaha” which entered a “hot” and a “mild” chili in the contest.

First place in the “Best Booth” decorating category for the third year in a row went to Community Bank N.A. for “Miso Spicy”–a booth and costumes with a Japanese garden theme. Decked out in pink camouflage, the TCMH
Medical Surgical department won second place with their “Pink Ladies” booth. The “TCMH Speculators”—Baldwin, Arwood, Koenig and their staff–won third place for their baseball concessions theme.

Everyone in attendance was given a ballot to vote for the “People’s Choice” in chili. The “FBLA Technolochili ” won first place in the people’s choice category followed by “Road Kill Warriors—TCMH EMS” in second place and “TCMH Speculators” in third place.

TCMH employees in attendance were given the opportunity to vote for the “TCMH Choice” and the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” also won the hospital employee award—their fifth time to claim the prize in eight years of competing.

The Chili Cook Off Teams contributed a large amount to the funds raised for Hospice of Care, contributing a total of $16,574. Chili-cooking teams raised money for their teams prior to and during the cook off. Eight teams raised over $1,000 apiece.

TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” won first in “Team Fundraising” by raising $2,735. Second place for team fundraising went to “Chili That’s Out of This World” for raising $2,026. Third place went to “TMNT—TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks” for raising $1,635.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Chris Weaver, a member of the TCMH EMS “Road Kill Warriors” team, ladles up a chili sample.

Prior to the live auction portion of the event, Dr. Gretchen Price, medical director for TCMH Hospice of Care, spoke to those in attendance.

“Hospice of Care is does everything they can to make sure that the patient and their family are comfortable until the end,” Price said.

Price recounted a personal experience with a patient that was hospitalized while in hospice care.

“The Hospice of Care staff helped the family of the patient bring in and show videos from 1988—a happy year in the patient’s life,” Price said, noting that all of the hospice care is “specialized” for each patient’s needs.

“Thank you for what you are doing here today to help the great work of Hospice of Care,” Price said.

“Your donations really make a difference, and we greatly appreciate the hard work done by all of the teams to help put on this event,” Price said.

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies

Brandon Beck, master of ceremonies and meteorologist at KY3 television station in Springfield, also applauded the “wonderful cause” and explained that his 84-year old grandmother died under hospice care earlier in the year.

“I had never experienced hospice before,” Beck said, noting that the hospice caregivers worked with he and his family members in understanding what to expect in the process.

“We all knew death was coming, but it was so helpful to have hospice care there,” Beck said.

Families that were in Hospice of Care service in 2014 and previous years were present at the Cook Off. Some families also made donations to the Healthcare Foundation to benefit Hospice of Care at the Chili Cook Off.

Harold Mitchell made a cedar blanket chest and donated it in memory of his mother, Caroline Mitchell, a patient of Hospice of Care. Carolyn Mason pieced and quilted a quilt in honor of Cecil Biram. Deborah Kell donated a framed and numbered waterfowl print in honor of her late husband, Jim Kell.

The live auction featured numerous handcrafted items, including this Noah's Ark carved by the Lake Ozark Woodcarver's Association.

The live auction featured numerous handcrafted items, including this Noah’s Ark carved by the Lake Ozark Woodcarver’s Association.

“We could not do what we do without the community support and partnerships that we have,” Gentry said to those in attendance.

Owens also thanked attendees for their support of Hospice of Care.

“The Hospice staff and I are incredibly impressed and thankful for the community support that has been shown to us,” Owens said.

The TCMH Hospice of Care Team

The TCMH Hospice of Care Team

Owens commended the teams that put in a long day making and serving chili as well as the time they put in creating teams with themes, decorating booths and raising money prior to and at the event.

After Saturday’s event, the cook off raised $31,299 in cash donations and $12,951 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.

The Healthcare Foundation has a special “Hospice Fund” where the Cook Off funds and other donations to Hospice of Care are held.

Plans are already underway to hold the Ninth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off on Sat., Nov. 7, 2015. More details about the event will be available from the TCMH Healthcare Foundation.

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 2015 academic year. The organization is currently accepting applications for the scholarships.

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 eighth year of awarding scholarships in the fall and the spring, and the Foundation’s board of directors has awarded scholarships totaling $56,000 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 13, 2015.

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, 2015. Awards for the scholarship will be announced by February 1, 2015.

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 The scholarship application and complete details are also available at

Branum Named Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Cheryl Branum of Houston the November employee of the month.

Branum is an in-home services aide in at TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks. She has worked at TCMH for two years. Branum was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Krista Elliott, director of Home Health of the Ozarks.

“Cheryl does a superior job when it comes to taking care of our client needs,” Elliott said. “Cheryl strives to make a positive impression and keep her clients happy.”

Branum is known for her a strong work ethic and a willingness to help her co-workers whenever needed.

“Any time we have a patient need, Cheryl is always willing to go without hesitation,” Branum said, noting that Branum is one of the “most requested” in-home aides.

As employee of the month, Branum received a certificate honoring her achievement; a pin; $100 cash; a special parking place in the TCMH lot; one day of paid vacation; a membership in the TCMH Fitness Center; 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 Branum.

Branum is eligible for the 2014 TCMH employee of the year award.

Cheryl Branum (left), TCMH October employee of the month with her supervisor, Krista Elliott.

Cheryl Branum (left), TCMH October employee of the month with her supervisor, Krista Elliott.

Walk-In Clinic Can Save Medical Expense for Uninsured without a Doctor

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Faced with increasing pressure from the number of uninsured patients in Texas County that seek care through the Texas County Memorial Hospital emergency department, hospital officials have implemented a new primary care walk-in clinic in Houston.

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, detailed operations of the clinic to hospital board members at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“We now have the staff in place to run a walk-in clinic five days a week,” Murray said.

The walk-in clinic operates out of the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston and Chip Lange, PA and Jeff Blue, PA see patients of all ages Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Over fifty percent of the patients seeking treatment in our emergency department are not able to pay for the care they receive,” Murray said. “The walk-in clinic provides a convenient and low-cost way to see a healthcare provider for primary care needs.”

In September TCMH had $612,997.05 on the books as “bad debt” from patients that could not pay their hospital bills. Fifty-three percent or $324,888.43 of the bad debt was generated through the emergency department.

“Increasingly, the emergency department is the primary care clinic for patients that are not established with a local healthcare provider,” Murray said, noting that sometimes patients can’t get in to see their healthcare provider when they are ill and need to be seen within a few hours.

TCMH is required by state and federal law to provide healthcare for anyone that comes to the hospital emergency department or to anyone that calls an ambulance regardless of his or her ability to pay for services rendered.

According to Murray, the TCMH clinics will work established patients into the daily schedule when they are ill, but it’s not always possible to fit everyone in that seeks care at a TCMH clinic, even if the patient is an established patient.

The mid-level providers at the TCMH Medical Complex—Lange and Blue–are keeping an open and flexible schedule to see patients that want to walk in for immediate care without an appointment.

“The billing for the walk-in clinic will be like the billing at any of our hospital clinics,” Murray said. “It will be at a much lower cost because it does not utilize the acute care staff, physician and services of our hospital’s emergency department.”

TCMH continues to remain hopeful that Medicaid expansion will provide relief for many residents in Texas County that are not able to afford the expanded healthcare coverage through the affordable care act. However, Medicaid expansion will not occur without action by the Missouri state House of Representatives and Senate.

“We believe this walk-in clinic will help us continue to address the healthcare needs of the communities we serve through a significant number of open appointment times that are available daily as well as helping us trim costs that we are not being paid for,” Murray said.

The TCMH October financial report provided positive numbers. Outpatient revenues were up $70,448.00 over budgeted expectations for the month September. Inpatient revenues were up $10,995.00 over budgeted expectation for the month, too.

For the second straight month, TCMH had a positive bottom line. September’s bottom line totaled $99,656.07, bringing the negative year-to-date balance up to $543,956.14.

“We have made up some of the ground we lost earlier this year,” Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, explained.

Pamperien attributed the increase in inpatient and outpatient volumes to the additional healthcare providers seeing patients at TCMH clinics and doing procedures at the hospital.

Pamperien also complimented the hospital physicians on their efforts to manage the patients they have in the hospital.

“Our physicians are being extremely conscientious about managing the length of stay for their inpatients,” Pamperien said.

TCMH has been recognized by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services as providing high quality patient care at a lower cost per patient than the state and national averages. According to Pamperien, properly managing a patient’s length of stay helps the bottom line of the hospital and affects the federal quality data that is collected monthly.

Amanda Turpin, quality management director at TCMH, compiles the monthly quality date and TCMH and submits it to federal and state agencies. In mid-October, Turpin passed her board exam to become an internationally board certified healthcare quality professional.

Turpin is one of 11 nurses in the state of Missouri to attain the certification.

“We are very fortunate to have Amanda here working for us,” Murray said.

Also returning to the area is Heather Ragsdale Lobough. Lobough grew up in Bado and graduated from Houston High School. She is a certified registered nurse anesthetist, and she’s been working for the past few years at CoxHealth in Springfield.

Lobough has signed an employment contract with TCMH, and she will provide surgical anesthesia services at TCMH beginning November 10th.

“Heather is planning to move back to her family’s farm in Bado with her husband and daughter,” Murray said, adding that Lobough is looking forward to the return to Texas County.

Jenny Sawyer of Houston, a registered nurse at TCMH, took over the duties as infection control nurse manager in September. Sawyer has been a nurse at TCMH for nine years, and in that time has increased her education
and licensure to grow her nursing career. She’s currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing in addition to working full-time at TCMH.

Sawyer made a brief presentation to the hospital board regarding Ebola preparedness at TCMH.

“From the beginning, we have adopted the most aggressive approach,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer began working with hospital departments to put Ebola protocols in place in early October. Currently, roundtable drills and personal protective equipment testing is being done at the hospital.

“We have the federal guidelines in place,” Sawyer said. “I feel like we are ahead of the curve of many other hospitals our size.”

Joleen Senter Durham, director physician recruiting at TCMH, reported that site visits with two family medicine and obstetrics physicians were planned.

“Both of these physicians are looking at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic opportunity,” Durham said. “They are seeking a small town family medicine practice where they can practice obstetrics and deliver at TCMH.”

In addition to hospital and clinic tours, the physicians will bring their families and spend time in the area looking at the communities in Texas County.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Sawyer; Durham; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Dr. Schaun Flaim, chief of staff; Dr. Jonathan Beers, vice chief of staff; Dr. John Duff; and board embers Janet Wiseman; Mark Hampton; Dr. Jim Perry, OD, and Russell Gaither.

Board member, Omanez Fockler, was not present at the meeting.

The next meeting of the TCMH board of trustees is Tues., Nov. 25th at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.

Grief Recovery Program to Begin at TCMH

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Registration is now being accepted for the “Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program” sponsored by Texas County Memorial Hospital Hospice of Care.

The seven-week Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program will begin Tuesday, November 11th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at TCMH. Sara McDaniel, a certified grief recovery specialist and social worker with TCMH Hospice of Care, will facilitate the program. The class is held in the Timmons Education Room at TCMH.

“In coping with grief many people are told to ‘let go and move on in life’, but they don’t know how to accomplish that,” McDaniel said. “The Grief Recovery Method Outreach Program provides the partnerships and guidance that individuals need to be able to move on with life after a loss.”

The program will provide an action plan for moving beyond death, divorce and other losses such as job loss or health loss.

There is no charge for the program, and the group is open to anyone that is seeking support following a loss.

For additional information or to register for the program, contact McDaniel at TCMH Hospice of Care at 417-967-1279

TCMH Prepares for Ebola

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Like hospitals across the nation and around the world, Texas County Memorial Hospital has also prepared for Ebola should the disease surface in the community.

According to Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, the local hospital has reviewed all hospital protocols to insure that they follow Ebola guidelines set by the Centers for Disease control.

“Our hospital is focused on providing safe, quality patient care in an environment that protects our patients and our caregivers,” Murray said. “Since this disease surfaced in the US, we have been working with all of our hospital departments to update and plans and protocols to protect everyone.”

In addition to reviewing hospital protocols, TCMH has increased the inventory of personal protective equipment and refresher sessions on the use of personal protective equipment have been completed with the hospital staff.

Department managers have also participated in briefings by the CDC, the Missouri Hospital Association and the Texas County Health Department.

“We want to protect our patients, our staff and our community if there’s any possibility of an ebola care in our area,” Murray said.

Currently, all TCMH patients in the hospital and the clinics are asked the following questions:
• In the last 21 days have you, a member of your family, or any visitors to your home been to Africa?
• If “yes” to question one. Please answer if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, unexplained bleeding or bruising, or muscle pain?

The CDC is the national authority on Ebola. Healthcare providers and the public can access the most up-to-date information about Ebola on the CDC website at

If the public has any questions about Ebola or other infectious diseases, they may contact Jenny Sawyer, infection control nurse at TCMH at (417) 967-1388.

If you or someone you know may have been exposed to a potential source of Ebola, contact the nearest hospital emergency department.

Medicare Open Enrollment Underway

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Open enrollment for Medicare health and drug plans began on October 15. 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, 2014 to be effective in 2015.

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.

Preparations Underway for Eighth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation is gearing up for the Eighth Annual Chili Cook Off on Sat., Nov. 8th at 11 a.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 2013 the Foundation brought in over $46,785 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 16 teams competing for chili prizes and in raising money for Hospice of Care. The event will also feature music, a live auction, a chili dog eating contest, a cake walk 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 in Houston; Big Country 99; Community Bank N.A. in Summersville; Raymondville United Methodist Church; Houston Walmart Supercenter; Mercy Clinic-Houston; Houston High School Administration; Kerr Healthcare Services; The Durham Company; Gentry Residential Treatment Center; Spearpoint, LLC; Drury University and Cox College Cabool Campus; Dr. Jonathan Beers; Dr. Lynn Hauenstein and Dr. Christopher Baldwin have sponsored chili cooking teams.

“There’s some healthy competition among our hospital departments, too,” Gentry said. “TCMH Home Health of the Ozarks team will be defending their “Judge’s Choice” title, and the TCMH EMS team will try to claim the “People’s Choice” chili title again.

Three TCMH departments are also participating in the cook off—the EMS department, the medical surgical department; Home Health of the Ozarks and Dr. Christopher Baldwin and Tracey Arwood, CNM of the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston.

Several handmade items that will be auctioned at the upcoming Eighth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off to benefit Hospice of Care.

Several handmade items that will be auctioned at the upcoming Eighth Annual TCMH Healthcare Foundation Chili Cook Off to benefit Hospice of Care.

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 several local artists. Russ and Joanne Biros donated a Noah’s Ark set that was carved by the Lake Ozark Woodcarvers. Alice Wells made and donated a needlepoint piece. Harold Mitchell made and donated a cedar blanket chest in honor of his mother who was in Hospice of Care service. A queen-size hand pieced quilt has been donated by Carolyn Mason.

Other donated items in the auction include one locally raised beef; a five-day stay cruise from New Orleans to Cozumel and Progresso in Mexico; a Branson holiday getaway for two that includes tickets to Silver Dollar City and to Disney’s Frozen on ice, and an overnight package to DownStream Casino Resort in Quapaw, OK.

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

All of the chili cook off teams are raffling tickets for a Jayco Sport Series 10 Pop Up Camper and a Tikka T-3 Hunter .30-06 rifle. The raffle items will be immediately awarded following the live auction.

Brandon Beck, meteorologist at Springfield television station KY3, will 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.

“Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 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

Hospital Offers Pre-Pay Program for Expectant Moms without Insurance

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital obstetrics departments has the “Baby-Land Express” program to allow expectant moms without health insurance coverage to plan ahead and pre-pay for part of their obstetrical care.

Angela Raymond, TCMH obstetrics department director, with one of Texas County's newest residents--Blake Brown.

Angela Raymond, TCMH obstetrics department director, with one of Texas County’s newest residents–Blake Brown.

“Baby-Land Express gives prospective parents a cost-effective way to handle their financial arrangements prior to the birth of their baby,” Angela Raymond, TCMH obstetrics department director, said.

The program covers hospital based charges and services including childbirth education classes; access to labor and delivery staff at TCMH; use of labor and postpartum rooms at TCMH; routine diagnostic services; access to an internationally board certified lactation consultant, and individualized education regarding care of mother and baby after delivery.

“With the addition of new obstetrics providers at TCMH, it’s important that area patients know that we want to work with them to have a hospital stay that fits their personal needs and desires,” Raymond said.

This summer Dr. Christopher Baldwin, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, and Tracey Arwood, a certified nurse midwife, joined Dr. Joshua Wolfe and Dr. Tricia Benoist, family medicine and obstetrics physicians, in providing obstetrical care at TCMH.

“At TCMH we have a variety of highly skilled and experienced professionals available to women that are pregnant or planning to become pregnant,” Raymond said. “Our obstetrics department staff takes pride in bringing the latest in birthing concepts to our community, too.”

Raymond added that all of the TCMH obstetrics department staff is trained in natural childbirth techniques as well as holding certifications in emergency care of mothers and their babies.

“Our team is committed to a family-centered childbirth experience that includes bonding before and after the birthing experience, and we want this experience to be available to all area parents,” Raymond said.

To participate in the Baby-Land Express program, expectant mothers must be pre-registered at TCMH; have their physician’s approval, and pre-pay for their stay prior to delivery.

Two pre-payment plans are offered—a 24-hour or less stay after delivery or a 25 to 48-hour stay after delivery. Both plans can include an optional epidural. Pricing is for hospital charges for a single infant delivery. Physician fees, multiple births, or cesarean delivery are not included in the pre-paid plans.

“Even if a delivery doesn’t go as planned, the pre-paid portion can go toward the overall cost of the hospital care,” Raymond said.

Payment options are available through the TCMH business office. Each patient can work with patient accounts staff to set up a plan that works best for them.

“Expectant parents have enough to think about without having to worry about the costs associated with having their baby,” Raymond said. “We want them to be able to make plans for the cost and concentrate on the joyous event coming their way.”

For additional information about the Baby-Land Express program, contact the TCMH obstetrics department at (417) 967-1275 or Sara Fields in the TCMH business office at (417) 967-1292.

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