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Sheena Painter: Homegrown Family Nurse Practitioner

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Sheena Painter, FNP

Sheena Painter, FNP

Sheena Painter has been working in the healthcare field since she was old enough to have a job in Texas County.  Over the years, Painter’s homegrown healthcare roles have evolved with her knowledge base, too.

Painter’s first job at age 17 was as a certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) at Licking Park Manor.  Painter remembers thinking, “CNA?  What’s that?”

Although Painter didn’t know what a CNA was, it was a job in her hometown, and she needed a job.  The CNA job also led to some private in-home care for elderly neighbors, and Painter found an easy fit in the role of caregiver.

From the nursing home, Painter went to Phelps County Hospital where she worked as a CNA and moved up into a laboratory job as a phlebotomist.  Experience and age under her belt, Painter started LPN school when she was legally old enough to be a licensed practical nurse—18.

“I thought, ‘Why not?’” Painter said regarding her venture into full-fledged nursing.  She held jobs as an LPN at the Rolla and Salem hospitals and, finally, at Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Painter worked at TCMH while she got her associates degree in nursing from Missouri State University in West Plains.  As a registered nurse at TCMH, Painter tried her hand in many different departments including pharmacy and clinical information technology.

TCMH began implementing electronic medical records in 2005, and Painter was a “super user”.  As a super user, Painter trained others learning how to use the electronic medical records system.

“I worked with the physicians helping them learn the bedside charting program,” Painter explained.  She seemed find a niche for herself in teaching and also in patient care.

While working as an RN at TCMH, Painter continued her nursing education pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing through the online program at Western Governor’s University in Salt Lake City, UT.

Painter’s work with EMR and healthcare also helped prepare her for the dual RN roles—nurse at TCMH and nursing instructor at Texas County Technical College and MSU-West Plains.

Painter found that she equally enjoyed providing hands-on patient care and teaching the healthcare practice to others.

Painter’s time at TCMH also gave her the opportunity to work with many different types of healthcare providers, including nurse practitioners.  After Painter received her bachelor’s degree, she decided to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner through Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, KY.

“I have had the opportunity to know and work with many amazing practitioners doing amazing things,” Painter said.

Painter and her family used area family nurse practitioners to meet their personal healthcare needs.

“Nurse practitioners can meet the needs of the whole family and the community,” Painter said.  “They provide great continuity of care in rural areas.”

When asked what aspects of the nurse practitioner profession she enjoys most, Painter laughed and explained that she loves “variety”.

“I’ve had this ridiculous career in healthcare where I’ve seen and done a lot of different things,” Painter said.  “I haven’t been bored, and I really enjoy all of it.”

The teacher in Painter comes out in her nurse practitioner role when she has the opportunity to counsel a patient about a complex medical issue or to teach a woman about simple contraceptive planning.  Painter believes that part of the role as a nurse practitioner in the community is to be a community healthcare educator.

As a family nurse practitioner, Painter has kept her ties with TCMH.  She works 20 hours a week in the TCMH Walk In Clinic in Houston.

“Over the years TCMH has shown me loyalty and appreciation, and I feel the same loyalty and appreciation toward TCMH,” Painter said.

Painter is also employed full-time by Cox College of Nursing as the simulation coordinator and assistant professor for the nursing cohorts of RN/BSN students of Cox College and Drury University.  Painter’s students are locally based and receive clinical and classroom training under Painter.

“I enjoy watching students learn new things and experience the joy and excitement that come from learning,” Painter said.

Painter firmly believes that students that are trained locally and students that have positive experiences with local employers during their training will have more incentive to stay in the area where they have trained to seek employment.

“The local nursing schools are great for our community,” Painter said.  “We have the opportunity to grow our own for our local healthcare facilities.”

Painter and her husband, Greg, have purchased a small farm in Bucyrus where they are fixing up the home on the property.  They have a son, Ryan, that’s in third grade this fall.

When Painter isn’t working or teaching, she enjoys “old fashioned” pursuits—sewing, quilting and gardening.

“I’m secretly an old timer,” Painter said with a laugh.

Regardless of her age or pastimes, Painter has a homegrown passion for the health of Texas County.  And she intends to cultivate and grow that passion for her community for many more years.

Utility Vehicle Donation to Benefit Hospice of Care

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uv 2016 2The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation has received a 2017 Kawasaki Mule SX 4X4 utility vehicle to raffle for the Hospice of Care fund which benefits area Hospice of Care patients.

The UV will be awarded to a winner on November 5th at 3 p.m. at the TCMH Healthcare Foundation’s annual Chili Cook Off which also benefits Hospice of Care.

“We always have a large item with raffle tickets for our chili cook off teams to use to raise funds for their team, and this year we partnered with Mega Motorsports in West Plains for the utility vehicle,” Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, said.

The UV has an $8,600 value, and Mega Motorsports’ donation covered much of the four-wheeler’s cost.  Tickets are raffled for $10 each or $50 for six tickets.

The UV features a four-stroke, automatic transmission with four-wheel drive capability.  The UV towing capacity is 1100 pounds, and the cargo bed will hold up to 400 pounds.uv 2016 1

“We have raffled a side-by-side UV at previous Chili Cook Off events, so we know it’s something that interests people,” Jay Gentry, TCMH Healthcare Foundation director, said.

Gentry explained that the UV is currently parked at TCMH if anyone wants to see it.

The TCMH Healthcare Foundation and Hospice of Care have a fundraising goal of $45,000 for the 2016 Chili Cook Off, and proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will go toward overall fundraising for the event.

Funds from the Healthcare Foundation’s Hospice Fund and the annual Chili Cook Off are utilized to provide end of life care for patients and their families regardless of a patient’s ability to pay for the service.

“Our hospice funds are used locally to benefit the patients we serve within a 40-mile radius of TCMH,” Courtney Owens, TCMH Hospice of Care director, said.

In the past year, funds raised through the Chili Cook Off were used to pay for medications for patients that did not have any insurance.  Funds were also used to purchase materials and to provide bereavement services through Hospice of Care.

“The funds raised for Hospice of Care by the Chili Cook Off help us meet needs of area patients and family members that we might not be able to help otherwise,” Owens said.

Raffle tickets for the UV are available through the Hospice of Care office located in the TCMH Office Annex, the front registration desk at TCMH, the Auxiliary Gift Shop and any of the 13 teams that are participating in this year’s cook off.

Space is still available for additional cook off teams, according to Owens.

For additional information about raffle tickets or entering as a 2016 Chili Cook Off Team, contact Hospice of Care at (417) 967-1279 or 1-866-967-3311 ext. 1279.

Making the donation from Mega Motorsports were, left to right, John Wells, Kelley Wake and Brandon Creech, with Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Making the donation from Mega Motorsports were, left to right, John Wells, Kelley Wake and Brandon Creech, with Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

TCMH to Permit Doulas in Surgery for C-Sections

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has expanded the policies of the surgery and obstetrics departments to allow professional doulas into the operating room with their clients during a Cesarean-section.

A doula provides support to a pregnant woman during pregnancy and labor and after delivery of the baby.  The word “doula” is derived from ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves”, and there are professional doula services available in the Ozarks for women seeking additional support during pregnancy and after delivering their baby.

“At TCMH we are patient experience driven, and a doula can be part of making a great patient experience,” Angel Watkins, TCMH obstetrics department director, said.

Watkins noted that professional doulas are accepted as part of birth plans at many hospitals, but it’s rare that doulas are allowed in the operating room during Cesarean-sections.

“The C-section is typically viewed as a surgery, and only the father or one additional support person is allowed in with the mother,” Watkins said.

Last summer, TCMH became the first hospital in the area to perform “gentle C-sections” during non-emergency Cesarean sections.  The gentle C-section is also part of a patient-centered experience at TCMH.

“We support our patients’ birth plans as long as their plans are safe.  We recognized that doulas can provide support for the patient inside the operating room as well as in a non-surgical delivery,” Watkins said.

Summer Thorp-Lancaster, professional doula and owner of Summer Birth Services in Rolla, considers the TCMH move to approve doulas in the operating room as “very positive for families”.

“TCMH is leading the charge for patient centered birth experiences in a low resource area,” Thorp-Lancaster said.  “The physicians, midwife, and nurses at TCMH are passionate about the care they provide their patients, and it’s phenomenal.”

Summer Birth Services is one of two professional doula services available to patients in the Ozarks.  Thorp-Lancaster has two teams of two doulas and a certified lactation counselor available to area clients.

“We are a tour guide for birth,” Thorp-Lancaster said.  She explained that half of her clients are first time moms that don’t know what to expect, and the other half of her clients have experience with childbirth and prefer the extra care available with a doula.

According to Thorp-Lancaster typical doula service includes scheduled prenatal visits with the client; the doula attends the labor and delivery of the client, and the doula continues to provide service to the client for the first few weeks following delivery.

“One of our jobs is to focus on the well-being of the entire family during the labor and delivery process,” Thorp-Lancaster said.  “We try to bridge the gap between the patient and the care provider so that everyone is communicating with each other during the birth process.”

Thorp-Lancaster said that because doulas focus on the communication between the woman giving birth, her care providers and her spouse or labor partner, there is typically and increase in satisfaction in the overall birth experience.

“Birth matters,” Thorp-Lancaster said.  “I know from personal experience that when we give support, mom ultimately feels more confident.”

According to Thorp-Lancaster, a doula takes care of mom, she assists her client in communicating a birth plan to the care team, and she provides support to the spouse or other members of the labor support team.
“We try to make sure there is never a break in the care being provided to mom,” Thorp-Lancaster said.

Summer Birth Services does provide doula support to women that are having planned Cesarean sections, too.

“There is a misperception that doulas are only for natural birth,” Thorp-Lancaster said, “But we are pretty valuable no matter your birth plan.”

Thorp-Lancaster said that the hardest work for a doula is the work before and after birth.

“We work one-on-one with our clients so we understand their birth plan,” Thorp-Lancaster said, “And we work closely afterward to provide encouragement, advice and support following delivery.”

Watkins explained that doulas providing services at TCMH need to have and show their professional doula training.  According to Watkins, TCMH will make efforts to accommodate and make room for a doula in the operating room, but there may be times when it’s not possible for the doula and the partner to both be present in the room.

“We want to provide the women that deliver at TCMH, the freedom of choice with their birth plan,” Watkins said.  “Bringing a doula into the OR is another way to help our patients have the birth experience they desire.”

Additional information about utilizing a doula at TCMH is available through the obstetrics department by calling (417) 967-1260.  Information about Summer Birth Services is available at

Summer Thorp-Lancaster, professional doula, applies pressure to the back of a client while she labors at home.

Summer Thorp-Lancaster, professional doula, applies pressure to the back of a client while she labors at home.

Tamra Dodge is Employee of the Month

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Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Tamra Dodge of Houston the July employee of the month.

Dodge is a licensed practical nurse in the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, and she has worked at the hospital since January 2014.  Dodge was nominated for the award by Anita Kuhn, controller at TCMH.

“Tamra is a very quiet young lady, but don’t let her quiet nature food you,” Kuhn said, “She’s a very active member of the TCMH team.”

Dodge is known for “diligently” doing her job working with Dr. William Wright’s patients and with the other staff and patients at the Houston and Mountain Grove clinics.  Dodge is also willing to help out with the Cabool and Licking clinics if needed.

“Tamra does a great job helping all of our clinics keep their Vaccines for Children programs up to date, and she deserves long overdue recognition for her efforts,” Kuhn said.

As employee of the month, Dodge 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 Dodge.

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

Tamra Dodge, an LPN in the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, is the July employee of the month.  Shown here are, left to right: Dr. William Wright; Dodge; Anita Kuhn, TCMH controller, and Hope Best, clinic manager.

Tamra Dodge, an LPN in the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston, is the July employee of the month. Shown here are, left to right: Dr. William Wright; Dodge; Anita Kuhn, TCMH controller, and Hope Best, clinic manager.

Healthcare Foundation Awards Scholarships to Area Students

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The Texas County Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation awarded $6,500 in scholarships to area students to assist with their educational costs for the 2016 fall school semester.

Receiving $1,000 scholarships from the TCMH Healthcare Foundation were Victoria Floyd, Samantha Garrett, Jenny Sawyer and Megan Silveus of Houston and Miranda Prock of Mountain Grove.

Floyd is in the doctor of pharmacy program at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  Floyd is a 2010 graduate of Houston High School, and she anticipates completing her degree program in 2018.

Garrett is a 2016 graduate of Houston High School.  Garrett will begin her first year at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO this fall, and she plans to pursue a degree in exercise science. While in high school, Garrett was a member of the TCMH Youth Ambassador program.

Sawyer is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing through Central Methodist College in Fayette, MO.  She is a registered nurse and is employed full time at TCMH as the infection control director.

Silveus is a 2015 graduate of Houston High School.  This fall she is attending Missouri State University in West Plains where she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  In high school, Silveus was a TCMH Youth Ambassador volunteer, and she currently works part-time in the TCMH emergency department.

This fall Prock begins pursuing a master’s degree in speech pathology at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.  She also has a bachelor’s degree in communication science and disorders from MSU.

Floyd, Sawyer, Silveus, and Prock have all been previous recipients of scholarships through the TCMH Healthcare Foundation.

The endowed Dr. Joe L. and Judith T. Spears Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded one $1,000 scholarship to Kelsey Drone of Mountain Grove.

Drone is a Cabool High School graduate.  This fall Drone is attending Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL where she plans to pursue a degree in biological science as part of a pre-medical school program.  Drone has also volunteered at TCMH as a Youth Ambassador.

Stephanie Gentry of Willow Springs received the $500 Dr. Eugene Charles Honeywell Memorial Scholarship, chosen by the Healthcare Foundation directors and Carol Honeywell, the widow of Dr. Eugene Honeywell.

A full-time licensed practical nurse in the intensive care department at TCMH, Gentry is pursuing an associate’s degree in nursing through the LPN to registered nurse bridge program at Texas County Technical College.

“Educational scholarships are one of the focus areas of the TCMH Healthcare Foundation,” Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director, said.

The Healthcare Foundation holds an annual golf tournament to raise funds for educational scholarships for area students.  The Healthcare Foundation has received $3,000 in matching funds from Healthcare Services Group Foundation (HSGCF).

The HSGCF program provides matching financial assistance to students awarded financial assistance by hospitals that are members of the Healthcare Services Association and insured by the Missouri Hospital Plan. Specifically, HSGCF matches scholarships or healthcare related tuition reimbursement provided by non-profit member hospitals throughout Missouri. This scholarship program is designed to facilitate, attract, and retain healthcare providers in Missouri.

“The matching funds from HSGCF enable us to boost the amount of our fall scholarship,” Gentry said.  “Every dollar helps these area students with their educational costs, and we’re grateful for the additional funds to award.”

The Healthcare Foundation awards educational scholarships for students pursuing additional higher education each spring and fall.  With the recent scholarship awards, the Foundation has awarded $73,500 in scholarships to area students since the program began in 2007.

“The Healthcare Foundation administers the scholarships for the endowed funds, and the scholarships also go to employees working in healthcare-related fields in Texas County and surrounding areas,” Gentry said.

According to Gentry, the Healthcare Foundation intends to award two more $1,000 scholarships prior to the spring school semester in 2017.  The Foundation will accept applications for the spring scholarships beginning in November.

Applications for the scholarships are available through the Foundation or on the TCMH website.

“The Foundation board of directors recognizes the growing need for healthcare providers in rural America,” Gentry stated.  “It is the hope of the Foundation that these scholarships will assist in attracting and retaining qualified residents to work in the local healthcare fields.”

Scholarship recipients were, front row, left to right, Victoria Floyd; Megan Silveus; Sammy Garrett; Kelsey Drone; Stephanie Gentry, and Jenny Sawyer.  Making the presentation were, back row, Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Scholarship recipients were, front row, left to right, Victoria Floyd; Megan Silveus; Sammy Garrett; Kelsey Drone; Stephanie Gentry, and Jenny Sawyer. Making the presentation were, back row, Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, and Jay Gentry, Healthcare Foundation director.

Grief Recovery Program to Begin at TCMH

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

The seven-week Grief Recovery Method program will begin Monday, September 12th 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 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 Board Hears Updates on Several Hospital Projects

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Texas County Memorial Hospital board members received updates regarding several ongoing projects at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Cory Offutt, MD and Sheena Painter, FNP both started working for TCMH in July, Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer, told board members.

Offutt is a board certified family medicine and obstetrics physician.  He sees patients four and a half days a week at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston and a half day a week at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic.

“While Dr. Offutt is growing his practice, he’s seeing some of the patients that come in to the Walk In Clinic, too,” Murray said.

Painter, a family nurse practitioner, is working in the Walk In Clinic on a part-time basis.

Renovation work inside the TCMH Medical Complex is also ongoing.  Space inside the building is being reconfigured to create a centralized registration area and more patient exam rooms and healthcare provider work spaces.

“We had a minor setback when we received damaged doors for the exam rooms, so there is a little juggling for everyone to use the functioning exam rooms that are available,” Murray said.

Calling the clinic a “full house on certain days”, Murray complimented the clinic staff for maximizing the space available.

“With Dr. Offutt here we are able to accommodate more patients and keep them from having to go other places,” Dr. Jonathan Beers, TCMH chief of staff, told board members.

“Lots of people are being seen in the clinics.”

Beers noted that he and Linda Milholen, MD, general surgeon at TCMH, have already received several referrals from Offutt for endoscopy, stress testing and other procedures.

Sleep studies laboratory equipment has arrived and is being installed.

“We budgeted for the new equipment this year,” Murray said, “And under Dr. Mella’s guidance, we will use the new equipment and also increase operating hours and staffing for the sleep lab.”

Dr. Juan Mella, pulmonologist at TCMH, oversees the Sleep Studies Laboratory which is located in the Office Annex at the hospital.  Mella also sees patients at the TCMH Medical Complex three days a week.

TCMH recently picked up two new Dodge Caravan minivans to use as Medivans–non-emergency transportation—at the hospital.

“The vans will replace our old Medivans, and through a transportation grant, our cost on the new vans was only 20 percent of the vans’ total cost,” Murray said.

The grant funding came through the Federal Transit Administration administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation 5317 New Freedom program which assists with public transportation projects.

The total cost of the two vans was $73,132, and TCMH paid $14,626 of that cost.

Each van is equipped with a side-entry ramp and a lowered floor to make them handicapped accessible for patients in wheelchairs.  One van is configured to hold seven people, and one van is configured to hold five people.

“These vans will get much better gas mileage than our original Medivans, and patients in wheelchairs will be closer to the driver which is much more personable,” Murray said.

Murray reported that plans to put a fence around the new helipad built in front of the hospital have been stopped.

After a Missouri department of health and senior services hospital survey, DHSS inspectors told TCMH need to put a fence around the new helipad.

“We did the research and were close to purchasing the fencing material when we heard that a state law was passed stating that hospitals were simply required to provide a safe landing and takeoff zone,” Murray said, adding,  “We already have a safe landing and takeoff zone in place.”

Hospital officials learned that Missouri DHSS does not have any jurisdiction over helipads.

“We have always followed Federal Aviation Administration guidelines with our helipads, and we will continue to do so,” Murray said.

TCMH had two helipads.  The newest helipad was added in front of the hospital emergency department in 2013, between the hospital and highway 63.  The older helipad is located on the Northwest side of the hospital between the hospital and the business office.  TCMH retained the older helipad because sometimes it’s necessary for more than one helicopter to land at the hospital at one time.

Recruiting efforts for additional healthcare providers continues, according to Joleen Senter Durham, TCMH director of physician recruiting.

“We have a second site visit set up this week for a family medicine physician that is seriously considering the Mountain Grove clinic opportunity,” Durham said.

Durham also reported that she has a date set for a general surgeon to visit in late August.

A family medicine resident from the CoxHealth residency program in Springfield has submitted credentialing information to the hospital with hopes of providing some emergency department physician coverage.

“I am in contact with two physicians that are currently in residency that have ties to our area, too,” Durham said.

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

In June the TCMH emergency department was again heavily utilized by patients without an ability to pay.  Sixty-five percent of $505,272.89 in bad debt for the month of June was generated by emergency department patients

“Inpatient and outpatient volumes were down during the month of June, and there were increased outpatient volumes,” Pamperien reported.

TCMH ended the month of June with a negative bottom line of $205,687 and a negative year-to-date bottom line of $379,613.69.

Pamperien is hopeful that the addition of Offutt’s practice will increase inpatient and outpatient revenues.  She noted that the hospital census in July has been up.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Beers; Durham; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; Amanda Turpin, quality assurance manager; Ron Prenger, CoxHealth representative, 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., August 23 at 12 p.m. in the hospital board room.

Dr. Cory Offutt Returns to the Ozarks to Practice Medicine

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Cory Offutt, MD

Cory Offutt, MD

Cory Offutt always imagined that he would go into the medical field.

Raised in Lebanon, MO, Offutt’s strong suits in school were math and science.

“I had some personal healthcare issues that gave me the opportunity to experience the medical field,” Offutt said about his interest in a career in medicine.  Offutt’s older brother also pursued a career in healthcare, providing additional insight to the field.

Offutt graduated with honors from Missouri State University.  His undergraduate degree was in cell and molecular biology with minors in chemistry and healthcare management.

While a student at MSU, Offutt met the requirements to be in the Bryant Scholars Pre-Admissions program.  As a Bryant scholar, Offutt met certain academic achievement requirements, and he was a Missouri resident and an undergraduate at a Missouri university that participated in the Bryant Scholars program.

Offutt knew early on that he was pre-admitted to the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia.  Before heading to MU, Offutt married his college sweetheart, Samantha.

The Offutts settled for four years in Columbia, and Cory Offutt did rotations through rural hospitals and clinics in the Ozarks as part of his training.

“My first family medicine rotation in medical school was not a good one,” Offutt said, “But I was really interested in pediatrics and obstetrics.”

Offutt liked the idea of providing care to a woman before pregnancy, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, and also caring for the newborn and other family members.

“There’s great continuity of care in taking care of pregnant women,” Offutt said.

Offutt originally thought he would pursue an obstetrics/gynecology residency after medical school, but he didn’t find an OB/GYN residency with “a good fit”.   The family medicine residency at the University of Missouri in Kansas City was a good fit, and Offutt had the opportunity to do a lot of obstetrical care, including surgical obstetrics to do Cesarean sections.

The UMKC program offers a fellowship in surgical obstetrics with an additional year of residency. Offutt pushed himself to gain extra, additional experience during his three-year residency stint, so a fellowship in OB wasn’t necessary at the end of three years.

“I didn’t want to wait another year to do the surgical OB fellowship,” Offutt said.  After all, undergraduate school, medical school and a traditional family medicine residency requires 10 years of training.

In his three years of residency, Offutt delivered 330 babies, and 150 of those deliveries were done by C-section.

“There was a lot of OB opportunity available to me,” Offutt said, “And I took advantage of it.”  Offutt delivered about 20 percent of the babies his class of 14 residents delivered total in their three years at UMKC.

Offutt’s training includes an additional American Academy of Family Physicians’ certification in women’s health.

When it came time to find a place to live and work after residency, Offutt knew it would be difficult to practice OB and do C-sections in a large hospital or town.  “Samantha and I were definitely open to a smaller town,” Offutt said.

Samantha Offutt grew up in Northwest Arkansas, so she enjoyed “small town feel” as well.

The Offutts first visited TCMH in January 2015 during Cory Offutt’s second year of residency.

“I definitely wanted to figure out where I was headed after residency as early as possible,” Offutt said.  He explained that he wanted to take advantage of any stipends that might be available for residents signing early and student loan repayment opportunities for healthcare providers.

“Houston was the first opportunity we looked at, and it had a feel that was different from the other places we looked at,” Offutt said.

Offutt described TCMH staff as “extremely welcoming”, and Cory and Samantha appreciated that during their TCMH interview both of them were included in all talks about the job position and the way of life in Texas County.

“I looked at other jobs, and I found that working here is the closest I can come to actually having a private practice without the headaches of managing my own private practice,” Offutt said.  He also liked “the security” available to a hospital-employed physician.

The Offutts thought Texas County was a nice location between Cory’s family in the Lebanon-area and Samantha’s family in Northwest Arkansas.

In February 2015, Cory Offutt signed an agreement to practice family medicine and obstetrics with Texas County Memorial Hospital.

The extra time between signing a contract with TCMH and finishing residency gave the Offutts plenty of time to hunt for and purchase a house in Texas County.

While Cory finished up his residency program, Samantha obtained an associate’s degree in graphic design to go along with her bachelor’s degree in marketing.  They also did minor repairs and fixed up their home in Lee’s Summit to sell it prior to moving to Texas County.

The TCMH Medical Complex in Houston is the primary base for Cory Offutt’s practice.  He is working there four days a week.  He also sees patients—primarily kids and obstetrics patients—at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic on Mondays.  While he’s building his practice in Houston, Offutt is taking some patients that come into the TCMH Walk In Clinic, too.

Offutt will deliver babies at TCMH, and he will admit and see inpatients at the hospital, too.

As a family medicine physician, Offutt will see patients of all ages from newborn to elderly.  He hopes to eventually have a large practice of families with lots of babies and kids.

“I like being able to watch families and kids grow, providing for all of the family’s healthcare needs,” Offutt said.

Offutt plans to squeeze kids into his practice schedule whenever they are sick, and established adult patients that are sick will have priority in his daily schedule, too.  Offutt’s office practice will include dermatological procedures, joint injections, and other minor procedures.

“I enjoy doing anything with my hands, so I really like doing procedures,” Offutt said.

Offutt plans to add stress testing to his medical repertoire once he is settled in to his new practice.  He also does some physician moonlighting in the hospital emergency department.

When Offutt is not working he enjoys spending time with Samantha.  Currently, the Offutts are busy unpacking and settling into their new home and the acreage they purchased in Texas County.  Their only child is Parker, a Yorkshire terrier, but they hope to add some human kids to their family soon.

“Samantha and I enjoy concerts and plays,” Offutt said.  “We like going to St. Louis Cardinals games when we can.”

Offutt thanked the hospital staff for being “extremely helpful” in helping him get started at TCMH, and he noted that community members he has encountered are very welcoming, too.

“We couldn’t have asked to be part of a better community,” Offutt said.  “We love living and working here.”

Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, is grateful that the Offutts chose TCMH.

“Our hospital and the community are fortunate to have Dr. Offutt and Samantha here,” Murray said.

Murray explained that Cory Offutt’s training will be an asset to the hospital.

“Dr. Offutt already knows a lot about the Ozarks because he grew up here,” Murray said.  “We are dedicated to helping him grow a practice here that can last for years to come.”

Appointments are available for Offutt at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston at (417) 967-5435 or at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic at (417) 926-1770.

Stephanie Kinker is Employee of the Month

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Stephanie Kinker (right), Texas County Memorial Hospital June employee of the month, with her supervisor, Amy Wilson.

Stephanie Kinker (right), Texas County Memorial Hospital June employee of the month, with her supervisor, Amy Wilson.

Texas County Memorial Hospital has named Stephanie Kinker of Houston the June employee of the month.

Kinker is a housekeeping aide, and she has worked at the hospital since February 2015.  Kinker was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Amy Wilson.

“Stephanie is always willing to pitch in and do whatever needs to be done,” Wilson said, describing Kinker as “a team player”.

Kinker is known for offering to work on her days off.  During times when the housekeeping department is short staffed, Kinker will stay late or come back in to work when needed.

“Stephanie always asks, ‘Do you need me to do anything else?’ before she leaves each day,” Wilson said.

As employee of the month, Kinker 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 Kinker.

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

New Device for Infant Resuscitation Available at Hospital

joleen General Comments Off on New Device for Infant Resuscitation Available at Hospital
The Neopuff infant resuscitation device.

The Neopuff infant resuscitation device.

The latest technology in infant resuscitation is now available at Texas County Memorial Hospital thanks to a $2500 grant from the Kerr Foundation to purchase a F & P Neopuff Infant T-Piece Resuscitator.

Commonly referred to as a Neopuff, the T-piece device has a self-inflating bag that uses compressed air to ventilate newborns via a face mask or endotracheal tube.  The Neopuff is used by doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists at TCMH to help newborns that are in respiratory distress by providing exact air requirements needed for inhaling and exhaling.

Angela Watkins, obstetrics department director at TCMH, describes the Neopuff as “the best” way to resuscitate newborn babies that are not breathing when they are born or newborns that are having issues with breathing.

“We get great outcomes and great results with the Neopuff,” Watkins said.

In the past, infants with breathing issues at birth would receive air from a manually squeezed bag.  The manual resuscitation method was less consistent and subject to human error.

Neopuff provides continuous positive airway pressure for as long as needed.  The Neopuff at TCMH is on a cart, so it’s available to the emergency department to assist with an infant brought in by ambulance, to the surgery department during Caesarean section deliveries, and to be used throughout the obstetrics department.

“The mobility of the Neopuff is a big advantage for us,” Watkins said.

Watkins explained that with the addition of the new machine, hospital staff received training on the Neopuff functions.  “Now that our staff knows how important and how useful the Neopuff is, they want it at the bedside at every delivery,” Watkins said.

The Neopuff prevents over-inflation of the infant lungs.  In addition to helping newborns breath that may have stopped breathing or that have not taken their own breath at birth, the Neopuff can help clear up infant lungs that have mucous or fluid in them from the delivery.

“The TCMH OB department takes a lot of pride in the one-on-one and personalized care we provide with every delivering experience, and we are very proud to have state of the art equipment to go alongside our care,” Watkins said.

TCMH delivers approximately 300 babies annually.  Delivering healthcare providers at the hospital include Patricia Benoist, MD; Matthew Brown, MD; Cory Offutt, MD, and Joshua Wolfe, MD, all family medicine physicians; Christopher Baldwin, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist, and Tracey Arwood, certified nurse midwife.

The Kerr Foundation, Inc. located in Oklahoma City is a nonprofit charitable and educational corporation.  Kerr Foundation grants are only available for project in Oklahoma and the states that surround it.  The Foundation seeks to identify and support programs, organizations and institutions that provide new or enhanced opportunities for young people in their granting area.

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