01/01/18

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Debbie White, BSN, RN, is Russell Murray Hospice director of utilization review and education. She is one of a growing number of nurses working to ensure patients receive quality care, while also juggling the requirements of Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance, among other issues.

by Traci Chapman, Staff Writer

The world of a utilization review nurse goes far beyond bedside, or even patient, care – it’s a position combining the best of all worlds, combining traditional nursing, quality and cost efficiency, administrative functions and community outreach.
It’s a job Russell Murray Hospice’s director of utilization review and education, Debbie White, said remains new and challenging every single day.
“It makes me very happy to know I can help teach others while caring for patients and families and that I can ensure we offer as much as we possibly can to them – even beyond the nursing care itself,” White said.
The 59-year-old White began working at Russell Murray Hospice 22 years ago. Back then, the company was solely located in El Reno; its single office was a comfortable fit to the few nurses and administrative staff that primarily served Canadian County and surrounding areas.
Much as White’s career has flourished, so too has Russell Murray’s service areas, its patient numbers and variety of the services it provides. RMH now employs about 25 full-time RNs and LPNs and several per diem PRN nurses across four offices located in El Reno, Oklahoma City, Kingfisher and Weatherford.
“We serve approximately 75-mile radius surrounding each of the four offices,” Russell Murray Executive Director – and one of the firm’s founders – Vicki Myers said. “We generally serve about 100 to 110 patients, up to at times close to 120.”
That kind of volume and a service area comprised of hundreds of square miles means having the right process in place to ensure both care and administrative tasks are performed to the highest standards is paramount – and, it’s one reason why utilization review has become so important.
Russell Murray’s nurses, like those working for other hospice providers, face a somewhat unique dynamic, particularly when considering the intensity that comes along with the nature of that care – and the fact their patients are not going to get better. Throw in ever-complex and constantly changing issues in dealing with Medicaid, Medicare and private health insurance, and it can become beyond overwhelming.
Those requirements mean White and other UR nurses review not only what treatments a patient might need, but also make sure those treatments will be of benefit to that patient without overloading healthcare systems. The idea is fairly new, with utilization review primarily developed in the 1980s, as managed care came to the forefront, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
“Utilization Review can be invaluable in bridging the gap between patient care, insurance and cost expectations and realities and healthcare professionals working to determine the best treatment options and even whether some treatments are appropriate at all,” The National Academies outlined in a 1989 study.
While utilization review is about numbers and dollars on some levels, for White it is primarily a way to help patients and their families get the best and most appropriate care possible. Hospice has a unique place in healthcare – Russell Murray’s nurses are not providing care that will end in a cure or improved condition, at least in the long term, Myers said.
“This is about making sure the individual has the tools to face end of life,” she said. “We want to work with each patient, and their family, to make sure they are able to do this on their own terms and to offer the care they need in the way they need it.”
That philosophy has worked, evidenced not only by Russell Murray’s growth, but also by how long it has been providing hospice care, Myers said. Now in its 30th year, the company continues to evolve – and utilization review, while behind the scenes, is just one way RMH can make sure it is helping both patients and their families, but also staff, as well, she said.
That staff support is also something in which White is very involved, in her “second” position as RMH education director – ensuring nurses are fully compliant in continuing education to conducting new orientation training.
While White said she always thought she would become a nurse, she approached her then-potential career with the study and care she shows now in her work, those who know her said. She first worked as a nurse’s aid before attending University of Oklahoma College of Nursing; as a BSN and RN, she was a pediatric and mental health nurse; but, it was at Russell Murray the Blanchard woman found her professional home and it was in hospice utilization review and education she found a niche where she could best utilize her skills and gifts.
“Although nursing can be complicated and challenging, I feel it is a very special privilege to help serve others in their time of need,” White said.

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Luke Richardson-Walker is President of Oklahoma Nurses Association’s Region I

Resources available for metro nurses

story and photos by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

At every step of his career, Luke Richardson-Walker, RN, has been evolved.
Whether it be on the floor as a dialysis charge nurse, in the surgery theater or as a house supervisor Richardson-Walker has made it a point to know everything that’s going on and why.
Now in his second year as President of Oklahoma Nurses Association’s Region I Richardson-Walker wants Oklahoma City metro nurses to know the ONA offers resources to help them grow their practice.
“I want to see nurses engaged in their profession and in helping grow their profession,” he said. “Nursing is not just a job it is part of our lives.”
ONA Region I members meet the second Thursday of every month. The group historically has met at Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing but Richardson-Walker said a greater effort will be made to meet at area hospitals this year.
“We just want to make sure we’re more accessible for our membership that works in the hospital setting,” he said. “We don’t want to be an organization just focused on nursing instructors and managers who work 9-5 jobs. We’re for all of nursing.”
Region I is for RNs that work and/or live in Oklahoma County.
“We’re trying to engage nurses with learning opportunities,” Richardson-Walker says. “We’ve had speakers for dialysis treatment options, to House Bill 1013 to people coming from the Regional Food Bank to talk about Fresh Rx.”
Richardson-Walker said the Fresh Rx program is one that nurses need to bring to their patients.
Based on its 37 years of successful program operations, the Regional Food Bank knows that only collaborative efforts can effectively reduce hunger and treat disease.
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s FreshRx initiative is a strategic effort to improve health outcomes for low-income, high-risk individuals.
Food insecurity is linked to higher rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases.
More than 632,000 Oklahomans are food insecure, which means that they may not know where their next meal is coming from. Oklahoma ranks near the worst among states in terms of the most severe forms of food insecurity.
DAY AT THE CAPITOL
One of the ONA’s largest events is the upcoming Nurses Day at the Capitol.
Jane Nelson serves as the executive director of the Oklahoma Nurses Association. She says it’s vital that nurses become involved in the legislative process if they want to have a say in the way healthcare is offered in our state.
“We want to see nurses out there working on issues that relate to nurses. Whether it’s an LPN, RN or advanced practice nurse, they tell those stories the best,” Nelson said.
As a professional organization, the Oklahoma Nurses Association is a community of nurses from all specialties and practice settings that empowers nurses to improve health care.
Each year, the ONA organizes a single day to arm nurses with the necessary information and give them the opportunity to discuss those issues with policy makers.
This year the event will be held on February 27.
Nelson says nurses are always well received at the capitol and typically find the day very informative.
“Nurses are powerful political advocates because they are members of the most-trusted profession in the country,” Nelson said. “With that comes a lot of power.”
Consistently ranked as the most-trusted profession in the nation, nurses collectively carry a strong voice when it comes to health care issues, Nelson says.
“There are a couple of ways for nurses to get involved,” Nelson said. “One is to attend Nurses Day at the Capitol and the second is to stay in touch with ONA. Nurses can stay in touch by being a member.”
“As a member they will receive emails about Legislative issues and what needs to be done, they can also serve on an ONA committee in addition to serving as Nurse of the Day.”
ONA encourages all nurses and nursing students to get involved in the legislative process by attending Nurses Day at the Capitol.
The Mission of the Oklahoma Nurses Association is to empower nurses to improve health care in all specialties and practice settings by working as a community of professional nurses.
ONA encourages all Nurses and Nursing Students to get involved in the legislative process by attending Nurses Day at the Capitol. The day begins with an informational session held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, followed by an opportunity to go to the Capitol and talk with legislators.
“Region I is very active but it wasn’t really active for a while,” Richardson-Walker said. “We had a really busy year last year so I want people to know we’re here.”
For more information contact Richardson-Walker at –
lrichardsonwalker@yahoo.com.

MDS Coordinator, Oklahoma Methodist Manor
Tulsa, OK
This position is primarily responsible for planning, organizing, developing, and managing the RAI process to ensure the timely and accurate completion of the MDS. The RAI process will be completed in accordance with all State and Federal guidelines, and ensure appropriate reimbursement for services provided.
Maintains attitudes and behaviors that demonstrate and uphold the Mission Statement of Oklahoma Methodist Manor (OMM), supports the OMM core values and shows an understanding of OMM’s person-centered philosophy.
Job Requirements:
· Graduate of an accredited School of Nursing (RN or LPN) with a valid state nursing license as required by the state of Oklahoma.
· One year of long term care clinical nursing experience is preferred.
· Knowledge of RAI requirements is preferred.
· Experience with Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, MDS completion, clinical resource utilization and/pr case management is highly desirable.
· Strong computer, interpersonal, leadership, organizational, and clinical skills.
· Ability to communicate effectively with residents, their families and all levels of the organization.
MDS Functions
Responsible for coordinating the development and completion of the RAI (Resident Assessment Instrument) in accordance with current Federal and state rules, regulations, and guidelines.
· Directs the facility interdisciplinary RAI process.
· Ensures the validity of all Minimum Data Sets before electronic submission. Assures consistency of documentation between MDS and medical records.
· Ensures the timely electronic submission of all MDS assessments.
· Reviews pre-admission orders and daily chart review for the most cost effective treatment management.
· Disseminates any new or updated materials involving the RAI process.
· Audits charts for appropriate Medicare documentation within the guidelines established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
· Schedules residents for appropriate OBRA, Medicare PPS and/or Medicaid required assessment.
Interested candidates should apply online at www.ommtulsa.org or send resume to SHenderson@ommtulsa.org. EOE

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YWCA staff and volunteers who work to help victims as part of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Domestic Violence Nurse Examiner program. Pictured are: Karla Doctor, YWCA OKC senior officer of sexual violence prevention and response, nurses Lindsay Stringer and Keri Thompson and Amanda Kemp, director of forensic examinations.

CAREERS IN NURSING
YWCA VOLUNTEER NURSE EXAMINERS BRING HOPE AND HEALING

by Traci Chapman – staff writer/photographer

YWCA Oklahoma City and nursing might not seem on the surface to be connected – but, in fact, nurses are an integral part of the organization’s mission.
Those nurses are volunteers in an interconnected program that helps those who are at their most vulnerable – scared, many times alone, always injured, whether it be physically, emotionally, financially or a combination of all three. They are sexual assault and domestic violence nurse examiners, and they advocate for victims in ways that go far beyond traditional healthcare.
“An examination is physical, when needed – we look head-to-toe for injuries, we collect forensic evidence, this is an excellent way to assist in a case on behalf of the victim,” said Amanda Kemp, YWCA OKC director of forensic examinations. “But, this is not intrusive, but rather therapeutic – we want to make sure we don’t retraumatize someone.”
The sexual assault and domestic violence nurse examiner program has taken a system in ways broken and, at times, damaging to the victim. Before, many of those victims would come into an emergency room and asked to wait – often for several hours – until they could be examined. The process, when through, could end up only making the assault they had only gone through worse, said Karla Doctor, YWCA OKC senior officer of sexual violence prevention and response.
“Our nurses are on call and go directly to the hospital to conduct the examination, and victims are kept more shielded, not forced to sit in a public emergency department as they feel their most vulnerable, are scared, injured and can think of nothing else but what’s just happened to them,” she said. “These nurses can accomplish more in a single exam than what many might people would even imagine.”
That examination, of course, includes a physical exam – treating and documenting trauma and injuries, as well as forensic evidence collection. While victims can decide not to file a police report, SANE and DVNEs collect that information in case an individual changes their mind later. Nurses also evaluate the need for treatment like emergency contraception or STD prevention. Examinations and medications – as well as advocacy and therapy services – are provided free of charge to patients.
But, perhaps most importantly, Kemp said, nurse examiners and the YWCA sexual response advocates who take part in the examination provide support to someone who might be feeling unimaginable guilt, shame and pain.
“We make a difference because we are there – obviously, we are there to take care of the physical examination, to make sure the victims receive the best possible medical treatment, but there is so much more to it,” Kemp said. “There are the forensic aspects, the importance to preserve evidence and the emotional care for victims who can feel victimized again if an exam isn’t conducted properly.”
Nurse examiners can face an emotional tightrope in dealing with victims. Some want justice, while others do not want to face everything entailed in filing a police report relating to sexual and violent assault. Most importantly, they many times need support in a climate that might – perhaps, even subtly – blame the victim for the incident; even with family and friends, there are often feelings of shame that can lead those victimized down an even darker path, Kemp said.
“So many come forward and nobody believes them – how good a forensic nurse would I be if I didn’t believe them and didn’t collect as much evidence and information as possible, whether they want to report or they’re a case of non-report,” she said. “There are also so many who blame themselves because maybe they were drinking, perhaps there was a consensual situation that led somewhere else.”
“Sexual assault is never a natural consequence – no one deserves to be sexually assaulted,” the forensic exam director said.
The same can be said for domestic assault victims, individuals who are at the mercy of a master manipulator. In those cases, abuse very well might not be physical – sometimes not at all – but the damage still runs deep.
“There is, of course, the mental abuse – many victims are isolated by their abusers, held hostage even to an extent, and then there is the economic abuse,” Doctor said. “A lot of abusers put all of the debt in their victim’s name, they might keep them from working by saying, ‘oh, I want to take care of you’ – but it’s really just a way to keep that control.”
While nurse examiners from the start move beyond traditional medical evaluation procedures, it is after that exam is over that they truly might make a difference, not only for one victim for many. SANE and DVNEs maintain evidence chain of custody and nurses testify as fact witnesses during hearings and at trial.
“A statement made to a nurse examiner can be an exception to the hearsay rule, and that statement can be allowed in the case,” Kemp said. “Everything they tell us is documented, along with evidence of physical injuries – having a nurse be able to represent your story helps.”
Those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault also have available to them a variety of resources offered by the YWCA to help them after the examination is over. The organization has shelters for those who need them, as well as offering counseling and educational programs that can help a victim move beyond what’s happened to them.
The need for examiners is high, Kemp and Doctor said. The organization’s SANE and DVNEs conduct about 425 to 475 examinations a year. While that number is staggering, what is more alarming are the numbers of women who never receive any kind of examination or treatment, women who are afraid or embarrassed and never report an incident at all.
“I think we should be doing thousands of exams,” Kemp said. “About 90 percent of college students assaulted don’t report for a variety of reasons, and that’s frustrating and frightening.”
YWCA officials hope nurse examiners will turn that tide. Both sexual assault and domestic violence nurse examiners work to empower victims, letting them know that no matter the circumstances of their assault, they are not to blame – and they are not alone.
“Sexual assault is a community issue that moves far beyond victims, their families and the programs that are trying to help them,” Kemp said.
To reach all those who need it, however, YWCA OKC needs RNs willing to step outside a traditional medical environment, individuals willing to volunteer their time and skills to help vulnerable patients who are suffering far beyond any physical injuries they might have. In doing that, Kemp said she and her staff have experiences beyond anything she ever would have expected.
“I get to make a difference with each patient, I get to see them change from a person in crisis to calm and empowered,” she said. “We let them know we believe you, we care, and we can make such a difference in that instance.
“We save lives, sometimes not even realizing the difference we’ve made until much farther down the road,” Kemp said.
Nurses who wish to become sexual assault or domestic violence nurse examiners must have been a full-time practicing RN for a year with an active license and must maintain state-required continuing education, as well as other administrative requirements. Volunteers also complete 30 hours of crisis services training, Kemp said.
To register for SANE training or for more information about taking part in the program, go online to YWCA OKC’s website, located at http://www.ywcaokc.org/volunteer or contact the organization’s outreach director by emailing outreach@ywcaokc.org or calling 405-948-1770.

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photos by A. Sims Photography LLC of Yukon

Some of Santa’s best presents aren’t found under the Christmas tree, they’re experiences shared with the people you love. Here’s one family’s story of joy … courtesy of Old Saint Nick.
Nuncia and Dion Hall struggled with infertility for five long years. They wanted desperately to have a baby and start a family of their own. When it became clear to them that having a biological child was not an option for them, the Halls lovingly and wholeheartedly decided to adopt.
They adopted a beautiful baby girl named Leya two years ago and then adopted a bouncing baby boy named Dominic a year later. And as fate would have it, as it often does in stories like these, when Dominic was only two months old the Halls discovered they were pregnant – not with just one baby but twins!
Since multiples have a tendency to come early, Nuncia was put on total bedrest at just 24 weeks gestation. She would spend the last 20 days of her pregnancy in the hospital. Twin boys, Xavier and Vincent, were born on Oct. 9, 2017. They were two months premature and barely weighed 3 pounds each. The good news though, is that other than their size, they were relatively healthy.
The tiny pair continues to grow but will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit of INTEGRIS Children’s at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center until their lungs are fully developed. This means they won’t be able to go home until after Christmas. Santa knows spending the holiday in the hospital is no fun, so he paid the twins a special visit last week.
“Having our boys in the NICU has been challenging for the whole family, especially during the holidays,” says the twins’ mother. “We are so grateful for the NICU staff at INTEGRIS, they take amazing care of our boys and work hard to make sure we get to enjoy special moments like seeing Santa!”
But perhaps the biggest gift given to the Hall family that day, was that Leya and Dominic got to meet their baby brothers for the very first time. Children, even siblings, under the age of five are not typically allowed in the NICU. But an exception was made and the Halls were able to take their first ever family photo. Little Leya even got to hold one of her brothers!
It was a magical moment enjoyed by many that day, as the Big Man in Red brought Christmas cheer to several families spending Christmas in the NICU this year.

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by Traci Chapman, staff writer

Eleven Oklahoma skilled nursing care centers, their nurses and other staff members were recently recognized by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living.
The centers, located throughout the state, were recognized through AHCA/NCAL’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program for quality and service improvements. Facilities honored were:
* Cedar Creek Nursing Center – Norman
* Claremore Nursing Home – Claremore
* Forrest Manor Nursing Center – Dewey
* Grace Living Center – Edmond
* Grace Living Center-Southwest – Oklahoma City
* Emerald Care-Southwest – Oklahoma City
* Medicalodge of Dewey – Dewey
* Montevista Rehabilitation and Skilled Care – Lawton
* Rainbow Health Care Community – Bristow
* Shanoan Springs Residence – Chickasha
* The Village at Southern Hills – Tulsa
AHCA’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program recognizes association members who attain at least four of eight quality initiative goals, President/CEO Mark Parkinson said. Those objectives include:
* Reducing hospitalizations – Facilities are assessed either for their safe reduction of long-stay resident hospital stays of at least 15 percent from December 2014 or for achieving or maintaining a 10 percent or lower rate.
* Minimizing nursing staff turnover – Centers that either accomplish a 15 percent decrease from 2015 levels or maintain less than 40 percent total nursing turnover rates meet this criteria.
* Cutting hospital readmissions – This goal aims at safely reducing hospital readmissions, within 30 days of first admission, by 30 percent, compared to December 2011 levels or maintaining a 10 percent readmission rate overall.
* Decreasing off-label antipsychotics use – Long-stay nursing resident use of off-label antipsychotics must be reduced by 30 percent from December 2011 levels to qualify for this particular achievement.
* Reducing unintended health care outcomes – Accomplishing this goal “improves the lives of the patients, residents and families skilled nursing care providers serve,” the Office of Inspector General found, according to a 2014 report.
* Improving discharge rates – Facilities are tasked with maintaining a 70 percent rate, or 10 percent improvement since December 2014, of patient discharges back to the community.
* Boosting functional outcomes – Centers must improve functional outcomes by 10 percent since December 2015 or maintain a 75 percent improvement rate to attain this goal.
* Adopting Core-Q questionnaire – AHCA developed the Core-Q questionnaire specifically for use by post-acute and long-term care providers, Parkinson said. Adopting the practices outlined, measuring and uploading results may satisfy this particular program aspect.
“Improving quality care as a profession requires dedication from many organizations,” Parkinson said. “The program provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the progress that our members have made by achieving the quality initiative goals and improving care for individuals living in their communities, and I commend their hard work.”
Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers is the AHCA state affiliate. More information about AHCA may be found on its website, located at https://www.ahcancal.org/Pages/Default.aspx; OAHCP’s site is http://www.oahcp.org/index.php.

Golden Oaks Village Assisted Living Stillwater, OK seeking an RN to serve as the DON.
· Three years’ experience working as an RN in assisted living or similar facility
· Achieve and maintain compliance for all Oklahoma State Department of Health
regulations governing long term care facilities
· Complete working knowledge of all applicable laws and regulations
· Experience performing routine assessments
· Strong managerial skills
· Implement recommendations to improve all facets of the Nursing department
· Active Oklahoma RN license
· Willing to re-locate and/or live in the Stillwater area
Golden Oaks Village offers competitive pay, insurance benefits and paid time off. Join our team & work in
a positive environment with leaders who value our staff. Make a difference in the lives of who we serve.
Apply on-line at www.companionhealth.net

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American Nurses Association President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

For the 16th consecutive year, the American public has ranked nurses as the professionals with the highest honesty and ethical standards, according to a Gallup poll released today. The annual poll has ranked nurses as the most honest and ethical out of a wide spectrum of professions, including pharmacists and grade school teachers.
“Nurses provide much more than bedside care. We advocate for patients, deliver primary care, meet the complex needs of patients with chronic conditions, volunteer for disaster relief efforts, and are a trusted voice in boardrooms across the country,” said Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, president of the American Nurses Association (ANA).
According to the poll, 82 percent of Americans rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high.” The next closest profession, military officers, was rated 11 percentage points behind nursing.
“One of our greatest accomplishments this year has been the role nurses have played in fighting against any legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” said Cipriano. “Advocacy efforts have always been a core function and priority for our organization, but there is still work to be done, which is why we recently announced 2018 as the Year of Advocacy. The public relies on nurses to promote a healthy America, and that includes access to affordable, quality care. ANA is committed to supporting and encouraging nurses to be advocates at all levels and to be influencers of positive change for our patients, our colleagues, and our nation.”

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I am convinced that our society is addicted to being addicted. I have been in recovery from a serious eating disorder for five years. My thoughts will occasionally take me back to behaviors that I could engage in to lower stress but I work my program and “stay sober.” But I realize that in some ways society has benefited from my addiction and others. I will explain.

 

I have a friend Cindy, who weighs over three hundred pounds. She is carrying two people on her skeleton that was designed for one. Her ankles, knees and hips hurt all the time and she takes opiates for pain relief. She has been in therapy but had the typical addict responses, i.e, “I really don’t eat that much.” “I am big boned,” etc.
Cindy called me one day and while talking I could tell that she was eating. She told me that she had gone shopping at her “fat lady” store and she got a reward coupon for spending over $50.00. I held my breath imagining what the coupon “reward” would bring her. READY……… a free pie at one of the local restaurants!!!! A free pie for the obese shopper to make sure she comes back to the “fat lady” store.
I was outraged and wanted to call the store and scream at them but then it hit me; this store was in the business of selling clothes to overweight and obese people and they want to stay in business.
Fast food restaurants lure us in all the time. Who can’t afford the dollar menu. But what are the choices? How much do you know about the calorie content, as well as the nutrient content.
How many doctor visits and medications could be avoided if food choices were healthier. People will often say it costs more to eat healthy. Really think about that statement. It costs more………how many overweight people taking diabetic medication might be eliminating that medication with weight loss. I know for a fact doctors have told people, “If you lose weight you might not need medication.’
Just for grins, sit down and add what you are spending in doctor visits and prescriptions. How much healthy food could you buy with that money.
There are people advocating for healthy eating, less prescription medications (don’t even get me started on the amount of money being made by the pharmaceutical companies, they want you to eat the pie.)
I recently experienced a situation when I was at a gas station. A man with a large apron approached me and asked if I smoked. I said, No. I watched him approach the person next to me and handed them a free pack of cigarettes with a coupon attached. It never ends.
Addictive behavior is hard to change but it can be done. Be aware, have support systems and don’t eat the pie.

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Jian Li, Ph.D.

The Robert Glenn Rapp Foundation has awarded the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation a four-year, $400,000 grant.
The grant will help two new scientists establish laboratories at OMRF. In their labs, they will study the cellular processes that lead to cancer, as well as diseases of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
“Our family is pleased to play a small role in the important work underway in OMRF’s cancer research laboratories,” said Jilene Boghetich, managing trustee of the Rapp Foundation. “Cancer seems to strike almost every family in some way, and our goal is to help OMRF’s scientists discover new methods to detect and treat the disease.”
Founded in 1951, the Rapp Foundation distributes funds to a wide variety of charitable projects throughout the U.S. This new grant to OMRF represents the latest in a long line of gifts that have helped the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit strengthen its scientific infrastructure.
The new funds will help support the recruitment of a pair of new scientists, Wan Hee Yoon, Ph.D., and Jiang Li, Ph.D.
Yoon joins OMRF from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and his research uses fruit flies to understand the processes of cellular decline that lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Li also studies the basic cellular mechanisms underlying cancer and neurodegeneration, and he comes to OMRF from Northwestern University in Chicago.
The grant will provide funding for the purchase of sophisticated laboratory equipment and supplies for the new researchers. It will also help support salaries of personnel working in their labs.
“It’s hard to imagine OMRF as it is today without the enduring generosity of the Rapp Foundation through the years,” said OMRF Vice President of Development Penny Voss. “They’ve been true friends to OMRF and to medical research in Oklahoma, and they’ve invested in visionary projects that will benefit us all.”

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Mind Body Essentials is a series of educational sessions offered through the INTEGRIS James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit by local professionals with experience in providing services in mind, body therapies and/or integrative medicine practices. The sessions are designed to educate our community on how to INTEGRATE these practices into daily life.
These sessions are offered on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Raymond A. Young Conference Center at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. There is no charge for our Mind Body Essentials classes; however, reservations are required. Call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277 or 888-951-2277 to reserve your spot today. Topics to be covered through our Mind Body Essentials for January and February include the following.
* Jan. 23, 2018 – Charging Your Inner Battery: The Value of Living a Resilient Life
In this session, Diane Rudebock, Ed.D., RN, will help us explore our inner landscape, looking at where we focus our time and energy and the importance of resilience as we navigate the ages and stages of life. This session will also introduce participants to a six-week series we will offer beginning in February called The Science of Self Care: Moving Toward a Healthy Resilient You!
* Feb. 27, 2018 – Mindfulness: Resilience in the Face of Life’s Challenges
Resilience is the ability to adapt well to change and bounce back from adversity. We know all too well “life can be like a box of chocolates. We never know what we are going to get.” The practice of mindfulness cultivates our potential to be present each moment with kind, open and non-judgmental awareness, and effectively manage stress and change. We discover we can stay steady and at ease in the face of life’s challenges and still enjoy life’s sweetness. Marnie Kennedy, a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor, will share what mindfulness means for resilient living.

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