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As a psychiatric nurse, Shane Martin works within a partial hospitalization program at Oakwood Springs Hospital. Oakwood Springs opened in February of this year.

by James Coburn, Staff Writer

Studying the brain and the mechanisms of how it works intrigue Shane Martin, an outpatient registered nurse within the partial hospitalization program at Oakwood Springs Hospital, located in Oklahoma City. Oakwood Springs opened in February of this year.
“What we like to do is to stabilize the inpatients and step them down into a partial hospitalization program where they can still come to groups like they would in inpatient, but yet they get to go home in the evening and practice what they’ve been learning during the day,” Martin explained.
The patients utilize the coping skills they’ve learned in the group and come back to Oakwood Springs to report the following day, Martin said.
His experience has been that defects of the brain and personality disorders are not in-depth learning experiences gained in nursing school. Martin received training as a psychiatric nurse at the Children’s Recovery Center in Norman. He did his clinical rotations there and went to work there immediately after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a nursing degree in 2013. Martin was a hairstylist for 20 years before he entered the nursing profession.
“I think it’s the people connection. And I think it’s learning to get a little bit more intimate with people, and knowing their personalities,” Martin said about his joy for nursing.
At first he thought about working in the ER or ICU as many nursing students believe is the standard course, Martin said. “Nurses think about stabilizing the human body physiologically but they sometimes forget that the brain is an organ,” Martin said. “That would probably be the most important organ along with the heart.”
Commonalities among the senior adult patients at Oakwood Springs will often involve comorbidities, he said. It is one aspect he must pay attention to when they are inpatients, he said. Medication management is done by Oakwood Spring physicians in the outpatient setting, but it is limited to psychiatric medication.
“We encourage. We want these people to continue their treatment with their primary care physician,” Martin explained.
Patients range in ages from 18 years and older with some of the inpatients having been in their 80s.
Change of life is a common reason older adults come to Oakwood Springs, Martin said. They are usually not as physically active as they once were.
“A lot of times that causes people to be depressed because they are not moving their bodies,” Martin said.
Sometimes their spouse is not as active as they are in life, or vice versa, he continued. This sometimes causes marital strife, Martin said, and is a major differentiation in people’s lives. They get to retirement age and wonder how they fit into life, Martin said.
Recreational activities are available to patients of all ages. Martin also works in the intensive outpatient program.
“What that is, it’s either a daytime program of 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or our evening program,” Martin said.
The evening program just started at Oakwood Springs, three days a week from 6-9 p.m.
Only group therapy is offered at Oakwood Springs. The partial hospitalization program is a full day event involving five hours of structured therapy involving discussion.
Patients are encouraged to see their own psychiatrists. There is no individual therapy.
“That’s not our model here,” Martin said. “What we do is we want them to have an individual therapist that they see on an individual basis. That way when they step down or they graduate from our program, they still have that person, that point of contact that they’re going to see.”
There are two types of therapy groups designed for the needs of the patients. One is for people with substance abuse problems and/or substance abuse and mental wellness problems. There is also a mental wellness program available for people without any substance abuse issues, Martin said. Activities are designed around those two core areas.
“In afternoons we’ll have recreational therapies. We have a recreational therapist that comes once a week and does group,” he said.
Yoga is offered and a nutritionist does a weekly group. Martin loves yoga, too, and practices what he preaches. There are educational groups focused on medication. As a nurse, Martin wants his clients to understand the type of medications they are prescribed.
“Unfortunately and in particular with the aging population, they may not know,” Martin said.
Martin will individually educate each patient within the first 24 hours at Oakwood Springs.
“Have a list. A lot of them don’t even have a list,” he said.
The Oakwood Springs staff is professional, compassionate and self motivated team, Martin said. They work well together by being able to give direction and take direction, he said.
“That’s a good place to be in when you are doing something different, or to help someone else learn a different way of doing something,” he said.

Oakwood Springs treats adults who are struggling with mental illness / addiction. Join us for a rewarding career and Competitive Pay! Be part of our progressive team equipped with newly constructed, state-of-the-art hospital.
Applicants can apply online at or email resume to
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13101 Memorial Springs Court
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
There’s hope. There’s help.
Oakwood Springs complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
© 2017 Oakwood Springs. All rights reserved. | OWD-MK-0168-01

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Carleesha Moore, RN, DON, views her nursing career as a ministry at St. Ann’s Home in Oklahoma City.

Director of Nursing effects change with new skilled nursing unit
story and photo by James Coburn

As a long-term care facility, St. Ann’s Home recently opened up a new skilled unit where they are treating patients that are recovering from being in the hospital with strokes, hip surgeries and other maladies.
“We handle a number of clinical issues here,” said Carleesha Moore, RN director of nursing at St. Ann’s Home, located in Oklahoma City.
“The skilled facility is fairly new to St. Ann’s. And so I’ve changed how we staff it over there. I staff it on a first and second shift with two nurses, one LPN and one RN,” Moore said. “And I’ll split front and back so there’s less surface area for them to cover.”
There is at least eight hours of RN supervision for the skilled residents, she noted. Two restorative aides assist in the residents’ recovery while CNAs take vital signs, she said.
The nursing staff at St. Ann’s Home views their work as a ministry, Moore said. They bring qualities of compassion and a loving, caring spirit which is intrinsic to their character to make life at St. Ann’s a comfortable home.
“They’ve shown a lot of dedication,” said Moore, who has been a nurse for 13 years.
She earned her nursing degree at Platt College. Afterwards she began some long-term acute care in hospitals, but her history is primarily in long-term care.
“I view nursing as a ministry,” Moore continued. “And long-term care is my calling because it’s taking care of people. They’ve been mothers and fathers. They’ve had full careers and now they’re in the sunset of their lives.”
Now they simply need someone to look after them with a caring spirit to advocate for them, Moore said. Moore wants to ensure that they have an easy transition toward the end of their lives, she said.
“They do so with dignity and respect,” Moore said.
So Moore always asks nurses interested in a career at St. Ann’s home why they became a nurse or CNA. Nurses will succeed at St. Ann’s if they also see the important work they do as a ministry and not a pay check. She would rather have someone who says they want to care for people than saying it’s just a job.
“So I look for those qualities,” she said. “I can teach skills; I can teach you how to transfer and teach you wound care, but I can’t teach you to be caring and compassionate,” Moore said. “That’s just something you have to be born with.”
There is so much to love about the residents, Moore said. Endearing qualities touch her heart. Many of the residents have special talents, she said. They care for one another and advocate for each other’s needs.
“I just love the relationship when I see the residents interact with the staff,” Moore said.
When new residents come to live at St. Ann’s, they will have a period of orientation by the staff explaining the different departments. A large activities department has activities in the dining room. They are encouraged to participate in the activities and group exercises.
“We have the resident council committee who goes around and introduces the new residents,” she said with a smile. “So it’s a real community environment here.”
Something appeals to just about every interest of the 106 residents within the 120 bed facility. Live music is available and a Hawaiian Luau is scheduled for this month. There is a happy hour, bingo, and movies shown on a big screen in the dining room, Moore added.
“They have popcorn and ice cream socials,” Moore said. “There’s always something going on here. We have five people in the activities department here.”
Moore enjoys being active in life as well by bike riding with her husband on the weekends. She will go to the movies or spend time with her son, although she said he is a teenager now who prefers his dad’s company now.
Moore is motivated to return to a normal week day by knowing she can make a difference. This impact can be on a resident’s life or that of an employee. Moore is there.
“Sometimes you effect change and make a difference with family members,” she said. “I’m constantly thinking of ways to make it better.”
The nurses enjoy getting to know the personalities of each of the residents. Moore said she tries to staff in a way expressing continuity so the staff and residents may build relationships.
“They just see them as family,” Moore explained. “It’s really a family oriented environment and that’s what we want to continue to provide here at St. Ann’s.”

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Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center Nurse Manager Cynthia Chancellor, RN, and her nurses make a difference in the lives of Oklahoma’s youth.


story and photo by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Cynthia Chancellor, RN, comes to work every day to a lush 30-acre campus complete with ponds, an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts and a baseball diamond.
The 30-year nurse wears many hats working as nurse manager at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center in Tecumseh.
Working with more than 70 juveniles, success is measured on a different scale than most other nursing settings for Chancellor and her staff.
“A lot of kids are here because they’re just had neglect and poverty in their youth and they’ve grown up that way . For one reason or another they’ve gotten into some crime whether it be stealing cars or burglary. The judge sends them here to work our treatment program.
“Our goal is to train them and equip them with skills, not only educationally but emotionally so they can reintegrate into society.”
A bill to expand the Tecumseh campus and consolidate all juvenile services has worked its way through the legislature. The agency has until January to submit its plan for what they will look like to Governor Mary Fallin, who is originally from Tecumseh.
That means more nurses are needed. And nursing encompasses a lot of things at the Tecumseh facility.
“A lot of times (juveniles) are initially upset because people have threatened them that something’s going to happen,” Chancellor said. “Our goal is to try to make them more comfortable. We’re the first people who see them when they come on campus because we need to make sure they are healthy and don’t have any medical issues.”
From there the residents meet with the psychologist to help them understand how to get their needs met.
A physician and a dentist come weekly to see patients. Three times a month a psychiatrist comes by.
Each unit has a treatment team consisting of a psych clinician, a juvenile justice specialist (social worker), a unit manager and youth guidance specialist along with a teacher.
“They work with them to let them know what accomplishments they need to make to go from one level to another,” Chancellor said.
Juveniles progress through five levels with more privileges added at each level before eventually graduating.
Individual and group therapy is provided in each unit along with recreational therapists.
“They play a really big part in trying to teach them how to enjoy life,” Chancellor said. “Trying to get them into healthy lifestyles and enjoying life as a kid, which they a lot of times have not had the opportunity to do that (is the goal).”
A History of Service
The Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center is celebrating its 100th year of helping Oklahoma’s youth.
The current campus sits on 30 acres of a 147.7-acre plat. It has gone through many transformations over the years and was formerly known as the Russell Industrial School, Oklahoma State Industrial School for Incorrigible Girls, the State Industrial School for White Girls, Girls Town and Central Oklahoma Juvenile Treatment Center.
It has been known as COJC [koh-jak] since August of 1992. Through the transitions it has served as a facility for orphans, children in need of mental health treatment, delinquents and youthful offenders. It was previously operated by the Department of Human Services but has been under the jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs since 1995.
“It’s really good because when I think people work with the older groups like in a prison there’s not a whole lot of chance for a change but these kids are ripe for teaching because they haven’t had a lot of education,” Chancellor said.
The center houses a charter school. During their entire stay – which can be seven months or longer – students are always working towards their diploma.
Chancellor and her nursing staff do a lot of teaching along with meeting medical needs. Hygiene, pregnancy prevention, the importance of drinking plenty of water when out in the summer heat – all are topics covered when trying to help the juveniles build life skills they still haven’t acquired.
Just the other day Chancellor received a call from a former juvenile.
He asked for his immunization record so he could enroll in college.
“Those kind of things really.” Chancellor said of how she measures success.
Chancellor is looking for nurses who can make a difference in the lives of young people, all the while being able to see the difference they make on a daily basis.

Nurses Needed
Are you looking for a career that will help you obtain experience in a wide range of health, wellness and behavioral health nursing care for Oklahoma’s at-risk youth?
· Licensed Practical Nurses · Positions available in Tecumseh & Norman facilities · Paid shift differential · Generous benefit package allowance to help off-set insurance costs · New innovative treatment programs · Full-time salary · All shifts available
Our agency is responsible for providing professional health services for all youth in OJA operated campuses.
APPLICATION PROCESS Please send resume with cover letter referencing job title to:
Call 405-598-4190 for additional info.

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Amanda Wahl, director of nurses in rehabilitation and skilled nursing at The Springs.

Amanda Wahl Welcomed as Director of Nurses at The Fountains at Canterbury
The Fountains at Canterbury, a continuum of care senior living community in Oklahoma City, welcomes Amanda Wahl as the director of nurses in rehabilitation and skilled nursing at The Springs. Wahl brings more than 14 years of nursing experience to the position.
“The Fountains of Canterbury is a unique community that thrives on the quality care given to our residents,” said Cody Erikson, executive director of The Fountains at Canterbury. “Amanda will be a great asset for the future care and compassion that The Fountains of Canterbury provides to help our residents thrive.”
Wahl obtained her associate degree in applied science from Rose State College in 2013 and has worked for The Fountains at Canterbury for more than a year. She was previously the registered nurse care coordinator at Valir Health in Oklahoma City and oversaw the program of all-inclusive care. Prior to her position at Valir, Wahl was a registered nurse at Integris Health in Spencer, Oklahoma, working with the child mental health, adolescent health and adult mental health programs.
“I have always dreamed of being a nurse, as it was a nurse that cared for me when I was born premature,” said Wahl. “I want to be able to give that care and nourishment back to help others.” The Fountains at Canterbury is dedicated to being the first choice in senior living, providing a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care, innovative rehabilitation therapies and skilled care. The Fountains at Canterbury is managed by Watermark Retirement Communities and is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive. To learn more, please call (405) 381-8165 or go online to

Great opportunity to work with a growing healthcare company with excellent benefits, including great employer matching 401K, Christmas bonus and the opportunity for quarterly bonuses!
South Campus Positions: · RN House Supervisor, 7am-7pm, Full Time · RN Med Surg, 7am-7pm, PRN · RN Med Surg, 7pm-7am, Full Time · RN, Emergency Dept, 7pm-7am, PRN · Respiratory Therapist, RRT or CRT, PRN, 7am-7pm and 7pm-7am · Surgical Tech, M-F Days, Full Time, $2000 SIGN ON BONUS, Call Required · MT, MLS or MLT, Laboratory, 7pm-7am, Full-time and PRN, SIGN ON BONUS · Patient Care Tech, Emergency Dept, 7am-7pm, PRN · Patient Care Tech, 7pm-7am, Full Time
North Campus Positions: · RN, Med Surg, 7am-7pm, Full Time and PRN · RN, Med Surg, 7pm-7am, Full Time and PRN $5000 SIGN ON BONUS for Full Time position · RN OR Circulator, M-F Days, Full Time, $5000 SIGN ON BONUS, Call Required · RN, Pre-op/Phase II, M-F, Full Time · Paramedic, ER/Med Surg, 7pm-7am, PRN · Patient Care Tech, Med Surg, 7am-7pm, PRN · Patient Care Tech, 7pm-7am, PRN · Surgical Tech, M-F Days, Full Time, $2000 SIGN ON BONUS, Call Required · Sterile Processing Tech, M-F Days, Full Time $1000 Sign on Bonus, Call Required · Medical Assistant/AUA/Phlebotomist, Part Time, Saturdays · Ultrasound Tech, M-F, Full Time and Per Diem
· RN Circulator, M-F Days, Full Time
· Surgical Tech, M-F Days, Full Time
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Christy Niehues, PA-C

St. Anthony Physicians Group is pleased to welcome Christy Niehues, PA-C to St. Anthony Physicians Dermatology.
Niehues has worked as a PA-C for twenty years. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, followed by a Master of Health Science Physician Associate Degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She is certified through the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), and is a member of the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants.
Niehues will see patients at Saints Dermatology Center of Excellence, 9720 N. Broadway Extension, in Oklahoma City and at St. Anthony Healthplex Mustang, 201 S. Sara Road, in Mustang.

AllianceHealth Midwest
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We are hiring!
· Emergency RN’s
· Med/Surg RN’s
· Telemetry RN’s
· Surgery RN’s
· Psych RN’s

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Kathy Sivils, Ph.D.

Led by researchers at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, an international coalition of scientists and physicians has discovered a new genetic risk factor that may predispose certain individuals to a debilitating condition known as Sjögren’s syndrome.
Sjögren’s is an “autoimmune” disease, a family of illnesses in which the body destroys its own cells. In Sjögren’s, immune cells attack moisture-producing glands, leading to painful dryness and decreased ability to produce tears or saliva. The disease may affect as many as 4 million Americans, according to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.
Common symptoms include severe dry eyes and dry mouth, as well as fatigue, arthritis and memory problems. While its causes are not fully understood, environmental triggers, such as viral infections, are believed to contribute to the development of Sjögren’s in individuals who carry certain genetic risk factors for the disease.
In this new study, OMRF scientist Kathy Sivils, Ph.D. and her colleagues identified a strong association between a variant in a gene called OAS1 and susceptibility to Sjögren’s. This variant may provide valuable insight into the genetic basis of Sjögren’s, as well as other autoimmune conditions with similar triggers.
“This gene was of particular interest to us, because it plays a major role in how individuals respond to viral infections. Previous studies had shown that if a person carries this variant, they may be more susceptible to certain viruses like West Nile and hepatitis C,” said Sivils.
“There was very little evidence for a connection to autoimmune disease prior to our study. Firmly establishing this new association with Sjögren’s then led us to look at the gene’s function in more detail,” said OMRF scientist and co-leader of the project, Christopher Lessard, Ph.D.
Scientists found that individuals with this genetic variant produce alternative forms of OAS1 that appear to lose normal function, said Sivils, and that can result in an increased susceptibility to viruses, as well as diseases like Sjögren’s. The discovery could allow researchers to test for the variant to identify people at higher risk for the disease.
“If we can get out ahead of the disease, it might help lessen the severe damage that can occur in salivary glands and other organs,” Sivils said. “Early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial, and discoveries like this one may give researchers and healthcare professionals more to work with as they look for clues to this perplexing disease.”
Sivils conducted the research as part of larger coalition known as the Sjogren’s Genetics Network, or SGENE. The network includes more than 60 scientists and physicians from the U.S., England, France, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Colombia, the Philippines and Australia. The findings were published in the journal PLOS Genetics.
“On behalf of Sjögren’s patients, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation applauds OMRF for its commitment to finding the many unanswered questions about the disease,” said SSF CEO Steven Taylor. “Drs. Sivils and Lessard, along with their OMRF colleagues, continue to leave their mark in advancing Sjögren’s research, and patients worldwide will benefit from their hard work.”
Other OMRF researchers who contributed to the findings were He Li, Ph.D., Astrid Rasmussen, M.D., Hal Scofield, M.D., Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., Darise Farris, Ph.D., Patrick Gaffney, M.D., Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D., Susan Kovats, Ph.D., Indra Adrianto, Ph.D., Joel Guthridge, Ph.D., Ph.D., John Ice, M.D., Tove Reksten, Jennifer Kelly, Kiely Grundahl, Stuart Glenn, Adam Adler and Sean Turner.
National Institutes of Health grants that contributed to this research include P50 AR0608040, 1R01 AR065953, 5RC2 AR058959 and 5P30 AR053482 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease; 5R01 DE015223, 1R01 DE018209 and 5R01 DE018209 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; 5U19 AI082714 and U19 AI056363, 5P01 AI083194, 1U01 AI101934 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and 8P20 GM103456, 1P30 GM110766, U54 GM104938, 5P30 GM103510 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
Additional funds for OMRF’s research were provided by the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation/Abbott Health Professional Graduate Student Preceptorship Award 2009, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation and the Phileona Foundation.

OCOM is Hiring! Join Our Team…. “Every Day Giving Excellence”
Med/Surg Experience Required.
Experience Preferred but not Required. No call, no weekends.
1-2 yrs. Experience SPD Required. Leadership Experience Required.
Interested Applicants, please submit resume to or apply online at

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If I wasn’t a nurse I would be … Integris Canadian Valley Hospital PACU

I started as an X-ray tech so either way I would be helping people. Zahn Ellis, RN

Probably a physician’s assistant. I’ve just always wanted to do that. Lindsey Kothe, RN

Probably a malpractice lawyer. Things are twisted and doctors get in trouble for things they shouldn’t. Aubrey Taylor, RN

Traveling. I don’t know what else I would do. Vicki Cantrell, RN manager


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We are hiring RNs for
Medical-Surgical – RNs
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Q. I recently went to my first yoga class because a friend recommended it. I had been complaining of stiffness and pain in my neck for quite awhile. When the yoga teacher was talking to me about my neck she asked if I had a counselor to talk about some stressful issues that I might be holding on to and storing in my neck. Really? Is that possible?
— Janie
A. Yes Janie it is possible to store trauma, anger, resentments, etc in different parts of your body. You are very lucky to have found that yoga teacher!! When traumatic or painful events occur the sooner we begin processing them the better. We may not even realize we are holding on to painful feelings, so talking may not be the first thing on our list.
A real test for determining if we are long overdue for an in-depth talking, sharing, venting session is if we are consciously aware we are still feeling angry, resentful, etc and continue ruminating or we notice we have more aches and pains that previously. You may even go to the doctor, share your symptoms, run tests, spend lots of money and find that there is nothing medically wrong with you.
Pamela was sent to me by her primary care physician because her physical complaints continued even though he could not find any medical test to prove she was sick. He referred her to counseling which made her very angry. She thought he was dismissing her. But actually he was very astute (like the yoga teacher). In therapy she was finally able to talk out loud about how miserable she felt in her marriage. She had so much resentment towards her husband, stated she should never have married him and felt she could not divorce him. This is powerful energy, it has to go somewhere.
Janie you shared additional information that you also had a very intense and traumatic event that occurred in your life. You mentioned resentments that you harbor but also stated that you try not to think about them. Again, resentments carry powerful energy, this energy doesn’t just float around forever, it settles somewhere. That is why talking to a trusted friend or therapist is called therapy, it is good for your health, even though at that moment it may not feel like it.
Your stiff and painful neck could have a medical cause, getting it checked out might be a good idea. But talking therapy might surprise you with symptom relief. If nothing else it may give you insight to make some life changes.
Remember all life events are stored in the body. The body does not forget. So when our body talks to us, it is wise to pay attention.

Apply in person at
Tuscany Village, 2333 Tuscany Blvd. Call 405-286-0835 or send resume to

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Outreach Health Services
3030 NW Expressway, Suite 21
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Immediate openings for PCAs, CNAs, and HHAs in the OKC Metro area to care for individuals in their homes. Must be 18 years of age or older and able to pass the OKScreen background check. Exp. a plus but will train the right candidates. RN/PRN requires Valid OK License. Please contact Karen Mangan, RN,BA,CM at (405) 256-2998 or (405) 443-1018 if you are interested in a position with us.

St. Anthony Nurse Practitioner Explains Advantages and Disadvantages of the Morning Staple
It has hundreds of names; joe, dirt, mud, java, brew, even brain juice, but regardless what you call it, how healthy is this morning staple?
The amount of caffeine intake that is healthy per day will vary from person to person. For the average adult, about 16 ounces of coffee with about 400mg of caffeine per day appears to be safe. According to St. Anthony Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner Michelle Ellenburg, coffee does have some positive effects. “Mental alertness and decreased reaction times are some positive effects. It has also been proven to help with the adverse effects of sleep deprivation and jet lag. Although coffee does have positive effects, the general 16 ounces a day is not safe for everyone.”
Pregnant women, for example, should lower their caffeine intake on a daily basis. “Excessive caffeine intake in pregnancy can lead to spontaneous abortion, congenital anomalies, low birth weight, preterm delivery, gestational high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and postpartum depression,” said Ellenburg. “A good thing to remember is that caffeine is a stimulant, and anything you take in, the baby gets too. Generally, limiting caffeine intake to 8 ounces per day is safe during pregnancy,” she added.
If you experience high blood pressure, you should also limit your amount of caffeine. “Caffeine intake can raise your blood pressure for a short time. For most patients with high blood pressure it is important to not exceed the recommended 400mg of caffeine per day,” explains Ellenburg.
Diabetes is another condition in which limiting caffeine intake would be appropriate. According to Ellenburg, the data for diabetic patients is complicated. Some studies show that caffeine intake can cause insulin resistance, while other studies show long term caffeine intake can improve insulin sensitivity. “Therefore, like high blood pressure, my general recommendation is to not exceed the 400mg of caffeine per day,” recommends Ellenburg.
So, what about other caffeinated beverages? Well, coffee and tea do share some of the same effects. They are both full of several different antioxidants, depending upon the type of coffee or tea. One of the advantages that they share is the increase in mental alertness. They also share some disadvantages. Some of their negative side effects include irregular heart rhythms, agitation and GI upset.
Just like the amount of coffee intake that is healthy per day varies per person, so does the opinion of coffee. One day it is good for you, and the next day it isn’t. This is because most studies that are published are self-reported and very subjective. The data in total is inconclusive. Overall, Ellenburg agrees that a moderate amount of coffee per day is acceptable.
St. Anthony Physicians Group Pulmonary & Family Medicine is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and is located at 6205 N. Santa Fe, Suite 201, in Oklahoma City. To make an appointment with Nurse Practitioner Michelle Ellenburg, please call 405-272-8338 or schedule online at

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The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is disappointed the $1.50 per pack cigarette fee will not go into effect as scheduled. While OSDH understands the balance of powers and greatly appreciates the efforts of Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature, and the decision of Oklahoma Supreme Court, it is a blow to state efforts to prevent smoking, particularly among our children.
“The tobacco companies profiting from cigarette smoking in Oklahoma understand the impact of this critical health policy,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services and Commissioner of Health Terry Cline, “In fact, they acknowledged in their court filings that the fee would likely reduce smoking in our state.”
Establishing the fee on cigarettes would have prevented 28,200 children from becoming adult smokers and would have resulted in more than 30,000 current smokers choosing to quit rather than pay the new fee. In addition, it would have saved the state $1.2 billion dollars in long term health costs and prevented 16,700 lives from ending prematurely due to smoking-related illnesses.
“If we are going to create a healthier place for our children to live, it has to start with preventing smoking.” said Dr. Cline, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in Oklahoma and raising the price of cigarettes to prevent our kids from taking up this deadly habit is the right thing to do.”
The OSDH will continue to educate policy makers on the importance of raising the price point of cigarettes by a minimum of $1.50 per pack. While OSDH would not have received any of the funding from the established fee, the impact on improving the health of Oklahomans makes this a critical policy issue.