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Professor Crillo, DNP, RN, CIC is the assistant professor at Southern Nazarene University, School of Nursing. She is ready to teach her nursing students as the semester begins.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Southern Nazarene University is a Christian, liberal arts college, an educational Christian institution, committed to helping students achieve their academic goals. Located in Bethany, Oklahoma, the SNU School of Nursing is approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education.
Here, you will find some of the finest professors; one of those professors is Michelle Crillo, DNP, RN, CIC, who graduated from UCO in 2011. She teaches at the SNU School of Nursing to students who have a desire to go into the medical field.
Professor Crillo was influence to be a nurse by a very special RN that has been a nurse for the last 35 years in a hospital in Detroit; that nurse is her mother. Mother like daughter, they both have that driving desire to succeed, reaching their goal, going even farther, getting stronger all the time.
“With my former jobs, I have always taken on the teacher or leader role, teaching in different realms, depending on the subject matter. I have always felt like teaching was something that I was led to do,” Professor Crillo commented. “It was actually a few nurses that caught my attention when my children were young. When three of my four children were born, they were in NICU. Each time, I noticed how caring the NICU nurses were and how much strength each one of them had. I went to nursing school, realizing how much I loved it and went even farther. I knew I wanted to teach. This semester, I will have around 32 students. I have had up to 60 students before and I like to give them as much individual time that I can,” she added. Professor Crillo is motivated by her drive to succeed.
Asking Dr. Crillo what her favorite part of her job is. She replied, “It is when my students have those ah-ha moments. It’s those moments when that light bulb clicks and the students understand the different concepts and how they come together to provide quality care with patients. So many concepts with the nursing students and they finally get it and they see the whole picture and they say, oh, I understand now.”
What is your biggest challenge? “My biggest challenge is trying to get everything done and trying to coordinate the students to their needs of the department onto the needs of the facility, making sure the priorities are met,” Professor Crillo replied.
What qualities do you thing make a good nurse? “I think a nurse has to be a good listener, be empathetic, and have critical thinking. They have to know that the pieces are not always laid out in a certain matter. They have to look at the big forest view, be detail oriented, drawing back and seeing the big picture, “Professor Crillo replied.
Asking Professor Crillo to describe herself, she said, “First of all, I am an adrenalin junkie,” she said with a laugh. “I have to stay busy. I multi-task and I am good at connecting with people; a real people oriented person, seeing them face-to-face. I am definitely a people person! I see the whole picture and I definitely like to have fun. My biggest asset at work has to be my organization skills. I am always stopping a task, only to start again,” she replied.
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them to relax and realize someone in the medical field is in a servant environment and to always remember they are there for the patient and the other staff members. Don’t put your desires on hold,” Professor Crillo answered with confidence in her voice.
When Dr. Crillo is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her four children, and two grandchildren; Madyn, three-years-old and Harper, one-year-old. “I have always and will continue to encourage my children and grandchildren in whatever they set out to do, knowing they can do anything they set their mind to do,” she said. What a wonderful example Professor Crillo has set for her family and her students.
When not spending time with her family, Professor Crillo lives a very fun active, adventurous life. Her hobbies include rollerblading, skiing, diving, kayaking, rock climbing, (Mount Scott) and also enjoys a more common hobby…gardening. “I love to be adventurous,” she said.
Summing up Professor Crillo’s life in one word, with a quick answer, followed by a laugh, she said, ‘BLESSED.’

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Newborn Sweepstakes encourages families to save early

A Blanchard family has an excellent start toward saving for college after being named the winner of the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan’s (OCSP) annual Newborn Sweepstakes. Patrick and Melissa Mayfield’s son, Zane, was randomly selected from more than 1,200 entrants to receive a $5,529 OCSP account. SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where Zane was born, also received a donation of $1,529.
State Treasurer Randy McDaniel and OCSP officials presented the Mayfield family and St. Anthony officials with their checks at a presentation today. In a surprising turn of events, the hospital chose to donate its $1,529 to the Mayfields’ new OCSP account, meaning Zane now has a college savings of more than $7,000.
Zane’s father said the contribution is extremely important for his son’s future.
“You don’t have to go to college to get a good job, but having a degree opens up an exponential amount of opportunities and can also help to develop you into a more rounded person,” said Patrick Mayfield. “With the rising costs of college, increase in inflation, and the seeming unwillingness of governments to properly fund education, it has become much more difficult to obtain a degree without also obtaining a mountain of debt. So, with this gift and continually saving, we will be in a better position for the future.”
According to College Tuition Compare, the 2019 average cost of attending an Oklahoma college or university, including tuition, supplies, room and board, and other fees, was $18,821 for in-state residents. McDaniel, board chair for OCSP, said the Newborn Sweepstakes is designed to encourage families to start saving while children are infants. The more time accounts have to grow, the less of a burden the cost of higher education will eventually be on Oklahoma families.
“As a parent, I understand the early years are busy with doctor appointments and diaper changing. However, I strongly encourage families to take a brief amount of time to set up an Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan and start preparing for their children’s futures,” said McDaniel. “Our goal is for as many Oklahomans as possible to have financial freedom after graduating college to relieve the stresses of student loan debt. Contributing to college savings account in the early years will ease that burden for children later in life.”
The Mayfields are firm believers in higher education and already have an OCSP account for Zane’s older sister. The family wants to encourage Zane to create positive change and help society improve no matter what line of work he goes into. Higher education will play a definite role in establishing that mentality.
“We hope he develops an inquisitive mind that seeks knowledge and never ceases to stop asking questions,” said Mayfield
The Mayfields are the ninth family to win the annual statewide Newborn Sweepstakes, which launched in 2010. Since its inception, OCSP has awarded more than $44,000 to Oklahoma families through the sweepstakes, and OCSP has donated more than $12,000 to Oklahoma hospitals through the promotion.
The Newborn Sweepstakes continues this year, with entries now being accepted via the OCSP website. Parents or grandparents of a child born in 2019 will have until April 14, 2020, to enter. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by OCSP. Funding for prizes comes from the OCSP marketing budget. No state funds are used.
Introduced in April 2000, the Oklahoma 529 College Saving Plan (OCSP) is Oklahoma’s direct-sold 529 college savings plan. It is designed for families who want to direct their own 529 college savings accounts. The plan is managed by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. Introduced in March 2009, OklahomaDream 529 Plan is offered through financial advisors and is managed by Allianz Global Investors. As of June 30, 2019, combined assets in both plans exceeded $1 billion.
Oklahoma taxpayers may deduct, from their Oklahoma adjusted gross income, up to $10,000 in contributions to the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan for individual taxpayers and up to $20,000 for taxpayers filing a joint return with a five-year carryforward. Read the Disclosure Booklet carefully. Limitations may apply.*
To learn more about the Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan, its investment objectives, tax benefits, risks and costs, please see the Disclosure Booklet at ok4saving.org. Read it carefully.
Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.
Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice, including the impact of the new federal tax changes. If the funds aren’t used for qualified higher education expenses, a 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply.

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Jillian Taylor, RN is the charge nurse for SSM Health in El Reno, OK. “Even though this is a small facility, the reward of taking care of the patients is huge,” Jillian said.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

SSM Health in El Reno is small in size and small in staff but it speaks volumes where excellent care is concerned. Staff members include registration, lab, radiology, doctors and nurses. It’s the same as a free standing ER in a rural area.
Meet Jillian Taylor, RN and charge nurse at SSM Health in El Reno, OK. Growing up in El Reno, Jillian felt right at home when she began working at SSM Health. Being the charge nurse comes with a lot of responsibilities. “I do a little bit of everything,” Jillian stated. “Of course, we have excellent team members and we all get along so well together,” Jillian added.
“Even when I was a little girl, about four years old, I knew that I wanted to grow up and be a nurse,” Jillian said. “I remember going to the hospital quite a bit when I was little. My mother and I would always stop and look at the babies through the big glass window. I remember my face pushed up against the window to take a closer look at a baby. I knew that I wanted to do the same thing those nurses were doing as they took care of those babies. The nurses seemed so caring I knew that I wanted to be just like them,” she said.
Jillian has been a nurse for ten years. She attended Oklahoma City University, receiving a degree in biology. She went to OCCC, receiving her nursing degree in 2011. “At first, I started out as a tech in Kingfisher, then, came to SSM Health where I applied for an RN position and became the charge nurse,” Jillian said.
Asking Jillian why she is a nurse at SSM Health, she replied, “I feel like in the medical field, nursing is a good avenue to express my own feelings, taking care of others. I have a job which can be mentally and challenging. I work as few or as many hours as I like, work in different areas and it allows me to be a genuine team player and work with others,” she replied.
“I like working here at SSM Health. Personally, I like working in a small health facility in a rural area over a large hospital. The amount of patients here varies; sometimes, we have very few patients on one day, and other times, we get slammed with patients, all at the same time. We may not see a large volume of patients but we see the people in our community; like one big happy family. Everyone seems to know each other and we trust each other. We have great team work and good communication,” Jillian said.
In your opinion, what qualities make a good nurse? “I think a good nurse needs to think outside the box, watch the patient’s body language, read between the lines, be able to communicate well and always do the right thing!” Jillian replied.
Asking Jillian what the favorite part of her job was and she replied, “The favorite part of my job is caring for the patients. I am definitely always asking myself what or why. What is the root of the problem? I just want to make sure I care for the patient in the best way I know how and make sure the patient is taken care of,” she replied.
When asking Jillian to describe herself. “Well, that is kind of hard to do,” Jillian said with a smile. “I am very versatile, positive, and easy going. I am strong, knowledgeable, or so people say. They say I am a good person to come to for resources, she said. “I believe that a nurse needs to put everything that she has into her job including time, dedication and compassion. I like to enjoy the little things in life.”
On a personal note, when Jillian is not working, she likes to spend time with her family; her husband, her daughter, Madeline, twelve years old and son, Reed, six years old. Jillian’s hobbies include traveling, reading, going to gym but mostly, hanging out with family and friends. Not to forget her pets, Roscoe, a standard poodle and a cat that is nameless. “The cat doesn’t really have a name, Jillian laughed. “We just say here kitty, kitty or I have been known to call it cat.”
Asking Jillian to sum up her life in one word, she said, “ADVENTUROUS”.

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Since 1975, the mission of Harding University Carr College of Nursing has been to develop nurses as Christian servants. Faculty and staff are eager to get to know new students and nurture their journey through the program. The University’s mission permeates classroom and clinical instruction taught by highly trained professionals from a Christ-centered worldview. Close faculty-student relationships and mentorships foster personal, academic and professional growth. Offering undergraduate and graduate programs prepares students to perform well in any health care setting. Read more to see why you belong at Harding.
What sets Harding trained nurses apart from other nursing schools?
Harding’s nursing graduates are well-equipped to enter the field, with high job placement rates and a 100 percent first-time Family Nurse Practitioner National Certification pass rate since the program’s first graduates in 2017. The undergraduate nursing program has a 100 percent first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate since 2015 and has been ranked the No. 1 Nursing Program in Arkansas by RegisteredNursing.org for two years in a row. This ranking is based on how well a program supports students toward licensure and beyond.
What undergraduate nursing tracks does Harding offer?
The undergraduate tracks are designed to meet the individualized needs of students, all leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
These include:
* Four-year, full-time/part-time traditional track
* 18-month accelerated second-degree program
* Individualized track for students who hold a current unencumbered nursing license without a bachelor’s degree. An individualized degree completion plan is collaboratively designed with the student (full-time/part-time available)
* Honors classes
What if I have a degree in another field but have decided health care is my passion? Harding University has launched an Accelerated Second Degree BSN option and it is a great path for students who already have a bachelor’s in another area of study.
What graduate programs are available? For our fast paced, online world, Harding offers a Master of Science in Nursing (FNP) Family Nurse Practitioner program in a hybrid format. Students gain the required knowledge via weekly online lectures plus on-campus intensives three to five days per semester. Upon completion, students have the opportunity to sit for the national certification exam.
How does the program interact with the community? Students assist in a local Christian clinic that serves the medically and economically disadvantaged. They also provide health screenings at area churches and various university sponsored events.
Does Harding offer a study abroad program? For more than 40 years, Harding has been training nurses not only for a career in traditional health care settings but also to work in in health missions. Medical mission opportunities exist locally and abroad in short-term and long-term options. Opportunities are open to graduate and undergraduate students.


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One of the most significant actions a person can take is to donate a kidney or other organ to a person who otherwise will eventually die without a transplant. That’s why it is especially important that a donor not face any additional hurdles to donating, such as denial of life insurance coverage.
OU Medicine, along with the Oklahoma Hospital Association and the National Kidney Foundation, were instrumental in the Oklahoma Legislatureâ’s passage of Senate Bill 704, the Living Donor Protection Act. Sen. Jason Smalley (R-Stroud) and Rep. Terry O’™Donnell (R) authored the Bill. The new law prevents insurers from denying or raising the rates of life insurance, disability insurance or long-term care insurance based solely on a person’™s status as an organ donor. Governor Kevin Stitt held a ceremonial bill signing on Monday, July 29, at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
“There is a major need for organs, especially in Oklahoma, and this law removes a barrier for those who are making a huge decision about donating an organ,” said Greg Lewis, R.N., director of Pediatric and Adult Dialysis at OU Medicine.
Lewis led OU Medicine’s advocacy efforts at the State Capitol, joined by the Oklahoma Hospital Association, National Kidney Foundation, other Oklahoma transplant programs and LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma.
A 2014 study by Johns Hopkins University showed that a quarter of living donors in the study faced discrimination when they tried to obtain or change their life insurance. The National Kidney Foundation also hears regularly from donors who experienced premium changes or other restrictions on their insurance policies.
“You can imagine what a disincentive it would be for a person who wants to donate a kidney, if they’re told they will not be insurable afterward,” said Alan Hawxby, M.D., surgical director of OU Medicine’s adult and pediatric kidney transplant programs and the designated living donor surgeon. “Chronic kidney disease is difficult to fight, so the more we can help facilitate a transplant, the better off the patient and donor will be.”
Chronic kidney disease affects more than 30 million Americans. In Oklahoma, more than 21,000 Medicare patients have kidney disease, and 526 people are waiting for a kidney transplant. Although kidney dialysis keeps patients alive, it is not a long-term solution.
“Last year, only 194 Oklahomans received a kidney transplant,”Lewis said. “Once a person is put on the transplant list, the average waiting time is three to seven years. The average life expectancy on dialysis is five to 10 years. The math is sobering. The clock is ticking for each and every one of those 526 patients on the waiting list. Everything we can do to encourage living donations saves lives.”

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation physician-scientist Judith James, M.D., Ph.D.

New findings from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation will help doctors better predict an individual’s risk of developing an autoimmune disease and to understand how immune systems of some family members prevent autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the immune system becomes unbalanced and turns on the body instead of protecting it. Many of these illnesses strike women at much higher rates than men.
OMRF scientists led by Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., partnered with researchers from the University of Colorado and Benaroya Research Institute, to reveal that healthy people at risk of developing one autoimmune disease also may have autoantibodies typically associated with another autoimmune condition.
“We brought together groups that study different autoimmune diseases to ask: ‘Where does autoimmunity start?’” said James, OMRF’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program.
James said the research looked at samples from large collections of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes patients, and their family members, with the goal of identifying some of the first things that go wrong in autoimmunity.
“If you’re in a family with a person who has RA, do you have blood markers that only look like rheumatoid arthritis, or could they also look like lupus or type 1 diabetes?” said James. “It’s important to understand if individuals start with abnormal immune responses to many different factors which cross autoimmune diseases or if they just start with markers specific to one disease.”
Findings revealed lupus family members in particular were more likely to have antibodies seen in patients who go on to develop lupus, but some also had antibodies for RA and other autoimmune diseases present.
“We’ve found that you are probably more likely to have blood markers of autoimmunity if you’re in a family with someone who has lupus or RA, even though most of the time you will not develop an autoimmune disease,” she said.
This knowledge will help further disease prevention trials like two currently underway at OMRF for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Instead of trying to figure out the best way to treat patients who already have an established disease, which often has already resulted in irreparable damage, we want to prevent the diseases from occurring long before damage is done,” said James, who also holds the Lou C. Kerr Chair in Biomedical Research.
If they can see blood markers at early time points, clinicians might think about different ways to treat patients. “We may need to think about medications treating broader pre-clinical autoimmunity in general as opposed to targeting a specific disease,” she said.
The findings were published in the journal EBioMedicine, and the research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
For more information about the lupus prevention study, known as the SMILE trial, or the StopRA rheumatoid arthritis prevention study, please call (405) 271-7745 or email jackie-keyser@omrf.org.

Four-year-old Laney Culpepper, who received a kidney transplant at The Children’s Hospital earlier this year, helps Gov. Kevin Stitt as he signed Living Donor Legislation into effect today at the Capitol. Laney’s uncle was her living kidney donor. He drove from Arkansas to join Laney’s family and OU Medicine doctors at today’s Bill signing.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is promoting World Breastfeeding Week, Aug.1-7, with the theme “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.” The theme focuses on supporting both parents to be empowered in order to facilitate reaching breastfeeding goals.
Empowerment is a process which requires evidence-based, unbiased information and support to create the enabling environment where mothers can breastfeed optimally. Breastfeeding is in the mother’s domain and when fathers, partners, families, workplaces, and communities support her, breastfeeding improves.
According to the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data from 2017, 85.5% of Oklahoma mothers began breastfeeding their babies after birth. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least 6 months of age, continuing to 1 year of age or beyond.
Terry Bryce is the director of the OSDH Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Service, which provides nutrition services for infants and children up to age 5.
“The WIC program plays a vital role in the promotion and support of breastfeeding,” said Bryce. “Breastfeeding peer counselors, international board certified lactation consultants and other lactation professionals help WIC elevate the capacity of breastfeeding to improve health outcomes of mothers and infants.”
The Oklahoma Toddler Survey (TOTS) from 2015-2017 indicates 44.6% of mothers were breastfeeding at six months and 25.1% of mothers were breastfeeding at 12 months or more. The OSDH supports breastfeeding mothers in hopes of achieving the Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding objective to increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed at six months to nearly 61% and at one year to 34%.
For more information about breastfeeding, how to find a local lactation consultant, or how to become a recognized breastfeeding friendly worksite, visit the OSDH breastfeeding website http://bis.health.ok.gov, or call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline toll free at 1-877-271-MILK (6455). For more information about WIC, including clinic locations, call 1-888-655-2942.

Devin Davis is continuing the family business at Heartland CPR which allows nurses to keep their skills certifications up to date.

Heartland CPR offers American Heart Association (AHA) certified BLS, ACLS, PALS as well as lay-rescuer training (known as Heartsaver CPR/AED/First Aid) in the state of Oklahoma. A small, woman-owned, family-operated local business that offers more than just certification training, but unparalleled service every step of the way, taking training to the customer throughout Oklahoma and welcoming individuals that don’t get training at their workplace to regularly scheduled classes at their OKC location.
By limiting class sizes and offering more class choices than anyone in the state, retaining instructors whose styles minimize anxiety while encouraging a genuine understanding of the material, an all-inclusive pricing structure, and taking every opportunity to exceed expectations, Heartland CPR engages participants with a fresh approach to training. It’s why the business has such a huge following of medical professionals and an unmatched return rate of repeat customers and referrals.
Flexibility and customer responsiveness have always been the cornerstone of Heartland CPR’s business model. One popular offering is the S.T.A.T. program, or “Sequentially Timed Accelerated Training” which offers discounts for customers that take multiple classes as well as stacked scheduling to best use precious time. Nurses and other medical professionals can renew the entire BLS, ACLS and PALS certification suite in a weekend or complete first-time 2-day ACLS or PALS along with pre-requisite BLS in a couple of days.
Heartland CPR was an early adopter of the new feedback manikin technology that becomes mandatory in all AHA classes in 2019; additionally they opted to begin issuing AHA near-immediate digital e-cards well ahead of the mandate to eliminate the issue of lost, destroyed or stolen cards and provide 24/7 access to training records for its customers. Customer requests led to the company expanding into AED equipment sales; a variety of quality AEDs from trusted manufacturers can be offered at pricing that can’t be touched even by online distributors.
Among the contracted instructors, Heartland CPR has former lifeguards, professors, a military veteran, four firefighters, two EMTs pursuing paramedic educations, four paramedics, two firefighter/paramedics, a Level III paramedic, two first responders to the OKC bombing, an EMS Sergeant, an EMS Chief, a “Dinosaur of EMS” with a 30+ year (and counting) career in EMS, and a combined total of AHA instruction experience of over half a decade!
A minimum class size of six participants applies to training at customer locations in the OKC metro area; other minimums apply to customer locations statewide. Don’t have 6? Join one of the public classes offered at Heartland CPR’s OKC location. Emergency & individual classes are available as well.
Continually leading the way while striving to be the single solution for life-saving skills training and equipment, you are invited to experience the Heartland CPR difference!