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Redlands Community College’s Dean of Nursing Rose Marie Smith in 2015 returned to the western Canadian County school - where she began her educational career in 1982. She has mentored and guided thousands of nursing students in her 33-years as a nurse and educator.

Smith ensures newest generation of nurses gets a good start

by Traci Chapman, Staff Writer

The need for new nurses is possibly greater than ever before – and, at Redlands Community College, those who want to answer that call have a champion, a mentor, a counselor, an instructor and a friend. They have Rose Marie Smith, RCC’s Dean of Nursing.
“Dean Smith is always there for us, always finds the time to discuss with us what we need to do, how we need to get where we want to go – she gives so much of herself to make sure we are ready, that we’re successful,” graduating senior Mikaela Meeks said. “She knows who we are as people, as students and as future nurses.”
Smith knows much of what those students go through each day – she and her faculty have lived it, and they know just how much it takes to make getting through nursing school, and a career after graduation from it, work.
“We really know the story of our students because we really care, and we’re dedicated to creating an individual program designed specifically to each of them,” the dean said. “We have to make sure they know, we have to set the foundation now, because they need to realize people’s lives will be in their hands.”
Smith has always been a nurse, but it wasn’t her first choice after graduating from El Reno High School and heading off to college. At first, Smith majored in music therapy, something that exposed her to disabled children and a world away from anything she’d ever known. It would change her life.
“I enjoyed my rotations at a long-term care facility for handicapped children so much, that I changed my major to nursing,” Smith said. “That was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my life pathway.”
Her chosen pathway has helped facilitate the journeys of thousands of students who would follow Smith into the nursing field over a career just entering its 33 year. It all began with that experience at the long-term care facility. From there, Smith would go on to earn both her bachelors of science in nursing degree in 1982 and a 1990 master of science in nursing degree from University of Oklahoma Health Science Center.
After her 1982 graduation, Smith began working on the medical-surgical floor of Baptist Medical Center. She enjoyed that job, but it would be in 1985 her life would change, and a favor would change not only Smith’s career trajectory, but also impact so many other lives down the line.
That favor was a job not far from her high school alma mater, where she was asked to become an instructor at then-El Reno Junior College.
“I always volunteered to preceptor new graduate nurses at Baptist hospital,” Smith said. “The director of nursing at El Reno Junior College knew I had a BSN and asked me to ‘help out’ for a year.
“I’ve been in education ever since,” she said.
As ERJC in 1991 became Redlands Community College, Smith’s career as a nursing educator began to soar. She became sophomore team leader in 1990, was promoted in 1994 as RCC’s assistant nursing director and became the school’s director of nursing in 1995.
It was in 2006 that Smith made a change, heading to Oklahoma Platt College as director of its RN program; she became associate head of sciences and nursing at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City in 2011.
But, less than a decade later, Smith returned home. Coming back to Redlands Community College, she was named Dean of Nursing and Allied Health in July 2015. Recently, Smith also took on the duties of the school’s interim chief academic officer.
The dean also serves on several advisory committees for practical and bachelor of science nursing programs at Redlands, as well as sitting on the Oklahoma Healthcare Workforce Center board, a position she’s held since 2010.
“These committees examine the ‘fit’ for graduates from their respective programs to articulate into our ADN (associate degree in nursing) program through an LPN-RN pathway, and for our Redlands graduates to articulation into an RN-BSN program,” Smith said. “The OHCWC looks at educational pathways and job placements for both nursing and allied health graduates for Oklahoma.”
Always moving forward, Smith said she loves working at Redlands because it’s a school with continual forward momentum, as well. What was not all that long ago a small rural community college now is a thriving school that boasts a well-rated nursing program. Most recently, Redlands partnered with Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s RN-BSN online program – which allows students to continue their nursing education at RCC tuition rates.
“We have one of the lowest tuition rates in the state, which is a huge benefit for our Redlands graduates,” the dean said. “Everything we’re doing is to make sure they have the best possible chance at the kind of career and success they want – after all, that’s why we’re here.”

Moore Norman Technology Center seeking PRACTICAL NURSING INSTRUCTOR
Primary purposes are to instruct classes/labs and supervise students in the clinical setting.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) with a willingness to pursue a Master’s degree within the first year of employment is required.
Credentials: A valid license to practice as a RN in the State of OK.
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Additional certifications may be required for special program area.
Supports Moore Norman’s mission, vision and core values through educating, motivating, inspiring, and supporting students. Please visit www.mntc.edu for complete job description, requirements, & benefits details. Applications accepted at the HR Dept, located at 4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman, OK 73069, Room A204. You may also apply on-line at www.mntc.edu, or fax your application to 405-217- 8271.

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The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Center’s Teresa Adkison, pictured in one of the facility’s rehabilitation areas. The 19-year veteran physical therapist assistant was recently honored with a 2017 Oklahoma Hospital Association Spirit of Resilience Award.

by Traci Chapman, Staff Writer

For many people, dealing with an aggressive kind of cancer can drain the spirit and challenge the soul – it is physically grueling, emotionally draining, frightening, even isolating. But, for one employee at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, that cancer made her courage, her heart and her dedication shine though.
Her name is Teresa Adkison, and her journey – and how she dealt with it – inspired more than just her coworkers, family and friends. It prompted the Oklahoma Hospital Association’s decision to honor the 55-year-old physical therapy assistant with one of its 2017 Spirit of Resilience Awards.
Adkison was an easy choice, said Lori Boyd, Children’s Center chief operating officer.
“The OHA spirit award focused on resilience this year, and there were many individuals at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital that came to mind, but Teresa stood out to the group because she exemplifies this in her own life and at work,” Boyd said. “Teresa is an employee that connects with the children on a meaningful level and helps them achieve their therapy goals, while sharing her experiences with them.”
Adkison’s connection with those children withstood her greatest challenge – a 2010 diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer, also found in her lymph nodes. Facing the disease head-on, Adkison decided to undergo bilateral mastectomies, afterword going through seven months of chemotherapy and another six-and-a-half weeks of radiation. Instead of focusing on her own struggles, however, Adkison worked full-time throughout the long months of post-surgery treatment – and learned something in the process, she said.
“I was really able to relate to what our patients were going through and what a struggle it is to want to get up every day when you are not feeling well,” Adkison said. “My patients were such an inspiration to me and made me realize that what I was battling did not even compare to what they were going through.”
That outlook was something that didn’t really surprise those who knew the Mustang woman, who has worked at The Children’s Center her entire 19-year physical therapy assistant career. In fact, even then, Adkison was a trail blazer – she was the first PTA the Bethany facility ever hired.
OHA’s Spirt of Resilience Award was something that overwhelmed Adkison, who believed – not surprisingly, Boyd said – other Center employees were more worthy. But, Adkison is exactly what the award is all about, OHA President Craig Jones said.
“These are the type of team members who, when they see problems, consistently work to solve them,” he said.
Adkison, who graduated in 1998 with an associates degree in applied science, has spent her career helping the Center’s patients overcome their problems and challenges. Her dedication shines through not only there, but also in the fact she has also, for almost all of those 19 years, doubled up her workload as an acute hospital PRN on the weekends.
During those years, Adkison has seen a lot of changes, including a recent major expansion that will allow the Bethany facility to treat even more children. But, no matter the changes, one thing is always constant, Adkison said – the children who inspire and touch her heart every day.
“I love working with the kids and watching the progress they make in rehab – but, I mostly love when the patients are strong enough to go home and be with their families again,” she said.
Physical therapy is, of course, one of the cornerstones of The Children’s Center’s mission. Adkison works with a physical therapist to make the PT’s goals for each patient a reality, whether that patient is dealing with a disability or is challenged by the after-effects of a traumatic brain injury or accident. These include things not necessarily considered the physical therapy, like wound care, and includes serial casting – a treatment that involves applying and removing a lightweight fiberglass cast over a period of time, in the process changing the angle of the cast to promote correct healing.
“We work on gross motor function, things like walking, strengthening, transfers, etc.,” Adkison said. I also assist with specialized equipment that a patient may require during their rehab stay or with our outpatient equipment clinic”
The Center’s rehabilitation area has a 19-patient capacity, and the number of staff working in it depends on how many children are utilizing that area at any given time, Adkison said. It’s a tight-knit group that works seamlessly to find the right path for each to take their treatment journey.
“I work with a fantastic and amazing group of nurses, from the APRNs and RNs to the CNAs,” Adkison said. “We have a multidisciplinary approach at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, which offers the best care for our patients.”
That “amazing group” includes someone who always puts herself after others – be it coworkers, patients, family or friends, Boyd said. It’s just who Adkison is, and it’s one of the reasons she is such an integral part of the facility and she said she never plans to leave.
“I know it’s cliche, but I really wanted to help people,” Adkison said. “I came to The Children’s Center to observe a couple of PTs to see if this is the field for me – I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to be, and that physical therapy was what I wanted to do.”

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OU Medicine, Inc. today concluded a previously announced transaction with HCA Healthcare that will transfer ownership and management of OU Medical System hospital facilities from HCA to OU Medicine, Inc.
OU Medicine assumed ownership and day-to-day operations of the Oklahoma City-area hospitals on midnight Feb. 1, with a mission of leading health care.
HCA, an investor-owned corporation in Nashville, Tennessee, had managed the hospitals under a joint operating agreement with the University Hospitals Authority and Trust (UHAT) since 1998. Last year, UHAT and the University of Oklahoma created an Oklahoma-based nonprofit corporation, OU Medicine, Inc., to acquire HCA’s local interests.
“We thank HCA for its many contributions to Oklahoma health care and look forward to a new chapter under the leadership of an Oklahoma-owned and operated nonprofit,” said Mike Samis, chairman of OU Medicine, Inc. “We believe this approach will advance health care in Oklahoma by supporting the highest-quality patient care, critical training for future physicians and other health professionals, and cutting-edge medical research.”
So far, OU Medicine has hired 200 new employees and anticipates hiring as many as 100 more by the end of 2018, totaling an additional $20 million in payroll.
Along with the added jobs, OU Medicine recently broke ground on a new 450,000-square-foot patient bed tower at OU Medical Center, adding 32 new operating rooms and 144 patient beds, making it the largest health care building project in the state.
“From the growing robotics program, to new programs at OU Medical Center Edmond, to the expanded pediatric intensive care unit at The Children’s Hospital and the groundbreaking of the new OU Medical Center bed tower, it’s an exciting time for OU Medicine,” said Chuck Spicer, president and CEO of OU Medicine. “We are a new company with high hopes and renewed determination to continue providing Oklahomans the high level of care they deserve. I’m ecstatic to embark on this new journey. Through our combined efforts, our mission is to lead health care and improve the lives of all people.”
The company’s formation fulfills a longtime goal to further advance the state’s premier academic health system, elevating patient care, clinical research and the education of health professionals for the benefit of all Oklahomans.
“The OU Health Sciences Center is extremely proud to strengthen our partnership with OU Medicine,” said OU Health Sciences Center Senior Vice President and Provost, Dr. Jason Sanders. “Our physicians are national leaders and the largest group of specialists in Oklahoma, our researchers bring new treatments and technology to the bedside, and we train tomorrow’s physicians, nurses and team of health professionals.”
A local board consisting of UHAT, OU and community representatives will govern the new OU Medicine. Hospital earnings will come back to Oklahoma.
“This is a very special day for Oklahomans as OU Medicine will reinvest earnings back into growing a premier academic health system,” said OU President David L. Boren.
“I know this is a day eagerly awaited by many and with good reason. Today marks another important step forward for health care in our state. The transition of our teaching hospitals to OU Medicine paves the way for further improvements in the physical environment of this academic-based medical center. It also brings with it the creation of new jobs. Most importantly, though, it further elevates medical research, education and clinical care for the benefit of all Oklahomans,” said Gov. Mary Fallin.

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Graduating High School? Thinking about college? There’s so much to consider when it comes to getting ready for college: where to go, what to study, how to apply, how to pay for it all, and more.
It’s never too early—or too late—to explore your options for college. Inside this Guide are some key steps in preparing for college and resources that can help you along the way. You’ll have to take the time to research and understand your options, but you don’t have to do it alone. This Guide Can Help!
Why go to college?
More money, more job options, and more freedom. With less than a high school diploma the average inclome is just over $31,000 per year. With an Associates degree your earnings jump to more than $53,000 per year and $75,000 with a Bachelor’s degree. Earnings soar ever higher with a Master’s and/or Doctoral Degree at over $100,000 per year.
As student or parent just about to start college, the following checklists will help you get ready.
1. Work hard all the way to graduation—second-semester grades can affect scholarship eligibility.
2. Stay involved in after-school activities, and seek leadership roles if possible.
3. As soon as possible after its Oct. 1 release, complete and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), at fafsa.gov, along with any other financial aid applications your chosen school(s) may require. You should submit your FAFSA® by the earliest financial aid deadline of the schools to which you are applying, usually by early February.
4. After you submit the FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within three days to three weeks. This document lists your answers to the questions on your FAFSA and gives you some basic information about your aid eligibility. Quickly make any necessary corrections and submit them to the FAFSA processor.
5. If you haven’t done so already, register for and take the standardized tests required for college admission. Check with the colleges you are interested in to see what tests they require. pply to the colleges you have chosen. Prepare your applications carefully. Follow the instructions, and PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO DEADLINES!
6. Well before your college application deadlines, ask your counselor and teachers to submit the required documents (e.g., transcript, letters of recommendation) to the colleges to which you’re applying.
7. Complete any last scholarship applications.
8. Visit colleges that have invited you to enroll.
9. Review your college acceptances and compare the colleges’ financial aid offers.
10. Contact a school’s financial aid office if you have questions about the aid that school has offered you. In fact, getting to know your financial aid staff early is a good idea no matter what—they can tell you about deadlines, other aid for which you might wish to apply, and important paperwork you might need to submit.
11. When you decide which school you want to attend, notify that school of your commitment and submit any required financial deposit. Many schools require this notification and deposit by May 1st.
Notes: a. Understand the FAFSA better by watching the videos in the “FAFSA: Apply for Aid” playlist at www.YouTube.com/FederalStudentAid. b. Follow or like the office of Federal Student Aid at www.Twitter.com/FAFSA and www.Facebook.com/FederalStudentAid to get regular financial aid tips. c. Make informed decisions about student loans; the following resources are important at this point: Federal Versus Private Loans and Federal Student Loans: Basics for Students
REMEMBER: Register for all tests in advance and be sure to give yourself time to prepare appropriately! If you have difficulty paying a registration fee, ask your school counselor about getting the fee waived.
For more information go to: https://studentaid.ed.gov
Why Nursing?
Nursing is challenging, interesting, and allowes you to make a difference in people’s lives every day. Nursing is one of the fastest growing careers in the U.S. and offers a variety of medical settings. Nurses are near the top of the list when it comes to employment growth and income. In short, nursing can offer a career that is both personally and financially rewarding.

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Q. I don’t know how I am going to pay $150.00 this month for my diabetic medications. My nutritionist said if I lost weight, even 20 pounds I might not have to take them. I just don’t have the motivation or quite frankly, the interest. I guess I will work more to get the money. Do you think I am nuts?

A. I don’t think you are nuts, maybe stubborn. You have been presented with such a great opportunity to turn your health around but I don’t think you get it.
You can take medication and continue eating a very unhealthy diet and increase your work hours. That is your choice. What is scary about that choice is the future of your health.
Countless people are living a life of disease instead of health. Every addict knows what I am talking about. How many people have been told they are literally killing themselves with food, drugs, alcohol, etc. Smart people, making dumb–often life threatening choices.
What will it take to get your attention? A heart attack, an infection that does not respond to medication, the news that you now have to take insulin.
Why is movement so unappealing but paying $150 with your tight income something you will do? Why is working another shift to buy medicine your choice instead of putting on tennis shoes and walking in your neighborhood?
There are incentives to staying overweight and not taking care of yourself. This is Brooke’s story:
35 years old married, mother of 2 children….one special needs. Current weight……at least 300 pounds (she would not tell me exact number). Calls my office to ask when her next appointment is scheduled. I could tell she was eating but I asked anyway. “Brooke, are you eating? Yes I am.”
Brooke had gone to her Fat Lady Store (as she called it) and they had a special. (How did I know this was not going to be good?) The “special” of the day was “purchase $50.00 worth of clothes and get a coupon…….wait for it…………FOR A FREE PIE!!!!!!!
Now in case you don’t know what food addicts do with a pie, let me tell you. They eat the whole pie!!!!! They do not cut a piece……why bother with a piece.
So Marilyn you have some decisions to make, some very important ones. There will always be a pie, big plate of nachos, pizza, bowl of ice cream but you only have this life. Don’t let your stubbornness take quality years off of your life.

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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Why did you decide to study nursing? Redlands Community College School of Nursing

I grew up surrounded by family in the medical profession and fell in love with it – I knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Kyndra Scott

I always enjoyed taking care of people and fell in love with the field when I took a couple nursing classes freshman year – it’s a beautiful occupation.

Ryleigh Kouba

I met a nurse who was incredibly happy, and I always loved the field of medicine and helping people, so I guess it was a no-brainer!

Alicia Vannoy

It was nurses caring for my father after a car accident, who showed compassion and heart in every way and involving me in his care.

Cory Williamson


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OMRF employee Janice Gales works time into her daily routine to get to the campus gym.

If “get in shape” appears on your list of New Year’s resolutions, you’ve got plenty of company. Goals to exercise, lose weight or simply get healthy seem to top the majority of those lists year after year.
What if you could make one simple change for 2018 that really would yield benefits and set you up for a healthier new you? It’s possible, according to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Stephen Prescott, M.D., when you add weight or “resistance” training to your workout routine.
For many new gym-goers, their first stop is often cardio equipment with the hope of biking, jogging and stepping their way to better health. But Prescott recommends directing more attention to free weights and resistance bands instead. “It’s fine to mix cardio into an exercise routine, but the health benefits of resistance training should make it a focal point,” he said.
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so even if your weight doesn’t change, you expend more energy, even at rest.
“It’s almost too good to be true,” said Prescott. “You begin to burn more calories with everything you do, because muscle is inherently what we call “active” tissue and uses up more energy by just being there. Yes, cardio burns a lot of calories while you’re running or biking, but it stops as soon as you do. But when you build muscle, it continues to burn calories while you watch TV, shower or sleep.”
And the more muscle you build, the better the benefits.
Because of this increase in active tissue, a person with more muscle mass can handle a higher calorie load without gaining unwanted body fat, at least within reason. It’s not an excuse to eat more unhealthy foods, said Prescott, but for those wanting to shed a few pounds, resistance training can be a real difference-maker.
“If you are trying to burn an extra 100, 200 or 300 calories a day, there’s no better weapon in your weight-loss arsenal than adding lean muscle mass,” he said. “It can be a crucial variable in the weight-loss equation.” Mounting evidence also suggests that weightlifting can play a key role in staving off the effects of aging. It has even been shown to protect against diseases like osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
And you don’t have to look like a champion bodybuilder to achieve the desired effects. In fact, said Prescott, you really only need your own bodyweight or light resistance bands to get the ball rolling.
“It’s not just about muscle size; it’s about tendons and ligaments,” said Prescott. “As you age, your muscles get weaker and tendons and ligaments degenerate, predisposing you to problems like falling and breaking bones. Resistance training helps makes all those components stronger.”
Resistance training helps virtually every part of the human machine. The muscle is the motor that powers your ability to walk or stand, but the connecting parts like ligaments and tendons are needed to make the machine function properly, and “nothing does that better than resistance training,” said Prescott.
So if you don’t already train, where should you begin? Start by realizing that resistance training is an incremental process, he said. Don’t lift heavy weights at the beginning. Instead, focus on learning how to do the exercises correctly and consistently.
“I think it’s smart for most people who are starting out to get into a supervised program. These programs can teach you a lot and help you learn how to avoid injury,” said Prescott. “In the digital age, you can even find certified trainers online on YouTube or on TV if funds are tight. Most importantly, make a commitment and you’ll be feeling a lot better when 2019 rolls around.”

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Christopher Cunnyngham, M.D

Christopher Cunnyngham, M.D., is the new Medical Director of the INTEGRIS Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Medical Center.
Cunnyngham comes to INTEGRIS from Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center where he was the ECMO medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit and an assistant professor of pediatrics. Before that, he was a children’s critical care specialist at Methodist Children’s Hospital of South Texas in San Antonio.
Cunnyngham received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma and his fellowship training at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University.
Cunnyngham is a member of the Oklahoma County Medical Society, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Extracoporeal Life Support Organization. He is also an instructor and managing partner of The Forge Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Edmond.
Cunnyngham replaces longtime medical director Johnny Griggs, M.D., who retired last year.

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Beth Condley, clinical director of INTEGRIS Children’s at Baptist Medical Center, was recently accepted into the Pediatric Bioethics certificate program at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. It is the only pediatric bioethics certificate program in the world.
The unique nine-month course trains students how to handle a variety of complex issues dealing with futility and moral distress, end-of-life decisions and medical research.
In addition to being accepted into the certificate program, Condley was also accepted in the Nursing Leadership program, which is designed to identify nurses who are recognized leaders who want further training in pediatric bioethics.
The nursing leadership program is highly competitive with only two spots available each year. Upon graduation, Condley will receive a two-year grant to help continue building the clinical ethics program at INTEGRIS.