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Linda Heard, RN, Case Manager at Brookdale Home Health is one of the nurses that care for the patient from the comfort of their home.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Brookdale Home Health understands how important it is to help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle. When someone needs healthcare at home, Brookdale Home Health is an excellent option. Their professionals include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and rehabilitation therapists. The services: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Skilled Nursing and Speech Therapy are offered to the patients in the comfort of their own home.
Meet Linda Heard, RN, case manager. Linda is a pleasant individual that enjoys her work. With a sense of humor to match her smile, she tells me that she has a great sense of humor. “The seniors always laugh at my jokes,” she said. “I like to be happy and I like to make others happy,” she added.
“I am one of the nurses here at Brookdale Home Health. I get assigned to different patients to go to their home, taking care of them, she said. “I usually see from 20-30 patients a day, visiting them at their home. I see the patients a few times a week, and then, depending on their situation, continue seeing them until they no longer need the home health care.”
Oklahoma is nothing new to Linda. “I grew up here. Well, not here in Oklahoma City but not too far away. I grew up in the small town of Vinita, OK. I went to nursing school for my LPN in Afton, OK, my RN in Miami, OK and last, but certainly not least I got my Bachelors at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, OK. I have been a nurse since 1979. I have worked with Brookdale Home Health for about a year now. I really like my job and enjoy everyone here at the office,” she said.
Asking Linda if she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up, she replied, “It’s kind of funny, it seems like when I was growing up, all of the little girls wanted to be a teacher or a nurse, she laughed. “Back then, it seemed like those were the only two jobs available for us women. How times have changed.”
Linda tells about her grandmother and how she was the one of the first LPN’s in Vinita Oklahoma. Linda also has a sister that is a nurse in Tulsa, OK. “I’m sure that between the two of them, they both had an influence on me becoming a nurse.”
What qualities do you think make a good nurse? I ask Linda. “Well, first of all, I think one has to have good nursing skills and they need to be a good listener. They also shouldn’t mind touching the patient and being touched. A lot of the older patients need that touch at times. I think the person needs to have a real passion for others,” Linda answered.
When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Linda replied, “First of all, taking care of seniors is something that I really like to do. The seniors are very interesting and they tell me all about their past. Even the ones with dementia have such an interesting background. Also, the seniors are funny. They make me laugh and I make them laugh and we are good for each other.”
Linda’s biggest challenge in her job is when the family members don’t accept the fact that their loved one has dementia or a chronically ill disease. It’s really tough to take care of a patient and tell the family members something they don’t want to hear or accept.”
Describing herself, Linda says that she is a funny person and has a great sense of humor. “I am a very happy person and I laugh a lot. Perhaps, laughter is the best medicine,” she smiled. “My best quality is the fact that I am an honest person. I wouldn’t lie about that,” she laughed.
Linda likes to spend time with her husband and their 8 grandchildren. When I asked what her hobby was, she said, “That IS my hobby. I love spending time with my family and grandchildren.”
The goal of Brookdale Home Health is to initiate the patient’s care within 24 hours. By developing an individual plan under the direct supervision of a physician, the best possible outcomes for those in their care. Their Care, Your Peace of Mind.

FIVE STAR RATED CMS
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!
Community Hospital North Campus
· RN, Med Surg Nights, FT 7p-7a, *Sign On Bonus
· RN, Pre-Admission Testing, FT, M-F, Variable Hours
· LPN, Pre-Admission Testing, FT, M-F, 10 hour shifts, Variable days/hours
· Paramedic, Med Surg, FT, 7pm-7am, Variable Nights
· Pharmacy Tech, FT, M-F Days
· Surgical Tech, Surgery, FT, M-F, Variable hours
· Sterile Processing Tech, FT, M-F, Variable hours
Community Hospital South Campus
· RN Outpatient Surgery Manager
· RN Med Surg/ICU, FT Nights, 7pm-7am, *Sign on Bonus
· RN Med Surg Nights, FT, 7pm-7am *Sign on Bonus
· RN Med Surg Nights, 7pm-7am, Temp Contract or PRN
· RN OR Circulator, M-F Days, Variable hours, Call Required *Sign on Bonus
· RN, Pain, FT, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN Endoscopy, FT, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN, Eye Surgery, PRN, Variable days
· Surgical Tech, Surgery FT, M-F, Variable Hours, Call Required *Sign on Bonus
· Surgical Tech, Eye Surgery exp, FT, M-F *Sign on Bonus
· Radiographer, FT, 2:30pm to 11pm, *Sign on Bonus
· Patient Care Tech, FT, Nights, 7p-7a, Variable nights
Northwest Surgical Hospital
· RN, PACU, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN, Pre-op, PRN or Temporary Contract
· RN OR Circulator, PRN or Temporary Contract
· RN, Med Surg Days, 7a-7p, PRN, Variable days
· RN Med Surg Nights, 7p-7a, PRN, Variable nights
· Paramedic, FT Nights, 7p-7a, Variable nights
· Surgical Tech, M-F Days, Variable hours
Apply online
CommunityHospitalOKC.com/job-postings
NWSurgicalOKC.com/job-postings
PROUDLY PHYSICIAN OWNED

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Community Hospital.

HPI Holdings LLC, an operator of hospitals, outpatient centers and clinics in Oklahoma City, INTEGRIS, Oklahoma’s most advanced health care system, and United Surgical Partners International (USPI), a leading provider of ambulatory services in the United States, have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture designed to offer patients and families more choice and flexibility of care settings.
The joint venture combines HPI’s comprehensive service offerings and convenience of care, the INTEGRIS system’s unmatched continuum in Oklahoma and the management infrastructure and capabilities of USPI. It also establishes an affiliation of more than 1,300 accomplished physicians, representing a wide variety of specialties with practices across metro Oklahoma City.
HPI Community Hospital locations include the north campus at 9800 Broadway Extension, the south campus at 3100 SW 89th Street and the Northwest Surgical Hospital at 9204 N. May Avenue. The INTEGRIS network includes Baptist Medical Center, Southwest Medical Center and Lakeside Women’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, as well as Canadian Valley Hospital in Yukon and INTEGRIS Health Edmond hospital in Edmond, OK.
“It is more important than ever that health care leaders continue to find ways to offer high quality care in affordable settings,” says Ed Gray, President and CEO of HPI. “We’ve been successful developers and service providers in standalone settings, and we’re pleased to continue development in that space while also establishing stronger connectivity to INTEGRIS, which offers Oklahoma’s most comprehensive level of services from primary care to transplant and everything in between.”
“The joint venture helps INTEGRIS continue our progress toward improving consumer access to care, delivering exceptional patient experiences, lowering the overall cost of care, and growing the number of people and families we’re able to serve,” says Tim Pehrson, President and CEO of INTEGRIS.
Brett Brodnax, President of USPI, states, “USPI is honored to both expand our relationship with INTEGRIS and establish this partnership with HPI. HPI physicians, management and staff have distinguished themselves by serving the surgical needs of the Oklahoma City community with excellence in quality, safety and patient satisfaction.”
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Brown Gibbons Lang & Company initiated the transaction and was the exclusive financial advisor to HPI.
HPI Community Hospital Group is a CMS 5-star rated and Blue Distinction Center + operator of physician-owned hospitals, outpatient centers and clinics in Oklahoma City, Okla. For more information visit hpillc.org.
INTEGRIS, an Oklahoma-owned not-for-profit health system in the state, is recognized for quality and innovation and offers advanced treatment options and specialties found nowhere else in the region. INTEGRIS is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. For more information, visit integrisok.com.

FIVE STAR RATED CMS
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!
Community Hospital North Campus
· RN, Med Surg Nights, FT 7p-7a, *Sign On Bonus
· RN, Pre-Admission Testing, FT, M-F, Variable Hours
· LPN, Pre-Admission Testing, FT, M-F, 10 hour shifts, Variable days/hours
· Paramedic, Med Surg, FT, 7pm-7am, Variable Nights
· Pharmacy Tech, FT, M-F Days
· Surgical Tech, Surgery, FT, M-F, Variable hours
· Sterile Processing Tech, FT, M-F, Variable hours
Community Hospital South Campus
· RN Outpatient Surgery Manager
· RN Med Surg/ICU, FT Nights, 7pm-7am, *Sign on Bonus
· RN Med Surg Nights, FT, 7pm-7am *Sign on Bonus
· RN Med Surg Nights, 7pm-7am, Temp Contract or PRN
· RN OR Circulator, M-F Days, Variable hours, Call Required *Sign on Bonus
· RN, Pain, FT, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN Endoscopy, FT, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN, Eye Surgery, PRN, Variable days
· Surgical Tech, Surgery FT, M-F, Variable Hours, Call Required *Sign on Bonus
· Surgical Tech, Eye Surgery exp, FT, M-F *Sign on Bonus
· Radiographer, FT, 2:30pm to 11pm, *Sign on Bonus
· Patient Care Tech, FT, Nights, 7p-7a, Variable nights
Northwest Surgical Hospital
· RN, PACU, M-F Days, Variable hours
· RN, Pre-op, PRN or Temporary Contract
· RN OR Circulator, PRN or Temporary Contract
· RN, Med Surg Days, 7a-7p, PRN, Variable days
· RN Med Surg Nights, 7p-7a, PRN, Variable nights
· Paramedic, FT Nights, 7p-7a, Variable nights
· Surgical Tech, M-F Days, Variable hours
Apply online
CommunityHospitalOKC.com/job-postings
NWSurgicalOKC.com/job-postings
PROUDLY PHYSICIAN OWNED

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Tress Hindman, RN, was the recipient of The DAISY Award for her compassionate patient care, but also for her kindness and support of the staff.

SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Shawnee recently recognized one of its nurses with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s program to recognize nurses that go the extra mile for their patients, family and team members.
Tress Hindman, RN, was the recipient of The DAISY Award for her compassionate patient care, but also for her kindness and support of the staff.
In Hindman’s nomination, the staff stated, “Tress as ‘an angel with hidden wings.’” We are thankful for Tress selflessly taking time out of her busy schedule to be of service to her colleagues in their time of need. She is truly an angel indeed!”
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, CA, and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses may be nominated by patients, families, and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at St. Anthony Hospital to receive The DAISY Award. Awards are given throughout the year at presentations given in front of the nurse’s colleagues, physicians, patients, and visitors. Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree is also given a beautiful and meaningful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Africa.

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Jennifer Busch, RN is an excellent nurse, working for Dr. Craig Lee Reitz, Oncology and Hematology in the Coletta Cancer Care Center in Oklahoma City, OK.

PASSION IN NURSING
HELPING TO NAVIGATE THE JOURNEY: COLETTA CANCER CARE CENTER

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

Part of Mercy Hospital is the Coletta Cancer Care Center, located at 4401 McAuley Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK. It is the first facility in the Oklahoma City metro area to combine all cancer and breast services under one roof. One of the doctors at the Center is Craig Lee Reitz, MD, Oncology, and Hematology. His nurse is Jennifer A. Busch, RN. She has worked with Dr. Reitz for six and half years on the Oncology floor and has been his nurse since January of 2018.
Jennifer grew up in Seattle, Washington and moved to Oklahoma in 1997. She graduated from the nursing program at Rose State College in 2011. She has been a nurse for 7 years. She started out working nights as a nursing assistant on the Oncology floor. “It was a nice transition at the time. I learned from some wonderful nurses and am thankful that I got to learn from them,” Jennifer said. “Dr. Reitz is a wonderful doctor/teacher and is adored by our patients for good reason. I really enjoy working with him,” she comments.
Asking Jennifer what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think a nurse is someone that listens well, pays attention to detail, can be objective and passionate at the same time and enjoys people, relating and connecting with them,” she replied.
The 3 words describing Jennifer would be, honest, compassionate and loyal. “I am honest almost to a fault, I genuinely care about people, I am very protective and fiercely loyal to those I love, respect and care about,” she explained.
Jennifer’s favorite part of being an oncology nurse is the bond that she forms with her patients and their families. “I am a part of the journey that they are on and I have the privilege of helping them navigate this scary, nightmare cancer diagnosis. I get to laugh with them, cry with them, hope with them and just be someone they can call when they have questions or need reassurance,” she said.
The greatest reward Jennifer receives as a nurse is the fact that she has made a difference in a patient’s life. “It is such a great feeling to know that I am able to help a patient, making a difficult time a little easier for them and their family.”
If Jennifer could change anything about her job, she said it would be to have more time to spend with the patients and not feel like she is being pulled in so many different directions. “It’s challenging sometimes to manage all of the responsibilities but that is when working with other nurses and team members willing to help out makes such a difference. In our clinic, we work together.”
Asking Jennifer if she is a leader or a follower, she said, “I can be a leader but actually, I prefer not to be. I think working as a team in healthcare is important for us as well as a benefit for the patient. We have a wonderful team here in our clinic. Our doctors, nurses, schedulers, and the list could go on. Everyone has an important role in the care of our patients and it works like a pretty smooth machine. I feel honored to work with all of my coworkers. “
Jennifer’s hobbies include reading and hanging out with her dogs. She loves watching college sports, especially football, women’s basketball and softball.
Growing up, Jennifer wanted to be a rock star or a teacher. “Not necessarily in that order! If I couldn’t be a nurse, I would have been a veterinarian. I chose NURSE.”
Jennifer describes her typical day as CRAZY! “When I get to work, I check my email, faxes, prescription refill requests; see patients in the clinic with Dr. Reitz, more email, faxes, etc. Then, there is always the phone to answer. The day flies by and it’s time to go home and come back and do it again! It’s very challenging but I enjoy it!”
Now, on the lighter side…I asked Jennifer if she had a funny story about her experience as a nurse. Yes, she did. “During my first semester of nursing school, I was getting ready to do my first finger stick on a patient. The patient was in their 80’s and quite the character. When I asked if she had a finger she preferred (to do the finger stick on) she flipped me the bird! Needless to say, I learned to pay attention to how I phrased my questions in the future!”

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If you could meet someone famous, who would it be? The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital

J.K. Rowling ( British novelist, philanthropist, film and television producer)

Sarah Seiter, RN

Sebastian Stan (actor)

Tasha Lovelady, Medical Unit Clerk

Nicholas Sparks (American romance novelist and screenwriter.)

Charla Thomas, Nurse Coordinator

Condoleezza Rice (American political scientist and diplomat.)

Jessica Russell, Child Life Specialist

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Q. Are you truly happy? Do you even know what it means to be happy and what it takes to achieve happiness? These are important questions for anyone who is seeking happiness to ask themselves.

A. The truth of the matter is that happiness, like anything else in life, needs to be nurtured. The following are a few tips that can help create happiness.
· Understand what it is that will make you happy. Everyone has unique requirements for attaining happiness and what makes one person happy may be very different from what makes someone else happy. Revel in your individuality and do not worry about whether or not your desires are comparable to those of your peers.
· Make a plan for attaining goals that you believe will make you happy. Your mood will very likely increase as you pursue your goal because you will feel better about yourself for going after something you value.
· Surround yourself with positive people. It is easy to begin to think negatively when you are connected to negative people. Also surround yourself with people who have good energy.
· When something goes wrong try to figure out a solution instead of wallowing in self pity. A short period of self pity, then move on.
· Spend a few minutes each day thinking about the things that make you happy. Write them down. Are you getting closer?
· It is important to take time each day to do something healthy/healing for yourself. Whether you treat yourself to lunch, taking bubble bath, listening to your favorite music or a movie.
· Finding the humor in situations can also lead to happiness. While there are times that require you to be serious, when it is appropriate, find a way to make light of a situation that would otherwise make you unhappy.
· Maintaining your health is another way to achieve happiness. Eat healthy, exercise (AKA “move your body”) and get enough sleep.
Happiness is hard to define but most people are aware of whether they are happy or not. Many people believe that happiness is a form of luck and that some people are destined to be happy while others are destined to be unhappy. The tips in this column are small but meaningful steps that you can take each day to lead to comfort and happiness.

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Dr. Judith James, leader of the grant.

Last week, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center announced the nationally competitive renewal of a $20 million federal grant that will advance research and patient care for Oklahomans throughout the state.Last week, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center announced the nationally competitive renewal of a $20 million federal grant that will advance research and patient care for Oklahomans throughout the state.The grant furthers the work of the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources program, which began five years ago with an initial $20 million award and is based at the OU Health Sciences Center. The program is a collaborative effort between multiple institutions, physicians and American Indian tribes throughout Oklahoma, especially rural areas. The grant is from the National Institutes of Health and supports an Institutional Development Award, which builds research capabilities in Oklahoma and drives economic growth.“The OU Health Sciences Center is pleased to convene groups from around the state to improve the health of our fellow Oklahomans,” said Jason Sanders, M.D., MBA, Senior Vice President and Provost of OUHSC. “By applying the power of research directly to patient care, we will benefit Oklahomans who are disproportionately affected by chronic health conditions.”The grant renewal is significant because it will allow the OSCTR to continue its crucial work in conducting clinical and translational research with patients, particularly in rural areas of Oklahoma, to better understand health and disease and improve the health outcomes of those patients.“The overall goal of OSCTR is to serve as a catalyst for clinical and translational research to improve the health and health outcomes of Oklahomans and to launch the careers of promising research investigators throughout the state,” said Judith James, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant. James also is Associate Vice Provost for Clinical and Translational Science at the OU Health Sciences Center, a George Lynn Cross Professor in the OU College of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.In the first five years of OSCTR, the program focused on cancer, autoimmune disorders, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, children’s health and tobacco cessation. Advances made in those areas include: · Creation of the James W. Mold Oklahoma Primary Healthcare Improvement Cooperative to provide support for research projects to disseminate and implement evidence-based medical advances in primary care medical practices, especially in rural areas. · Development of the Healthy Hearts for Oklahoma project with a $15 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Healthy Hearts seeks to reduce the toll of cardiovascular disease on Oklahomans by applying the ABCS of prevention: aspirin use by high-risk individuals, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation. This project has involved more than 260 clinical practices and 3,400 practice members in nearly every county in Oklahoma. · Expansion of research projects addressing treatment for the opioid epidemic, ranging from prevention to recovery/rehabilitation to pain management. · Earned a $1.6 million NIH grant, in partnership with the OU College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, to investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development – from conception through early childhood – influences the health of children and adolescents. · Awarded pilot awards to 28 projects that have since attracted more than $30 million in additional funding, benefiting the state’s economic growth while furthering clinical and translational research. · Helped to recruit 11 new NIH-funded researchers to Oklahoma. · Spurred more than 230 peer-reviewed publications that provide new research advances or evidence to guide physicians in improving the lives of Oklahomans.The OSCTR plans significant growth over the next five years, with additional research focus areas and a new program called Community Engaged Research Exploratory Awards. To address issues of importance to communities – a particular town might be experiencing an increase in adolescent obesity, for example — researchers and community partners will collaborate to implement research specifically aimed at improving that area.“It takes time to bring communities together and to build trust. This program would provide resources to allow that to occur,” said Timothy VanWagoner, Ph.D., administrative director of OSCTR.The advantage of programs like OSCTR is the collaborative mindset produced among those working toward a single goal: to improve health and clinical outcomes in Oklahoma. OSCTR now has 29 partners, and many projects involve researchers from different institutions and different disciplines, each asking questions aimed at improving health.The grant renewal also benefits the collaborative role of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.“This funding has helped OMRF recruit new scientists to Oklahoma and expand our autoimmune disease clinical and research efforts,” said Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “It also supports operations for OMRF’s biorepository, which provides researchers in our state and around the United States with more than a million patient samples for study. Advances in research resulting from this grant will translate to better health and health care for patients in Oklahoma and beyond.”Funding is provided by grant No. 2U54GM104938-06 of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

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The Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners announced that early registration is now open for the organization’s annual conference. The conference will take place Oct. 17-19 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa.
“After several years at the same venue, we wanted to give our members a new experience, and this makes the conference more accessible for those in the Tulsa area who couldn’t attend in the past,” said AONP President Margaret Rosales.
The annual AONP Conference has grown to host nearly 400 nurse practitioners from across the state. The conference will offer workshops and seminars on a range of health care topics, including hypertension, obesity, coding and reimbursement and legislative advocacy.
“This year’s sessions cover everything from keeping up with the latest advancements in medicine, to running a practice, to advocating for the profession in halls of the State Capitol,” Rosales said. “There will be sessions to benefit every nurse practitioner at every level of experience.”
Conference organizers are offering discounted registration rates for students and for AONP members. Early registration discounts continue through Sept. 30. Conference sessions will be submitted to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and to the Oklahoma Board of Nursing for continuing education credits.
For more information or to register for the conference, go to npofoklahoma.com.

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INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center has been recognized as the Oklahoma City Metro’s Best Regional Hospital and is among a three-way tie for the Best Hospital in the State award for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report. As a best hospital, INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center will be a widely recognized symbol of excellence in U.S. health care. St. John Medical Center and Saint Francis Hospital, in Tulsa, are also tied for first place. The 29th annual rankings are designed to assist patients and their doctors in making informed decisions about where to receive care.
The 2018-19 rankings compared more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. This year, a total of 158 hospitals were nationally ranked in at least one specialty. More than 1,100 hospitals were rated high performing in at least one common procedure or condition, and 29 received a high performing rating in all nine procedures and conditions evaluated.
Only hospitals that earned at least three High Performing ratings or one national ranking can call themselves “Best” hospitals. Of the 4,500 hospitals evaluated for 2018-19 Best Hospitals, barely one out of eight met the standard.
INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center is rated High Performing in four adult procedures and conditions including aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, heart failure and colon cancer surgery.
To be nationally ranked in a specialty, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients. The ratings in procedures and conditions, by contrast, focus on typical Medicare patients. Hospitals that do well in multiple areas of adult care may be ranked in their state and metropolitan area.
The U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 29th year, help guide patients to hospitals that deliver outstanding care across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. The Best Hospitals methodologies include objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and more.
Best Hospitals 2018-19 was produced by U.S. News with RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

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Esther Lokwa, LPN works at Quail Ridge Senior Living. Always a kind word and a smile on her face, Esther likes to cheer up the patients.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Everyone ages. It is an inherent property of life. As our bodies and minds develop over time, we adapt to these changes by modifying our decisions and actions. The later years of life can be especially challenging but Quail Ridge Senior Living is here to help. At Quail Ridge Senior Living, they listen to the needs of the residents in order to understand their limitations and discuss potential solutions. They work with the community members to customize options that will help them lead the lives they want.
Meet Esther Lokwa, LPN at Quail Ridge Senior Living. She was born and raised in Nigeria and moved to the United States in 1992. Being a nurse for 24 years, including in Nigeria, she has noticed so many changes in the medical field over the years. She went to school at OSU. Her first job here in Oklahoma was at the Baptist Village Retirement Center. “I enjoyed my job there but decided to continue on in the medical field; becoming a nurse here at Quail Ridge Senior Living. I’ve been here for about a year now. I love all of the patients here and it is nice that I can get to know them on a personal basis. The staff is so nice and that makes such a difference in the job. Everyone seems to get along together. Teamwork is very important,” Esther commented.
Asking Esther what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think one of the most important qualities for a nurse is being able to listen. To really listen to the patient, make good eye contact, listen to their needs, if you do this, by the end of your shift, the patient will be happy it will put a smile on their face.”
Esther had never thought about being a nurse when she was little but when she was in Nigeria, her grandmother was very sick and Esther remembers helping take care of her. Her grandmother was one that had a big influence on her life. Also, Esther’s sister is a nurse in Nigeria.
“After I came to the United States, I heard about nursing school and told myself that I could do this. It was at that moment, I knew I wanted to take care of others and become a nurse. I’ve been caring for others ever since. I enjoy my job. I also have an aunt that is a nurse in Nigeria.”
My favorite thing about having a job as a nurse is the fact that I get to meet people. We seem to really connect to each other. There are also some very good bosses here. We have a good team here and that is so important.
Asking Esther how she would describe herself, she said, I am a very patient person and a very caring person. I take my job very seriously. I also try to be pleasant with everyone and I usually put a smile on their face. I like to make others happy.”
Esther’s famous hobby is cooking. “I love to cook,” she said. She received quite a few honors and awards for her cooking in Nigeria. Apparently, everyone in Nigeria knows that she was a good cook! What an accomplishment! She also likes to go dancing. “Even though I am not that good at it,” she laughed. “I’d better stick to cooking,” she added.
When Esther is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four daughters, 25, 22, 20 and 14 years old. Esther also likes to travel and has gone to quite a few places; one of her favorite being London. “I try to get back to Nigeria to see my family as often as I can,” she said. “I was there a few years ago and I need to get back sometime soon.”
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to share? I ask. “I would just like to tell others to be cheerful, listen to your patient and take care of them. Don’t be afraid to help out someone when they need help. Whether it is a friend, a patient, or a CMA, don’t ever feel like you are better than the other person. Hopefully, they will do the same. Just spread some cheer wherever you go.

Companion Healthcare is accepting applications for an RN Case Manager for Private Care services.
The RN Case Manager will meet with prospective clients and provide professional assessment of the needs and desires of clients.
They will help coordinate the total plan of care and maintain continuity of care by interacting with other health professionals.
Requirements:
· Current Oklahoma RN license
· Graduate of an approved school of professional nursing
· One year experience in home health field preferred
· Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to provide care primarily to the geriatric population
· Valid Oklahoma driver’s license
· Must pass criminal background check
Companion Healthcare is a local family-owned company with offices in Guthrie, Edmond and Stillwater.
Benefits:
· Competitive Salary
· Paid Time Off
· Medical/Dental/Prescription/Vision/Life Insurance
· Matching 401K
· Company Car
APPLY ONLINE: www.companionhealth.net

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