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(L to R) Kenneth Fearnow (President of BrightStar Care Edmond/Oklahoma City), Debra Moore (Nurse of the Year recipient) and Jannie Fearnow (Co-owner of the BrightStar Care Edmond/Oklahoma City agency).
Debra Moore (Nurse of the Year recipient).

by James Coburn
Staff Writer
BrightStar Care knows how to show gratitude. Their Director of Nursing, Debra Moore, RN, was recently surprised with a celebration in her honor. BrightStar honored Moore with being the “2017 Nurse of the Year” after being nominated by franchise owner Kenneth Fearnow. Moore walked into work to learn she was selected as a Midwest Region Finalist for the Nurse of the Year.
But a nurse like Moore is no surprise for BrightStar Care. Her leadership represent the values and compassion extending through BrightStar, located in Oklahoma City.
BrightStar Care is a private home care company with two different sides, Moore said. There is a private home care side providing CNAs and companions for people in their homes and assisted living centers — “Just wherever your home is,” Moore explained.
“We have a client in the hospital now where the client wants us to come and be with him at night because they don’t want him to be restrained. So our CNAs go there and basically it keeps him calm.”
BrightStar also has a skilled side to its care including nurses, physical and occupational therapists and LPNs. BrightStar has contracts with different companies for wound care, infusions, blood draws and different clinical studies, she described. There is a C. Diff infection study coming up involving bacteria.
“And this is what attracted me to BrightStar; I wanted a variety,” she said. “I wanted something where I could continue to learn and continue to utilize my skills, too. I’ve learned a lot of skills in my nursing career.”
Her mother used to take Moore as a little girl to help her grandmother and aunt in and out of the bathtub. And her mom would encourage her to become a registered nurse.
“I owe it all to my momma and God,” she said.
Moore is a nursing school graduate of Oklahoma City Community College and has been a nurse for 18 years.
“I tell nurses, ‘If you want to learn, this is the place to be. If you want to continue to learn, this is the place to be,’” Moore continued. “If you’re the type of nurse that wants to learn, they will come on board.”
Moore values her former hospital work. She learned a lot there. But she said the nurses would have from six to nine patients at a time. She came to BrightStar because it gives her more of an opportunity to provide one-on-one patient centered compassionate care.
She might be devoting some long hours. Every night her husband asks her what time she will come home at night. Moore said she cannot always tell him because each day is different.
“We have a chance to give good quality care to these people,” Moore said. “It’s almost in a way, no excuses.”
Last week she was giving an intravenous infusion, and she likes having the time to call the company and verify settings and a prescription. Moore said she doesn’t feel in a hurry. A human life is worth her time. She values them because they are just like her, she said.
Many patients in the health care industry do not believe they can participate in their care, she said.
“Basically they just want good care,” she noted. “They want somebody they can trust. They want to be able to participate in their care. They want a say-so, and they want somebody to talk to and say, ‘Am I thinking along the right lines?’”
BrightStar considers their clients to be the captain, Moore added. Moore wants to know when care does not feel right.
With National Nurses Week approaching, Moore said she admires the nursing staff for having the same compassion that she does. If they are needed at work, they are willing to serve, Moore said.
When a nurse is hired they are told that skills can be taught, but kindness cannot be taught.
“We can’t teach you to have care, and that’s what we’re looking for,” she said. “When I’m talking to them, I’m visualizing that person in front of the patient to see if they’re going to have that smile, if they’re going to have that true compassion in that patient’s home.”
Moore leads a full life. There’s a seafood restaurant in Dallas she likes to dine at with her husband.
“I like to have a grilled Caribbean lobster,” she said.
Her husband and their children that she describes as “The Brady Bunch” gives her an extra spark, she said.
“When I go to see my patients, that gives me that extra smile,” she said.

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Toni-Pratt Reid, APRN, and the state’s advanced practice nurses are asking for the state legislature to allow them full practice authority.

story and photo by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
For a second year a physician-led committee has refused to hear legislation that would allow Oklahoma advanced practice nurses full practice authority and expand healthcare access to thousands of Oklahomans.
House Bill 1013, by Rep. Josh Cockroft (R-Wanette) and Senate author A.J. Griffin (R-Guthrie), would have granted Oklahoma nurse practitioners (NPs) the freedom to practice to the full extent of their education and training, enabling them to serve Oklahomans where care is most needed.
Late last Friday, senators refused to schedule the bill to be read in committee this week, a procedural move that killed the bill.
Toni Pratt-Reid, APRN, president-elect of the Association of Oklahoma Nurse Practitioners, says it’s been an uphill battle to advance the bill through both houses.
Pratt-Reid said a number of misconceptions about nurse practitioners are complicating the discussion. She was told one legislator mentioned to an NP during a recent visit nurse practitioners in Oklahoma could receive their training through the state’s vocational-technical system or CareerTech.
“I think it’s minimal on their understanding,” Pratt-Reid said of general knowledge of NP training while pointing out the designation is a terminal degree. “We are graduate-prepared nurses who work on a foundation of holistic care. We treat the family and the population together with the individual. We have a model that is somewhat different from traditional medicine but our object and goals get us to the same place.”
After passing the House 72-20, the bill was assigned on March 7 to the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee chaired by anesthesiologist Dr. Ervin Yen R-40. District 40 includes parts of Bethany, Nichols Hills, northwest Oklahoma City, The Village and Warr Acres.
Dr. Yen refused for the bill to be read.
Last year a similar bill, HB 2841 died in committee. The committee was chaired was Rep. Doug Cox, R-Grove, a physician.
Proponents of the bill say it is especially important in rural areas of the state that are medically underserved.
Rural areas have the hardest time recruiting providers due to their population so nurse practitioners are often the highest level of care available in a majority of Oklahoma communities.
Currently, advanced practice nurses in Oklahoma have full practice authority when it comes to diagnosis and treatment options but not full prescription authority.
A regulatory rule is in place that requires a supervising physician be available as needed for consultation.
The current system of securing a collaborating physicians has become one that physicians have a vested financial interest in maintaining.
Nurse practitioners pay between $2,000 and $7,500 a month for physician agreements, and $24,000 to $90,000 in annual fees and malpractice coverage for the physician.
Another key issue is that nurse practitioners accept all insurances and do not discriminate on policies that pay less.
The state’s advanced practice registered nurses are primary care providers for Medicaid and keep open enrollment policies to increase access to care.
In addition, nurse practitioners are often asked to assume care of Medicare patients after they turn 65 because their primary care physicians do not take Medicare.
Earlier this year AARP Oklahoma announced its support of the bill.
“Oklahomans already face a shortage of primary care providers and that problem will only become more acute as our population ages,” said Sean Voskuhl, state director of AARP Oklahoma. “The shortage means some Oklahomans are driving long distances and waiting days for appointments for primary care, not to mention a lack of consumer choice. Delays in care not only hurt the consumers, but place added stress on family caregivers, who are all too often overwhelmed with bearing the brunt of providing and overseeing the care of a loved one.”
A January 2016 SoonerPoll surveyed 410 likely voters asking, “Do you support or oppose allowing nurse practitioners, who have advanced training, to serve as the primary or acute care provider of record for a patient?” In response, 86.7% said they support allowing a nurse practitioner to operate with full practice authority.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, more than one third of the nation has adopted full practice authority licensure and practice laws for nurse practitioners.

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Warr Acres Nursing Center Director of Nursing Terry Reynolds, RN, says outdoor activities will help residents living with memory loss.

by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
A new day in the world of memory care is coming to the Warr Acres Nursing Center, said Terry Reynolds, RN, and director of nursing. A memory care environment will open soon and will offer a memory care environment for people living with memory loss due to types of dementia.
He anticipates this new environment for people living with memory loss will open in May.
“Alzheimer’s is the defining word and we’re looking at the whole umbrella of the dementias and memory impairment,” Reynolds said.
In his nursing history, Reynolds opened one of the first memory care facilities in the state of Oklahoma. He has also done extensive work with the Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma.
“I worked in the memory care environment for quite some time,” he said.
But the teaching he started has evolved over time with more empathy and understanding of the patients’ needs. People are living much longer in today’s world. So memory diseases are becoming more common than they once were. Coupled with that is the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is increasing in population. More care is needed. Also the younger onset of dementia is being recognized more frequently.
“We still are limited on treatment as far as medication,” Reynolds added. “But with that being said, one thing that can help is the proper environment for memory care.”
People can be fostered to have a better life while living with memory loss. An environment design such as the new memory care center under construction at Warr Acres can help redirect and comfort those with confusion due to memory loss.
“People act the way they do to get perceived needs met. Well it’s the same thing when you have memory impairment. It’s just a diseased issue and you’re acting to get your perceived needs met.”
The fact that somebody is confused without memory can be redirected to a new train of thought. The memory care unit will offer an area with wandering paths. It is a redesign of an existing space being retrofitted with specifications geared toward memory loss. The area was a memory unit several years ago, he said.
“We’re redeveloping it,” he said. Only 18 patients at a time will live in the unit.
“That is unheard of, because that’s a very small group.”
Most places offer space for larger populations of people living with memory loss, Reynolds continued. These larger units make it more difficult to monitor the people living there, he said.
Warr Acres Nursing Center has already started to take referrals to its upcoming memory care environment.
“It’s a very aggressive remodel,” he said. “We are putting in work stations for residents to sit and do artistry. There will be different work stations for men to sit and fiddle more than the things that we had 10 years ago. So we’re newer and state-of-the-art.”
The garden area will have a raised plant bed to promote activities outside. Each one of the rooms has been stripped and will have completely new interiors. Additionally, the common areas will change.
“Of course me as a nurse am thinking this is going to take forever. But the crew doing it have expedited it faster than I’ve ever thought,” Reynolds said. “But I know I’m very excited for us because this area I feel very fond of.”
Reynolds remembers his grandmother lived with dementia when he was 9 years old. So much has been learned since the through biomedical research.
“Memory care units are a very needful thing,” Reynolds said.
Changes in health care with skilled units being built have caused many places to end their memory care, he said.
“Memory care units require staff with knowledge about how to deal with memory behaviors,” he said.
Warr Acres Nursing Center has invited Tepa Snow, an individual who developed care giving guidelines, to speak to the nursing staff in May. The guidelines are from a therapist’s perspective. She is coming under the leadership of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Leading Age program, Reynolds said.
Reynolds, himself, once did the training for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“These are the annual symposiums the Alzheimer’s Association puts on,” Reynolds explained.
The new memory care unit is there for people to realize it is a whole new environment, Reynolds said. It will offer residents further ability to age in place without having to move away.
“How long you can stay at this stage depends a lot of times on how well you are being fostered,” he said.

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Shown above are members of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America team with Tabitha appearing in the center.

Southwestern Recognizes DAISY Award Recipient Tabitha Nandico Spataro, RN
The DAISY Award is an international program that rewards and celebrates the extraordinary, compassionate and skillful care given by nurses every day. CTCA at Southwestern is proud to be a DAISY Award Partner, recognizing one of our nurses with this special honor quarterly.
From January to March, Southwestern Stakeholders, patients and caregivers submitted nominations for our third DAISY Award and on Thursday, March 23, Southwestern recognized Tabitha Nandico Spataro in infusion, whose nomination was submitted by a caregiver whose daughter is a currently treating patient.
“Tabitha shows those qualities that make a Registered Nurse both forceful and effective. As far as I’m concerned, she produces beyond normal expectations. It is evident that her going to work is not for a paycheck, but she truly cares about her patients and their family. She makes it a point to know everything about her patients – she was aware that my daughter had, in the past, symptoms of restless leg syndrome during chemotherapy, so she checked frequently to see if she was experiencing the symptoms. She also checked to see if we were warm and comfortable and I rarely noticed her sitting. Every time I would leave my daughter’s room Tabitha was constantly tending to her patients.
Tabitha is not just a nurse, she is like a good friend or family member to her patients. She definitely has all the skills needed to maintain the highest standards of professional excellence and I’ve never seen a nurse like her! She is so empathetic when it comes to her patients and their family and she works diligently to meet their needs in every way. God bless the person who hired her!”
Thank you, Tabitha, For the extraordinary car you provide to our patients and caregivers every day and for the exemplifying the Mother Standard of care.
CTCA encourages all employees to go above and beyond for their patients and in the community. The hospital’s founder and chairman, Richard J Stephenson, created the medical centers to care for every aspect of the patient, calling this the “Mother Standard.” Recently, Stephenson was recognized for his integrated care philosophy, focus on education and philanthropic initiatives with the 2017 Horatio Alger Award. Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, announced from Washington, D.C. that Stephenson will receive this unique North American recognition for his commitment to higher education and charitable efforts in his local communities.
ABOUT TABITHA: Tabitha Spataro, RN with Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) was a recent winner of the DAISY Award. Spataro was nominated by a caregiver whose daughter was being treated at CTCA. Sparato has been in the nursing field for six years and at CTCA for about 1.5 years.
When asked what inspired her to become a nurse, she shared: “I had some health issues growing up, and part of the reason I became a RN was to make sure patients had a good nurse. I promised myself I would be the best nurse I could be for my patients. The other part, and honestly the biggest part, was God called me to be a nurse…and I answered.”
She received her nursing degree from Northeaster A&M College at the age of 20. She graduated from high school and started college at the age of 16! In her spare time, she participates in mission trips to Honduras. She is fluent in American Sign Language and is a former ASL interpreter. Of her award and career at CTCA, Sparato added, “I honestly feel so blessed to have been given the opportunities I have been given in life, and to be a part of the CTCA family. I love our patients and our infusion team, they are truly family to me.”

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Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S annually, and about four out of five abusers are the victims’ parents, according to the National Children’s Alliance.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and St. Anthony is showing their support with a blue ribbon tree display on their campus. “Child Abuse Prevention Month is important to us because it effects our patients and our community. The rate of abuse is incredibly high in Oklahoma, so by participating in this project we hope to increase awareness and show our support,” said Julie Costilla, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, St. Anthony Behavioral Medicine.
In addition to the traditional blue ribbon wrapped around the tree, St. Anthony also incorporated artwork provided by some of their young patients. “The children traced their hands and decorated them. The hands represent their feelings and preventative messages about child abuse. This gave them a chance to be creative and to share their thoughts,” shared Costilla.
Child Abuse Prevention Month is recognized in April, but it’s a problem some children face year round. “We care for lots of children, teens, and even adult patients who have been abused. Child abuse has a lasting impact on a person, it can affect every aspect of their life.”
Recognition months such as Child Abuse Prevention Month, brings light to issues people struggle with every day. “Hopefully people will start to think about what they can do to help prevent child abuse,” said Costilla. “Whether we know it or not, we all know someone who has been abused, so really this affects us all.”
St. Anthony Behavioral Medicine offers a wide range of mental health services to assist those of all ages who may be struggling. If you or someone you know needs help, call 405-272-6216.

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Q. My boyfriend and I broke up after one year together. We just couldn’t make it work. I wanted him to read The Five Love Languages and he showed no interest. I tried to talk to him about how we loved differently and he thought I was losing it. We learn differently and we love differently. Do you think I am losing it?
—- Jessica
A. You are absolutely not losing it! It has been proven that one size does not fit all when it comes to learning. It was once assumed that every student sitting in the classroom learned by listening. These were the auditory learners. Then there were the students who needed to write notes so they could read them later, a safeguard not to forget what the teacher said. What about the students who learned by watching demonstrations. If they saw it, they learned it. The kinesthetic style takes place by the students carrying out physical activities; they are the “do-ers.”
The conflict in the classroom occurred when it was believed that only one style of teaching would occur, with some variations, and all students would become proficient in the knowledge or skill.
Lets look at what happens to love when the “one size fits all” format is utilized.
Tim and Angela also found The Five Love Languages and said it helped them save their troubled marriage. They had been trying to tell each other what they needed and how they felt loved but it never came out right and usually left them frustrated or angry or both. What they learned from the book was the following:
Tim believed the things he did for Angela (acts of service) showed his love for her. When he mowed the lawn and it looked so nice and beautiful, when he took Angela’s car and had the oil changed, etc, for Tim these were acts of love.
Angela gave Tim gifts. She would get excited when she found his favorite color in a new shirt, bought him a new pair of slippers that he said he wanted or something for the house that she thought he would like. This was her primary love language.
After reading the book and talking at length, Tim said he felt loved when Angela would use kind, complementary words (words of affirmation) to acknowledge his behavior. He also felt loved by physical touch.
Angela felt loved by spending time together (quality time), She also enjoyed physical touch when she wasn’t mad at Tim.
Discussing how we like to be loved by our significant other is a number one priority. If you are not aware of your love language, it is time to learn.

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What do like to do in your spare time? Grace Living Center Wilshire

“Spend a lot of time with my kid. We play and I spend as much time as I can.” Sherry Holly, CNA

“Gamble. That’s really much it. Maybe go to the movies.” Charnika Pope, CNA

“I like to sing. I write gospel music so I sing for the church.” Briauna Hollingsworth, CNA

“My hobbies include spending time with my family and just relaxing.” Lekita Edwards, LPN

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The Oklahoma Turning Point Council (OTPC) is seeking nominations to recognize initiatives or projects in Oklahoma which contribute to health improvement and quality of life in communities across the state.
The Community Health Champion Award Program recognizes partnerships or coalitions in five categories which align with flagship issues of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan. Awards will be issued in the categories of tobacco, obesity, children’s health, behavioral health and other areas of health improvement.
Nominations will be scored on factors such as program efficiency, community impact, project sustainability, creativity and the overall quality of the project. Applications will be submitted electronically and supplemental documentation is required.
Recipients of the Community Health Champion Award will be recognized at a special awards luncheon during the OTPC Annual Conference, Aug. 30, in Norman.
To submit a nomination application, visit the OTPC website at http://ow.ly/VqC230aF43J for the application and further instructions. Nominations close at 5 p.m. Friday, May 26. Awardees will be notified by June 30.
For more information, contact Danielle Dill with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Office of Partner Engagement at DanielleMD@health.ok.gov.