Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD

0 2674
From left, Haley Hunter, RN and nurse manager at The Children’s Hospital emergency room and Kaitlan Loeffler, RN, admire their young patients for their resilience.

by James Coburn
Staff Writer

A strong team keeps Haley Hunter, RN, steadfast as nurse manager at The Children’s Hospital ER on the campus of OU Medical Center, she said.
“I like not knowing what each day is going to be like,” she said. The thing that keeps me here the most is the people I work with,” Hunter said.
More than 43,000 patients visit The Children’s Hospital ER each year. The Children’s Hospital is the only stand-alone 24/7 children’s hospital in the state. Patients can be directly admitted or come through the ER to be admitted by physicians. Children are taken to one of separate areas including acute care, urgent care or an asthma pod depending upon their acuity, Hunter said.
Nearly 15 percent of the hospital’s volume is transported there through emergency services. Other patients are referred to Children’s Hospital through an outlying facility.
“We see all patients no matter what the acuity, everything from your constant colds, minor lacerations to full arrests, near drowning, child abuse and traumas,” said Hunter, who has been with Children’s Hospital since 2009.
She worked as bedside staff nurse, became a supervisor on the night shift and has been the manager since 2011. The team blends well with talent, dedication and skill.
“I think we are a compassionate group. We all have a little bit of different experience,” Hunter said. “We have a lot of nurses that come to us through different areas of nursing.”
Some of the nurses have experience with adult patients or have worked in a pediatric unit of other hospitals.
“We have a lot of specialties coming to us and that’s helpful,” Hunter said. “We are a very compassionate group. We have nurses that are out there such as John Raschtschenia, who have been with us for 30 years. We have quite a few nurses on day shift that have been with us 20 to 25 years. Once you’re here we kind of want you to stay forever.”
The environment is too tough for a new nurse to work there, Hunter said.
Hunter is the only person in her family working in health care. She is a graduate of St. Petersburg College in Florida.
Children’s Hospital nurses must be engaged in their work with passion and a willingness to be flexible, Hunter added. The ER is an ever changing environment so flexibility is essential for adapting easily to change.
Kaitlan Loeffler, RN, was working with adult patients who suffered strokes before she joined the ER team at Children’s Hospital nearly three years ago. She has also worked in the home health arena of care.
“I think with children they are very resilient. That’s one of the reasons I love working with them,” Loeffler said. “They can go from looking so sick and terrible to recovering completely.”
Loeffler said she has no regrets because she gives 100 percent of her ability to each child.
“Children are funny. They can be really hurt and still be making little jokes and wanting to play,” Loeffler continued. “We’ll be starting an I.V. and the child will be blowing bubbles and we’ll all be singing Disney songs with the kid. You don’t see that kind of stuff in grown-ups.”
She is also impressed by the parents for being advocates and becoming experts on their children’s illnesses.
“You help the whole family get through it,” said Loeffler, a graduate of Rose State College in Midwest City.
Loeffler resisted the idea of becoming a nurse at first. Both of her parents were nurses and she wanted to take a different course. After having her son, she was going to school for social work. That is when a nursing career appealed to her, she said. She wanted to be part of a team.
“The ER is a great place if you want to be part of a team.” Loeffler said. “We work so closely with the doctors, respiratory therapy and each other. You can’t do anything by yourself here. We do a lot of procedures that take two or three nurses. Knowing how to work together and advocate and communicate with your team is vital in the ER.”
Nursing is only part of Loeffler’s life. She also loves being with her husband and children, going on family outings. She also joins with other nurses going for refreshments after work to decompress.
“We all understand each other and what we’re going through,” Loeffler said.
Hunter also likes spending time with her husband, Justin, and their two kids.
“I am an animal lover, so I spend a lot of time with my pets,” Hunter said.

0 2703
Long-term care isn’t just a job for John Cupp, an LPN at Golden Age Nursing Center. His career is a calling.

Earning respect: It’s all about being a team for LPN

story and photo by James Coburn

John Cupp is on call 24/7 as an LPN, at Golden Age Nursing Center, located in Guthrie. His specialty and expertise as a staffing coordinator serves the residents and staff at Golden Age where he was first hired nine years ago.
His skills overlap with many rolls including admissions and staffing. When a staff member calls in unable to come to work it is Cupp’s responsibility to get it staffed. He has been called into work many times in the middle of the night.
“That’s one of the reasons I love it. Being a staffing coordinator means something is always going on,” he said. “It’s never that same mud and grind. It’s very unpredictable. I can go home today at 4 o’clock and get a call at 11:15 needing staff in the building and I’m up here no later than 11:30 p.m.”
The reason he chose a long-term care setting as the focus of his career is the residents. They sacrificed when they were young. What they need now is somebody to care for them. Cupp said.
“Everybody knows somebody in this small community. Either they grew up together or they were their teacher or babysitter when they were younger. It’s just a community base and it’s nice.”
He knows they cared for his generation and kept the country safe by working hard and protecting the homeland, he said while sitting in a spacious garden room filled with ambient light.
Cupp has also been a diligent worker during his 17 years as a nurse. He set his course in nursing following in the footsteps of his mother who was a hospital nurse.
His entire nursing career has been set in long-term care. He had been an adult daycare aide before earning his CNA and degree at DeMarge College. Cupp worked at a nursing home in Jones on the night shift until he completed his school work necessary for becoming and LPN.
“When I got through with school, me and my ex-wife moved to Wyoming and worked on the Indian reservation for four years,” he said. Cupp learned a lot working on the reservation working as a charge nurse at night.
“That was a different culture all itself,” he said. “They’ve got their own set of rules.”
He encountered a lot of diabetes related to alcoholism, he said. When asked what he learned from this experience he said, “Not to become an alcoholic. My father was an alcoholic, too, so I knew the background behind all that. But I learned a lot about diabetes out there.”
Cupp fortified his skills at Golden Age knowing the value of working with a team and setting a good example. The nursing staff excels with various talents joined together as one.
“You have your dependable ones you know that no matter what’s going to happen they’ll be here. And that’s nice being able to count on them,” he said. “Of course you have a few that’s always questionable. But anywhere you go that happens any place in life.”
He advises families to be observant when considering any nursing home facility for a loved one.
“When you walk in the front door you’ll know if it’s a place you want your loved one or not,” said Cupp, who enjoys spending his leisure time with his two daughters. “It’s just the atmosphere. If you walk in and you see everybody scatter — it’s like, ‘Ok, nobody wants to help anybody.’ You don’t want your loved one there.”
“You walk in the front door here and who is ever at the front desk, or if they’re walking by, they’re always asking, ‘Can I help you with anything?’”
The point of Golden Age is the residents come first. They are kept safe in their updated community without having to travel in ice storms or being too hot in the summer.
“We have four big generators we put in the buildings. So if we lose power, we have power here,” he said. “We’ll send out myself or maintenance to get the close staff that needs a ride to work because of the weather. It is once again a small community. You get into the big city and you’re not going to find the administrator send out the maintenance man to go to Oklahoma City to pick somebody up.”
About 15 percent of the nursing staff at Golden Age live in Guthrie, he added. A few live in Edmond, Perkins and surrounding communities.
A few of the residence are on hospice. Having a sister company, Companion Hospice, that is also owned by the Chappell family makes the experience more streamlined with communication.
“When they come in here it’s open arms,” Cupp said.

0 1751
Kennesha Alexander, RN, manager of Cardiac Outpatient Rehab at INTEGRIS Health Edmond is thankful for the new service there.


by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

Kennesha Alexander likes the simple yet complex structure of the heart, she said.
“It is the central location of everything,” said Alexander, RN, manager of the cauterization lab and cardiac rehab at INTEGRIS Health Edmond. “We work on the plumbing but also the electricity part of it.”
She has been with INTEGRIS for nearly four years and has worked in the cath lab since 2007.
“It’s very interesting and something is always new. You just get an adrenaline rush when that pager goes off at 3 a.m. in the morning and you know someone needs your help,” she continued. “So you jump out of bed and you run in here to do what you can to save a life.”
The nursing school graduate of Western Kentucky University found INTEGRIS Health Edmond the ideal setting for her nursing career, she said. The cath lab was brand new in 2007. She had never been involved in anything like it, she said.
“I thought, ‘What a great footprint I can leave in starting my career and also there is the community of Edmond,’” she said.
She was looking for a hospital close to home and wanted to be one of pioneer nurses at the hospital. She is part of the community that she serves. The cath lab has been evolving through the years and a new addition is coming to cardiac care.
“We have been growing and we need more space. We’re completing this process by offering cardiac rehab,” she said of the service that began Wednesday, January 11, 2017. The department has gone full circle, Alexander said.
“We can take care of you when your needs are dire straight, but we can also help you get back on your feet and do the rehab and get back to the work you did prior to your heart attack.”
Cardiac Outpatient Rehabilitation helps to build confidence among cardiac patients, she said. People like to stay in the community where they live. They don’t want to travel far distances for their health care.
Cardiac Outpatient Rehabilitation will allow patients the availability of recovery close to home without having to travel to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. They are more willing and to come to the center after their heart attacks with the convenience of not having to drive another dozen or so miles down the road.
“After you have a heart attack or open heart surgery or anything heart related, we want to start you off slowly,” Alexander said.
Dietary services will discuss nourishment. An electro physiologist is there to set a comfortable exercise program. Patients during this time are being monitored by nurses and the cath lab staff who will be observing heart rate, blood pressure and making sure they patient is well during exercise to give them that confidence, Alexander explained.
“It’s just a big support system. People come here and they know they’re not the only ones. They are not alone in this,” she said. “There’s other people in the community who have had heart attacks,”
Alexander has seen bonds form at the Pacer program at INTEGRIS Baptist. Patients come to the rehab and know each other by name. They feel comfortable with the familiarity of the staff’s faces, Alexander said. The nurses have helped them in an in-patient setting, too.
“Seeing them in an outpatient setting just makes them feel comfortable and welcome,” she said. “It helps them with the fear of not wanting to come by knowing what to expect.”
Patients and the physicians have been wanting the Cardiac Outpatient Rehabilitation services and are excited about the expansive room with exercise equipment coming to fruition. After all, Alexander became a nurse so she could help humanity.
Her mother was diagnosed with cancer when Alexander was a senior in high school and passed away in 2001. That is when Alexander knew she would establish a career in health care. What she found is a hospital filled with compassionate, caring, kind and selfless nurses.
“They do what needs to be done, no matter what, to take care of patients, their coworkers and even visitors.”
“I can just see that when I open the door. They’ll walk you to where you need to go. Their call is to go above and beyond for everybody and not just the patient,” Alexander said. “They get everybody involved, the family, the patient, other staff members and interdisciplinary teams whether it be respiratory, case management and dietary.”
“I love this facility and this hospital for that fact. It’s a welcoming facility. It’s like “Cheers”. Everybody knows your name.”

0 813
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

Q. I am in my 30’s, married and divorced twice and one serious two year relationship that recently ended. Since it is obvious I am doing something wrong I decided to start therapy and figure it out. Here is the problem – SEX. And here is what I learned.

A. I’m sure most people can relate to my story. There is no magic in what I am learning; I have been very misguided with where I placed value. I never made real friendship a priority before having sex. Sure I knew the guy but did I think of him as a friend the way I do my female friendships that have taken time and nurturing to grow, no I didn’t.
Females develop friendships by talking. We spend hours talking and sharing our lives together. We learn about each other; likes, dislikes, dreams, goals. We laugh together and occasionally cry. We might get angry with each other but because we value the friendship we fix the problem and life goes on.
But I have never done this with a man. Here is where the sex gets tricky. I have usually had sex because that is exactly what I wanted to do or he wanted to sooner than I did, so I gave in. It usually happened in the first few dates. In my first marriage we had very little emotional intimacy, I chalked that up to our youth. We didn’t know what we were doing.
In my second marriage, while in marriage counseling, I realized there were many things about my husband that I did not know. The therapist would ask him questions and I would stare in amazement. I told him, “You never shared that with me.” To which he replied, “You never asked.”
Sex is the easy part of being in a relationship. Emotional intimacy, which should come first, is much harder unless you make it a priority. The intimacy of learning about each other is the true building of the relationship. Spending hours talking, sharing stories, asking questions and being connected grows intimacy. It gives substance to the relationship.
If you have sex without emotional intimacy, as I have learned, you don’t have that substance. So when life throws you a curve ball it is much harder to survive it. Sex does not solve life problems.
I have been dating a guy for almost four months and we have not had sex. This is a first for both of us. I have also never invested this much time in really getting to know someone. I don’t want the therapist to ever know more about him that I do.
This actually feels very good. My feelings for him are growing. I am happy to learn a new way to relate in a relationship, taking it one day at a time and one conversation at a time.

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

0 1158

How do you enjoy life on your days off? Bradford Village

“I love to cook and spend time with my children.” Nashika Corely, LPN

“I like to read books and watch movies.” Marvis Mimba, RN

“I spend time with my daughter. I decorate wine bottles and refurbish furniture.” Nicole Hagar, LPN

“I’ve been doing lot’s of crafts, mostly family type stuff with movies.” Marissa Sternberg, LPN

0 974

January is National Mentoring Month, and this year INTEGRIS is celebrating 25 years of the mentoring movement by continuing to connect more of our community’s young people with caring adults.
Under the direction of then President and Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hupfeld, the Oklahoma Healthcare Corporation and Baptist Medical Center, now known as INTEGRIS, joined forces with Oklahoma City Public Schools to launch a pilot program called PROJECT 2000. The program was the first of its kind in the Oklahoma City area, matching up adult male role models with high risk, minority male students in the Oklahoma City Public Schools.
In March 1992, Hupfeld hand-picked five INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center employees to begin mentoring students at Dunbar Elementary School. Amazingly, three of those original five men are still INTEGRIS employees and active mentors in what is now called the INTEGRIS Positive Directions mentoring program. These men are Ed Hamilton, Clay Rivers and James Moore.
“I always felt good knowing I was making a difference in a student’s life. But what I didn’t expect was the positive impact these students would make on my life,” reflects Moore. “Mentoring for the past 25 years has made me a better person. Knowing that I have made lasting impressions on countless students brings me great pride and is truly one of my greatest accomplishments.”
“The objectives of the program are to build self-esteem, establish positive relationships, help children overcome negative behaviors and improve the students’ classroom participation.” Tobi Campbell is director of the INTEGRIS Positive Directions mentoring program. She says early on, the program expanded to include female mentors and students. Today, it has more than 200 mentors and has improved the academic, social and economic outcomes for many. “Research shows that mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools they need to make responsible choices, attend and engage in school, and reduce or avoid risky behavior like drug use.”
The INTEGRIS operated Stanley Hupfeld Academy at Western Village is also a true success story and a testament to the power of mentoring. Established in 2000, it was Oklahoma’s first elementary charter school and was the first school in the nation to be operated by a health care system. With the implementation of an arts-integrated curriculum, schoolwide reading program, parent outreach initiative and the addition of 300 mentors, one for each child at the school, the school’s designation as “low performing” has been removed and students are now reaching new levels of academic achievement and stability.
The school’s namesake, Stanley Hupfeld, has long believed there is a correlation between overall health and education. It was his vision to extend outside hospital walls into the community, and he felt mentoring was a great avenue through which to do that.
“Health has as much to do with what we do here in the hospital as it has to do with what you had to eat today and where you live and more particularly how well educated you are,” concludes Hupfeld. “We began our mentoring endeavors 25 years ago and frankly they remain unmatched in this state and by very few across the country.”
INTEGRIS continues to support Hupfeld’s vision by providing mentors for both Stanley Hupfeld Academy and Fillmore Elementary School. Most of these mentors are INTEGRIS employees who volunteer their time and talents today for the betterment of tomorrow. INTEGRIS encourages other businesses and organizations to follow suit so that eventually no Oklahoma child will grow up without a mentor.

0 727

The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation is now accepting applications for its fifth annual Teen Leaders in Philanthropy class.
The Teen Leaders program is comprised of high school students entering their sophomore, junior or senior years in the fall of 2017. The application deadline is March 10. Those selected will gain a deeper understanding of the nonprofit sector, develop hands-on leadership skills, and learn about various types of giving, networking and fundraising, as well as how to apply these skills in their communities. Students will have the privilege of meeting with leaders from charitable foundations, nonprofit organizations, OMRF scientists, and corporate donors and volunteers. Students will also work together on a group fundraising project to put these new skills into action.
“Philanthropy plays a significant role in the corporate world, and this program will put these students ahead of the curve in understanding its importance and how to implement it long before starting their careers,” said OMRF director of development Allison Parker. “It’s a unique program that provides these students with an opportunity to connect with like-minded teens and learn from some of the top professionals in the state.”
Group sessions will begin in September and continue throughout the 2017-18 school year. Students chosen for the program must demonstrate good academic standing and attend school in-state. For more information, visit: http://omrf.org/teen-leaders/.

0 1085

An Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) effort working with statewide hospitals has resulted in the prevention of more than 4,000 patient harms and a cost savings of nearly $30 million since 2012. The initiative focused on making significant improvements in 10 areas of potential hospital-acquired harm.
The OHA has partnered with the American Hospital Association Health Research & Education Trust (AHA/HRET) to participate in the Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) initiative. The AHA/HRET HEN was one of 17 entities funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to deploy the Partnership for Patients (PfP) initiative, which was developed to decrease harm to patients in hospitals. Thirty-seven Oklahoma hospitals joined the OHA HEN, working to improve patient safety in these 10 areas of hospital-acquired harm: adverse drug events (ADE), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), injuries from falls and immobility, obstetrical adverse events, pressure ulcers, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism (VTE), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and preventable readmissions. “Is it exciting to see Oklahoma hospitals put evidence-based practices into place to achieve these results. Outcomes like these require engaged leadership, empowered teams, and intentional interventions,” said LaWanna Halstead, vice president of quality and clinical initiatives, OHA.
Strategies to decrease hospital acquired harm and avoidable readmissions in working with hospital teams included implementation of evidence based best practices, access to educational resources and tools, webinars, in-person meetings with subject matter experts, data collection and analysis, site visits, and leadership training. From 2012-2016, a projected 4,238 patient harms were prevented in the 60 hospitals that participated during this project period. Additionally, 29 hospital staff members participated in the HRET Leadership Fellow program, and received training on the science of safety, measurement and evaluation of improvement, and leading change initiatives. The impact of the efforts from involvement in the AHA/HRET HEN through work with OHA clinical initiatives staff has the potential to continue to decrease hospital acquired harm. An additional result of making hospitals safer by decreasing patient harm includes cost savings (resulting from not having to treat harm). The anticipated cost savings to Oklahoma hospitals from this initiative exceeded $29.6 million.

Cynthia A. Bradford, M.D.

Cynthia A. Bradford, M.D., Begins Term as 2017 President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology


A Dean McGee Eye Institute physician is the newest president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons.
Cynthia A. Bradford, M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City began her term as the 121st president of the Academy on Jan. 1. She was elected by the Academy’s community of ophthalmologists in recognition of her longstanding commitment to quality patient care.
More than 90 percent of the nation’s ophthalmologists are members of the Academy. Its mission is to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, as well as to serve as a leader for ophthalmic education and for advancing the profession of ophthalmology.
Dr. Bradford has served the Academy in a variety of capacities though the years. Her work on behalf of her profession spans clinical education, advocacy, and patient care. As president, she will lead efforts to enhance the care ophthalmologists provide to patients with a focus on physician wellness initiatives.
“The practice of medicine is a rewarding, yet challenging career,” said Dr. Bradford. “The changing health care environment places tremendous administrative burdens on physicians. We need strategies to keep ophthalmologists and the broader medical community, happy, healthy and productive.”
Before serving as president-elect in 2016, Dr. Bradford was a member of the Academy Board of Trustees, serving as senior secretary for advocacy from 2009-14. Bradford served in a number of other leadership roles within Academy including as secretary for state affairs from 2004-08; and as a member of the Interspecialty Education Committee, the Basic and Clinical Science Committee and the Federal Health Manpower Task Force.
As a practicing ophthalmologist and surgeon at Dean McGee, Dr. Bradford’s clinical focus is cataract and intraocular lens implant surgery. She also is a professor of ophthalmology in the department of ophthalmology, at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
A graduate of Texas A&M University, Bradford earned her medical degree with high honors from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She completed her ophthalmology training at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.

0 810

Oklahoma lowered its preterm birth rate by at least 8 percent since 2010, giving more babies a healthy start in life and earning it the March of Dimes Virginia Apgar Prematurity Campaign Leadership Award. The state’s preterm birth rate dropped to 10.3 percent in 2015, down from 11.2 percent in 2010.
Preterm birth is the number one killer of babies. Babies who survive an early birth often have lifelong health problems such as cerebral palsy, vision and hearing loss, and intellectual disabilities. Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the Institute of Medicine.
The Virginia Apgar Award is given to recognize states that accepted and met a challenge from the March of Dimes and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to lower their preterm birth rates at least 8 percent between 2010 and 2015. The award is named in honor of Virginia Apgar, MD, who developed the five-point APGAR score to evaluate an infant’s health at birth, and who served as vice president for medical affairs of the March of Dimes.
“This award is a reflection of the effort and dedication of health care providers of maternal and newborn care, along with public health and health care organizations throughout our state,” said Dr. Terry Cline, Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner and Health and Human Services Cabinet Secretary.
“We congratulate Oklahoma on the work they have done to give babies a fighting chance,” said Dr. Mary Anne McCaffree, Neonatologist, The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center and Chair of the March of Dimes Maternal Child Health Committee and Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan Child Health Group. “We know we still have work to do, but Oklahoma’s progress is encouraging and because of efforts such as this, one day every baby may get a healthy start in life.”
“This progress shows that when infant health becomes a leadership priority, significant progress is possible and families and babies benefit,” said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, March of Dimes Senior Vice President, Maternal and Child Health Programs and Deputy Medical Officer.
The March of Dimes says progress in preterm birth rates came through bold leadership and the implementation of programs and policies by state and local health departments, hospitals and health care providers, as well as a more accurate method of measuring pregnancy length recently adopted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
Successful efforts by the March of Dimes and Preparing for a Lifetime initiatives to eliminate early elective (non-medically indicated) deliveries through Oklahoma’s Every Week Counts collaborative was able to achieve a 96 percent decrease in early elective deliveries. Additionally, Oklahoma has created tools to make progesterone, a medication that can decrease the rate of preterm birth in some high-risk women easier to prescribe and access for these high-risk women. Other interventions including reducing tobacco use among pregnant women; and encouraging women to not get pregnant again until at least 18 months after giving birth (birth spacing). These initiatives are currently in place to decrease Oklahoma’s overall infant mortality and preterm birth rates– ultimately improving the health of moms and babies in our state.
March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For the latest resources and health information, visit our websites marchofdimes.org and nacersano.org. If you have been affected by prematurity or birth defects, visit our shareyourstory.org community to find comfort and support. For detailed national, state and local perinatal statistics, visit persistats.org. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.