Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD

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Angelie Sales, LPN is the Assisted Living Manager at Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond, OK. She has always had a desire to help others in any way that she can, making a difference in people’s lives

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Touchmark is the premier retirement community in north Edmond. We offer elegant independent and assisted living with a person centered Memory Care! The three-story Grandview offers more than 100 apartments. Phase I includes underground parking, a storm shelter, a variety of dining options, housekeeping services, scheduled transportation, bistro, beauty and barber salon, billiard and game room, fitness center, library, multipurpose room, and chapel. The Parkview neighborhood features 56 single-family homes, varying in size from 1,600 square feet to more than 2,000.
We have a national award winning Life Enrichment program which keeps plenty of entertaining options for our residents. It has been said our community feels like a lovely hotel and cruise ship on land. -Touchmark at Coffee Creek-
With an outgoing and bubbly personality showing is Angelie Sales, LPN, and Assistant Living Manager at Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond, OK. Angelie Sales became a nurse to make a difference in people’s lives. “Touchmark’s mission is to enrich people’s lives. To work for a company that embodies the same values I uphold as a person is very important to me,” Angelie said.
Angelie grew up in Iloilo, Philippines. From there, she lived in Los Angeles and moved to Oklahoma in 2001. She attended Platt College and has been a nurse for ten years. “My nursing instructors were great mentors, and during my first years in nursing, I was lucky to have worked with excellent nurses. Even now, I am grateful for the nurses that I continue to work with.” she said.
Angelie’s first job was a private duty nurse. She has been at Touchmark at Coffee Creek for four years and four months. “I love my job here and can’t imagine being anywhere else,” she added.
“I have always had a desire to help others. My husband and I are ministry leaders for our church; as a family we help with feeding the homeless at downtown OKC every fourth Sunday of the month,” Angelie commented. “Feeding the hungry feeds the soul,” she added.
Asking what qualities make a good nurse, Angelie replied, “It’s important not just to care and implement a care-plan but also to have the ability to see a resident as a whole. As a nurse, I am very involved in some of life’s most difficult and delicate moments. Being able to be flexible by providing just the right amount of tenderness when giving care, with strong, sound, and reliable clinical judgment is vital.”
What is your biggest reward as a nurse? “Becoming a trusted member of the community that I work for. Residents and their families have come to know me and trust me,” Angelie answered.
What is your biggest challenge, “That would be separating work from home life. That is not so easy to do sometimes,” she said.
Asking Angelie to describe herself. “I am a very loyal and strong-willed. I am definitely a leader. When I set my mind on something, it is difficult to change my decision,” she said with a laugh. Angelie was also recognized as OKALA Nurse of the Year in 2017.
Angelie has been married to Carlo for twenty-two years. Her children, Marc and Roni also work at Touchmark as dining room servers. Her youngest, Charlize, volunteers at Touchmark.
Angelie’s hobbies include anything away from work! “I enjoy interior design, gardening and reading. I also love dogs!” she added.
If Angela were to give advice to someone going into the medical field, she would tell them, “Remain curious!” Daily words that can be heard throughout the day from Angelie while at work are, beautiful hands are those that do. And encouraging words from Angelie are, we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Currently, Angelie is in school at SNU, hopefully to get a degree in family studies and gerontology.
What is something that most people don’t know about Angelie? “The fact that I can climb a tree,” she laughed.
Summing up her life in one word is: EVOLVING.

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Lakeysha Royal, LPN enjoys her job at The Lakes Healthcare Community. Her smile reflects happiness as she gives TLC to the residents throughout the day.

by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer

The Lakes, is a leading facility for skilled nursing, rehab and long term care in Oklahoma City, OK. With proven quality outcomes for over 18 years, The Lakes offers care focused on each individual in today’s ever changing healthcare environment. Our multifaceted skilled nursing is the best option when transitioning from hospital to home, with outpatient therapy options to ensure continually of care. Our long term care services are overseen by physicians and 24-hour nursing, making it an optimum place to retire, with comforts from home. –The Lakes-
Just off of MacArthur and Britton, you will find The Lakes Healthcare Community; the perfect setting for a senior long-term care home, full of the utmost nurses and caregivers with plenty of tender loving care to give. One particular nurse is Lakeysha Royal, LPN. She has been a nurse for ten years. “I actually started out here at The Lakes, as an aide, thirteen years ago,” Lakeysha said. “When I was little, I was raised by my grandmother who was a nurse. I got to go with her to work sometimes and I watched as she took care of the patients. My grandmother supported me in everything I did and I feel like she is the main reason that I am a nurse today,” Lakeysha said. “I wanted to be a nurse just like my grandmother,” she added.
“I’ve had quite a few jobs working in home health. I also worked in drug detox, a methadone clinic, and worked for several home health agencies and ended up coming back to The Lakes about a year ago. This is my full time job Monday through Friday and I still work some nights in home health part-time,” Lakeisha said. “I love taking care of others,” she added.
Asking Lakeysha what her favorite part of her job is, she replied. “Well, my favorite thing to do is wound care. The reason I like wound care so much is the fact that I get to see the whole picture; from beginning to end. I get to see the healing process from start to finish. As strange as it sounds, I like wound care best of all,” she said with a laugh.
Lakeysha’s biggest asset is flexibility. “I have to have plenty of flexibility here at work. I have worked all of the floors, doing different jobs, whether it is caring for the patients, or passing medications. I will do what is needed to be done,” she said. “We strive for excellence and I am focused on doing my best.”
What qualities do you think make a good nurse? “I think a good nurse needs to be friendly, punctual, and empathetic. I am never too busy to stop and help a resident if they need me. I will drop everything to help them and that is how a nurse should be,” Lakeysha said.
Motivation comes easy for Lakeysha. “I love to be around the residents. It’s my job and I know they need me. I know that being a nurse was, and is my calling. I made the decision to become a nurse; I chose to work in the medical field and that is what motivates me every morning. I want to be the best nurse I can be,” Lakeysha commented.
“When I was in nursing school, I had quite a few mentors. It was the older nurses that helped me through the ups and downs. It was like the older women took me under their wing. To this day, that very first nurse that trained me is one of my best friends,” Lakeysha said with a smile.
Lakeysha stays busy at work but finds time for hiking and camping too, “I like all of the outdoorsy stuff and like spending time with my family. I have two kids, Alayna 17, and Marcus 14. Sometimes, they volunteer here at The Lakes with the activities. Alayna wants to be an architect and Marcus wants to be a firefighter. I want them to do what they want to do and keep after it. We also have a dog, a pit mix. He was a rescue dog and he is all white. We named him Zero due to the lack of colors.”
Asking Lakeysha to describe herself, she said, “I am a very charismatic person, fun-loving, and I am an open book; asking and answering any questions.”
Lakeysha’s favorite words to live by are: Care for others as you would like to be cared for.
Summing up Lakeysha’s life in one word: “That would definitely be,” Fulfilled.

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by Ali Johnson

It’s no secret that Oklahoma is facing a nursing shortage. The ratio of registered nurses in the state is 700 RNs per 100,000 people — far lower than the national average of 1,150 per 100,000. In spite of this, many nurses are still volunteering to help international communities. Encouraging nurses to volunteer abroad may seem counterintuitive, but doing so can actually be better for our local community. Volunteering internationally is an enriching experience that enables nurses to build skills, widen their horizons, boost their confidence, and work with inspiring people who are passionate about making a positive impact in the world.
How Nurses Benefit From International Volunteering
Because nursing is such an in-demand skill all over the world, nurses can make a significant impact in almost any community they work in. However, nurses also have plenty to gain from the volunteer experience. In many ways, volunteering abroad can equip nurses to be more effective when they return home.
The mental and emotional health benefits of volunteering have been well-documented. Volunteering can extend your lifetime, forge strong social bonds, ease depression, and gain new skills. Nurses who volunteer abroad, in particular, are able to sharpen their skills in situations that need them to think on their feet, especially when they volunteer in developing economies.
Volunteering in developing countries teaches nurses things they wouldn’t have been able to learn in a typical classroom or hospital. Working abroad may also expose nurses to illnesses and conditions uncommon in the United States, giving them new perspectives that may be assets when they return back home. Volunteer nurses have the opportunity to pick up medical techniques from local staff, as well as share their own expertise in return.
These nurses may end up working in challenging circumstances that may not be present at home, such as not having running water or enough medical supplies. Many of these nurses are given more autonomy than they would’ve had back home. Thus, these circumstances challenge nurses to develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills.
Raising Awareness, Empathy, And Confidence
There’s no doubt that doing volunteer work abroad looks great on the resume. It shows potential employers that you’re resourceful, hard-working, and courageous. But apart from gaining more skills, volunteering abroad also fosters empathy in nurses.
Many nurses who are not exposed to other cultures express feeling unable to provide culturally sensitive care. By volunteering abroad, nurses also become more aware of different cultural practices around the world, helping them become more sensitive and tolerant. Nurses who volunteer in countries that do not speak English are also able to better relate to the frustration of their non-English speaking patients back home.
Volunteering abroad also helps nurses become more confident in their own abilities, and helps them view their work in a new light. It gives nurses gratefulness for the abundant resources they have back home, tremendous respect for medical staff who work with limited tools, and a greater sense of fulfillment. In many ways, volunteering abroad can transform a career into a calling.

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Lacy Smith, a Texas native, considers herself a Cowboy for life. For her, choosing to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Oklahoma State University was an easy decision.

he online program, which launched in Fall 2017 and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), provides students with a convenient and flexible option to complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as one year. With this degree, graduates are qualified for leadership roles in a variety of healthcare environments.
Advancing and enriching her career is exactly what Smith plans to do after she walks across the stage with her diploma next fall. She currently works as a delivery/charge registered nurse (RN) for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at OU Children’s Hospital as well as a staff nurse at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital. After obtaining her BSN, Smith plans to apply for a master’s or doctoral program so she can become a pediatric nurse practitioner.
“My dream job is to be a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (CPNP-AC) as a cardiac intensivist, which means I’d care for infants and children following cardiac surgery,” Smith said. “I’ve always loved medicine. With nursing, I get to do it all. I never have the exact same day, and I love the challenge. I’m a caregiver at heart. I’ve always been most passionate about my patients and their families. I see them on their best and worst days, and I always want them to remember the care they received in a positive light, even in a bad situation.”
When Smith decided she wanted to complete her nursing degree so she could achieve her professional goals, it was important to find a program that accommodated her busy schedule. The full-time or part-time curriculum option offered at OSU was a huge selling point.
“The program is extremely flexible, which is necessary for someone like myself who has a husband, two jobs and no extra time,” Smith said.
In addition to flexibility, Smith sought an online learning experience that would be enhanced by personalized attention from qualified and invested faculty. That’s what she found in the OSU College of Education, Health and Aviation.
“The nursing faculty truly want to see students succeed, and they make themselves readily available to help,” Smith said. “This makes the whole experience.”
As most would attest, communication in an online program significantly impacts student satisfaction.
“Our faculty communicate extremely well, especially considering it’s an online program,” Smith said. “They offer a variety of ways to share information and foster relationships with our peers, which allows us to be successful. It’s easy to have a positive experience when you feel your efforts are not only noticed, but also celebrated.”
Ultimately, the mission of the RN to BSN program is to prepare nurses to practice professional nursing that meets the dynamic health care needs of individuals, families, groups, communities and global populations. Faculty facilitate the education of students in the art and science of nursing to provide leadership with an emphasis on ethics, wellness, cultural competency and population-based and professional inter-collaborative practice.
The OSU College of Education, Health and Aviation is proudly preparing leaders who power a better educated, healthier and more accessible world. Oklahoma State nursing graduates truly embody this through their passion, dedication and investment in providing the best possible care to patients and their families.
“There isn’t another profession like nursing,” Smith said. “My favorite nurses are caring and compassionate. We will do whatever it takes to help our patients be successful.”
Applications for the BSN program for Summer or Fall 2019 are now open. Interested students can review admission and pre-requisite requirements and apply online at nursing.okstate.edu.


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Tamara Kear, PhD, RN, CNS, CNN, the new executive director of the ANNA.

Respected nephrology nursing leader Tamara Kear, PhD, RN, CNS, CNN, of Doylestown, PA, has been hired by Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc. (AJJ, Inc.), a national health care association management, marketing, communications, and publishing firm, as the new executive director of the American Nephrology Nursing Association (ANNA).
Dr. Kear, who is currently ANNA’s president, will step into her new position at AJJ, Inc. on January 1, 2020, and will work with the ANNA Board of Directors to oversee all operations and strategic planning for the 8,300-member organization.
Lillian Pryor, MSN, RN, CNN, who was elected by ANNA members in December 2018 as president-elect, will assume the role of president for a 15-month term.
ANNA’s Interim Executive Director (ED) Lou Ann Leary was appointed this past January by AJJ, Inc. to work with the ANNA Board to steer the daily operations of the association. Leary will remain in the ED role until Dr. Kear assumes the spot next year.
AJJ, Inc. provides full-service management services to ANNA and is one of the country’s leading firms specializing in nursing and health care association management. The company is headquartered in Pitman, NJ.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Dr. Tamara Kear to Anthony J. Jannetti, Inc.,” AJJ, Inc. Chairman Tony Jannetti said. “Her experience, vision, and proven leadership will be tremendous assets as she joins our team to provide association management services to ANNA.”
Dr. Kear has been an active member of ANNA for nearly 30 years. She started her service to the association in the early 1990s as a member and chair of the Distance Learning Committee. Over the last decade, she has served in a broad number of roles including ANNA National Director, Research Committee Member and Chairperson, ANNA Education Committee Member, and Nephrology Nursing Journal Editorial Board. Dr. Kear also represented ANNA on two prestigious committees: The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Foundation’s Making Dialysis Safer Stakeholders Committee, and the Renal Physicians Association’s Patient Safety Committee.
In addition to her leadership roles, Dr. Kear has devoted much of her career to groundbreaking research to advance nephrology nursing and patient care. Her latest and most influential studies conducted with NNJ Editor Beth Ulrich, EdD, RN, FACHE, FAAN, are: “The Health and Safety of Nephrology Nurses and the Environments in Which They Work: Important for Nurses, Patients, and Organizations,” (2018); and “Patient Safety Culture in Nephrology Nurse Practice Settings: Initial Findings,” (2014).
Dr. Kear is currently employed at Villanova University, Villanova, PA, as associate professor, and holds a joint appointment at Main Line Health as the system’s nursing research consultant. She plans to continue to teach at Villanova as an adjunct faculty member after assuming the executive director role.
As ANNA Executive Director, Dr. Kear will work directly with the ANNA Board to further the association’s vision, mission, objectives, and policies. She will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of ANNA operations, overseeing the national office staff and ANNA’s consultants, and managing budgets, programs and services.
“I’m fully invested in using my leadership, research, administrative, education, clinical, and association management experience from an internship at the National League for Nursing to move ANNA forward,” Dr. Kear said. “I look forward to collaborating with our current and future members, the Board of Directors, our industry partners, and the overall nursing and nephrology communities.”
Dr. Kear said she was grateful to Pryor for stepping into the president role a few months early.
“It’s truly a privilege to contribute to ANNA as its president, and I know the association will benefit from Lillian’s extra months of service,” Dr. Kear said. “I’m looking forward to working with her and the ANNA Board to provide the best possible resources, education, and new opportunities to our members.”
Pryor’s Contributions to ANNA and Upcoming Role as President
Pryor, who is also a longtime dedicated ANNA leader, has served the association since 1990 in roles that include ANNA President-Elect, ANNA Director, ANNA Awards & Scholarships Committee Chairperson, ANNA representative to the Kidney Health Initiative Patient Preference Task Force, and Nephrology Nursing Journal author and peer reviewer.
She is an active member of the ANNA Dogwood Chapter in Georgia and has served the chapter as both its president and health policy representative. Pryor is currently employed at the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, GA, and she resides in Lawrenceville, GA.
As president, Pryor will lead the ANNA Board in upholding the association’s mission and vision and in implementing its strategic plan. She will help guide daily operations and will be the Board’s liaison to ANNA committees and task forces.
“It’s an honor to serve as ANNA President and I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to assume the role a little sooner,” Pryor said. “I’m excited to work with Tammie as the new executive director and I look forward to helping guide the efforts of such a wonderful organization.”
To learn more about ANNA, its leaders, and the nephrology nursing specialty, visit www.annanurse.org.

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Among all major cancers, pancreatic cancer has the highest rate of death – 93 percent of patients die within five years of diagnosis.
Treating the disease is difficult not only because the tumors spread quickly, but because of a muscle-wasting condition called cachexia that affects at least 80 percent of people with pancreatic cancer. However, a team of researchers from the OU College of Medicine has published a groundbreaking research study that reveals how cachexia is triggered, setting the stage for further studies on how to prevent it. The research was recently featured in the journal Gastroenterology, the leading publication in GI tract disease.
“Pancreatic cancer is a very tough disease, and novel therapies like treating cachexia are the only way we’re going to make progress because the traditional approach of trying to destroy the tumor isn’t enough,” said Courtney Houchen, M.D., a senior author on the study.
Although cachexia can occur in several types of cancers, it is especially prevalent in pancreatic cancer. Patients with cachexia experience a dramatic loss of muscle mass, usually accompanied by loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue. Because cachexia takes such a toll on patients with pancreatic cancer, many cannot withstand surgery and they respond poorly to chemotherapy and radiation.
OU College of Medicine researchers set out to learn more about why cachexia occurs, in order to give patients the best chance at fighting pancreatic cancer. The team focused on a protein called ZIP4, which they already knew is excessive in pancreatic cancer. In the new study, researchers discovered that ZIP4 is at the center of a communication that occurs between pancreatic cancer cells and muscle cells. During that communication, ZIP4 prompts the cancer cells to release two specific types of molecules and even sparks the opening of a pathway for their journey to the muscles. ZIP4 also does the equivalent of hailing a cab for the molecules – called an exosome — which ferries them to the muscle cells, where they prompt cachexia to begin.
“We think this discovery is significant because of its potential to be translated into a therapy for patients. If we can find a way to inhibit ZIP4, we hope to intervene much earlier with cachexia and help more patients become able to undergo surgery, when they previously would have been too weak. That also means they would respond better to chemotherapy and radiation, which would also increase the survival rate,” said Min Li, Ph.D., another lead author on the study, who holds the Virginia Kerley Cade Endowed Chair in Cancer Treatment.
The OU College of Medicine research team, which includes both scientists and medical doctors from the Department of Medicine, leverages that collaboration for a quicker conversion of a laboratory finding into a patient treatment. Their next steps are to further study ZIP4 and to search for a way to hinder its role in triggering cachexia.
“The way we have traditionally looked at cancer is that if you can just kill the cancer cells, then people will get better. But that’s not realistic – we have to address complications like cachexia to help people survive,” Houchen said. “Now we have the opportunity to look at potential targets for overcoming cachexia, which may then improve the treatment of pancreatic cancer and its devastating consequences.”

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SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City has been named a finalist for the 2019 QUEST® Award for High-value Healthcare by Premier Inc., a leading healthcare improvement company, for providing outstanding patient care as a non-teaching =175 beds hospital.
SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital was named a finalist for achieving high rates of performance among its non-teaching =175 beds hospital peer group in Premier’s QUEST 2020 collaborative for mortality, readmissions, affordability and safety.
The hospital was honored during the QUEST National Meeting taking place prior to Premier’s annual Breakthroughs Conference and Exhibition on June 18, 2019.
“Being named a finalist for the QUEST Award reinforces our commitment to reliably deliver the best care experience to the patients we serve,” said Tammy Powell, President, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital. “We’re on a continued path of improving patient outcomes and community health, furthering our Mission – Through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God.”
“QUEST facilities are setting new standards of clinical excellence nationwide,” said Seth Edwards, Vice President of Engagement and Delivery for Premier. “Together, they have worked to outperform in healthcare. Premier congratulates SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City for their fantastic achievements.”
A recipient of The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum’s 2015 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award, QUEST was launched in 2008 to help health systems reliably deliver the most efficient, effective and caring experience for every patient, every single time. Building on the legacy of QUEST, QUEST 2020 was launched in January 2017 to extend beyond hospital walls to provide compliance, improvement and specialized support for health systems to thrive in today’s healthcare economy. QUEST 2020 members have outperformed their peers by 23 percent in the CMS Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program and by 29 percent in Value-Based Purchasing Program.
The peer group improvement category is designed to recognize QUEST 2020 top performing hospitals based on size, patient mix and academic status. Each QUEST 2020 member was grouped into one of six categories: critical access hospital (CAH), academic, Teaching, Teaching, Non-Teaching and Non-Teaching. A top performer in each of the six peer groups was named a winner of the QUEST Award in their specific peer group category.
Premier Inc. is a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 165,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare. With integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services, Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost. www.premierinc.com.