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Assisted living is an extension of family for Marci Simmons, RN, director of nursing at Redhaven Care Homes. She enjoys providing a safe and non-institutionalized environment.

Redhaven Care Homes offer new approach to assisted living

by James Coburn
Staff Writer

A sense of place and community brought Marci Simmons to work at Redhaven Care Homes in Oklahoma City where she serves as director of nursing.
She thinks she has much in common with John Wilson, administrator and owner of the assisted living center (AL).
She didn’t recognize the 5,000-square-foot Redhaven home when she first tried to find the address. That is because it is seamlessly part of a beautiful neighborhood.
“My GPS brought me into this neighborhood,” Simmons said. “I called and said, ‘I think something is off. I think I’m lost,’” said Simmons. “But I was at the right place. So when I walked in and I saw this, I was hooked.”
“We just felt that the large conglomerate ALs were something that maybe not all the seniors in Oklahoma were accustomed to,” John Wilson said. “They are accustomed to living in a house and want to continue to be part of a community by living in a house.”
His goal is like many assisted living centers want to achieve by being home-like, he said. And, Redhaven is a home in a residential neighborhood. Wilson said the senior population through the years has been segregated by being forced into commercially zoned, essentially large warehouse environments. But many seniors would like to maintain living in a community setting, he said.
“We want to bring that back to our seniors to continue living and thriving in a community setting,” Wilson said.
The first Redhaven home has opened in a friendly and established neighborhood in northwest Oklahoma City. A second Redhaven home is being prepared to open two doors down.
A Redhaven home can have eight to 10 people living there and couples live there as well.
The amenities include anything you would expect in a modern upscale home. The home is fully sprinkled with constant fire monitoring and call alert systems. Residents may ask for assistance when they need assistance, Wilson said. Three meals and snacks are provided during the day in a family dining atmosphere.
“We also have a convection oven and a stove. You can essentially put your hand on there and it’s not going to burn you,” he said. “And so it’s really good for them if we want to do cooking activities. If they want to be involved in cooking, we can do those things. That could be very difficult in another community because you’re in fear of fires; you’re in fear of somebody getting burned.
There is an around-the-clock nursing staff with nursing aides or a universal worker that can help manage the residents’ needs throughout the day. Simmons is present or on-call to oversee the staff.
“Our caregivers can provide assistance with bathing and dressing — things like that. They will also be able to do the cooking, the activities, the cleaning and laundry,” she said.
Simmons has been a registered nurse since 2002 when she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University. She has worked in assisted living ever since. Simmons has also had her administrator’s license since 2005. She has worked as the administrator and RN for another facility for the last nine years.
She became involved in caring for seniors because her father was in the business. She also wanted to take care of her grandparents. So as soon as she became involved in assisted living, she knew it was a life-long career.
She always knew she was going into the medical field, Simmons said.
“I have that passion for it. It’s not a job for me. It’s a ministry and it’s where I will always be,” Simmons said. Simmons said she loves the excitement of something new and different, which is what Redhaven is.
“They are bringing something that has not been done and it’s special for seniors,” she said. “I am very big on making it feel like a family. Even when I was at a large facility center, I called it my family. In this atmosphere, it will truly feel like a family for everybody. I love that. It makes me very excited. I feel that way with my employees. I think our residents will feel that way with the caregivers that we have.”

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by Vickie Jenkins

Instead of showcasing a more traditional talent in the Miss America pageant 2015, Miss Colorado’s Kelley Johnson, donned in scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck spoke about her nursing career. The words to the monologue were very touching. What a wonderful example of a nurse.
Although, Johnson’s talent didn’t go over so well with the ladies from ABC’s T.V. show, The View, co-host Joy Behar told the viewers Miss Colorado basically ‘read her emails out loud.’ During the show, the question was raised as to why Johnson was wearing a doctor’s stethoscope, with her uniform.
Here is Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson’s monologue from the Miss America Pageant 2015.
“Every nurse has a patient that reminds them of why they became a nurse in the first place. Mine was Joe. Joe was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. He had moments with and moments without his memory but the hardest part about being in the condition for Joe were his nightmares. He would wake up in the middle of the night screaming absolute bloody murder but if I just went in there and held his hands for a few moments, I could usually get him to calm down, but then he wanted to talk. He would ask me if I could change his treatments and I’d say, no Joe, I can’t, I’m just a nurse. Well, what about my medications, can you fix those? And I’d say, no Joe, I can’t, I’m just a nurse. But because I couldn’t do those things for Joe, we connected on other levels. He would ask about volleyball and we would talk about his grandbabies and he would tease me about being the only nurse on the unit that could reach the gauze on the top shelf. It was a lot of laughs with Joe, but then one night everything changed. I found him in his room crying and I went over to him and lifted his head up out of his hands and I said, “Joe, I know that this is really hard but you are not defined by this disease. You are not just Alzheimer’s. You are still Joe, and he looked right back at me almost to look through me, and said, Nurse Kelley, then the same thing goes for you. Although you say it all the time, you are not just a nurse, you are my nurse and you have changed my life because you have cared about me. And that’s when it hit me, patients are people with family and friends. And I don’t want to be a nurse that ever pretends. Because you are not a room number or a diagnosis when you are in the hospital. You’re a person, very first and Joe reminded me that I’m a life saver and I’m never going to be just a nurse.”
Results of The View’s backlash over the comments caused 5 sponsors to pull their advertising from the T.V. show. Results of Kelley Johnson’s monologue given during the Miss American Pageant 2015? Priceless.
If you would like to share your opinion on what a nurse is, send your comments to Vickie to hevn_writer@cox.net to be printed in a future issue of Nursing Times. First name and place of employment please.

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Tolly Miller, LPN, enjoys working at Baptist Village, a place where there is room to grow in one’s career.

by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

Tolly Miller leaves Baptist Village every day with a smile she said.
“I want to make sure I’ve done everything I can do to please not only just the guests and the residents here, but also the family members, said Miller, LPN.
She has set her course at Baptist Village in Oklahoma City.
The 2009 graduate of Platt College in Oklahoma City is currently attending OSU/OKC to earn her administrator’s license. She is getting ready to take a test so that she can be an assisted living administrator. Her goal is to become the administrator of assisted living when the need comes.
“Hopefully I’m here. That’s the goal — to take everything I’ve learned as I continue to follow administrator Michelle Billings. I’ll take it and use it to make this place even stronger,” she said. “And encourage everyone else to continue to go further in their education.”
People grow in their careers at Baptist Village. Billings was once director of nursing there.
“I actually sat in Michelle’s office,” Miller said. “And I said, ‘You know I want you to help me. Guide me through the process because I’m trying to be you later on.’ Eventually, she’s going to have the reward. And there’s going to be someone here who knows the ins and out of health care and how this facility is run.”
Miller began her quest in health care as a CNA. She has also been involved in oncology nursing. Nursing is about caring about people, she said.
Miller has cared for the residents’ needs at Baptist Village for five years. And she appreciates that they have been a loving community in return.
“I love geriatrics. I love nursing. I love being able to help someone,” said Miller, skilled coordinator and case management. “Plus, you really get to familiarize with the people here. You get to know their families and you also get to know your coworkers.
“This truly is family when you’re a long ways from home.”
Her day commences in the morning when she goes to her office to check to see if she has messages from the staff or family members.
“I have to deal with a lot of their discharging and their planning,” she said. “So in case if they have to transfer into assisted living or long-term care facilities, I assist them with placement and making sure to make their life easier.”
Change takes on additional meaning as we age. So Miller never wants any of Baptist Village residents to feel as if their independence has been taken away, she said.
“I just look at it as stability so they can continue to live and not have to do as much work,” she said.
Teamwork is what she admires about the staff she works with at Baptist Village. Each person’s job plays a big role. Miller said they have her back whenever needed.
“Just a few minutes ago, I was like, ‘Hey, can you call to make sure this person’s equipment is taken care of?’. I had someone getting on the phone,” Miller explained.
She loves caring for people and doing whatever it takes to make them happy. Miller feels that God has placed her in the position she wants to live in professionally, said Miller, who has worked in all areas pertaining to Baptist Village. Miller has worked in long-term care and skilled nursing, memory care and in case management.
When not working at Baptist Village, Miller speaks at different churches. It may be a women’s program or a church service. Miller is always willing to do a lot of motivational speaking.
“I am very content that I’ve achieved something when I leave here,” Miller said.
Miller has a few nurses in her family. She was in the Air Force before becoming a nurse.
Sometimes her phone rings when she’s away from work. She will make sure that she’s available to work when needed so that the residents will be cared for as they deserve, she said.
Baptist Village is a friendly community of prayer, she said. They always ask during staff meeting if there is anybody who needs prayer, spoken or unspoken, for the staff and the residents.
“This building is new,” she said. “It’s probably the style that makes this place a little different. When it comes down to the residents or guests, we focus more on a restaurant style meal instead of just having set stuff. We have something special for that day. But they can order anything they want from a menu.” Nutrition is key at Baptist Village, she said.
“We want them to feel like they’re home away from home.”

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What is your biggest pet peeve? Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

“My biggest pet peeve is  bad, slow drivers.” Jorgie Lusty, RN, Immunization

“When people don’t call me back.” Jessica Deaton, RN, Care Manager

“I do not like to be ignored.  If you hear me, please respond verbally or non-verbally!” LOL Achton Pennon, LPN

“When people lie to me and they know they are lying to me.” Autumn Calfe, LPN

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Q. I frequently hear people make the statement, “this job is killing me” but I have never really taken it seriously until I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. It is true, the stress of our jobs can really kill us if we are not careful. Am I the only one who finally gets it?


A. Thankfully you are not the only one who gets it but I think it is safe to say you are in the minority.
When my daughter was two years old (she is now 29) I became an assistant head nurse for an inpatient 50 bed psychiatric unit. I was in excellent health. (It is important to remember this).
After one year, I became the head nurse. I was tired and feeling more stress but still overall very healthy. I remember as an assistant, when I would walk into management meetings, I couldn’t help but notice the signs of stress on the faces and bodies of my co-workers. I remember thinking, “I don’t want to look like them.”
My stress was greatly amplified in my elevated position. A department head came with extraordinary responsibilities coupled with never ending demands. It was really impossible to do everything required of me.
I started noticing that my hands and feet were often blue or purple when I was cold. My joints were often painful. I had this weird rash across my nose and cheeks. My fatigue was unmeasurable. But I kept going.
One day my director of nursing said I absolutely had to go to the doctor, so reluctantly I made an appointment. What happened next, defined the rest of my life.
My doctor assessed me and ordered lab. He said based on my physical symptoms I might have Lupus. My blue hands/feet, possibly Raynaud’s phenomenon. The lab was negative for Lupus (thank goodness) but he said I had dangerous levels of stress. So here was his prescription:
1. Do not take work home. 2. Do not come in early. 3. Do not stay late
He wrote this on his prescription pad. I thought it might be a prescription for a drug to calm my anxiety or ease my depression. AND he said if I didn’t deal with my stress better, I WOULD DIE AND SOMEONE ELSE WOULD RAISE MY DAUGHTER!!!!
When I showed the prescription to my DON, she just smiled. Since I never took Mindreading 101 I assumed she was thinking, “not if you want to stay in management.”
I quit that job 3 months later and never looked back. There is no job worth dying for, NO JOB!!!!!

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com

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A EEG cap with dozens of tiny sensors, worn by babies as they navigate with the SIPPC 3, helps University of Oklahoma researchers study real-time activity in babies’ brains.

Robotic device designed to help babies with disabilities make physical and developmental gains

A University of Oklahoma researcher dreamed of a device to help babies with disabilities crawl. Now, that dream is a reality and one of only 13 inventions showcased at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.
It’s an innovation like no other. The Self-Initiated Prone Powered Crawler, the brainchild of researcher Thubi Kolobi, Ph.D. of the OU Health Sciences Center, was given robotic life by a colleague at Virginia Commonwealth University and computer scientists as well as engineers on OU’s Norman campus.
Commonly known by its acronym SIPPC (“sip-see”), the device marries technology with a baby’s innate desire to move and explore his or her environment. It listens to subtle cues from babies with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, allowing them movement that would not be possible otherwise.
“The SIPPC is not just an instrument. It is an interactive device with movement initiated by the baby. It is the baby and the device working together that make the SIPPC system. This makes it not only innovative, but one of a kind,” said Thubi Kolobe, Ph.D., Jill Pitman Jones Professor of Physical Therapy in the OU College of Allied Health’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences.
OU’s Office of Technology Development, working with VCU, has secured a jointly-held patent on the second iteration of the SIPPC, also called SIPPC 2.
In the meantime, computer scientists and engineers at OU Norman work to advance the next generation of the device — one that is even more responsive to the baby’s movements and that provides important new insights into brain function of babies while utilizing the SIPPC.
“The selection of this device to be a part of this important national event honors the dedication of OU researchers to help improve the lives of children at risk for disabilities and those living with them, “ said David L. Boren, president, the University of Oklahoma. “It also underlines the importance of the patent and intellectual property systems in supporting both invention and innovation, as we work to move new devices and treatments more quickly to those who need them.”
The public will got hands-on exposure to the SIPPC 2 at the Smithsonian’s Innovation Festival, Sept. 26th and 27th, in Washington D.C.
“We are very proud of this research,” said Dr. Jason Sanders, interim senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center. “Innovation is a big part of America’s story. This Smithsonian event provides a unique opportunity for the public to discover inventions and to meet those, like Dr. Kolobe, whose dreams and designs have created new innovations that ultimately may change or enhance lives.”


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REGISTERATION IS OPEN – 2015 OUMS PALLIATIVE CARE SUMMIT Thursday, November 5, 2015 FROM 0800 to 1630
Samis Education CenterExperts will be speaking on current issues and trends in Palliative Care and End of Life Care for Adults and Pediatrics. Keynote Speakers are Dr. Carole Kenner and Dr. Porter Storey and topics will include Integrated Care and Communication in Pediatric Palliative Care, Withdrawal of care in critically ill children, Sibling communication, Dyspnea in advanced disease, Advanced Directives/DNR/Power of Attorney/ POLST and Care of the caregiver.
Continuing Education credits will be available to Nurses, Social Workers, and Respiratory Therapists. More information and registration available at: https://www.oumedicine.com/oumedicalcenter/2015-palliative-care-summit.
Registration Deadline is October 22, 2015 and the event is free to attend. lunch will be provided. No registration accepted at the conference with no partial attendance.
Presenters and planners have no commercial support or sponsorship to disclose and Continuing Nursing Education Activity of 5.5 contact hours was provided by OU Medical System. OU MEDICAL System is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Western Multi-State Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Attendance at the entire offering and completion of the evaluation is required to receive continuing nursing education credits.

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Scientist Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation $1.1 million to expand on an existing study into sarcoidosis, a rare immune disease that predominantly affects African Americans.
In 2012, OMRF scientist Courtney Montgomery, Ph.D., received a five-year, $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to research sarcoidosis. With this additional funding, her research team will be able to conduct additional genetic testing to better understand the roots of the disease, which led to the deaths of actor-comedian Bernie Mac and NFL Hall of Fame defensive lineman Reggie White.
In sarcoidosis, cells in the immune system that cause inflammation overreact and cluster together to form tiny lumps called granulomas. If too many of these granulomas form in a single organ, this can cause the organ to malfunction or even fail.
“Granulomas, which are essentially little tumors, can form in the eyes, liver, skin, lungs, brain, or almost anywhere in the body,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery said sarcoidosis strikes 39 in 100,000 African Americans, versus only 5 in 100,000 Caucasians. A recent study showed that the mortality rate, particularly among women, is climbing close to 7 percent.
“It affects African Americans both more frequently and more severely than it does other groups,” she said. “We set out to investigate the genetics of sarcoidosis in a large group of African-American patients and their family members, including healthy controls.”
With the new funding, Montgomery will sequence the entire genomes of 615 African Americans to look for genetic markers, or predictors, of the disease.
By examining the entire human genome, said Montgomery, scientists will be able to assemble a comprehensive picture of genetic variation. “Even though we are all human and share a huge amount of our DNA, we all have something a little bit different. So when we can look at every single piece of DNA in a group of sarcoidosis patients and compare it to every piece of DNA from a group of healthy people, then we can better understand what is causing that disease.”
The funding for this study comes from grant No. R01 HL113326-04 from the NHLBI, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Lindsay A. Ewan, M.D.

Lindsay A. Ewan, M.D., an adolescent medicine physician, has established her practice with OU Children’s Physicians. She has also been named an assistant professor with the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
Adolescent medicine physicians provide comprehensive general health care to teenagers, including routine wellness checks, sports physicals and immunizations. Ewan also sees patients with concerns regarding eating disorders, reproductive health and mental health.
Ewan is board certified in pediatrics. She completed her fellowship in adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Ohio, and Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston. She completed her pediatrics residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She earned her medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, graduating cum laude.
Ewan is a member of the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine and American Academy of Pediatrics.
OU Children’s Physicians practice as part of OU Physicians, Oklahoma’s largest physician group. The group encompasses nearly every child and adult medical specialty.

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Andie MacDowell is the Featured Guest Speaker

It’s that time of year again… Time for the 29th annual INTEGRIS Women’s Health Forum! Get ready for two full weeks of INTEGRIS-hosted sessions on health, exercise, nutrition and the latest medical breakthroughs.
The series will run from Sunday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Oct. 24. Our keynote speaker this year will be Andie MacDowell. Her event will kick-off the forum at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., in Oklahoma City.
Andie MacDowell has established herself as an accomplished actress with worldwide recognition. MacDowell has been seen on the big screen in Footloose, Monte Carlo, the indie feature Mighty Fine and most recently in Magic Mike XXL.
On TV, MacDowell stars as Judge Olivia Lockhart in Hallmark’s first ever scripted series, Cedar Cove. Previously, she was featured on the ABC Family series Jane By Design and starred in the Lifetime original movies At Risk and The Front, both based on Patricia Cornwell crime novels.
Earlier movies she received notoriety for include the ever-popular St. Elmo’s Fire. MacDowell earned the worldwide title of No. 1 female box-office draw with her performance in the smash hit romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. She also starred in the classic Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. In other comedies, MacDowell continued to partner with top leading men including Michael Keaton in Multiplicity and John Travolta in Michael. She first received critical acclaim and accolades for her performance as a repressed young wife in Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape.
For her philanthropic work, MacDowell was presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Lander University and received an Honor of the Arts from Winthrop College. She continues to serve as an international spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris, a role she has held for 25 years.
Make reservations now to spend the evening with the classic Andie MacDowell!
Register early. This EVENT IS FREE, but space is limited and a ticket is required for admission.
Call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277 or toll free 888-951-2277 to register.
The INTEGRIS Women’s Health Forum has something for everyone. Topics address all ages and stages of your life, as well as the lives of your children and grandchildren. Many sessions will appeal to the men in your life too. We have a day dedicated just to them, INTEGRIS Men’s Health University, which will be held on Oct. 3 before the actual forum begins.
Other event topics include:
Actively Retired, Pelvic Pain, Cleanses and Detoxes, Girls Night Out, Heart Health, Can Hormones Make You Fat?, The Importance of Sleep, Vaccines, Breast Cancer, Living Fully with a Cancer Diagnosis, Knee Pain, Achy Legs, Pain Management, Bloated Bellies, Have Fun and Stay Young and Cut the C.R.A.P (Caffeine, refined sugar Alcohol and processed foods).
Wrapping up our two weeks, we have a day for seniors on Oct. 23 and an event designed especially for African American women, our ninth annual, on Oct. 24.
How to Register
Reservations are required for all events. Unless otherwise noted, events are free. Please provide the name, address, e-mail address and phone number of each guest.
To register, call the INTEGRIS HealthLine at 405-951-2277 or toll free 888-951-2277, and a representative will take your reservation. You may also register for most events online 24 hours a day at integrisok.com/whf.
Advance payment is necessary for events that require a fee, and it is due at the time of registration. INTEGRIS pays for a portion of all events to allow participants to be able to enjoy sessions for a minimal charge.
Payment can be may be made by credit card, or check mailed to:
3300 NW Expressway, # 001-7335
Oklahoma City, OK 73112