Health news and issues in the Ozarks.


CoxHealth is adding a new layer of security for patients.  It’s implementing palm vein scanning technology at its hospitals and clinics over the next few months.

Under the system, imprivata PatientSecure, A biometric palm vein scanner uses a near-infrared light wave to capture the vein pattern in a patient’s palm. The scan produces a unique biometric template that is a digital representation of the patient’s unique vein pattern, according to imprivata.

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Anyone who goes in for surgery at CoxHealth will get some extra education about pain management and how to dispose of unused pain medication, including opioids. 

According to Joel Daniel, system medication safety pharmacist at CoxHealth, opioid medications are an effective and appropriate way to manage pain but only if used as directed.

"We want to make sure that medications are taken as prescribed and only for as long as we need," Daniel said.


There’s about a one in 15,000 chance that a student athlete will experience sudden cardiac death.  For African-American men, the chance can be even greater:  as high as one in 7,000, according to Dr. Shannons Woods, medical director of sports medicine at CoxHealth.

That’s why CoxHealth decided to add EKGs to its sports physicals for college athletes. 

"The scary thing about sudden cardiac death is only 15 percent of the time does somebody have a symptom prior to dying.  So, the vast majority of cases, the first symptom is death," said Woods. 

Cox Health South
Chloe O'Neill / KSMU

Free mammogram screenings are now available to women of the Ozarks who don’t have insurance for that procedure.

Women who are uninsured or underinsured can receive a free mammogram screening, thanks to a partnership between CoxHealth and the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.

Susan Smith is a manager in the Breast Care Center at CoxHealth.


A new partnership in Springfield will train students for careers as emergency medical technicians or paramedics.

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program at Ozarks Technical Community College was dedicated Thursday.  The program, co-sponsored by CoxHealth and Mercy, not only trains students for careers as EMT’s and paramedics, it also provides continuing education for those who already work in the field.