Health

Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

CoxHealth

CoxHealth and Children’s Miracle Network have introduced a new pediatric clinic on wheels.  The CARE Mobile offers care to kids two months to age 18. 

The CARE Mobile visits schools in the area and offers treatment of common illnesses, hearing and vision screenings and sports physicals.  It’s not meant to replace primary care, according to Cox in a news release.

The services are provided by board-certified CoxHealth nurse practitioners who work with local physicians serving as medical directors.

Community vaccination clinics that were to be held by CoxHealth over the weekend and Monday, February 22, had to be rescheduled.  There were weather-related vaccine shipment delays, according to CoxHealth.

All appointments scheduled for Saturday, February 20, have been rescheduled to Saturday, February 21, and those who had appointments for Monday, February 22, will get their shots Friday, February 26.

Those whose appointments had to be rescheduled will be contacted.

A clinic that was supposed to be held last Friday has been moved to Wednesday, February 25.

CoxHealth plans to start work soon on a new super clinic at Highway 65 and Battlefield Rd.

The 30,000-square-foot facility will offer urgent care, primary care and physical therapy and will have on-site radiology and lab services.

Ground is expected to be broken soon for the project, and the clinic is targeted for opening by the end of 2021.

Other CoxHealth super clinics have opened recently in Nixa, Ozark and Monett and one is currently being built in Republic.

Michele Skalicky

A new Cox Monett Hospital will open Friday, January 22, along Highway 60 on the east side of Monett.

The 100,000-square-foot facility replaces a hospital that was built in 1953.  It will offer a wide spectrum of care, according to CoxHealth, including surgery; labor and delivery; emergency care; radiology; and more.

The hospital contains 18 beds for medical-surgical patients, four critical care rooms and seven labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum (LDRP) rooms.

CoxHealth

Dr. Terrence Coulter is medical director for critical care at CoxHealth, and he's on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, treating the sickest patients.

The 52-year-old has three subspecialty board certifications:  Pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.  He followed in the footsteps of his father who was also a physician.

"And growing up I'd seen his enjoyment and satisfaction of his job, the challenges he faced, the joy he had of helping patients feel better and just kind of contributing to the communities," said Coulter.

Update:  Tracy Hill was one of two Mercy nurses to get the first coronavirus vaccines in Springfield on Monday.

Tracy Hill works in the COVID-19 unit at Mercy Springfield.  The 51-year-old fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse just 11 months ago after working at Mercy for more than three decades.

Why did you go into nursing?

Michele Skalicky

If you drive by Cox South, you might notice something new:  Colorful metal tulips have sprung up along Primrose Street.  Each of the metal tulips represents five COVID-19 patients who have been released.

Tulips are part of CoxHealth’s history.  Lester E. Cox, who played a large role in the health system’s survival and success in the 1940s and 1950s, brought tulip bulbs back from Amsterdam to plant at Cox North.  He wanted to give patients something colorful and hopeful to see out their windows.  And real tulips still bloom at Cox facilities each spring, continuing that legacy.

CoxHealth

CoxHealth plans to expand its COVID-19 ICU unit by 33 beds.  The unit, on the fifth floor of Cox South in Springfield, cares for the sickest of the COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized at CoxHealth.

Cox CEO Steve Edwards said in a news release he hopes they won’t need to use the extra beds, but they want to be ready in case they do.

CoxHealth

CoxHealth in Springfield is adding two new members to its Public Safety and Security team.  They are K-9 officers, Hugo and Ackley.  Both are registered German Shepherds.

They’ll be making patrols at Cox South and Cox North soon.  According to a news release, evidence shows K-9 officers “are effective tools to enhance safety and satisfaction in health care settings.” 

Mercy is using new methods to reach out to its patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 to ask them to consider becoming plasma donors.

The liquid portion of blood recovered from those patients, known as convalescent plasma, may contain antibodies, according to the Food and Drug Administration.  Those antibodies may help others as they’re fighting the virus.

Steve Edwards/Twitter

CoxHealth is making changes to its oxygen supply system because of increased demand by COVID-19 patients.

CoxHealth president and CEO Steve Edwards said, before COVID-19 patients started being admitted to Cox South, they would have their large tank filled by Praxair every 25 days or so.  "And now we've been refilling them every four to five days," said Edwards, "so, about six to seven times more oxygen than routine."

CoxHealth will host its first virtual career fair Tuesday, September 15.  CoxHealth senior recruiters will connect with interested applicants during the event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the health system. 

There are more than 600 openings right now in several departments, including Environmental Services, Patient Safety and School Care.  Jobs include both clinical and non-clinical roles.

Click here for more information.

xadrian / Flickr

When classes resume in Springfield Public Schools August 24, students will only go in-person two days a week because of the pandemic.  And some parents have opted to go to all virtual learning.  A local healthcare system is going to offer its employees a place where their kids can continue to learn while they go to work. 

CoxHealth’s Meyer Center will close its doors at the end of the business day Wednesday, August 12. And, when it reopens, it will be as a student care program for children of Cox employees.

With one week to go before Missouri’s primary election, faith and civic leaders gathered Tuesday in Springfield to urge voters to say “yes” to two ballot issues.  One would expand Medicaid in Missouri, and the other would impose a $5000 annual fee on new short-term loan businesses in the city of Springfield.

Leaders from Baptist, Methodist and non-denominational church groups said their faith compels them to act justly.  They said the working poor currently don’t have a way to pay for health care and that what they call “predatory lending” traps people in a cycle of debt.

CoxHealth

CoxHealth will open a new clinic in Harrison, Arkansas soon. The clinic will be its first outside Missouri. 

The standalone clinic will offer a range of services, according to CoxHealth, including primary care, management of chronic health conditions, sports physicals, preventative screenings and minor procedures.  It will be located at 715 W. Sherman and will be open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.

CoxHealth currently has more than 80 clinics in southwest Missouri. 

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