Health

Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

An annual event at CoxHealth allows kids to create items to make hospital stays easier for patients.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky stopped by to see what was going on.

One day each month from February through July volunteers gather in the Cox North Fountain Plaza Room to sew and stuff and braid and fill.  They make items that will be used by patients at CoxHealth.  There are fleece blankets, eye pillows, fluffy heart pillows and stuffed bears.

jasleen_kaur / Flickr

CoxHealth is planning to hire nurses from overseas.  The hospital cited “tremendous growth” and “an effort to keep up with the growing need for health care personnel” as reasons for the decision.

Karen Kramer, CoxHealth’s chief nursing officer said, in Branson last year inpatient admissions volume grew ten percent.  And emergency department admissions are up about the same amount system wide.

Dr. David Barbe
Mercy Springfield

An administrator for the Mercy health system has been named president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA).

Dr. David Barbe is currently vice president of regional operations for Mercy Springfield Communities. He oversees five regional, rural Mercy hospitals, 90 clinic practices and more than 200 physicians and advanced practitioners in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.

His selection by AMA members came earlier this week. Barbe will serve as president-elect through June 2017, after which he’ll assume the full role as president.

alexisnyal / Flickr

A heat advisory is in effect starting at noon today and going through tomorrow evening.  That means a period of hot temperatures is expected., and the heat and humidity could lead to heat illnesses, according to the National Weather Service.  It’s offering suggestions for staying safe including drinking plenty of fluids, staying in air conditioning and staying out of the sun if possible.  Check on relatives and neighbors.  If you have to work outside, take frequent breaks.

According to CoxHealth, common signs of heat-related illness are: 

File photo / US Department of Agriculture

A new report from the Food Research and Action Center shows a 13 percent decrease in the number of low-income children in Missouri receiving summer meals.

The study examined data from July 2015. It compares the number of children receiving summer meals to those receiving free or reduced-price lunches during the regular school year.
 

m01229 / Flickr

Going into combat or experiencing other traumatic incidents can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other issues.  A series of classes, which start tomorrow, is targeted at those at risk—military veterans and first responders.

Kerry Miller, volunteer coordinator at CoxHealth, said Wellness for Warriors will use things like yoga and relationship building to help people learn to cope with the changes they’ve experienced.

alexisnyal / Flickr

If you haven’t been checked for skin cancer in a while—or ever—and you think you might be at risk, you can sign up for a free screening this weekend.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky tells us more.

There are basically two types of skin cancer:  non-melanomas and melanomas.  Autumn Bragg, community oncology educator at CoxHealth, said non-melanomas often look like abrasions or pimples that won’t heal.

"Something that may bleed over and over again, something you've had for weeks.  Sometimes they can be like a raised, reddish patch that's itchy," she said.

Tatiana Vdb / Flickr

There’s an app for lots of things these days, and now CoxHealth is offering an app for expectant parents.

The health system’s BabyBeginnings smartphone app is being called “a one-stop source for medically-founded information from conception to birth and beyond.”

Dr. Staci Niemoth (NEE-muth), medical director of Women’s Services at CoxHealth, says expectant moms always have questions about the changes they’re experiencing, and this app gives them vetted information that’s available at the touch of a button.

Seattleye / Flickr

A new partnership between CoxHealth and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will make things easier for women with infertility issues.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

The new partnership is expected to reduce travel expenses and the amount of time away from work for women seeking treatment for infertility.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Cox College is celebrating its newest edition to assist its occupational therapy students with the opening of a new training facility.  

Cox Cottage, as it’s being called, is a roughly 900-square foot ADL (Activities of Daily Living) apartment unit inside Cox North that allow students to learn how to help patients with everyday skills such as cooking, vacuuming, eating, bathing and even sleeping.

Submitted Photo / MU Health

Effective Monday, Dr. Andrew J. Evans will head the Springfield Clinical Campus through the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine. Evans was recently named associate dean and chief academic officer for the program, which begins welcoming students in June. 

Dr. Linda Headrick, a professor of Medicine at MU, says Evans is uniquely positioned to lead the campus.

“He’s had a personal direct experience in all three of the partner organizations; The Missouri University School of Medicine, CoxHealth in Springfield, and Mercy Health System in Springfield.”

The Zika Virus and How it Could Affect You

Feb 3, 2016
Zika Virus
CDC

Talks of the Zika Virus continue to grow, with the World Health Organization declaring it a "public health emergency of international concern.” But what exactly is the Zika Virus?

Cindy Robertson, the Infection Prevention director at CoxHealth, explains.

“The Zika Virus is a single-stranded RNA virus. It is closely related to Dengue, Yellow Fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile Virus, and it is transmitted to humans by the Aedes species mosquito.”

St. Jude

A device that’s new in Springfield can help keep heart patients out of the hospital, and all they have to do is lie on a pillow for a few seconds once a day.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

CoxHealth is using a new procedure to monitor heart patients.  The method consists of a sensor that’s implanted in a patient’s pulmonary artery, which is located just outside the heart.

"And what that does is it literally senses the pressure, and we can therefore track changes of the pressure in the lungs," said Dr. Stephen Kuehn, cardiologist with CoxHealth. 

bostonscientific.com

Patients in southwest Missouri who suffer from atrial fibrillation now have another option when it comes to reducing their risk of stroke.  KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

A device called a Watchman, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the last year, is now being offered at CoxHealth.

The tiny device—just two to three centimeters—is implanted in the left atrial appendage and prevents clots from forming in the out pouch of the heart.

Healthcare.gov
Healthcare.gov

The federal health insurance Marketplace reopens for its annual enrollment period November 1. Austin Boyland, a certified application counselor with CoxHealth, says there are a number of new things you need to know about the process.

The Marketplace was established under the Affordable Care Act for those who don’t have access to coverage through their employer or can’t afford private insurance.

“The three top questions that we get: One being what is the penalty [if I don’t sign up], two when can I enroll, and three where can I get help?” Boyland says.

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