Health

Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

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Pediatric general surgery and pediatric urology are now part of CoxHealth's pediatric specialty programs.  The healthcare system added those areas in anticipation of the opening of the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital at Cox Medical Center South, according to a Cox news release.

The two new additions bring the total number of pediatric special programs at CoxHealth to eight, including cardiology, critical care, endocrinology, neurology, orthopedic surgery and pulmonology.

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Across Missouri healthcare policy is changing to include nondiscrimination protections to the LGBT community. That’s according to a 2014 Healthcare Equality Index report, which ranked Missouri 6th in the nation for hospitals qualifying as “Leaders in LGBT Health,” one year after coming in 36th place. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more on the changes in southwest Missouri.

The Wagner Family / March of Dimes

One out of every nine babies are born prematurely in the United States. Such births have risen by more than 36 percent over the last two decades, according to the March of Dimes (MOD). Yet experts are unsure why. As part of Prematurity Awareness Month, the MOD recently announced that the third of five facilities dedicated to prematurity research will be in Missouri.  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more on what this means for future parents.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

Exercise Class

You’re hearing the sounds of an aerobics class at Mercy Fitness Center.  One of the participants is Lois Smith.  She’s a huge advocate for exercise—in fact, she says it enters into almost every conversation she has with people.

She exercises five mornings a week—taking classes like Zumba and Get Up & Go—an aerobic dance class for seniors.

The 82-year-old is in great shape—and that’s partly because of something that happened years ago while she was snow skiing.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Behind the wheel of his BMW, James Thomas carefully manages the turns around Springfield’s Phelps Grove Park. There are more pedestrians out walking and biking today, he tells his passenger. And he beams as I ask him from the back seat about his former job; vice president of architecture and construction under the legendary John Q. Hammons. His last big job, he says, was overseeing the design and construction of Hammons Field.  

But this is more than just a typical leisurely car ride around the neighborhood.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Springfield Public Schools formally dedicated its Health Sciences Academy at Mercy Hospital Wednesday night. The new initiative offers a platform for eighth grade students to dive into the healthcare field.

Submitted photo / Cox Branson

Officials with Cox Branson are celebrating a multi-million dollar emergency department and critical care unit expansion. A ribbon cutting was held Friday morning, ahead of a community open house scheduled for this weekend.

The 60,000 square foot renovation, which is expected to be open to patients by the end of the month, marks the first phase of a $30 million project that began one year ago. Renovations to the facility’s interior are to be completed by the holidays, the hospital said in a press release.

Michael Cote / Flickr

A respiratory illness is sending hundreds of kids to hospitals in ten states, including Missouri.  While there have been no confirmed cases in Springfield, medical facilities here have been treating patients with similar symptoms.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

The illness that’s affecting children in the U.S. is suspected to be enterovirus D68.  While only a few cases have actually been confirmed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suspects that’s what’s causing the outbreaks in ten states.

Submitted photo / Cox Branson

Officials with Cox Medical Center Branson are preparing to showcase the $30 million expansion of its Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit.

The first phase of the 60,000 square foot complex is set to open to patients in late September, roughly a year after construction began. An open house is planned for later this month.

Michele Skalicky

CoxHealth employees were hard at work today, but they weren’t at the hospital.  They were donating their time and efforts to help spruce up a local elementary school as part of the United Way’s Day of Caring.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

York students have wanted a ball field for years.  And today they got it.  CoxHealth volunteers built a baseball diamond behind the school on W. Nichols during the United Way Day of Caring.  Lisa Alexander was busy shoveling gravel this morning but took a break to talk about the volunteer effort.

Leo Hidalgo / Flickr

As kids grow, they gain more and more independence.  But how do you know when it’s OK to let your child stay home alone?  A program next week will help you decide.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

In Charge at Home is set for next Tuesday night (8/12) from 6 to 8 at Cox South.  It focuses on how kids can make good choices when they’re home by themselves.  Denise Vaughan is a nurse educator at CoxHealth.  She says the classes are a good way for families to determine whether children are ready to stay home alone.

401 (K) 2013 / flickr

Several area non-profit organizations are receiving donations thanks to Mercy Springfield employees.  The grants come from Mercy Clinic’s Force for Good.  Twice each year Mercy clinic doctors and co-workers donate money to help a variety of local organizations. 

swmocounts.org

In this segment of the League of Women Voters' Making Democracy Work, Leslie Carrier talks with Kathryn Wall, public health information administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, about the new website, swmocounts.org, which serves as a community dashboard.

versustech.com

Some of the money being withheld from the state's budget would have gone to pay for the MU School of Medicine class expansion and Springfield clinical campus.

A new program being implemented by Mercy Health System is designed to catch postpartum depression in women.  And health experts hope it will lead to more women getting treatment.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more.

Springfield mom and Mercy employee Kim Crist had a difficult pregnancy.  And when she finally went into labor it lasted 36 hours.  She thinks that’s what led to her developing postpartum depression after her daughter was born.

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