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Nurse Prescribes Reading

February 26th, 2020

NOEL — Children around McDonald County call her “The Book Nurse.” Since starting as a family nurse practitioner at Ozarks Community Hospital’s clinic in Noel four months ago, Karen Madsen has earned that title.

Nearly half of the clinic’s patients are under 18, and Madsen discovered many of them had few books of their own at home, something that troubled her. Books can help children gain knowledge and promote overall emotional health and happiness. So “The Book Nurse” was born.

First using books she purchased on her own, Madsen began asking children after their medical visits if they would like a free book. She saw their faces light up when they picked out a book — anything from a beginner Dr. Seuss book to chapter books for teenagers.

As the program has grown, she solicited book donations from her family and from others in the OCH organization. Now she always has a bundle of books close by for her next patient’s visit. To date, she has provided more than 150 free books to children from Noel and throughout McDonald County.

After a few weeks of distributing books, children throughout the community began telling their friends the tale of “The Book Nurse,” and before long children were coming in for routine health visits asking by that name to see her, said Colton Holland, director of the Noel Clinic.

“We had a child come in for an appointment and ask her: ‘Are you The Book Nurse?’” Holland said. “We realized that what she was doing was spreading throughout the community, and people were more comfortable coming to the doctor because they felt like they knew her already. Many times we find that people are reluctant to come to the doctor for a variety of reasons, but people enjoy coming to see ‘The Book Nurse.’ Karen’s kindness really goes a long way.”

Madsen’s most poignant encounter was with a child who said she had never owned a book and clutched her new book from “The Book Nurse” as if it was her most prized possession.

“She looked at all the books and chose one — Charlotte’s Web — and said, ‘I’ve never read this one before!’” Madsen said. “She hugged the nurse and told her how happy it made her feel. It was a sweet thing to see.”

“I think that it’s shocking that in 2020 there are children in this country who don’t own a book,” she continued. “I’m trying to do whatever I can do to correct that.”

Books have been a lifelong passion for Madsen. The granddaughter of a long-time kindergarten teacher, Jessie Showalter, Karen grew up in adjacent Newton County, where she obtained her first library card at age 5. It didn’t take long for her to be a regular at the library, reading as much as she was able.

Her home was filled with books as well, which enlightened her childhood. One of her favorites was “Little Women.”

“Books have always been a part of my life, and when I was thinking of ways to give back to my patients, I thought giving children a book would be a lot better than just giving them a piece of candy,” Madsen said. “It’s a way to show them that I truly care about them.”

Madsen credits the entire team at the Noel clinic for growing the free book program, which has become an opportunity to provide extra outreach to the community. First, people have to feel comfortable coming to the clinic, which provides both preventative healthcare and assists those who are sick. While many people avoid the doctor because they fear it will cost too much, and with some in the community who can’t speak English, staff members make extra efforts to help patients feel comfortable by helping them with affordable healthcare options and ensuring they feel well cared for when they come in. In fact, the clinic never turns away “walk-in” patients who don’t have an appointment, even if that means working past closing time.

Holland says the team — Citlaly “Lolly” Hernandez, Natalia Vazquez and Rosa Sanchez — will do things like sitting next to patients in the waiting room who are having trouble filling out new patient paperwork, and they are extra compassionate to those patients visiting the doctor for the first time — both children and adults — who may be anxious or uncomfortable. They will also help patients who are concerned about their healthcare costs, working directly with insurance companies and providing affordable options to those who don’t have insurance.

The entire team in Noel has embraced “The Book Nurse” and her idea, which has grown efforts to ensure every child in McDonald County has his or her own book. It has also built trust in the community that everyone will be well cared for.

“This effort starts at the front from the moment people walk into our clinic,” Madsen said. “It’s all of us working together. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do, and I’m excited about how we’re going to continue to do this in the future.”

Madsen smiles when she’s told children in the community have called her “The Book Nurse,” a title she embraces, and thinks of her grandmother, who she hopes would be very proud of her efforts. She wants to pass on that love of books to the children in the community.

“If that’s how they remember me, that would be perfectly fine with me,” Madsen said, humbly. “You get to a place where the difference you make in life is much more important than anything else, and I think we should all remember that.”

OZARKS COMMUNITY HOSPITAL IS A TRI-STATE SAFETY-NET HEALTHCARE PROVIDER HEADQUARTERED IN GRAVETTE, ARK., SERVING BOTH URBAN AND RURAL COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE OZARKS. OUR HOSPITAL IS BASED IN GRAVETTE AND INCLUDES A MULTITUDE OF CLINICS LOCATED IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI, NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AND NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA. OCH LOCATIONS CAN ACCEPT MEDICAID, MEDICARE, UHC MILITARY AND OTHER INSURANCES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW. OCHONLINE.COM.

OCH offers free skin cancer screenings

February 25th, 2020

GRAVETTE — In recognition of National Healthy Skin Month, Ozarks Community Hospital of Gravette is offering free skin cancer screenings on Thursday, Nov. 21. Dr. Hilton McDonald, who specializes in identifying and treating skin cancer, will be performing the evaluations.

The screenings will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday at the OCH Specialty Clinic, located on the second floor of the hospital in Gravette. Those interested in participating should contact the hospital at 479-344-6870 to reserve an appointment.

McDonald, who has helped hundreds of skin cancer patients, said people often put off having a spot on their skin checked, and these screenings will allow patients the peace of mind to determine if the spot is benign or if further treatment is necessary.

“A lot of people have a spot on their arm or their face and don’t think anything about it — they just choose to live with it,” McDonald said. “Having those spots checked will help your quality of life to know if treatment is needed.”

A follow-up appointment can be scheduled if further treatment is needed following the free screening. Dr. McDonald will discuss options with each patient.

Even if someone has a spot that isn’t cancerous, there are opportunities for removal. McDonald said he has helped many patients who want to have large and small growths removed from their body, and insurance often covers the procedures.

“People don’t have to live with those brown spots that have developed on their body,” said McDonald, who also specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery. “It can be life-changing to have them removed.”

A native of Prescott who has a passion for treating rural patients, Dr. McDonald is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia and received his doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Oklahoma State University. He also has a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Ozarks Community Hospital is a tri-state safety-net healthcare provider headquartered in Gravette, serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Ozarks. The hospital is based in Gravette and includes a multitude of clinics located in Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma. OCH locations can accept Medicaid, Medicare, UHC Military and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

OCH APPEAL DISMISSED: FEDERAL DEFINITION CASE PROMPTS INDUSTRY GUIDANCE

September 14th, 2017

Springfield, MO – Ozarks Community Hospital (OCH) has filed a motion dismissing a request for an Administrative Law Judge Hearing with the Civil Remedies Division of the Department of Health and Human Services Departmental Appeals Board following a recent memorandum issued by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS has amended the State Operations Manual to address the issues Ozarks Community Hospital encountered during a survey process and appeal related to the federal definition of a hospital set in a provision of the Social Security Act.

Hospital surveyors are now required to consider whether the hospital is primarily engaged in providing inpatient services and there is a minimum standard and specific guidance on factors to consider.

According to OCH Health System Chief Executive Officer Paul Taylor, “The guidance in the amended Manual which tells surveyors how to audit hospital operations is exactly what we were asking CMS to do. Give us a rule and we will satisfy it. Before this change, it was like being ticketed for speeding even though there was no established speed limit. CMS showed up and said our inpatient census was not high enough compared to the volume of outpatient care we were doing. We increased our inpatient volume and CMS accepted our Plan of Correction which stated we would maintain that increased inpatient census. A few months later, for reasons known only to CMS, they showed up again and decided what we were doing—which they had approved—was not enough. In other words, they changed the speed limit. We asked CMS to tell us how much was enough and CMS said they could not.”

Under the new guidance, a hospital with no inpatients on the day the survey commences, will not be surveyed and the CMS regional office will conduct an investigation to determine whether the hospital has maintained an average daily census (ADC) of 2 for the prior 12 month period. If not, the hospital will be presumed to have failed to meet the standard. If the hospital had more than an ADC of 2, the hospital will be surveyed and the new guidance provides a number of factors to be considered.

Taylor added, “There is no mention in this new guidance of the volume of primary care being done by the hospital—which was the critical factor in the final decision on OCH by CMS. CMS said OCH looked more like a primary care clinic organization than a hospital. We always believed that we were doing a good thing by filling a need for primary care in the patient population we served, which was mostly people covered by governmental programs or uninsured. Had this guidance been in place in 2015, we would never have had a problem with CMS.”

Ozarks Community Hospital suspended the Springfield hospital license last summer after CMS published notice the hospital did not meet the federal definition of a hospital. Taylor filed an appeal last fall and has been focusing his efforts on communication and education in order to advocate for a change in CMS regulations. In a reply brief filed in the appeal, Taylor wrote, “CMS’s refusal to establish a fixed standard or quantitative interpretation of ‘how much’ less than ‘more than’ is sufficient to meet the definition results in arbitrary and capricious enforcement of the definition—as it has in this case.  Since the hospital industry has evolved (primarily through CMS mandates) to provide more outpatient than inpatient services as a whole and as individual facilities, CMS must promulgate a standard so that the hospital industry has some inkling of how far below more (i.e. 51%) the hospital can fall before it has fallen too far. CMS has refused to provide or divulge that standard.”

“Since there was very little chance OCH would reopen the facility as a general acute care hospital, we appealed the decision so that what happened to OCH’s Springfield hospital would not happen to another hospital. With this new guidance from CMS, the hospital industry has an ascertainable standard to assert as a shield against the subjective whim of individual decision-makers who, even when well-intentioned, can get things wrong where there is no standard. We now know the speed limit and it will be our own fault if we get caught speeding. For that reason, we have dismissed our appeal,” Taylor said.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and a multitude of clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma area. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, UHC Military and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

CMS Memo Primarily Engaged is available by clicking on the attached link.

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OCH of Gravette adds board certified pediatrician

May 23rd, 2017

Julia K. GregoryGravette, AR – OCH is thrilled to welcome board certified, pediatrician, Julia K. Gregory, MD, to the OCH of Gravette Clinic this July.

As of this summer, Dr. Gregory will be providing primary and preventative care to pediatric patients Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“I always knew I wanted to work with kids. I have a strong passion for caring for chronically ill children,” says Dr. Gregory. “I enjoy being able to make a positive difference in their life.”

Dr. Gregory received her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and her residency training in pediatric medicine from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Dr. Gregory is certified by the Arkansas State Medical Board.

Prior to OCH, Dr. Gregory worked for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as the UAMS Kid’s First Interim Medical Director and as an Assistant Professor for the UAMS Department of Pediatrics. In addition to her pediatric care experience, Dr. Gregory also has an extensive knowledge and passion for sports medicine, chronically ill pediatric patients, special needs patients, annual wellness and immunizations.

Dr. Gregory is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Arkansas Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

To contact the OCH of Gravette Clinic call 479-787-5221.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and and a multitude of clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH Health System serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

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OCH Goodman Family Clinic reopens after storm

April 18th, 2017

Goodman, MO – Effective May 1, 2017, the OCH Goodman Family Clinic will have a new address: 135 Roy Hill Boulevard, Goodman, MO 64843.

The current clinic location sustained significant damage from area storms earlier in the month and is currently unavailable for use.

“We are committed to serving the healthcare needs in the Goodman area,” says Vicki Plumlee, Director of Clinics. “Which is why we wanted to find a local location that was available as soon as possible. We are proud of our clinic, and even though we’re a few blocks away in a new space, we’re here to stay.”

The new clinic space is 640 square feet and includes two patient rooms, a physician room, restroom and waiting room. It previously served as a chiropractic office.

Tessa Porter, PA-C will see patients out of the new location. Due to limited space, the majority of Dr. Hill’s patients will be scheduled to see him out of the OCH Anderson Rural Health Clinic located a short 7 miles away. Dr. Hill remains the collaborating physician for Tessa and medical director for the OCH Anderson Rural Health Clinic, OCH Goodman Family Clinic, OCH Pineville Medical Clinic and OCH Southwest City Community Clinic.

“The old clinic served the Goodman community for over 50 years,” said Vicki Plumlee, Director of Clinics. “While we are saddened by the loss of our Main Street building, we are very excited about our new location and are tickled to be able to open up on May 1.”

The OCH Goodman Family Clinic phone 417-364-8300 and fax 417-364-7290 are currently forwarded to the OCH Pineville Clinic. As of May 1, 2017 they will be routed to the new Goodman space.

The clinic currently averages 300 primary care patients a month. Three support staff will be working out of the new location.

The OCH Health System Elk River Health Services, Inc. as of January 1, 2017. The four rural health clinics are located in Anderson, Pineville, Goodman and Southwest City. The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

 

Kory Miskin, DPM now seeing patients at OCH Southwest City Community Clinic!

April 4th, 2017

Southwest City, MO – Dr. Kory Miskin is bringing foot care to McDonald County.  As of April 2017  he will be visiting the OCH Southwest City Community Clinic every other Wednesday.

Dr. Miskin also sees podiatric patients at the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic.

He can perform clinic procedures including the removal of ingrown toenails, warts and pre-cancerous lesions; minor hammertoe procedures; and removal of foreign bodies. He also offers surgical procedures including bunion, hammertoe and flatfoot reconstruction; neurectomies; plantar fasciotomy; heel spurs; fracture repair; ankle scopes and fusions; equinus procedures; forefoot and hindfoot fusions; amputations; tarsal tunnel releases; and soft tissue mass excisions.

For a complete list of podiatric services and procedures available, click the following link: http://www.ochonline.com/patients/specialties/podiatry/.

Dr. Miskin joined OCH in November 2016. He received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

To contact Dr. Miskin’s office, call 479-344-6870.

$15 sports physicals available year round in 2017

March 31st, 2017

March 31, 2017

Springfield, Mo. – The OCH Health System is offering $15 sports physicals year-round for children ages 5-18 years of age.

Physicals are available Monday through Friday and are available by phone call appointment from the following OCH providers in Springfield:

Sports physicals are also available at the following clinic locations during the months of May, June, July & August 2017:

Please contact individual offices for availability. Sports physicals determine the readiness of student athletes to participate and are required prior to involvement in school athletics or other competitive sports, including Mighty Mites. In 2009, OCH was named “America’s Lowest Cost Hospital” for Medicare markets by US News and World Report. OCH continues to offer affordable healthcare to residents throughout the Ozarks.

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OCH and Ozarks New Hope open clinic in Webb City

March 6th, 2017

OzarksNewHope2017

 

 

OCH and Ozarks New Hope open clinic in Webb City

Webb City, MO – OCH and Ozarks New Hope are proud to announce the opening of the Webb City Community Health Clinic this March.

The clinic (112 N. Webb Street) is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 am to 5:00 pm, and on Fridays from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm. It includes three staff members and providers Nishua Bendt, DO and Angela Husong, FNP who will provide family practice care to patients of all ages.

“We wish to become an integral part of the Webb City community providing medical care for everyone, including those who are most challenged to afford the costs,” says Steve Bearden, executive director of Ozarks New Hope. “We operate on a sliding scale fee basis, and do not turn clients away based upon their ability to pay.”

In addition to self-pay patients, the clinic can accept Medicaid, Medicare and Tricare insurances.

Dr. Bendt received her medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her family practice residency at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Dr. Bendt is a FMCSA Certified Medical Examiner and offers DOT physicals. Dr. Bendt is available on Tuesdays.

Angela Husong, FNP received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Graceland University in Lanomi, Iowa. She has more than 12 years of nursing experience. She is available Monday through Friday at the clinic.

“The Webb City community already has a heart for a similar mission and population,” says Steve. “That’s why in addition to opening this clinic, we are working on connecting with current entities to partner in providing combined resources and opportunities for those in need,” says Steve.

Ozarks New Hope, est. 2015, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization serving healthcare facilities, their work forces and patients in and around the Ozark region. ONH exists to help the healthcare industry better serve their patients and communities by promoting public health, supporting caregivers, and establishing and maintaining health services. To contact the clinic, call 417-673-0366 or fax 417-673-0336.

The OCH Health System is a tri-state safety-net healthcare provider headquartered in Gravette, Ark. serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Ozarks. Our hospital is located in Gravette and includes a multitude clinics located throughout Southwest Missouri, Northwest Arkansas and Oklahoma. ###

OCH Health System acquires Jay Family Medicine Clinic

November 22nd, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

och-jfmc-announceJay, OK – Effective January 1, 2017, the OCH Health System will own and operate Jay Family Medicine Clinic under a new name: OCH Jay Family Medicine Clinic.

The rural health clinic, located at 2485 N. Main in Jay, Okla. includes family practice providers Richard H. Tidwell, MD, and Shounda Turley, APRN-CNP.

“Our health system has been considering Oklahoma expansion for several years now,” says Bernadette Losh, Chief Clinics Officer. “When the opportunity to work with Dr. Tidwell became available, we were beyond thrilled. Not only does it fit our growth model and match our mission to serve the underserved; the addition of this clinic now means OCH is a tri-state health system.”

After the first of the year, OCH Jay Family Medicine Clinic will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“I am very happy and encouraged to join the OCH Health System,” says Dr. Tidwell. “Changes in the healthcare industry made the future of our clinic uncertain; I know working with OCH will provide a solid future while allowing me the ability to focus on serving my current patients in Delaware County and continue providing services to those who need it most.”

Dr. Tidwell founded Jay Family Medicine Clinic in 2004. He received his education from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. In 2008, he was awarded “Physician of the Year” by Integris Grove General Hospital. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Family Practice, Oklahoma Academy of Family Practice and the Oklahoma State Medical Association. Shounda Turley, APRN-CNP received her education from Kaplan University in Davenport, Iowa. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the nursing field.

Jay, Okla. has a population of 2,482. It is located 23 miles from the OCH of Gravette facility.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 16 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH Health System serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

OCH welcomes new podiatrist to Gravette hospital

November 15th, 2016

Gravette, AR – OCH of Gravette announces the addition of Kory D. Miskin, DPM. Dr. Miskin is a podiatrist joining the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic (1101 S. Jackson St.) this December.

“We are thrilled to have a podiatrist at the hospital,” says Jackie Powell, OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic Manager. “Our surgery department has continued to grow, and this is a much needed specialty for our patients.”

Dr. Miskin can perform clinic procedures including the removal of ingrown toenails, warts and pre-cancerous lesions; minor hammertoe procedures; and removal of foreign bodies. He will also offer surgical procedures including bunion, hammertoe and flatfoot reconstruction; neurectomies; plantar fasciotomy; heel spurs; fracture repair; ankle scopes and fusions; equinus procedures; forefoot and hindfoot fusions; amputations; tarsal tunnel releases; and soft tissue mass excisions.

Dr. Miksin received his education from Brigham Young University – Provo and from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine. He is currently is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association and American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

To contact the OCH of Gravette Specialty Clinic call 479-344-6870.

The OCH Health System is a safety-net organization encompassing a hospital and 16 clinics located throughout the Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas area. The OCH health system serves patients in Springfield, Nixa, Carthage, Marshfield, Noel, Bolivar, Rogersville, Sparta, Mt. Vernon and Gravette, Ark. OCH can accept Medicaid, Medicare, Tricare and other insurances. For more information, visit www.OCHonline.com.

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