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aster awards

PCRMC Wins 7 Aster Awards for Healthcare Marketing

The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Marketing Department earned seven Aster Awards in an international competition that recognizes excellence in healthcare advertising and marketing efforts.

The three Gold Awards and four Silver Awards presented to PCRMC were for work done in 2017. Thousands of entries were received in the contest this year from across the United States and around the world. PCRMC’s entries were judged against entries from similar-sized organizations.

“It is such an honor to receive these awards. It is a good feeling to have our work recognized as among the best in the country,” says PCRMC Marketing Director Somer Overshon. “I am very proud of our marketing team.”

The PCRMC Marketing Department took home the prestigious awards in the areas of radio advertising, flyers, billboard design, special events, physician directories, calendars and newspaper advertising.

The PCRMC Marketing Department won Gold Awards (presented to the top 5% of entries in the nation) for the following:

  • Entry Name: PCRMC Services
    Category: Radio Series
  • Entry Name: Hat, Glove and Mitten Drive Flyer
    Category: Flyer
  • Entry Name: PCRMC Provider Directory
    Category: Physician Directory

The PCRMC Marketing Department won Silver Awards (presented to the top 12% of entries in the nation) for the following:

  • Entry Name: Phelps Air Open House
    Category: Special Events
  • Entry Name: 2017 CareChex Double Pane Billboard
    Category: Billboard Design
  • Entry Name: Baby Calendar
    Category: Calendar
  • Entry Name: Faces and Places
    Category: Newspaper Advertising

A panel of industry experts judged all entries. Judging criteria included creativity, layout and design, functionality, message effectiveness, production quality and overall appeal.

“The recognition received by the PCRMC Marketing Department is well-deserved,” says PCRMC Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jason Shenefield. “The marketing team works hard to communicate our programs, services, events, providers and more to the community, and this recognition speaks to their success.”

PCRMC Chief Executive Officer Ed Clayton agreed. “The PCRMC Marketing Department is made up of talented and creative staff. Educating the public about healthcare is important, and they do a great job of spreading the word in the communities we serve,” Clayton says.

“The quality and creativity of the entries submitted seems to increase each year. The 2018 Aster Awards program brought together some of the best and most creative advertising in the world,” said Melinda Lucas, Aster Awards program coordinator.

Marketing Healthcare Today Magazine and Creative Images, Inc. host the Aster Awards.

During last year’s Aster Awards competition, the PCRMC Marketing Department won two Gold Awards and four Silver Awards.

For more information about the Aster Awards program, please visit www.asterawards.com/winners.

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PCRMC Diabetes Education Services Improve Quality of Life for Patients

Clay Howlett was a junior in high school when he was diagnosed with diabetes. He felt dehydrated and had lost weight, about 25 pounds. Initially, Clay went to his family doctor and then to a hospital, where he was given his first dose of insulin.

“I was told I couldn’t have any sugar,” Clay recalls. “I remember one time during ball practice, my blood sugar dropped really low.” Clay says he experienced other symptoms, such as being tired, breaking out in sweats and constantly feeling thirsty.

Since age 17, Clay has had type 1 diabetes, which occurs when a person’s body does not produce insulin, a hormone that helps move sugar, or glucose, into the body’s tissues, where cells use it as fuel. According to the American Diabetes Association, only 5% of people with diabetes have the type 1 form.

Before that time, Clay did not know many people with diabetes. A dispatcher who worked for his father had the disease. Clay later learned one of his great-grandparents had diabetes.

“My uncle, my dad’s brother, was diabetic, too. He had type 2 diabetes, (when a person’s body does not properly use insulin) but he controlled it with his diet,” Clay says.

In his senior year in high school, Clay wanted to learn as much as he could about the condition he had, so he wrote his term paper on diabetes that year.

Clay has what some people refer to as brittle diabetes, as his wife of 12 years Patty explains. Brittle diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar levels to spike or drop at rapid rates. “His blood sugar can drop really quickly,” Patty says. “For a time there, every hour, we weren’t sure what would happen next.”

During a visit to his mother in Springfield, Missouri, Clay’s blood sugar dropped to an extremely low rate, so he was taken by an ambulance to a local hospital.

When Clay returned home to Rolla, Patty encouraged him to visit his doctor, Bohdan Lebedowicz, MD, an internal medicine physician with the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Medical Group. Dr. Lebedowicz asked if Clay would be interested in PCRMC’s diabetes education services.

Both Clay and Patty say they felt they already knew a lot about diabetes but initially agreed to attend one session.

That same day as Clay’s appointment with Dr. Lebedowicz, the Howletts met with Pati Cox, MEd, BSN, RN, a diabetic nurse educator at PCRMC, who did glucagon teaching (an injection to help with low blood sugars when a person is unconscious) and discussed the diabetes education classes more in-depth with them.

“Pati said that PCRMC offered individualized classes catered to each patient,” Patty recalls, adding that Cox was able to work around her and Clay’s schedules. “Clay really connected with Pati.”

According to Clay, PCRMC’s diabetes education classes are thorough, and the diabetes educators encourage patients to become very involved in their own care. “They have given me a better quality of life,” he says.

Patty says she attended the classes, as well, because she wanted to learn more about diabetes to help her husband.

Besides an incident in Jefferson City in February of 2018 when he was given a different brand of insulin, Clay has had no major problems with extreme blood sugar levels since participating in PCRMC’s diabetes education classes.

Clay says because of his foot ulcers, he cannot exercise much, but he follows his doctor’s and diabetes nurse educators’ recommendations of having four carbohydrates and two proteins each day during his meals. Clay says he used to buy orange juice all of the time to help with his blood sugar levels, but now, he hardly drinks it.

“The classes are so easy to understand, and Pati is so positive about it,” Clay says. “It’s definitely been a life saver.”

PCRMC offers a free diabetes support group for diabetes patients, their family members, caregivers and anyone interested in finding out more about diabetes. The support group meets the first Saturday of the month, except for January, July and September, from 10 a.m. to noon at PCRMC.

The PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic offers services in Rolla and Waynesville. For more information about Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support services at PCRMC, talk to your primary care provider, call 573-458-7314 or visit pcrmc.com.

Jullie Barrett

Jullie’s Story: Understanding Diabetes Better with PCRMC Diabetes Nurse Educators

About two to three years ago, Jullie Barrett, who lives in Rolla and was raised in Waynesville, visited her doctor, who believed Barrett’s blood sugar was too high based on her symptoms.

Barrett was given an A1C test, a common blood test used to diagnose diabetes, and the results showed her average blood sugar level over three months was about 10 percent (approximately 250 mg/dL). A normal hemoglobin A1C level is below 5.7 percent (less than 115 mg/dL).

Because her A1C level was so high, her doctor thought Barrett had possibly had diabetes since she was a child.

Barrett has type 2 diabetes, the most common form of this chronic illness. Also called hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes occurs when a person’s body does not properly use insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes does not allow the body to use sugar effectively for energy.

“When I found out I was diabetic, it was shocking,” she says. “I thought, ‘This can’t be.’” Barrett has a family history of diabetes. Her mother has the disease as did one of her grandmothers.

Unlike a broken arm or difficulty breathing, diabetes symptoms are not always obvious. Barrett says she had numbness in her legs and damage to the retina of her eyes, both believed to be the long-term result of diabetes.

After being diagnosed, Barrett initially was referred to a dietitian. “I thought I had a handle on how to eat,” Barrett recalls. However, no matter what she tried, she could not lower her blood sugar levels.

Barrett’s physician eventually placed her on insulin and referred her to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Diabetes Outpatient Clinic, where she met with Pati Cox, MEd, BSN, RN, a diabetic nurse educator.

“It was really eye-opening,” Barrett says of meeting with Cox and taking part in the Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support services at PCRMC. “I learned so much, and it really helped me understand things like what happens when I eat certain foods and how I should be eating.”

When she first started going to classes at the PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic, Barrett did not know what to expect. “However, I got the feeling from the diabetes nurse educators that they really cared about me and put me at ease,” she says.

Barrett has completed the 10-hour program, which is divided into four classes, each focusing on different areas of diabetes, such as creating healthy meal plans, managing blood sugar levels and using a glucose meter, among other topics.

Because of her nerve damage, Barrett cannot walk much, but she enjoys swimming and riding bikes. Six months before taking classes at the PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic, she bought a new bicycle. “I ride it a lot more often now that I’m feeling better,” Barrett says, adding that she has more energy. Barrett can ride 25 miles or longer on a weekend day.

Additionally, she has made changes to her meals. “Before, I was not eating as well as I should have been. Now, my breakfast meals are about 75-80 percent vegetables,” she says. She also reports that she has lost over 50 pounds on her journey, which has aided in lowering her blood sugars.

Barrett began taking insulin around April of 2017, and while she still uses insulin, she has reduced the amount she uses due to her ability to better manage her diabetes with healthy eating, exercise and recognizing complications that call for immediate attention from her primary care provider.

Barrett continues to follow up with her physician and the PCRMC diabetes nurse educators. “I would definitely recommend the PCRMC Diabetes Outpatient Clinic. I wish I would have paid attention to my doctor sooner,” she says.

For more information about Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support services at PCRMC, talk to your primary care provider or call 573-458-7314.

Miriam Stricklan (l) Barbie Fulton (r)

PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic Offers Patient-Centered Care

Family Nurse Practitioners Barbie Fulton and Miriam Stricklan both grew up in south-central Missouri, so the chance to help care for the communities where they were raised really appealed to them when choosing to work for Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC).

Fulton and Stricklan, along with their collaborator, family medicine physician Kimberly Bohlmann, MD, currently see patients at the PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic in Salem. They specialize in family practice.

Fulton, who was born and raised in Salem, has been a nurse since 1994. In 2005, she earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Missouri-Columbia to become a nurse practitioner. Fulton initially worked in the PCRMC Pain Clinic but has been helping patients in Salem and surrounding communities at the PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic for the last three years.

Stricklan, who grew up in Rolla and now lives in Salem, has been employed as a nurse since 2004. She worked in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and has been a shift manager at PCRMC. She earned her nurse practitioner degree by completing the MSN program in 2017 at Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky.

Stricklan started out seeing patients in PCRMC’s Rural Health Clinic before moving to Salem and joining the PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic. “I’ve worked for PCRMC for most of my career, so choosing to practice here was a no-brainer. I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Stricklan says.

For Fulton, the transition from nurse to family nurse practitioner allows her to provide a full spectrum of care to the community. “I can treat patients more completely,” Fulton says.

When Stricklan came to Salem, she said one of her goals was to help patients establish care with a primary care provider.

“In the ICU, I saw people who were very sick, and I wanted to keep people from getting to that stage. I want to keep people healthy, so our primary focus is preventive care,” Stricklan says.

Both Fulton and Stricklan say what they enjoy most about their jobs is serving their community.

“It’s kind of like caring for your close friends and family,” Fulton says.

“It’s very rewarding to see how even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in our patients’ lives,” Stricklan says.

Fulton says she tries to get to know her patients, beyond just their medical issues. “I want to help them improve their quality of life,” she says.

Stricklan and Fulton take the time to listen to their patients and pay attention to their concerns. Both take a holistic approach to patients’ health issues.

Because the Dent Medical Clinic is part of the PCRMC network, patients have access to a variety of primary and specialty care services, including cancer care as well as care for the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems. PCRMC serves a six-county area, including Phelps, Dent, Texas, Pulaski, Maries and Crawford counties, so patients can receive care close to home.

Walk-in and same-day appointments are available at the PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic. In addition to family medicine, the clinic offers well-women exams, well-child exams, general wellness physicals, sports physicals and annual exams.

The PCRMC Dent Medical Clinic, located at 1010 Scenic Rivers Blvd., is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 573-729-5533 or visit pcrmc.com.

butterfly

4th Annual Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration Planned for May 19

Phelps Regional Homecare, a division of Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC), will host its 4th Annual Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration on Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 2:00-4:00 PM at Huffman’s Flowers of the Field, located at 18148 County Road 1000 in St. James, MO.

“This event offers the chance to remember our cherished family and friends,” says Tara Peters, marketing coordinator for Phelps Regional Homecare. Releasing butterflies is a unique way to pay tribute to loved ones because butterflies symbolize hope, new life and transformation.

“The Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration honors the memory of those we love and serves as a celebration of life,” Peters says.

For $30, participants can release a live butterfly and receive a T-shirt. The deadline to reserve a butterfly is Friday, May 4, 2018. Businesses and organizations also can sponsor the event.

In addition to releasing live butterflies, the afternoon will include beverages and light snacks for attendees.

Proceeds from the butterfly release help relieve the financial burden for those in need when facing end-of-life decisions. This event benefits the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation’s Hospice Fund, which assists hospice patients and their families with prescription medications, personal bills, food supplements and other needs.

An extensive team of professionals and volunteers with Phelps Regional Homecare deliver hospice care to patients in this region. Hospice care staff responds to people’s needs for comfort, empowerment and self-directed care while supporting the patients’ families both during patients’ illnesses and after death. The goal of hospice care is to maintain the highest quality of life and dignity to the greatest extent possible for patients.

In addition to hospice, Phelps Regional Homecare offers home health and in-home services. Phelps Regional Homecare serves all of Phelps, Crawford, Maries and Pulaski counties and portions of Dent, Gasconade and Texas counties.

For more information about the butterfly release, to reserve a butterfly or sponsor the event, call 573-458-3802 or email tpeters@pcrmc.com. To donate to the Hospice Fund, visit giving.pcrmc.com.