Trauma/Burn

May 19, 2017

Mercy Hospital Tishomingo has been presented with the 2017 “Golden Hour” Award by OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for its lifesaving evaluation and treatment of a patient with life-threatening injuries. Mercy co-workers Steve Saltiel, Jennifer Imotichey and Ashley Smalling triaged the patient, who was then transferred to OU’s Trauma Center for additional care. Because of their work the patient survived. 

Mercy Hospital Tishomingo co-workers Steve Saltiel, Jennifer Imotichey and Ashley Smalling (pictured left to right with OU Medical Center's Dr. R.M. Albrecht) accepting the "Golden Hour" Award.

Media Contacts

Courtney Landsberger
Oklahoma City, El Reno, Guthrie, Watonga, Kingfisher
courtney.landsberger@mercy.net
Phone: 405-936-5766
Cell: 405-326-6574
Twitter: @MercyOklahoma
Quick Facts »

 
Jinger McClure
Ada, Tishomingo
jinger.mcclure@mercy.net
Phone: 580-421-1417
Cell: 580-310-2815
Quick Facts »

 
May 17, 2017

By Lea Humphrey, DO
Mercy Clinic Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy – Joplin

One in 5 Americans will have skin cancer at least once. If not treated, it can be life threatening. When detected and treated early, however, it usually can be cured.

The primary cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) light exposure from the sun. Skin cancer often is seen in older patients after years of sun exposure.

Skin cancer is found in younger patients, however, due to the popularity of tanning beds. Research has shown that patients who use a tanning bed prior to age 35 have a 75 percent increased risk of developing melanoma. Skin cancer is more common in Caucasians, but all ethnicities and skin types can develop it.

People often think a tan is healthy; however, having a tan means your skin already has undergone cell damage. A person’s risk of melanoma doubles with just five sunburns. Early signs of sun/skin damage are freckles, moles and other skin lesions. While most are benign, it is important to monitor these “spots.”

Skin cancer can have different appearances. Often a benign “freckle” that grows or changes color or even what people think is a non-healing pimple can be skin cancer. If you’re concerned about changes to a mole or a skin lesion, show it to your doctor, who will check your skin and may refer you to a specialist to have the lesion examined further and possibly biopsied.

A biopsy can vary depending on body location, but results in minimal scarring while providing a diagnosis. Many times, a lesion is benign and can be monitored. A precancerous lesion may be removed with laser, cryotherapy (use of low temperatures) or surgical removal.

Skin cancer can occur on any area of the body, but is more common in sun-exposed areas. Areas of the head, specifically the nose, ears and scalp (in bald patients), are the most common areas for skin cancer. Three types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (the most common), squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, which is the most serious.

If melanoma is discovered and treated early, it almost always is curable. If not treated early, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body. The other types of skin cancer rarely spread, but are much easier to treat when caught early. Those usually can be surgically removed in our procedure suite.

Once you’ve had skin cancer, it means you’ve had enough sun exposure to damage the skin. It’s likely only a matter of time before another one develops, so skin checks are important.

For patients with skin cancer, skin checkups should be at least once a year with your doctor. Everyone should perform self-checks monthly, as well.

Dr. Hilton McDonald and I are skin cancer specialists and can assess skin lesions to see if they are benign or malignant, as well as diagnose and treat other skin conditions. We have special training that enables us to recognize skin cancer, remove it and repair it in a cosmetically-pleasing manner.

Prevention

Protect your skin from UV radiation, especially during the peak hours of sunlight from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply a daily sunscreen base to your face and ears with at least skin protection factor (SPF) of 15 that blocks UVA and UVB radiation. Use SPF 30 or greater if participating in outdoor activities, even if it’s cloudy.

Wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects the face and the neck. Wear protective clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible and is made of tightly woven fabric made of thick material or clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor.

Preventing skin cancer isn’t always possible if precautions weren’t taken. Being alert for new spots or skin growths and having your doctor check your skin regularly may help find skin cancer early, when it can be treated more easily.

Lea Humphrey, DO, is an ear, nose and throat/facial plastic surgeon for Mercy Clinic with Hilton McDonald, DO. Both doctors are board certified in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology, a surgical subspecialty that deals with conditions of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. They see pediatric and adult patients. Services include skin lesion removal with cosmetic repair, allergy testing and treatment, dizziness evaluation, thyroid treatment and a voice clinic, as well as general ENT services like tubes, tonsillectomy and sinus surgery. They are accepting new patients at Mercy Clinic Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy, 100 Mercy Way, Suite 560, Joplin, and can be reached at 417-556-8566, or visit www.mercy.net/practice/mercy-clinic-ear-nose-and-throat-and-allergy-joplin.

Provider

Lea Sarah Humphrey, DO, Ear Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology), Mercy
Ear Nose and Throat (Otolaryngology)
Mercy Clinic

Practice

Media Contacts

Todd Nighswonger
Joplin, Columbus, Carthage
todd.nighswonger@mercy.net
Phone: 417-556-2260
Cell: 417-825-7821
Twitter: @JoplinMercy
Quick Facts »

 
April 25, 2017

Scarlett Tomasi would like nothing better than for no one to be the victim of sexual assault and domestic violence in the Four States area.

It’s a big task, but one the registered nurse in Mercy Hospital Joplin’s Emergency Department is willing to take on as program coordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at the hospital. She has lots of help.

The Four States No More campaign is kicking off in April during national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The new partnership is between Mercy, Choices Medical Services, Lafayette House and Freeman Hospital West’s SANE program in Joplin, as well as emergency departments at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kan., and Integris hospitals in Miami and Grove, Okla. It’s tied to the national No More Project, which unites and strengthens a diverse global community to help end domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse.

“The campaign provides awareness, education and a list of resources, programs, shelters and more to help those who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence,” Tomasi said. “Our goal is to increase victims’ willingness to report sexual assaults and domestic abuse to law enforcement. If we want to increase reporting, people need to know that there is help and resources are available in their geographic area.”

Information on the regional campaign can be accessed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fourstatesnomore (@fourstatesnomore or #FourStatesNoMore).

Victims seeking help, particularly those sexually assaulted in the last five days, can receive a free examination at one of the participating hospital’s emergency departments. If victims are hesitant to file a criminal complaint, Tomasi still encourages them to have a free sexual assault exam because evidence can be held for up to 120 days.

Help is available every step of the way. Choices Medical Services offers a variety of post-assault screening, education and resources. Lafayette House provides a variety of services for women, children and families in Southwest Missouri that includes sexual assault crisis intervention and aftercare.

“The first step is the hardest,” Tomasi said. “You did not deserve this. You are not alone, so let us help you.”

With a patient’s consent, treatment will include evidence collection, injury treatment and follow-up care facilitation in coordination with the Lafayette House.

Mercy’s multidisciplinary SANE services include:

• Registered nurses with the most up-to-date training
• Anytime access to free forensic sexual assault exams
• Complete medical screenings at victim’s request
• In-house social workers to help coordinate safe shelter
• Victim anonymity until she/he chooses to press charges

“We hopefully help patients get the justice they deserve,” Tomasi said. “We hope with education that more survivors will come forward, increasing awareness of sexual assault in the Four States.”

For more information about the SANE program, contact the Mercy Hospital Joplin emergency department at 417-556-2300.

Coalition Says ‘No More’ to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence

Mercy Emergency Department - Joplin

Media Contacts

Todd Nighswonger
Joplin, Columbus, Carthage
todd.nighswonger@mercy.net
Phone: 417-556-2260
Cell: 417-825-7821
Twitter: @JoplinMercy
Quick Facts »

 
December 2, 2015

Mercy Hospital St. Louis
was named a Leapfrog Top Hospital.

ST. LOUIS – For the second time, The Leapfrog Group named Mercy Hospital St. Louis to its annual list of Top Hospitals, one of only 98 hospitals across the country and the only in Missouri.

This coveted and respected recognition showcases Mercy’s commitment to Leapfrog’s vision of providing the safest, highest quality health care for consumers and purchasers alike.

“The quality care our co-workers and physicians provide continues to be recognized by various organizations,” said Jeff Johnston, Mercy Hospital St. Louis president. “Our teams’ active participation and commitment to improving patient care and processes at every level helps us continuously make patients’ safety and comfort better.”

Mercy Hospital St. Louis was one of 98 Top Hospitals recognized and selected from hospitals participating in The Leapfrog Group’s annual survey. The list includes:

  • 24 Top Rural Hospitals
  • 62 Top Urban Hospitals
  • 12 Top Children’s Hospitals

The selection is based on the results of The Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use and management structures established to prevent errors. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including survival rates for high-risk procedures and a hospital’s ability to prevent medication errors.

“Leapfrog’s Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most prestigious distinctions any hospital can achieve in the United States,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Top Hospitals have lower infection rates, better outcomes, decreased length of stay and fewer readmissions. By achieving Top Hospital status, Mercy Hospital St. Louis has proven it prioritizes the safety of its patients, is committed to transparency and provides exemplary care for families and patients in St. Louis. I congratulate the board, staff, and clinicians of Mercy St. Louis whose efforts achieved these results.”

The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is the latest in a string of recent quality honors for Mercy Hospital St. Louis. It’s been recognized by The Joint Commission with its 2014 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®, Truven Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals as well as bi-annual Leapfrog “A” grades for patient safety.

The Top Hospital award is given to urban, rural and children's hospitals that publicly report their performance through the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey and meet the high standards defined in each year's Top Hospitals Methodology

To see the full list of institutions honored as a 2015 Top Hospital, please visit www.leapfroggroup.org/tophospitals.

About The Leapfrog Group 
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. Hospital Safety Score, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

 

Media Contacts

Bethany Pope
St. Louis, St. Charles
bethany.pope@mercy.net
Phone: (314) 251-4472
Page: (314) 251-6000
Twitter: @mercysaintlouis
Quick Facts »

 
May 17, 2017

Ever heard the saying, “It’s not brain surgery”? Even in our everyday expressions, we have come to regard this field as one of the most difficult and high-pressure occupations only the most intelligent and skilled individuals can perform.

Barry Katz, MD, at Mercy Clinic Neurosurgery – Joplin is one of those people. As a board-certified neurosurgeon, Dr. Katz performs surgery of the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord.

“The procedure I do most often is spine surgery. It makes up about 80 percent of procedures,” he said. “The most common cause is degenerative arthritis or general back pain in older individuals that occurs over time.”

Other types of problems Dr. Katz treats are many: lumbar and cervical spinal fusion, head trauma, spinal cord stimulation, brain tumors and hydrocephaly, which is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid inside the brain.

Dr. Katz also frequently performs kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment for spinal compression fractures to reduce pain, stabilize bone and restore some or all of lost vertebral body height due to the fracture.

“Kyphoplasty is a feel-good procedure,” he said. “The compression fractures, usually in the thoracic or lumbar spine, can be from trauma or commonly osteoporosis. The procedure entails putting needles through the fractured bone, inflating a balloon to create a space and putting in cement to strengthen the bone. It has a pretty high success rate, and people often experience immediate pain relief. It’s very rewarding.”

Dr. Katz, whose medical degree and residency were completed at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, is an expert in life-saving procedures inside the skull, including biopsies, hemorrhage removal and tumor removal, plus has expertise in modern technology to perform these delicate brain surgeries.

Because Dr. Katz is a general neurosurgeon, he can diagnose and treat the vast majority of neurosurgical problems. Nearby Mercy neurosurgeons in Springfield are available for highly specialized procedures like pediatric neurosurgery, skull-based surgeries and neurovascular treatment for aneurysms.

“To me, it’s the best of both worlds,” he said. “Even though we’re not New York, Chicago or another major metropolitan area, we have a great group of neurosurgeons available to us. We have good collaboration between Joplin and Springfield and are very fortunate.”

Provider

Barry Irving Katz, MD, Neurosurgery, Mercy
Neurosurgery
Mercy Clinic

Practice

Mercy Clinic Neurosurgery - Joplin

Media Contacts

Todd Nighswonger
Joplin, Columbus, Carthage
todd.nighswonger@mercy.net
Phone: 417-556-2260
Cell: 417-825-7821
Twitter: @JoplinMercy
Quick Facts »

 
December 28, 2016

By Mercy's Courtney Landsberger

The New Year is nearly upon us. While it may be fun to celebrate a new start with fireworks, think twice before you light the match. On average, about a dozen people die each year, and more than 10,000 are rushed to the emergency room, with injuries caused by fireworks.

“Some of the worst injuries I’ve seen are in children,” said Mercy’s Dr. Sylvia Gray, who specializes in hand surgery. “Even when kids are being supervised, you have to remember they’re handling explosives. Even sparklers can cause injuries.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 40 percent of all fireworks injuries are from small devices, like sparklers. They can easily reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees, enough to cause serious burns if used incorrectly. But Dr. Gray says most of the injuries she sees are from bottle rockets and artillery shells.

“Almost every major fireworks injury results in the loss of at least one finger. The majority of these injuries are very devastating. No one ever thinks it’s going to happen to them. People think it’s OK to hold fireworks while they light them, whether they have a long cord or not, and often those explode in their hands.”

One night of celebration can affect someone for the rest of their life.

“People usually hold fireworks in their dominant hand, and if you lose some of your fingers, you no longer have that hand to do anything,” Dr. Gray said. “You have to have multiple surgeries  to get any function from what you have left, so for the rest of your life you have to adapt to either being one-handed or figure out how to do things very differently.”

That includes small things like brushing your teeth, or even writing your name.

If you plan to celebrate the holidays with fireworks, here are some reminders to keep loved ones safe:

  • Never light fireworks in your hand.
  • Always supervise children.
  • Stand at least 500 feet away from a fireworks display.
  • Never try to relight, or pick up a “dud,” and always douse it in water before handling.

Media Contacts

Courtney Landsberger
Oklahoma City, El Reno, Guthrie, Watonga, Kingfisher
courtney.landsberger@mercy.net
Phone: 405-936-5766
Cell: 405-326-6574
Twitter: @MercyOklahoma
Mercy Quick Facts »

 
October 20, 2015

Mery's March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Winners: Karen Heembrock, 

Judy Davidson, Chelie Muraski, Barb Sicking, Angel Mortensen,

Donna Frazier, Kara Ranft, 
DeAnn Wilson, Linda Newberry and Angela Novak.

Not pictured: Kierstin Nowack

ST. LOUIS - Mercy nurses won more than half of the awards at the 4th Annual March of Dimes (MOD) Nurse of the Year Awards Gala Oct. 11. The awards honor Missouri and Metro East nurses who exemplify an extraordinary level of patient care, compassion and customer service.

The March of Dimes presented awards in 19 categories during their gala at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis. Mercy nurses won in 10 of the19 categories: nine from Mercy Hospital St. Louis and one from Mercy Hospital Jefferson. 

Winner

Mercy Hospital

Category

Judy Davidson

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

NICU/PICU

Karen Heembrock 

Mercy Hospital Jefferson

Emergency Care

Angel Mortensen

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Behavioral Health

Chelie Muraski

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Women's Health and OB

Linda Newberry

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

General Medical (Adult Care)

Angela Novak

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Critical Care

Kierstin Nowack

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Student Nurse

Kara Ranft 

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Rising Star

Barb Sicking

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Pediatrics

DeAnn Wilson

Mercy Hospital St. Louis

Advanced Practice

 

 

Media Contacts

Bethany Pope
St. Louis, St. Charles
bethany.pope@mercy.net
Phone: (314) 251-4472
Page: (314) 251-6000
Twitter: @mercysaintlouis
Quick Facts »

 
July 1, 2015

Joplin, Mo. (July 1, 2015) - Mercy Joplin has been recertified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Division of Health Standards and Licensure.

To be recertified, Mercy underwent a survey by a team from DHSS, which included an on-site visit to various areas within the facility as well as case reviews. 

To attain this designation, Mercy had to meet several criteria, including:

  • A long-standing commitment  to trauma care 
  • Well-equipped facility with the latest technology
  • Integrated physician structure
  • High level of education and credentialing of nurses for trauma patients
  • Radiology support and easily accessible equipment
  • Operating room with necessary staff

“This recertification from DHSS further validates what we, as a team at Mercy, have worked so hard to achieve,” said Dr. Charles Ro, trauma director. “We can once again offer the highest level of care for the injured patients that seek help at Mercy Joplin.”  

Media Contacts

Todd Nighswonger
Joplin, Columbus, Carthage
todd.nighswonger@mercy.net
Phone: 417-556-2260
Cell: 417-825-7821
Twitter: @JoplinMercy
Quick Facts »

 
Todd Nighswonger
Joplin, Columbus, Carthage
todd.nighswonger@mercy.net
Phone: 417-556-2260
Cell: 417-825-7821
Twitter: @JoplinMercy
Quick Facts »

 
November 6, 2014

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS – Saving babies, stitching up after surgery, and inserting a chemotherapy PICC line are just a few examples of the hands-on opportunities nearly 800 area high school students had a chance to experience at Mercy Hospital St. Louis’ Health Careers Exploration Day.

With more than 30 departments and nearly 200 co-workers, students asked questions about educational paths, career opportunities and anything else to help broaden their view of health care careers.

Webster Groves High School senior Madison Massarello is interested in becoming a nurse practitioner, and while she had some areas of interest coming in, she said the experience really opened her eyes to what’s possible.

“This has been super beneficial to someone going to the medical field,” Massarello said. “I didn’t know some of this stuff existed.”

Roosevelt High School senior Ebony Moore isn’t set on her career path but has interest in pharmacy, construction and physical therapy. She said it helps to visualize what the jobs are. “The names of jobs aren’t that interesting, but showing hands-on demonstrations is really helpful.”

It’s not only the students enjoying the day, but the school staff loves it for what it provides to students. Kim Litzou, supervisor for Rockwood’s Partners in Education program, said the program helps broaden horizons while narrowing focus for students.

Students get hands-on experience in a one-stop-shop setting. 

“The experience created here can be life changing, life defining,” Litzou said. “We’ve had students change their career path because of what Mercy provides here.”

Litzou said Rockwood Partners in Education places 600 students in career shadow programs, 30 percent of those in the health care field. She added, “Kids wouldn’t get this type of experience in a shadow program because of the variety and the hands-on experience made available all in one day.”

Lindsay Ahrens, Mercy recruiter and coordinator of the Health Careers Exploration Day, is happy to hear the day is worthwhile for students. “We really wanted to create an atmosphere where students can ask questions, learn and get hands-on experience without feeling intimidated. In addition, it helps students understand the variety of opportunities in health care beyond doctors and nurses.”

Media Contacts

Bethany Pope
St. Louis, St. Charles
bethany.pope@mercy.net
Phone: (314) 251-4472
Page: (314) 251-6000
Twitter: @mercysaintlouis
Quick Facts »

 
September 23, 2014

Crystal Riesenberger, RN, is consistently recognized by patients.

ST. LOUIS - This year, as we celebrate Mercy Day - the opening of the first House of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1827 - we also celebrate co-workers who exemplify Mercy values and mission.

“My golden rule: Care for my patients the way I would want others to care for a member of my family,” said Crystal Riesenberger, RN,  Mercy Hospital St. Louis trauma surgery unit.

For Riesenberger, the decision to become a nurse was personal. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she saw how the nurses cared for her after surgery and during chemotherapy and radiation.



“The oncology nurses were a great inspiration, and to this day my mother still speaks highly of them,” Riesenberger said.

She wants to have that same impact on the patients she cares for today. To Riesenberger, patients aren’t just a room number, a disease or condition to be treated, but people.

Although Riesenberger admitted she is tone deaf, she has been known to sing to certain patients. “I do my best to get them to smile or laugh, even if it’s only for a minute or two, because in that moment they forget that they are in the hospital,” Riesenberger said.

Recently recognized on Mercy’s Facebook page, one of Riesenberger’s trauma surgery patients said in part: “Crystal actually somehow made it more enjoyable. I am not sure how with the excruciating pain I was experiencing. Crystal actually made me feel like I was being taken care of by a friend. Can you imagine your nurse being your best friend too? That was how amazing my stay was with Crystal on duty.”

Harris is one of many “Saints Among Us” at Mercy.

Media Contacts

Bethany Pope
St. Louis, St. Charles
bethany.pope@mercy.net
Phone: (314) 251-4472
Page: (314) 251-6000
Twitter: @mercysaintlouis
Quick Facts »