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.
Need a mammogram, but don't have a lot of time? Mercy offers a mobile mammography unit in Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma (see schedule below).
The earlier you can detect breast cancer, the better are your chances for successful breast cancer treatment. With updated digital technology, Mercy's Mobile Mammography Unit, sponsored by the Jay Hatfield Companies, makes it quick and convenient to get a mammogram.
The actual screening typically takes just 15 minutes and is performed by registered female technologists. With Mercy’s mobile mammography, you get the advantages of an office exam:
The test typically is covered by health insurance. Mercy will help file the claim.
Annual screening mammograms are recommended for women age 40 and older. Mammograms are the best tool for detecting breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage.
21 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m., Carl Junction Community Center, 303 N. Main
22 8:30 a.m.-noon, Four States Health & Wellness Expo, Pittsburg State University
25 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Oswego, 805 Barker Drive
26 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Mercy Hospital Columbus, 220 N. Pennsylvania
27 8-11:30 a.m., Spring River Wellness Center Health Fair, 6610 S.E. Quakervale Road, Riverton
4 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Jay Hatfield Chevrolet Buick, 200 S. East Ave., Columbus
11 7-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., Mercy Hospital Columbus, 220 N. Pennsylvania
17 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Jay Hatfield Ford, 1517 High St., Sarcoxie
18 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Mercy Hospital Columbus, 220 N. Pennsylvania
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott has earned The Leapfrog Group’s prestigious A rating for its commitment to reducing errors, infections, and accidents that can harm patients.
According to today’s announcement from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health care system, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott earned top marks nationally with the A rating for Patient Safety in spring 2017. Hospital Safety Grades assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide.
“This honor reflects our dedication and commitment to providing quality care to our patients in the safest way possible,” said Brenda Stokes, RN and Mercy Executive Director Quality Assurance/ Risk/ HIM. “Our A rating affirms the emphasis we put on ensuring our community has access to the best healthcare possible. Our physicians, clinical staff and support staff strive to deliver safe, quality, evidence-based care to every patient, every time.”
Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group explained, “Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, ‘have achieved the highest safety standards in the country. That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an A Safety Grade.”
Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.
To see Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.
As the conversation continues on how to best move forward with health care for our country, Di Smalley is getting candid about what the repeal could mean for patients. In a recent editorial with The Journal Record, Di outlined six steps that must be taken into consideration. Click here to read it.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives will soon vote on House Bill 1841 - a measure proposing to raise our state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack. The last time Oklahoma raised the cigarette tax was in 2005, to $1.03 per pack. HB1841 must still pass both the House and Senate before it is signed into law.
While nobody likes paying more taxes, the benefits in this case clearly outweigh the cost.
Click here to read Di Smalley's full March column in The Journal Record.
COLUMBUS, Kan. – When it comes to supporting mobile medicine, what better donor than a local auto dealership family?
A $100,000 gift over five years from Jay Hatfield Companies has helped fund a digital upgrade of the Mercy Mobile Mammography van that serves Southeast Kansas, Southwest Missouri and Northeast Oklahoma. The substantial donation to Mercy Health Foundation Joplin is part of nearly $250,000 put toward the project through various donors, according to Miranda Lewis, foundation executive director.
“Mercy Health Foundation is honored to partner with Jay Hatfield Companies to bring digital mobile mammography services to area patients,” Lewis said. “Donors such as the Hatfield family and the entire Hatfield team are a vital part of helping Mercy offer state-of-the-art care to our communities.”
“Cancer is a terrible disease that affects so many families, and our family is no exception. We feel that sponsoring and supporting the mobile mammography unit is a great way to help our community with early detection,” said Jay and Rhonda Hatfield and family.
In celebration of the donation and the van’s digital upgrade, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Jay Hatfield Chevrolet Buick, 200 S. East Ave., Columbus. Following the ribbon cutting, mobile mammography screenings were available in the van, which is based at Mercy Hospital Columbus.
“We are so blessed to have Jay Hatfield Companies join together with us as we bring the service of mobile mammography to our rural communities,” said Angie Saporito, hospital administrator. “By bringing this screening service into areas without access to a mammogram, we are making it easier for women to not only be screened, but also to continue lifelong health and wellness.”
Staffed by a female certified mammography technologist, the van offers screenings that are convenient, private and quick, taking only about 15 minutes. The test typically is covered by health insurance. Mercy will help file the claim.
Mammogram images are read by Mercy radiologists at Mercy Breast Center in Joplin. All of Mercy’s breast imaging facilities, including the mobile unit, comply with national quality standards.
The Jay Hatfield group includes dealerships for Chevrolet, Buick, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, motorcycles, off-road vehicles and auto mobility equipment in Columbus, Frontenac, Wichita and Salina in Kansas and Lee’s Summit and Sarcoxie in Missouri.
For more information or to find a location for mobile mammography, call 620-429-2545.
When it comes to breast cancer, women shouldn’t leave anything to chance. That’s why a growing number are choosing three-dimensional mammograms, which are offered at Mercy Imaging Services – Carthage.
Recent advancements in test methods such as 3-D mammography can help all patients, but especially those with dense breast tissue or a family history of breast cancer. Also known as tomosynthesis, 3-D mammography was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2011.
3-D mammography, which was introduced in Carthage in September 2015, entails taking several images of each breast. A radiologist can view the images much like flipping through pages in a book. Any anomalies picked up by the computer or the radiologist are flagged for further review.
“Images from 3-D mammography will show many things that are harder to find in a traditional two-dimensional mammogram, such as cysts and masses that may or may not be cancer and may find them much earlier,” said Janie Breckenridge, a mammography technologist at Mercy Imaging Services – Carthage.
The 3-D procedure is similar to 2-D mammography. The difference is that a 3-D mammogram lasts about 20 seconds longer and takes several pictures of each breast. Roughly 40 pictures are combined to form a 3-D image.
“The women who have the 3-D mammogram find the experience to be no more uncomfortable than a regular mammogram,” Breckenridge said.
A 3-D mammogram is recommended for women with dense breast tissue, which is required by state law to be indicated on mammography results. “For women with dense breasts, it’s like dropping a marble into a jar of cotton balls and trying to find it,” Breckenridge said, “not to mention getting all of the marble’s detail.”
In fact, she believes the procedure can be beneficial for most women. “Things can hide even in tissue that isn’t dense,” she said.
A 3-D mammogram also can give radiologists a clearer view for patients who’ve had surgery on their breasts or previous radiation treatments.
“Once a woman has had breast cancer and has been through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, every mammogram after that is a scary thing,” she said. “They have a peace of mind that a 3-D mammogram might find something that could be hidden otherwise.”
Jason Young, manager of Mercy Imaging Services – Carthage, indicated that patients shouldn’t be concerned about increased radiation with 3-D mammography.
“The difference in dosage between 2-D and 3-D is virtually the same,” Young said. “3-D images are lower-dose pictures of a breast.”
While a primary care provider referral is recommended, women can self-refer to have a 3-D mammogram. Most insurance providers cover 2-D mammograms, but may not fully cover a 3-D mammogram, which is an additional $55. “It’s very well worth it,” Breckenridge said.
Young emphasized that any woman in need of a mammogram who cannot afford one should ask about financial help. The McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation has limited funds available for women in those circumstances.
Mammogram appointments are available every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and until 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
For more information, contact Mercy Imaging Services – Carthage, 3125 Dr. Russell Smith Way, at Mercy Hospital Carthage on the McCune-Brooks Campus at 417-359-1320.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., yet many remain unaware they have it. For the second consecutive year, Mercy Hospital Ardmore, Oklahoma Heart Hospital and the Chickasaw Nation will host Ada’s Wear Red for Women luncheon, an event to raise awareness and prevention of heart disease.
“During last year’s inaugural event, we raised almost $20,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction,” said Trish Long, Mercy Hospital Ardmore director of operations and event co-chair. The money was donated to Good Shepherd Community Clinic, which provides free health, dental and optical care for the uninsured. “We’re meeting a need for education in Ardmore when it comes to heart health in women.”
Studies show more than 44 million women are affected by heart disease in the United States, yet a number of women still don’t consider heart disease a major risk. This year’s event will feature a heart healthy lunch, a designer purse silent auction, guest speakers and a heart healthy cooking demonstration. The event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at the Chickasaw Nation Community Center, 907 Locust St. Tickets are $20 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.mercy.net/WearRedArdmore.
JOPLIN, Mo. – Mercy Breast Center continues to be on the leading edge of care by offering a new screening option.
The Invenia ABUS (Automated Breast Ultrasound System) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for breast cancer screening that supplements mammography for women with dense breast tissue and no prior treatments.
“We are excited to add the Automated Breast Ultrasound system from GE Healthcare to our comprehensive breast cancer screening program,” said Dr. Sonu Suri with Mercy Breast Center in Joplin. “By offering ABUS in addition to mammography for our patients with dense breast tissue, we are improving detection for small cancers that cannot be seen on a mammogram alone in these women. We believe ABUS will become an integral part of our program for the detection of breast cancer.”
Dense breast tissue not only increases the risk of breast cancer up to four to six times, but also makes cancer more difficult to detect using mammography, according to multiple large studies. One study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed mammography sensitivity is reduced up to 38 percent in women with dense breasts.
As a result, 38 states, including Missouri, have passed laws mandating that women be notified if their breasts are dense and if they may benefit from supplemental imaging as appropriate.
“Mammography is an effective tool for the detection of breast cancer; however, it doesn’t work equally well in all women, particularly those with dense breast tissue,” Dr. Suri said. “Designed and built specifically for screening dense breast tissue, research shows that ABUS technology has the potential to find additional cancers that would not have been found with mammography alone.”
ABUS is not a replacement for screening mammography, but is a supplemental screening for women with dense or very dense breast tissue. Dr. Suri recommends that women get regular mammograms as suggested by their doctor. If they have been informed that they have dense breast tissue, they should talk to their doctor about their specific risk and additional screening tests that might be appropriate.
By Mercy's Courtney Landsberger
It is a goal Debbie Pender, chief nursing officer for Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, has worked toward for years. She was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), the nation’s leading society for health care professionals.
“The ability to interact with a network of high caliber leaders is vital to our local hospital and to our community,” said Pender, who has worked as a nurse at Mercy Hospital in Ardmore for a decade. “The distinction shows patients that we are committed to meeting their health care needs both clinically in terms of their actual treatment and professionally.”
In order to be named a Fellow, Pender completed interviews, educational courses and was required to pass an exam – a process that took her more than three years. She is now one of only a few thousand health care executives nationwide with the distinction, and joins two other health care leaders at Mercy Hospital Ardmore with the honor.
“The health care management field plays a vital role in providing high-quality care to the people in our communities, which makes having a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization critically important,” said Deborah J. Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE. “By becoming an ACHE Fellow and earning the distinction of board certification from ACHE, health care leaders demonstrate a commitment to excellence in serving their patients and the community.”
Pender is the first Mercy chief nursing officer (CNO) in Oklahoma, and the second CNO across Mercy’s four-state service area to earn the distinction of a Fellow.