CCMH NICU 

NICU Now Open
CCMH has partnered with the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center to offer a 24-hour Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Comanche County Memorial Hospital.   Read More...

CANCER CENTER PROGRAM

Healthier, Happier feet are just a step away

Cancer Program Receives Perfect Score. . .AGAIN! We are proud to be one of only two cancer programs in the State to achieve this distinguished accomplishment... Read More...
RESIDENCY PROGRAM

CCMH Residency Program
CCMH Family Medicine Residency Program & CCMH Emergency Medicine Residency Program works in partnership with the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Above and Beyond Logo

CCMH would like to congratulate ophthalmologist Ann Warn, MD for being named a 2014 Journal Record Woman of the Year.

Each year, the Journal Record honors 50 female business and community leaders at the Woman of the Year Gala. The Journal Record started the program in 1981 to recognize woman who were becoming a "growing segment of the workforce."

This year, Dr. Warn will be one of seven women that will be named to the Circle of Excellence – an honor reserved for those being selected for The Journal Record's 50 Making a Difference for the third time.

Dr. Warn will be presented her award at a gala and dinner at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in October.

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On Tuesday, Board Chair Pat Henry was presented the Lawton Award in Excellence during Lawton's Birthday Reception and Ceremony held at the City Hall.

The award was presented to Mrs. Henry by Mayor Fred Fitch for her outstanding excellence in service to community, state and nation. She is known for her passion for childhood education and has served as a community leader at all levels of service. She has served on the Hospital Board since 1998.

Mrs. Henry has also served at the local, state and national levels with the PTA and served as National President from 1991- 1993. Because of this accomplishment, Pat Henry Elementary School was named in her honor in 1995.

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Over the last month, the CCMH Ambulance Service has been serving Cotton County with outstanding results.

"We were anticipating 30 calls per month," said Ambulance Manager Richie Bohach, NREMT-P. "Our total run volume ended up being 69 from July 1 to July 13."

The average run time for these calls was 6.2 minutes for the unit stationed in Walters and 14 minutes for the backup unit coming from Comanche County. These times are greatly improved from the response times of the previous service provided to Cotton County in the past.

"By positioning EMS units close to the Cotton County response area, we have been able to greatly reduce the wait time. Using Lawton units helps provide greater coverage."

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Congratulations to Donna Thomas, RN of the NICU and Internal Medicine physician Richard Brittingham, MD for being the first recipients of the DAISY Award.

The DAISY Award recognizes the contributions of the bedside caregiver and their relationship with their patients. Recipients are chosen based on peer nominations and patient and family letters and comments.

Thomas and Dr. Brittingham received a recognition banner for their area, a DAISY tote bag, certificate of achievement, achievement pin, one-of-a-kind "Healer's Touch" sculpture, and Cinnabon Rolls to share with family and coworkers.

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On Tuesday, the physicians and staff of the NICU celebrated one year of caring for Southwest Oklahoma's tiniest patients.   To celebrate, former NICU patients were invited to attend a reunion/birthday party where they enjoyed birthday cupcakes, photo booth pics, baby portraits and door prizes. Nearly 40 NICU graduates reunited with the nurses and physicians who cared for them during their first few weeks of life.   Since the NICU opened, 290 premature and sick babies have been able to stay close to home while they grew and got well.   We would like to thank all of the neonatologists and neonatal nurse practitioners on staff in the NICU for their hard work in bringing this new service to CCMH: [Continue Reading]

Beginning July 1, the CCMH Ambulance Department will be providing emergency medical services to the Cotton County area. A dedicated ambulance will be stationed in Walters and will provide 24/7 service as well as community outreach.

"We want to create a cohesive medical response by all emergency responders. This will be accomplished by providing first aid training and other response education to these departments," said Richie Bohach, NREMT-P, EMS Manager at CCMH. "We will also offer educational outreach programs to the schools, as well as performing wellness checks for senior citizens."

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CCMH would like to recognize cardiologist Ronald Woodson, MD for being named President of the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

Dr. Woodson has been serving the Lawton area for over 30 years as an interventional cardiologist. In 2006, he, along with three other cardiologists, opened the Heart & Vascular Center.

Dr. Woodson was appointed to the Board of Health in 2010 and represents Blaine, Kingfisher, Canadian, Caddo, Grady, Comanche, Jefferson, Stephens and Cotton counties. He also serves as an associate professor of the OU Family Practice Residency Program.

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Voluntary Hospitals of America (VHA) revealed their national quarterly honor roll report and CCMH was a VHA Top Performer in three areas: Adverse Drug Events, Obstetrical Adverse Events and Prevention of Falls and Immobility.

According to Debbie Cofer, BSN, CPHQ, Director Performance Improvement, we selected VHA as our Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) to assist staff in improving patient safety.

"We are proud to be one of 16 hospitals nationwide that has earned a top performer rating. We sustained a zero rate for the past four quarters for Adverse Drug Events and Obstetrical Adverse Events. We also received most improved rating in Prevention of Injuries from Falls and Immobility."

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CCMH would like to recognize Dr. Bob Abernathy for 25 years of service to the Cordell community. When Dr. Abernathy graduated from medical school in 1980, he set off to fulfill his dream of being a small town, country doctor. Having grown up in Tipton and his wife in Sentinel, they wanted to make a home in western Oklahoma and Cordell was looking for a physician.

"I love this community and hospital," said Dr. Abernathy. "The association I have with CCMH has made all of this possible. I am very grateful."

One of Dr. Abernathy's fondest memories was when both of his sons, while in medical school, did their rural medicine rotations at his clinic.

Dr. Abernathy's wife, Jolyna, has served as his office manager since he opened and his nurse, Darla McFarland, has been with him for almost 20 years.

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On Wednesday, May 28, CCMH hosted a job fair at the Great Plains Technology Center to hire additional nursing staff for McMahon Tomlinson Nursing Center  (MTNC).

During the fair, CCMH staff conducted on-site interviews, hiring a total of 22 CNAs, Certified Medication Aides and LPNs. In addition to the job fair, nine Comanche Nation CNA graduates from Great Plains Technology Center were hired.

The additional staff will fill current positions, as well as expand our ability to accommodate more MTNC residents now and as we prepare to move into our new facility. The new employees began their orientation this week and will continue with in-depth orientation at the nursing center and the hospital.

Human Resources and Administration would like to say thank you to the following inpiduals who assisted with the job fair: Jana Cleek, Kip Cummins, Kim Holland, Julie Kilgore, Angie Moore, Tammy Roberts, Robin Sanders, Melanie West and the Great Plains Technology Staff.

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At CCMH, we are constantly striving to provide the best medical care available.

This unceasing commitment has earned our cancer program our third consecutive three year accreditation with commendation, from the Commission on Cancer. In other words — we got a perfect score…AGAIN!

We are proud to be one of only two cancer programs in the State to achieve this distinguished accomplishment for the past three consecutive survey periods. That is nine years of exemplary cancer care, right here in Lawton.

This level of accreditation was achieved due to the dedication of the physicians and staff at CCMH and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma who are committed to the fight against cancer because the patients they serve are their family, friends and neighbors. It’s this compassion that allows us to go Above & Beyond everyday.

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Last Friday, McMahon-Tomlinson Nursing Center (MTNC) residents took a trip back in time during Senior Prom, hosted by Elgin High School (EHS) student council members.

Inspired by a project they saw at State Convention, Hannah Cummins, student council president, said they fell in love with the idea once they met the residents prior to the event.

EHS provided 40's and 50's music, refreshments and crafts for residents who didn't dance. "I felt like a princess," said resident Doris Williams. "I enjoyed the students so much and appreciated the fact they hugged and patted us."

Trenda Rowell, MTNC Activities Director, said she was amazed that the students would think of an activity involving a long-term care facility. According to Rowell, the residents enjoy visits from children of all ages and that entertainment helps keep their spirits and motivation up.

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The CCMH Children’s Starlight Fund would like to thank our partners, volunteers and all of the participants who joined us at our Second Technicolor Run on Saturday, May 3!

Special thank you to our partner Cameron University and to the individual volunteers and following groups for their awesome support to make the event radical fun!

To date, over $12,000 has been raised with money still coming in. Everyone's generosity will help us save the lives of premature babies born in Southwest Oklahoma!

Watch for next week's Friday Focus for information on how to view and download photos from the Technicolor Run.

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This year, five employees were recognized for having 30 or more years of service to the hospital. Why have they stayed so long — some never having worked anywhere else? The answer heard the most, "it's always been like family here."

We would like to recognize the following employees for their amazing commitment to not just CCMH, but to the patients, families and staff they have served over the past several years.

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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with almost 140,000 new cases of melanoma estimated to be diagnosed by the end of this year and an expected 1 in 50 to develop melanoma in their lifetime by 2015. Because of this, each year, CCMH and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma offer free skin cancer screenings to the community. This would not be possible without the help of Lawton dermatologists Joe Roundtree, MD and Ross Hensley, MD.

"For the past seven years, Dr. Roundtree and Dr. Hensley have donated a Saturday morning to provide the free screenings," said Yvonne Hall, Community Outreach Coordinator for Community Relations and Development. "Every year we detect possible skin cancers, that caught early, may keep them from advancing to a more severe cancer. We so appreciate these doctors for providing the community this invaluable service."

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Congratulations to Paramedic Supervisor Ryan Sand for being named the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) EMT of the Year. Sand was nominated by EMS manager Richie Bohach, NREMT-P. "Ryan is an outstanding paramedic," said Bohach. "He can take control of any situation and has the job skills and integrity to handle anything that comes his way."

Sand has been with CCMH for two and a half years and has nine years experience as a paramedic. He has also worked with Mediflight for one year.

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Technicolor Girl

Maddy Hunt is no stranger to hospitals. Unfortunately. As a matter of fact, this dynamic 9-year-old girl is a hospital expert, having spent much of her life in and out of the hospital battling leukemia. It is something in Maddy’s own words, “no child should have to go through”. That’s part of what makes Maddy such a warrior.

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28th Annual Volunteer Awards Celebration

Fred Hamburger, 27 year Volunteer, and Betty Klementovich, 25 year Volunteer, receive special recognition CEO Randy Segler and Board Member Pat Henry for the extraordinary years of service.

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the 121 volunteers who dedicated 22,912 hours this past year to our patients, guests and staff.

27 YEARS Fred Hamburger    

25 YEARS Betty Klementovich    

24 YEARS Beverly Glasgow, Dorothy Hicks

21 YEARS Maria Crawford, Ethel Finley, Corine Roberts

19 YEARS Cecilia Gresham

18 YEARS Frances LaSorsa

17 YEARS Barbara Crownover, Barbara Huskey, Darlene Miller, Ann Tubbs

16 YEARS Ed Nolan

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When CCMH hosts an event, you can bet it's going to be the biggest and best ever. This month's Chamber of Commerce 3 Mile Thursday was no exception with almost 500 people in attendance. "This is the largest crowd that has ever attended a 3 Mile Thursday," said Lori Cummins, Director of Community Relations & Development. "The turnout was incredible!

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CCMH, LCHC team with LPS to bring smiles to special group of children

In a cooperative effort with CCMH, Lawton Community Health Center (LCHC) and the Lawton Philharmonic Society (LPS), 500 special needs children received the gift of music in the form of a book and special performance this past Saturday.

In December 2013, the Lawton Philharmonic Society received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support a performance of "The Carnival of the Animals" featuring Oklahoma Arts Council performing artists Hyunsoon Whang and Thomas Labe. The performance targeted elementary school students with disabilities, providing copies of the "Carnival of Animals: Classical Music for Kids" publication and CD. The LPS wanted to expand the number of children who received the book and give one to every special needs child in the Lawton Public School district, so they reached out to CCMH and LCHC to help with additional funding.

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LCHC Provides Free Physicals to Special Olympic Athletes

Recently, the Lawton Community Health Center (LCHC) provided 43 free physicals to Special Olympics athletes at Pat Henry Elementary School.

"Lawton Community Health Center has a strong focus on the health of our youth, as well as making sure all kids have an equal opportunity to partake in athletic competitions," said Sean McAvoy, Executive Director, LCHC. "Free physicals are one way for us to support special needs children and their parents."

The athletes will be participating in the upcoming local Special Olympics competition at Fort Sill being held on April 5. This event serves as a preliminary to the state-wide Special Olympics held in Stillwater this summer.

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WALKing for Healthy Children

Ten years ago, the Comanche County Memorial Hospital Foundation teamed up with Lawton Public Schools and waged war against the #1 health threat facing America’s children—Childhood Obesity.  Research shows that childhood obesity can lead to chronic health conditions such as:  heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lung disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, cancer, depression, hypertension, high cholesterol and more.     

Today, we are proud to celebrate the Ten Year Anniversary of WALK, which has shown proven results in decreasing the percentage of overweight children in our community from 46% to 39% over the last several years!

We would like to thank our community partners who have helped us to achieve this milestone and who have been beside us as we have grown and expanded to other school districts over the last five years.

 

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Partnering for Your Comfort & Convenience

Comanche County Memorial Hospital would like to thank Cameron University for helping us to provide comfort and convenience to our patients.

On January 6, CCMH began construction on our new $24 million state-of-the-art Emergency Department.  But with progress always comes growing pains.  The construction process would mean the loss of 200 parking spaces for an already busy campus.  In order to provide convenient access to parking for our patients and visitors, CCMH looked to a partner for alternatives.  Thanks to Cameron University, CCMH was able to pave a parking lot on their vacant lot at 38th and Gore and arrange for off-site employee parking to provide parking for our patients and visitors.

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To The Wonderful Ladies of McMahon-Tomlinson Nursing Center,

Thank you! When I had heard that my mother was being moved from Comanche County Memorial Hospital (where she had worked as an ER nurse for more than 20 years) last Thanksgiving to McMahon-Tomlinson nursing center, I was more than a little worried. I wondered if you would recognize that my mother was an angel who was actually quite brilliant. I wondered if you would recognize that she was a mother and grandmother and great-grandmother and that she had family who loved her VERY much. I wondered if you all would be aware that she is a former US Marine and served her country with honor. I also wondered if you all would simply be nice to her. 

After visiting, meeting and speaking with many of you, I now know that YOU all are the angels! You are kind and caring and ethical and hard-working and accomodating to all who reside there. I walked into your establishment and was immediately and warmly greeted by several members of the staff. You all came and introduced yourselves to me and were every bit as kind and nice as I had hoped you would be. Although you were all quite busy taking care of the many responsibilities you have, you took time to stop in and visit and show genuine interest in both my mother and I. More than that, though, I saw you all care for every resident just as you had been doing for my mother.

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Children Helping Children

Before Christmas, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students from Sheridan Road Elementary school’s Student Council visited the Starlight Unit and donated gifts and toys for children hospitalized during the holidays.  The donated gifts will be given to children on the Starlight Unit and in the Emergency Department on Christmas and throughout the holidays.

The students chose this as their project because they wanted to do something to make the children who are in the hospital feel better. The students sold candy canes to raise money to purchase all of the gifts.  

Thank you to these special children for their compassionate deed to help others in need during the holidays. Their actions exemplify the true spirit of Christmas. 

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Spirit of Thanksgiving - Gobble Wobble

Comanche County Memorial Hospital and Runhers womens running and walking club of Lawton, would like to thank the community for their outpouring of care and support for the second annual Gobble Wobble. 

The event was a huge success! Over 1,500 registrants donated nearly 4,000 pounds of food and over $1,000 in cash. We would like to thank the caring and generous families and groups from our community for their support of the Lawton Food Bank!

Special thanks to Runhers, Academy Sports, The County Times, United Van Lines, Museum of the Great Plains, City of Lawton, and those who volunteered. 

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Waynes Donate to Cancer Centers

There are many reasons that Lawton is a great place to call home.  One of the best reasons is the way our community continually pulls together to support one another and great needs and causes.  There is no shortage of that with the annual Spirit of Survival, and one of the greatest examples comes from one of our oldest and most beloved iconic eating establishments.  

Wayne’s Drive Inn was founded in 1950 and is still a family owned and operated business, now in its’ third generation.  At Wayne’s, good food is in the genes.  And so is care, compassion and giving.  That spirit of giving is exhibited in their annual Spirit of Survival T-shirt campaign to raise funds for cancer research at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma.  This week, Wayne’s presented a check for $13,000 raised from this years’ sales.  What is even greater, is that over the last four years, they have donated a total of $47,000!

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Superheroes Come in All Sizes

Each year, the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma and KSWO-TV hold the Spirit of Survival, Superhero Kids Marathon Challenge to encourage school participation across Southwest Oklahoma. The top three small, medium and large elementary schools, with the highest percentage of participation, are rewarded with a check to be used as they wish. One of this year's school winners was Hugh Bish Elementary, and their students decided to do something extraordinary with their money — give it back.

"The kids decided as a group to give the money back," said Janet Schmahl, PE instructor at Hugh Bish. "They said people with cancer needed it more than they did. I was excited they wanted to give it back because Memorial Hospital and the Cancer Centers do so much for the community."

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Champion of Children's Health

Initiated by The Oklahoma Caring Foundation, this award honors a person, program or group for their work to improve the health of Oklahoma children and teens, mainly at-risk and underserved populations, through education, advocacy and/or health care services. 

On October 8, Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma was honored with the "Champion of Children's Health" award from the Oklahoma Champions of Health Organization. 

Thank you Fit Kids for going Above & Beyond for our children!

(Pictured is Dr. Ben Cooper, Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma Chairman and Kyle Rogers, Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma Community Program Coordinator pose with television personality Regis Philbin at the 2013 Oklahoma Champions of Health Gala in Tulsa.)

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Dr. Brittingham Named Physician of the Year

Internal medicine physician Richard Brittingham, MD, FACP was recently honored at the 2013 Oklahoma Hospice & Palliative Care Association's (OHPCA) annual conference as the OHPCA Physician of the Year.

Dr. Brittingham has been working with hospice patients for 18 years. He serves as the State of Oklahoma Chief Medical Director for a hospice organization and is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

"The reason I am passionate about hospice care is the same, I feel, for anyone who is in hospice care — we're preparing for our own death," said Dr. Brittingham. "When someone is close to death, they are afraid — afraid of the pain and afraid of the fear associated with dying. I can provide them with the medicine to alleviate their pain, and the support to ease their anxiety and fear."

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Monica Sustaita Given Special Honor at Cameron Convocation

CCMH would like to congratulate Monica Sustaita, Executive Secretary, for being selected as one of the Academic Honor Students and scholarship recipients to represent the Organizational Leadership Department by carrying the academic gonfalon flag during the Cameron Convocation October 4.

"To be able to carry the flag representing the faculty of my department is truly a high honor," said Monica. "I've worked very hard to get my degree. Missing out on my children's activities is the hardest."

While pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership, Monica has received four scholarships and has remained an Honor Student.

Her future goals are to continue to complete her Master's degree in Organizational Leadership and continue to excel within the hospital organization.

Monica has been with CCMH for 16 years. Before working in Administration, she worked in the Business Office, Admitting, MedAccounts, and Practice Management.

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Free Lung Screening at CCMH

The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma (CCSO) are excited to offer FREE lung cancer screenings at all three Cancer Center locations!

The low-dose CT (LDCT) lung screening is a new service offered by the CCSO. LDCT is a special CT of your lungs that can pick up very small lung abnormalities. Studies by the National Lung Screening Trial show that a lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are high risk. 

To qualify for a free LDCT lung screening, you do not need to be a current patient, but certain criteria must be met and an order from your primary care physician must be received to schedule an appointment. If you don't have a primary care physician, the staff of the CCSO will assist you in finding one.

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Susan Hohstadt - Spirit of Giving

“So many people I have come to know in Lawton have been diagnosed with cancer. I want my bracelets to not only fund cancer research, but also raise awareness about the importance of getting a mammogram.”

In October 2012, Susan Hohstadt was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that was barely visible on her mammogram.

Even though it was caught early, she still had to undergo a double mastectomy and aggressive chemotherapy. While enduring recovery and treatments, Susan decided to utilize her time making a difference in a community she had come to love by helping support cancer research and clinical trials at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma.

To accomplish her goal, Susan is making Survival Bracelets, fashioned after parachord bracelets worn by many US Military members. Because the bracelets are made not just for cancer survivors, they come in a variety of colors. Just pick the color that represents you.

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Renda Owens, She Just Loves People

Over 20 years ago, Renda Francis-Owens, LPN at Home Health hired on at CCMH and has been loyal to that department ever since.

Prior to coming to CCMH, Renda had worked as an LPN for eight years on a Med Surg unit in Mobile, Alabama and as a dental technician in the Army for seven years. Upon getting out of the Army and returning to her home town of Lawton, she promised her husband she wouldn't work for six months.

"I saw an ad in the classifieds for a home health nurse at Memorial," said Renda. "My husband reminded me of my promise and told me if it were meant to be, then the ad would be there in six months. So, six months later I looked again and it was there. I knew it was meant to be."

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Paulina... She's All Heart

Paulina Rapalo from Dietary, entered a room on the Starlight Unit and saw a very sick, scared young girl which immediately brought images of her own daughter to mind.

"I needed to do something," said Paulina. And she did. When she got off work, she went to The Gift Shoppe and purchased balloons and a Hello Kitty doll and delivered them to the little girl.

"She is one, beyond amazing woman," said Casey Plunkett, RN. "I honestly think she would make a great nurse! She has so much compassion and such a big heart. We need more nurses with those qualities. "

Working at CCMH since May, Paulina came from the food service industry. CCMH is her first experience working at a healthcare facility.

"I've always wanted to be a nurse," said Paulina. "But after working here, I don't know if I could handle a patient dying. It's also hard for me to see someone sick and in pain."

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Confidence Tempered with Compassion Makes Mary Stand Out Above the Rest

For 31 years, Mary Roloff, RN has been caring for patients at CCMH and she can't think of a better place to work.

"My team is what makes me stay," said Mary. "There are a lot of reasons someone will go to work somewhere else, but what's most important for me is who I work with. I know who has my back and that if I leave the floor, everything will be taken care of."

In 2009, Mary found herself on the other side of patient care when her son was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"As nurses, we sometimes forget what it's like to be a patient and their family members. When someone is in crisis, they just want someone to listen. If you will take the time to talk with the families and tell them the truth, it alleviates a lot of stress for them which, in turn, makes your job a lot easier."

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Helping During Times of Crisis, a Passion for Sheri Leroux

Providing for families and patients dealing with critical times in their lives or end-of-life issues can be challenging. For Social Worker Sheri Leroux, this is her passion.

Having worked in hospice care and now critical care at CCMH, providing the support for patients and families during times of crisis is what Sheri has always felt led to do.

"I want the best for our patients. I like being able to provide them with the resources they need to get through a crisis or help better themselves," said Sheri.

Working in critical care provides for Sheri a perfect balance. She explained while she has to deal with death and dying, there are plenty of positive outcomes too. "It's great to see a patient who was so critically ill come back to the hospital to thank the staff for saving their life."

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Joe Angel Enhancing Patient Care Through Education

Over 30 years ago, Joe Angel, RN, Clinical Educator, answered a calling to be a nurse. Since that time, he has become an icon at CCMH for providing exceptional care to patients and educating nurses.

"I was born to be a nurse," said Joe. "I love what I do and I hope that I make a difference in someone's life each day."

After working in direct patient care for about 14 years, Joe decided to use his knowledge to care for patients in another way — train nurses how to save lives and utilize advanced technologies instrumental in providing patients with exceptional care.

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Patient Comment Roundup - August 2013
Heart Services

I want to commend Cardiovascular Surgeon, Dr. Aaron Trachte. In July 2011, I suffered an 18" aortic dissection and he saved me. In June this year, I had open heart surgery and he saved me again. My family has Marfan syndrome and most of them wanted me to go to Oklahoma City. I had so much confidence in Dr. Trachte, I saw no need to do this. He is kind, caring, straightforward and he looks you in the eye when he talks to you and you can believe what he says. His staff goes above and beyond in helping patients and are so caring. We are very lucky to have this gifted man.

 

Nursing

Ingrid is a true professional with a great sense of humor!! Without a doubt she is 'second to none'. Super super super!!

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Thelma Anderson, Planting Seeds of Kindness One Caller at a Time

Operator Thelma Anderson has been the voice of CCMH for over 10 years. But her voice does more than just announce codes and offer directions, guests have said it has served as a bright spot in their day and was very welcoming during a time that was stressful.

"Everyone who deals with Thelma enjoys the fact that she's pleasant," said Jack Smith, Communications Supervisor. "She'll go out of her way to ensure callers are connected to the right area. I have even had an outside caller contact me to compliment her on her pleasantness and helpfulness."

With a work history in the retail business, Thelma understands the importance of good customer service skills. She also has a very simple philosophy: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

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Spirit of Survival Trainers 2013

The 12-week Spirit of Survival Training Program began with the first weekly group training session at Elmer Thomas Park on Saturday, July 20th. Each Saturday until October 5th, about 200 motivated, disciplined and enthusiastic participants will show up at sunrise, to train together, in order to prepare for the starting line of the 2013 Spirit of Survival.

There to greet them each week, is a group of committed and selfless trainers who have volunteered their time, to support, encourage and coach these participants on to success.

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Tammy Walsh Makes Technology Useful for Patients

Clinical Informatics Nurse, Tammy Walsh, began as an RN for CCMH. After years of experience in the nursing field, she discovered another interest in the technology field which led her to begin work in nursing informatics.

“Nursing informatics is a fairly new specialty,” Tammy said. “It allows healthcare professionals to track every aspect of a patient's care with software programs. There are many advantages, one being it allows easy identification of certain trends in a patient's health."

As a former military wife, Tammy can identify with the hassle of gathering all of your healthcare information when you have to move. By utilizing computers, it makes it very easy to centralize all of your records and present it to your new provider.

Currently there are four nurses in the nursing informatics department and each began their career as an RN before entering this field. Tammy said it is important to work as a nurse before beginning work in nursing informatics.

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2013 Volunteens

Thank you for your service!

Comanche County Memorial Hospital would like to recognize our outstanding Volunteens for their service to the community. In just two months, this amazing group of 80 teens volunteered 4,941 hours in areas throughout the hospital.

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Dee Smith Uses IT Skills to Enhance Patient Care

Information Service employee, Dee Smith, is the Systems Administrator for CCMH. Dee is a new addition to the Information Service staff and after working at CCMH for just over a year, she said her experience working here has been everything she hoped it would be and more.

“What I enjoy most about working at CCMH is they strive to put patient care first. Every day I’m affecting patient care—effective media makes things easier for everyone.”

Healthcare is a continually growing industry and for that reason Dee said she chose to work at CCMH.

“What we do at the hospital is not just IT work—we do very specific things to help patients. Hopefully we will continue to grow along with CCMH as new advancements in technology take place.”

As the Systems Administrator, Dee said her main responsibility is to make sure the CCMH server stays up and running. However, it is no easy task.

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Soaring Above & Beyond - James Petty

Comanche County Memorial Hospital would like to congratulate James Petty of CCMH Ambulance Services for receiving the 2013 Oklahoma state Advanced EMT of the Year award. James is a great example of CCMH EMS' continuing advancement in the pre–hospital medical care that the citizens of Comanche County and its surrounding areas can expect to receive. CCMH employees have received state recognition two years in a row for their excellence in emergency medical services.

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Luis Mendes Finds Motivation from Co-Workers

Education Liaison, Luis Mendes, began his career at CCMH three years ago as a secretary for Education. As time progressed, Luis moved to different positions and took on more responsibilities throughout the hospital. He has been described by his co-workers as a hard worker, fun, a team player and someone who is always willing to help.

According to Luis, the Education Liaison is involved with assisting the nursing students who are processing for clinicals. However, there are numerous jobs Luis is in charge of. He is the Audio Visual Technician and is involved with events taking place at CCMH such as the Health Care Academy and Cameron University’s Science Detective Program.

“Anyone who comes through the hospital is who I help,” Luis said. “Whether they are working at CCMH full time, or are involved in an educational program through school, I help them get started.”

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Patient Comment Roundup - July 2013

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, our goal is to exceed expectations in everything we do. The comments from our patients say it all.

Exceptional Caring

James was always so polite and caring. He always had a smile on and brightened up the room anytime he came in. He stood out because of his caring nature. Great guy!

Nursing

Megan clearly showed leadership and organization. She could run a team. She juggled so much and still made me feel like a priority. The floor seemed very full, and she continued to answer many questions from nurses. She did all of this with a smile. She helped me feel confident in my care. She always smiled. Thank you!

Amanda is an outstanding young woman. She helps you. She connects with you. She has an aura about her that is so captivating. She is truly wonderful and so kind. A+ just special.

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Patient Comment Roundup Emergency Room

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, our goal is to exceed expectations in everything we do. The comments from our patients say it all.

"Shonda was amazing! Very friendly & helped us out a lot while being in the hospital. On a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best, I'd give her a 15! Thanks!"

"The nurses here at CCMH are absolutely wonderful. They are very compassionate. They explain everything very well. They try to make you feel like you're at home. When I push the call button they are here promptly. It has been a great experience. Thank you so much!"

"Kim was so wonderful during my mother's stay. She took the time to listen to my mom's problems and show compassion. Kerry also took time to understand what my mom was going through and checked on her frequently. The nurses were great. By far the best experience I have had at a hospital. The entire nursing staff was wonderful!"

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Marilyn Hendrix's Vision Transforms Empty Room into Place of Prayer & Solitude

Thirteen year employee of Dietary, Marilyn Hendrix, joined Lawton Indian Hospital administration, Honey Horse United Methodist Church and many others to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Lawton Indian Hospital Chapel on Wednesday, June 12.

The chapel was what Marilyn describes as a “project of love”. Her vision — take an empty room located inside the Indian Hospital and transform it into a place where employees, patients and their families could come to talk, pray or even sing.

With the help of her family and donations from the Comanche Tribe — Marilyn was able to see her vision become a reality.

“With my family’s help, I was able to take an empty and unused room, decorate it and provide a chapel where anyone in need could come with their families or by themselves for comfort and solitude.”

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Nursing Group Comanche County Memorial Hospital

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, our goal is to exceed expectations in everything we do. The comments from our patients say it all.

"I am not from the USA. I do not speak English, but everyone showed me respect and helped me. Dr. JD Duncan, Brenda and Latonia were angels to me and my family. The cleaning team tried to communicate with me every day. Mrs. Angie even learned some Spanish for me."

"Leilani is The Most Wonderful Nurse anyone could ask for. On a scale from 1 to 10, she and the staff are rated 100+."

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Native American Culture Key to Jimmie Cooper's Patient Care

For almost 13 years, Jimmie Cooper, LPN on 4 West has been helping patients recover from surgery and regain their mobility by providing them compassionate care and even equally important, keeping them informed and ensuring all of their questions are answered.

"As a Native American, my culture believes to always be there for people in need. We are also taught to take care of our elders, which a lot of my patients are older."

Following in her mother's footsteps, Jimmie pursued a career in nursing at a young age to "help out" her family. She started as a CNA and in 2005 decided to go to LPN school.

"I love my job. It's fast paced, busy and really rewarding. Patients come in scared, unsure of what to expect and I'm able to ensure them they will have answers and get what they need. I also like to see them when they come back for a visit or out in the community doing well."

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Shawn Hall

I want to recognize our nurses for their compassion and dedication to patient care.

Today, we received an infant in the ER with a rare and fatal condition. This particular patient had severe respiratory issues because of her condition and her mother was aware that there was nothing that could be done to save her. I sat and watched as our patient repeatedly stopped breathing turning blue and becoming limp and lifeless each time. And each time I watched a young mother, believing she had an understanding of the situation, grow older with each passing minute. The truth is there was nothing to do. This was the way it was going to be for the remainder of this child's short life. No nursing could help and there were no magic medicines. Despite what could have easily been considered futile and a waste of time, our staff provided care and attention that I couldn't help but marvel at.

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Bill Farmer

For 20 years, physical therapist Bill Farmer has been providing patients at CCMH exceptional care along with genuine caring and compassion.

Originally from Iowa Park, Texas, Bill came to CCMH with 10 years experience working in healthcare facilities in Wichita Falls. Fortunately he made roots in our community and now calls Lawton home.

"I've stayed at CCMH because of the way we treat our patients, the quality of care we provide and our not-for-profit status. I also appreciate how we're treated by Administration."

As an employee at CCMH's Home Health, Bill said he gets to see an all new perspective of what patients have to deal with once they are home."

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Love of Her Job Makes Beverly Nix Stand Out Above the Rest

While she has officially worked for CCMH for 18 years, Beverly Nix has worked at the hospital off and on since 1982.

Before she started working in Administration in 1994, Beverly started her career at CCMH as a switchboard operator. She then transferred to the Business Office and eventually worked for a contract physician group in the Emergency Department as a physician secretary.

Beverly has a simple work philosophy, "do what has to be done." She said as she has gotten older she has come to appreciate a good work ethic.

"I don't like to sit with nothing to do. Your work ethic is part of who you are. It makes me feel good when I can help a family resolve an issue. I also enjoy interacting with everyone who comes through Administration. I really do have the perfect job."

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Sense of Humor and Skill Make Deanna Ridge Patients' Favorite

"They like me because I give them Lidocaine," Deanna Ridge, RN said jokingly when asked why she thought she was so popular with the patients.

But those who know Deanna know that it's a lot more than that. "Over the years, she has received more Got Caught Caring Cards than anyone that works for me," said Gary Vaden, RN, BSN, Director of Surgical Services. "She puts our patients minds at ease when it comes to starting their IVs. She is simply the best I have ever seen in my twenty plus years in nursing."

Deanna starts 20-40 IVs a day between Surgery and Surgicare. She also will go up to the floors and start IVs at the request of nurses and patients who know of her skills.

"I do a lot of dialysis patients. There have been some who rescheduled their procedures to a time when I would be there," stated Ridge.

Beginning her career at CCMH as a Nurse Tech in 1994, Deanna has never thought about working anywhere else.

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Nadim Nimeh Oncology Across Borders

For over 25 years Nadim Nimeh, MD, Oncologist/Hematologist, has provided the people of Southwest Oklahoma with legendary care that is renown across the country in the treatment of cancer and blood disorders. This passion is now extending beyond the borders of the United States into underserved countries such as Ethiopia.

In 2011, Dr. Nimeh created the foundation Oncology Across Borders. The mission is to provide training to physicians and nurses in underserved countries on current cancer care treatments. His most recent visit took him to the capital city of Ethiopia. While there, he taught a 20-hour course to medical students about cancer and diseases of the blood.

According to Dr. Nimeh, in a population of 83 million people, there are only three oncologists to provide cancer care. “Not only is there a tremendous need for oncologists in Ethiopia, there is an equally critical need for people to teach the classes to medical students.” 

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Putting Patients First is Valerie Billips Key to Staying Positive

Sixteen years ago, Valerie Billips, RN on 2 South hired on at CCMH as an LPN with the goal of becoming an RN like her mother.

"I went to accounting school, but I was really attracted to being a nurse."

Valerie began working the night shift six years ago when she started attending nursing school to become an RN. The relationship she forged with the staff has kept her on that shift .

"Valerie is wonderful, dependable and one of the kindest people I have ever met," said Melanie West, Nurse Manager, 2 South.

According to Valerie, when she's having a bad day, she keeps a positive attitude by reminding herself that things could always be worse. "I could be the person lying in that bed. You have to step outside of your own problems and focus on the patient."

Congratulations Valerie for being chosen an Above & Beyond employee. Your positive attitude should be an inspiration to other employees.

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Positive Attitude Comes from Jana Wilson Liking Her Job

Sixteen year nursing veteran Jana Wilson, LPN on 3 North, finds it easy to smile everyday.

"I like my job. I like being here and caring for my patients. Not everyday is perfect, but on those days I remind myself things will get better and it won't always be like this."

Jana was born, raised and still lives in Apache. She has been with CCMH for two years. Prior to coming to CCMH she worked at Fort Sill and the Health Department.

"Jana's coworkers cannot say enough good things about her," said Sarah Sullivan, RN, MSN, 2 North/3 North Manager. "Many times after a hectic day, an RN will come to me and say they wouldn't have been able to do the job if it wasn't for Jana."

Congratulations Jana for being a true testament that being positive and going above and beyond is simply a state of mind.

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Customer Service David Hutchins' Positive Attitude

For 20 years David Hutchins has served the hospital as Linen Tech.

"When I started, there were only two floors to deliver to. It's grown so much."

Following David on his way to make a delivery, you begin to understand why he is a stand-out employee. Everyone he passed was greeted with a smile or a kind word. 

"David is always polite and respectful," said Jerrod Copeland, Director of Environmental Services. "He's always on the go and never wastes time."

Customer service is something that David believes in wholeheartedly and comes to him naturally.

"It's what's been instilled in us in training and it's just something you're supposed to do anyway when you're serving someone."

Congratulations for being selected an Above & Beyond Spotlight employee David! Your passion for customer service makes you a much deserving recipient.

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Pay It Forward Lauren Wahnee

We’ve all heard about people who perform an act of kindness for a total stranger, for no reason except to make the world a better place.

Some people call it “paying it forward”—starting a chain reaction of positive deeds, for no personal gain.    

That’s what happened, when 9 year old Lauren Wahnee’s asthma sent her to the hospital in respiratory distress from a partially collapsed lung.  Lauren's mother Donna was facing what no mother wants to experience.  "I was extremely stressed and scared, then Gayla Searcy [RN on the Starlight Unit], walked in the room and said 'I promise I will help make your daughter better.' I'll never forget those words. They helped calm me down and meant so much."

"The staff made me feel safe, happy and better." – Lauren Wahnee

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Victor Ulloa Delivering Encouragement, Smiles

For over 25 years, Victor Ulloa has served CCMH as the one and only Motor Tech in Materials Management.

Victor's day begins with picking up the mail for the hospital and then delivering office supplies and other items to doctors and ancillary offices in Lawton. In the afternoon, he shops local stores, filling purchase order requests. He also delivers to the Carnegie, Frederick and Cordell clinics bi-weekly. It's a job that requires a strong back and doesn't allow for many breaks.

"The best part of my job is all the people I get to see throughout the day. I like offering encouragement to those who need it. When I see it helps them it lifts me up."

Despite the hard work, Victor always has a smile and is willing to go above and beyond to help fellow employees.

"I live everyday for the Lord. There are days when it's not easy to put on a smile, but the Lord helps me through the day and makes it easier."

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Children Helping Children

When it comes to compassion, we can all take a lesson from children.

Last week, 4th grade students from Crosby Park Elementary School performed an act of kindness to benefit sick children. Through a coordinated art project led by teacher Lisa Madigan, students painted original works of art to be auctioned off to benefit the Children’s Starlight Fund.

In all, nearly 50 original paintings were auctioned and raised nearly $1,000. This money will be used to purchase gaming systems to entertain children while they are in the hospital. 

Thank you Mrs. Madigan and Crosby Park Elementary 4th Graders for your generosity and kindness!  

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Jo Martin Lifelong Care Delivered by CCMH

At age 52, Jo Martin had no reason to question her health, until she sat down to eat breakfast.

"After I started eating, I began to have this horrible, hot feeling in my chest. I thought it was my food, so I threw it away, but the sensation got worse. Thinking I needed to get to the doctor for a bad case of food poisoning, I soon found myself calling 9-1-1, knowing something a lot worse was happening to me.”

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James Denning Smiles Delivered at CCMH Lawton OK

James Denning of Dietary has a simple philosophy: always be nice and say "hi" to everyone.

"I think I do what everyone else does," said James. "I enjoy people and helping patients feel like they're important. My goal when I deliver a meal is, I want the patient to feel like they're at a nice restaurant and not in a hospital. Even if it's just for a moment. If they need help cutting their food, I'm happy to help."

This philosophy has earned James several patient compliments over the two years he has been with CCMH. He attributes his customer service minded attitude to his 18 years in the restaurant industry. 

Thank you James for going Above & Beyond for our patients. You truly have a heart for service.

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Happiness Delivered at CCMH

The birth of a baby is one of life’s greatest miracles! And at CCMH, we have added a lot of special touches to make your child-birth experience one of the most precious moments of your life.

CCMH is currently seeking to be among the first hospitals in the nation to be recognized as “Baby Friendly” and that has meant incorporating innovative concepts to enhance the birthing experience. As the mom of a 2-year old, Hillary Stier experienced these changes first-hand when she delivered her second baby on January 30, 2013. 

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Mission of Mercy Dr. Lopez Dr. Bridges

Dental professionals recommend people have their teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, yet Oklahoma ranked worst (51st) in the U.S. for the lowest percentage of adults visiting a dentist—many because they simply cannot afford even basic care.

But this year, thanks to the leadership of two Lawton Dentists, a free two-day dental clinic will be held in Lawton to offer access to dental services.

The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy event will take place on February 1 – 2, 2013 at the Lawton Great Plains Coliseum and will be a fully-functional dental facility with more than 130 chairs and nearly 1,400 volunteers, including dental professionals who will provide their services for free. Dentists Todd Bridges and Juan Lopez of Lawton are event Co- Chairs and have done incredible work to organize this event and make dental care easily accessible to the people of Southwest Oklahoma.

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ER Nursing Exceeding Expectations

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital, our goal is to exceed expectations in everything we do. The comments from our patients say it all.

"I tell anyone who has to go to the hospital go to CCMH. They are number one."

"This is the only hospital I would go to. I'm not one to be in the hospital a lot but when necessary you're the one."

"The staff provided excellent care. They went far beyond in meeting our needs with a heart of compassion. Because of their oustanding care our hospital stay was wonderful."

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Above and Beyond Exceptional Caring

At Comanche County Memorial Hospital our goal is to exceed expectations in everything we do.

That requires the most advanced technology and highly trained and experienced staff who provide exceptional caring. Exceptional caring is going above and beyond because you truly care about people. Our hospital is fortunate to have an abundance of employees who live this mission every day, and we’d like to thank them for their dedication and compassion by recognizing some of the kind things that have been said about them recently...

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Randy Segler CEO Image

In this day and age when we are bombarded with bad news and negative messages, often the good things get overlooked.

The reality is that there are great things happening all around us, and Comanche County Memorial Hospital is dedicated to focusing on the positive and recognizing and celebrating the good.

At CCMH we are excited about what the new year holds with important advancements planned to include: construction of the new McMahon Tomlinson Nursing Center, addition of a new cardiac Electrophysiology laboratory, renovation of our Emergency Department, installation of a state-of-the art infant and child security system, implementation of a fully integrated electronic patient medical record as well as many more technological advancements and medical staff additions.

So here’s to an incredible 2013! We invite you to join us in dwelling on the positive and celebrating the good as we bring you stories of hope and inspiration throughout this coming year.

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"The day I wake up and don't want to go to work is the day I'll retire." A quote by Pat Alston-Fuentez taken from a May 2010 Friday Focus article celebration her 40 years of service. Well, that wasn't the case. A busy, six year old grandson was a big reason that after 43 years of service, Pat has decided to retire.

"Kindergarten, soccer practice and games. . . some days I don't know if I'm coming or going. I haven't felt like I could keep up."

Since 1969, Pat has worked in the laboratory. Back then, there were no phlebotomists, so lab techs drew their own blood samples. She has witnessed several additions and medical advancements, especially in the laboratory.

"I'm really going to miss being in the middle of lab. I've done patient care for so many years. It will be hard getting used to not getting up, putting on my lab coat and going to work for the patients."

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Dana Perry Above and Beyond Story

"I was shopping at a local retailer in Lawton and all of a sudden this woman has falling and moving like she was having a seizure.

The customers started panicking - including myself, then all of a sudden this nurse comes out of nowhere, clears the area and goes right into save mode. She stayed with this woman, brought her to and handled it like I was watching a TV show. She comforted this woman and knelt by her side on her knees until the paramedics came.

She was professional, calm and such a pleasant woman. I made sure to look at her name tag, Dana Perry. Comanche County Memorial Hospital should be very proud of this woman.

Thank you Comanche County Memorial Hospital for having nurses that go above and beyond the call of duty on or off the clock."

-From a Patient

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A mother had just left the doctor's office where she had taken her 11 month old twins for a check-up. Utilizing the remote start accessory on her new car, she started the air to cool off the interior while she put her babies in the car-- little did she know the car automatically locks after five minutes. It didn't take long for her to discover this after the passenger door was closed.

Finding herself in the position of having her twin babies in a running car and needing to find help, was at a loss. About that time, Tony Mendoza and Jeremy Wood walked by and offered her assistance.

According to the woman's husband, Mendoza and Wood allowed his wife to borrow their phone, helped her call a locksmith and then stayed with her the entire time, even after the car was open, to insure the children were fine.

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Flora Above and Beyond Story

"One of the most exceptional things happened when Flora was taking care of my mother. I was leaving for the day and Flora was having a conversation with another employee in the hallway. When I approached her, she stopped in mid-sentence and addressed me- asking, 'How may I help you?'

All I can say is WOW. That's great customer service! She made me the most important person to her at that moment.

She not only is an excellent competent nurse from a technical standpoint, she has wonderful customer service skills too...and after all, isn't that what nursing should be?"

-From a Patient

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"I had 2 main nurses during my overnight stay at CCMH. Jeanette's name is the only nurse's name that I have written down. I believe that the other nurse was an RN named Lindsey. Both of these nurses went above and beyond their duties to make sure that my stay was comfortable and that all of my needs were taken care of. I had a very enjoyable stay at CCMH, and owe it to both of these ladies."

-From a Patient

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"I've been hospitalized numerous times at this hospital and never have I met such a kind hearted, beautiful person. Adel made my stay worthwhile, she lightened up my day and made me feel important. Very professional and caring. Thank you so much."-From a Patient

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"I am writing this letter to let you know the quality of your staff . They were, indeed, very good.

Their care was constant and conscientious. But, I would like to let you know about one nurse in particular. Her name was Blanca. She not just gave very good care, she gave wonderful and sympathetic care. She listened and took actual time to hear me. I can't tell you how much of a positive impact she had on my recovery. So much so that I am sorry I did not get a chance to thank her for all she did.

I hope you let her and all of your staff from your housekeepers, to your food service staff , respiratory therapy and, of course, your nurses and my doctors know how I feel. Thank you for having such a quality staff that I can have confidence in for my care."

-From a Patient

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"It's rough enough to have one child in the hospital, but to have two in at the same time? Oh my goodness! I want to thank everyone on the Starlight Unit who took such wonderful care of my grand kids! I was only able to see them in the evenings, so I apologize for not including everyone — Rachel and Susanne on the Starlight Unit and Wayne and Daniel in Respiratory Therapy. Also, Radiology, Dietary and the wonder housekeeper who gave my granddaughter a stuffed toy on her first night in the hospital before Brother joined her the next day. Thank you all so much!"-From a Patient

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"I wanted to thank you for the outstanding work you have done with my father. He was recently a victim of a car accident, and I truly believe that without your care, he would not be with my family today. Each and every member of the hospital that my family and I encountered treated us with the great respect and care. You are an example of what a great hospital should be! Please, keep up the good work and thank you so much for all you have done for my dad!"-From a Patient

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"I was at the AM/PM clinic with my 3 year old son. He had an accident and broke and lacerated his finger. Brandy went above and beyond to be caring and patient with him. She did everything she could to make his experience less scary. I would like to thank her for being so great to him. She is excellent." -From a Patient

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"I had a doctor's appointment today and on my way to my car I dropped my work key card in the parking lot.  Someone turned it in to admitting and Jennifer took the time to look up my number and give me a call at work and let me know she had it.  I thought that was such a great example of exceptional customer service and I deeply appreciated her effort. Good job!"-From a Patient

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"My son was treated at the AM/PM clinic with Dr. Hay and staff. They are all wonderful! They are the nicest, companionate, caring team of nurses & staff. They deserve KUDOS!"-From a Patient

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Rebecca Above and Beyond Story

"Rebecca from the Business Office always answers the phone and my requests with a smile and a thank you. Brings a smile to my face every time I make a payment. Now that is an accomplishment!"-From a Patient

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"We thought that the recognition to our RN is absolutely necessary. Our grandfather has been in and out of this hospital since 2003, and this time we were able to experience one of the most caring, patient, and informative RNs that we have ever experienced before. It takes a special person to do his job but to do his job with so much care is amazing. We are very pleased with him and would love for him to receive the recognition for the amazing job he does. If there were more RNs like him, hospitals would be a more comforting place to be."-From a Patient

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