OCH Places Blue Loo in Yards to Help Flush Out Diabetes

Monday morning Everlyn Johnson woke up to find a toilet in her front yard.

“When I first looked out the window, I could only see the flowers so I went outside and saw the toilet, and it was quite attractive. I couldn’t believe it could be so pretty!” laughed Johnson.

Johnson had her suspicions the “blue loo” might end up in her front yard during the month of November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Johnson is a type II diabetic and also a regular attendee at OCH Regional Medical Center’s Diabetes Support Group, so she knew about the plans to get the community’s involvement to help “flush out” diabetes.

“My neighbors thought it was weird, but that’s okay. It was for a good cause!” said Johnson.

Nicky Yeatman RD, LD, OCH Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) Program Coordinator, said “First and foremost the goal is to raise awareness of what a problem diabetes is not only in Mississippi but also globally. Secondly, it serves as a fundraiser for the patient assistance fund that helps those with diabetes who cannot afford the help they need to manage their diabetes.”

Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. More than 29 million people are affected by diabetes in the United States alone with more than 1 million people being diagnosed annually. Symptoms of diabetes include increased hunger and fatigue, frequent urination and being thirstier, dry mouth, itchy skin and blurred vision.

The (DSMES) Program equips participants with the information and skills they need to successfully manage the disease and improve their quality of life. The DSMES team, which includes a certified diabetes educator, registered nurse, pharmacist and registered dietitian, conducts individual assessments for patients to determine their specific needs.

Johnson knows from experience how helpful working with a clinician can be to managing diabetes. She said Yeatman helped her lower her A1c to a 6.5 which is better than the 7.0 target number for diabetics.

“I wrote down what I had eaten for several days, and Nicky made some suggestions about how to improve my diet. I’ve followed her directions ever since,” said Johnson adding that, “Nicky realizes that diabetes management is individualized and that what works for one person may not work for another.”

Johnson said she was prompted to change her medicine earlier this year after attending one of Yeatman’s support group meetings and listening to a physician who discussed new diabetic medications on the market.

“Every meeting I learn something new that I can use. The education part is just fantastic. Nicky also has new dishes for us to try at the support group meetings, and I have incorporated many of those recipes in my dietary intake,” said Johnson.

Yeatman said the key to controlling diabetes is developing a plan that is right for the individual and sticking to the plan.

“It’s not always easy, but if patients will commit to eating the right foods, taking their medications as prescribed by their physicians and exercising regularly, diabetes is manageable. We call it the ‘self-management program’ because this is a disease our patients face every day, and we provide the education and support they need to manage their diabetes on a daily basis,” said Yeatman.

“I am just so glad Nicky has come into our lives! I feel like I am a healthier person because of her, and the wonderful things I’ve learned from her and the adjustments I’ve made to my diet. There’s no reason for a diabetic to struggle with high blood sugar because Nicky is so helpful and can help her patients get it under control,” said Johnson.

For more information on diabetes management visit www.och.org/diabetes-management, or call Yeatman at 662-615-2668.

If you’d like to help “flush out” diabetes and move the blue loo to a friend’s yard, fill out the form below!

Flush Out Diabetes

The OCH Diabetes Management Center is placing a hand-painted toilet in yards across Starkville to raise awareness and money to "flush out" diabetes! Please fill out your personal information first, select which option you would like to move the potty, and if it pertains, where you would like to move the potty. Someone will contact you to receive payment. Cash, check and PayPal accepted.
  • Please understand because of time, address of recipient must be within the Starkville city limits.
  • I understand that the potty will remain on location for at least one business day and will be relocated where I requested after payment and based upon the order in which requests are submitted.

OCH Occupational Therapist Provides Specialized Therapy to MSU Student with Prosthesis

Alex Daly, 20, is a junior at Mississippi State University studying software engineering. He does all the typical things that college students do, including playing video games and the guitar, but maybe a little differently. Alex was born with a congenital absence of his left arm below the elbow. While he’s had various prosthetic arms throughout his life, they’ve all “hindered more than they helped” according to Alex; however, that all changed when he learned about the newest type of prosthesis on the market and got connected with OCH Rehab Services Occupational Therapist Jamie Yates.

In May, Daly received his new myoelectric prosthesis with Coapt pattern recognition technology and the i-limb quantum by Ossur. The i-limb hand is currently the most versatile prosthetic hand on the global market, with individually motorized digits and technology that allows users to choose from a wide selection of automated grips and gestures to help complete their activities of daily living.

With Daly living in Starkville, Ossur contacted Yates to invite her to Columbus, Ohio to participate in an intense two-day training course to teach her how to help patients learn to use myoelectric limbs, but more specifically, how to help Daly.

“I was excited about the opportunity to learn more about this brand new technology and how to help Alex optimize the use of the prosthesis,” said Yates. “Someone with a lower extremity absence is much more motivated to learn how to use prosthetics to be able to walk; whereas people like Alex with an upper extremity absence have learned how to do things differently instead of using a prosthesis,” she explained.

“I have to rethink how I do things,” said Daly. “Going from doing everything with my right arm to now using both arms has been a new way of thinking for me. I learned how to do everything with my right hand, so it’s been an adventure. It’s fun, but it’s a challenge.”

Yates is now the only occupational therapist in the state trained to educate patients on how to use a myoelectric prosthesis. Originally from Pennsylvania, Daly admits he was pleasantly surprised when he learned there was a therapist in Starkville who could provide the services he needed. “I was prepared to have to travel outside of Starkville for this treatment, but it has worked out really well with Jamie being here in Starkville. OCH has fantastic rehab services, and Jamie and the staff have been super helpful,” said Daly.

Yates noted that physicians are now recognizing that a patient’s success with a new prosthesis is linked to at least 20-30 hours of occupational therapy. Daly’s weekly therapy includes re-learning activities of daily living with the prosthesis such as making a sandwich or tying his shoes, as well as performing exercises to strengthen the muscles that carry the weight of the prosthesis.

“Alex has never really used his left arm as much as the right, and now with the weight of the unit on his left arm, he is more at risk for shoulder impingement or arthritis. To prevent damage to the muscles and joints in his arm, we work on exercises to strengthen those muscles,” she explained.

“Jamie keeps me focused on a lot of stuff I would have never even thought about like helping me strengthen my rotator cuff. I knew I would have to do some of that but not to the extent that Jamie has gotten me to,” said Daly.

The prosthesis has 17 connection points embedded in the sleeve or arm portion of his prosthesis that lie directly over the end of his arm and are continuously detecting the contracting and relaxing of his muscles using the Coapt pattern technology. Each specific signal from a particular muscle or group of muscles can be programmed to elicit one of the many desired grips.

“There are so many grasps we use to function throughout the day that we don’t even think about, such as picking up a drink, writing with a pen or holding a phone. With a muscle powered unit, the user can obtain these hands movements in much the same manner,” Yates explained.

And if Daly needs a specific grip—there’s an app for that! Together, Yates and Daly have programmed commands into the myoelectric prosthesis that Daly accesses through an app on his phone. One command in particular allows him to hold a guitar pick so that his right hand is able to play the chords while he strums with his left hand. Daly describes playing the guitar as a “creative outlet” that he discovered around the same time he learned to accept himself and what makes him unique.

“There was a time that I went through an identity crisis and struggled a bit, but now, I’m able to be positive because of the support of my family and friends,” said Daly.

Now after working with Yates for six months, Daly includes her in the support circle and said, “Jamie encourages me to actively use the prosthetic and whenever there’s a problem, she’s really good to think about how to approach the situation to problem solve.”

Daly said if there’s anything he wants people to take away from his story, it’s everyone has an advocate.

“There are people who are willing to help whatever obstacle you’re facing. It doesn’t matter what that obstacle may be. There are people there to help.”

For more information about OCH Rehab Services, visit the webpage or call 662-615-3030.

OCH to Provide Free Flu Shots to Community

OCH Regional Medical Center will provide 50 free flu vaccinations on Saturday, October 20 from 8 – 10 a.m. in the OCH Community Room.

“Now is the time to act on prevention,” said OCH Infection Control Manager Savannah Brown, RN.  “An estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications last winter, and that’s an alarming number of deaths. We urge those who are hesitant to get the flu shot to remember it’s not only about protecting themselves but also about preventing the more vulnerable, such as the very young and elderly patients, from contracting the flu,” continued Brown.

Influenza is most common from December to April, and because the immune system takes time to respond to the vaccine, October through mid-November is the optimal time to get vaccinated.

Brown said although the flu shot will not cause the flu, some people do experience soreness or redness at the injection site and a slight fever or minor muscle aches.  A severe egg allergy can be a contraindication for the vaccine, so those with egg allergies should speak to their physicians prior to coming for vaccination.  An egg-free version of the vaccine is available for those 18 years of age and older, and OCH will have a few of those available for people who require them.  People with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome should not receive the vaccine.

“It is important to note that a person can still obtain a different strain of the flu than what the vaccine contains. The vaccine mainly protects against the most common strains predicted for the year, but even if the shot does not specifically prevent the strain of the flu we see this year, it can still provide some protection and decrease symptoms and severity of any flu contracted,” explained Brown.

Vaccines will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a small supply of high-dose vaccines for the public as well, for those who come early.  The high-dose vaccine is recommended for those 65 years of age and older.  For more information, call the OCH Infection Control Department at 662-615-2820.

 

OCH Surgeon Performing Single-Site Robotic Gallbladder Surgery

          Patients in North Mississippi have a unique option for gallbladder surgery. OCH Regional Medical Center is the only facility in the region offering single-site robotic gallbladder removal. Board-certified general surgeon Roger Clapp, MD, FACS, is the only surgeon in North Mississippi to offer this cutting-edge technology using the da Vinci SI Robotic Surgical System at OCH. Instead of using several incisions, Dr. Clapp operates through one tiny incision using robotic assistance, which typically results in less pain, less scarring and a quicker return to normal activities for patients.

After years of stomach pain and nausea that progressively worsened, Sara Watkins opted to undergo single-site robotic gallbladder removal by Dr. Clapp at OCH.

“I made an appointment with Dr. Parsons in Ackerman after having yet another night of horrible stomach pain.  I saw several physicians, but Dr. Parsons took time and listened to me,” said Watkins.  “He ordered an ultrasound on my gallbladder and even went one step further and ordered a HIDA Scan, which showed my gallbladder wasn’t functioning properly,” she explained.

Watkins made an appointment with Dr. Clapp in Starkville who explained single-site robotic general surgery to her.

“Neither single-site nor robotic surgery is new, but combining the two is what makes this procedure so advanced and beneficial to the patient,” explained Dr. Clapp.  “This technology allows the surgeon to utilize superior video quality and more precise maneuvers through one very small incision.  Patients usually experience less pain, a quicker recovery and better cosmetic results.  It’s very exciting to be on the forefront and be a leader in using this advanced surgical technology for the benefit of my patients,” he added.

“I am so glad I had this surgery because I feel so much better!  The incision was literally hidden in my belly button.  I had very little tenderness and swelling, which would’ve been much worse if I had chosen to have laparoscopic surgery with multiple incisions,” said Watkins.

Watkins said she’s thankful single-site robotic surgery is available at OCH.  “I live in Louisville and could’ve gone to Jackson or Meridian to have this surgery, but because of OCH and Dr. Clapp, I was able to stay close to home to have the most advanced procedure, and not have a long drive home after surgery,” said Watkins.  “OCH is up-to-date on procedures and has plenty of resources, so I felt secure that if anything went wrong, they could handle the situation. I couldn’t have had a better experience,” Watkins added.

For more information about surgical services offered at OCH, click here. For gallbladder removal, hernia repair, or other general surgery services, make an appointment with Dr. Clapp by calling his office at (662) 324-1310, ext. 201.

 

 

Doctor from Ghana Shadows OCH Physicians

Through medical mission work, a physician from Ghana was able to connect with the staff at OCH Regional Medical Center this week to expand and improve the healthcare in his hometown.

Dr. Thomas Cobb with Starkville Clinic for Women and a member of the medical staff at OCH took a mission trip to Ghana in 2016, and that’s where he met Dr. Donatus Zubeviel Dery. Dr. Dery is the only physician in his medical practice with a limited staff. In Ghana, a country of more than 28 million people, there is a shortage of medical professionals with a ratio of one doctor for every 2,000 patients.

“Our patients with diseases have progressed much more than what we see here [in Starkville] because of the wait time to be able to see a physician,” Dr. Dery said, explaining that in his culture, people often seek alternative treatments first.

“This has been a great opportunity for us to partner with Dr. Dery so that he can observe our medical system and methods that are used,” said Dr. Cobb. “Dr. Dery is the only physician at the hospital in his town. Through observing our surgeons, he’s been able to learn new techniques to improve care for his patients back home.”

During his visit at OCH, Dr. Dery was able to observe several surgeries such as the removal of a gallbladder, a bowel resection and obstetric surgeries. In addition, Dr. Dery took note of the hospital’s best practices and learned about infection control and patient safety methods in order to directly improve the practices in his home village.

“I am really grateful to the staff at OCH, especially the theater [operating room] crew. Everyone here has been ready to assists me or explain to me each technique and help me learn. Because of the hospitality they’ve shown, I’ve been able to learn more and come up with goals to help my patients when I return home,” said Dr. Dery.

One of the short-term goals Dr. Dery mentioned was replacing the tile floors in the surgery room that can be slippery and more difficult to sanitize and improving patient care by making patients more comfortable and educating the patients on their plan of care.

As for long-term goals. Dr. Dery said he would one day like to have access to the advanced medical equipment he has seen at OCH that allows for less invasive procedures and a faster recovery time for his patients. At the hospital where he practices, there are no devices to perform laparoscopic surgeries. Dr. Dery explained he is only able to perform open surgeries with a spinal block. Anesthesia is not available, among many other much-needed medical supplies.

Because of the shortage of basic necessities, OCH donated much-needed supplies for Dr. Dery such as towels, gloves and cautery.

BJ’s Family Pharmacy in Starkville donated medicine such as antibiotics for Dr. Dery to prescribe to his patients.

“Medicine that we have easy access to here in America is scarce in so many other parts of the world.  My wife and I have had the privilege of serving in medical missions overseas, and this is another way for us to give back to others who are less fortunate, and hopefully, improve their quality of life,” said BJ Cougle.

For a complete list of the OCH medical staff, visit our physician directory.

OCH, UMMC ANNOUNCE HEALTH CARE AFFILIATION

A new affiliation between Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Medical Center in Starkville and the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson will strengthen and expand health care services in Starkville and the Golden Triangle.

The affiliation, announced June 26, brings the medical education, research and advanced health care offerings of Mississippi’s only academic medical center to OCH, a 96-bed, progressive rural hospital with a medical staff of more than 70 representing 20 medical specialties.

“Since January, our board, medical staff and administrative team have worked together on this affiliation process,” said Richard Hilton, outgoing OCH administrator and CEO. “Our goal was to find the best fit for not only our hospital and employees, but also for our patients and this community, and we feel that we’ve found that with UMMC at this time.”

Kevin Cook, UMMC CEO

Expanded access to state-of-the-art care will enable more area residents to stay home for treatment, said Kevin Cook, chief executive officer of the UMMC Health System. “Our vision for the affiliation is to ensure OCH is the center of a vibrant and viable medical community for many years to come,” Cook said.

OCH, with more than 600 employees, is the first facility in northeast Mississippi to offer digital mammography. Its services include the daVinci SI Robot advanced surgical system. Offerings also include a free-standing fitness facility, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes management, and a pulmonary wellness rehabilitation department providing physical, occupational and speech therapy.

OCH operates 10 clinics: a family medical clinic in Ackerman and nine clinics in Starkville offering services including breast health and imaging, lung and sleep care, pain management, sleep medicine, general surgery, orthopedics, wound healing and hyperbaric care, and family medicine.

The working relationship allows OCH to enhance its strong medical staff, expand its health care services, and improve access to treatment through UMMC’s medical and educational outreach. It allows UMMC to improve and expand the quality of its educational training programs and its research contributions.

OCH’s Board of Trustees chose UMMC after the Medical Center and two other hospital systems submitted proposals for affiliation earlier this year.

Jim Jackson, OCH CEO

“I’ve been following this process and know that the trustees have carefully considered what each system has to offer, and I’m very supportive of the decision they’ve made,” said OCH administrator and CEO Jim Jackson, announced as OCH’s new leader on June 25. “I respect UMMC, and we look forward to working with them in this mutually beneficial relationship as we continue to improve patient care in our community.”

“Now that Mr. Jackson has come on board, he will be able to take this decision and implement what has been put together,” Hilton said.

The affiliation will give UMMC the opportunity to expand educational training programs for Mississippi practitioners by placing medical residents and fellows at OCH, where they will deliver patient care in concert with the hospital’s medical staff.

Dr. Charles O’Mara

“Our new affiliation with OCH is an excellent opportunity for our residents and faculty physicians to bring the resources of the state’s only academic medical center to the Golden Triangle,” said Dr. Charles O’Mara, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs and professor of vascular surgery.

UMMC also enjoys affiliations with Anderson Hospital in Meridian, Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

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About OCH Regional Medical Center

Founded in 1973, OCH Regional Medical Center is a county-owned and operated facility serving Oktibbeha and the surrounding six counties. During its 45 years of existence, the hospital has completed numerous expansion projects including a south tower that houses radiology, emergency, laboratory and surgical services; a free-standing fitness and rehab facility; and a west tower which opened in 2011 expanding patient rooms and nurses stations and enhancing waiting spaces, as well as a state-of-the-art Women’s Center and a six-bed intensive care unit, in addition to a multi-level parking garage. The hospital boasts a staff of more than 70 physicians representing 20 medical specialties.

 

About the University of Mississippi Medical Center

A campus of the University of Mississippi, UMMC is the state’s only academic medical center. Located in Jackson, it encompasses seven health science schools, including medicine, nursing, health related professions, dentistry, pharmacy, graduate studies and population health. The Medical Center’s health care enterprise includes the state’s only Level I trauma center and its only children’s hospital. UMMC’s education, research and health care missions share the objectives of improving the health of the state’s population and eliminating health disparities.

For more information, visit http://www.umc.edu and https://www.umc.edu/PublicAffairs/Office-of-Public-Affairs.html. For more news stories from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, click here.

Please forward this message to colleagues who might be interested. If you wish to be removed from this list or know of a colleague to add, send an email message to mrolph@umc.edu.

Experienced Senior Healthcare Executive Takes Helm at OCH

OCH Regional Medical Center is proud to announce James “Jim” Jackson, CPA, as its new administrator/CEO.

Jackson boasts 31 years of extensive administrative, operational, financial, information systems and public accounting experience, with nearly 20 years at Greenwood Leflore Hospital where he served as CFO from 1999-2009 and CEO from 2009-2018. The 248-bed, city/county- owned rural referral hospital has approximately 900 employees and 23 clinics and is accredited by The Joint Commission.

“Jim Jackson has the knowledge and experience in Mississippi health care that will be critical in leading OCH Regional Medical Center forward. He is keenly aware of the challenges all hospitals face regarding the changes in the industry,” said OCH Board of Trustees Chairman Linda Breazeale.

As the CEO for Greenwood Leflore Hospital, Jackson was responsible for the executive/administrative and operational functions of the hospital; including supervision of all medical staff, ancillary, finance, human resources and support departments. Under his leadership, the hospital completed a $13 million physical plant renovation and retired the debt early, completed the purchase of a cancer center for $2 million and oversaw the ongoing $20 million investment in a new computer system. Jackson is also credited with the recruitment of numerous physicians in specialties such as orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, pulmonology/critical care, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, emergency medicine and primary care.

An avid Bulldog fan, Jackson earned his bachelor of professional accounting from Mississippi State University in 1986.

“As an alumnus of Mississippi State and having two children at MSU, we’re very excited to come to Starkville and join the OCH family. Starkville is a growing, progressive community that has so much to offer, and we look forward to being a part of this community,” said Jackson. “With the upcoming affiliation, we are positioned to expand our programs and services to continue to meet the community’s needs while maintaining the personalized care in a warm, friendly environment for which OCH has become known,” Jackson continued.

Jackson served as the Chairman of the 2016-2017 Mississippi Hospital Association Board of Governors and recently served as the chairman of MHA’s finance committee. He is a member of numerous committees and organizations; including the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Mississippi Society of CPAs. In 2015, he received the Senior Healthcare Executive ACHE Regents Award and was also named 2015 Employer of the Year by the Delta Chapter of Mississippi Business Women.

“As a graduate of Mississippi State, Mr. Jackson comes to us already with a connection and love for this community. He will be an active participant in civic and social activities in Starkville and Oktibbeha County that make the Golden Triangle a thriving region in the state,” noted Breazeale.

Outgoing OCH Administrator/CEO Richard Hilton said he’s known Jackson for the past 19 years and has also served alongside him on the MHA Board of Governors and several MHA committees.

“I have always known Mr. Jackson to be very dedicated in the delivery of patient care. He is trustworthy and well-respected among his peers. Mr. Jackson is very knowledgeable of the health care industry and knows what will be required of him in leading OCH Regional Medical Center into the future with the evolving changes affecting all hospitals,” said Hilton.

Jackson is a native of Greenwood, Mississippi. He and his wife, Laura, who is a native of Tupelo and also an MSU alumnus, have been married for 31 years and have three sons, Jay (23), Jeff (18) and John Ross (13).

Jackson assumes the role of administrator/CEO effective immediately upon the retirement of Hilton after his 35 years of service to OCH.

 

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OCH Nurse/Lieutenant Colonel Nominates Wound Center for Freedom Award

OCH Regional Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center has been named a 2018 nominee for the Freedom Award, which is the highest honor the U.S. Department of Defense bestows to civilian entities. Jimmy Vaughan, a volunteer with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), presented the certificate to the Center’s program director Brad McKenzie on Tuesday.

“Each year, Guard and Reserve members have the opportunity to nominate their employer for the Freedom Award,” explained Vaughn who is retired from the U.S. Army. “The ESGR State Committee reviews nominations and submits recommendations for the next round. A national selection board comprised of senior Department of Defense officials, business leaders and prior awardees select up to 15 employers to receive the Secretary of Defense’s award. This is a way for the employee and ESGR to thank the employers for their support,” Vaughn said.

LTC Beth Sisson, who works at the Center as a board certified wound and foot care nurse, nominated the Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center for the award. When she’s not providing wound care for patients at OCH, Sisson serves as the commander for the 6-95th military intelligence battalion in San Antonio, Texas.

“In the Army Reserves, we go wherever we’re assigned and that’s not always easy for our employers because our schedules can be very unpredictable,” said Sisson. “Brad has been very supportive of me, always going above and beyond to accommodate my schedule and thanking me for my service. That kind of support has meant so much to me.”

This prestigious recognition by the Department of Defense comes during National Wound Healing Awareness Month to help raise awareness of chronic wounds and treatments available. As one of 700+ Healogics-managed Centers, the OCH Regional Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds.

“Receiving this nomination for the Freedom Award during National Wound Healing Awareness Month makes it that much more special,” said McKenzie. “We’re a team here at the wound healing center, and we’re proud to support Beth and appreciate what she and all of the men and women do who serve our country,” McKenzie continued.

People with wounds that have not improved with traditional methods of treatment may benefit from a visit to the OCH Regional Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center. To schedule an appointment at the Center, call 662-615-2791.

 

 

 

 

Maternity & Infant Fair Provides One Stop Shop for Information for Parents

OCH Regional Medical Center will host its 23rd Annual Maternity & Infant Fair Saturday, June 2 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the OCH Ed Facility.
Event coordinator and OCH Perinatal Educator Paula Hamilton, RNC-OB, IBCLC, said two new additions to the fair this year include the recently opened Childhood Academy at East Mississippi Community College and Emerson Family Resource Center, which will show a 10-minute video on safe sleep for babies and give away newborn onesies.
“Babies don’t come with instructions, but our community is so fortunate to have a wealth of resources to help parents succeed, and that’s the goal of the Maternity and Infant Fair—to connect moms and dads with local resources to help them care for their new additions,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton said representatives from Early Intervention, Excel by 5, East Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition, La Leche League, WIC, Starkville Clinic for Women, Starkville Pediatric Clinic, and other clinics and community organizations/businesses will be on-site to provide information and special demonstrations. In addition, a booth featuring information about Medela breast pumps, which may be rented through OCH, will also be available, along with details about the nationally-recognized Mom 365 photo service, which is also offered at OCH to enhance infant and childhood security.
Information on breastfeeding, pre- and postnatal diet and nutrition, safe sleep for newborns, car seat safety, and other current recommendations for safety for newborns and their growing families. Attendees will also have the opportunity to pre-admit, ask questions about their hospital stay, and learn how to access their patient information online.
“We recognize the importance of getting the most up-to-date guidelines and recommendations into the hands of moms and dads to ease their fears and help them be well-prepared. Our staff is committed to making the experience of becoming a parent as wonderful as it should be,” said Hamilton.
Refreshments will be provided, and numerous door prizes, including complimentary prenatal, breastfeeding, sibling and grandparenting classes, Wellness Connection swim classes, and donations from area merchants such as a photography session, door hangers, and newborn essentials will be given away at the Fair. “I’m a Big Brother” and “I’m a Big Sister” t-shirts for siblings will be available for purchase, as well as activities for children to enjoy.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Maternity & Infant Fair, call Hamilton at 662-769-7813 or learn more about OCH’s maternity services here.

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OCH Administrator/CEO to Retire after 44 Years in Healthcare

OCH Regional Medical Center Administrator/CEO Richard Hilton announced his retirement Wednesday after 35 years of service to OCH and a total of 44 years in the field of healthcare.

“This retirement will allow me to spend more quality time with my wife, La Rue, our seven children and 14 grandchildren,” said Hilton. “I am proud to be a part of the OCH family and my time here will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish the trustees, medical staff and employees continued success.”

Hilton has a long tenure with OCH, serving as the Associate Administrator/Chief Financial Officer from March 1983 to February 2012, when he was named Administrator/CEO by the OCH Board of Trustees.

“The board is grateful for Mr. Hilton’s extensive insights into issues that impact the healthcare industry on many levels,” said Linda Breazeale, OCH Board of Trustees Chair. “The needs of Starkville and Oktibbeha County citizens have always been his top priority, as he has expanded on the well-laid foundation formed by our medical community in generations past.  Mr. Hilton has been instrumental in guiding trustees into the affiliation process and has equipped us with extensive background information for issues and considerations as we move forward.”

The OCH Board of Trustees accepted Hilton’s letter of resignation at the regular board meeting Tuesday night and will immediately begin the search for the next administrator. Hilton has agreed to stay on board as long as necessary to assist with the transition process.

“The board looks forward to searching for a new chief administrator who will bring a respect for our past, appreciation for our present and a vision for our future,” said Breazeale.

Hilton is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and has been a member of the Hospital Financial Management Association and the American Hospital Association since 1983.

Serving on the board of directors of the Greater Starkville Partnership Development and as a member of the Starkville Rotary Club, Hilton is very active in his community.  His philanthropic efforts also extend beyond the United States. He and his wife are the founders of Family Life Missions Inc., a benevolent ministry operating children’s homes in Catacamas, Honduras, where he served as president/CEO and board chairman from 1992-2005.

Hilton holds a B.S. in business administration from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and an M.S. in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

 

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