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2014 Press Releases

"Push We Care" Bus Arrives

Pushmataha County residents now have access to a mobile health screening and resource unit. This is the realization of a multi-year project involving the work of numerous partners culminated with the delivery of the "Push We Care" Mobile Health Screening and Resource Unit. Pictured is Smart Start Tri-County Director, Tonya Finley, (right) with the new bus with Care Coordinator Manager with the Little Dixie Healthy Start Program, Pam Waugh (left), and Drug Free Communities Program Director Michele Frazier (center). This mobile unit would not have been possible if not for the tireless efforts of the following groups: Pushmataha County Turning Point Coalition, USDA Rural Development, Smart Start Oklahoma, Project SPIT, Shape Your Future Oklahoma, Little Dixie CAA, Zen Gee Counseling and Psychological Services, LLC, SequelCare of Oklahoma, New Beginnings, The Convenience Center, Mills Quick Lube and Clean, and AmeriState Bank.

The handicap accessible unit, which features a wheelchair ramp, has equipment, all necessary supplies and educational material regarding numerous health issues from various coalition partners. The "Push We Care" bus is operational and free mobile health screenings are being provided by a volunteer staff of trained nurses or other providers to residents within Pushmataha County. Individuals with abnormal results will be referred to area providers for further testing and/or treatment.   The screening unit will conduct between eight to 12 trips a year, with the primary focus being to increase access to health care screenings and needed referrals within the extremely rural areas of the county. The "Push We Care" Bus has also been approved and listed as an Emergency Response Vehicle should a catastrophic event occur in the county.  This listing for the Emergency Response Vehicle was made possible through the efforts of Jeremie Fisher and Pat Fowler with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

For more information on this service, please contact Tonya Finley, Smart Start Tri-County Director, at (580) 326-3351.

Million Hearts Begins With You

Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. To view more, click this link: /files/Million-Hearts-Campaign.pdf

Faith & Community Based Health Summit 2014 - Together For Health, Dec. 4

HEALTH EQUITY is when everyone has the opportunity to "attain their full health potential" and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstance.

Let's advance health equity in our local communities - together.

Learn and Connect to create new opportunities for better health.

The Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign, Oklahoma Conference of Churches, Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Career Technology Centers and the Oklahoma Public Health Association invite you to the Faith & Community-based Health Summit 2014 - Together for Health, in Oklahoma City on December 4, 2014 in Tulsa.

When you register, you will find the agenda and presenter bios. REGISTER ONLINE TODAY at

Pharmacists and the Health Care Puzzle

In the United States, it is puzzling that we spend
53% more per person on health care than any other industrialized nation, yet our patients don't fare any better.

Pharmacists can help to solve this health care puzzle by reducing overall health care costs and improving patient care at the same time. Click here for more details.

Grant Targets Health Literacy in Pushmataha County

The Antlers Public Library’s Health Literacy Project is one of twelve programs statewide awarded a $4,000 health literacy grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL). The goal for awarded projects is to provide resources and training opportunities that enhance community awareness about health and wellness.

The local grant will actually fund two projects. On the Go Info is the first project that starts by sending a librarian with a tablet, mobile Wi-Fi, and a portable printer to the once monthly First Baptist Free Clinic in Antlers, Oklahoma with the goal to bring the breadth of health information on the web to a group that is low income, without health insurance, and seeking medical attention. The clinic’s personnel is enthusiastic of the proposed project and has offered the library a room in which to visit with the patients after they have seen the doctor and while they are waiting on prescriptions to be filled.

The second project is the library’s Gateway which is the creation of an easy-to-use interface to the web which has links to verified health and other resources. While the Gateway has a variety of links, 28 of the 62 links are health related. The Gateway will be used initially on the library’s public access computers.

“We are excited to collaborate with other organizations to carry out this effort,” Director Patti Lehman said. Partners include the Antlers First Baptist Church Free Clinic and the Pushmataha Turning Point Coalition. “Together, we hope to make a difference in the lives of our fellow citizens by encouraging healthier choices and improving access to health information.” Director Lehman will also be meeting with other community groups and other health institutions to see if either of the Health Literacy projects can be expanded further into the community.

America’s Health Rankings, an annual report by the United Health Foundation, lists Oklahoma near the bottom according to Leslie Gelders, director of ODL’s Literacy Resource Office. “We rank 44th out of the 50 states,” Gelders said. “Among the health concerns reported, our state ranks poorly in such areas as immunization of children, obesity, diabetes, drug deaths, high cholesterol, annual dental visits, and consumption of fruits.”

Along with the many reported health concerns, Gelders said there are also concerns when it comes to the ability of many Oklahoma adults to access, read, and understand credible health and wellness information.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost nine out of ten Americans have problems reading and using consumer health information,” Gelders said. “If the majority of Americans have problems understanding health information, imagine the obstacles faced by people with low reading skills or a limited understanding of English.”

Gelders said studies reveal that an individual’s ability to read and understand health information is actually a stronger predictor of a person’s health than his age, socioeconomic status, education or ethnicity.

“In order to improve the state’s health outcomes, Oklahomans need to be able to access and understand reliable health information,” Lehman said. “We also need to be able to speak effectively with our medical professionals, follow dosage instructions, and use available resources to make informed health decisions for ourselves and our families.”

Gelders said health literacy partnerships are a relatively new concept for Oklahoma library and literacy programs.

“The better understanding individuals have about their health choices, the better the outcomes. That’s why this project is so important, and that’s why the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services is providing the funding for these grants.”

For information on Oklahoma’s adult literacy efforts, visit

To learn more about the local effort, contact Patti Lehman at the Antlers Public Library by email at or by phone at 580-298-5649.

Angie Batton Nominated Leader of the Year

Congratulations to one of RHN of Oklahoma's members, Angie Batton. Oklahoma Primary Care Association (OKPCA) honored six individuals who exemplify increasing access to affordable health care in Oklahoma during the recent OKPCA Annual Conference. Leader of the Year is Angie Batton, RN, CEO, Pushmataha Family Medical Center.

Great American Smokeout is Nov. 20, 2014

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout. They may use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. The Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps people know about the many tools they can use to quit and stay quit. Read more.

November is National Diabetes Month

This November, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and its partners are proud to support National Diabetes Month 2014. Throughout National Diabetes Month, the NDEP and its partners will promote "Be Smart About Your Heart: Control the ABCs of Diabetes" to help people with diabetes learn they are at greater risk for heart disease, and also how they can lower that risk by managing the diabetes ABCs: The A1C test, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Stop Smoking. Learn more here.

What Parents Need to Know about Enterovirus D68

Every year, millions of children in the United States catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing, and fever. This year, the enterovirus that is most commonly causing respiratory illness in children across the country is enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Take basic steps to keep your child from getting and spreading EV-D68.
Read more.

Broken Bow Police Department is 167th Drop Box Location

Broken Bow Police Department (pictured above) is now home to the 167th  Drop Box placed as part of the Safe Trips for Scripts program, sponsored by Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

McCurtain County Coalition for Change Awarded $10,000

The McCurtain County Coalition for Change, a certified County Health Improvement Organization (CHIO), was awarded a $10,000 Quality Improvement project to support proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs.
With this grant, the McCurtain County Coalition for Change CHIO was able to provide lock boxes to 14 participating physicians. The lock boxes are an example of what type of storage device to purchase when locking up prescription drugs. 

These lock boxes can be purchased or ordered at local medical supply companies, local pharmacies or retail stores.  The CHIO organizations' intention is for patients to be educated on prescription drug storage and disposal during their office visit.  Brochures have also been made available with additional educational materials to follow.

This is an effort to make our community a safer place and avoid possible tragedies.

Contact Robbie Mullens, Region 6 Prevention Director with SOIC, at 580-286-8604, or Deanne Taylor, Rural Health Network of Oklahoma and SE OK CHIO Coordinator at 580-271-1316, for additional brochures or questions regarding the Quality Improvement project.

Kingston Oklahoma Receives Drop Box

The Kingston Police department recently submitted an application to place a drop box at their location.  The application was approved by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and a ceremony was held to promote the efforts to properly disposing of unused or expired drugs.  This location marks the third drop box in Marshall county.  The other locations in Marshall county include: Marshall County  Sheriff’s Office also sponsored by OBN and  the Madill Police station sponsored by Chickasaw Nation Light Horse.

Quality Improvement Project Underway in Choctaw County

Participating physicians in Choctaw County have received medicine lock boxes to display in each exam room through a $10,000 Quality Improvement grant from the Choctaw County Coalition and their County Health Improvement Organization (CHIO,) the Rural Health Network of Oklahoma and a partnership with Drug Free Communities. 

Through this grant, physicians are provided with educational material and other tools to better educate patients on proper storage of prescription drugs.  Patients can also learn to properly dispose of their medications. 

One way to dispose of the unused or expired medications is the drop them off at the drop box located inside the Choctaw County courthouse on the first floor next to the elevators.
Properly storing and disposing of unused or expired drugs remains to be an issue in Oklahoma.

Prevention tips include: 1.) Keep all pain medications in a safe and secure place to avoid theft and access to children.  2.) Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs.

Physicians and providers currently participating in Choctaw County are: Dr. Boon, Dr. Irvin; Dr. Pardue, Dr. Rowland, Dr. Murty, Al McLemore, PA; Stephanie Steinis, PA-C; and LeAnn Gaston, FNPC.

For questions regarding this article please contact Deanne Taylor at 580.271.1316.

Marshall County Partners in Progress Sponsor Senior Health Fair

Marshall County Partners in Progress sponsored the Marshall County Health Fair for Seniors at the Madill Senior Center.  The turnout was very good and participants were able to review their blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and fasting blood sugars. A health report card was provided to them after the testing.  Door prizes, like medicine lock boxes, were given away every 20 minutes to those registered for the event.  

Participants received information regarding proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs from the Marshal County Partners in Progress CHIO’s Quality Improvement project.

Other literature and educational information from distributed by:
Baptist Retirement Village, Brookside Nursing Home , TLC Home Nursing and Therapy, Sterling House Assisted Living, A.L.L. Care Home Services, Marshall County Home Health, Victory HH & Hospice & Medical Equipment, IDEAL Home Care, Cross Timbers Hospice, Chiropractic Clinic of Madill,  Featherstone Assisted Living, and  INTEGRIS Marshall County Medical Center.

New FQHC Comes to Clayton

Pushmataha Family Medical Center in Clayton Oklahoma began seeing patients in their new facility on June 4, 2014. The ribbon cutting/Grand Opening was held on June 27.

On May 1, 2012 PFMC was awarded a Federal grant in the amount of 4,393,302 to build, equip, and furnish the new facility.  RHN of Oklahoma played a role in assisting with IT for the new facility. Read more.

Pace Credited with Leveraging Technology to Improve Rural Health Care

Stacie Pace, RHN’s director, has been instrumental in connecting providers with the technology needed to improve quality outcomes for patients. 
Read entire release. As Seen in the Examiner: Page One   Page Two

2014 Newsletters

The Journal of Rural Health - Rural Health Networks: Adapting to a Changing Health Care Environment

CDC VitalSigns Fact Sheet: Opiod Painkiller Prescribing

RHNMay/June Newsletter

RHNApril Newsletter

Little Dixie Digest 

2013 Press Releases

Healthcare Network Takes Bold Steps to Improve Access to Care in Rural Oklahoma

The Southeast Oklahoma Rural Health Network (SORHN), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, recently changed its name to Rural Health Network (RHN) of Oklahoma. The change comes as efforts increase to improve access to health care for individuals living in Southeast Oklahoma and surrounding areas. 
Read entire release.  As Seen In The Examiner: Page One   Page Two

Area Health Care Networks, Coalitions Join Forces to Decrease Prescription Drug Abuse, Deaths

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s fasted growing drug problem. Of the nearly 3,200 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007-2011, 81 percent involved at least one prescription drug. 
Read entire release.

2014 enewsletters
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014


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