"The Little Hospital The Could': Confronting Diabetes in the Delta and Beyond
A new public-private partnership offers people with diabetes more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of telehealth technology in their homes.
The percentage of people in Mississippi aged 18 or greater who report they have been told they have diabetes is 11.3 percent, according to the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey in 2010.
In the Mississippi Delta, the problem is expounded by issues such as obesity, inactivity, familial history and poverty. In Sunflower County, 13.8 percent of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes, with an estimated one-third of the population currently unaware they may have the disease.
More than 32 percent of Mississippi adults are obese – gaining it the notoriety of being the “fattest state” in the nation. Obesity is one of the single largest contributors to diabetes, so it is no wonder why the state leads the country in this statistic.
As the Executive Director at North Sunflower Medical Center, these statistics trouble me. But there is hope.
Forging a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has joined with us at the North Sunflower Medical Center, along with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations, and C-Spire Wireless to offer people with diabetes more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of telehealth technology in their homes.
The Diabetes Tele-health Network will begin recruiting patients in the Spring of 2014 in the Mississippi Delta to participate in an 18-month remote care management program – a concept that fuses technology with UMMC specialist care to improve patient outcomes and reduce total cost of care in a historically underserved area of the state. By using specialized tablet computers and cutting edge telehealth, the program is able to bring the resources and expertise of the state’s only academic medical center, UMMC, to citizens of rural Mississippi, rather than requiring them to travel to UMMC.
The project will recruit 200 patients in Sunflower County, MS, who will use Care Innovations technology to share daily health data, such as weight, blood pressure, and glucose levels with clinicians. The patient-provided information gives clinicians a much more complete view of a patient’s life. With this information, clinicians can easily adjust medical care, as well as schedule phone calls or video chats with patients as necessary. This type of “just-in-time” education can help avoid serious health complications as well as develop long-lasting behavioral change. Clinicians also can see a snapshot of all patients under their care to help them better understand which patients need immediate support.
North Sunflower Medical Center has become known throughout the Mid-South as “The Little Hospital That Could.” As North Sunflower Medical Center continues to partner with other facilities like UMMC to provide cutting-edge technology with real-time tele-emergency medicine, patients at North Sunflower Medical Center have immediate access to specialists in Jackson, MS without ever leaving home.
Those interested in participating in the Diabetes Telehealth Pilot should contact North Sunflower Medical Center’s One Call Referral Line: (662) 756-4000.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant discusses safety and jobs in annual address
JACKSON -- Gov. Phil Bryant said in his State of the State speech Wednesday he wants to hire more Highway Patrol troopers; focus on job development; improve the budget process; and continue trying to reduce the teen pregnancy rate.
He said the University of Mississippi Medical Center and private companies are launching a program to expand care for diabetics.
And, Bryant said, he wants to add the slogan "In God We Trust" to the state seal.
The Republican is beginning his third year as governor. In his speech in a packed House chamber at the state Capitol, he said he wants to make the prison system less expensive and more efficient.
Bryant is asking lawmakers to approve a project to use the ACT as a high school exit exam to replace existing subject-area tests in math and other subjects.
He said when he took office in January 2012, Mississippi's unemployment rate was 9.4
percent, and it's now 8.3 percent. He introduced Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, who was in the public gallery overlooking the House floor. The company plans to start hiring in February for the plant it will open in West Point.
"Yokohoma Tire could have placed its new plant anywhere in the world," Bryant said. "Every state in the nation would have been honored to have this great company and its new facility. … Mr. Yamamoto, I thank you for your confidence in our state, and I look forward to deepening our friendship and our business ties. I wish your company many years of success in Mississippi."
Though Mississippi has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, Bryant said it decreased in 2012. "We believe that every Mississippian deserves to be born into a mature, two-parent family," he said.
He said the University of Mississippi Medical Center, GE Healthcare, North Sunflower Medical Center and C-Spire are launching the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Initiative.
"This groundbreaking pilot program will use telehealth technology to pair resources from the University Medical Center with health care providers and 200 of the most complex diabetes patients in the Mississippi Delta," Bryant said. "This coordinated care approach will improve disease management and health outcomes for generations to come."
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Bryant: Improve Schools, Create Jobs, End Abortion
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant presented a generally optimistic outlook about Mississippi during his State of the State address, focusing on job creation and saying he believes the state can improve its academic performance with charter schools and merit pay for teachers.
Republican Bryant, who’s beginning his third year as governor, said he wants to hire more Highway Patrol troopers, improve the budget process, end abortion and continue trying to reduce the teen pregnancy rate. He said the University of Mississippi Medical Center and private companies are launching a program to expand care for diabetics.
And Bryant said he wants to add the slogan “In God We Trust” to the state seal, a proposal that received a standing ovation from some legislators and other elected officials in a packed House chamber Wednesday evening at the Capitol.
He noted that when he took office in January 2012, Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, and it’s now 8.3 percent. He introduced Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, who was in the public gallery overlooking the House floor. The company plans to start hiring in February for the plant it will open in West Point.
“Yokohama Tire could have placed its new plant anywhere in the world,” Bryant said. “Every state in the nation would have been honored to have this great company and its new facility. … Mr. Yamamoto, I thank you for your confidence in our state, and I look forward to deepening our friendship and our business ties. I wish your company many years of success in Mississippi.”
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, who delivered the Democrats’ response, noted that 1 in 5 Mississippians live in poverty. He said officials need to put aside partisan differences to try to improve the state.
“Today, more Mississippians are struggling than ever before,” Wiseman said. “Unemployment is unacceptably high in our state. Incomes are too low, and opportunities are too few and far between. These problems are too big for any one party or any one idea to fix.”
Bryant, who started his career as a deputy sheriff, said he wants to make the prison system less expensive and more efficient.
“I have no sympathy for violent or career criminals, and I believe that any modification to the correctional system should put the victim first,” Bryant said.
The governor is asking lawmakers to approve a project to use the ACT as a high school exit exam to replace existing subject-area tests in math and other subjects. He said a charter school law, enacted in 2013, could bring innovation to classrooms. Four of Mississippi’s 151 school districts are using merit pay for teachers, and Bryant said he wants at least 70 percent to use it by 2018.
Though Mississippi has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, Bryant said it decreased in 2012. “We believe that every Mississippian deserves to be born into a mature, two-parent family,” he said.
Bryant did not propose any new restrictions on abortion, but he defended a law he signed in 2012, requiring hospital admitting privileges for anyone who performs the procedure. Mississippi’s only remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has been unable to obtain the privileges for its OB-GYNs, and filed a federal lawsuit in 2012 seeking to block the law. The clinic remains open, by court order, while the lawsuit is pending.
“On this unfortunate anniversary of Roe versus Wade, my goal is to end abortion in Mississippi,” Bryant said, referring to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a nationwide right to abortion.
He also said the University of Mississippi Medical Center, GE Healthcare, North Sunflower Medical Center and C-Spire are launching the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Initiative.
“This groundbreaking pilot program will use telehealth technology to pair resources from the University Medical Center with health care providers and 200 of the most complex diabetes patients in the Mississippi Delta,” Bryant said. “This coordinated care approach will improve disease management and health outcomes for generations to come.”
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Christmas Parade: Tuesday December 17 at 5:30 pm (if you would like to be a part of the parade, contact Robyn Marlow at 719-6655)
Open House Friday and Saturday Nov. 29&30
Stores open on the highway and downtown
Indianola Christmas Parade: December 5 at 4:00pm
Indianola Saturdays with Santa: December 7, 14, and 21
Southern Bancorp: Buiding Communites. Changing Lives.
President Bill Clinton and Foundation Executives Welcome Southern Bancop's New Leadership
Former President Bill Clinton and leaders from of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation welcomed Darrin Williams, Speaker Pro-Tem of the Arkansas General Assembly, and Dr. Glendell Jones, Jr., President of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, as the respective CEO and Governing Board Chair of the nation’s leading rural development financial institution, Southern Bancorp, Inc. The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation hosted the event.
President Clinton’s message, sent from New York, described how Southern is fulfilling the vision that he and then the First Lady of Arkansas Hillary Clinton, along with Rob Walton, Muhammad Yunus, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and others had when they founded Southern Bancorp in 1986 to help generate long-lasting and catalytic investments in rural communities. Attendees also viewed a short video about Southern Bancorp featuring some of its founders, customers and partners.
Cory Anderson and Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and Mr. William Buster of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation also congratulated the two for continuing and strengthening Southern’s mission to invest in rural communities and empower the individuals and businesses there to transform those communities for the better. Both foundations are significant shareholders and supporters of Southern.
"The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has been part of Southern Bancorp’s journey since the beginning," said Dr. West-Scantlebury. "And the addition of this new, vibrant leadership makes us greatly anticipate the road ahead. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Southern Bancorp well into the future."
Williams, an attorney and three-term member of the Arkansas General Assembly where he currently serves as Speaker Pro-Tem, accepted the position of CEO earlier in the year after previously serving as a board member.
"My vision for Southern Bancorp is deeply rooted in the experiences I have had over the years as both a securities attorney and as an elected official representing working Arkansans," said Williams. "I understand what low-income families need to achieve economic security because I have represented countless families in dire situations both as an attorney and as a lawmaker, yet I also understand, from my work in securities litigation, what it means for a financial institution to act responsibly. Those experiences drive me in my work at Southern, and I look forward to helping pave the way to extend our reach so that we can help even more communities."
In addition to taking the role as Board Chair of Southern Bancorp, Inc., Dr. Glendell Jones, Jr. was also recently installed as the 17th
president of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. A long-time member of Arkansas’s higher education administration, Dr. Jones previously served in administrative and professorial positions at Arkansas State University before returning to take the helm of his alma mater. Jones’ rich educational and leadership background are proving to be a winning combination for his role as board chair.
"I’m proud to have the opportunity to take this role with an organization that gives so much back to the communities we serve," said Jones. "We’re investing in small businesses and individuals, both through financial products and community development efforts, to empower them so that they are able to transform both their communities and their lives for the better."
Starting from an initial investment of approx. $10 million, today Southern Bancorp has grown into one of the largest community development institutions in the country with over $1 billion in assets, over $3 billion in loans over the past 25 years and $175 million in leveraged investments across rural markets that have mostly been abandoned by large banks.
Lending over $3 billion over the past 25 years to give consumers and businesses access to affordable credit and capital, Southern Bancorp, Inc. and its affiliates – Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners – comprise one of the most effective community development organizations in the United States.
"I think it’s safe to say that our founders’ vision is being realized," said Williams. "However, we know that there is so much more to do and so many more communities that need help. That’s why Southern is launching a $100 million capital campaign to help expand our reach and the services we provide. We hope that foundations, corporations, individuals and others will join us in our continued effort to build communities and change lives."
The Way We Worked
The Sunflower Library System will sponsor an exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute entitled "The Way We Worked." The Exhibit will display 150 years of work in America. The exhibit will arrive at the Henry M. Seymour Library November 16,2013 and be open for the public to view until January 6, 2014. They will also have exhibits of Sunflower County's contribution to 150 years of work in America through oral histories, presentations, and displays.
The Way We Worked Smithsonian Exhibit
Located on the Second floor at the Henry Seymour Library
Contact: Jennifer Rose 887-2153 or Mary Ann Stone, Sunflowe County Library System Director
Office: 662-887-2153 or Email:
for more information
North Sunflower Medical Foundation
The goal of the Memorial Garden is to enhance the property and to provide an opportunity for people in the community and you as friends to become involved in the exciting things happening at North Sunflower Medical Foundation and North Sunflower Medical Center.
The Memorial Garden stands as a beautiful reminder of just how far we have come and just how much we have grown as a facility and a community. The Memorial Garden gives others the opportunity to recognize and memorialize a friend or loved one.
Future plans include a Chapel which will be built in the Memorial Garden. This will serve as a place of peace and healing for those suffering though the grieving process
We recognize there are many different levels of opportunities to fit everyone’s level of commitment. For more information about contributing to the Memorial Garden, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The goal of the North Sunflower Medical Foundation is to promote health and wellness for the residents of Sunflower County and the surrounding area by assisting with enhancement of quality healthcare, to provide grants for educational purposes and to ensure the availability of healthcare professionals. Many of these efforts are made possible through our community involvement and employee giving program. This year, the NSMF has helped with NSMC Employee Appreciation Day, Years of Service Luncheon, Shop Ruleville Day, Breast Cancer Awareness, Relay for Life, Delta Rice Luncheon, Sunflower Discount Pharmacy Grand Opening, CME events, The Great Ruleville Roast & Run along with many other events.
A Time of Giving:
Each year the Environment Services Department, Dietary Department along with North Sunflower Medical Foundation spread the Christmas Spirit. The Dietary Department and Foundation provide a full Christmas dinner to three families in need within our community. Last year, the Environment Services Department and Foundation delivered Christmas gifts to each of the patients in Senior Care, Swing Bed, and Acute Care. Plans are underway for another great year of giving. For more information about how you can help, please contact Doris Ledford, Marchelle Auberg , or Stacy Davis.
North Sunflower Prepares for a Paperless Fututre
Technology touches our everyday lives, from the time we awake and look at our digital clocks and smartphones, to our GPS used in working the fields, to emails and texts driving how we communicate. Within our Ruleville community, NSMC is advancing how we leverage technology in providing excellent quality healthcare.
North Sunflower is in its second year of an initiative to move from a paper-based health record to an electronic health record (EHR). An EHR is basically an electronic system that stores patient information, medications administered, labs results, provider notes, surgery information, and the like into a unique patient record. Every time you or a family member comes to North Sunflower for any service or any medication in our pharmacy, we can use our new electronic health record to retrieve your important information and provide the services you need, accurately and safely.
Moving from massive paper charting to electronic records is neither quick nor easy. We have a dedicated team of physicians, nurses, clinical, billing and coding, and IT specialists working to implement and further our involvement into clinical technology. Our efforts are working as we now have moved many of our services into the electronic health record. If you or a family member have been a patient here, you may have noticed our nurses recording information into the EHR system for example.
The EHR system at North Sunflower allows our doctors to see patient information such as labs, allergies, home medications, and previous hospital stays without time consuming chart reviews. As medication orders are written, safety checks in the background assist your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist in providing safe and accurate care. From the time you are under our care, to the time you are discharged, our EHR system stores information about your care and the services you received.
Our electronic patient record is designed to move with you, and be available to you should you travel and need medical attention. Electronic health records have often made the difference in delivering timely care to patients that travel and are away from home. Patients needing their medicines while traveling can benefit from their medication records stored into electronic format.
Our electronic health record system is a significant investment, and one that is here to stay. NSMC is serving as a model for other critical access hospitals in our technology footprint, and we want to serve as a model hospital for safe, efficient, and customer friendly services to those we serve.
The sunflower is a hardy plant that stands tall and drops seeds where it stands. That also describes the Sunflower Discount Pharmacy in Ruleville, Mississippi. Set in the rural Mississippi Delta, 100 miles from the nearest metropolitan area, the Sunflower Discount Pharmacy is part of the North Sunflower Medical Center.
It was just ten years ago that the North Sunflower Medical Center was on the verge of closing its doors. Folks would drive past it and go to a hospital 10 miles away. The local governing body was at a loss as to how to fix it. Enter Billy Marlow, a respected Ruleville businessman with no prior background in the healthcare industry. His field was land development and construction. He was named Chairman of the Board as well as interim hospital administrator.
Hospital is Saved by Local Businessman
“I was born in that hospital,” says Marlow, “so it had a special place in my heart. “ Closing the hospital could have been a community travesty. The unemployment rate runs 15% or higher, with agriculture, the prison system and the hospital as the main employers.
Marlow saw a lot of potential and had some innovative but common-sense ideas. These stemmed from a simple formula his business-minded father-in-law shared with him: you better bring in more money than you send out.
Sunflower Hospital and Pharmacy are Born
Marlow’s rallying cry was “take me to Ruleville.” He increased the cash flow by purchasing more nursing home beds. A plan was put into action to move the clinic, which had been hidden behind the hospital and was underused, to a prominent position at the front. It stays open until midnight, 7 days a week, 364 days a year, keeping non-emergency patients out of the emergency room, which saves money for both hospital and patient.
Marlow convinced three separate pharmacies to join forces with North Sunflower Medical Center. He promised the owners who partnered with him a brand new, state-of-the-art facility complete with the latest automated pharmacy management system. This past October, the Sunflower Discount Pharmacy was established with great fanfare in Ruleville. Administrators touted the pharmacy as “part of the vision to move its small town hospital in the Delta into one of the most sought-after care facilities with cutting-edge technology.”
The Automated Pharmacy Makes Facility Contemporary
Michael Gilbow, Pharmacy Director for North Sunflower Medical Center, can hardly hide his enthusiasm.
“We’re in the top 40 cleanest hospitals in the nation. We have a state-of-the-art surgery center, swing beds, and a clinic open 18 hours a day. Now there is a pharmacy right beside the clinic. You can get to our building without having to walk outside. We have a drive thru window, so you don’t have to get out of your car. We will deliver, if you are sick and cannot come to us. I’m proud. This is the finest drug store I have been associated with in my 35 years in pharmacy.”
One of the new additions to the pharmacy he is most proud of is the new robot, an RxMedic ADS. “It truly is state of the art,” Gilbow says. “This is the way busy stores should operate.”
As owner of his own drugstore, Gilbow had long been a QS/1 software client. The Sunflower Discount Pharmacy utilizes NRx and POS from QS/1. While both QS/1 and RxMedic can, and do, interface with other systems, there are unique benefits when the two work together. Known as the Integration Advantage, QS/1 and RxMedic combine to offer a seamlessly integrated system featuring synchronized files and activities, increasing productivity, efficiency and profitability. Security access, drug information, check out at the workstation, queue management at the workstation, machine control from within QS/1 and corral areas dedicated by technician on the robot. There is no third-party interface required, which reduces cost and maintenance expenses.
Patient safety features are built into ADS. The RxMedic exclusive drug verification photo captures and stores an image of the vial contents of every prescription. “The robot gets the medication and takes a picture of what it puts in the container, puts a label on the vial, caps the vial and sorts it alphabetically for the pharmacist to pick up. It prevents dispensing errors.” Gilbow adds.
RxMedic ADS robot can automate up to 256 of a pharmacy’s most commonly prescribed drugs, with no cross-contamination risk. The collating area holds 200 capped and labeled vials, so there is no risk of spillage once the prescription has been filled. The pharmacy recently added QS/1 IVR software, which enables ADS to process prescriptions after-hours and have them ready and waiting when the pharmacy opens. The pharmacy is open from 8 a.m. to 8p.m., Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. So far, the automated dispensing system has filled as many as 550 prescriptions in one day, and Gilbow has confidence it will do much more as the business continues to grow.
“We will give our patients the best service, the best medical care, the best price,” says Gilbow. We are willing to go that extra mile to make people happy, make them come back. We call it the Sunflower Way. This was Billy Marlow’s vision. He sold me on his vision and we made it happen. It is a great thing for the residents and those who live in surrounding areas. This is the art of pharmacy taken to another level.”
NSMC Gets Upgraded
NSMC Walter B. Crook meets goals as part of the Quality Initiative Recognition Program (QIRP). The QIRP is designed to recognize AHCA nursing center members that demonstrate the attainment of one of more of the AHCA Quality Initiative Goals:
- Safely Reduce Hospital Readmissions by 15%
- Increase Staff Stability by 15%
- Increase Customer Satisfaction to 90%
- Safely Reduce the Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics by 15%
Upon further review of the data, it was determined that North Sunflower Medical Center actually achieved additional goals. The correct goals that your center achieved are as followed:
- Safely Reduce the Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics
- Increase Staff Stability
This moves North Sunflower Medical Center from a Tier 1 achiever to a Tier 2 achiever with the American Health Care Association.
NSMC greats ready to Trick-or-Treat!
Officer Nick Hall, City Clerk April Marks, Officer Andrew Martyn, Dispatcher Nakisha Slater & Chief Ernie Scarber getting ready for trick or treaters! Under the direction of Chief Ernie Scarber, Ruleville PD has be come very involved in the community and local schools.
Breast Cancer Awareness Parade
The Breast Cancer Awareness Parade was held by Ruleville Elementary PTA & Students, Friday, October 25. The participates walked from Ruleville Elementary to the Patriotic Plaza– downtown Ruleville. Sandra Britt, with North Sunflower Medical Center, spoke to the children about early detection and balloons where released at the end of the parade.
North Sunflower Medical Center Named Top 20 Critical Access Hospital List
Hospitals (CAHs) for PATIENT PERSPECTIVE in the country.
The Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals, including North Sunflower Medical Center, scored best among critical access hospitals on iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength Index™ for Patient Perspective. The rankings were recently announced by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). An awards ceremony will be held during NRHA’s Critical Access Hospital Conference in October in Austin, Texas.
The Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals have achieved success in one of three key areas of performance:
Quality index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank across the five categories of Hospital Compare Process of Care measures.
Patient perspective index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank on two Hospital Compare HCAHPS measures (“Overall Rating” and “Highly Recommend)”.
Financial stability index: A rating of hospital performance based on the percentile rank on a set of balance sheet and income statement financial ratios.
“North Sunflower Medical Center is proud of the efforts of its physicians and staff who have contributed to our hospital achieving this designation,” said Sam Miller, COO. “Our results as a top 20 Critical Access Hospital means our community can count on us to deliver the services they need now and in the future.”
North Sunflower Medical Center
840 N. Oak Ave.
Ruleville, MS 38771
About the National Rural Health Association NRHA is a nonprofit organization working to improve the health and well-being of rural Americans and providing leadership on rural health issues through advocacy, communications, education and research. NRHA membership is made up of 21,000 diverse individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health. For more information, visit www.RuralHealthWeb.org.
Medical Center's Turnaround Helping Heal Ruleville
I haven’t seen my old buddy Luster Bayless from Ruleville lately, although I stood in his driveway the other day out on Highway 8 to get a shot of the two water towers in Ruleville, one labeled “hot” and the other “cold.”
It’s easy to miss him because Luster still spends a lot of time in Hollywood at his American Costume Co. His company has supplied a gazillion war, western, period and other types of movies with appropriate attire almost since the time Luster hitchhiked from Ruleville to California to seek his fortune in the movie business and organized his costuming company.
Luster’s Hollywood Costume Museum stands in downtown Ruleville. Right now he is showing off a bunch of the outfits from the recent film “Django Unchained.” And there are always clothes on display that Luster’s long-time friend, John Wayne, wore.
If you look around downtown you will find it a clean and trim little village with crepe myrtles blooming down the boulevards in the streets bordering the park. Brand-new Blues Trails signs honor local musicians and hot spots. And there are several new medical clinics and a few retail stores. One of the clothing stores specializes in medical scrubs for the people in the town who work in the healthcare field.
The reason for the high percentage of healthcare workers in Ruleville, as compared to that of most other towns, centers on the North Sunflower Medical Center located there. The Medical Center is a fairytale success story right in the middle of a part of the country that needs some good news stories. And the success came almost by accident.
Back about six or seven years ago, a catfish farmer by the name of Billy Marlow was named to the hospital’s board of directors. In no time he rocketed to become chairman of the board. Which was just a slip on a banana peel from acting director of the hospital when that vacancy came up almost immediately.
Billy told me when he took over the little hospital it had about eight hours’ worth of cash on hand, a lot of debt and no patients.
He said the first thing he did was to send out a survey to all employees asking what was wrong and what to do to fix it.
Well, apparently some of the best healthcare consultants anywhere are on the payroll at that hospital. Because since then, the place has been totally renovated and modernized (to state-of-the-art status in many cases) and expanded with such ammenities as an indoor track, a fitness center and a surgical suite that would be the envy of any big city hospital.
They’ve gone from just over 100 employees back then to better that 500 today.
The Medical Center is ranked as the cleanest hospital in Mississippi and one of the best hospitals of its kind in the nation! Plus, it has spread its success to the town of Ruleville, fixing up deserted downtown buildings to house medical clinics and repairing old houses for offices and for employees who have chosen to buy them, move to Ruleville and live.
Luster Bayless ought to tell some of his Hollywood producer friends about North Sunflower Medical Center and get someone to come make a movie about this success story. “The Little Hospital Who Could” has a Hollywood happy ending if I ever heard one. And the costumes for the film are right down the street at the store that sells medical scrubs!
Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi”?books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact Grayson at
Healthcare: Takeing care of medical needs for the county
Deltans rely heavily on their healthcare system, especially when most of the residents live in rural areas. Since larger cities and hospitals are located around 120 miles to the north or south residents need both personal and state of the art health care closer to home. The medical community in Bolivar County has considered those needs and provides quality health care with a hometown feel. More importantly, many of those in the medical field have chosen to stay in the Delta and provide health care to their neighbors, family, and friends.
From general practitioners, pharmacies, and dentists, Cleveland can meet each and every medical record need.
There are also community hospitals, which provide care that surpasses top-notch facilities in metropolitan areas.
Bolivar Medical Center, located in Cleveland, is a 106 acute bed care facility, accredited by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organization. The medical staff consist of active members whose specialties include family proactive, internal medicine, general surgery, ophthalmology, obstetrics/gynecology, urology, pediatric dentistry, radiology, pathology, and nephrology. A podiatrist is also on staff. Bolivar Medical Center fist built in 1962, can provide many services including: Arteriogram and other interventional procedures, CT Scans, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and general radiology, dialysis, dietary services, EEGs, EKGs, treadmills and pulmonary functions testing, laparoscopic procedures, mammography services, hematology, microbiology, blood banks and general chemistry laboratory services among many others.
North Sunflower Medical Center in Ruleville is located 10 miles east of Cleveland. North Sunflower Medical Center is multifaceted, county-owned hospital offering a complete continuum of care through the following services: 25 bed Acute/Swing bed Critical Access Facility, 60 bed Skilled Nursing Facility, 10 bed Senior Care Facility, Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric Care Unit, Durable Medical Equipment and Comprehensive Rehabilitative Therapies.
North Sunflower Medical Center Clinic is open from 8a.m. until midnight, seven days a week, for non-emergent psychological, medical, and social services.
The Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou provides a honest care for residents who live just north of Cleveland. The center provides primary care, dental care, OBGYN services, pediatrics, out-patient services, family planning services, laboratory services, pharmacy services, X-Ray services, social services, WIC Certification, EPSDT Screening and even home health services
Published on Thursday, 04 November 2010 21:19 |
Murals, home repairs and repaved roads help to attract visitors
The city of Ruleville has a number of projects in the works aimed at cleaning up the community and making the city more attractive for visitors.
The area is going through a period of revitalization and has been completing a mix of large and small-scale projects such as remodeling old homes, repaving roads and sidewalks and adding new businesses into the community.
Recently, Ruleville artists Duff Dourrough spent several weeks completing a billboard sized mural on the side of the Sunflower Diagnostics Center building downtown.
The mural is the first of several that are planned for the community.
“As I have gone through other small towns, I have seen different types of murals and I thought it would be a clean and neat way to make it attractive and so we intend on putting several other murals up probably next summer,” explained Billy Marlow, North Sunflower Medical Center CEO.
Marlow added that the mural represents the history of Ruleville and each letter has a different picture.
“We have old iron bridge painted on there that is here on the Sunflower River, one of the letters is Fannie Lou Hamer, Delta Theater and other old things that people remember,” he said. “We have a hunting letter, a sports letter, the hospital, farming and a lot of different things.” DBJ
Delta-Area Hospitals Receive a Good Check-Up
Focusing on physician recruitment, technology and patient satisfaction
Delta-area hospitals are continuing to focus on the basics: physician recruitment, technology and patient satisfaction. And the good news is that attention is paying dividends for the hospitals and the communities they serve. Several area hospitals have even received recognition for their achievements.
In a recent listing of the “40 Cleanest Hospitals in the United States,” based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems rating, North Sunflower Medical Center was listed 36th out of the 5,000 hospitals included in the survey.
“That’s a wonderful achievement for our people,” said Administrator Billy Marlow. “People want to be in a clean place. I knew it was clean. We have an excellent housekeeping department.”
In Cleveland, Bolivar Medical Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with accolades from the community, local and state governments, and the Mississippi Hospital Association.
Part of being a good corporate neighbor is the community services these hospitals provide. Greenwood Leflore Hospital sponsors the 300 Oaks Road Races, is active with the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, and the local Autism and Alzheimer’s programs, as well as providing screenings and wellness events with local businesses. “We want to be a good community partner,” explained Executive Director Jim Jackson.
CEO Scott Smith plans for Bolivar Medical Center to have a stronger role in the community than it has every played before now. This includes the development of a health care team to attend health fairs and screenings, as well as host events at the hospital. “Our major strength is our employees and the medical staff,” said Smith. “The employees and medical staff really separate us from the pack.”
North Sunflower Medical Center’s wellness center membership is topping 550. Regular membership is $35 month or $20 for employees. If an employee uses it at least 12 times a month, that fee is waived. If an employee shows a set goal improvement in five indicator areas, including BMI, cholesterol and blood sugar, the hospital pays for that employee’s health insurance. “The employees get healthy, they don’t use their health insurance as much and they don’t miss work. That’s working for us,” Marlow said.
Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center plans to be a smoke-free campus by October 1 of this year. “We are already a smoke-free facility,” CEO Joan Strayham explained. Part of the process includes a smoking cessation program for employees and other fun campaigns to help smokers kick the habit. The biggest challenge she expects is patient cooperation, as those wanting to smoke will have to leave the hospital’s campus.
“Mississippi hospitals have long provided services aimed at improving the health of their communities, from free screenings to support groups,” explained Sam Cameron, president and CEO of the Mississippi Hospital Association. “But health reform legislation and other changes are making all hospitals take an even broader view of their role in community health. Hospitals can no longer solely focus on providing high quality care in the hospital—they must now turn toward keeping patients out of the hospital too.”
From new technology to renovations to capital improvements, Delta hospitals are changing to meet the needs of their communities. Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center is moving from a mobile MRI facility, a truck at the back of the hospital, to a fixed MRI unit in the hospital’s radiology department. It is also enhancing, expanding and improving the cardiac cath lab, also used for vascular diseases.
Last summer, Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center welcomed the da Vinci Robot to the hospital, which at the time was the first and only one in the Delta, said Strayham. It is used for minimally invasive OB/GYN surgeries. “The patients usually only have to stay overnight and recovery time is cut in half,” she explained. “It’s been very successful for us.”
Grenada Lake Medical Center has added digital mammography capabilities and achieved all federal guidelines for meaningful use in its communication and information infrastructures. It is one of the few hospitals in the southeast to achieve this distinction, said CEO Chip Denton.
To enhance patient health, Greenwood Leflore invested in a Tru-D SmartUVC, a portable ultraviolet disinfection system. “Infection control is a focus right now with all hospitals,” said Jackson. “It’s not that we were not performing properly; we just wanted to do it better.”
Greenwood Leflore is also about a quarter of the way into a capital improvement project that Jackson describes as on time and on budget. “We’re pleased with the progress its making,” he said. “We hope to see it dramatically increasing the efficiency of our physical plant.” Jackson hopes the savings will service the project’s debt.
No matter how great the services and equipment, all hospitals rely on their employees. “We needed a morale boost,” said Smith, referring to employee, physician and patient satisfaction. “This is not rocket science, it’s pretty easy,” he said, explaining that when employees and physicians are satisfied with their jobs, it spills over into patient care. “The patient is happy and getting the best health care possible. It all works.”
In addition, the façade of Bolivar Medical Center was renovated four to five years ago, so now Smith is turning his attention to the inside of the hospital to renovate patient care areas and rooms, particularly in the med/surg areas, a project he anticipates will last two to three years.
Many hospitals are adding clinics, not only to provide specialized care, but also to handle some of the patients that might have ended up in the emergency room, but did not need emergency care. North Sunflower Medical Center’s clinic stays open until midnight seven days a week to allow for more flexible appointment times. Marlow said the staff works to keep the turnaround time to 60 minutes in the clinic as well as in the ER.
“We triage cases to the clinic so the patient won’t have to pay a high ER cost, and only pay for a regular office visit,” he explained. “That’s been great for us.” Additionally, diabetics who come into the clinic are referred to the diabetic educator, a RN who works with diabetic patients on diet and exercise.
Grenada Lake Medical Center has opened a nurse practitioner clinic adjacent to the hospital. The Grenada Primary Care Clinic, staffed by Cindy Dotson and Lorraine Dubard, takes some of the stress off the hospital’s emergency room, said Denton.
Physician recruitment continues to be a challenge in the Delta, with hospitals striving to provide quality care close to home. “You can never be idle and/or stable with physician recruitment,” said Smith, who plans to review the hospital’s skill mix and recruit quality physicians that want to be in the Delta and will stay in Bolivar County. “We are on the hunt for physicians,” he said, particularly in ENT, pulmonology and psychiatry. At the end of this year, three primary care physicians will join the hospital.
North Sunflower Medical Center is offering orthopedic services through Mississippi Sports Medicine. The doctors from that office were already in town once a week to see patients at a clinic at Delta State. “Our doctors are referring to them, and they come here and do the surgeries,” said Marlow.
Maxillofacial surgeon Brantley Nichols from Hattiesburg is in town once a week for surgeries, doing some 15 to 20 cases a day, said Marlow. The busy downtown dental clinic has added an extra dentist to keep up with patient care.
“Delta Regional Medical Center is the largest employer in Washington County, employing more than 1,100 team members, and can serve as the economic generator for this community through the recruitment of additional physicians and through the progression from aging facilities to the construction of a new hospital as strategic objectives are achieved,” explained CEO Stansel Harvey.
Grenada Lake Medical Center welcomed Michael Barr, an orthopedic surgeon, as well as Scott Beer, an OB/GYN. The hospital also successfully recruited a wound care physician, Terry Pummer, for its Advanced Wound Care Center. It offers a variety of techniques, such as skin grafts and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, to deal with chronic non-healing wounds, and has a 98 percent heal rate.
Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center’s focus is on recruitment to cover specialties and primary care. It recently welcomed primary care physician Brian Lum and ENT James Walker. This summer it anticipates the arrival of an internal medicine physician with a focus on sports medicine, a nephrologist and another internal medicine physician with a focus on infectious diseases.
At Greenwood Leflore Hospital, Chris Capel, a general vascular and thoracic surgeon, started in May at the Lucas Surgical Clinic. The hospital expects a new podiatrist this fall and is currently actively recruiting in ENT, orthopedics, pediatrics, emergency medicine, urology and neurosurgery.
Delta hospitals continue to recruit physicians and nurses, upgrade technology and participate in health care events in an effort to provide quality health care for their local communities.
“Our number one goal at DRMC is to provide excellent health care services to the residents of Washington County and into the surrounding counties through the effective and efficient management of expenses and with a keen focus on the clinical quality of care and genuinely caring about our patients and their families,” said Harvey. “By achieving our goals, we will increase our profitability, and position Delta Regional to truly be the regional medical center for the entire tri-state Delta region.” DBJ
TGH/NSMC Wins Annual Maggie Award
Published on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 16:25 |
North Sunflower Medical Center, North Sunflower Medical Foundation and Tallahatchie General Hospital recently participated in the 25th annual Maggie Awards Gala in Madison.
The Maggie Awards competition, sponsored annually by MHA’s Society for Health Care Marketing and Public Relations, recognizes excellence in the field of health care marketing and public relations. A Maggie Award is not necessarily awarded for every category. Entries must earn enough points to be judged “excellent” to win a Maggie or “good” to win an Award of Excellence plaque regardless of how many entries are in a category.
Together, North Sunflower Medical Center, North Sunflower Medical Foundation & Tallahatchie General Hospital won a total of seven awards—two Maggies and five Awards of Excellence.
The two Maggie Awards were accepted by North Sunflower Medical Center CEO, Wayne Walters for the new Sunflower Clinic logo and the Employee Appreciation Day T-shirt Design.
Stacy Davis accepted one of the Awards of Excellence for North Sunflower Medical Foundation’s Annual Birdies & Backhands Tournament.
Two of the Awards of Excellence were accepted by North Sunflower Medical Center’s CEO Wayne Walters, for The Beacon Wellness Center’s Grand Opening & the Take Me To Ruleville Billboard.
The final two Awards of Excellence were accepted by Tallahatchie General Hospital’s CEO, Jim Blackwood for the new Charleston Clinic logo and the overall marketing campaign with the help of Whitfield Media. DBJ
Rotatrian Bring a Smile to Ruleville Students
Imagine children having to look at swings and slides, but not being able to play on them.That’s what the past few years have been like at recess for the students at Ruleville Elementary School.All that is about to change, however, thanks to the Drew-Ruleville Rotary Club.The playground ban began when the Sunflower County School System went under conservatorship by the state.“Those people who came in noticed the playground for the Ruleville Elementary School was completely unsafe for those kids,” said Brad Cooper, the president of Rotary. “They deemed it unsafe and the children couldn’t play on it. They just had to look at the swings.”Cooper said the club certainly doesn’t blame the ban, as the swing didn’t have sleeves around the metal chains, the old fashioned merry-go-rounds, while fun, have not been a piece of new playground equipment for some time.“There were various guidelines the equipment and playground itself needed to follow,” Cooper said. “It has been there at least 45 years without maintenance in all those years.“Areas have to be bordered off, enclosures are needed, there must be four inches of pea gravel or rubber in case a child falls, so it would not hurt them as bad,” he added.The Rotary club heard about the community need from fellow Rotarian Clint Russell’s wife, who happens to work at the elementary school.“Her brother, Chris Williams, is also the assistant district governor for Rotary, and he brought it to the club’s attention,” Cooper said. “We had no idea the children were without a playground.”Tiffany Russell wrote a proposal detailing the problem and what was needed to fix it.Joe Riccota at Southern Bancorp and Planters Bank both ponied up 100 Boston Butts, which the Rotarians cooked and sold. Along with other private and business donations, the Drew Ruleville Rotary Club came up with $12,000. The Rotary Foundation and District 6800 matched the amount, giving the organization $24,000 total to repair and restore the playground.“We are repairing frames and replacing all the seats and chains on the swings, we put the monkey bars back up, painted them, we had to remove the merry-go-rounds as they are no longer safe, we are installing a sliding board and purchasing a $13,000 giant piece of equipment that will have slides, a swinging bridge and walkways,” Cooper said. “We bought timbers and 13 tons of pea gravel to make it safe and in compliance with today’s standards,” he said.The Rotarians have been hard at work tearing down, cleaning up and repairing what they can as they wait on some of the bigger playground equipment pieces.“We are working to get this completed by this fall,” he said. “We are still waiting on our large piece of equipment. We are making sure this is the safest playground possible. It is very well constructed and really beautiful. So, we are hoping to have it up not too long after school starts.“All of us have enjoyed this, everyone has gotten behind it,” he added. “We can’t wait to see the children’s faces when this is finished. They deserve a safe and fun playground for recess and lunch.”Cooper said the playground is the best that the club can give them.“There are so many positive aspects of a playground, from motor skills, social skills and exercise. There is no measure to how it affects a child’s well being. We are very tickled to be able to do this.”
North Sunflower Opens Pharmacy
North Sunflower Medical Center continues to move its “small town hospital in the Delta,” into one of the most sought-after care facilities with cutting-edge technology.As part of that vision, the center recently established the Sunflower Discount Pharmacy.Mike Gilbow, pharmacy director for North Sunflower Medical Center, said one of the new additions he is most proud of is the new “robot,” which is a 230-unit, automative-dispensing system.“The pharmacist fills out the information, the robot gets the medicine, and takes a picture of what it puts in the container,” he said. “It then compares it to what the medicine actually looks like, puts on the label with the correct information, puts the top on, and sorts it alphabetically for the pharmacist or tech to pick up.“It happens rather quickly,” he said. “It is the only one in the state of Mississippi, though I know St. Dominic’s in Jackson is currently looking into it. It is truly state of the art.”Gilbow said the robot saves time and increases efficiency. “It also prevents dispensing errors,” he added. “This is the way busy stores should operate.”Gilbow said he likens the pharmacy to the surgery center.“They are both equal and comparative to what they have in Jackson,” he explained. “I’m proud. This is the finest drug store I have been associated with in my 35 years in pharmacy.“The whole hospital is going that direction,” he said. “This was Billy Marlow’s vision. He sold me on his vision and we made it happen.” Gilbow said Marlow’s vision is a great thing for the residents and those who live in surrounding areas. We have two pharmacists, Bobbie Gail Bowen and Angela Lang,” he explained. “Everything we do is to increase patient convenience. Now, there is a pharmacy right beside the clinic. We use E-Prescribing at North Sunflower Medical Center. The doctor sends a prescription to us electronically. By the time you walk out, your prescription will be ready right next door. "You can get to our building without having to walk outside,” he added. “We have a drive thru window, so you don’t have to get out of your car. We will deliver, if you are sick and cannot come to us. We have what we have nicknamed, ‘the medicine dropper,’ a nice little delivery car.” Gilbow said the main goal of the medical center is to be service-oriented. “We are service-oriented,” he added. “We are the longest open store, except for 24 hour stores. We are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. We are also open, for your convenience, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. “We are a small town hospital, clinic and pharmacy,” Gilbow said. “We are trying to take care of our patients. We are customer-friendly. We call it the ‘Sunflower Way.’ We go out of our way to make the customer happy and satisfied with our service.”
Ruleville Day 6/14/2013
Diabetic CEU - July 31st
North Sunflower Medical Center welcome's Simply Sunflower Flower, Gift, and Scrub Shoppe to the North Sunflower Medical Center list of Services!
Free Delivers within 20 miles!
Downtown Ruleville - located in the former Edwards Drug Store
101 W. Floyce St.
Ruleville, MS 38771
The Screen Team!
The Sunflower Rural Health Clinic created a "Screen Team" to provide health screenings to children in local and regional Head Starts, Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. These screen for things like hearing, lead poisoning, eye sight, and a general physical exam performed by a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Their vaccine record is also checked.
This service will benefit parents by providing health care without having to take time out of their busy schedules to sit in a doctor's office to get theses important screenings and immunizations done. This service will benefit the doctors of head starts who need to have an updated physical and 121 vaccine form on all their children.
The eye doctor will also be joining. Dental screenings can also be arranged. We provide the annual flu vaccine. The school will not be responsible for payment of these services. We will bill the child's insurance company.
If you would like us to screen your child or come get your head start or school, call (662) 756-4000 for contact information.
Would Care Clinic!
North Sunflower Medical Center is proud to announce the opening of its new outpatient would care clinic!
The wound care clinic is designed to treat patients with chronic or slow healing wounds that have shown little or no signs of healing over the course of a month or two. The clinic offers the community advanced treatments where only traditional methods have previously been available. The staff of medical professionals in the wound clinic have had extensive training in wound care and bring a comprehensive range of services to the community.
The goal of the wound clinic is to significantly increase the would healing rate of patients and help the patients avoid unnecessary amputation. The wound care team has had tremendous success with an average healing rate of 85%! while decreasing the heal time. The clinic is managed by Mississippi Wound Care Specialist who have been in operation providing would care services for over 5 years. Among other services, the company provides a board certified Registered Nurse and has had over 85 multi-specialty physicians affiliated with various outpatient clinics.
The clinic at North Sunflower Medical Center has Dr. James Edward Warrington as the treating physician and is located at the campus of the hospital.
To schedule an appointment, please call Mississippi Wound Care Specialist at 1-877-295-2273
Sunflower Clinic & North Sunflower Medical Center welcomes Dr. James Edward Warrington, Jr. to the family.
Dr. Warrington will be taking appointments for patients Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9am - 4pm and Tuesday 9am - 12pm. Dr. Warrington will be available at the NEW Wound Care Center on Friday 9am - 4pm
SAVE THE DATE!!
June 1, 2013!! This year's Birdies & Backhands will take place at the Cleveland Country Club!
For application information, contact Stacy Davis at email@example.com
We hope to see your there!