Saturday May 25, 2019

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Health & Wellness

Press release

Many communities across the state are dealing with flooded areas after the recent storms. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds the public that floodwater and standing water can be dangerous, making a person vulnerable to diseases, chemical hazards and injuries.

Floodwaters contain many potential hazards such as downed power lines, household trash, medical waste, large debris, human and livestock waste, industrial chemicals, rodents, and snakes. Exposure to contaminated water can cause wound infections, stomach illness, skin rash, tetanus and other illnesses.

The best practice for protection is to stay out of the water, and avoid recreational play such as swimming or fishing. However, the OSDH offers the following tips for those who do come into contact with floodwater during evacuation or cleanup:

• Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.
• Wash skin with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
• Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if a foreign object such as wood or metal is embedded in the wound. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, draining, or developing a fever.
• Wash clothes contaminated with floodwater in hot water and detergent before reusing them.
• Do not allow children to play in floodwater, or play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.

As always, it’s important to remember that floodwaters may be hiding a washed out roadway or other dangerous obstacles. Never drive into flooded areas as vehicles may be swept away, or may stall in moving water. Turn around, don’t drown.

Press release



OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma optometrists today thanked the Legislature and Governor Kevin Stitt for passing and signing legislation that will protect Oklahoma’s vision health standards while increasing convenience for consumers.


Senate Bill 100, authored by State Representative Carl Newton, himself an optometrist, removes from statute a prohibition on the sale of eyewear in non-medical, retail settings. It would allow retail stores to sell frames and lenses. It would also allow retail stores to lease space to optometrists. However, unlike previous proposals (including the previously rejected State Question 793), SB 100 contains vigorous protections for patient safety, quality of care, and the independence of the doctor.


Under SB 100, any optometry clinic leasing space from a retail store would need to be a separate legal entity owned and operated by an optometric physician licensed in Oklahoma. That optometrist cannot be an employee of the retail entity. Furthermore, the optometry clinic would be required to be physically separate from the retail space, with its own external entrance. The language maintains Oklahoma’s status as one of 16 so-called “two door” states, which include neighboring Texas and Kansas.


Also unlike State Question 793, SB 100 clarifies that the independently operating Board of Examiners in Optometry regulates optometrists’ scope-of- practice, and that a corporate entity cannot restrict or influence how a doctor practices.


Dr. Selina McGee, an Edmond optometrist and president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, said the bill is a positive development for optometric physicians and their patients.


“Our primary concern as eye doctors is protecting Oklahoma’s very high standards for quality of care and patient safety,” said Dr. McGee. “To preserve those high standards, optometrists need to be operating independently, free of corporate control or interference, and governed by a medical board. SB 100 is consistent with those principles, where State Question 793 and other previous proposals were not.”


More on SB 100:

SB 100 stipulates:
• That retail outlets may sell frames and lenses;
• That retail outlets may begin to lease space to optometric physicians in a phased-in, gradual manner with a timeline based on population density;
• That the doctor may not be an employee of the retail outlet;
• That the doctor will not receive any additional compensation for referring patients to the retail stores’ optical services;
• That the care given to the patient be the main concern of the optometric physician, or other physician providing vision care;
• That the doctor’s office be separate from the retail outlet’s optical shop; and
• That the current laws be followed in giving a patient a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

SB 100 also:
• Defines the responsibility of the doctor to his patients;
• Sets out penalties for infraction of the law;
• Includes language disallowing the retailer to sell below costs; and
• Adds new language that puts into law requirements for a contact lens prescription and requirements for the renewal of contact lens prescriptions by persons other than the prescribing doctor.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signs SB 100.


About OAOP
The Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians exists to to lead optometric physicians through education and opportunities to improve vision, eye care, and health care.


OSU press release


(STILLWATER, Oklahoma, May 17, 2019) — A new dog flu is making its way across the country.


The original canine influenza virus, identified since 2000, mutated from a horse strain and spread from infected dogs for about a week, meaning outbreaks were few and brief.


However, in 2015, a new strain of canine influenza emerged in Chicago. This strain lasts for up to a month and even dogs without clinical signs can spread it. Thus, more dogs have been infected for longer periods of time, leading to the spread of the virus across the country, where it has been identified in almost every major city.


The typical case of canine influenza looks identical to kennel cough. Just like in human influenza, some dogs can develop a much worse condition due to the complication of bacterial pneumonia. This can also happen in traditional kennel cough. Since our dogs in America had never seen this Chicago virus before, they had not developed protection from previous exposures. And since it can be spread from dogs who are apparently healthy, controlling an outbreak is very difficult.


The virus is spread primarily through aerosol exposure — being around an infected dog who may have coughed or sneezed. A dog who gets within a few feet of an infected dog can be exposed. Signs — typically lethargy and a harsh cough — may develop in a week or less. The lethargy rapidly improves, but the cough can persist for weeks. In most cases, the disease is self-limiting and dogs recover without specific therapy. Unless it develops into a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics have no effect on recovery.


Today, a vaccination exists to immunize dogs against both strains of canine influenza. The initial series requires two injections within four weeks. Protection is good, but similar to the human flu shot, it may only minimize the signs. After the initial series, dogs require an annual booster to maintain protection.


This is a separate vaccination from the traditional kennel cough vaccine most veterinarians recommend. Like all vaccines, side effects are rare and typically mild, such as lethargy for a day or two.


If you have more questions about canine influenza, talk with your veterinarian.



COLUMN BY: Dr. Paul DeMars, DVM, DABVP Canine/Feline, an associate professor of community practice at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences



Veterinary Viewpoints is provided by the faculty of the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. Certified by the American Animal Hospital Association, the hospital is open to the public providing routine and specialized care for all species and 24-hour emergency care, 365 days a year. For more information, visit or call (405) 744-7000.


Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 100 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 275,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

Press release


The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Okmulgee County Health Department are investigating a confirmed case of measles in Okmulgee County. This is the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since May 2018. As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 839 cases of measles reported in the United States from 23 other states. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.

Measles was identified in a person who returned to Oklahoma after traveling to various domestic and international destinations. The virus is still common in many parts of the world with outbreaks occurring in Europe, Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. These outbreaks have resulted in travelers who develop illness in the U.S. following their return. In addition to the high number of cases, there are outbreaks ongoing in several states.

Based on collected information about the measles case during the time the patient was contagious, public health officials want to alert anyone who visited Saint Francis Glenpool emergency room, May 11, from 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. about potential exposure to the measles virus. Public health officials are collaborating with Saint Francis Glenpool to identify anyone who may have visited the facility to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.

People are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after the first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957. Those who think they may have been at risk of exposure should review their immunization records and contact the Okmulgee County Health Department at 918-756-1883 during regular business hours, their local county health department or the OSDH epidemiologist-on-call at 800-234-5963.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may remain airborne up to two hours in a room after the person with measles has left an indoor area. Those who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days.

Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. A person with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash begins.

Approximately 90 percent of U.S. cases reported so far this year were either unvaccinated or had an unknown history of vaccination against measles. Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine, and is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between 4 to 6 years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. Two doses of vaccine normally provide lifelong immunity.

Individuals who were exposed and are not experiencing symptoms of illness do not need to be evaluated by a health care provider. Anyone who does have symptoms should contact a health care provider before presenting for care to discuss instructions for check-in and registration.

For more information about measles, visit


To receive the MMR vaccine, contact a health care provider or a county health department.

By Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman



Last Wednesday was Child Advocacy Day at the State Capitol, and I’d like to thank everyone who came out in support of policies that benefit children. We were joined by more than 100 Oklahomans who participated in advocacy workshops before meeting with lawmakers to discuss child-focused legislation.


During the event, the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) held a luncheon at the Governor’s Mansion, where we were honored to be joined by First Lady Sarah Stitt, Secretary of Health Jerome Loughridge, and Secretary of Human Services Steven Buck. We greatly appreciate the Stitt administration and First Lady Stitt directly investing so much of their time and energy into children’s issues and, specifically, combatting child abuse. Luncheon attendees also heard from Rodney Timms, founder of All Truckers Together Against Child Abuse (ATTACA), who detailed his own abuse and how his faith has led him to a life devoted to helping at-risk children.


OICA also began our drive to distribute free trigger locks to concerned Oklahoma gun owners on Child Advocacy Day. These were donated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and are being provided free of charge to individuals wanting to secure their firearms when not in use. I personally want to thank my good friend Miles Hall for helping set up this collaborative effort and sending OICA 500 of these trigger locks to start our drive. If you would like one of these, please stop by our office or make arrangements, email us at us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (405) 236-5437.


For those who were not able to make it to Advocacy Day, we are working with partner organizations, civic clubs and other groups to schedule advocacy trainings around the state. Our goal is to help our fellow Oklahomans effectively advocate for causes they care about with lawmakers. If you are a member of a civic group and interested in having a representative from the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) speak at one of your meetings, please contact us at the information provided above.


Meanwhile, there are roughly two weeks remaining in the legislative session. There is much work to still be done before lawmakers adjourn for the year. Legislators need to craft a budget, the criminal justice reform measures are still under review, and there is no word as of yet if a bill to create an “Oklahoma Plan” for increased access to federal health care dollars will be brought forward. The restoration of refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is also a possibility and we are encouraging this as a final policy for passage this year. OICA will continue to be active at the Capitol and we will work to ensure kids are remembered as this session closes. Now, more than ever, is a great time for all Oklahomans to get involved and speak out on these important issues.


First Lady Sarah Stitt at OICA luncheon


About OICA
The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy was established in 1983 by a group of citizens, to create a strong advocacy network that would provide a voice for the needs of children and youth in Oklahoma, particularly those in the state’s care and those growing up amid poverty, violence, abuse and neglect, disparities, or other situations that put their lives and future at risk.

Our mission statement: “Creating awareness, taking action and changing policy to improve the health, safety and well-being of Oklahoma’s children.“


Press release


During storm season, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds residents that flooding can cause fatalities and serious injuries for people who are trapped or swept away by wading in, or driving through floodwaters. Last week’s storms led to three fatalities and numerous water rescues. One of the fatalities was because of flooding.

During storms with high levels of rainfall, the OSDH encourages Oklahomans to evacuate flood prone areas before flooding begins. An evacuation plan should consist of multiple escape routes in case roads are blocked. Evacuation plans should also take into account people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, pets and even livestock.

When evacuation is not possible or when driving during heavy rains, it is important to remember not to enter flooded areas, or even areas with only inches of moving water. The depth of water is not always obvious, and the surface underneath the water may be washed out. Hazards in floodwaters often consist of rocks, mud, debris, oil, gasoline and even sewage. Remember to ‘turn around, don’t drown.’

Flood damage can lead to a number of public health issues. OSDH recommends the following tips:

• Listen for news reports to learn whether a community’s water supply is safe to drink.
• Have wells checked for contamination from bacteria and chemicals.
• Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage, bacteria and chemicals. Professional services and/or guidance may be necessary before attempting to repair flood-damaged property.
• Throw out any food, including canned items, which was not maintained at a proper temperature or has been exposed to floodwaters. Do not eat food from a flooded garden.
• Remove and replace any drywall or other paneling which has been underwater. Mold growth in hidden places is a significant health hazard.

Officials also recommend keeping an emergency kit to have ready for evacuation. Keep supplies such as snacks, a change of clothes, prescription medicine, medical equipment, important documents, pet supplies and valuable items such as family photos and irreplaceable mementos.

OSDH released videos in English, Spanish and American Sign Language to ensure the message of preparedness is available to various populations. To access these videos, visit the OSDH YouTube channel and select the Preparedness playlist. For more information about preparing for floods, storms or other natural disasters, visit

Monday, 06 May 2019 18:19

EOMC announces "Not so New" Employees

EOMC is happy to introduce their “not so new” employees



Poteau, OKLAHOMA - Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau would like to recognize some of the great accomplishments of their nursing staff.

It is hard to be an LPN, but to go back to school and become an RN all, while still working is really something that needs some praise.



These employees have done just that.  



Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center is a licensed 25-bed critical access hospital that serves LeFlore and the surrounding counties with a total population of approximately 48,000. EOMC has been serving the needs of this community for over 60 years by combining the personal touch of a community hospital with state of the art technology. We provide a full range of medical services to the community.


Since 1950, EOMC has worked to provide quality healthcare throughout Southeastern Oklahoma. EOMC is a public non-profit entity overseen by a Board of Trustees appointed by the LeFlore County Commissioners. Our goal is to efficiently provide comprehensive personal healthcare services by making available modern medical equipment, specialized medical services, and medical knowledge which would be limited without proper facilities.


blake olive
Blake Olive (Carl Albert State College)

amber thompson
Amber Thompson (Carl Albert State College)

olivia moya
Olivia Moya (Carl Albert State College)

Jerrid Edgington (Eastern Oklahoma State College)


Great job guy!

Press release

Oklahoma has not experienced any confirmed cases of measles in 2019, but with numerous cases in surrounding states and across the nation, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is encouraging families to review their immunization records, and plan ahead in case you need to get vaccinated before upcoming international travel.

Although measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, state public health agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported more than 700 confirmed cases in the United States since Jan. 1. This is the greatest number since 1994, when 963 cases were reported. So far in 2019, there have been 13 outbreaks with cases in 22 states; 71% of cases were unvaccinated, and another 18% did not know their vaccination status. Almost 50% of the cases have been in children under 5 years of age.

Outbreaks have resulted from persons becoming infected while traveling to other countries where the measles virus is still commonly spread, and developing measles once they’ve returned to the United States. Approximately 90% of cases infected during international travel were either unvaccinated against measles, or did not know their status, but were eligible to be vaccinated based on their age.

MMR vaccine recommendations for persons traveling internationally:

• Infants 6 months through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine four to six weeks prior to travel.
• All U.S. residents over 12 months should receive two doses, with each dose separated by at least 28 days, unless you have evidence of immunity.
• Evidence of immunity includes birth before 1957, laboratory evidence of immunity, or laboratory confirmation of disease due to measles.
Routine MMR vaccine recommendations:
• Children: Children should receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine with the first dose at 12-15 months of age, and the second dose between 4 to 6 years.
• Adults: Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain groups at high-risk, such as international travelers, health care workers, and college students, need two doses of MMR, Adults born in the U.S. before 1957 are considered immune to measles from past exposures (they lived through several years of epidemic measles before development of the vaccine).

Note: Adults who were given measles vaccine before 1968 should be revaccinated with at least one dose of the current MMR vaccine. This is because they may have received a less-effective measles vaccine that was commonly used in the U.S. during that time.

Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Before the measles vaccine, about 3-4 million people in the United States were infected annually, 400-500 died from it, and another 1,000 developed chronic disabilities from measles-related encephalitis. The most effective strategy to prevent an outbreak within a community is high coverage with the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. One dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% effective for measles and two doses of MMR vaccine is approximately 97% effective.

Measles is a serious respiratory disease which is highly contagious and can cause life-long complications and sometimes even lead to death. There is no treatment and no cure for measles and no way to predict how severe a case will be. Measles can be serious for any age group, but particularly in young children. A person who has measles can make other people sick up to four days before they develop the typical measles rash.


Press release

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reminds residents to take safety precautions when cleaning up after a disaster as injuries often occur during cleanup. The following tips to prevent illnesses and injuries are recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Food Safety

  • OSDH recommends the following guidelines for refrigerated and frozen foods to citizens or food establishments which have been without power for more than four hours:
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Discard any potentially hazardous foods such as meats, eggs, dairy products and leftovers when the power has been off for more than four hours. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Frozen foods in a freezer can normally be kept up to 48 hours without power. A frozen product that has thawed should not be refrozen; it should be used immediately or thrown away.
  • Throw away food which has come in contact with flood or storm water.
  • Throw away canned foods that are bulging, opened or damaged.
  • Food containers with screw-caps, snap-lids, crimped caps (soda pop bottles), twist caps, flip tops, snap-open, and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come into contact with water or soot because they cannot be disinfected.
  • Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, wash your hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
  • Breastfed infants should continue breastfeeding. For formula-fed infants, use ready-to-feed formula if possible. If using ready-to-feed formula is not possible, it is best to use bottled water to prepare powdered or concentrated formula. If bottled water is not available, use boiled water. Use treated water to prepare formula only if you do not have bottled or boiled water.
  • Clean feeding bottles and nipples with bottled, boiled, or treated water before each use.
  • Contact your doctor if you are concerned about medications having spoiled.

Water Safety  

Residents in rural areas may also be without water during a power outage. If the safety of the water is not known, it is recommended to vigorously boil the water for at least one minute to prevent potential waterborne illnesses. Safe water would include store-bought bottled water, or uninterrupted city water. Untreated water should not be used to prepare foods, wash hands or brush teeth.

Home Safety

  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed.
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area.
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters.
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent.
  • Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.
  • Wash all clothes worn during the cleanup in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. It is recommended that a laundromat be used for washing large quantities of clothes and linens until your onsite waste-water system has been professionally inspected and serviced.

Mold can be recognized by discoloring of walls and ceilings. There may also be a noticeable foul odor such as a musty, earthy smell. It is recommended to remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the home. Porous, non-cleanable items include carpeting and carpet padding, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, some clothing, leather, paper, wood, and food. Removal and cleaning are important because even dead mold may cause allergic reactions in some people.

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or similar devices inside the house, in basements, in garages or near windows. Improper use of such devices can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.


If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a medical provider or health department determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

For more information about storm safety, visit"> or"> Preparedness information also is available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language by visiting the OSDH YouTube channel and selecting the Preparedness playlist

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