Monday June 18, 2018

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OKW News | South East Oklahoma Latest News

  • Tuesday Lunch at the Museum…

    The LeFlore County Historical Society will be holding their next Tuesday Lunch on June 19th from 11 to 1pm.

  • Decorating Wisely: Vacation

    This past week has been spent on a much-needed vacation in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. It has been nice to get away and…
  • Consumers Warned to Avoid… Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has joined public health officials from multiple…
  • Oklahomans Should Be On Alert…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s 675,000 residents on Medicare will get new, more secure cards starting this…
  • What to do When ticks bite

    By Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist, Agricultural Communications Services- Oklahoma State University
  • Men Encouraged to Make Their…


    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is celebrating Men’s Health Month during June.
  • OSDH Warns Residents of…

    Press release

    Summer is heating up, and as temperatures rise, so does the risk of heat-related illness.

    Each year,…
  • Decorating Wisely: Sure-fire…

    By Grayson Wise

    Hello, hello! You may be wondering why my mom isn’t writing this week, and you may also be wondering…
  • Oklahoma State doing more to…

    Press release

    Center for Pediatric Psychology enhances OSU’s ability to make a difference

    (STILLWATER, Okla., June…
  • Mississippi Pot Roast


    1 (3-4 pounds) chuck roast

    1 packet ranch dressing mix

    1 packet au jus gravy mix

    1/4 cup butter

  • Helping kids avoid head lice…

    Leilana McKindra, Communications Specialist- Agricultural Communications Services - Oklahoma State University
  • Riverside Autoplex to hold…

    Join the staff at Riverside Autoplex of Poteau on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, from 2 PM - 6:15 PM as they team up with…
  • OSDH Launches New State of…

    Press release

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has unveiled a new website for the updated State of the…
  • For the Children: Grades are…

    By OICA CEO Joe Dorman

    The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is excited to announce that we have posted…
  • House Dems Respond to…

    Press release

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Several House Democrats have released statements of praise for Virginia Democrats who…
Health & Wellness

Press release from the OK DHS


OKLAHOMA CITY – This week, and every week, one state program looks toward a different kind of Independence Day: the day a family becomes independent of state assistance because the children receive the support they need from both parents. This week, Oklahoma's child support program turns 40.

On July 1, 1975, Oklahoma's child support program opened its doors just eight days after Oklahoma governor David Boren signed it into law. That first year of operation ended with 1,442 child support cases and total collections of $211,300. Today, forty years later, Child Support Services (CSS), a division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS), helps promote independence for more than 206,000 families, collecting over a million dollars a day on behalf of children.


With such a huge impact for families, it is important to understand what child support is.

Child support is paid by parents for the care and support of children of a relationship that has ended. Noncustodial parents are legally obligated to provide child support through court orders.


Custodial persons receive child support. As you may suspect, these terms have to do with the custody of a child. A custodial person is the person the child lives with for a majority of the time. When a child lives with a custodial person other than one of the parents, both parents are noncustodial parents with court-ordered child support obligations.


Child support programs began primarily as a means to recover from noncustodial parents the cost of public assistance paid to their dependent families. In the last forty years, child support programs have grown to function as a global intergovernmental network of agencies working together to meet the needs of children worldwide.


"Children who have two parents providing for their financial support are far less likely to need help from taxpayer-funded programs like SoonerCare and TANF," said CSS director Gary W. Dart. "The child support program helps families become stronger and more self-sufficient while decreasing reliance on public assistance."


What happens when both parents earn less than their children need to thrive? Child Support Services is uniquely positioned to help low income noncustodial parents overcome barriers to providing regular, dependable support. Working with other programs within DHS and dozens of partner organizations, CSS is constantly improving its network of direct services and referrals that can help parents overcome obstacles to supporting their children. From its cost recovery and law enforcement roots, child support has emerged as a family support program providing significant, reliable income for vulnerable families.


"For children in single-parent homes, financial support from the noncustodial parent can be a vital resource," said Jeff Wagner, CSS administrator for Communications & Community Relations. "A parent who fails to pay child support is not always doing so willfully. Recognizing this, we target available enforcement tools based on what will work best for families over the life of their cases with us, which is often ten, fifteen, or more years. We also partner with others anywhere we can to help parents succeed as parents."


"As such, CSS is an essential part of the solution for Oklahoma's children who need and deserve parental support," Dart added.


For more information about Child Support Services, call 1-800-522-2922, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit and select "Child Support."


Child Support Services is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. To promote healthy families, CSS establishes, monitors and enforces reliable support while encouraging self-sufficiency and strengthening relationships. The division is responsible for more than 206,000 active child support cases, collecting more than $369 million in the last year on behalf of children and families.

OKLAHOMA CITY — A limited amount of summer cooling assistance funds will be made available across the state through the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is administered through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).



The funds are designed to help low-income households that are extremely vulnerable to summer-heat stresses. DHS will begin taking applications Tuesday July 7, and will continue until all allocated funds are depleted. The agency has approximately $18 million in federal funds for this year's Summer Cooling Program in Oklahoma.



Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on each household's income and assets. If you or someone you know may be income eligible and are at risk for heat-related health problems due to the inability to afford adequate cooling, you are encouraged to apply for the Summer Cooling Program available at your local DHS County Office.

Only one payment per household is allowed annually for LIHEAP summer cooling assistance. "Household" is defined as individuals living 'under the same roof'.



Many households that receive public assistance through DHS may be automatically authorized for summer cooling assistance and will not need to make application. Preauthorized households will be notified of their eligibility by letter prior to the beginning of the application period.



The maximum income guidelines are:


Size of Household Allowable Monthly Net Income
1  $ 1070
2  $ 1442
3  $ 1814
4  $ 2186
5  $ 2558
6  $ 2931
7  $ 3303
8  $ 3675


Persons applying should have the latest electric bill for their home and verification of income information when they make application.


For more information, contact the local DHS office in your county of residence.

Summer Cooling Assistance Available for Low-Income Households - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote
Monday, 22 June 2015 19:14

Go Ninja Go

Pervasive Parenting


Kruz is a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That's why when we heard about the live action show coming to this area we snatched up tickets. The show was held Friday night, and though Konner is not a big fan of the turtles we went as a family.

I wasn't sure if he would actually like the show. These things are hit and miss with him these days. It used to be too loud, too hot, too many lights, etc. Because we have been to several events throughout the years we have groomed him to the sensory issues.

This doesn't mean that he doesn't still have problems. It just means the issues are fewer and farther between.

You see, as I've said many times in the past, you can't cure autism. What you are actually doing is helping people on the spectrum learn to tolerate the issues that come along with autism. You have to help them understand that there will always be things to bother them. They will have loud noises, strange smells, and flashing lights. The only way to help lessen those things is to expose them to these situations. You will have to ease them in at first, and build up a tolerance.

On the way to the show I explained to Konner that we would probably have to wait in a line for a while. I told him it would be loud and there would be lots of lights and people.

The only real problem we had was that when we arrived nature called. There was a long line and people were waiting outside in the heat for several minutes. There was no way they were letting us cut through the line to take Konner to the bathroom. So instead we stood in line with Konner telling us loudly that he had to pee really bad, he couldn't hold it much longer, and that he was going to get a bladder infection and not be able to pee ever again if we didn't go "RIGHT NOW!" This caused a little frustration on my part, but once we made our way inside the doors He and Jen sprinted to the bathroom while Kruz and I got the tickets.

So, as we sat there watching Kruz enjoy the stunts, fighting, and silly banter, I kept an eye on Konner. I was watching for any sign to see if he was going to get upset. I already had a plan in case he started go into meltdown mode.

However, the strangest thing happened. You see, if this had been a Thomas the Tank Engine event then Konner would have been enthralled. What I didn't expect was for Konner to get so into the Ninja Turtles. He has never shown much of an interest when we watch it at home. He doesn't play with the action figures with Kruz or play the video games.

He was though. He paid attention to every word. He would repeat the parts they said to repeat, make the hand gestures, and answer questions as they were asked.

I never expected him to pay attention that closely. I expected him to sit there for a few minutes, get bored or frustrated, and then start kicking the chair in front of him, or around him, or behind him.

It just goes to show that you can't predict everything. Konner surprises me just about every day. Sometimes bad and sometimes good. There is no doubt though that he teaches me something new each day, and he makes life interesting.


The Wister Guns N Hoses Blood Drive will be June 25th from 1:30 pm until 6pm.


The Bloodmobile will located at 101 Caston in Wister.


The blood drive will help local hospitals supplied with blood that will help save lives of those who need it.


Donors are greatly needed, of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., less than 10 percent give at least annually. Since there is no substitute for human blood, supplies must constantly be renewed.


Each donor receives a free t – shirt, two tickets to the zoo, health screening and donor rewards points.


To schedule your appointment contact  Jim Davidson Blood Program Consultant (479) 652-2364.

From Military Health System <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>


With the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games approaching June 19 – 28 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Army Staff Sgt. Monica Martinez is ready.

Now in her seventh year of service, she views these games as an ideal opportunity not just to engage in the heat of competition, but also to build comradery among her teammates. For the past several months, Martinez has trained at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, for hand cycling, track, field and swimming.



Since July of last year, the Washington, D.C. native has taken part in the Adaptive Sports Reconditioning Program. The program includes physical activities wounded, ill and injured warfighters participate in regularly to support their physical and emotional well-being. These activities contribute to a successful recovery for soldiers whether they are transitioning back to active duty or to civilian life.



"I'm so excited to be a part of this," said Martinez of the Warrior Games. "To be able to compete with others who share the same drive and competitive spirit is really something special. This is an amazing group of people."



Martinez sustained a gunshot wound to her foot, shattering her right heel bone, while stationed in Afghanistan in July 2014. Four surgeries were needed to address the damage. During rehabilitation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), her resilience and determination impressed Navy Lt. Albert Lee, who oversaw her physical therapy. "Staff Sgt. Martinez has always maintained a positive outlook regarding her rehab," he said. "Patients like her are not difficult to manage because she never stops and always looks to push herself harder. She's done everything asked of her and never complained, always working through the pain with great determination and focus."



Martinez, whose parents emigrated from South America, served as an intelligence analyst at Joint-Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, but she is now with the Warrior Transition Battalion at WRNMMC. Martinez says she wanted to serve because of her desire to give something back for the freedoms she and others enjoy as U.S. citizens. "My parents came here to pursue the 'American dream'," she said. "So I wanted to do something that would reflect the level of gratitude I have for the ability to do and be whatever it is I choose."



When the 2015 Warrior Games conclude, don't expect Martinez to slow down. She plans to participate in a half-marathon, and also grab her backpack for some rucking.



Tuesday, 16 June 2015 22:40

FEMA honors OSU professor David Neal

Submitted by Brian Petrotta

(STILLWATER, Okla., June 16, 2015) - Professor David Neal of Oklahoma State University's Department of Political Science and Fire and Emergency Management Program was recently presented the Wayne Blanchard Award for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education during the Federal Emergency Management Agency's annual Higher Education Conference at Emmitsburg, Maryland. This national honor signifies important career contributions.


Neal has been a leader in this arena since taking a faculty position with the first Emergency Management degree program at the University of North Texas in 1989. Much of his career has focused on starting and enhancing undergraduate and graduate degree programs both as a faculty member and as a consultant. He has initiated the first emergency management undergraduate and graduate distance learning degrees, mentored thesis and Ph.D. students in the field, and taught hundreds of future professional emergency managers.


He has also published academic articles on issues related to establishing and teaching Emergency Management in the higher education environment, and is also co-author of Introduction to Emergency Management (2012) with Brenda Phillips and Gary Webb. Neal has published about 50 academic articles and has received more than $1 million in grants and contracts (such as National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration), which in most cases provided additional research experiences and funding for undergraduate and graduate students.


Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU is America's Brightest Orange. Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all. As Oklahoma's only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. As America's Healthiest Campus, OSU is committed to the health and well-being of its students, employees and the community. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated around 255,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

WASHINGTON,  – Senior Defense Department medical leaders addressed health care reform on Capitol Hill yesterday, expressing concern over potential impacts on military medical readiness and overall readiness.


Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel subcommittee were Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, and top medical officials from the services: Army Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, Air Force Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Mark A. Ediger and Navy deputy surgeon general Rear Adm. (Dr.) C. Forrest Faison III.


Military health care reform was examined as part of the overall Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, which sent its recommendations to President Barack Obama in January.


"We agree with [the commission's] findings of overarching challenges facing military medicine and concur with many recommendations," Woodson said, adding that some of its recommendations are now in place.


Strategies Now in Place


Woodson described strategies that are now in place to make the military health care system "better, stronger and more relevant for the future," and stressed the critical nature of military readiness, ensuring quality health care and using money wisely in the Military Health System.


"We've undertaken a comprehensive review of our medical infrastructure and resources," he said, "and [we've] presented a modernization plan that proposes to place our most-skilled professionals in the military communities where they are likely to keep those skills sharpest."


The Military Health System has reformed governance and stood up the Defense Health Agency to enhance collaborative work affordably among the three medical services, Woodson told the panel. "We're making it easier to access care in the system by focusing on quality, safety and making performance data more transparent," he said.


Woodson said he agrees with commission's recommendation to reform the TRICARE military health plan, and told the panel that work is already underway.


Surgeons General Share Concerns


The surgeons general said that while they support the objectives of the commission's findings, they have concerns about elements that threaten readiness and military medical skills.


"[Fewer than] one of five service members evacuated from Iraq and were injured in battle," Horoho noted. "During Operation United Assistance, the major threat to soldiers was endemic infectious diseases. The Army already uses joint infrastructures ... [for] medical readiness. The Army does not support establishing a four-star readiness command," a commission recommendation and a point echoed by Ediger and Faison.


Though the surgeons general support affordable health care and increased choices for patients, "to establish TRICARE choice would negatively impact the readiness of our entire health care team and present financial challenges for active-duty families and retirees" Horoho said.

"To put [military treatment facilities] in competition with the private sector would drive up administrative costs and significantly detract from the operational mission of our medical facilities," Ediger agreed.


The Air Force surgeon general said requiring airmen and their families to "navigate a complex system of insurance marketplace on a recurring basis" could increase their stress.


"[The Military Health System] is working hard to recapture its [patient] workload into the direct-care system," Faison said, adding that offering commercial insurance to military patients would compete with that goal.


"Nonactive-duty beneficiaries comprise 67 percent of our total beneficiary population, 83 percent of our inpatient care and 79 percent of our high-acuity workload," Horoho emphasized.


Military Medical Training Would Be Affected


"These patients are vital to sustain our graduate medical and health professionals' education programs," she said. "The loss of these inpatients from our direct health-care system would pose tremendous risk to our training and negatively impact our medical forces readiness posture."


Ediger and Faison agreed that the lack of military patients would harm medical training and affect overall readiness.


"We believe resilient families with excellent health care support greatly enhances the resilience of all of our airmen," Ediger said. "Significant progress in the [Military Health System], as Dr. Woodson pointed out, has occurred. And we are a progressive system of health and readiness as a result."


"We need to recognize what sets us apart from civilian medicine: that we are a rapidly deployable, fully integrated medical system," Faison said. "This allows us to support combat casualty care with unprecedented battlefield survival rates."


"The Army needs a medically ready force," Horoho said, with Ediger and Faison in agreement. "Commanders need to know ... soldiers will be ready to deploy," she added.


"When wounded soldiers hear the rotor blades of a medevac helicopter, they need to continue to have confidence that our providers are trained and ready," Horoho said. "Any radical departure presents significant risk to a system that has produced record levels of both combat casualty survival and readiness."

From the LeFlore County Health Department


The LeFlore Regional Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps Unit is sponsoring a FREE Psychological First Aid training.


Psychological First Aid (PFA) is the "acute intervention of choice" when responding to the psychosocial needs of children, adults, and families affected by disaster and terrorism. Recently developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, with contributions from other individuals involved in coordinating and participating in disaster response, PFA is designed to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping.



The FREE Psychological First Aid training will be held Tuesday, June 30th, 2015 from 9:00a.m. To 5:00p.m., at the Sequoyah County EOC, located at 108 E. Chickasaw. Lunch will be on your own from 12:00 to 1:00.


No fee to register, however, there will be limited seating, so register today!


Continuing Education credit will be provided for R.N.'s, CLEET & Mental Health Professionals, Including 1 hour of Ethics.


To register or for more information contact Bobby Parker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call 918-721-3409 or visit


OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin has signed a proclamation declaring June 15, 2015 as Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Oklahoma. In conjunction with the proclamation, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) is urging Oklahomans to report elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.


"When you see something, say something," said Gail Wettstein, DHS Director of Adult Protective Services (APS). "In Oklahoma, a startling number of our older citizens and neighbors are victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation – regardless of culture, race or income level."


Elder abuse has become a significant public health and human rights issue in all fifty states. More than 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day and that trend will continue for the next two decades. Most vulnerable Oklahomans who are victims of abuse and neglect are women over the age of 60 and most of the maltreatment occurs in the victim's own home.


In 2014, Adult Protective Services conducted more than 15,000 investigations into elder abuse, neglect and exploitation and more than 7,000 of the cases were confirmed. 65 percent of the cases were self-neglect and 12.5 percent were caretaker neglect. Abused and neglected older Oklahomans are somebody's mom or dad, sister or brother, grandmother or grandfather.


Know the Red Flags of Abuse:

• Lack of basic hygiene, adequate food, or clean and appropriate clothing
• Lack of medical aids such as glasses, walker, hearing aid, medications
• Person with dementia left unsupervised
• Person confined to bed is left without care
• Home is cluttered, filthy, in disrepair or has fire and safety hazards
• Home does not have adequate facilities such as a working stove, refrigerator, heating and cooling, electricity, or plumbing
• Person with untreated bedsores
• Person with unexplained bruises, welts, cuts, or burns
If you suspect an older adult is in danger of abuse, neglect or exploitation, call your local DHS office during regular business hours or the statewide Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.


Visit the DHS website to learn more about prevention and maltreatment of older adults, terminology about vulnerable adults and adult maltreatment, and warning signs of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.


Every vulnerable older adult in Oklahoma deserves a safe environment. DHS, its partner agencies, stakeholders, volunteers and advocates are working to help end elder abuse.


For more information about elder abuse and to download a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day toolkit, visit the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at Fact sheets and other resources on the website will help you understand the issue of elder abuse and how to engage your community is its prevention.

Latest Events

Sponsored By:
Riverside Autoplex to hold Blood Drive
Tue Jun 19 @ 2:00PM - 06:15PM
Political Forum
Thu Jun 21 @12:00AM
Annual Chamber Golf Classic
Mon Jun 25 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM