Monday October 22, 2018

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Health & Wellness


From the  Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH)


The Oklahoma Department of Health is joining forces with the Coalition Against Rx Drug Epidemic (C.A.Rx.E) to raise awareness of the prescription drug overdose epidemic in Oklahoma. The event will take place Monday, Aug. 31, at the Oklahoma State Capitol (south plaza) from 11am – 1pm.



Guest speakers will include: Gail Box, mother of former OU football player Austin Box; Deputy Commissioner Steven Buck with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; William Banner, Jr., with the Oklahoma Poison and Drug Information Center; Director Darrell Weaver with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control; and Bruce Carlton, sharing his personal recovery story. Additionally, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics will be sponsoring a take-back event for the public to safely dispose of expired or unused medications.



Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma's largest drug problem. Of the more than 4,600 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007-2013, about 80 percent involved at least one prescription drug and almost 90 percent of those deaths involved prescription painkillers (opioids). Unintentional poisoning deaths have now surpassed motor vehicle crash deaths as the leading cause of injury death. More unintentional poisoning deaths involve hydrocodone or oxycodone, both prescription painkillers, than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined. Adults aged 35-54 have the highest death rate of any age group for prescription overdoses over time.

OSDH offers the following suggestions for preventing prescription drug overdoses:


· Tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you are taking; opioids in combination with other depressants such as sleep aids, anti-anxiety medications, or cold medicine can be dangerous.

· Only take medications as prescribed and never more than the recommended dosage; use special caution with opioid painkillers.

· Never share or sell prescription drugs.

· Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs at approved drug disposal sites.

· Keep all pain medications in a safe place to avoid theft and access to children.

· Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.

· Never drink alcohol while taking medication.

· Put the Poison Control number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and cell phone for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week access.


For more information about the rally, visit For more information on preventing unintentional poisonings, contact the OSDH Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430 or visit For help finding treatment referrals, call 211. To report illegal distribution or diversion of prescription drugs, call the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control at 1-800-522-8031.

Julie Barnard | College of Human Sciences



(STILLWATER, Okla., August 27, 2015) - Little red and orange wolfberries have been used in China for centuries to ensure longevity and treat age-related conditions of the liver and the eye.



But those qualities and many more have only recently been confirmed due to researchers using modern high performance analytic methods.



College of Human Sciences assistant professor in nutritional sciences Daniel Lin and colleagues are among those researchers who are providing evidence of the little red berry's effectiveness on delaying or preventing retinal degeneration.



Wolfberries, or Goji berries, are the fruits of two closely related perennial plants, Lycium barbarum and Lycium Chinense, which are native to Asia and southeast Europe. Commercial production mainly comes from plantations in Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uyghur regions in China.



The bioactive components in wolfberries include but are not limited to polysaccharides and carotenoids. The fruits contain large amounts of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are believed to have significant importance in eye health. Lin and his colleagues sought to determine the nature of the preventative effects of dietary wolfberry on diabetic retinopathy.



During the study, mice were fed a diet that included 1% wolfberries. The control group's diet did not include wolfberries. High-performance liquid chromatography indicated mice fed the wolfberry diet for eight weeks had increases of ~13.7% in overall zeaxanthin and lutein concentrations in the liver and retinal tissues.



Retinal damage caused by complications of diabetes is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in working age adults. Hyperglycemia is a major cause of the progression of the disease.



No permanent cure is available at this time. In the early stages of diabetes the retina's small blood vessels are still intact with no damage. As the hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress progresses it alters cellular stability and mitochondrial health.



Mitochondria are often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate which is the source of the cell's energy. Mitochondrial dysfunction is the primary indicator of retinal degeneration in diabetes. Mitochondria damage in mice fed wolfberries for eight weeks was completely reversed.



The study showed wolfberry improved dispersion of mitochondria and increased pigment granules in the retina's epithelium cells.



The vascular system in the retina provides nutrients and oxygen to the inner retina, new blood vessels supply the outer retina. In diabetes, elevated blood glucose, hyperglycemia and blood flow decline result in hypoxia or oxygen shortages in the retina. Dietary wolfberries ameliorated hypoxia and slowed down vascular dysfunction in the retina of the mice.



"In the study, dietary wolfberry restored the thickness of the whole retina, in particular the inner nuclear layer and photoreceptor layer," Lin said.


"To our knowledge, this is the first report that wolfberry bioactive constituents prevented or delayed the onset of the disease of diabetic retinopathy in an animal mode," Lin said.



"We believe the inhibition of hypoxia may be beneficial to maintaining healthy vision for diabetic patients," Lin said. "The bioactive components in wolfberry may very well delay the progression of retinal degeneration for people suffering from diabetes."


osu professor

College of Human Sciences assistant professor in nutritional sciences Daniel Lin



Not satisfied with one aspect of wolfberries' impact on health, Lin is also studying its effects on obese mice.



"High fat diets cause mitochondrial dysfunction and a study of obese mice indicates wolfberry dietary intervention can lead to the prevention of excessive amounts of triglycerides and other fats in liver cells," Lin said.



With the burgeoning costs associated with pharmaceutical treatments, research-based evidence of the lasting effects of nutraceuticals such as wolfberries will have tremendous impact on the health and well-being of the world's population.



Lin said the western world is taking notice of the tiny fruit's potential as wolfberry production is being found in Arizona, California and Nevada.


"Shipping the fresh fruit is difficult so most of the fruit from China is dried," he said. "The dried fruit is still highly effective, but as with all fruits, fresh wolfberry is best."



It appears the ancient remedy will soon be the next new functional food to enhance and improve health.






Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. 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, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.

The Pervasive Parenting: Parent Support Group (formerly Parents of Autism) will meet Thursday September 17, at 6 pm.


This will be held at the F.L. Holton Business Center at Carl Albert State College in Poteau.


This month's meeting will include a FREE Care and Communication Notebook Training sponsored by the Oklahoma Family Network and Pervasive Parenting Center. These notebooks are beneficial to helping provide the best medical, educational, and therapy care for your child. Included will be free material including the notebooks and several pages to get the caregivers started.


"When you have so many therapies, doctor's appointments, and other appointments as a parent it is easy to forget where you've been, or what you're child has done," said Kodey Toney, director of the Pervasive Parenting Center. "These notebooks can help you be more organized and in turn will help assure that your child is getting the proper attention they need to help them improve in their goals."


This is a support group for families coping with autism and any other disabilities. The group meets to help share resources, advice, and help each other. This meeting is open to everyone including families, professionals, teachers, etc.


If you have any questions contact Kodey Toney @ 918-658-5076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Monday, 24 August 2015 14:59

Sibshop meeting for September scheduled

The Pervasive Parenting Sibshop meeting for September is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, 2015. This meeting is designed to help children in eastern Oklahoma cope with the stress of having a sibling with a disability. Meetings are held monthly throughout the area, and are open to children ages 6 to 15.


The September meeting will be held at Kibois Community Action, 200 SE A Street, Stigler, OK, from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

This is a free service and is open to siblings of children with any disability.

Dinner is also provided for FREE.

The children participate in games, crafts, and other activities throughout the day. They are also served lunch, and socialize with other children who are going through similar issues.


The games are designed to be fun as well as allow them to open up about the problems they may have at home. It also gives them a chance to see the positive sides of having a sibling with a disability.

"This is a great opportunity for children of this area who have a sibling with a disability to have a little 'me time,'" said Kodey Toney, Director of the Pervasive Parenting Center. "It's a fun time and they get a little break from everyday life."

Sibshop is a national program created by Don Meyer as part of the Sibling Support Project. There are currently 340 Sibshops in eight countries.

If you have any questions contact Kodey Toney @ 918-658-5076 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Sandie Rutherford at 918-967-9992,

Sunday, 23 August 2015 22:23

Angry Again

Pervasive Parenting


In the past few years I have tried to catch up on some of the "classics" in popular culture. This includes reading some great books that have come to be those "you've-never-read-that" type of books. I've also tried to see some movies that are in the top 100 of all time. While these are not always my cup of tea, I do find some that I think, "This is why it's a classic."

So when I finally watched the 1959 movie "12 Angry Men" this week I truly loved it. It's a great story, great cast, and still relative today.

Some of you are probably thinking, "Great review, but what does this have to do with parenting a child with a disability?" I kept thinking as I watched this movie how much it related to the issues we have everyday as advocates for our children. In fact it reminded me of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting.

For those who have never watched this movie, it's about a jury that deliberates, and only one man believes that the kid on trial is innocent. He slowly begins to present evidence to change the other juror's minds one at a time. Things get heated, there are stubborn jurors that are harder to convince, but as they learn more and more about the situation at hand they realize how close-minded they have been, and change their minds.

As they talk, remember this was filmed in 1959, they use words like "these people" and "I've known a couple that were okay". While they were talking about the social and racial status of the defendant, I think this nails the mentality of many of the people if sat in IEP meetings with. This includes educators and parents. They have that same mentality that I've talked about in the past. We assume that a child with autism, or any disability, cannot function in a mainstream classroom before we even try. The problem is that our minds are already biased, so even if we try to work with them in the classroom we're not trying to find the positives to allow them to stay with their peers, we're already looking for reasons to move them to a secluded classroom. This erks me to no end. That is not the least restrictive environment that the law talks about.

As Juror #8 Henry Fonda says, "Prejudice always obscures the truth." How profound. When you enter that room with prejudice you are not looking for truth. You are only looking for evidence to prove your point.
We should be looking for every reason to keep a child in the classroom, not discriminate and sentence them to a lifetime of seclusion. We have to work to convince the team members one at a time that our children can function in the classroom.

Thursday, 20 August 2015 22:54

Blood Drive scheduled for Aug 28th

There will be a blood drive by LeFlore County EMS August 28th from 1:30-5:30 at the Donald W. Reynolds Community Center in Poteau.


Donors receive 2 tickets to the Tulsa Zoo and a cool t-shirt.


Contact Jim at 479-652-2364 to make an appointment.


Walk-ins are welcome.


OKLAHOMA CITY - As of August 20, 2015, all Oklahoma public and private schools are to be tobacco-free. The new law will also prohibit anyone from using tobacco in school vehicles and at any school-sponsored or school-sanctioned event or activity, including sporting events. House Bill 1685, also known as the 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools Act, provides around-the-clock protection from the dangers of tobacco use.



"Tobacco products are the leading cause of preventable death in the state of Oklahoma," said Governor Mary Fallin. "A lot of tobacco users first form the habit by being around other tobacco users, including friends and parents, when they are young. When I was growing up, it wasn't unusual to see parents – or high school-aged children – smoking or dipping at sporting events and other school functions. This new law pushes tobacco off our school campuses and ensures our children aren't picking up an unhealthy and potentially deadly habit in the very places that should be helping them develop healthy minds and bodies."



Each year 17,900 youths in Oklahoma try smoking for the first time and 4,200 youths under the age of 18 start smoking daily. The new law aims to help reduce those numbers by limiting exposure to tobacco. Adolescent tobacco users are more at risk than adults for memory loss, depression, cardiac irregularities and long-term dependence. A tobacco-free environment is an important measure to protect the health of Oklahoma's youth.



"Our children learn behaviors by watching those around them," said Dr. Terry Cline, Cabinet secretary of health and human services and Oklahoma State Department of Health commissioner. "The 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools Act will help prevent Oklahoma's youth from becoming tobacco's next victims."



Although e-cigarettes and vapor products are not covered in the new law, schools are encouraged to include those products in their tobacco-free policies. Already, 246 school districts have implemented a ban on e-cigarettes and vapor products, which can mimic conventional cigarettes. Vapor products may also contain nicotine, which negatively impacts adolescent brain development.



For more information visit the 24/7 Tobacco-Free Schools webpage at:


For information on quitting tobacco, call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or register online at


Oklahoma City— It is a sobering statistic, but a quarter of all the youth who leave foster care without a family in Oklahoma are likely to become homeless. That is the topic in the next installment of the Fall Lecture Series presented by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). "Risk Factors for Foster Care Youth Homelessness" will be presented Tuesday, September 22 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. All lectures are free and open to the public.



DHS researchers Zohre Salehezadeh, Ph. D., and Brandon Crawford will present their analysis of which youth are likely to become homeless when exiting foster care. Oklahoma was one of 18 sites funded nationally for a project by the Administration on Children and Families. The resulting project seeks to eliminate youth homelessness, particularly among those with foster care experience. Foster care alumni will also share their perspectives during the lecture.



The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has several events scheduled for fall. On August 25, Dr. Laurence Rubenstein from the OU College of Medicine will present strategies for preventing falls among the elderly. On October 22, Karen Youngblood from the University of Central Oklahoma presents a lecture on multigenerational management. A report on Oklahoma's pre-school population that is school-ready will be the topic of a November 5 lecture, and December 8 will highlight food access and health disparities in Oklahoma City.



A special workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. October 2 with Matt Paxton from the television show "Hoarders." Paxton participated in a well-received lecture last spring, and will now present a three-hour workshop at the DHS Training Facility, 617 West Rock Creek Road in Norman.



The Practice and Policy Lecture Series has been developed to provide thought-provoking presentations on Oklahoma's emerging policy issues, trends and best practices. The series is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Planning, Research and Statistics and the University of Oklahoma Center for Public Management with the goal of providing the best educational opportunities available in a forum that offers participants an opportunity to question, share and learn from each other. Register to attend by phoning (405)521-3552.

Monday, 17 August 2015 23:08

Big City

Pervasive Parenting

I took trip to the "big city" on Friday for my first meeting with the Developmental Disabilities Council. I saw some old friends and made some new ones that I think are going to beneficial in the near future. However, when I learned about what the council has done in the past I wanted to share this information, because I knew about some of these programs, but didn't realize that the DD Council actually helped start them. Many are very beneficial to the people of our area.


The council is a Title I program set up through the governor's office to help individuals with developmental disabilities; obviously right? However, what falls under that includes the protection and advocacy systems in the state to guard the legal and human rights of individuals with disabilities. They also help set up set up university centers for excellence in developmental disabilities education, research, and services to help provide continuing education and community services, and to conduct research and spread the information. They also collect data necessary to help improve lives of individuals with disabilities, and provide technical assistance.


One of the programs started by the council is Project Peak. This is a training and support network to help educate children on the autism spectrum. They work with the local and state agencies as well as the schools to help provide training for children in the school environment.


Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center was a program started to help families and school find the technology they need to help make a better life for those with disabilities. They would provide devices on loan and help with training to learn to use those devices to make sure it was necessary for that individual. This has shifted in the recent past, but Oklahoma ABLE Tech has taken on a similar role and is available to help with technology needs.


Dreamnight at the Zoo is sponsored by the ODDC every June. The first Friday of the month the zoo provides access to families of children with disabilities. The council funded disability awareness training for the zoo employees which is now part of new employee orientation. The zoo also works with zoos from across the country to help with access for those with disabilities.
Youth Leadership Forum is a week-long program on a college campus that helps high school juniors and senior prepare for post-secondary education, independent living, and career development. They are also taught self-advocacy and leadership skills.


Partners in Policymaking is the great program that I graduated from in 2013. This is a nine-week program designed to help self-advocates, family members, educators, and professionals better advocate for themselves and others. There are so many aspects to this one that I couldn't possibly list them all, but they will make you feel like you can take over the world when you are finished.


Oklahoma Sibshops were also developed under the ODDC. While the program itself was developed in Washington state, the programs were nurtured by the council to spread throughout the state. This includes the one the Pervasive Parenting Center began last year. We will start back up in September to help provide families with assistance for siblings of children with disabilities.


These are only a few of the things that have the council planted the seed for. Also under their supervision was the Governor's Conference on Developmental Disabilities, Sooner Success, and Keeping Families together.


I am truly honored to be a part of this great council, and to use it as another avenue to help others.

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