Monday October 22, 2018

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  • Make your meals a veggie…

    From Military Health System

    There is no consensus on a “perfect diet,” but the healthiest diets have one thing in…
  • Decorating…

    By Glenda Wise

    Last weekend our friends hosted a fun Oktoberfest party. It was so fun! They really went all out from…
  • Week 2 Mammo Giveaway Winner…

    Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau would like to say congratulations to Nancy Martin.

    Martin was the week…
  • State Immunization Rates…

    Press release

    According to results of the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Kindergarten Survey,…
  • Decorating Wisely: Day of the…

    Since you’ve got your Halloween decorations out, I thought I would talk about another fun holiday, Day of the Dead or…

    Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center in Poteau would like to say congratulations to Patricia Lydy.

    Lydy was the week…
  • EOMC Offering a free gift in…

    During the month of October Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center is offering a bag of goodies and a chance to win in a…
  • Decorating Wisely: Simple…

    By Glenda Wise

    I had a relaxing weekend last weekend putting up all my Halloween décor. I started with another trip…
  • OSDH Receives $7 Million to…

    Press release

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has received notice of an award totaling more than $7…
  • Decorating Wisely: Let’s Get…

    By Glenda Wise

    Donnie has a cycling race in Little Rock and Ashton and Amy are going to the football game,…
  • Oklahoma State Department of…

    Press release

    The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will offer flu vaccine statewide beginning Monday, Oct. 1…
  • Decorating Wisely: Dorm…

    By Glenda Wise

    I cannot believe I forgot to tell you last week that Grayson and her roommate, Karsyn, won the OU…
  • HHS Awards $1 Billion in New…

    Press release

    MUSKOGEE—The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced over $1 billion in funding for a new…
  • Health Officials Remind…

    Press release

    While the season for West Nile virus (WNV) has been mild compared to previous years, the Oklahoma State…
  • Foster Parent Exclusive…

    Press release

    When families choose to become foster families, they provide for their foster children as if they were…
Health & Wellness
Monday, 04 December 2017 10:14

Flu shot clinic scheduled for Dec 12th

Press Release




In continuation of the LeFlore County Health Department/Choctaw Nation Health Care Influenza vaccination project, a special immunization clinic has been scheduled. On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, LeFlore County Health Department will be offering FREE flu shots for persons over 5 years of age.


This special event will take place in the COMMUNITY ROOM at the health department. No appointments necessary. No proof of income or insurance is required.


It is not too late to vaccinate for flu. The number of hospitalizations related to flu is increasing each week.


Once again, flu shots will be given FREE at LeFlore County Health Department, 1204 Dewey on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 from 8:00 until 5:00 in the COMMUNITY ROOM. For more information call 918-647-8601.

Sunday, 03 December 2017 21:59

In The Nick Of Time

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney


It’s that time of the year again as children get ready for a visit to Saint Nick. They prepare to tug on his ear a little and let him know what they want under the tree Christmas Day.

However for some that experience is not enjoyable, and can sometimes be downright painful. This is why a few years ago a group of area parents decided to host a Sensitive Santa program in Poteau. This is designed to help children with sensory issues, or disabilities that might cause them to not have a great experience, meet with Santa in a sensory friendly environment. It also helps parents have a judge-free zone as well.

We have had such and overwhelming response to this event, that last year we had more people than expected show up. While that is a good problem to have it has caused us to change our game-plan. This year will be by APPOINTMENT ONLY to cut down on distractions for the kids.

The Pervasive Parenting Center will present Sensitive Santa throughout December. This will help us avoid the long lines.

Santa will be held at the following locations:

Carl Albert State college in Sallisaw on Tuesday Dec. 5.
Carl Albert State College in Poteau on Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Kibois Community Action Building in Stigler on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
Wilburton Senior Citizens Center in Wilburton on Thursday, Dec. 21.


Sensitive Santa is open to ALL children with disabilities, not just those on the spectrum.


For an appointment for questions please contact us at 918-647-1255, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact us on Facebook at Pervasive Parenting Center.



Thursday, 30 November 2017 11:14

First Two Flu Deaths of the Season Reported

Press release

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced the first two deaths caused by the flu in the state. Both deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65. There have been 105 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported statewide.

The number of flu cases is relatively high for this time of year, and public health officials are concerned there will be a high risk of spreading the flu during the holiday season. The highest number of flu-related hospitalizations has occurred among those who are older than 50 years of age, as well as children younger than 5, which are both groups at greater risk of experiencing severe illness and complications due to flu.

The OSDH reminds the public that there are still several months left in the flu season. The single best way to protect against flu and its consequences is to get the flu vaccine. Many local county health departments, pharmacies and health care providers have vaccine and health officials urge everyone 6 months of age and older to get the vaccine to protect themselves and those around them from influenza, especially babies too young to receive a vaccination. It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for a person’s immune system to respond and provide defenses against influenza viruses.

Those who already have the flu can spread it to others even before they feel sick. One may have the flu if they have some or all of these symptoms:
• Fever
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body aches
• Headache
• Chills
• Fatigue

It is important for those experiencing flu-like symptoms to consult with a health care provider as soon as possible. Antiviral drugs may be prescribed to treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment when started within 48 hours of noticing symptoms. Influenza antiviral drugs may also be indicated as a prevention measure to protect those who have just been exposed to someone diagnosed with influenza and are especially vulnerable.

Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications. Young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with some long-term medical conditions are reminded to contact their health care provider as soon as they develop flu symptoms.

OSDH recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone. Avoid going to work, school, social events and public gatherings as well as traveling and shopping. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as acetaminophen before returning to a regular routine. To prevent the spread of the flu, the public is reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash hands often.

For more information about influenza and activity updates, visit the Ok Flu View at


By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is pleased to partner with several organizations to fulfill the mission of OK Foster Wishes this year. This program helps fill the wish lists submitted by children in foster care under the Department of Human Services and ultimately delivers over 6,000 holiday gifts. We have been very pleased to have several generous organizations step up to help us complete this mission, including Feed the Children, Bob Moore Subaru, and the Oklahoma Employees Credit Union. This, of course, is in addition to the many individuals and businesses who have requested wish lists or made cash donations.


If you would like to learn more about this program and support our gift drive, please go to and request a wish list. If possible, ask if your place of work would like to take on one or more lists to help fulfill this program. Here are our key dates:

• Last day to request lists: 12/4
• Last day to drop your completed list off to a site: 12/8
• Last day to donate new, unwrapped toys to our warehouse in Oklahoma City: 12/20
• Last day to make a monetary donation online at so we can complete a list: 12/24


We are also asking people to consider becoming a foster parent during this time of year. Oklahoma Fosters (online at is an initiative “designed to provide a placement resource that is committed to working with the child’s birth family towards the goal of reunification; and, if reunification fails, is committed to raising/parenting the child.”


This program is committed to maintaining a permanent connection for the child, so the foster family not only provides care for the child, but also acts as a mentor role to the child’s birth family.


This approach to foster care is meant to best serve the child’s entire family. The foster families must meet both foster and adoptive program criteria; come from the same community as the child; and be willing to accept and agree to visitation and other types of contact with siblings, extended family and other important people in the child’s life.


An OK Foster family is a family who may be asked to:

• Provide temporary care, love, and nurturance to the child and serve as a mentor whose actively helping the parent improve their ability to safely care for their children
• Serve as the legal guardian for the child while maintaining the child’s connection to kin, culture, and community
• Adopt the child while maintaining the child’s connection to kin, culture and community.
• To be willing to care for children through foster care, legal guardianship, or adoption.
• To provide a temporary home for children needing out of home care due to abuse or neglect. Foster families provide a safe and nurturing home and are committed to working with birth families to reunite children with parents.
• Adopt and provide a permanent placement option for children who have been in foster care. Children are legally free for adoption only after the court has terminated the parental rights.
• Adopt children who range in age from 0 to 21 and frequently are part of a sibling group that must remain together. More than half of the children in care are children of color. Some of these children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities ranging from mild to severe.


If you are interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive parent, please use the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Foster & Adoption Inquiry form at or call 1-800-376-9729.


Go to to sign up for a wish list or make a monetary donation.

Sunday, 19 November 2017 21:25

I’ll Be There For You

Pervasive Parenting - by Kodey Toney


We (the Pervasive Parenting Center) have recently started something that I’ve wanted to do for several years now. We have begun the Pervasive Peers program in Panama Middle School.


This is a pilot program that we hope will grow throughout the area and into other schools.

This is a peer mentoring group that we have started to bring awareness and acceptance into the schools, and in turn into communities. Each program will be individual in that they get to name their group.


This group of 7th and 8th graders have decided on Panama Ambassadors of Random Kindness, or P.A.R.K. For short. We used the National Honor Society students to start the program.

So far they have gone through disability acceptance training as well as autism basics. The students seemed to really enjoy the autism training, and came away with a better understanding of what their peers on the spectrum may be going through.

For Bully Awareness Month the group learned skits about disability acceptance and performed them in the elementary schools.

They also work in leadership skills, and help to curb bullying in the school.

Several have agreed to volunteer as unified partners for the local Special Olympics program. This will include riding on a float with the Special Olympics athletes during the Christmas parade.

I have to thank Panama Schools for allowing us to start this program in the school. This especially includes Grant Ralls, Jamie Hoffman, Felisha McKensie, and Jennifer Toney. Also, the students have been amazing, so a big thanks to them.


Monday, 13 November 2017 16:05

November is Adoption Awareness Month

Press release


OKLAHOMA CITY - November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In Oklahoma, there are over 600 children and youth in foster care who are waiting for their forever families.


“No child should have to grow up without a family,” said Tricia Howell, Deputy Director for Foster Care and Adoptions.


Each November, National Adoption Month brings awareness to the needs of children and youth waiting for their permanent families. Children need and deserve to be in families. DHS needs families who are open-minded and willing to take sibling groups, teens and kids with special needs. These are the children who are hardest to place and who need special families willing to meet them where they are. By saying yes to adoption, families and individuals can create the stable family connections that will set the stage for a successful adulthood for children and youth in foster care.


“As Oklahomans, we know our children are our most precious resource, which is reflected through the wonderful families who step up to adopt. A loving and stable family provides the nurturing and healing that will forever change not only the child but the family as well,” said Howell.


Last fiscal year, DHS finalized adoptions for 2,577 children and youth, giving them a permanent home. This was the highest number of adoptions in a single fiscal year since 1998.


For more information about how to adopt through DHS or become a foster parent, call 800-376-9729 or visit


Sunday, 12 November 2017 22:08

Dream A Little Dream

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney


I feel like I need to share a story about a local girl who has overcome so much to achieve one of her dreams recently.

Patience Wilson is a girl that I have known for a couple years now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her determination and drive.

You see, a few years back she was in a horrendous car wreck that left her with a traumatic brain injury. While the healing process has been ongoing, she has already come so far from where she was supposed to be. She and her family were told that they she may never speak or walk again. There were many things they were told, but with hard work, she has recently competed in Special Olympics events, which she not only loves, but has excelled at. She made it to the State Games this summer in the 100 meter run, but was disappointed when it got rained out.

But, as with everything else, she sat her sights on the next big thing. This time it was the Miss Panama pageant.

Saturday night she walked across the stage to compete in the Little Miss division. She said she wanted to compete to show people that just because you have a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be like everyone else, and follow your dreams.

As she walked across the stage her gait was a little different from the other girls. She has a bit of a noticeable limp, and her arm draws up slightly by her side because of her injury. However, her smile and confidence seemed to lift her across the floor, and were stronger than most of the other kids. That smile grew even larger when she saw me sitting in the corner of the stage running sound and working the curtain. She forgot that she was supposed to be working the crowd long enough to give me a wave.

I wasn’t the only one that she made feel special that night though. She was the only girl to receive a standing ovation.

Oh, did I mention, she won her division?

Patience is the epitome of what I preach every week. You can’t stop anyone if they are determined to achieve their dreams. The only thing holding someone with a disability back is themselves.

Congratulations Patience.



Dream A Little Dream - 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 vote

Press release


WYNNEWOOD – Oklahoma’s Wynnewood Care Center, a skilled nursing facility that is home to 25 elderly residents, has closed its doors amid ongoing state and federal budget cuts. The home’s operator said that costs for medical care and treatment continue to rise while funding for the state’s Medicaid program continues to fall, making the facility’s finances untenable.


BK Strategies, a health care company headquartered in Ada, oversees operations of the Wynnewood home and several other skilled nursing facilities in Oklahoma. CEO Bart Reed said his staff worked to minimize the hardship to both his residents and employees.


“We were able to find all our residents homes and our employees jobs. However, this is still a major disruption for the residents, who had to leave their homes and home town. It’s a burden on family members that visit, some of whom are elderly themselves. Our employees are also going to face additional travel costs and longer commutes.”


Reed said the announcement of across-the-board cuts to the state’s Medicaid agency will likely trigger more nursing home closures, leaving many facilities with very few options.


“As nursing homes across the state close due to funding shortages, families are being forced to move their loved ones to other counties, to hospitals, or to find a way to care for them in their homes,” said Reed. “Most of our residents are sick and require around-the-clock care. We are talking about taking away their homes and uprooting their lives when they are in an extremely vulnerable state. That is no way to treat people.”

Reed said a home closure can also be a major economic blow to a community.


“It’s really sad what this causes in a lot of small towns,” he said. “A home closure means putting one of the largest local employers out-of-business.”


Skilled nursing facilities employ around 19,000 caretakers in Oklahoma. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of all residents at skilled nursing facilities rely on Medicaid as their form of payment. Oklahoma’s Medicaid reimbursement rate, at just 53 percent of the federal Medicare rate, is one of the lowest in the nation. The average facility loses $300,000 per year on Medicaid recipients. Since 2010, state and federal budget cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes have totaled $93 million, putting many homes at risk of closure.


Gay Lynne Vincent, a Wynnewood Care Center resident since 2015, has now moved to Purcell Care Center. She says the state is failing in its duty to care for elderly residents.


“You never think that at my age you are going to have to deal with a problem like this,” she said. “I worked and paid taxes all my life, and like everyone else here I expected the state to do its part. I don’t think our lawmakers realize that people like me literally just had to find a new home.”


Additional state cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes are expected to go into effect on December 1, 2017. Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers President and CEO Nico Gomez has said the cuts could jeopardize the financial stability of over half of those homes.


“We appreciate the legislators who are taking this crisis seriously and have voted for revenue raising measures that can stabilize our nursing homes,” said Gomez. “We need action now. Budget cuts and the ongoing budget crisis have created a terrible situation for some of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable and elderly residents.”



Gay Lynne Vincent moved to the Purcell Care Center after the Wynnewood Care Center informed residents it was closing.


The Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers represents the interest of more than 18,000 residents and 19,000 professionals that work in Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities. The mission of OAHCP is to assist its members in providing the highest quality care to the seniors, individuals with disabilities and vulnerable Oklahomans who live in our facilities. We advocate for the enhancement of that care so that Oklahoma long-term care residents may live in the comfort and dignity they deserve. For more information please visit



The staff at LeFlore County Health Department would like to say “Thank you” to all of the citizens in LeFlore County who participated in the community and school influenza vaccination events during October. Proper hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes along with taking a flu shot has proven to be the best prevention of influenza each year.


We would also like to thank all school staff that helped with the organization of the events at school, Pocola City Hall, City of Poteau for the use of the Donald W. Reynolds Center to hold the drive through flu shot event. Also, thanks go to our local media-Poteau Daily News, Heavener Ledger, OKWelcome, and Poteau Chamber of Commerce for the advertising.


And many thanks go to Choctaw Nation Health Care for providing the vaccine and their help during the events.


Thank you,

Leslie J. Covey
Public Information Officer
Haskell, Latimer, LeFlore and Sequoyah
County Health Departments

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