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

Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s largest drug problem and International Overdose Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Almost 10 people die every week of a prescription drug overdose in Oklahoma. Prescription painkillers (opioids) are the most common class of drugs involved in overdose deaths in Oklahoma, involving more than 80% of prescription drug-related deaths. In recent years, the numbers of unintentional poisoning deaths have surpassed deaths from motor vehicle crashes. More unintentional poisoning deaths involve prescription painkillers than alcohol and all illicit drugs combined. Adults aged 35-54 years have the highest death rate of any age group for prescription overdoses over time.

International Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. OSDH asks you to wear silver to show your support.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health’s (OSDH) Injury Prevention Service offers the following suggestions for preventing prescription drug overdoses:

• Only take medications as prescribed. Don't stop or change the dose of a drug on your own without consulting your doctor first.
• Never share or sell your prescription drugs.
• Don’t be an accidental dealer. People who abuse/misuse prescription drugs may get them from friends or family. Dispose of unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs. To find a local drop box, visit
• 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.
• Naloxone is a safe and effective drug that reverses an opioid overdose. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
• Call 211 for help finding treatment referrals.
• Put the Poison Control number 1-800-222-1222 on or near every home phone and cell phone for 24/7 access.

If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, react to this true emergency by calling 911 immediately.

For more information on prescription drug overdose prevention, 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.

Prescription drug overdose prevention is supported by federal dollars from the Preventive Health Services division within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant # 2B01OT009043).

By OICA CEO Joe Dorman


I have had the opportunity to meet many amazing people through my years of service, but there are some who stand out as beacons of hope. I am proud to count Laura Choate, along with Melvin and Jasmine Moran, among them. To honor these special individuals, the OICA now bestows two annual awards in their name.


The Laura Choate Resilience Award was created to celebrate individuals who have overcome adversity in their childhood and gone on to make lasting contributions to the lives of young people. There is no one more appropriate to name this award after than Laura, who overcame abuse while in state custody and helped permanently improve Oklahoma’s child welfare programs.


Laura served as a plaintiff in the “Terry D” class-action lawsuit that resulted in dramatic changes to Oklahoma’s DHS and juvenile justice agencies. The reforms that emerged because of the lawsuit not only successfully improved conditions in Oklahoma, but were used as models by other states to establish their own higher standards. The lawsuit also gave birth to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, as the state recognized the need for a permanent watchdog group to ensure we never again saw the kind of abuse and neglect in state programs. Laura served as an important catalyst for these changes and has since dedicated her life to ensuring the experiences she suffered will never again be duplicated for kids in state custody.


Today, OICA is proud to honor individuals who demonstrate the same qualities as Laura by overcoming challenges, making lasting contribution to the lives of young people, exhibiting bravery, and demonstrating dedication to fostering resilience in youth. Our Laura Choate Resilience Award-winners exhibit what researchers at the International Youth Foundation call the “Seven C’s of Resilience:” Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control


OICA is also excited to bestow a new award: the Moran Kidizenship Award. It is named in recognition of the positive work of Melvin and Jasmine Moran, who founded the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma, and have supported countless other programs that help to educate or bring joy to the lives of children.


The Moran Kidizenship Award will recognize “kids who do good work for other kids” in Oklahoma. One $500 and four $250 awards will be given to Oklahomans under the age of nineteen who have dedicated time and hard work, either to a program they have either created or an existing program they have helped to elevate. In the spirit of Melvin and Jasmine Moran, OICA wants to recognize these youngsters and set the standard for them to continue to do great things into the future.


The public can submit nominations for both awards at under the Awards tab. The window to nominate a candidate will close at 5 P.M. on September 29th, and we hope you will take the time to nominate outstanding and deserving winners to help us with our search!


Both awards will be presented at the 2017 Oklahoma Kids Count Conference. This conference, hosted by OICA, will be held at the Oklahoma State Capitol on November 2, and pre-registration is open at should you be able to attend. The Oklahoma KIDS COUNT Conference is the state’s premier event providing training to improve the lives of Oklahoma children and to discuss issues impacting children in the state.



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.“



Monday, 28 August 2017 12:09

Keep On Loving You

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney


When I'm out doing trainings, no matter what training I do I have a slide that talks about Konner. It gives all of his likes and dislikes. I talk about how he likes Thomas the Train, Minecraft, Roblox, pressure, and his dog Penny. I also talk about his dislikes; such as loud noises unless he makes them, and his brother Kruz most of the time. The point of this slide is that Konner is, for the most part, just your average kid. He likes many of the same things his peers do.

However, recently I've begun to notice something. I've been doing these trainings for several years, which means Konner has aged. His likes and dislikes have not changed though. That means that even though he is 12 years old he still loves Thomas the Train, which is geared toward a younger audience. While everyone around him has matured in that sense he has not.

Let me stop and say that this is completely ok with me. I am just worried a little about how others see him when he is still playing with Thomas the Train.

Now, he does like things that his peers like, such as Roblox and Minecraft. However, when he plays these games he is usually building things related to Thomas, and he is very good at it I might add.
This is because Konner, like many others on the autism spectrum become very focused on the things they like. That's not a bad thing at all.

I once watched a video of a girl on the spectrum who was 14 years old. She was still obsessed with Sesame Street. She said, "I really don't care what others think. It makes me happy."
If it makes Konner happy then I don't care either.



Monday, 21 August 2017 23:15

Individualized Education Program

Press Release


(IEP) Training
The Pervasive Parenting Center (C.P.R.C.) will host an Individualized Education Program (IEP) training Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. This will be held at Carl Albert State College in Poteau.

Kodey Toney, Director of the Pervasive Parenting Center, will present the training. The event will last approximately two hours and cover basic issues involved with obtaining IEP and 504 goals.

“One of the main issues parents have when their child has a disability is navigating the school system,” said Kodey Toney, director of the Pervasive Parenting Center. “Since education is one of the most important
aspects of a child’s life, the information in an IEP can affect the child’s growth and future. This process can be confusing for seasoned veterans, so we thought this would be a great training to bring to the area.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the event. There will be information that can help not only parents, but teachers and professionals as well.

We will also be streaming the event on Facebook Live for anyone who can’t attend in person.

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, 21 August 2017 12:12

Pervasive Parenting: Escape Plan

By Kodey Toney


I want to continue a little of what I wrote about last week. I was talking about how Konner had started back to school, and so far everything has gone well. This is in spite of the fact that he is in a new building (middle school), and with new teachers.

Both of those facts are a little deceiving, but I want to share why, because I think it could help other parents, teachers, schools, and especially kids to know a little secret that they can do too if they are willing.
I always encourage parents and schools to allow the child on the autism spectrum into the school and classroom ahead of time if possible to let them become acclimated with their surroundings. Last year we were fortunate enough to be able to let Konner, for the last couple weeks, go to the middle school at the end of the day and hang out. He got the opportunity to meet some teachers and staff members, and to just get comfortable with where he was going to be.

That new teacher thing wasn't exactly accurate either. We are lucky that he has, as he calls her, Mrs. Barbara Williams as one of his teachers. This is significant because he actually had her in the third grade. This is just shear coincidence, but it's been nice for us.

In fact he has felt so comfortable with Mrs. Barbara Williams that he told us something that I have to share. Before I do you need to understand that the middle school is only about two blocks away from his grandma's house.
Konner came in the other night and was telling Jennifer and I that he had a plan. He was going to go to school tomorrow, and when he was in Mrs. Barbara Williams' class he was going to ask her to go to the bathroom.
"If she says yes," he said, "then I will sneak out and walk to Grandma's house. But, if she doesn't let me go to the bathroom then my plan will be foiled."

His mom informed him that she would be talking to Mrs. Barbara Williams so that she knew to keep an eye on him.

Clever child!



Press Release


All viewers should wear "eclipse glasses"


As Oklahomans prepare for the first solar eclipse viewed across the contiguous United States in decades, optometric physicians are warning that improper viewing can cause permanent eye damage. The eclipse will take place on August 21, 2017, and will appear as a partial solar eclipse in Oklahoma. For a narrow band of the country that cuts across the central United States it will appear as the first total eclipse since 1918.


The only time it is safe to view an eclipse without a filter is during the brief period when the sun is completely blocked out. This will not happen in Oklahoma, so it is important for every person watching the eclipse to take precautions.


Eye doctors are not discouraging Oklahomans from watching the solar eclipse, but rather warning them to use proper vision wear and eye protection.


"This will be a really fun event, but it's important for people to understand that normal sunglasses are not adequate for viewing a partial solar eclipse," said Dr. Welch, president of the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians (OAOP). "Contrary to popular belief, neither are most of the homemade eclipse viewers that many adults remember from their childhood. Even many welding glasses are not safe. The best and most practical way to view this eclipse is through special purpose solar filters, or 'eclipse glasses.' These are inexpensive and easy to find with most local optometrists."


Improperly viewing the eclipse can cause immense and permanent damage. Because the retina has no pain receptors and the sun can damage the eyes quickly, individuals may not even know they are being harmed.


Additionally, some glasses purchased in retail settings - even those billed as eclipse glasses -may fail to meet safety standards.


 All safe glasses meet the international standard ISO 12312-2.


Ask your optometrist if you are unsure if your glasses are safe or consult this link ( for more information. Parents should check to make sure that glasses on children fit correctly.


The OAOP encourages Oklahomans to enjoy the eclipse safely with the use of eclipse glasses. Click here (or go to to search for your nearest optometric physician and to inquire about the availability of glasses. If you watch the eclipse and experience any signs of discomfort or pain, immediately schedule a comprehensive vision exam.


A fact sheet on solar eclipse safety is available here:


The OAOP represents over 700 Optometric Physicians in Oklahoma. OAOP's mission is to lead optometric physicians through education and opportunities to improve vision, eye care, and health care.



Monday, 14 August 2017 12:10

Somewhere In The Middle

Pervasive Parenting, by Kodey Toney


School has started for most area schools, and Konner has finished his first two days. So far so good.

I can remember days gone by that we were filled with dread to start the new year. We would talk to the new teachers and explain to them that the first two weeks of school will be hard until he gets into the routine. And, usually we were right. He would have a hard time with transitions, getting used to seating assignments, new teachers, and a new locker.

This year has been different so far. I hope I'm not jinxing anything, but two days in and he's seemed to adjust well. He's been somewhat excited to go to school and see his friends. He says he likes his teachers and schedule.

I've been dreading this year more than usual because he started seventh grade. This means he's in middle school, in a different building, away from his mom, a step closer to high school and graduation, a step closer to puberty, and the list can go on and on. Everyone knows that middle school can be cruel, even to the strongest kids, but if you have special needs it can be down right horrible.

I think it speaks volumes that the kids in his class, so far, have been good with him. It is largely because they have been with him since head start, and have accepted him into their class. Inclusion is awesome!

Here's to a new school year, and may it be as happy and problem-free as the first two days have been. I know, I'm asking a lot.



Press Release

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is disappointed the $1.50 per pack cigarette fee will not go into effect as scheduled. While OSDH understands the balance of powers and greatly appreciates the efforts of Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma legislature, and the decision of Oklahoma Supreme Court, it is a blow to state efforts to prevent smoking, particularly among our children.

“The tobacco companies profiting from cigarette smoking in Oklahoma understand the impact of this critical health policy,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Health and Human Services and Commissioner of Health Terry Cline, “In fact, they acknowledged in their court filings that the fee would likely reduce smoking in our state.”

Establishing the fee on cigarettes would have prevented 28,200 children from becoming adult smokers and would have resulted in more than 30,000 current smokers choosing to quit rather than pay the new fee. In addition, it would have saved the state $1.2 billion dollars in long term health costs and prevented 16,700 lives from ending prematurely due to smoking-related illnesses.

“If we are going to create a healthier place for our children to live, it has to start with preventing smoking.” said Dr. Cline, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in Oklahoma and raising the price of cigarettes to prevent our kids from taking up this deadly habit is the right thing to do.”

The OSDH will continue to educate policy makers on the importance of raising the price point of cigarettes by a minimum of $1.50 per pack. While OSDH would not have received any of the funding from the established fee, the impact on improving the health of Oklahomans makes this a critical policy issue.

Press Release

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) and the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) recently honored several of its members at the OKMRC Volunteer Workshop. In total, nine awards were presented to volunteers, units, MRC housing organizations and partners.


Included in the awards was the first “Marci Widmann Spirit of the OKMRC” award.

The Medical Reserve Corps was formed in 2002 in response to President George W. Bush’s call for Americans to offer volunteer services in their community. The mission: uniting medical, health, and public health professionals – along with lay citizens – as volunteers to help prepare for and respond to widespread emergencies.


Community Resilience Award – Tulsa County MRC

The Community Resilience Award was given to the Tulsa County MRC for their work in the Community Garden in north Tulsa and supporting activities. This award honors an MRC unit that has demonstrated contributions to resilience at the community level in the daily unit operations and through involvement in activities and events.


Champion Award – Choctaw Nation MRC

The Champion Award was presented to the Choctaw Nation MRC in recognition of their Skin Deep Initiative. This award honors an MRC unit that has successfully carried out activities and initiatives over the past year that strengthened public health in their local community.


Outstanding OKMRC Responder – Karen Fritz

This award was presented to Fritz for the instrumental role she played in responding to the tornado last spring in Tulsa and again in the emergency animal responses in Tulsa County last summer. Fritz is a licensed Psychologist and a Stress Response Team MRC leader who has worked countless hours providing psychological first aid in these responses.


honoree red cross

OKMRC Picture of the Year – Tulsa County MRC Coordinator Carrie Suns

During the 2016 Tulsa tornado response, Suns took a photo of OKMRC volunteers providing a Tdap vaccination and psychological first aid to a Red Cross volunteer on site before the volunteer went out to assess and assist in the damaged area. Honorable mentions were also given to photos from the Comanche/Cotton MRC and Tulsa County MRC.


honoree 57hours
Outstanding OKMRC Public Health Volunteer – Phillip Beauchamp, Jackson County MRC

This award honors an OKMRC volunteer who has been actively engaged in carrying out public health activities. Beauchamp volunteered for a total of 57 hours over eight MRC activations in the last year.


honoree kiowa
Outstanding OKMRC Housing Organization – Comanche, Cotton, Caddo, and Kiowa County Health Departments

The county health departments and their leadership have shown that they are exemplary hosts to the MRC. These housing departments supported two emergency activations this year as well as numerous events promoting public health in their communities. The first was providing drinking water and more in the Mountain View community after a day’s long loss of water. Most recently, they offered first aid to firefighters battling the Flattop Fire in Kiowa County.


honree heart
Outstanding OKMRC Partner Organization – Humane Emergency Animal Response Team (HEART)

This award is given to HEART, which has been instrumental in bringing the animal response teams in the state together to build their capacity to respond to a disaster. With the assistance of Gina Garner, HEART Leader, the Oklahoma State Animal Response Team was able to meet in February to discuss uniformity and bring commonality amongst the individual teams in the state.


OKMRC Innovator Award – Oklahoma Large Animal First Responders (OLAFR)

This award honors an OKMRC unit that has initiated and carried out a novel and innovative activity that has helped the organization. OLAFR was formed after a May 2013 tornado struck a farm in Moore, injuring or killing numerous horses. Dr. McCook created OLAFR with the intent of being a part of the response system, which lead him to the OKMRC. Dr. McCook and the OLAFR continue to find ways to integrate the group with local jurisdictions by partnering with industry and other non-governmental organizations to offer large animal training and exercise opportunities.


honoree loren
Marci Widmann Spirit of OKMRC Award – Loren Stein

The first ever Marci Widmann Spirit of OKMRC Award was given to Loren Stein. Marci Widman was an OKMRC volunteer who passed away in 2016. Widmann was an outstanding OKMRC volunteer who was always willing to dedicate her time and service whenever and wherever she was needed.

The award is named after her in recognition of her sweet, kind spirit and willingness to fill multiple roles within the OKMRC. Stein was the first recipient of this award. She has been a unit and state-wide leader in the OKMRC since 2004. She has served in various positions over the years, including as the statewide education coordinator for 10 years and serving on a nation-wide work group to help develop the national MRC core competencies.

For more information about the mission of the OKMRC and how you can volunteer, visit

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