Health & Wellness

Press Release

Bank of Oklahoma staff battling lifelong asthma to climb 800 stairs at outdoor Fight For Air Climb to raise money to end lung disease, COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – (April 6, 2021) – Overcoming years of breathing treatments, allergy complications and the loss of loved ones due to lung diseases growing up, local Oklahoma bankers Justin Dick and Susan Davis Jordan understand the importance of lung disease research. That’s why they’ve created the team Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Climbers to raise money and awareness in the American Lung Association’s outdoor Fight For Air Climb on May 1.

Team captain and local board member, Dick was just six years-old when he lost his father to lung cancer and has been receiving treatment with a specialist at the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic for 31 years.

“I have been under the treatment since I was 4 years old for severe asthma and allergy complications,” Dick said. “Research and treatment have resulted in me having little to no symptoms and minimum issues for the last decade.”

Also living with asthma, Jordan’s passion comes from her close involvement with allergies, asthma and COVID-19, which she was very sick with. She’s thrilled to see this year’s climb moving outdoors.

“The great thing will be the level of comfort for participants, volunteers, and spectators by having the event outdoors.” she said.

The seven-person team of BOK Climbers raised over half of their $1,000 goal for this year’s climb thus far.

“The dollars raised and the dollars put to use are nearly identical in value,” Jordan said. “The ALA is able to touch the lives directly and indirectly of so many people that it is well worth anyone’s time and effort to lend a hand and make their mission possible.”

Registration for the Fight For Air Climb on May 1 is $30 and includes a $100 fundraising minimum. The event includes tackling just shy of 800 stairs at University of Central Oklahoma’s Wantland stadium. Participants have the option to Climb Your Way and complete their climb virtually if they’re unable to attend the event.

Money raised at the Fight For Air Climb will fund the Lung Association’s efforts to end lung cancer and lung disease, as well as support the Lung Association’s COVID-19 Action Initiative. The COVID-19 Action Initiative is a $25 million investment to address COVID-19 and protect against future respiratory virus pandemics. The initiative works with public and private entities to increase research collaboration and develop new vaccines, detection tests and treatment therapies.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

American Lung Association

1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) is using a unique tactic to celebrate “April Fools’” Day while highlighting the dangers of misinformation on social media, calling it the #SoYouKnow Campaign.

March 31, April 1, OICA board members and staff made social media posts that were funny announcements about themselves. Ranging from movie quotes like, “On my deathbed, I will receive total consciousness. So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice” to “I’m going to be on the next American Idol,” the posts were designed to catch interest. Each of the posts ends with the hashtag #SoYouKnow.

“This is a fun way for us to mark April Fools’ Day and help bring awareness to the dangers of misinformation on social media channels,” said Joe Dorman, CEO of OICA.

“The campaign also gives us a way to remind Oklahomans about the important work we do at OICA and how people can help us in our efforts. We would love to see this continue beyond April 1 as a viral post to raise awareness about the dangers of misinformation on the internet.”

When friends and family responded to the post, OICA principals will respond with:

Whoops! You shouldn't have liked or commented on my last status Ha! Ha! Ha! Now, let’s see how good a sport you are. This is the 2021 So You Know campaign from the

Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. OICA helps reduce the spread of misinformation in Oklahoma to help improve the laws for kids in the state.

Now, I ask you to pick from one of the below and post it as your status, or make a $10 donation to OICA at to help with its work (or both if you are so inclined). Don't be a spoilsport. Pick your poison from one of these or come up with your own and post it as your status with the hashtag #SoYouKnow to help OICA track how quickly this post travels.

Good sports can either write their own silly status or use one of the updates suggested by the OICA team. Among the options for status posts offered by OICA are:

· I just won the biggest Lotto in history!

· My beard looks like the guys from ZZ Top.

· I’ve just been accepted into Harvard Law.

· I moving to Svalbard, an island near the North Pole.

· I’ve decided to shave my head.

· Someone put a banana in my tailpipe.

· You got the wrong guy. I’m the Dude, man.

· I’m Batman.

· I see dead people.

· I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

· I put Baby in a corner.

· Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?

· I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

· I shot my eye out!

“There will be lots of tricks played on friends today,” Dorman said. “This trick gives us a chance to highlight how fast news spreads on social media and perhaps get some new supporters of our efforts to improve the quality of life for Oklahoma’s children.”

Go to to pick your own comment and join in on the fun before the campaign ends.

Submitted by America Red Cross

As spring comes around, severe weather may also be on its way. Disasters can be frightening for adults – and even more so for children. That’s why the American Red Cross is teaching kids how to prevent and stay safe from the emergencies through our free youth preparedness programs.

Red Cross programs include Prepare with Pedro, for children in kindergarten to second grade, and the Pillowcase Project for children from third to fifth grade. Through Prepare with Pedro, students receive an introduction to the concept of emergency preparedness in a fun and educational way. Using storytelling and hands-on activities, students will learn to be prepared and take action in safe ways.

“It’s really important to teach children what they should do before and when severe weather hits,” said Brittney Rochell, Kansas and Oklahoma chief communications officer. “Knowing that everyone in the family is prepared to deal with emergency situations brings with it great peace of mind.”

Prepare with Pedro is presented by reading a storybook that follows Pedro the Penguin as he learns how to “be prepared and take action” during an emergency. The storybook includes hazards such as home fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. The 30-to-45-minute presentation teaches students to:

Identify the best ways to stay safe during emergencies that can occur in their communities.
Gain confidence in their abilities to be prepared for emergencies through hands-on activities.
Use coping skills to help manage stress during emergencies and everyday situations.
Use their knowledge to share what they have learned with members of their household and friends.

Through the Pillowcase Project, students learn, practice, and share safety information about disasters that may occur in their local community. This includes home fires and other emergencies like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, winter storms, and earthquakes. The Pillowcase Project teaches students about personal and household preparedness, local hazards, and coping skills. Trained Red Cross presenters will teach children about home fire safety, a local hazard common in their area (such tornadoes and severe winter storms common to Kansas and Oklahoma) and coping skills. Children are encouraged to share their skills at home by creating an emergency plan and kit with the adults in their household. The 40-to-60-minute presentation teaches students to:

Learn the science of disasters in their area – and how to prepare for them.
Practice what to do if an emergency happens and how to cope with related fear and stress.
Share information and skills they’ve learned with grown-ups and friends, so everyone in the household knows what to do. For example, they may work with their household to create a home fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes.
“The intent with these courses is to invite communities to attend one of the virtual presentations scheduled throughout the months of March and April in preparation for the upcoming severe weather season,” said Rochell. “The virtual courses are available through Microsoft Teams and Zoom.”

These courses are designed to help participants understand, prepare and respond appropriately to emergencies through engaging and age-appropriate curriculum. To learn more about these programs, go to They also are perfect for schools and after-school programs.

Interested parties can email regarding registration and more information.

For a complete list of preparedness classes:

Pillowcase 3/25/2021 2:30 p.m.

Prepare with Pedro 3/25/2021 5:45pm

Pillowcase 3/26/2021 2:30 p.m.

Prepare with Pedro 3/27/21 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro 3/30/21 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro 3/30/2021 1:15 PM

Pillowcase Project 3/31/21 9:30 AM

Pillowcase 3/31/21 9:30 AM

Pillowcase Project 3/31/21 5:45 PM

Pillowcase Project 4/3/2021 9:30 AM

Prepare with Pedro 4/6/21 9:30 a.m.

Prepare with Pedro 4/6/21 1:15 pm

Pillowcase April 7,2021 9:30 am

Pillowcase April 7,2021 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro April 10.2021 9:30 AM

Pillowcase Project April 14, 2021 9:30 am

Pillowcase Project April 14, 2021 1:15 pm

Prepare with Pedro April 15,2021 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro April 15,2021 5:45 pm

Pillowcase Project April 17, 2021 9:30 am

Pillowcase Project April 20,02021 9:30 am

Pillowcase Project April 20,02021 1:15 am

Prepare with Pedro April 21, 2021 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro April 21, 2021 1:15 pm

Prepare with Pedro April 24, 2021 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro April 28, 2021 9:30 am

Prepare with Pedro April 28, 2021 9:30 am

Pillowcase Project April 29,2021 9:30 am

Pillowcase Project April 29,2021 5:45 pm

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Press release

(STILLWATER, Oklahoma, March 26, 2021) — Oklahoma State University has now vaccinated more than 10,000 members of the university community.


University Health Services began administering the Pfizer vaccine in January and reported crossing the 10,000 vaccine threshold Thursday.


UHS Associate Director of Clinical Operations Pam Stokes said the largest on-campus vaccination event at OSU to date resulted in nearly 1,300 vaccinations. She said UHS is planning to continue mass vaccination clinics for students, faculty and staff with supplies provided by the state.


“We plan to have mass vaccination clinics weekly, even multiple times a week as vaccine supply allows,” she said.


With such high turnout for vaccines within the university community, she said it feels like there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel. Still, Stokes said everyone should continue to follow safety measures and monitor the latest guidelines from the CDC.


OSU Regents Professor of English Elizabeth Grubgeld received her second dose of the vaccine last month. She called the atmosphere at UHS “celebratory.”


“It felt like a miracle,” she said. “I was so relieved and grateful that I could hardly speak. The process was easy, and I had no side effects beyond some soreness at the injection site.


“I’m delighted at the way OSU has been able to contribute to an eventual recovery from this terrible pandemic, and I fervently hope people will continue to wear masks and avoid exposure as even a vaccinated person can still be an asymptomatic carrier and infect someone without having any idea they've done so.”


Joan Donelson Jacques Endowed Professor of Health Promotion Bridget M. Miller said the process at UHS was very efficient and smooth.


“I’m very grateful that even though Stillwater is a smaller community, we have access to this incredible resource at UHS,” she said.


Miller also felt a tremendous sense of relief after getting the vaccine, but she recognizes the pandemic isn’t over yet.


“It’s a gigantic relief, but it’s only a partial step because I’m only one person,” she said. “It requires everybody participating and doing their part. Just like with the masks, which are only effective if most people are using them properly.”


Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Doug Hallenbeck said UHS has done an outstanding job of coordinating, organizing and executing the university’s vaccination plan. He said the university continues to work with Payne County and the city of Stillwater to maximize vaccine distribution and remains focused on combating the spread of COVID-19.


“While I believe we all feel a great sense of hope that the worst is behind us, if we don’t come together and remain vigilant, we could easily see widespread infection that could impact our overall success in fighting this virus,” he said. “We want all our students, faculty and staff to be safe and healthy, and we must all work together to make that happen.”


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

Press Release

Chattanooga, TN, March 18, 2021 ― Meditation offers a drug-free way to lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and achieve better focus and concentration. But are all forms of meditation equally beneficial?

From psychiatrist and author of The God-Shaped Brain Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., comes a helpful guide that explains the differences between Eastern and biblical meditation—in both practice and outcome on brain and mind. 

Meditation: Biblical Method Versus Eastern Method, A Guide to a Bible-based Experience with God documents the differences between biblical and Eastern meditation; describes divergent meditation methods and their impact on brain function and character outcomes; and demonstrates how readers can engage in healthy biblical meditation. Also included is a simple test to help readers determine which form of meditation they’re practicing.

Dr. Jennings describes Eastern meditation as a form of self-anesthesia that relieves transient emotional distress (like pain medication for an injury) without providing an actual cure for the problem.

Alternatively, biblical meditation is like surgery for the soul, he explains. It takes one through the valley of the shadow of death, removes the cause of the emotional distress and cures the problem, resulting in genuine peace for the soul.

The Bible tells us to meditate upon God’s word and God’s wonders in creation, and Meditation can help readers understand the practice of biblical meditation so they can heal their hearts and minds, and return to their oneness with God and with each other.

Author Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, international speaker and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. He operates a private practice in Chattanooga and has successfully treated thousands of patients. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Life-Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Jennings is also a prolific author whose books include The God-Shaped Brain: How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life; Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the MindThe Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind; and The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God’s Love Transforms Us.

To order your free copy (while supplies last) of Meditation: Biblical Method Versus Eastern Method, or to learn more about Dr. Timothy R. Jennings and his approach to brain and body health, please visit:

To watch Dr. Jennings discuss meditation, please visit

ODHS Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 18, 2021) – Tuberculosis (TB) is usually the #1 infectious disease killer in the world – until COVID-19 – claiming 1.5 million lives each year.

On Wednesday, March 24, the Oklahoma State Department of Health joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and partners from around the world, to recognize World TB Day 2021.

World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world, to share successes in TB prevention, and control and raise awareness of the challenges that hinder our progress toward the elimination of this devastating disease.

March 24 marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing the disease.

TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4,000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000. The theme of World TB Day 2021 is “The Clock is Ticking,” intended to convey the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

RELATED VIDEOWorld TB Day Personal Stories Montage

2021 Tuberculosis Fact Sheet

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 20:05


Press Release

The Health and Wellness Center (HWC) announced today that there will be COVID-19 Vaccine Drive Thru Events at the Stigler, Sallisaw, and Wilburton Clinic Locations Saturday March 20, from 9am – 2pm. All patients 18 years and older are eligible.

Vaccines will be distributed on a “first come first served” basis. No exclusions, this vaccination clinic is open to all- regardless if you are a HWC patient.

At the Stigler Clinic, the drive thru will be held under the awning at the front of the clinic. In Sallisaw, enter on the north side of the parking lot. In Wilburton, pull in under the front awning.

OSDH Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 16, 2021) – In a continued effort to battle the HIV epidemic, the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service is launching a new initiative designed to get a person newly diagnosed with HIV into immediate care and treatment.

The Rapid Start and PrEP program is a key component of the state’s involvement in the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic Campaign as Oklahoma was identified as one of seven states with significant risk of rural HIV transmission. In 2019, Oklahoma had 326 new HIV diagnoses, with a total of 6,879 people living with HIV. Public health officials have a growing concern for late testers, which are persons having an AIDS diagnosis within three months of the HIV diagnosis. In 2019, 51 Oklahomans with newly diagnosed HIV were late testers.

“This is concerning because the person likely went an extended period with an undiagnosed case of HIV,” said OSDH Rapid Start Nurse Manager Ivonna Mims. “Early testing and immediate follow-up treatment is essential to managing a person’s health and preventing further spread of the disease.”

The goal of the Rapid Start program is to identify a new HIV diagnosis as early as possible and start the client on antiretroviral therapy within one to two weeks of diagnosis. Terrainia Harris, interim service director for the OSDH Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service, said the medication is proven to decrease the HIV viral load and delay or prevent the progression of HIV to AIDS. Additionally, a person with an undetectable viral load cannot further spread the virus through sex. This concept is known through the national campaign of Undetectable=Untransmittable (U=U).

“The Rapid Start program provides persons newly diagnosed with HIV expedited linkage to care including medications, lab testing, counseling and case management,” said Harris. “We want to ensure we are meeting the client where they are and addressing all of the challenges that accompany an HIV diagnosis.”

In addition to Rapid Start, the agency is also including a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program designed to allow qualifying clients access to medications proven to prevent acquiring HIV. PrEP is recommended for people who test negative for HIV and are at risk of being exposed to HIV through high-risk sexual practices, injection drug use, or clients who have partners confirmed with HIV. Clients will be evaluated by a nurse practitioner as part of a comprehensive prevention program which includes routine three-month follow-up, lab work, STD screening, prevention education, condoms and medication.

The Rapid Start and PrEP programs are available to all county health departments, medical providers and community-based organizations contracted with the Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Service. For more information about either program or other aspects of sexual health, visit or call (405) 271-4636.

OKDHS Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 16, 2021) – Beginning March 16, 2021, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) will begin accepting online applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP) at



  • Households which have received a 72-hour cut-off notice at the time of application, or an active cut-off order from their utility provider
  • Written notice from their utility provider for new service establishment or service restoration with minimum requirement security deposit, carryover debt or other fees
  • Written notice from their utility provider for refusing to deliver additional fuel without a minimum requirement payment
  • Apply online at

Tribal members

Households with a member who is Native American can apply for LIHEAP ECAP online at or with their tribe. Households cannot receive assistance from both OKDHS and a tribe during the same federal fiscal year. 

ECAP payment
Only one annual payment per household is allowed for LIHEAP ECAP. 

Household definition
"Household" is defined as individuals living "under the same roof" with one utility meter. 

Maximum monthly income guidelines:


Size of Household

Allowable Monthly Gross Income


$ 1,383


$ 1,868


$ 2,353


$ 2,839


$ 3,324


$ 3,809


$ 4,295


$ 4,780

Persons applying should have the most recent utility bill information for their home, their ID, social security number and verification of income. For additional information and to apply for LIHEAP/ECAP, visit

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