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Longtime PCRMC Volunteer Named Mental Health Hero

Audrey Huddleson, a longtime volunteer with the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Auxiliary & Volunteer Services, was named a Mental Health Hero by the Missouri Behavioral Health Counseling Associates.

Huddleson was the July 2017 winner of the award presented by Tabitha Hundt, (left) PLPC, Project Heroes coordinator with the Missouri Behavioral Health Counseling Associates.

The honor recognized Huddleson for having high standards as a volunteer, for supporting others in their fight against cancer and for being an exceptional role model for the community.

Hundt called Huddleson “an inspirational person,” noting that she has volunteered with PCRMC for 35 years.

Huddleson said she was surprised and honored to receive this recognition.

The public can nominate Mental Health Hero award recipients, and the Missouri Behavioral Health Counseling Associates clinical directors and board of directors choose a winner each month.

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PCRMC VolunTEEN Program Offers Students Valuable Experience

Every summer, area teenagers have the chance to gain valuable knowledge and experience while helping out in a hospital setting by becoming VolunTEENs at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC).

“The VolunTEEN program is for youth ages 14-19 who might be interested in healthcare careers,” says Crystal Lorah, specialist with PCRMC Auxiliary & Volunteer Services.

The Auxiliary sponsors this service opportunity for local teens, and the Auxiliary board provides funds for the VolunTEEN program. Two VolunTEEN sessions are offered every year, one in June and one in July.

This program normally draws about 30-40 students from Phelps County and surrounding areas, according to Lorah. PCRMC’s VolunTEENs are from Rolla, Waynesville, Steelville, Cuba, Salem, Edgar Springs, Newburg and Jerome. The students who volunteer must be enrolled in junior high or high school.

VolunTEENs offer assistance throughout the PCRMC organization from delivering paperwork to nursing units to greeting and escorting patients and visitors at the Medical Office Building (MOB) as well as the North and Main entrances of the hospital.

“They make reminder phone calls for Respiratory Services, take hospitality carts around to waiting areas and assist with clerical projects in Guest Relations and other areas,” Lorah says.

Additionally, the VolunTEENs make and deliver pain clinic packets as well as complete mailing projects for various departments, as needed. “They also work on folders or binders for other departments and perform other office projects and errands, as requested,” Lorah explains.

VolunTEENs help with the Take A Stand Against Child Abuse lemonade stands for the Phelps County Child Advocacy Network (PCCAN) and may assist in The Lily Pad gift shop.

Under the VolunTEEN program, teenagers must complete at least six three-hour shifts if they only participate in one session or complete 10 three-hour shifts if they volunteer in both of the summer sessions.

In addition to helping at PCRMC, the students learn about different aspects of the healthcare and medical fields. Many departments at PCRMC provide tours or presentations for the VolunTEENs to further familiarize them with the hospital’s daily operations and services.

PCRMC’s VolunTEEN program benefits students by giving them volunteer opportunities and hours needed for National Honor Society and scholarship requirements, plus college applications.

“I have even had teens use their volunteer experience on job applications,” Lorah says.

Applications for the VolunTEEN program are usually available in April and must be completed and returned by the end of May, with orientations beginning in June.

To learn more about the PCRMC VolunTEEN program, please contact Crystal Lorah at 573-458-7947 or clorah@pcrmc.com, or Tina Pridgeon, Auxiliary director, at 573-458-7939 or tpridgeon@pcrmc.com.

Hugh Schuetz, DO, family medicine physician, (right) received the first Preceptor of the Year Award from Phelps County Regional Medical Center on June 1, 2017. Chadwell Vail, DO, internist, (left) is shown presenting the award, which recognizes Dr. Schuetz for his outstanding contributions to medical education.

Dr. Hugh Schuetz named PCRMC Preceptor of the Year

Hugh Schuetz, DO, a family medicine physician with Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) has been named the Preceptor of the Year for 2016-17.

Dr. Schuetz was presented this first-time award on June 1, 2017, during a PCRMC Medical Group meeting. The award recognizes his outstanding contributions to medical education.

“I am very humbled to receive this award,” said Dr. Schuetz, former director of student medical education at PCRMC for more than 20 years. “Being associated with PCRMC’s medical education program has been the highlight of my career, and this honor is just the cherry on top of the sundae.”

Students in the Mid-Missouri AHEC (Area Health Education Center) program at PCRMC chose Dr. Schuetz to receive the honor. Their decision was unanimous, according to Chadwell Vail, DO, an internal medicine physician and current director of student medical education at PCRMC.

“They chose Dr. Schuetz because he is an amazing mentor,” Dr. Vail said. “One student even noted that had it not been for Dr. Schuetz, he would not have done as well as he did during his third- and fourth-year clinical clerkships.”

Most of these students from A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience are in their third and fourth years of medical school and complete many of their clinical clerkships at PCRMC, including some with Dr. Schuetz.

While studying at PCRMC, the medical students participate in a didactic program, where they attend lectures and workshops led by various physicians and specialists, such as Dr. Schuetz. “The medical, nursing and Allied Health family are all to be commended for their participation in providing an exceptional, inclusive educational experience,” Dr. Schuetz says.

Dr. Schuetz continues to work with medical students at PCRMC, educating them about physical exams and coaching them as they receive practical experience in a hospital setting.

“It is a pleasant reward to see the vast majority of medical students who receive training and education at PCRMC grow up to become more independent, self-sufficient and knowledgeable,” Dr. Schuetz said.

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5th Annual Superhero 5K Benefits Local Cancer Patients

Phelps County Regional Medi­cal Center (PCRMC) held the 5th Annual Superhero 5K walk/ fun run at Veterans Memorial Park in Rolla in June. This event raises money to help local cancer patients through the Phelps Re­gional Health Care Foundation’s Joy of Caring Cancer Fund.

This year, more than $11,000 was raised for the fund, which provides financial assistance for patients undergoing cancer treat­ments who may have difficulty managing their daily activities due to their cancer diagnosis. This fund assists with prescrip­tion medications, wigs, food sup­plements, mastectomy bras and recovery supplies, rehabilitation and other needs, as identified.

Over 220 runners and walkers of all ages took part in this year’s fun run and walk. Several super­heroes lined the race course to cheer on the participants. Many everyday heroes attended, too, in­cluding deputies with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I, firefight­ers with the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue, and EMS crews with PCRMC. The Phelps Air emer­gency medical helicopter also flew in for the event, and attend­ees could meet the flight crew in person.

The Superhero 5K premier spon­sor this year was PCRMC ENT physician Brian Kriete, MD, while PCRMC orthopedic surgeon Alan Heincker, DO, was the award sponsor.

Several other PCRMC providers sponsored the event, including medical oncologist and hema­tologist Tezo Karedan, MD; ENT physician Judyann Kren­ning, MD; OB/GYN physician Beena Green, MD; certified nurse midwives Heather Wildebrandt, WHNP, and Karen Ulrich; psy­chiatrist Vaishali Shah, MD; urologist Geoff Lloyd-Smith, MD; and hospitalist Gerardo Ismael G. Gueco, MD.

Additionally, PCRMC appreci­ates all of the local businesses and community members who sponsored the Superhero 5K. Without them, this event would not be possible.

Once again, there was a bounce house and inflatable slide avail­able for the children to play, and Summertime Sno-Shaved Ice offered snow-cones for sale. MOCA Head Start offered face painting, while Drama Force Pro­ductions presented a short skit for the participants after the race.

Medals were awarded to the top three male and female finishers in various age groups. Participants were encouraged to dress up for the event, and prizes were award­ed for the best superhero cos­tumes. Sunny 104.5 broadcasted live from the event, too.

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Forrest Rackham, PsyD, Joins PCRMC Medical Group

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is pleased to announce the addition of psychologist Forrest Rackham, Psy.D, to the PCRMC Medical Group.

Dr. Rackham is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been practicing since 2012.

He earned his Doctor of Psychology in clinical psychology and his Master of Science from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. He received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

His special interests include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), hypnosis, rural psychology, primary care psychology and the integration of psychotherapy and spirituality.

As a psychologist, Dr. Rackham said he enjoys connecting with individuals.

“I get to see people become more self-reliant,” he said. “Also, patients allow me to be part of their journey toward behavioral changes and becoming more fulfilled with their lives.”

Before coming to PCRMC, Dr. Rackham worked at community health centers in Virginia and Iowa.

As for the best advice Dr. Rackham gives his patients, it’s quite simple: just breathe. “Stressors can make our bodies tense, and breathing helps us slow down and focus,” he said.

To learn more about Dr. Rackham, or to make an appointment, please visit pcrmc.com or call 573-364-9000.