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College Volunteer Opportunities Available at PCRMC This Fall

Local college students looking for volunteer opportunities are invited to help the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Auxiliary & Volunteer Services Department with two programs this fall.

The first way students at local colleges and universities can help is through the Safe Send-Off College Student Volunteer Program, where student volunteers will provide non-nursing assistance to patients at PCRMC.

The volunteers will assist PCRMC staff with escorting discharged patients safely from their room to their ride home. Volunteers will be trained on proper wheelchair procedures.

For students interested in this program, three-hour volunteer shifts need to be filled from 1:30-4:30 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The second way college students can volunteer at PCRMC this fall is through the Nursery Cuddler College Student Volunteer Program. In this program, student volunteers will work with the Obstetrics Department to help hold infants who need more support. These college students will gain experience through rocking and consoling neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) babies.

These volunteers will be taught how to keep babies swaddled. They also will be trained on how to perform a two-minute hand scrub and how to decrease environmental stimulation of infants. In addition, they will be educated on the importance of pacifiers.

Volunteers in this program will be required to complete two hours of job shadowing with a mother/baby nurse. Four-hour volunteer shifts need to be filled 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

College students who want to volunteer for either program must first apply and attend one of two orientations. These orientations have been scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2017, from 1-3 p.m. or Tuesday, August 29, 2017, from 5-7 p.m. in Private Dining Room 1 at PCRMC, 1000 West 10th Street, Rolla.

In addition, online learning modules are required prior to volunteering.

Both of these college volunteer programs will start Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.

For a volunteer application or for more information, contact Franz Kindel at 573-458-7553 or franz@maheclibrary.org or visit http://www.pcrmc.com/Career-Opportunities/Volunteer-Opportunities.

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PCRMC Hosts First Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Emergency Medicine Seminar

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) hosted the first annual Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Emergency Medicine Seminar on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.

About 40 representatives from PCRMC, area Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and ambulance districts, Texas County Memorial Hospital, Salem Memorial District Hospital and other healthcare organizations attended the daylong, free event held at the PCRMC Delbert Day Cancer Institute.

The attendees, which included paramedics, nursing and EMS staff, ambulance personnel and emergency department providers and employees, heard from physicians at PCRMC, MU Health Care in Columbia and SSM Health in St. Louis about topics related to emergency medicine.

“This seminar offered a chance to learn about the most up-to-date information in emergency care,” says Jeffery Kerr, DO, medical director of the PCRMC Emergency Department. “Even though we work for different organizations, we’re all on the same team when it comes to emergency care.”

During the seminar, Dr. Kerr led a session called “My Chest Hurts,” which explained the signs and symptoms of an impending critical event. He also filled in on a presentation about pediatric airway emergencies.

Carl “Chip” Lange, PA-C, with the PCRMC Emergency Department, discussed hot topics in emergency medicine.

Among the other speakers at the symposium was Dr. Albert Chan, an interventional cardiologist at MU Health Care, who provided an update on the management of ST elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI), a type of heart attack.

In addition, Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour, a trauma surgeon with MU Health Care, spoke about initial management of serious injuries in the rural setting, and Dr. Ashish Nanda, an interventional neurologist at SSM, discussed acute stroke management and interventional therapy.

This seminar was offered free to emergency services personnel thanks to the Jay Crump, DO, Memorial Fund, which provides for the needs of the PCRMC Emergency Department.

“The fund was set up by Dr. Crump’s family through the Phelps Regional Healthcare Foundation. The fund is used for educational opportunities for emergency medical personnel,” Dr. Kerr says. “Dr. Crump had a passion for teaching and promoting teamwork among healthcare professionals.”

Dr. Crump moved to Rolla in 1981 and joined the PCRMC staff, where he worked in the Emergency Room. He eventually became the medical director of emergency services from 1984-2009. In 1997, he took a position as vice president/chief medical officer at PCRMC and held this position until the time of his death in 2010.

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Nurelign Abebe, MD, Joins PCRMC Medical Group

Nurelign Abebe, MD, is a new addition to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Physicians Group. He comes to PCRMC this August as a nephrologist, but this is not his first time in Rolla. Dr. Abebe originally was a hospitalist at PCRMC from 2011 to 2015.

A nephrologist, also known as a renal physician, is a specialist in internal medicine who has received additional training in the medical treatment of patients with kidney diseases. Nephrologists treat patients with conditions related to kidney problems, including kidney failure, as well as acute and chronic kidney diseases that are due to multiple causes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dr. Abebe is originally from Ethiopia, a country in eastern Africa. As a child, his youngest brother became sick and had to stay at a hospital in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. “I remember seeing the doctors and nurses making rounds, and I made the decision then that being a doctor is what I’d like to do,” Dr. Abebe says.

Dr. Abebe earned his medical degree from Gondar College of Medical Sciences in Ethiopia. He received his residency training in internal medicine through Addis Ababa University at Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia.

In addition, he completed a residency program in internal medicine at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. In his second and third years, Dr. Abebe was named Resident of the Year at St. Luke’s.

He completed a nephrology fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital through Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Abebe says what he likes about PCRMC is that this healthcare organization “has many different specialties, so the doc­tors can take care of multiple patients and they don’t have to refer them to other facilities.”

Nephrology is a thought-provoking specialty, Dr. Abebe says. “There can be many types of problems with kidneys,” he says. And if a nephrologist like Dr. Abebe can catch issues earlier, patients can avoid more serious kidney problems down the road.

Dr. Abebe has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. He is married to Meskeram Asfaw. The couple has three children, two daughters, Lydia and Rebecca, and one son, David.

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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.