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Clinical Trials Day Honors Clinical Research Professionals

Did you know that cancer patients at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) can participate in clinical research trials?

Patients at PCRMC’s Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) have access to national clinical trials through the health organization’s affiliation with Cancer Research for the Ozarks.

As an affiliate member of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), the DDCI is able to access a wide variety of trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.

By having patients take part in these research trials, PCRMC has the ability to provide the highest standard of care and help shape the future of cancer treatment globally.

Clinical Trials Day is being celebrated May 19 this year, and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) uses this day to raise awareness about clinical trials and honor clinical research professionals by recognizing their contributions to public health and medical progress.

At the DDCI, Christopher Spencer, MD, director of radiation oncology, as well as Stephen Toothaker, MD, and Tezo Karedan, MD, both medical oncologists and hematologists, are research investigators and work with patients in clinical trials. Linda Schumacher and Janette Richards are both oncology research nurses at the DDCI. Schumacher is certified through ACRP as a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator, and Richards is a candidate for certification in the spring of 2018.

“The DDCI offers Phase 3 national clinical trials,” says Dr. Spencer. In Phase 3 trials, a drug or treatment is given to large groups of people to confirm its effectiveness, monitor side effects, compare it to commonly used treatments and collect information that will allow the drug or treatment to be used safely.

These clinical trials benefit patients by providing them access to promising new treatment options that are often not available otherwise. In some cases, participants in the clinical trials may be the first to benefit from the new treatments or therapies being studied.

Most of the cancer treatments available today are the result of a clinical research trial. Participation in cancer research is voluntary.

Clinical Trials Day is held on or around May 20 each year to recognize the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial aboard a ship.

Lind hypothesized that scurvy could be cured through the introduction of acids to the body, and so on May 20, 1747, he recruited 12 men for a “fair test.” He noticed that citrus fruits helped those who suffered from scurvy. His design of a trial is believed to have inspired future clinical trial designs.

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3rd Annual Hospice Butterfly Release Set for May 20

Phelps Regional Homecare and Hospice will host the 3rd Annual Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 2:00-4:00 PM at Huffman’s Flowers of the Field, located at 18148 County Road 1000 in St. James, MO.

This event offers the opportunity to remember our cherished family and friends. Releasing butterflies is a unique way to honor our loved ones because the butterfly symbolizes hope, new life and transformation.

“The Hospice Butterfly Release Celebration honors the memory of those we love and serves as a celebration of life,” says Tara Peters, marketing coordinator for Phelps Regional Homecare.

For $30, participants can release a live butterfly and receive an event T-shirt. The deadline to reserve your butterfly is Friday, May 5, 2017. The afternoon also will include beverages and light snacks.

Proceeds from the butterfly release help relieve the financial burden for those in need when facing end-of-life decisions.

The butterfly release benefits the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation Hospice Fund, which assists hospice patients and their families with prescription medications, personal bills, food supplements, support services and more.

Phelps Regional Homecare, a division of Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC), serves Phelps, Crawford, Maries, Pulaski and portions of Dent, Gasconade and Texas counties.

Phelps Regional Homecare also is seeking sponsors for the butterfly release. Businesses can choose from various sponsor levels.

For more information, call 573-458-3802, email tpeters@pcrmc.com or visit giving.pcrmc.com.

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New Helicopter Service Coming to PCRMC

Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) is proud to announce the launch of Phelps Air, a new helicopter serving Rolla, Missouri, and surrounding areas.

PCRMC has partnered with Air Methods, a global leader in emergency air medical services, to provide this new service starting May 1, 2017.

The Bell Helicopter 407 GXP will be housed at the main PCRMC campus in Rolla. The aircraft will have the latest in aviation safety equipment and medical equipment such as on-board oxygen, air, suction, a cardiac monitor/defibrillator, mechanical ventilation and more.

The helicopter base at PCRMC will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with four pilots, four paramedics and four flight nurses, who will rotate shifts. There also will be a maintenance crew employed.

A helicopter stationed at PCRMC will allow for timely access to tertiary care for on-scene emergencies and reduce the amount of time it takes to transport patients who need specialized care. This ultimately helps improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Phelps Air will provide a new level of emergency care in the community, according to PCRMC Chief Executive Officer Ed Clayton.

“A helicopter base here at PCRMC to serve our patients is important because a matter of minutes can make a big difference in life-saving situations,” Clayton said. “We’re proud to provide this service to our community.”

“The Phelps Air helicopter will provide better patient safety outcomes and allow for more timely transfers,” said PCRMC Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer Keri Brookshire-Heavin. “We’re partnering with an air medical service provider that has a stellar safety record.”

The partnership between PCRMC and Air Methods is not new. The two organizations already work together, with Air Methods providing staff to help prepare PCRMC patients to be transported.

“Air Methods is proud to partner directly with PCRMC for the launch of the Phelps Air program based at PCRMC,” said Air Methods Regional Vice President Marty Delaney. “We are committed to enhancing the experience and outcome of PCRMC patients and community members through the highest quality of care and industry-leading safety. We appreciate PCRMC’s trust in our organization and look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with the hospital and its patients.”

Currently, Air Methods, which is based out of Englewood, Colorado, has over 300 air medical bases nationwide. Eight of those bases are located in Missouri.

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PCRMC Now Offering Orthopedics Joint Camp

Do you have an upcoming joint replacement? Are you considering knee or hip surgery? Learn more at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) Orthopedics Joint Camp, which can help you get back to the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible.

The classes, which began in March 2017, are held the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Shirley Day Conference Center at the Delbert Day Cancer Institute, 1060 West 10th St., Rolla. PCRMC care staff lead the classes.

With Joint Camp, you will get a comprehensive education detailing what to expect each step of the way for your joint replacement surgery, recovery and rehabilitation. At the PCRMC Joint Camp, you will learn about the following:

• Preparing for your surgery

• Getting the most out of your surgery

• Rehab therapy

During the class, you and your family will be provided with the resources you need to ensure your joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation are positive experiences. In addition, you will receive a booklet to take with you that will give you the knowledge, ability and confidence to properly care for your new joint.

The PCRMC Orthopedics Group comprises talented and skilled physicians, nurses and staff. All of our physicians have advanced training and experience in performing hip, shoulder and knee replacements and utilize the most up-to-date treatments and technology available.

For more information, visit pcrmc.com or call PCRMC Orthopedics at 573-364-5633(KNEE). 

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PCRMC Midwifery Program Offers Options for Expectant Mothers

Whether you are thinking of getting pregnant or already expecting, you may want to consider the midwifery service offered through the Women’s Health Center and Maternity Services at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC).

Heather Wildebrandt, CNM, WHNP, and Karen Ulrich, CNM, MSN, APRN, are part of this innovative program, which has been offered at PCRMC for about a year now.

What exactly is a midwife? There are varying types of midwives, including a lay midwife who is trained as an apprentice, and a certified professional midwife, who receives a formal education program but is limited to only assisting with home births in certain states.

Certified nurse midwives, like Wildebrandt and Ulrich, can practice in all 50 states and are the only type of midwives who can practice within a hospital setting. Certified nurse midwives can help bridge the gap between a home birth and a traditional hospital birth.

Both Wildebrandt and Ulrich were originally nurses who had a passion for women’s health and welcoming babies into this world. They both wanted to further their education, so they decided to complete their training in nurse midwifery to become certified nurse midwives.

As certified nurse midwives, they focus on therapeutic bedside support and high-touch, low-intervention methods. This means working with expectant mothers on increasing physical comfort, such as massages, and helping soon-to-be mothers progress through labor at their own pace. Certified nurse midwives educate mothers on what to expect and anticipated risks.

As certified nurse midwives, Wildebrandt and Ulrich say they try not to rush admitting women into the hospital until they are experiencing active labor, meaning they are 4 to 6 centimeters dilated or contractions have become very close.

They encourage women to walk and move around, not lie in a bed. Anxiety can halt the labor and birthing process, according to Wildebrandt and Ulrich.

In addition to pregnancies, certified nurse midwives help care for women during the postpartum periods as well as throughout their reproductive years. They can perform well-woman exams, discuss contraceptive needs and assist with any post-menopausal conditions.

PCRMC certified nurse midwives can see patients at the main PCRMC campus in Rolla or the Waynesville Medical Plaza.

For more information about midwifery or the PCRMC Women’s Health Center and Maternity Services, please call 573-426-2229 (BABY).