National Heart Month

We ❤️ February! National Heart Month

By Alice Pyles
Director of Radiology

We love February. Not just because this week was Valentine’s Day, but February is National Heart Month. To celebrate we are doing full heart screenings for $125.

Mississippians have the highest mortality from heart disease in the nation. Like everywhere else in the country, heart disease is among the leading causes of death among adults in the Delta. With heart disease claiming the lives of 1 in 4 Americans, chances are, we all know someone who had their lives shortened by a heart attack, stroke or some other cardiovascular disease.

With February being National Heart Month, we wanted to do something.

They say you can’t put a price on good health, but $125 to know your heart is healthy – that’s the next best thing.
This full Heart Healthy Screening includes a CT scan of your heart to get a complete calcium scoring. It also includes ultrasounds of your carotid arteries in your neck and of your abdominal aorta that goes through the back of your heart, through your abdomen and down your legs. Lastly, our test includes a complete ABI (ankle-brachial index) to check your blood pressure throughout your extremities.

Reducing the ever-increasing cost of healthcare is something every hospital in the country struggles with. In rural areas like the Delta – with hospitals closing every day – that problem is even more difficult. But our first priority is to provide the highest quality care you can get anywhere, and help the people we serve live longer healthier lives.

This full battery of tests usually costs a little over $2,300, but we do them all throughout February for only $125. We can only do this one month a year because, well, this costs North Sunflower Medical Center a lot of money. But if we save just one life, it was worth it.

To set up an appointment for your sweetheart, call 662-756-4000.

Hydrafacial

2018: The Year You Give Back to You

By Olivia Ellis

For a lot of us, January and February are the months we promise ourselves we are going to do things to improve ourselves — “new year, new you!” For each of us, that’s different.  Sometimes we try to eat a little more healthy or get more organized.  Sometimes we want to focus more on our job, while for others, we want to spend more time with family.

Here at North Sunflower Medical Center, our “New Year, New You” promise includes expanding our Women’s Health Center services to become a one-stop shop for all your needs. Currently, we provide a variety of services including mammograms, and Botox and other services primarily for women. By the end of 2018, we hope to be offering even more spa services to help you be the best looking and feeling you possible.

Hydrafacials take less than an hour. The non-invasive skin care treatment is designed to extract, infuse, and protect your skin to keep it healthy. These facials are safe for all skin types and each session can be customized to cater to your specific needs. Customizations include: age refine, skin firming, acne, and skin brightening as well as add-ons for lip and eyes. The process is designed to be the ultimate in self-care and will leave you feeling relaxed and replenished.

2018 is the year to give back to yourself and a Hydrafacial is a great way to carve out a little bit of time just for you. All Hydrafacial services are performed at Sunflower Diagnostic Center (101 East Floyce). For more information about Hydrafacials and to schedule your appointment call 662-756-2100 or email dwalyn.thomas@northsunflower.com

Whatever your goals for the new year I hope you can make time to take care of yourself and rely on North Sunflower Medical Center for all your medical needs.

Hydrafacial

NSMC Thanks for Choosing Us

2017 in Review

It’s that time of year, again. 2017 is coming to a close.

The last time we turned the calendar to a new year was filled with nervous energy. After being named the first ever Mississippi Hospital Association’s Rural Hospital of the Year, we knew 2016 was going to be hard to top.

Fifty-two weeks later, we’re wondering how the next year can possibly top the wild ride 2017 had in store for the whole North Sunflower Medical Center Family.

Hospital of the Year

In March, the Mississippi Nurses Association named North Sunflower Medical Center their Hospital of The Year. It was an enormous honor for our hardworking nurses. We are still so very proud of every one of them.

Great Ruleville Roast

The Great Ruleville Roast seems to get bigger and better every year. We are always in awe of the remarkable support our entire community puts behind this truly unique event. It has always been a fun event that benefits the entire community.

Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine

Throughout the year our staff continued to grow and new partnerships are allowing us to provide medical services that seemed impossible just months ago. The partnership we started with the Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center in 2016, has been a huge benefit to the community. Building on that success, we established a partnership with the Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine to become the first hospital in the Delta to provide pediatric specialists to our patients.

North Sunflower on CNN

This fall, the North Sunflower family was featured in an extensive profile by CNN’s online magazine, CNN State. The video they produced told the story of one of our favorite patients, Mr. Wiley King and showed how our small-town hospital was providing health care to rural communities where most are failing.

Patient Satisfaction Award

And just last month, the Mississippi Rural Hospital Association recognized North Sunflower Medical Center with the Patient Satisfaction Award for the Critical Access Hospital Division. Awards are nice, be we are genuinely proud of the team of employees who believed a happy patient is a healthy patient – and developed a plan to make sure our patient satisfaction was as good as it possibly could be.

Of course, none of this happens without the amazing, vibrant and growing community of Ruleville. Our patients, their families, our team of dedicated healthcare professionals, and the businesses that support us together have made North Sunflower Medical Center the healthcare hub of the Delta.

For each day of 2017, it has been our honor to serve you. We can’t wait for 2018.

Sinusitis

The Holiday Headache: Sinusitis

One of the interesting things about Ruleville this time of year is our weather. We like to tell people we really only get two seasons — summer and bad sinuses season. Around the holidays, instead of colorful fall foliage that you might get other places, we see a lot more red, itchy eyes and colorful runny noses.

Sinusitis is among the most common diagnoses for those who visit North Sunflower Medical Center complaining of coughing, sinus pressure, congestion, postnasal drainage and headaches. One in eight adults suffers from sinusitis today.

Often, patients misdiagnose themselves as simply suffering from seasonal allergies or a persistent cold. While medications such as nasal sprays, antibiotics and antihistamines can provide temporary relief, many times they do not solve the problem.

Sinus Stent Sinus Stent

Dr. Pearson Windham – our NSMC Ear, Nose and Throat specialist – has started working with the PROPEL Sinus Stent for those chronic sinus patients who have tried and failed to find relief from medications alone for those pounding headaches and sneezing fits that spread through the Delta this time of year.

The innovative treatment is a medicated, lightweight dissolvable stent that is placed after sinus surgery. It helps keep the sinus cavities open and steadily delivers local anti-inflammatory medication to the healing sinus tissue. The stent remains there for a few weeks, utilizing a spring-like mechanism to open up the nasal passageway. At the same time, it provides anti-inflammatory therapy to enhance healing. The stent slowly dissolves on its own, and no removal is necessary.

If you’re interested in enjoying Christmas season WITHOUT congested sinuses or a persistent cough, call Dr. Windham. He’d love to talk with you.

Watch a video about the PROPEL Sinus Stent here:

Patient Satisfaction Award

North Sunflower Wins Patient Satisfaction Award

Look who Just Picked Up the Mississippi Rural Hospital Association Patient Satisfaction Award

By Hannah Barrett

As you might have heard us say, patient satisfaction is a job we take seriously. Very seriously. A happy patient is a healthy patient.

Over the past two years, we put a plan in place to measure and track how satisfied our patients were whenever they left our facilities. Over time, we’ve seen movement, made some necessary adjustments, and this month, all that hard work won. Big Time.

Last week, the Mississippi Rural Hospital Association recognized North Sunflower Medical Center with the Patient Satisfaction Award for the “Critical Access Hospital Division”.

Here’s how that happened:

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a patient satisfaction survey required by CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for all hospitals in the United States. These numbers are very important. It’s an important survey that the public has access to and actually proves how we are doing on a day to day basis with meeting the needs of our patients.

We have worked extremely hard over the course of the last couple of years to improve our HCAHPS scores. It’s pretty simple to receive a complaint and be able to address the employee and go on about your business; however, HCAHPS is different. If there’s one patient that gives a bad review it can dramatically decrease your scores.

We have taken a dramatically different approach, by keeping everyone in the NSMC family (our staff members, doctors, nurses, and administrators) up to date on how we are doing each time the numbers are released. We have changed several different processes to ensure the patients are better cared for, which in return has increased our percentages.

We make sure a social worker, discharge coordinator, pharmacist, member of the administration, and case manager see each patient prior to discharge. This has helped to make sure the patients have a better understanding of their medications and it helps to identify any needs they have for their upcoming discharge.

Here at North Sunflower Medical Center, we believe in customer service. We try to explain to all of our newly hired employees that we are a family here at North Sunflower. If we treat our patients as family, as well as our co-workers, our scores will continue to improve. Receiving this award has been a great accomplishment. It is a piece of encouragement for all of our staff members to know that hard work pays off.

Walter B. Crook Nursing Home Facility

How to Find a Great Nursing Home

By Scott Burns

No matter where you come from, how much money you have, or how beautiful your grandchildren are, one thing is certain: we all get older. As a Social Services Director at a long-term care facility, I get a lot of questions from friends or family that are looking for long-term care options for a parent – or for themselves.

You are hiring a team of people to do an important job: provide care for what should be the most relaxing time of life. Every senior care professional says, ‘they treat your family like it’s their family’ – and they should. Where I work, Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility at North Sunflower Medical Center, we take enormous pride in creating a caring environment with a wonderful staff that treats everyone the way we want our parents to be treated. But in many ways, caring about the people you care for should be a basic requirement, not a selling feature.

Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility

Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility

Fear of making the wrong choice can create stress and anxiety, leaving your heart tied in knots. Here are a few things I tell people to look for in a long-term care facility to help them know quickly and easily which is going to be the right place for them:

  1. Cleanliness.  Sounds simple, but believe me, it matters. I am a clean freak, and so are the people I work with. Our environmental services “Clean-Team” is always dusting the tops of picture frames and wiping the undersides of tables. From the moment you walk in, check the corners, notice the smells, and look under the furniture. A spotless facility shows me they sweat the details – because how are you going to keep the bedding fresh if you can’t keep the entryway clean?
  2. Private Rooms.  Would you share a hotel room with a person you barely know? Even for just one night? Absolutely not. Then why would you consider sleeping in the same room with a relative stranger for months – or even years? Our facility has 60 rooms and 60 beds. We never have more than 60 residents. Keeping it simple eliminates more headaches than you can imagine. We never have to worry about pairing a light sleeper with a heavy snorer; a talker with a thinker; or a loud TV watcher with a quiet book reader. Beyond that, we also know our therapy spaces will never be overcrowded, and all the games and activities designed to keep you mentally and physically fit will always be open to everyone.
  3. Outdoor Space.  It’s no secret, people operate better with a little fresh air and some sunshine. But taking a walk in the park, or going out in the backyard will not always be as easy as it seems. When I tour a nursing home, I want to see an easily accessible courtyard and big windows to let the natural light fill a room, even when it’s too hot – or too cold – to go outside. At Walter B Crook Nursing Facility, we keep the North Sunflower Medical Center landscapers busy, continuously trimming, planting and re-potting greenery to give our courtyard a fresh, inviting place for our residents to sit in the fresh air and relax with a bit of sunshine.

Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility

Of course, there are dozens of factors to consider, including staff to patient ratios, access to a nearby hospital, specialty therapists, individualized care options and others. My experience, however, is that if you keep an eye on the three things you can see, there is a very good chance the professionals running that facility are also closely watching the multitude of vitally important standards of care that you cannot.

If you’d like to see a good example of what I’m talking about, you’re always welcome to stop by the Walter B. Crook Nursing Home in Ruleville. We’d love to show you around.

CNN Behind the Scenes at North Sunflower Medical Center

CNN Profiles North Sunflower Medical Center

CNN’s Digital Magazine, State, recently featured an extensive profile of North Sunflower Medical Center as part of an in-depth series on the impacts of health policy in rural America. We were happy to host the CNN crew in September and show them around Ruleville. With rural hospitals closing all over the country, we were proud to have them feature North Sunflower Medical Center as a hospital that is “beating the odds.”

CNN Behind the Scenes at North Sunflower Medical Center

The article includes a heart-warming video of NSMC Cardiologist, Dr. Gene Hutchinson, and his patient, Mr. Wiley King.

The CNN crew was in town for two days, interviewed dozens of people, and took photo and video of most every place they went. Everyone on our staff did a tremendous job, working to make sure patients continued to get exceptional care, even while the cameras were rolling.

CNN Behind the Scenes at North Sunflower Medical Center CNN Behind the Scenes at North Sunflower Medical Center

The article highlights the challenges many rural hospitals face today. At North Sunflower, we feel fortunate to survive by having a community that has rallied around us, a team of exceptional health care professionals, and patients that make coming to work every day feel like spending time with family.

CNN Behind the Scenes at North Sunflower Medical Center

Today, the hospital is thriving even as many rural hospitals struggle to stay open and serve their communities. Its staff has more than tripled, as has the size of its health clinic. Patients come from miles away to get basic care or see a growing number of specialists.

You can read the article and watch the video by clicking HERE.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - $75 Mammograms

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – $75 Mammograms

October is $75 Mammogram Month

Each October as the weather cools off, we like to take a moment to get ready for the onslaught of holidays ahead. For some, that means Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving planning, and starting to think about Christmas gifts for the family. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At North Sunflower Medical Center, every year we think of October as the month of $75 mammograms.

With the crazy part of the year just ahead, we try to make it easy to take care of yourself.  Because we know your time is valuable we can schedule bone density scanning, pelvis ultrasounds and pap smear all on the same day as your mammogram. We know that a day of testing isn’t like a night of trick-or-treating, or a day of Thanksgiving turkey and football with the family.  But you would be surprised how taking time out to get yourself checked, can give you peace of mind throughout the holidays.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - $75 Mammograms

Our hospital wants to make sure that no one is prevented from having a mammogram. Every woman over the age of 40 should get a mammogram every year. If you are over the age of 55, you should get a mammogram every two years. In some situations such as late pregnancy, no pregnancy, a family history of breast cancer, or other risk factors, your insurance company may pay for annual mammograms over the age of 35.

Click here to get more information or call (662) 756-4000 to make an appointment.

Before the crush holidays ahead, take advantage of our $75 mammograms (normally $99).  North Sunflower Medical Center works hard to make preventative healthcare easy and affordable to everyone in our Ruleville community. It is because of this work we are passionate about ensuring as many women in your family — and every woman throughout the North Sunflower family — have a happy and healthy Holiday season ahead.

Great Ruleville Roast 2017

The 2017 Great Ruleville Roast

There are a lot of things that make Ruleville special. We love the special feeling you get when you walk up to people you know downtown. We take pride in neighbor helping neighbor and rallying around friends in good times and bad. We love that feeling when the hot summer gives way to crisp, cooler fall.

All of these things make Ruleville special to us. But what makes Ruleville truly one of a kind is the Great Ruleville Roast. Just like our town, the little barbeque contest that started in 2005 keeps growing every year. This year’s contest will be our own Ruleville twist on a Hawaiian Luau.

Great Ruleville Roast Hawaiian Luau

Championship smokers, basters, tasters and everyday eaters will be serenaded by the Trailer Park Disco Band Friday night from 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Then at 9:45 pm check out the fireworks show behind Bumpers on Hwy 8.

Great Ruleville Roast Fireworks

If you’re hungry, Saturday morning, the Ruleville-Drew Rotary hosts a pancake breakfast at the historic Depot from 6:30 to 9:00 am. The day is filled with activities for the kids, a classic car, truck and tractor show, a Steak Cook-off with a One-Bite Rice Competition and dozens of other activities. We’ve had more vendors register than ever before, and all of them will do a great job of making sure you stay well-fed and entertained.

Healthy living and healthy appetites go hand in hand. So the 5k Run/Walk is the perfect opportunity to walk off some of the delicious food you eat. Started in 2010, the Great Ruleville Run/Walk is just one way North Sunflower Medical Center encourages everyone in our community to lead a fit lifestyle.

Registration begins early Saturday morning around 7:00 am and park opens at 9:00 am. It will be a full day of live music, including a gospel group, a marching band and all kinds of arts and crafts. The highly-anticipated awards ceremony is at 5:00 pm.

Great Ruleville Roast Awards Ceremony 2017

We hope families from across the delta will join our North Sunflower Medical Center to celebrate the town we are proud to call home.

Back to School: Nursing

Back to School

This time of year has most parents thinking about kids going back to school. If starting a career with us at North Sunflower Medical Center interests you, it might be a good time to think about going back to school yourself.

I know. I know. Just the thought of going back to school can be frightening. But every time we post about saying “We’re Hiring!” we get a flood of emails, website traffic, and social media visits. And for good reasons. We try to make working at North Sunflower feel like being part of a family. Health care jobs are stable positions right here in Ruleville – and they can never be outsourced overseas.

Many of the jobs we are hiring do require some training. But getting into a program may not be as difficult you think. Several local colleges close to Ruleville have classes and programs that can get you started towards a career in health care.

Coahoma Community College

Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale has courses that can help students get certified as Nursing Assistants or EMTs after just one semester.

Beverly Overton, Dean of Health Sciences at CCC told us that students need to have an official high school diploma or a GED certificate. You also need a TABE score of 10 in Nursing Assistant and in EMT TABE score of 10 or ACT score of 16 or higher. If your TABE score doesn’t meet the requirements, they can help you prepare for the Adult Basic Education Assessment test. You can find a full list of requirements on the CCC website.

The courses cost $850 but that includes everything from textbooks to uniforms to stethoscopes. Even the fee to take the state certification exam is covered. And many of those students get hired before the semester is over. “I like to work with students to make sure Health Care is the right fit for them,” Beverly told us. “This can be a good, stable career if you like to care for people, but it’s not for everybody.”

If you decide that health care is the right field for you, Beverly told us the EMT and NA courses are great ways to start. You can work on a one year certificate in Practical Nursing, and a certificate and/or two-year Associate degree in Paramedic or other health related professions. “We have new facilities at CCC and an administration that really supports health science programs,” Beverly said.

Mississippi Delta Community College & Delta State University

If you live closer to Indianola, Mississippi Delta Community College in Morehead also offers a great health sciences program. They have courses in everything from Associate Nursing Degrees to Radiologic Tech. And if you already know you are interested in becoming a Registered Nurse, we work closely with Delta State University in Cleveland. We hire many of their recent graduates.

We’re Hiring Now!

If you’ve already got your state certification as a Lab Tech, an LPN or have a background in Maintenance, let us know. We’d love to talk to you now. We are always looking for great people to become part of the North Sunflower family!

Beating the Summer Heat

Beating the Summer Heat

by Dr. Sallyann Jessie Ganpot, MD

This is hardly a new phenomenon, or a new health crisis the entire medical field is just learning about. If you hadn’t noticed, Ruleville gets hot in the summer. Very hot. Even if you come from a tropical environment like I do, coping with Mississippi summer heat can be a challenge.

Heat and heat related illness can be a serious health hazard that disproportionally affects children and older family members. As we get hot, our body tries to maintain its normal temperature by transferring heat by increasing blood flow to the skin and sweating. Heat related illness occurs when our nervous systems can’t keep up with the changes in temperature to keep our bodies cool.

Young children and babies do not produce sweat as easily as the rest of us, and older adults often have conditions that make it more difficult to transfer heat. If your job requires you work outside in the heat, the results can range from rather simple (heat rash, swelling, cramps, fainting) to much more serious. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious medical emergencies that can be life threatening even with immediate treatment.

Tips for Beating the Summer Heat

Here are some North Sunflower Medical Center tips to help keep your children cool this summer, and beat the summer heat:

  • Hydrate! HYDRATE!! The is no better cooling source than good old fashioned water. The recommended daily amount of fluids is 5 glasses for 5 to 8-year-olds; 7 glasses for 9 to 12-year-olds; and 8 to 10 glasses for 13+ years.
  • Plan your day around the heat. Instead of gathering together for a movie at night, catch a matinee – in the air-conditioning – during the hottest part of the day. Have them play outside early in the morning or after sunset.
  • Eat cold foods during the day, with snacks and meals that don’t require turning on the oven. Salads and fruits are easier to digest than fatty burgers, which makes us feel sluggish. This will not only help keep their bodies cool but help keep your house cooler as well.
  • Have them dressed right for the heat. The best way to cool their bodies is to have sweat evaporate directly from skin to air. Wear loose, lightweight clothes in light colors.
  • If kids are stuck in the heat and can’t find get to a cooler place, apply ice cubes wrapped in a towel (or any other cold object) to the neck and wrist. This can make their bodies cool down more quickly and effectively.
  • Sunscreen is also very important. A zinc containing, PABA free compound is preferred. It should be applied to the skin before going out and it should also be allowed to dry. If you go in the water, you’ll have to reapply. SPF 30 and higher is usually recommended.
  • Remember one childhood sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer by 20-40%.

Other Medical Concerns

For older members of your family living with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or being overweight all change the way our bodies cool themselves. Some medications reduce blood flow to the skin or cause us to lose our sense of thirst. If you are taking regular medications ask your doctor if your prescriptions might change the way you deal with heat related illness.

For most kids, being out of school with all day to play with friends makes summer the most fun time of year. Taking just a few simple steps can keep your children safe – and out of the hospital – all through the long, hot days of summer.

Remember, Sunflower Clinic is open EVERYDAY 8 am – midnight. Dr. Ganpot is available Monday – Friday, call (662) 756-1788 for an appointment.

The Screen Team - Back to School Health

Job Openings at North Sunflower Medical Center

UPDATE!!!

Wow.  We have been overwhelmed by your response.  Our HR department received so many amazing applications, we wanted to thank you for helping spread the word to your friends and family about additions to our North Sunflower family.

So many great health care professionals applied, that we can no longer take applications for our Pediatric LPN.  We are still looking for a Certified Nurses Assistant in Senior Care and Licensed Practical Nurse at the Walter B. Crook Nursing Facility. If you know anyone who is caring and compassionate, with a strong desire to work with the elderly, please encourage them to take a look.

Go to our Careers page to see these jobs and others.  And tell your friends to keep checking back from time to time.  We are always looking for outstanding people who want to help be part of the North Sunflower family.

We Need Your Help. Lots of It.

North Sunflower Medical Center is on a hiring spree. We just re-launched our Careers page.

Truth be told, this is not the first time we’ve gone on a hiring binge. Over the past year, North Sunflower Medical Center created quite a few new jobs. We also work hard to provide training and advancement opportunities so we can provide the best care anywhere. That means we are frequently looking to fill the positions of people who have moved into higher level jobs and improved their careers.

Some hospitals may see that as a problem. At North Sunflower Medical Center, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jobs at North Sunflower Medical Center offer good pay and even better benefits. As our website says, If you work at North Sunflower long enough, people say everybody starts to treat each other like one big family. We share a commitment to providing our patients with the best care possible. We all work hard to get better at our jobs every day and agree that you are never too old to stop learning. And we feel part of the Ruleville community because it is so connected to who we are. If that sounds like you, then we’d love to have you become one of us.

ICMY (In Case You Missed It): The Aster Awards

You might have noticed our latest round of advertising around town. Well, you’re not alone. A few weeks ago, North Sunflower Medical Center was awarded seven Aster Awards, honoring excellence in healthcare advertising. We were particularly proud of the recognition we got for the design of the Great Ruleville Roast T-shirt, but the Aster committee took special notice of a number of our community outreach campaigns including two of our TV commercials (“Man on the Street”, “Man on the Street 2” ), Dr. Jason Morris’ educational video (“Central Venous Line Placement”) and even our post last Christmas on this blog (“Blue Christmas: Four Tips for Reducing Anxiety During the Holidays”).

The Aster Awards is a medical marketing awards program recognizing healthcare marketing professionals for outstanding excellence in advertising.

You can view a complete list of Aster Award winners here: (https://www.asterawards.com/winners/).

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