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/).

Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine

Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine

You know that feeling when a relative gets married, and all the sudden it feels like you’ve got a whole new part of your family. Pretty soon, you find out you have more in common than you knew. Before you know it, you feel like you’ve been part of the same big family all along?

We started the Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine in 2016 because we saw too many families all over Mississippi not able to get specialty care close to home. Wait times are long, and many families can’t afford to drive to Jackson, Memphis or Little Rock so their children could meet with medical specialists.

Having a child with an illness puts an incredible strain on a family. Now add a four or five-hour car ride on top of the financial stress every time your son, daughter or grandchild needs see a specialist. We knew that getting great care right here in the Delta would not only make for healthier children, it would make happier families too.

Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine

If you are interested in our new services with Mississippi Center for Advanced Medicine at North Sunflower Medical Center, you can make an appointment by calling us at (601) 499-0935.

There has never been a children’s pediatric subspecialist in the Mississippi Delta to our knowledge. Too many families in the Delta are forced to let their children’s serious diseases go untreated for too long. That means time out of school and long-term impacts on the child’s health and wellbeing. But mostly, it’s just hard to be a kid when you’re sick.

When we wanted to help tackle this problem, there are a bunch of reasons North Sunflower Medical Center just jumped off the page for us. We immediately recognized them as a center of excellence in the Delta. And mostly, their commitment to Ruleville and the surrounding communities was heartening to us.

Dr. Sallyann Jessie Ganpot

Dr. Sallyann Jessie Ganpot is a remarkable pediatrician at North Sunflower Medical Center. She cares deeply for her patients and their families.

The team at North Sunflower understand how hard childhood illness can be — on not just parents and their children, but also the strain brothers and sisters as well. When their parents focus all their attention on caring for a sick child that has an impact on the whole family.

Anyone can see North Sunflower Medical Center’s commitment to constant innovation and to find new ways to provide the best care possible. They saw this problem just like we did, and we wanted to work with them to help fix it. If you are interested in our new services at North Sunflower Medical Center, you can make an appointment by calling us at (601) 499-0935 or in Ruleville at (662) 756-4000.

We are thrilled to be in Ruleville and to be part of the new — slightly bigger — North Sunflower family.

North Sunflower March 2017 Blood Drive

Mississippi Blood Services – Blood Drive This Week

By Robyn Marlow

One thing we all love about being part of the North Sunflower Community is the feeling of family. We enjoy giving a little bit of ourselves to help one another.

Even when household budgets make it hard to give to all the charitable causes we would like, those of us in the North Sunflower family find a way to help one another when they need it most. This week is a great example of how anyone can help your neighbor without it taking too much time, or breaking your budget.

Mississippi Blood Services will be holding a blood drive at North Sunflower Medical Center. Supplies of platelets, O+ and B+ are facing a severe shortage, and supplies of O- are critically low.

The Blood Drive will be held on Thursday, March 23rd at 840 N. Oak Ave from noon to 6:00. It usually takes about 30 minutes, and we always have friendly staff on hand to provide juice and cookies after you’ve donated.

Mississippi Blood Services Blood Drive

At North Sunflower Medical Center

840 N. Oak Ave, Ruleville , MS

Thursday, March 23rd from noon to 6:00

We all see huge blood drives when there is a natural disaster in faraway places of the world. But blood is such an important part of how we treat patients, the need for blood donors is constant right here in Mississippi. And because blood can only be stored for a limited amount of time, there is a constant need for regular donations.

Giving blood helps you as well – not just other people. Giving blood is a great opportunity to get a mini-checkup, have your pulse and blood pressure checked, and get your iron and hemoglobin levels checked. Your blood will be checked for any infectious diseases, like West Nile virus, and if anything shows up, you’ll be notified immediately. All for free.

Blood donated this week at North Sunflower Medical Center will go to help women with complications during pregnancy, children with severe anemia; accident victims with severe trauma, and many complex medical and surgical procedures we do right here at North Sunflower.

Studies show that three lives can be saved by one donation. Even if you are not type O or type B, or if you don’t know what type blood you have, the blood you give will help save a life.

Mississippi Nurses' Association Hospital of the Year Award

North Sunflower Medical Center Wins Nightingale Award

A message from North Sunflower CEO, Sam Miller:

We are honored beyond description that the Mississippi Nurses’ Association, and the Mississippi Nurses’ Foundation this week recognized North Sunflower Medical Center as their Hospital of the Year. Of course, it’s always a blessing when others take notice of your commitment and dedication. But the Nightingale Award was particularly exciting for our family here at North Sunflower.

Mississippi Nurses' Association Hospital of the Year Nightingale Award

North Sunflower Medical Scholarship Program

This award happened because the entire North Sunflower community made a commitment to providing the best care available by hiring good people, and training them to be their best. The North Sunflower Scholarship Program is just one part of that commitment. As Sandra Britt has said, “We want to keep everybody growing and learning. Growing never stops.” As Chairman of the North Sunflower Foundation’s Scholarship Committee, Sandra often says she just loves to “watch people sprout wings and grow.”

Nightingale Award is a Team Effort

Of course, we’re proud of every member of the North Sunflower family. We value the commitment they make to providing the best care anywhere. Awards like this are a team effort and the honor is spread equally throughout this entire community. We know that nurses are most often on the front lines of providing quality health care and personalized service. The commitment and sacrifice to help others is an inspiration to me and everyone else who works here.

Mississippi Nurses' Association Hospital of the Year Nightingale Award

But it takes a very strong team around them — from the housekeeping staff, to the administrative team, to the doctors and practitioners — all working together with nurses to provide each individual patient the best care possible. That’s what makes this award so special.

North Sunflower Medical Center staff working out

Sticking with Your New Year’s Resolutions

By Ginny Pantin, LCSW

It feels like just weeks ago, we were ringing in the new year and making resolutions to do better in 2017. Now that the champagne bottles have been carted off, confetti has all been swept up, and you’ve gotten back into your normal post-holiday groove, late January is usually the time people start to fall off their New Year’s resolution wagon.

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