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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Blue Christmas: Four Tips for Reducing Anxiety During the Holidays

by Virginia Pantin, LCSW

Ginny Pantin

As the old song goes, It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Holidays are a time to be together with family, exchange gifts and reminisce about Christmases past.

Wow, that’s a lot of pressure.

We all love the holidays, but the difference between what Christmas is supposed to be and what it usually is can create real anxiety. In spending time with family, there is a tendency to focus on who is NOT with you, instead of enjoying those who are.

I talk with a lot of people around the North Sunflower family who tell me they miss the days when Christmas was a time to be a kid again. The parents and grandparents we celebrated with when we were younger are no longer with us, and our own children grow up and start their own families. That can create a sense of loss as we remember the warm glow of Christmases past.

Throw on top of that, the pressure of tightened family budgets, the need to give to many charitable causes this time of year and the natural desire to get that perfect gift for everyone on your list, December can turn us all into a bundle of nerves. Ugh.

How to Fight Off Holiday Anxiety

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, know that we all feel this way.

To begin to untie that ball of anxiety, understand why its stressful, and know that you are not alone. Talk to any friend, and you’ll find more than likely they feel the same way. Knowing you are not the only one in the world who finds the holidays can be less than postcard perfect may be the best stress reliever there is.

Be mindful of what is causing anxiety so that you can accept the pressure and create a plan to make it better.

Shorter days and less sunlight impact all of our moods in ways that we don’t immediately recognize. Take time throughout the day to get out and see the sun. Go for a short walk around the North Sunflower Medical Center walking track during lunch or go out for coffee during the day. Do that with a friend and not only are you combatting the lack of sunlight, but you’re also fighting off loneliness that hits people this time of year. And exercise can give you a sense of control and power over anxiety any time of year.

If seeing your friends picture perfect posts on social media gives you a fear of missing out, limit your time on Facebook or Twitter.

Use that time to talk to the people around you and hear more about how they are feeling this time of year.

Lastly, own your feelings.

It’s perfectly acceptable to be stressed out over holiday decorations, finding the right gift and getting the decorations just like you want them to be. Enjoy those close friends that are with you instead of lamenting those that can’t be with us. Talk to friends about how you feel. And if you don’t feel like talking to a friend, call us here at North Sunflower Behavior Health Services (662-756-1630). We’re always happy to talk.

It is a magical time of year.  But even Christmas Miracles can’t happen without someone – or something – being in need of a miracle.  Knowing that even Christmas isn’t perfect is the best way to fight off the Holiday blues.

Sunflower Diagnostic Center

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Nancy Moon
Director, Sunflower Diagnostic Center

Have you ever taken your mom and sister out for a day at the spa, or an afternoon shopping, or maybe just a girls lunch with the women in your family? Well, what I’m going to suggest is not as fun or relaxing as any of those, but it is much more important.

Studies show that if a member of your family (sister, mother, or grandmother) has breast cancer, your chances of developing the disease yourself double. That’s right. Double.

So, no, I’m not going to try to tell you that an afternoon getting mammography’s with the girls can be like a day at the nail salon. But you should do it anyway, as a family.

At North Sunflower Medical Center, we do everything we can to pamper our patients, treat your family like our family, and make it a relaxing, positive experience for everyone that walks through our doors.

Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, women can get a mammography for $75. We work with several insurance companies and other local programs to get the cost even lower. We have some of the most advanced medical screening equipment in the Delta, and we have worked hard to make our facilities feel warm and welcoming.

And because we know people just don’t have a lot of time, we can make appointments for mammographies, bone density scannings, pelvis ultrasounds and pap smears all on the same day.

All of us at North Sunflower Medical Center want to make sure that no mother, sister or grandmother ever has an excuse to NOT get a mammogram.

If you had a late pregnancy, no pregnancy, have a family history of breast cancer, or meet other risk factors, your insurance company may pay for annual mammograms over the age of 35. Either way, all women over 40 should have a mammogram annually.

Early detection is the key. Our technology can detect a small cancerous mass in the ducts, before it reaches the nodes of a breast, and long before it spreads to other parts of the body. That can make all the difference.

That’s why North Sunflower Medical Center is offering mammograms for $75 during breast cancer awareness month. And the rest of the year they are $99. We work hard to keep preventative health affordable. Because, like I said, we want to take away every excuse to NOT get a mammogram.

Youth Soccer Sports Concussions

Concussions in Young Athletes

Richey Wood – Certified Physical Trainer

“How could my child have a concussion? He was never knocked out.”
As a certified Athletic Trainer, I’ve seen otherwise caring parents push their child back into competition because believing their young athlete to be fine. Our parents and coaches used to tell us, “You just got your bell rung.” We now know it’s much more serious.

The clearest sign we can offer of a athletic head injury is the feeling that something just isn’t quite right. Some symptoms are more obvious. A headache or dizziness are easier to spot, but frequently the most troubling signs of a head injury can only be detected family members who know their young athlete is reacting or behaving ‘off-their-game’.

With the fall season, a host of youth sports activities return. Coaches, trainers and school administrators have been closely studying the impact of head trauma related to soccer, softball, diving, cheerleading and a host of other competitive collision sports following the growing awareness of football concussion dangers.

Certified Athletic Trainers work with schools and athletic leagues to make sure our young men and women competing in any sport are protected from injury. Every year, the Mississippi High School Activity Association (MHSAA) updates their concussion policy and protocol for any head injury involving a young athlete.

These guidelines will continue evolving as we learn more about the causes and impacts of concussions. For these guidelines to be most effective, parents and family members must be aware of concussion signs and symptoms. Familiarity will help identify when the child should see the doctor and aid collaboration with the coach, who ensures proper protocols and procedures are being followed at school.

With any injury, rest is the most effective treatment. Resting a brain means avoiding stimulation from brightly lit rooms, video games, cell phones and other electronic devices.

Guidelines for return-to-play are well-established across the state. Unfortunately, research around return-to-learn are still evolving for student athletes. Forcing athletes to miss a test or skip homework because they were injured in extracurricular activity is academic punishment. When is it OK to start exercising the brain after an injury? For now, the answer is unknown.

Richey Wood is a Certified Athletic Trainer with the Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center. To request an appointment at MSM’s Ruleville clinic at North Sunflower Medical Center, go to

Mississippi Hospital Association Outstanding Rural Hospital Award Video

Mississippi Hospital Association – Outstanding Rural Hospital Award

Mississippi Hospital Association MHA LogoI wanted to take a minute to tell you about a pretty special day we had this week. On Tuesday morning, a good number of the amazing people on what we like to call “Team North Sunflower” took a few minutes to celebrate North Sunflower Medical Center being named the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Outstanding Rural Hospital of the Year.

In the Beacon Wellness Center, we welcomed MHA president and CEO Timothy Moore, a number of local dignitaries from all across the Delta and some from even further across Mississippi. We had some wonderful cake and summer-tea, and I especially enjoyed sharing my sincere thanks with the truly dedicated professionals who consistently come to work everyday fully committed to making North Sunflower what it is today. They make real the vision of Mr. Billy Marlow, our Executive Director – a very humble and capable soul who has been the architect of our entire system, and thru his dedication and tireless efforts have improved the lives of so many.

Mississippi Hospital Association – Outstanding Rural Hospital Award Video from Jim Burt on Vimeo.

And then (as soon as lunch was over) we went right back to work, providing the highest levels of service and quality – EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE, TO EVERY PERSON, IN EVERYTHING WE DO.

You see, we recognize there are a number of good healthcare providers in the Delta. But you put your trust in us. To keep it, North Sunflower Medical Center will continue to invest in technology and specialty services with the goal of enhancing the overall health of Sunflower County and the many surrounding communities.

We believe in exceptional patient-centered care, utilizing current clinical best practices, expanding clinical services through partnerships, and remaining a vibrant Community Health Organization centered on improving the lives of people in the Delta. We maintain our commitment to provide excellent, predictable and measureable health care services delivered by competent and compassionate professionals.

As an old man once said, “If we’d wanted applause, we’d have joined the circus.” We’re proud of the recognition, happy that people beyond Ruleville see our hard work, and are always pleased to celebrate as a team. We know sustaining your trust is a tall order, and our dedicated team members commit themselves to consistently maintaining these principles. They show up daily, work hard and are passionate about our mission. And I’m truly blessed to be a part of their team.

Thank you.

Sam Miller, CEO

Sam Miller

The Screen Team - Back to School Health

Back to School Health

5 Steps Parents Can Take

By Sandy Tidmore – Community Educator for the Delta Screen Team

Sandy Tidmore - The Screen Team

It’s that time of year again – back to school. Schools buses, notebooks, classrooms, assignments and P.E. This is an exciting time for children. Students can be anxious about seeing old classmates again, meeting their new teachers and making new friends. However, all these students together in the same places are breeding grounds for different illnesses. Here are some suggestions for having a healthy school year for your child:

1. Make sure your child is current on all immunizations and shots

Children who don’t have their vaccines can catch serious diseases, and pass them on to young children who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated. Vaccines are easy ways to keep your children healthy.

2. Wash hands

Teaching children to properly wash their hands properly can be one of the most effective measures to prevent the spreading of germs. The amount of items we come in contact with our hands can be frightening. Gas pumps, door knobs, and even our cell phones hold thousands of germs we touch throughout the day. It sounds simple, but washing hands thoroughly everyday can remove many of these potential illness-carrying germs.

3. Take your child for a Healthy Visit

Schedule a visit with pediatrician before school starts to make sure everything is normal and checks out fine. Regular checkups help ensure the child is where he or she needs to be developmentally.

4. Make sure your child has had a recent eye exam

It’s hard for children who can’t see the whiteboard to do well in class. Eye exams are often overlooked but can be a direct reflection of a child’s grades and behavior in the classroom.

5. Have a healthy diet

Children with the right food and nutrients are healthier and stronger than those who don’t have a well-balanced diet. You should talk to your child about healthy options for their lunchbox and make sure that they have a balanced and nutritious diet. This includes avoiding sodas and sweets as much as possible.

6. Get enough sleep

Sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy. Children should have at least 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Turn off cell phones and the TV well before bedtime so you child can relax and clear their mind before sleep. Tired students lose focus in the classroom, which can cause their grades to suffer.

All of these different services are available by the NSMC Screen Team in school districts across the state. Come by for a screening to make sure your child’s health is in the right shape for back to school and beyond!


The Screen Team - Back to School Health

Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD - Pediatrician

The Mystery of Colic / Pediatric Open House

by Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD, FAAP – Pediatrician

Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD, FAAP - Pediatric specialist

Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD, FAAP – Pediatrician

The Mystery of Colic

If a parent of a newborn tells you they have everything under control, you might listen closely to find other things they are willing to lie about. The first months of parenthood are a beautifully life-affirming mix of joy, confusion, exhaustion, elation and self doubt.

For parents of a colicky baby, the pressure surrounding this new chapter of life can be intense. Colic describes healthy babies that gain weight and develop normally, but cry a lot and can be hard to comfort. Opinions vary on the causes of colic, but the effect is usually fussy babies and frustrated parents.

At North Sunflower Medical Center, many parents report to us babies whose crying is intense, up to 3 to 5 hours per day – frequently at the same time of day. It usually occurs late in the afternoon or early evening. The best advice for parents of a baby with colic is to visit your child’s doctor to make sure the problem is not another, more serious problem.

We wish we had a set of TOP Secret North Sunflower Medical Center Tips for Calming a Colicky Babies, but the real answer is just more common sense. Swaddle and hold babies when they are crying. Turn on a calming noise and rock them in a crib (or walk them around the house). You may try changing up their diet in case food sensitivity is causing the problem and avoid overfeeding your baby. Limit naps to three hours, and pacifiers or letting them suck on fingers can be a big help.

Lastly, it’s often a good idea to keep a diary of when your child eats, sleeps, cries and laughs. Then talk with their doctor to see if their colic is related to eating or sleeping.

Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD, FAAP - Pediatric specialist with patients

Dr. Sallyann Ganpot, MD, FAAP – Pediatrician with patients

Pediatric Open House

We will be hosting an open house this Friday in the new Pediatric center at North Sunflower Medical Center. Please feel free to bring your baby by to say hello and talk about these, or any other questions you have about your child’s health.

Mississippi Sports Medicine

Mississippi Sports Medicine Comes to NSMC

Mississippi Sports Medicine Comes to North Sunflower Medical Center

There’s no question you have to be a little creative to be a small town hospital these days.

At North Sunflower Medical Center, we believe people in small towns in Mississippi have the same rights to quality treatment as people living in Jackson or Biloxi. We also believe quality care means providing as many services as possible.

The way we see it, it’s not quality care if you can get treatment in Ruleville for some things but then still have to drive to Greenville or Memphis for others. We want to provide exceptional care for as many ailments, illnesses, maladies, accidents, aches, pains or general discomforts as possible – not matter how many (or how few) patients need them.

That’s where the creativity comes into play.

When Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center reached out to us looking for clinic space, we jumped at the chance for a partnership. By listening to our patients, we knew Ruleville needed quality orthopedic care. Mississippi Sports Medicine is the only full-service provider of specialized orthopedic care in the state, and they share the North Sunflower passion for providing the highest quality of care available.

Their commitment to professionalism and improving technologies make them a great fit for the North Sunflower Medical Center family. So, starting July 12, you’ll be able to get the best orthopedic care in the state, from the most advanced orthopedic specialists in Mississippi right here in Ruleville.

We’re proud Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center saw Ruleville as a good fit for them, but we’re even more proud that patients in our community can continue to get the best care right here in Ruleville.

Requests for appointments can be made online at, via phone at (800) 624-9168, or from the MSM mobile app for iOS and Android.

Jeff D. Almand, M.D. - Hip & Knee Total Joint Specialist

Jeff D. Almand, M.D.
Hip & Knee Total Joint Specialist

Walter R. Shelton, M.D. - Lower Extremity - Hip and Knee Specialist

Walter R. Shelton, M.D.
Lower Extremity – Hip and Knee Specialist

James W. O'Mara, M.D. - Lower Extremity - Hip and Knee Specialist

James W. O’Mara, M.D.
Lower Extremity – Hip and Knee Specialist

E. Rhett Hobgood, M.D. - Upper Extremity Shoulder and Elbow Specialist

E. Rhett Hobgood, M.D.
Upper Extremity Shoulder and Elbow Specialist

Aster Awards 2016

North Sunflower Medical Center Wins Aster Awards


By Robyn Marlow


Sometimes you talk. Sometimes you listen.

We think both are very important to providing the best quality care. We listen to our patients and depend on them to tell us how they are feeling – long beyond the time they walk out our doors. We also talk with them, and explain how we can help them be healthy.

We think this is a key part of what makes North Sunflower Medical Center different. We also know it is important that everyone in our community know all we do to help keep Ruleville – and people throughout the Delta – stay healthy and active. After all, North Sunflower is your hospital too.

Recently we told you about the new efforts we are taking to better understand our patients’ experiences when they come to us for treatment. We are also working hard to tell the North Sunflower story to everyone who will listen. And that effort getting noticed.

Last week, North Sunflower Medical Center was awarded five Aster Awards – including two Gold and two Silver awards – for excellence in healthcare marketing and advertising.

Our partners at Whitfield Media helped us bring home the Aster Awards for our sleep center commercial, diabetes telehealth network health fair flyer, and our “Oops” family commercial series.

North Sunflower Medical Center also received Aster Awards for work done by Manning Signs, Inc. for our medical equipment van design, and Mediagin for the medical center pharmacy website.


Of course, getting national recognition for hard work is nothing new for us, but it’s another example of how we’re proud that every member of our North Sunflower family strives to be the absolute best at everything we do.

North Sunflower Pharmacy Website


North Sunflower Medical Center Admissions

North Sunflower Patient Satisfaction

Sam MillerA message from our CEO, Sam Miller:


“Simple things shouldn’t be so complicated.

Every one of us at North Sunflower Medical Center want to provide the best possible care around. To do that, we need to be constantly asking our patients how they feel about the job we do. Nearly every organization – from a local restaurant, to Amazon, to Walmart – have all forms of complex customer service surveys to see how they can better serve their customers. In fact, even the IRS sends “satisfaction” surveys to people they have recently audited. But federal law prohibits hospitals from reaching out patients after a visit to ask, “How’d we do?”

There are lots of good reasons for this, most importantly your right to keep conversations with your doctor private. But to reach our goal of continuous improvement, we needed to know where we did a good job, and where we need to do better. So this year, we started a partnership with J.L. Morgan & Associates to find a new solution that helps monitor and track patient experiences.

It’s all entirely voluntary and anonymous. They call to ask a few questions, and then report back the total numbers to us. Because they are entirely separate from North Sunflower Medical Center, they are allowed to ask you things we cannot. Questions like, “Did you doctor clearly explain your treatment options?” Or, “Was your room clean?”

We now get patient satisfaction reports every three months. This has allowed us to change the way we care for you. For example, we saw in the report last December that about 70% of patients said they “Always” received help as soon as they asked for it. This number was above the national average for hospitals, but we felt we could do better.

North Sunflower Medical Center Patient Satisfaction

We shared these patient satisfaction numbers with our exceptional team of committed healthcare professionals, and asked them to come up with a plan to cut response times on all patient requests. We also wanted to better explain how we care for patients each step of the way – so no one would ever feel like their requests weren’t our first priority.

It’s working. In three months, the number of North Sunflower Medical Center patients who said they “Always” received help as soon as they asked for it went up 17 percent (from 70% to almost 87%). That’s better than 90% of all hospitals in the country, but still not where we want it to be. And by asking you where we can do better, we know we are going provide you and your family with even higher quality care.

We are proud that North Sunflower Medical Center is above the national average in 10 of the 11 patient satisfaction categories we track. We are especially proud that almost 90% of our patients report that our nurses “Always” communicate well, and that almost 95% say our doctors do too.

In the coming weeks, we are going to be working on making sure we understand when our patients are in any form of pain, and what we are doing to help manage their discomfort. And we are making sure patients know all they need to do to speed their recovery at home, after they leave our care.

Providing exceptional care is the most important way North Sunflower Medical Center serves this community. We do that by investing in the latest technology, hiring the most talented people, and taking care of the basics. Simply listening to your feedback, and hearing your honest answers aren’t the most high tech things we do around here. But working to be better doesn’t always have to be so complicated.”

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Newsletter

Dear Section Members:

Happy Spring to all. As I wrote this, Colorado was bracing for the 2nd spring blizzard of 2016 – no kidding! Since our last newsletter, I had the privilege of attending CSM 2016 in Anaheim, CA. For those of you who were able to attend CSM 2016, I’m sure you will agree that the conference was another smashing success thanks to the outstanding work of our education committee. At CSM 2016, we hosted a new informal event as a way to engage CVP Section members – we called the event a “Coffee Meet and Greet” – and I think it was another of CSM’s “smashing successes”. We hope to continue with this event in the future.

If you attended the CVP Section Business Meeting, you would have heard that the CVP Section Board of Directors is in the process of revising the CVP Section Strategic Plan which will guide our activities over the next 3 to 5 years. We also created and debated new Mission and Vision Statements, as well as an update to our Organizational Values. In this newsletter, I would like to introduce the new Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Section Mission Statement: “Optimizing human movement and health by advancing cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapist practice, education and research excellence.”

A mission statement communicates the purpose of an organization by concisely outlining the goals and objectives of that organization. I believe we have captured the ambitions of the CVP Section in this statement – we will promote excellence in practice, education and research for all physical therapists and physical therapist assistants which will positively impact all of our stakeholders – from our patients to our referral sources to APTA to our legislatures to our section members.

In future newsletters, you will hear more about the strategic plan. I value your comments. As always, I encourage you to feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or if you would just like to chat.


Daniel Malone PT, PhD, CCS President

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