The Journal Record Health Care Briefs: June 26, 2012

Article excerpt

Training program gains accreditation

TAHLEQUAH - A program to turn Cherokee students into surgical technologists at W.W. Hastings Hospital has gained accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

The Hastings surgical technology education program received a five-year accreditation. Upon graduation of the nine-month program, students can become nationally certified.

"Cherokee Nation is the first Native American tribe to have a surgical tech program accredited through CAAHEP," said Health Services Executive Director Connie Davis.

Tommy Hays and Patricia Sumner are program instructors.

The program accepts Cherokee citizens with a high school diploma or GED and without a four-year degree. Tuition and books are covered.

"Now that we are accredited, students can sit for the National Certification Exam, which allows them to work anywhere in the United States," Sumner said. "They also have an opportunity to be employed and make a decent salary. The average pay in Oklahoma is $17.40 per hour."

Mercy to operate Watonga hospital

WATONGA - The board of directors for Watonga Municipal Hospital in Watonga has authorized a lease agreement with Mercy.

The agreement is effective July 1.

Under the terms of the agreement, Mercy will operate the hospital as Mercy Hospital Watonga, while ownership will remain with the city of Watonga. Mercy has managed the facility since July 2011.

The 25-bed hospital joins Mercy's family of rural facilities including Valley View Regional Hospital in Ada, Mercy Hospital Love County in Marietta and Mercy hospitals in Ardmore, El Reno, Healdton, Logan County and Tishomingo.

Three members appointed to board

OKLAHOMA CITY - Judith Adams, Holli Witherington and Bill Sharp have been appointed to the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Adams, of Muskogee, is a psychologist and owns a family therapy center. She also serves as an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma. Adams is a graduate of Concordia College in Morehead, Minn., and has a master's degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She is replacing Rhonda Cochran and serving as a member from a list submitted by the Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Professional Counselors Association.

Witherington, of Ada, is the executive director of the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery at East Central University. She is also an adjunct professor at the university. She received both a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in education from East Central University. Witherington is replacing Kyle McGraw, who resigned, and was selected from a list provided by the Oklahoma Citizens for Advocacy Recovery and Treatment Association.

Sharp, of Oklahoma City, is the interim facility director and director of behavioral health services at the Canadian County Children's Justice Center. He is the president of the Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Professional Counselor's Certification Board. He earned a bachelor's degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, a master's in school administration and a master's in counseling psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma, and a master's in clinical psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. He is replacing Jane Lepak and will serve as a member of the Oklahoma Drug and Alcohol Professional Counselor Association.

Parker named Mercy director of research

OKLAHOMA CITY - Gary Parker has been promoted to director of clinical research in Mercy West communities.

Parker joined Mercy in 2005, serving as manager of research and chairperson of the institutional review board.

In 2007, Parker received a Cherokee Inspirational Award for his efforts to help clinic and emergency department co-workers recognize signs of suicidal behavior. …