Celebrating Our Volunteers

In observance of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, Murphy Medical Center will be honoring their volunteers with a picnic at the hospital’s outdoor pavilion on May 17.

“Our volunteers are a priceless treasure for patients, their families, and the hospital staff since opening in 1979,” said Director of Volunteer Services Mary Carol Campbell. “These caring people give back to their community by volunteering to help people during their most difficult time.”

Five of Murphy Medical Center’s 140 volunteers gathered to begin planning for the May 17 appreciation picnic. Michelle Nerney, Marilyn Brown, Kathryn Gamble, Mary Lutz-Karvonen and Carmen Markham (shown from left)

According to Campbell, 140 hospital volunteers donated over 17,000 hours to help patients and hospital staff last year. Volunteers serve in many hospital departments, assist hospice patients and families, and operate the hospice thrift shop, Granny’s Attic.

“Many volunteer opportunities are available at Murphy Medical Center, and volunteers are encouraged to choose a schedule that is convenient for them,” Campbell added. “The volunteers’ enormous contributions enable the medical and clinical staff to provide better care for patients.”

Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Murphy Medical Center may call Mary Carol Campbell at 828-835-3667.

Hospital Honors Health Care Providers

Murphy Medical Center physicians and allied health staff were honored April 6 at a reception culminating National Doctor’s Day activities.

The celebration also paid tribute to Dr. Michael Rohlfing and Dr. Terrence Doan, both retiring after over 40 years of combined service.

“Murphy Medical Center and the Board of Directors are proud to recognize our health care providers for their continued service to our community,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Gilbert.

To honor America’s physicians, President George Bush signed a proclamation in 1991 designating March 30 as National Doctor’s Day.

“More than the application of science and technology, medicine is a special calling, and those who have chosen this vocation in order to serve their fellowman understand the tremendous responsibility it entails,” begins the proclamation. “Referring to the work of physicians, Dr. Elmer Hess, a former president of the American Medical Association, once wrote: “There is no greater reward in our profession than the knowledge that God has entrusted us with the physical care of His people. The Almighty has reserved for Himself the power to create life, but He has assigned to a few of us the responsibility of keeping in good repair the bodies in which this life is sustained.”

Murphy Medical Center is a not-for-profit, private healthcare organization serving a seven-county area in western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee. It offers inpatient and outpatient services, physician services, nursing home care, and home health and hospice care. Since opening in 1979, Murphy Medical Center has expanded to meet the healthcare needs of its rural community and offers a spectrum of healthcare services that benefits its patients in all stages of their lives.

There are currently over 90 physicians and allied staff members associated with its healthcare operations located in Peachtree, Murphy and Hayesville, NC.

For additional information, call (828) 837-8161 or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Murphy Medical Center physicians and allied health staff join the hospital’s Board of Directors for the recognition dinner at the Hackney Warehouse in Murphy on April 6. Roderick Kuwamoto, PA-C, Ann Rymer, CRNA, James Portwood, PA-C, Jeffrey Peacock, PA-C, Teresa Heavner, MD, Henry Meinecke, MD (seated from left), Chief Medical Officer Mark Gilbert, MD, Michael Reynaud, CRNA, Board of Directors member David Hilton, David Alvarez, MD, Kathryn Blocker, MD, Paul McAuliffe, CRNA, Brittney Portwood, PA-C, Michael Nerney, MD, Terrence Doan, MD, Jeffrey Martin, MD, Brent Davis, MD, George Heilner, MA, Daniel Stroup, MD, Board of Directors Chair Tom O’Brien, Brian Mitchell, MD and Kevin Cormier, MD (standing from left)

Hospital Recognizes Health Information Professionals

Murphy Medical Center joined The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) in honoring health information professionals during
the 28th annual Health Information Professionals Week, March 26 – April 1.

“During AHIMA’s Health Information Professionals Week, our goal is to raise awareness that health information management professionals are the best equipped to understand health data and turn information into knowledge that powers better decision making,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon. “HIM professionals understand the volumes of health data and information being generated, and they know how to manage it and what it is saying.”

Murphy Medical Center’s Health Information Department manager Debbie DeHart said, “Our staff of fifteen HIM professionals has a combined 179 years of service. We strive to provide and maintain health information that is accurate, accessible, secure, and available to the right person when needed. We are proud to recognize our Health Information staff for their experience, commitment and outstanding service to our local communities.”

For additional information, contact Debbie DeHart at (828) 835-7596 or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Murphy Medical Center’s Health Information staff gathers in recognition of Health Information Professionals Week. Crissy Raxter, Doris Campbell, Debbie DeHart, Misty Craig, Sandra Lands, Emily Moore, Misty Hall, Carla Radford, Susan Phillips, Elaine Morgan, Barbara Insalaco, Michelle Frazier, Jill Hamby, Ginger Anderson and Renee Studley (shown from left)

Hospital Honors Certified Nurses

Murphy Medical Center joined healthcare providers across the country on March 19 to recognize Certified Nurses Day.

“Nurses choose to achieve professional certification because they believe the public deserves the best in health care,” said Teresa Bowleg, Murphy Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer. “There is a demand for experienced, highly-skilled Registered Nurses (RNs) who possess the depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to deliver complex patient care.”

The American Nurses Association (ANA), the largest nursing organization in the U.S., and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) proposed March 19 as Certified Nurses Day to honor the birthday of the late Dr. Margretta Madden Styles.

Dr. Styles architected the first comprehensive study of nurse credentialing in the 1970s. She then pioneered the development and implementation of standards and credentials for nurses. A driving force behind the creation of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Dr. Styles advanced nurse certification services and programs across the U.S. and abroad.

“Preparation for certification improves the nurse’s ability to care for acute, chronic, or critically ill patients,” Bowleg added. “Murphy Medical Center’s administration and leadership team are proud of these RNs for going above and beyond to improve the care they provide to patients.”

Board Certification of nurses plays an increasingly important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like health care in general has become increasingly complex. While a Registered Nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse.

Eleven of Murphy Medical Center’s thirty-five certified nurses shown outside the Peachtree hospital. Monique Matheny, Trudy Brackett, Amanda Norton, Holly Norris, Kathie Cornwell, Sheila Rodgers (front row from left), Rebecca McClure, Kammy Neal, Paula Watson, Ashley Stiles and Katie Gore (back row from left). Not shown are Julie Yonce, Kathi VanHall, Barbara Cruse, Jill Crapse, Kim Hogan, Michelle Reisberg, Marsha Coleman, Kelly Roberts, Diane Dockery, Audrey Hughes, Dianne Jackson, Stefanie Moral, Sherry Popular, Wendy Spiva, Stephanie Forbess, Katrina Blocker, Jan Partin, Laura Hughes, Marji Ferrell, Janet Shively, Connie Ensley, Vonda Boone, Cheri Pinner and Maria Pearce

Wound Care Facility Recognized as Center of Excellence For Third Consecutive Year

Murphy Medical Center physicians, leaders, and clinicians gathered today to celebrate the prestigious Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center of Excellence award, which was given to the hospital’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center for meeting exemplary quality standards for Healogics.

Out of nearly 800 wound care centers nationwide, only 169 were honored with this top award. This is the third consecutive year Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy facility has received this award.

“The fact that we have won this award three years in a row demonstrates our staff’s dedication and commitment to superior patient care for the people of our surrounding communities,” said Dr. Mark Leski, Medical Director at the Ledford Street facility.

Donna Shumate, Program Director at the center agreed. “Having providers that are well trained and have spent many years in wound care is a great asset to our center.”

Now in its fourth year of service, Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy facility offers highly specialized wound care to patients suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections and other chronic wounds which have not healed in a reasonable amount of time. Advanced treatments included hyperbaric oxygen therapy, negative pressure wound therapy, bio-engineered skin substitutes, biological and biosynthetic dressings and growth factor therapies.

“The numerous cards and letters we receive from patients thanking us for their care underscores the level of compassion and care our staff provides every day,” added Shumate.

For more information call (828) 835-4692 or visit the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center located at 183 Ledford Street, in the large log cabin on Hwy. 19/74 in Murphy. Additional information is available online at www.murphymedical.org/wound-care-hyperbaric-therapy.

Murphy Medical Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center staff gathers to celebrate the third consecutive year the facility has received the prestigious Center of Excellence Award since opening in August 2012. Shown at the Ledford Street facility are Shannon Chastain, Donna Shumate, Janet Shively (kneeling from left), Elisabeth Chastain, Caryn Beavers, Dr. Mark Leski, Bernadette Raby, Marjorie Ferrell and Glenda McTaggart (second row from left)

Nursing Home Ranked Among Nation’s Best

Murphy Medical Center’s Nursing Home has been ranked among the best in the United States, recently achieving a five-star overall rating according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“We’re very proud to have been recognized for this extraordinary achievement,” said Kelly Roberts, director of the facility. “This underscores the dedication, compassion and high-quality care our staff always strives to provide our residents and guests.”

CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to help identify areas of concern.

Along with garnering the five-star overall rating found on the CMS website, the facility’s accomplishment is cited in the U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Nursing Homes.

The report bases its findings from the federal government’s CMS Nursing Home Compare data on over 15,000 nationwide Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in the country. CMS sets and enforces standards for nursing homes enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. Each facility’s profile displays health and fire violations, performance in important clinical categories and how much time nursing staff spends with residents. The ratings are combined to produce an overall rating of one to five stars. The Nursing Home Compare report has detailed information that allows consumers to compare information with other nursing homes.

Murphy Medical Center’s Nursing Home is a 134-bed facility which has been in operation since 1978. It includes a full-service physical therapy department with a fully-trained, licensed staff under the leadership of an experienced administration team.

With its convenient attachment to a full-service hospital, the nursing team has immediate access to laboratory and radiology departments, a pharmacy, medication management services and additional medical support in case of emergency. Dental and podiatry services are available, while optometry and mental health services can be arranged.

“We’re very proud of our entire team for achieving this distinction,” added Roberts. “Our goal is to ensure the safety and comfort of our residents and guests that we care so deeply for.”

Data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicates about 60 percent of individuals over 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime and over 40 percent will receive care in a nursing home for some period. According to U.S. News and World Report, the Best Nursing Homes ranking report is “designed to help the millions of Americans who will spend time in a nursing home this year, whether undergoing rehab after a hospital stay or as long-term residents.”

For more information, contact Murphy Medical Center’s Nursing Home at (828) 835-7580, or online at www.murphymedical.org. For detailed information and access to the CMS Compare website, go to www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare. The U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Nursing Homes site can be found at http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes.

The Murphy Medical Center Nursing Home staff gathers to celebrate their recent five-star CMS recognition. Frances Grady, Jennifer Rogers, Cynthia Buchanan, Tammy Pullium, Sharon Smith, Jacob Parks (front from left), Kathy Teems, Mary Taylor, Marilyn Williams, Kathy Cantrell, Dena McCoy, Alice Kephart, Patrick Hopkins, Kathy Piercy, Toni Lovingood (second row from left), Pam Lovingood, Trish Furstenberg, Kelly Roberts, Amy Jones and Diane Mathis (back row from left)

Volleyball Team Donation Is A Win For Local Breast Cancer Awareness

Murphy High School’s varsity volleyball team presented a record-setting check for $4,000 to Murphy Medical Center on February 20.

Funds raised through t-shirt sales, gate admissions and community sponsorships will help support the hospital’s breast cancer education and awareness programs in our communities.

“We wanted to do something to help those locally whose lives have been changed by breast cancer, and Murphy Medical Center was our first choice,” said Nikol Watson, Murphy High School volleyball coach and physical education instructor at Murphy Middle School. “We’re proud that this donation is our largest to-date, and want to thank everyone who helped make it possible.”

According the American Cancer Society, breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most easily treated. Therefore, it is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting breast cancer at an early stage.

When breast cancer has grown to a size that can be felt, the most common physical sign is a painless lump. Sometimes breast cancer can spread to underarm lymph nodes and cause a lump or swelling, even before the original breast tumor is large enough to be felt.

“Murphy Medical Center is strongly committed to breast cancer awareness, through our educational programs and training resources,” said Paul Brown, Radiology Manager at the Peachtree facility. “We’re very thankful for this generous donation from the volleyball team, and for their support of our breast cancer programs.”

In addition to educating the community on the importance of early detection, Murphy Medical Center has programs to provide mammograms and follow-up visits for those unable to afford the services.

For additional information regarding breast cancer prevention and treatment, call Murphy Medical Center’s Radiology Department at (828) 835-7540 on online at www.murphymedical.org/radiology.

If you’d like to support the activities of the volleyball team, please contact Nikol Watson at (828) 837-0160.

Murphy High School’s varsity volleyball team presents a $4,000 check to Paul Brown, Murphy Medical Center Radiology Manager (shown center), Aubrey Clapsaddle, Abby Carder, Alana Cook, Emma Stroup, Katlyn Stiles, Jessica Beckner, coach Nikol Watson, assistant coach Amanda Johnson, Caitlyn Irwin, Hailey Thompson and Leighton Brown (shown from left). Not shown in photograph is Shelby Shore.

Hospital Introduces Telehealth Remote Monitoring For Patients

Murphy Medical Center now provides an innovative care program for its Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice patients.

The program, free to Good Shepherd patients with qualifying medical conditions, places Honeywell HomMed remote monitoring equipment in participating patient’s homes to keep track of their blood pressure, weight, pulse and oxygen levels.

Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice Telehealth Program Coordinator Connie Hernandez demonstrates the Honeywell HomMed remote monitoring unit to Deena Collins, Murphy Medical Center’s Community Relations Coordinator (from left)

Once the system is placed in the home, patients follow on-screen instructions from the unit, guiding them as they stand on the connected scale, attach the blood pressure cuff and blood-oxygen levels sensor to their fingertip. Their vital signs are recorded in under ten minutes and automatically sent via telephone to Good Shepherd each morning to be monitored by a nurse. If there are notable changes in these numbers, the patient’s physician is immediately notified.

“People like being at home, and the last place they want to be is in a hospital,” said Teresa Bowleg, Chief Nurse Executive at Murphy Medical Center. “Telehealth monitoring focuses on prevention. This technology can assist the care team in determining the health status of a patient before an emergency situation occurs, helping reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

Remote monitoring of patients in their homes provides nurses the ability to review trends and assess the current plan of care with their medical provider. The nurse and provider work collaboratively to determine the need for medication adjustments or the need to be seen by the provider or home care nurse.

Patients with congestive heart failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, hypertension and any other illnesses that requires daily monitoring of blood pressure, pulse, oxygenation or weight, stand to benefit most from the Telehealth Program.

Benefits of the program are many; reduced patient anxiety, increased communication with Good Shepherd and their physician, early problem detection and decreased hospital visits.

“I think the biggest benefit to the patient is self-awareness of their health,” said Connie Hernandez, Telehealth Program Coordinator. “It helps patients understand how their daily statistics affect their overall well-being. Those numbers tell a big story, especially to the medical profession.”

For more information about Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice’s Telehealth Program, please call (828) 837-1197, or visit online at www.murphymedical.com/telehealth.

Hospital Recognizes Cardiac Rehabilitation Week

Murphy Medical Center is helping reduce the potentially devastating effects of heart disease through a campaign of public awareness, education, and exercise programs.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Week is recognized February 12 – 18, and coincides with both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month in an effort to draw greater national recognition to heart health.

“We’re here to serve, educate and help our participants recover from a recent heart attack, open heart surgery or other heart event,” said Nicole Mallard, program director at the Peachtree facility. “We’re also equipped to help those with pulmonary disease manage their symptoms and make daily activities less taxing on their bodies.”

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately one million lives annually. An estimated eighty-five million Americans have one or more types of heart disease.

The cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs at Murphy Medical Center are certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The programs implement dietary and stress management education to modify risk factors, and provide monitored exercise programs on treadmills, stationary bicycles, and recumbent cross-training machines.

The hour-long sessions are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with flexible times to accommodate most people’s schedules. Program participation requires a referral from a primary care physician, cardiologist or pulmonologist.

After completing 36 sessions of the cardiac rehabilitation program, Mallard cited the patient’s mortality rate is typically decreased by 47%, and their chance of having another heart-related incident is less than 30%.

“If the participant’s insurance does not cover rehabilitation, or they have a high co-pay, we offer a very affordable out-of-pocket program,” Mallard added. “It’s $69 per month, and provides participants the same level of care as those whose insurance covers the program’s costs.”
The new rehabilitation facility, which opened in June 2016, is located next to the hospital’s Professional Building located at 4048 E US Hwy 64 Alt. in Peachtree.

For further information call the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at (828) 835-7615, or online at www.murphymedical.org/cardio-rehab/

Cardiac rehabilitation program participants Nancy and Eddie Board (shown center) work with Sarah Payne and Nicole Mallard at Murphy Medical Center’s rehabilitation facility (shown from left)

CRNAs Provide Safe and Effective Anesthesia Care for Every Patient

In recognition of their profession’s commitment to exceptional patient care, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) at Murphy Medical Center and across the country celebrated the 18th annual National CRNA Week, January 22-28.

Established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), National CRNA Week was created to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity to educate the public about anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery, and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from nurse anesthetists.

“Murphy Medical Center’s team of anesthetists has over 56 years of combined service to our community,” said department manager Ann Rymer. “We have a team of capable, dedicated professionals who pride themselves in providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Rymer cited the hospital’s approach to preoperative care which helps put patients at ease before their surgical procedure.

“Outpatients come in before their surgery day to review their health history with their CRNA – using that opportunity to discuss various anesthesia options,” she added. “Using this approach, a patient can make an informed decision and experience less stress by knowing what to expect.”

According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, five ways CRNAs make a difference every day include:

1. Safety First: CRNAs are highly trained anesthesia professionals who safely administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the AANA 2016 Practice Profile Survey.

2. Rural America: CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services. In some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100 percent of the rural hospitals.

3. Military Presence: Nurse anesthetists have been the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines since WWI. Nurses first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

4. Practice Settings: CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and pain management specialists; and more.

5. Cost-Efficiency: Managed care plans recognize CRNAs for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies. The cost-efficiency of CRNAs helps control escalating healthcare costs.

For additional information, please call Murphy Medical Center at (828) 837-8161 or visit online at www.murphymedical.org.

Gathering in recognition of National CRNA Week are Murphy Medical Center’s team of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Paul McAuliffe, Will Cowan, Kim Cowan, Ann Rymer and Sean Reynaud (shown from left). Not shown in photograph is CRNA Cheryl Bartlett

Thrift Store Benefits Local Home Health & Hospice Patients

The volunteers of Granny’s Attic presented a record-setting donation of $70,328 to Murphy Medical Center on January 17 for the hospital’s Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice Agency.

“This money helps us provide care to hospice patients who don’t have a paying source,” said Good Shepherd manager Julie Yonce. “Last year, we were able to provide services, medication and equipment for over ten hospice patients.”

The auxiliary operates the Hayesville-based thrift store which sells clothing and small household items. Its annual net proceeds are donated to the non-profit Murphy Medical Center in support of its hospice efforts offered in Cherokee, Clay, and Macon counties.

“Customers will come into our store with a donation, commenting on how the hospice program has been such a help to their family,” said Granny’s Attic president Lee Brown. “We also get to visit and interact with them and it’s been such a blessing.”

Memorial contributions by friends and family members of Joanne Guggisberg added to the donation. Guggisberg, a longtime community volunteer who passed away on November 18, served as president of Granny’s Attic from 2014-2015.

“I know we all miss Joanne,” added Brown. “Especially on a day like today.”

“There’s no way we could do it without you,” Yonce said to the group gathered for a luncheon at New Life Baptist Church in Hayesville. “We’d also like to thank Walmart of Murphy for their generous merchandise donations and everyone in our communities who donate and shop at our thrift store.”

Granny’s Attic is located at 200 Highway 64 West in Hayesville, in Suite B next to Subway. Donations of items are accepted during hours of operation which are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm.

Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice is a department of Murphy Medical Center. It provides skilled nursing, tele-monitoring, physical and occupational therapy, medical supplies, bereavement counseling and support groups, emergency response call button service, CAP case management, and various other services for those in need of home health care or hospice care in Cherokee, Clay and Macon counties. Past thrift store proceeds have allowed Good Shepherd to purchase laptop computers, medical equipment and specialty vehicles to care for patients in remote and often difficult to reach locations.

For information on making tax-deductible cash contributions to Murphy Medical Center, including gifts for Good Shepherd, contact Toni Lovingood, Foundation Director, at 835-7558.

Granny’s Attic President Lee Brown (shown center, right) presents a $70,328 check to Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice manager Julie Yonce (shown center, left). Joining them for the presentation are Arnaldo Lugo, Joyce Bernier, Deena Collins, Kathi Van Hall, Mike Stevenson, Karen Robinson, Cathy Boyland, Katie Dawes, Toni Lovingood, Margaret Bond, Kathy Parker, Debbie Thrower, Jo Ann Hutchinson, Linda Davis, Barbara Field, Jackye Prine, Judy Jaeger, Jackie Chatterton, Yvonne Andrews, Betty Schopp, Denora Ramsey, Mary Carol Campbell and Sandy Jersey (shown from left)

Hospital Supports Angel Tree’s 25th Year of Christmas Giving

Employees, volunteers and friends of Murphy Medical Center helped fulfill the wishes of scores of local children with their generous gift donations to the Cherokee County Angel Tree Project.

“Each Christmas, we collect gifts from the community so that our children will have a present under the tree,” said Donna Pendergrass, Child Welfare Supervisor for Cherokee County Social Services. “As always, the hospital and community have done a phenomenal job donating Christmas gifts for our kids.”

Sponsored by the Department of Social Services, the Angel Tree Project distributes brightly-colored gift tags to adorn trees located in local businesses and churches. Each tag contains a request from a foster child, and tags are quickly replaced with donations of shiny bicycles, dolls, games and clothing.

“We currently have around 70 children that are in custody of the agency, so you can imagine it’s a huge job to get this done,” added Pendergrass.

Angel Tree Project volunteers transport, organize and deliver the hundreds of gifts to help brighten the children’s holiday season.

Angel Tree Christmas gifts donated by Murphy Medical Center employees, volunteers and friends are loaded for delivery by Dona Adams, Donna Pendergrass and Linda Ray (shown from left)

Angel Tree Christmas gifts donated by Murphy Medical Center employees, volunteers and friends are loaded for delivery by Dona Adams, Donna Pendergrass and Linda Ray (shown from left)

Hospital Joins Effort to Help Keep Community Warm

As temperatures begin to plummet, a coordinated effort is underway to distribute winter coats where they’re most needed.

State Farm Insurance Agent Jim Miller led the initiative to provide gently-used coats as a source of comfort and protection from the cold weather.

“We started this program last year to provide coats for children and adults who couldn’t afford them,” Miller said. “Last year, we were able to distribute over 400 coats to those in need.”

Murphy Medical Center’s CEO Mike Stevenson was contacted to inquire if the hospital had the capacity and resources to dedicate to laundering and processing the donated coats.

“Our willingness and capacity was certainly there,” Stevenson said. “I’d like to thank our dedicated housekeeping staff for doing all the work. Kristin Engelskind led a team of six hospital employees and volunteers to launder, sort and prepare the coats for distribution, and they all did a great job.”

Additionally, Miller partnered with John Evans, local Toys for Tots coordinator for Cherokee County, to help with the distribution of the coats.

“John was very instrumental in helping us with the logistics and as a distribution point – and that was a huge thing for us,” Miller added. “Murphy Medical Center’s assisting with the laundry and sorting was a tremendous help.”

This year, the program will distribute over 600 coats generously donated by the community.

Murphy Medical Center's Kristin Engelskind (shown third from left) holds the last coat processed by her housekeeping team. Joining her are Mike Stevenson, John Evans, Jim Miller, Charles Congi, Angel Dockery and Wanda Carver (shown from left). Not available for photograph are contributing team members Sonia Sharp, Tera Cope and Pamela Johnson.

Murphy Medical Center’s Kristin Engelskind (shown third from left) holds the last coat processed by her housekeeping team. Joining her are Mike Stevenson, John Evans, Jim Miller, Charles Congi, Angel Dockery and Wanda Carver (shown from left). Not available for photograph are contributing team members Sonia Sharp, Tera Cope and Pamela Johnson.

Volunteers Honored With Christmas Luncheon

Murphy Medical Center recognized their auxiliary staff at the hospital’s annual Christmas luncheon held December 5th at Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church.

Hospital administrators and staff catered to the attendees, serving food and keeping beverage glasses filled. The EKG men’s quartet performed a selection of melodies adding to the festive atmosphere.

Volunteer Ida Holmes lights a candle during a memorial tribute for her dear friend Joanne Guggisberg

Volunteer Ida Holmes lights a candle during a memorial tribute for her dear friend Joanne Guggisberg

The highlight of the luncheon was the dessert table – a smorgasbord of holiday cakes and pastries lovingly prepared by the volunteers for the event’s tasting contest. When the votes were tallied, it was America Batet’s Choco Flan that took top honors.

“I’d like to thank our amazing volunteers, each of whom has made a tremendous difference to our hospital and our communities,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at the Peachtree facility. “We’re honored that you chose Murphy Medical Center to give your time and talents.”

This year, the volunteer staff contributed over 117,000 hours of service and raised over $109,000 to support the hospital and local communities through their fundraising efforts and sales through Granny’s Attic Thrift Store in Hayesville.

During the event, a special memorial tribute was given to Joanne Guggisberg, who passed away on November 18 as a result of an automobile accident. Guggisberg, a longtime community volunteer, served as president of Granny’s Attic from 2014-2015.

“Joanne will most certainly be missed,” added Campbell. “She was a tireless contributor to our success, and a dear friend to us and so many throughout our communities.”

Murphy Medical Center currently has over 147 active volunteers, who contribute thousands of hours to help make the hospital and local communities a better place. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Framed by the colorful poinsettia plants awarded to the dessert contest winners, volunteers and staff members of Murphy Medical Center enjoy the annual Christmas luncheon held on December 5th at Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church

Framed by the colorful poinsettia plants awarded to the dessert contest winners, volunteers and staff members of Murphy Medical Center enjoy the annual Christmas luncheon held on December 5th at Peachtree Memorial Baptist Church

Hospital Practices Emergency Preparedness

Murphy Medical Center conducted a readiness drill on November 17, simulating a county-wide loss of electrical power lasting over four days.

The three-hour exercise involved staff members from all departments, and included receiving three simulated accident-related victims transported by Cherokee County EMS to the hospital’s emergency department.

The sustainability of generator fuel, water, food and medical supplies were evaluated to ensure the uninterrupted safety and comfort of patients, while anticipating an influx of those seeking care in the event of an actual emergency.

“These exercises clearly demonstrate how we are proactive in training and preparedness for any type of event in Cherokee County,” stated Robin Caldwell, Emergency Management Coordinator for Cherokee County. “The opportunity for our different county agencies to work together with Murphy Medical Center is vital for the well-being of our communities.”

Murphy Medical Center readiness drills keep the hospital staff well-prepared for dealing with emergent situations. Past exercises have included weather-related and bio-hazard scenarios – providing an opportunity for all staff members to work as a cohesive team to prepare for unexpected interruptions to normal activity.

“This exercise provided an opportunity to simulate what may occur during an extended power outage,” Caldwell added. “I encourage everyone to have an emergency plan for their family, and that all family members are aware of how to handle any type of emergency.”

Murphy Medical Center staff members and Cherokee County Emergency Management gather for the hospital's preparedness drill on November 17: Pam Barmore, Amy Crisp, Holly Norris, Holly Carlisle, Donna Shumate, Robin Caldwell, Toni Lovingood, Jan Partin, Becky Boyer, Mary Jo Morris, Susan Oliver, Richard Starry (against wall, from left) and Kathy Cornwell, Mary Hughes, Steve Wittenberg, Russ Paine, Pat Moll, Pat Wikstrom, Theresa Bowleg, Mike Stevenson, Monique Matheny, Vonda Boone, Julie Reagan, Kim Williams, Kristin Engleskind and Paul Brown (seated clockwise from front)

Murphy Medical Center staff members and Cherokee County Emergency Management gather for the hospital’s preparedness drill on November 17: Pam Barmore, Amy Crisp, Holly Norris, Holly Carlisle, Donna Shumate, Robin Caldwell, Toni Lovingood, Jan Partin, Becky Boyer, Mary Jo Morris, Susan Oliver, Richard Starry (against wall, from left) and Kathie Cornwell, Mary Hughes, Steve Wittenberg, Russ Paine, Pat Moll, Pat Wikstrom, Teresa Bowleg, Mike Stevenson, Monique Matheny, Vonda Boone, Julie Reagan, Kim Williams, Kristin Engelskind and Paul Brown (seated clockwise from front)

Hospital Announces DAISY Award Recipient

Murphy Medical Center Registered Nurse Rachael Dickey holds the ‘A Healer’s Touch’ sculpture presented to her at the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses ceremony held October 28

Murphy Medical Center Registered Nurse Rachael Dickey holds the ‘A Healer’s Touch’ sculpture presented to her at the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses ceremony held October 28

Murphy Medical Center presented Registered Nurse Rachael Dickey the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses during a ceremony held October 28. The award was presented at the facility in recognition of the extraordinary work and patient care that nurses provide.

Chief Nursing Officer Teresa Bowleg stated, “Murphy Medical Center is defined by the compassion, dedication and skill of all of our nursing staff. They are often the unrecognized professionals who will transform healthcare. I congratulate Rachael, and am honored to serve our nurses whose practice reflects the highest standards of nursing excellence.”

The DAISY (Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Award is a national program to reward excellence in the nursing profession. It was created by the DAISY Foundation to honor J. Patrick Barnes of Glen Allen CA, who passed away in 1999 from complications of an immune system disease. Bonnie Barnes, President and Co-Founder of The DAISY Foundation stated, “When Patrick was critically ill, our family experienced first-hand the remarkable skill and care nurses provide acutely ill patients every day and night. Yet these unsung heroes are seldom recognized for the superhuman work they do.”

Murphy Medical Center DAISY Award honorees receive a pin, certificate and hand-carved stone sculpture titled ‘A Healer’s Touch’. Additionally, everyone attending the award ceremony enjoys freshly-baked cinnamon rolls – a favorite of Patrick’s during his illness.

Fellow employees and patients are encouraged to nominate candidates for the award, based on their commitment to teamwork, quality, safety, compassion and professionalism. Dickey joins the ranks of nineteen nurses who have previously received the award since the hospital adopted the recognition program in 2009.

For additional information, or to nominate a nurse for the DAISY Award, visit us online at www.murphymedical.org/daisy.

DAISY Award winner Rachael Dickey, RN, (shown eleventh from left) joins fellow nominees Noley Sutton, RN, Sheila Rodgers, RN, Deborah Conhiser, RN, Sharon Carpenter, RN, Amanda McDaniel, RN, Alicia England, RN, Amanda Norton, RN, Mary Jane Burns, LPN, Vickie Martin, RN, Byron Barnett, RN, Katie Gore, RN, Dianne Jackson, RN, Doris Soles, RN, Rhonda Sharp, RN, LaNita Harris, RN and Patricia McMinn-Higgins, LPN (shown from left).  Not shown in photograph are DAISY Award nominees Carrie Bowden, FNP, Nancy Byxbee, RN, Daniel Killian, RN, Bobbie Mashburn, LPN, Emily Maynard, RN, Jennifer Richman, RN and Kristi Whisenant, RN

DAISY Award winner Rachael Dickey, RN, (shown eleventh from left) joins fellow nominees Noley Sutton, RN, Sheila Rodgers, RN, Deborah Conhiser, RN, Sharon Carpenter, RN, Amanda McDaniel, RN, Alicia England, RN, Amanda Norton, RN, Mary Jane Burns, LPN, Vickie Martin, RN, Byron Barnett, RN, Katie Gore, RN, Dianne Jackson, RN, Doris Soles, RN, Rhonda Sharp, RN, LaNita Harris, RN and Patricia McMinn-Higgins, LPN (shown from left).
Not shown in photograph are DAISY Award nominees Carrie Bowden, FNP, Nancy Byxbee, RN, Daniel Killian, RN, Bobbie Mashburn, LPN, Emily Maynard, RN, Jennifer Richman, RN and Kristi Whisenant, RN

Hospital Hosts Arts and Crafts Event

Peachtree – Murphy Medical Center is hosting their annual “Art Among Us” fundraiser on Friday, November 11 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm in the hospital’s Travis E. Green conference room and adjacent lobby.

Murphy Medical Center’s Auxiliary will sponsor the “Art Among Us” craft show on Friday, November 11th.  Shown with a selection of their creations for sale at the event are Ron Wallace, Leslie Carimanica and Kathy Teems (from left)

Murphy Medical Center’s Auxiliary will sponsor the “Art Among Us” craft show on Friday, November 11th. Shown with a selection of their creations for sale at the event are Ron Wallace, Leslie Carimanica and Kathy Teems (from left)

The event is sponsored by the hospital’s auxiliary and features handcrafted items created by employees, volunteers and friends. An extensive array of unique items will be for sale, including jewelry, soaps, wooden bowls, woven baskets and delicious baked goods, jams and jellies.

Murphy Medical Center currently has over 140 active volunteers, who contribute thousands of hours to help make the hospital and local communities a better place.

“Proceeds from this year’s event will help the Murphy Medical Center Auxiliary purchase new equipment and supplies for the organization,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at the hospital. “We’re thankful to all of our craft designers and culinary artists and invite everyone to see and taste the wonderful gift items we’ll have available for their holiday shopping.”

For more information about the “Art Among Us” event, or If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Wound Care Center Aims to Raise Awareness of Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy facility, a member of the Healogics network, is participating in the Healogics National Diabetes Campaign from October 24 to 28. One of nearly 800 Healogics-managed Centers; it offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds like diabetic foot ulcers.

Dr. Mark Leski is shown with one of Murphy Medical Wound Care Center’s two Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers. This marks the second consecutive year the facility has received the prestigious Center of Excellence Award since opening in August 2012

Dr. Mark Leski is shown with one of Murphy Medical Wound Care Center’s two Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers.

There are approximately 29.1 million people living with diabetes in the United States, and nearly 28 percent are undiagnosed. Of those 29.1 million, about 25 percent will eventually develop a foot ulcer. Left untreated, these ulcers can impair quality of life and may lead to amputation. In 2010, 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations occurred in adults 20 years and older with diagnosed diabetes.

Early detection and intervention can help to mitigate the possibility of limb loss. Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy facility recommends the following to help prevent diabetic foot ulcers:

• Stop smoking immediately
• Comprehensive foot examinations each time you visit your healthcare provider (at least four times a year)
• Daily self-inspections of the feet, or have a family member perform the inspection
• Regular care of the feet including cleaning toenails and taking care of corns and calluses
• Choose supportive, proper footwear (shoes and socks)
• Take steps to improve circulation such as eating healthier and exercising on a regular basis

Proper wound care is imperative to healing diabetic foot ulcers. Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy facility offers a number of leading-edge treatments including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Total Contact Casting (TCC), and Negative Pressure Wound Therapy. These specialized wound care therapies can aid in wound closure, new tissue growth, wound tissue regeneration and much more.

For more information call (828) 835-4692, or visit the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center located at 183 Ledford Street, in the large log cabin on Hwy. 19/74 in Murphy. Additional information is available online at www.murphymedical.org/wound-care-hyperbaric-therapy.

Hospital Hosts Holiday Bazaar

Murphy Medical Center is hosting a Christmas bazaar on Thursday, October 13th from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Friday, October 14th from 7 am – 3:00 pm in the hospital’s Travis E. Green conference room and adjacent lobby.

An extensive array of unique holiday gifts will be for sale, and complimentary gift wrapping is available. Festive items for every member of the family will include ladies’ clothing, scarves and jewelry, gorgeous nativities, ornaments and other holiday gifts.

Murphy Medical Center volunteers Linda Ray, Mary Lutz-Karvonen and Marilyn Brown display some of the new holiday items available in the Giving Tree Gift Boutique, located in the hospital's main lobby (from left)

Murphy Medical Center volunteers Linda Ray, Mary Lutz-Karvonen and Marilyn Brown display some of the new holiday items available in the Giving Tree Gift Boutique, located in the hospital’s main lobby (from left)

“Our special guest will be The Nut Nook from Asheville,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at the hospital. “Owner Ginny Levi will prepare roasted cinnamon glazed or chocolate pecans, almonds, cashews and peanut brittle right before your eyes, which make great stocking stuffers.”

Murphy Medical Center currently has over 140 active volunteers, who contribute thousands of hours to help make the hospital and local communities a better place.

“Proceeds from fundraising events like these help benefit our local communities,” added Campbell. “We’re so appreciative of the public’s support and invite everyone to see some of the wonderful gift items we have available for their holiday shopping.”

Other events coming to Murphy Medical Center include the Masquerade $5 Jewelry Sale on October 20th from 7am-5pm and October 21st from 7am-1pm, and the Book Fair, November 2nd – 4th.

For more information about the bazaar, or If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Hospital Names Rehabilitation Manager

Holly Carlisle, a physical therapist assistant for Murphy Medical Center, has been selected to lead the hospital’s Rehabilitation Services division, including its nursing home, inpatient, outpatient and Peachtree Athletic and Rehabilitation Center (PARC) facility.

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Holly Carlisle

Carlisle, a graduate from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, received her bachelor’s degree in Professional Aeronautics and served in the United States Navy for twenty years, during which time she was an air traffic controller and instructor in leadership principles and organizational dynamics. Carlisle joined the Peachtree facility in 2006 as a physical therapist assistant and later served as the outpatient clinical supervisor.

“We’re very fortunate to have Holly as a valued member of our team,” stated Toni Lovingood, Chief Operating Officer at Murphy Medical Center. “In addition to her years of rehabilitation therapy experience, she has an innate understanding of the benefits therapy can bring to those in our care.”

For more information, call (828) 837-7777 or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Harrah’s Supports Saturday’s Road Race Fundraiser

Murphy Medical Center’s September 17th “Two Hours From Anywhere” 5K Challenge, Two-Mile Heart Walk and Kids’ Fun Run event received a $5,000 donation from Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino.

Proceeds from Saturday’s event will help provide scholarships to area students pursuing higher education in the healthcare arena. This year, the hospital’s Foundation awarded 22 scholarships totaling $37,250 to graduating seniors from Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Hiawassee Dam, Robbinsville, and Tri-County Early College.

Race coordinator Deena Collins (left) receives a $5,000 check from Lumpy Lambert of Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event

Race coordinator Deena Collins (left) receives a $5,000 check from Lumpy Lambert of Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event

“Supporting the ongoing education of our students is the whole premise of us being partners in the community in which we work and live,” stated Lumpy Lambert, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino General Manager. “We’re glad to be able to do it.”

“We’re very thankful for the generous donation from Harrah’s and to everyone who is helping support Saturday’s race,” said coordinator Deena Collins. “We’re looking forward to great weather and a very exciting event.”

Race day registration is $25 and begins at 7:30 a.m., with the 5K race and two-mile heart walk starting promptly at 9 a.m. The fun run is free for children ages 10 and under.

Donation and race registration forms can be downloaded from the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/race, and are available in the main lobby, Urgent Care Center in Murphy and PARC Fitness Center in Peachtree.

For more information about donating to the fundraiser or participating in the race, contact Deena Collins at (828) 835-7506.

Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates Supports September Scholarship Fundraiser

Murphy Medical Center’s 26th annual “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event received a $2,500 donation from Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates during a presentation on September 1.

“We’re very thankful for the generous donation from Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates and to everyone who is helping support our upcoming event,” said coordinator Deena Collins.

Event coordinator Deena Collins (left) receives a $2,500 check from Dr. Kevin Cormier of Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event

Event coordinator Deena Collins (left) receives a $2,500 check from Dr. Kevin Cormier of Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event

Proceeds from the hospital’s 26th annual 5K Challenge, Two-Mile Heart Walk and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, September 17th will help provide scholarships to area students pursuing higher education in the healthcare arena. This year, the hospital’s Foundation awarded 22 scholarships totaling $37,250 to graduating seniors from Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Hiawassee Dam, Robbinsville, and Tri-County Early College.

“It’s important to encourage and help students interested in pursuing an education in the medical field,” stated Radiologist Physician Kevin Cormier, MD. “We’re very happy to help support this worthwhile event and the hospital Foundation’s education scholarship program.”

Radiology and diagnostic imaging services for the Peachtree facility are provided in partnership with Tennessee Interventional and Imaging Associates, based in Chattanooga.

Donation and race registration forms can be downloaded from the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/race, and are available in the main lobby, Urgent Care Center in Murphy and PARC Fitness Center in Peachtree.

For more information about donating to the fundraiser or participating in the race, contact Deena Collins at (828) 835-7506.

Erlanger Health System Supports September Scholarship Fundraiser

Murphy Medical Center’s 26th annual “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event received a $2,500 donation from Erlanger Health System during a presentation on August 25.

“We’re very thankful for the generous donation from Erlanger and to everyone who is supporting our upcoming event,” said coordinator Deena Collins.

Event coordinator Deena Collins receives a $2,500 check from Elizabeth Hedges,  Director of Business Development at Erlanger Health System to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event. (shown from left)

Event coordinator Deena Collins receives a $2,500 check from Elizabeth Hedges, Director of Business Development at Erlanger Health System to support Murphy Medical Center’s upcoming “Two Hours From Anywhere” fundraising event. (shown from left)

Proceeds from the hospital’s 26th annual 5K Challenge, Two-Mile Heart Walk and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, September 17th will help provide scholarships to area students pursuing higher education in the healthcare arena. This year, the hospital’s Foundation awarded 22 scholarships totaling $37,250 to graduating seniors from Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Hiawassee Dam, Robbinsville, and Tri-County Early College.

“I think it’s a wonderful event that Murphy Medical Center is hosting,” stated Elizabeth Hedges, Director of Business Development at Erlanger Health System. “The hospital’s scholarship program is an essential component of helping educate our students and encouraging their return to the community that has always meant so much to them.”

Donation and race registration forms can be downloaded from the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/race, and are available in the main lobby, Urgent Care Center in Murphy and PARC Fitness Center in Peachtree.

For more information about donating to the fundraiser or participating in the race, contact Deena Collins at (828) 835-7506.

September Road Race Fundraiser Provides Education Scholarships to Area Students

The Foundation of Murphy Medical Center has begun the registration and sponsorship solicitation phase of its annual “Two Hours from Anywhere” fundraiser.

“We’re very excited about this event,” said coordinator Deena Collins. “This year’s fundraiser is benefiting a very worthy cause.”

Proceeds from the hospital’s 26th annual 5K Challenge, Two-Mile Heart Walk and Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, September 17th will help provide scholarships to area students pursuing higher education in the healthcare arena. This year, the hospital’s Foundation awarded 22 scholarships totaling $37,250 to graduating seniors from Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Hiawassee Dam, Robbinsville, and Tri-County Early College.

Toni Lovingood, Foundation Director stated, “The healthcare education scholarship program at Murphy Medical Center is possible, in part, due to generous contributions from donors to help encourage area students to become healthcare professionals.”

“Everyone’s invited to join us – by participating in the race, through sponsorships and donations, or just coming out for a fun morning,” Collins added. “We’ve also implemented online registration on our website for those wishing to pre-register by credit card.”

Donation and race registration forms can be downloaded from the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/race, and are available in the main lobby, Urgent Care Center in Murphy and PARC Fitness Center in Peachtree.

For more information about donating to the fundraiser or participating in the race, contact Deena Collins at (828) 835-7506.

Presenting a $200 check to support this year’s 26th annual “Two Hours from Anywhere” Road Race fundraiser are hospital auxiliary officers Mary Carol Campbell, Vice President Alice Hopstock, Treasurer Doris Carringer, event organizer Deena Collins, Secretary Carmen Markham, and President Marilyn Brown (shown from left)

Local Scout Troop Donates Toys For Young Hospital Patients

Through the generosity of Boy Scout Troop 400 of Murphy, pediatric patients at Murphy Medical Center will find their hospital stay just a little easier.

The troop, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Murphy, presented the gifts during a ceremony on June 27 at the hospital.

“Our community has been very supportive, and we’d like to give back,” said Rachel Hall, donation organizer and mother of troop member Dakoda Knowles.

Among the gifts were dolls to comfort youngsters, clothing items to make their hospital visit more comfortable, and puzzles, games and books to keep them occupied during their stay.

“We’re very appreciative and thankful for their gifts,” said Kathie Cornwell, Director for Surgical Services at the Peachtree facility. “These toys will surely brighten the children’s day and provide a pleasant memory of their visit here.”

Members of Boy Scout Troop 400 and hospital staff members display some of the scout’s gifts for the hospital’s pediatric patients. Joseph West, Kaden Gregory, Bobby Faulkner, Skyler Watson, Dakoda Knowles, Brian Brooks, Timothy Brooks and Avery Cseh (front row from left), Steve Smith, Lance Eckman, Rachel Hall, Doris Soles, Tammy Beasley, Ashley Stiles, Angie Lorrain, Elizabeth King, Shirley Roberson, Sheila Dockery and Beth Rosendale (back row from left)

Members of Boy Scout Troop 400 and hospital staff members display some of the scout’s gifts for the hospital’s pediatric patients. Joseph West, Kaden Gregory, Bobby Faulkner, Skyler Watson, Dakoda Knowles, Brian Brooks, Timothy Brooks and Avery Cseh (front row from left), Steve Smith, Lance Eckman, Rachel Hall, Doris Soles, Tammy Beasley, Ashley Stiles, Angie Lorrain, Elizabeth King, Shirley Roberson, Sheila Dockery and Beth Rosendale (back row from left)

Good Shepherd Seeks Caring, Compassionate Hospice Volunteers

Murphy Medical Center’s Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice agency is presenting a four-week training series for those interested in helping meet the needs of hospice patients in our local communities.

Arnaldo Lugo will lead the four-week training sessions for anyone interested in becoming a hospice volunteer

Arnaldo Lugo will lead the four-week training sessions for anyone interested in becoming a hospice volunteer

Arnaldo Lugo, Chaplain for the agency, will lead the three-hour courses on concurrent Wednesday mornings beginning July 20, 27, August 10 and 17 from 9 am until 12 pm.

“We’re looking for people with a friendly smile and a desire to share their time,” Lugo stated. “It’s a blessing to any family to have someone available to run an errand or two, relieve a family’s obligation for a short period of time, or just be a companion.”

When it is time to embark on end-of-life care, hospice staff and volunteers form an alliance between patients and care teams, including nurses, aides, and members of the faith community, social workers and volunteers. They work in tandem with families to determine how to comfortably manage symptoms and pain for their loved ones. Following the passing of a patient, grief support is available to families for one year.

The July 20, 27, August 10 events will be held at Andrews Methodist Church, 101 Chestnut Street in Andrews. The August 17 event will be held in the Travis E. Green Conference Center, adjacent to the hospital’s lobby. Anyone interested in attending the training should contact Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice at (828) 837-4260 for details.

Hospital Looks Ahead To A Bright Future

On June 16th, the Murphy Medical Center Board of Directors approved the development of two Request For Proposals (RFP). One RFP for the sale of the Medical Center’s nursing home and a second to identify healthcare organizations that will either partner with, or acquire the hospital to continue leading the organization to best serve our community.

“We have reached a time as an organization where we must make some significant strategic decisions for a number of reasons,” stated CEO Mike Stevenson. “The national healthcare environment is in one of the most dynamic times of change in our history. Our goal is to ensure that Murphy Medical Center remains a vital and growing part of our community.”

MMC-exterior-webMurphy Medical Center will continue to be managed by Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) through the RFP process. “We’ve accomplished many great things together for the benefit of patients and the community,” shared John Young, senior vice president for CHS. “Our Strategic Services Agreement does not provide a vehicle for the capital support that will be important to Murphy Medical Center in the future. CHS will continue our role in managing this great organization and supporting their leadership team during this time.”

The hospital’s Nursing Home RFP will identify companies interested in building a new facility with modern design and technology, while still embracing the caring and compassion the staff is known for providing. “There will not be any interruption in services,” Stevenson stated. “As one condition of any sale, the well-being of our residents and employees are at the top of our list of priorities.”

As the hospital’s Board of Directors accepts and reviews proposals, Stevenson noted that any resulting action will take considerable time, and building the new nursing home facility could take up to two years.

Stevenson added, “Murphy Medical Center is neither closing, nor in any crisis situation, but is making bold plans to continue providing outstanding care for our communities now, and in the future.”

Foundation Awards 22 Scholarships

The Murphy Medical Center Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling $37,250 to area students pursuing higher education in the healthcare arena.

The Foundation provided scholarships to graduating seniors from Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Hiwassee Dam, Robbinsville, and Tri-County Early College.

Toni Lovingood, Foundation Director stated, “The healthcare education scholarship program at Murphy Medical Center is possible, in part, due to generous contributions from donors to help encourage area students to become healthcare professionals.”

This year’s graduating high school student recipients were Aisha Booze-Hall of Murphy, Kayla Ledford of Murphy, Kayla Stiles of Marble, Madison Shook of Hayesville, Kathryn Henrikson of Hayesville, Savanna Sutton of Marble, Kaitlyn Estep of Murphy, Hollizanne Whittle of Robbinsville and Karah Matteson of Culberson.

The hospital also renewed scholarships as students continued to qualify throughout their studies. An additional 13 scholarships of $1,750 each were awarded this year to college students pursuing a wide range of healthcare-related education.

Scholarships are granted in the names of five valued community members: Mr. John Carringer, Ms. Dorothy Cloer, Dr. Jeffery Larson, Dr. Helen Wells and Trish Brady.

All proceeds from the Foundation’s annual 5K Challenge, Heart Walk and Kid’s Fun Run – held this year on Saturday, September 17th – will benefit the hospital’s education scholarship program.

To make a tax-deductible gift to the Murphy Medical Center Foundation, contact Lovingood at (828) 835-7558.

MMC-Foundation-Scholarships-2016

Michael-Nerney,-MD-web-small

Hospital Welcomes New General Surgeon

Murphy Medical Center welcomed Michael E. Nerney, MD, FACS to its General Surgery staff on June 20.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone with the training and background that Michael brings to our facility,” said Mike Stevenson, Murphy Medical Center CEO. “I’m confident he will be an excellent addition to our general surgery staff.”

Nerney is a 1981 graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School at Norfolk, and a University of Florida General Surgery Intern and Resident from 1981 to 1986.

Before joining Murphy Medical Center, Nerney was the Chief of Surgery at the Diagnostic Clinic Medical Group in Largo, Florida since 1989, and was the Chief of General Surgery at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota from 1986 – 1989. His lifelong interest in surgery is attributed to working with his hands and understanding relationships with people.

“I like the immediacy of being able to help someone out – making an active effort in fixing something which has a positive outcome in someone’s life,” he said.

Currently residing in Hayesville with his wife Michelle – a speech language pathologist – Nerney is an avid photographer and enjoys hiking and exploring the waterfalls throughout our area.

Nerney is currently accepting new patients at the Murphy Group Practice General Surgery office located at 145 Medical Park Lane, Suite I, adjacent to the hospital in Peachtree.

For more information, call (828) 837-7708, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Employees Give to United Way

Murphy Medical Center staff members presented a check for $2,000 to the United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties on June 7.

Each year, hospital employees and volunteers raise money through fundraisers and contribute the proceeds to various charities in the community.

The check presentation coincided with Ladies’ Night Out, a hospital-sponsored educational and networking event held each month at McGuire’s Millrace Farm.

Participants who bring a canned or dry good to Ladies’ Night Out for the Cherokee County Sharing Center – another United Way partner – receive an extra ticket to win valuable door prizes donated by local merchants.

“United Way is a valuable asset to our community,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at Murphy Medical Center. “When we donate to United Way, we know the funds will help people in our own community, and that is very important to our employees.”

Murphy Medical Center employee Debbie Childs (center left) presents a check for $2,000 to Karen Borchers, Executive Director of The United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties. Joining them are Ladies’ Night Out committee members Sarah Bland, Vickie Ledford, Lynn Stepp and Mary Carol Campbell (shown from left)

Murphy Medical Center employee Debbie Childs (center left) presents a check for $2,000 to Karen Borchers, Executive Director of The United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties. Joining them are Ladies’ Night Out committee members Sarah Bland, Vickie Ledford, Lynn Stepp and Mary Carol Campbell (shown from left)

Hospital Recognizes National Nursing Home Week

Murphy Medical Center joined skilled nursing facilities throughout the country to acknowledge their staff and volunteers for their commitment and care of residents and support for family members.

Celebrated nationally May 8 – 14, National Nursing Home Week is an annual observance sponsored by the American Health Care Association, which reminds everyone to visit a loved one, family member or friend residing in any care setting and offer a kind word, a personal touch, and spend time by offering love and support.

Hospital staff members and volunteers display the new Broda Elite reclining wheelchair. Amanda Manning, Toni Lovingood, Francie Grady, Joy Knee, Sue Liguori and Kelly Roberts (shown from left)

Hospital staff members and volunteers display the new Broda Elite reclining wheelchair. Amanda Manning, Toni Lovingood, Francie Grady, Joy Knee, Sue Liguori and Kelly Roberts (shown from left)

One of the highlights of the hospital’s weeklong activities was the presentation of a Broda Elite reclining wheelchair, specially designed for the well-being of the facility’s residents.

The chair and vehicle transport package, valued at $3,400, was donated by the hospital’s Auxiliary from proceeds of various fundraisers held throughout the year.

“We’re very thankful for this wonderful transport chair,” said Francie Grady, Director of Nursing at the facility. “It provides an extra level of safety for residents when traveling outside our facility, and is especially comfortable for long-distance travel, with its comfort cushioning and ability to fully recline.”

Kelly Roberts, Administrator in Training of the hospital’s long-term care facility agreed. “We love our residents and continually look for ways to enhance their care, comfort and happiness. We’d like to thank the Auxiliary, employees and everyone in our community who support our hospital’s fundraising events.”

Murphy Medical Center is a not-for-profit, private healthcare organization serving a seven-county area in western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee. It includes an attached 134-bed Nursing Home, equipped with a 14-bed Alzheimer Unit. The hospital offers quality care through its skilled staff and up-to-date facilities.

For additional information, contact the hospital at (828) 837-8161, or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Fundraisers Support Community Programs

Murphy Medical Center staff members and volunteers presented checks to two local organizations from fundraisers hosted throughout the year.

“We appreciate Murphy Medical Center and their sponsorship and continued support of the Relay for Life of Cherokee and Clay Counties,” said America Cancer Society staff member Valerie Norton upon receiving the $1,000 check. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer.

Presented with a $250 check, Greta Byrd, Regional Director of the North Carolina Autism Society said, “We can’t thank Murphy Medical Center enough for their support. This donation will come right back to western North Carolina to support resources for the families living with autism.” April is National Autism Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all.

Top photo: Cancer survivors Denese Goins, Mike Stevenson, Maxine Hill, America Cancer Society Staff Valerie Norton, Relay for Life Event Lead for Cherokee County Sarah Smith, Dona Adams and Donna Miller (from left) Bottom photo: Eve Brown, Deena Collins, Veronica Shook presenting check to Greta Byrd, Regional Director of the Autism Society of North Carolina from Asheville, and Eva Robinson (from left)

Top photo: Cancer survivors Denese Goins, Mike Stevenson, Maxine Hill, America Cancer Society Staff Valerie Norton, Relay for Life Event Lead for Cherokee County Sarah Smith, Dona Adams and Donna Miller (from left)
Bottom photo: Eve Brown, Deena Collins, Veronica Shook presenting check to Greta Byrd, Regional Director of the Autism Society of North Carolina from Asheville, and Eva Robinson (from left)

Hospital Staff Acknowledged During National Donate Life Month

Murphy Medical Center employees were recognized for enrolling as organ and tissue donors at a ceremony held at the hospital on April 21.

“LifeShare of the Carolinas would like to thank Murphy Medical Center employees for improving lives through organ, tissue, and eye donation,” said Vahisha Steadman during the certificate presentation.

Organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation provide a second chance at life for thousands of people each year. Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine, but despite continuing advances, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.

National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

“Murphy Medical Center currently has over 173 employee organ and tissue donors,” said Vonda Boone, Clinical Quality Analyst Manager, and the hospital’s LifeShare liaison. “In addition, we have employees and family members who have themselves benefited from organ and tissue donations.”

Currently, nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. By deciding to be a donor, you give the gift of hope for the thousands of individuals awaiting organ transplants and hope for the millions of individuals whose lives could be enhanced through tissue transplants.

Additional information regarding enrolling as an organ and tissue donor can be found online at www.lifesharecarolinas.org.

Murphy Medical Center staff members joined Vahisha Steadman (shown center) for the certificate presentation, acknowledging the hospital’s efforts in supporting organ, eye and tissue donations. Hospital CEO Mike Stevenson, Paul Brown, Pat Wikstrom, Renee Nicely, Vahisha Steadman, Vonda Boone, Chris Woods, Monique Matheny and Connie Ensley participated in the April 21 event (shown from left)

Murphy Medical Center staff members joined Vahisha Steadman (shown center) for the certificate presentation, acknowledging the hospital’s efforts in supporting organ, eye and tissue donations. Hospital CEO Mike Stevenson, Paul Brown, Pat Wikstrom, Renee Nicely, Vahisha Steadman, Vonda Boone, Chris Woods, Monique Matheny and Connie Ensley participated in the April 21 event (shown from left)

Hospital’s Thrift Store Recognized for Outstanding Service

Murphy Medical Center staff members honored the volunteers of Granny’s Attic Thrift store in Hayesville with a certificate of appreciation at an event held on March 28.

The framed resolution, signed by the hospital’s board of directors, noted contributions the organization made since opening in 1985.

“Granny’s Attic has donated over $600,000 of profits to help our local communities,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services. “Through the enthusiastic efforts of our volunteers, they have also provided education scholarships and equipment for Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice to help provide essential medical services to those in need.”

Granny’s Attic celebrated 30 years of service in 2015 and was recognized by Hayesville Mayor Harry Baughn for excellent service to the community. They received the 2015 Governor’s Award signed by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory for outstanding dedication and commitment to volunteer work in Clay County and surrounding areas.

“Our volunteers are a remarkable, energetic group of talented people who give of their time tirelessly,” added Campbell. “We’d also like to thank everyone who shops at Granny’s Attic and those who generously donate merchandise and gently-used clothing for resale.”

Granny’s Attic is located at 200 Highway 64 West in Hayesville, in Suite B next to Subway. Donations of items are accepted during hours of operation which are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/auxiliary.

Hospital administration and auxiliary members gather for the certificate of appreciation presentation. Toni Lovingood, Eva Robinson, Kathy Parker, Betty Kelly, Mary Carol Campbell, Barbara Walsh, Lynne Bell, Lee Brown and Mike Stevenson at the March 28 event. (shown from left)

Hospital administration and auxiliary members gather for the certificate of appreciation presentation. Toni Lovingood, Eva Robinson, Kathy Parker, Betty Kelly, Mary Carol Campbell, Barbara Walsh, Lynne Bell, Lee Brown and Mike Stevenson at the March 28 event. (shown from left)

Recognizing National Volunteer Week

Murphy Medical Center joined organizations throughout the country to celebrate the dedication and contributions of their volunteers.

President Richard Nixon established April 6-12 as National Volunteer Week with an executive order in 1974, as a way to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers. Since then, the original emphasis on celebration has widened; the week has become a nationwide effort to urge people to get out and volunteer in their communities. Every April, charities, hospitals, and communities recognize volunteers and foster a culture of service.

Murphy Medical Center currently has over 140 active volunteers who generously gave over 16,000 hours of service last year. They are a vital component of the Peachtree facility – assisting visitors, patients and family members, helping maintain the hospital grounds and providing help wherever it’s needed.

“I worked in a large hospital in another state for 35 years, but the atmosphere and the people here at Murphy Medical Center are what make this small hospital so special,” said Marilyn Brown, auxiliary president, gift shop volunteer and hospital foundation board member. “From administration to the volunteers to the staff, all the people I have met have blessed me.”

The hospital’s auxiliary is also instrumental in helping raise money for ancillary medical equipment and donating to charitable organizations in our local communities. In January, volunteers of Granny’s Attic Thrift Store in Hayesville presented a record-setting check for $63,345 to Murphy Medical Center’s Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice. The auxiliary staff also helped raise over $57,000 through their various fundraisers.

“The support that Granny’s attic volunteers give each other is what is so special to me,” said Lee Brown, Granny’s Attic president. “We are such a close knit group, we take care of each other and feel like we are family.”

Murphy Medical Center is Cherokee county’s second-largest employer with its business units including Murphy Group Practice, Urgent Care Center, Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy Center, Peachtree Athletic and Rehabilitation Center (PARC), Nursing Home and Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/auxiliary.

Volunteers gathered for their quarterly business meeting at Murphy Medical Center. Shown are Marilyn Brown, Jo Ann Hutchinson, Denora Ramsey, Lynne Bell, Lee Brown, Karen Robinson (seated from left), Eva Robinson, Lisa Dunn-Evans, Betty Kelly, Barbara Walsh, Sandra Raab, Elizabeth Carroll, Tamra Corley-Dunn, Carmen Markham, Tammy Jones, Ida Holmes (second row from left), Jearold Stiles, Doris Carringer, Alice Hopstock, Linda Kennedy, Lois Robley, Bill Gamble, Fern Dennis, Harold Gilleland, Rae Harper, Kathy and Leon Parker, and Mary Carol Campbell (back row from left)

Volunteers gathered for their quarterly business meeting at Murphy Medical Center. Shown are Marilyn Brown, Jo Ann Hutchinson, Denora Ramsey, Lynne Bell, Lee Brown, Karen Robinson (seated from left), Eva Robinson, Lisa Dunn-Evans, Betty Kelly, Barbara Walsh, Sandra Raab, Elizabeth Carroll, Tamra Corley-Dunn, Carmen Markham, Tammy Jones, Ida Holmes (second row from left), Jearold Stiles, Doris Carringer, Alice Hopstock, Linda Kennedy, Lois Robley, Bill Gamble, Fern Dennis, Harold Gilleland, Rae Harper, Kathy and Leon Parker, and Mary Carol Campbell (back row from left)

Staffers Replace Suits and Scrubs With Gowns to Promote Patient Safety

Murphy Medical Center employees donned hospital gowns and pledged to promote patient safety during the 2016 Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19. Staff members, which included senior administrators, supervisors and department managers, joined nurses, clinical technicians, business office representatives, housekeeping, dietary and plant operations personnel in wearing gowns to commemorate the weeklong event.

Established by the National Patient Safety Foundation (www.npsf.org), the Patient Safety campaign highlights and reinforces that all of us within the health care system have a role to play in keeping patients safe and free from harm.

“We are all patients, and the gown is a reminder of why we do what we do,” said Connie Ensley, Director of Quality at the hospital’s Peachtree facility. “Patient safety is our number-one concern, we’re very proud our track record and ongoing work to keep all patients free from harm. It is the responsibility of everyone at Murphy Medical Center to ensure a safe environment for our employees, patients and visitors.”

One of the hospital’s safety initiatives is the “Ask Me 3” program, designed to bring public and physician attention to health literacy, by encouraging patients to ask three questions each time they talk to a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist:

What is my main problem?
What do I need to do?
Why is it important for me to do this?

“The “Ask Me 3” program is vital to help keep patients informed and safe,” Ensley added. “Providing our communities with high-quality, patient-centered care is more than just our motto, it’s our way of life.”

Murphy Medical Center is Cherokee county’s second-largest employer with its business units including Murphy Group Practice, Urgent Care Center, Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy Center, Peachtree Athletic and Rehabilitation Center (PARC), Nursing Home and Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice. For more information, call the hospital at (828) 837-8161 or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Murphy Medical Center staff members donned hospital gowns in support of 2016 Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19. Connie Ensley, Rachel Snow, Karen Ellis, Julie Reagan, Kati Trammel, Elizabeth King, Samantha Carrol (front row from left), Eddie McDonald, associate Melissa McCubbin, Amber Ammons, Sherrie Simmons, Erica Davis, Kathy Johnson (second row from left), Carol Phillips, Evelyn Gibbey, Larissa Beard, Grace Wall, Megan Hughes, Gabi Farmer, Virginia Monkus, Carolyn Sabine, Lynette Oquendo, Mary Jane Burns, Dona Adams (third row from left), Dr. Terrance Doan, Steve Gilgen, Keith Parker, Carol Campbell, Bernie Crawford, Diane Dockery, Jessica Thurston, Terry Green and Chris Woods (back row from left)

Murphy Medical Center staff members donned hospital gowns in support of 2016 Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 13-19. Connie Ensley, Rachel Snow, Karen Ellis, Julie Reagan, Kati Trammel, Elizabeth King, Samantha Carrol (front row from left), Eddie McDonald, associate Melissa McCubbin, Amber Ammons, Sherrie Simmons, Erica Davis, Kathy Johnson (second row from left), Carol Phillips, Evelyn Gibbey, Larissa Beard, Grace Wall, Megan Hughes, Gabi Farmer, Virginia Monkus, Carolyn Sabine, Lynette Oquendo, Mary Jane Burns, Dona Adams (third row from left), Dr. Terrance Doan, Steve Gilgen, Keith Parker, Carol Campbell, Bernie Crawford, Diane Dockery, Jessica Thurston, Terry Green and Chris Woods (back row from left)

Hospital’s Expansion Adds Healthcare Providers

Murphy Medical Center today announced the addition of two physicians to their Murphy Group Practice business unit.

Urologist Dr. Jeffrey Martin expands his affiliation with the hospital, and will continue serving patients in his current office adjacent to Murphy Medical Center in Peachtree. Martin’s practice focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary tract system and the male reproductive organs. Martin is board certified with the American Board of Urology. He received his medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and has been in practice for over 13 years.

Internal Medicine specialist Dr. Laneau Hayes rejoins the staff of Murphy Medical Center and will be serving patients at the hospital’s Multispecialty Clinic located in Hayesville. Hayes’s practice focuses on performing physical exams and treating a wide spectrum of common illnesses in adult men and women. Hayes is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been practicing for over 34 years. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine.

Martin-Hayes-web“We’re very pleased to add these two outstanding healthcare providers to our team,” said hospital CEO Mike Stevenson. “As our facilities grow, we continually seek out those professionals who best serve the growing needs of our local communities.”

Murphy Medical Center is Cherokee county’s second-largest employer with its business units including Murphy Group Practice, Urgent Care Center, Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy Center, Peachtree Athletic and Rehabilitation Center (PARC), Nursing Home and Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice. For more information, call the hospital at (828) 837-8161 or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Hospital Staffers Stay Pumped To Save Lives

Staff members of Murphy Medical Center are always within earshot of the hospital’s public address system, and a “Code Blue” announcement causes teams of highly trained professionals to race into action.

“Code Blue” is used to indicate a patient requiring resuscitation or in need of immediate medical attention, most often as the result of a respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest.

To maintain their constant state of readiness, hospital personnel attend hands-on review sessions like the one given on March 2nd and 3rd.

“We’re here to save lives and to constantly strive to improve the quality of our patient care,” said Diane Dockery, Professional Development Coordinator at the Peachtree facility.

The forty-five minute review sessions are mandatory for all nurses and nursing assistants. With the use of a sophisticated simulation mannequin, the participants are presented with multiple emergency scenarios – each of which calls for quick thinking, rapid response and hands-on participation.

“These scenarios help keep our staff well prepared for emergent situations like these,” added Dockery. “In addition to reviewing the actual resuscitative techniques, our staff knows the locations of every code cart, and are well-prepared to use the lifesaving equipment.”

For additional information, please contact Murphy Medical Center at (828) 837-8161, or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Tri-County Community College instructor Bryan Gagon (shown second from left) leads hospital staff members Sarah Payne, Trenace Gambell, Kim Ledford, Brittany George, Diane Dockery, Debbie Lee and Daniel Killian (from left) through multiple “Code Blue” resuscitative techniques, using the college’s simulation mannequin

Tri-County Community College instructor Bryan Gagon (shown second from left) leads hospital staff members Sarah Payne, Trenace Gambell, Kim Ledford, Brittany George, Diane Dockery, Debbie Lee and Daniel Killian (from left) through multiple “Code Blue” resuscitative techniques, using the college’s simulation mannequin

Employees and Volunteers Support Residential Treatment Center

Murphy Medical Center employee Donna Cross presents a $500 check to Christian Love/Renewed Hope Ministries Executive Director Dr. Larry Payne and Finance Officer Richard Harburn, accompanied by hospital staff members Clide Senecal and Paul Brown (shown from left). The funds for the donation were raised through fundraisers by Murphy Medical Center employees, and will aid in the treatment center’s kitchen renovation project.

Christian-Love-check-donation-02232016-web“We’d like to thank all of the employees of Murphy Medical Center for their generous donation,” said Payne. “We thrive on the goodwill of everyone who supports our center through donations and by shopping at our thrift stores.”

Founded in 1986, Christian Love Ministries offers a one-year program, focused on biblical teachings which address the roots of drug and alcohol addictions. Since its inception, the program has helped hundreds of participants break the chains of addiction to reclaim control of their lives.

“Our employees are extremely supportive of all of our fundraisers and we are grateful for their generosity,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Murphy Medical Center’s volunteer services. “Funds raised through these activities are donated back to worthwhile charities in our communities.”

If you would like more information about Christian Love/Renewed Hope Ministries, or the services they provide, please contact them at (828) 837-7086 or via email at clmrecovery777@gmail.com.

Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy Center
Promotes American Heart Month

Heart health is one of the most important factors that can affect wound healing. Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States, and these wounds cost more than $50 billion annually. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possible amputation of the affected limb.

“Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and other issues with the heart and vessels can hinder blood flow, oxygen and nutrition to a wound,” explains D. Scott Covington, MD, FACS, chief medical officer for Healogics. “February is American Heart Month and an opportunity for patients to understand how their heart can affect their wound healing.”

Murphy Medical Center’s Wound Care & Hyperbaric Therapy Center, a member of the Healogics, Inc. network, offers the following tips to live a heart-healthy life:

• Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
• Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind, as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
• Eat a diet that is heart-healthy. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
• Ensure you get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
• Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
• See your healthcare provider for regular screenings. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings.

For more information, call (828) 835-4692, or visit the Wound Care and Hyperbaric Therapy Center located at 183 Ledford Street, in the large log cabin on Hwy. 19/74 in Murphy. Additional information is available online at www.murphymedical.org.

Shown with one of the Wound Care Center’s two Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers are Caryn Beavers, Janet Shively, Glenda McTaggart, Marjorie Ferrell, Dr. Mark Leski, Donna Shumate, Dr. Dana Conner, Shannon Chastain and Elisabeth Chastain (from left)

Shown with one of the Wound Care Center’s two Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chambers are Caryn Beavers, Janet Shively, Glenda McTaggart, Marjorie Ferrell, Dr. Mark Leski, Donna Shumate, Dr. Dana Conner, Shannon Chastain and Elisabeth Chastain (from left)

Hospital Supports Children’s Advocacy Center

HAVEN-donation-02042016-webMurphy Medical Center employee Jessica Stiles and hospital volunteer Eva Robinson present a $300 check to HAVEN Executive Director Crystal Glenn and Victim’s Advocate Anna Breazeale (shown from left). The funds for the donation were raised through hospital fundraisers by Murphy Medical Center employees.

HAVEN (Hope For Abuse Victims Through Education and Nurturing) is a child advocacy center located in Murphy, whose mission is to reduce the trauma of violence committed against children, to educate the community about these crimes in effort to prevent future violence, and to strengthen the prosecution of offenders.

“Our employees generously support our hospital fundraisers throughout the year,” states Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Murphy Medical Center’s volunteer services. “The funds made through these events are donated back to worthwhile charities in our communities.”

If you would like more information about HAVEN Children’s Advocacy Center, or the services they provide, please contact them at 828-837-5872 or online at www.thenewhavencac.org.

Thrift Store Benefits Hospital’s Home Health & Hospice Agency

The volunteers of Granny’s Attic presented a record-setting check for $63,345 to Murphy Medical Center’s Good Shepherd Home Health & Hospice Agency during a luncheon held on January 19.

“We’d like to thank everyone in our community who shops at Granny’s Attic,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at Murphy Medical Center, “and everyone who supports us through their generous donations. Granny’s Attic has been in service since 1985, and has donated more than $600,000 to the community in those 30 years. Our volunteers are dedicated and work hard to provide used merchandise in good condition at a low cost to the community.”

Granny’s Attic volunteers operate the Hayesville-based thrift store, which sells gently used clothing and small household items. Its annual net proceeds are donated to Murphy Medical Center in support of its hospice services offered in Cherokee, Clay and Macon counties.

Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice provides skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, medical supplies, bereavement counseling and support groups, emergency response call button service, CAP case management, and various other services for those in need. In the past, Granny’s Attic donations have been used to purchase four-wheel drive company vehicles for nurses to monitor patients in inclement weather, laptop computers for mobile data acquisition, and providing additional healthcare services for their clients.

Granny’s Attic is located at 200 Highway 64 West in Hayesville, in Suite B next to Subway. Donations of items are accepted during hours of operation which are Wednesday through Saturday, 9am to 4pm.

For information on making a tax-deductible contribution to Murphy Medical Center, including gifts for Good Shepherd, contact Toni Lovingood, Foundation Director, at 835-7558.

Granny’s Attic President Joanne Guggisberg presents a $63,345 check to Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice manager Julie Yonce (shown center, from left).  Joining them for the presentation are Teresa Bowleg, Deena Collins, Eva Robinson, Sandy Jersey, Lee Brown, Jo Anne Hutchinson, Kathy Parker, Kathi Van Hall, Vonda Hohlman, Lisa Twiggs and Arnaldo Lugo

Granny’s Attic President Joanne Guggisberg presents a $63,345 check to Good Shepherd Home Health and Hospice manager Julie Yonce (shown center, from left). Joining them for the presentation are Teresa Bowleg, Deena Collins, Eva Robinson, Sandy Jersey, Lee Brown, Jo Anne Hutchinson, Kathy Parker, Kathi Van Hall, Vonda Hohlman, Lisa Twiggs and Arnaldo Lugo

Hospital’s Intravenous Therapy Nurses Recognized

Murphy Medical Center paid tribute to its dedicated staff of infusion nurses, observing Intravenous Nurse Day on January 25. Officially recognized by Congress in 1981, it is celebrated to honor the hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to the infusion specialty.

“Our infusion patients are like family members to us,” stated Katie Gore, Certified Registered Nurse for the hospital’s Infusion Therapy Department. “Their comfort and safety is always our prime concern.”

Carol Barbour (shown left) and Mary Lynn McKenzie (third from left) deliver a generous supply of “Lucy Mac Sacs” to Murphy Medical Center’s Infusion Therapy team members LaNita Harris (second from left) and Katie Gore (far right).  Created to honor the memory of their mother, Lucy McKenzie, the brightly-colored totes contain a variety of gifts to provide comfort and encouragement to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments

Carol Barbour (shown left) and Mary Lynn McKenzie (third from left) deliver a generous supply of “Lucy Mac Sacs” to Murphy Medical Center’s Infusion Therapy team members LaNita Harris (second from left) and Katie Gore (far right). Created to honor the memory of their mother, Lucy McKenzie, the brightly-colored totes contain a variety of gifts to provide comfort and encouragement to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments

Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is prescribed when a patient’s condition dictates that it cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Diseases commonly requiring infusion therapy include infections that are unresponsive to oral antibiotics, cancer and cancer-related pain, dehydration, gastrointestinal diseases or disorders which prevent normal functioning of the gastrointestinal system. Other conditions treated with specialty infusion therapies may include cancers, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s Disease, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Registered Nurse LaNita Harris is one of the team who have committed their lives to the hospital’s infusion patients. “Our Infusion Therapy Department provides the comfort our patients won’t find anywhere else, with the convenience of receiving their treatments closer to home.”

“Many people who are currently undergoing infusion therapy treatments elsewhere may not realize that their doctor’s treatment orders can be easily transferred here,” Gore added.

For additional information, contact the hospital’s Infusion Therapy Department at (828) 835-3691, or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Auxiliary Helps Local Scouts

Murphy Medical Center employees and Hayesville residents Virginia Monkus, Lynda Sullivan and Mary Carol Campbell present a $200 check to Girl Scout Lily Love of Troop 30407 and to Boy Scout leader Steverson Moffat of Troop 407 (from left). Looking on at left is Girl Scout leader Chip Harper.  The funds will be used to assist troop members in summer camp registration fees.  The funds are raised by Murphy Medical Center employees throughout the year and designated for community organizations.

Murphy Medical Center employees and Hayesville residents Virginia Monkus, Lynda Sullivan and Mary Carol Campbell present a $200 check to Girl Scout Lily Love of Troop 30407 and to Boy Scout leader Steverson Moffat of Troop 407 (from left). Looking on at left is Girl Scout leader Chip Harper. The funds will be used to assist troop members in summer camp registration fees. The funds are raised by Murphy Medical Center employees throughout the year and designated for community organizations.

Hospital Announces Promotions

Mike Stevenson, CEO of Murphy Medical Center, today announced three promotions within its rehabilitation and group practice divisions.

Nicole Mallard, BS, EP-C has been named Program Director of the hospital’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. Mallard joined the facility in 2013 and served as an exercise physiologist – orienting new patients to the program and monitoring their progress. In addition to managing all aspects of the department, Mallard will function as a liaison to the community by providing education on the importance of the program’s impact on regaining and living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Sarah Payne, RN has been named exercise specialist of the hospital’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. Payne joined the facility in 2008 and served in the hospital’s Maternal Infant Unit, caring for expectant mothers and newborns. Payne’s new responsibilities include supervision, monitoring and education of the hospital’s outpatient cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation patients.

Katie Moore, MSN, APRN, FNP-C joins the hospital’s Murphy Group Practice General Surgery, OB/GYN and Urology departments as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner. Moore joined the facility in 2008 and worked in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, followed by her appointment as Program Director of the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. Moore’s new responsibilities include assessing and treating patients, prescribing medication and diagnostic testing, performing medical procedures and patient education.

“I’m extremely proud to announce the promotions of these three talented staff members,” said Stevenson. “Our goal of providing high-quality, patient-centered care to our communities can only be achieved through the compassion and dedication which our staff strives to provide each and every day.”

Murphy Medical Center is a not-for-profit, private healthcare organization serving a seven-county area in western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee. It offers inpatient and outpatient services, physician services, nursing home care, and home health and hospice care. Since opening in 1979, Murphy Medical Center has expanded to meet the healthcare needs of its rural community and offers a spectrum of healthcare services that benefits its patients in all stages of their lives.

For additional information, call the hospital at (828) 837-8161, or visit online at www.murphymedical.org.

Practicing Disaster Preparedness

Murphy Medical Center conducted a readiness drill on November 20, simulating power outages and an interruption of supply deliveries due to road closings caused by heavy rain from a Category 1 hurricane.

The exercise focused on maintaining patient safety and comfort during a four-day period. Staff members from all departments were involved to gauge sustainability of medical supplies, oxygen, food, water, linen and generator fuel.

“These exercises underscore the importance of preparing for the unexpected,” said Chief Operating Officer Toni Lovingood. “Throughout the event, it was clear that the safety and comfort of our patients was everyone’s top priority.”

Safety Officer Russ Paine agreed. “These preparedness drills help us maintain a constant state of readiness. In the event of an actual emergency, we know the public will look to Murphy Medical Center as a trusted source of outstanding care.”

Murphy Medical Center staff members gather for a disaster preparedness drill simulating an interruption of supply deliveries due to storm-related road closings. Kim Shepherd, Teresa Bowleg, Toni Lovingood, Carol Campbell, Russ Paine, Steve Gilgen and Steve Wittenberg (at table, clockwise) join David Witt, Pat Wikstrom, Chris Woods, Trudy Brackett, Mary Hughes, Karen Ellis, Connie Ensley and Diane Dockery (from left) for the readiness drill.

  Murphy Medical Center staff members gather for a disaster preparedness drill simulating an interruption of supply deliveries due to storm-related road closings. Kim Shepherd, Teresa Bowleg, Toni Lovingood, Carol Campbell, Russ Paine, Steve Gilgen and Steve Wittenberg (at table, clockwise) join David Witt, Pat Wikstrom, Chris Woods, Trudy Brackett, Mary Hughes, Karen Ellis, Connie Ensley and Diane Dockery (from left) for the readiness drill.

Auxiliary Provides Warming Comfort for Endoscopy Patients

Murphy Medical Center’s volunteers recently purchased a blanket warmer for the hospital’s endoscopy department from proceeds generated through their yearly fundraising activities.

Commercial blanket warmers, which typically cost upwards of $5,000, are a welcome addition to patients undergoing tests or treatment.

“We’re pleased to offer our patients a warm blanket as they wait for their procedure or are in recovery,” said endoscopy nurse Tammy Beasley. “It makes all the difference in the world for them to be warm and comfortable.”

Murphy Medical Center auxiliary president Marilyn Brown, nurse Doris Soles and volunteer Connie Barry shown with the new blanket warmer purchased for the hospital’s endoscopy department (from left)

Murphy Medical Center auxiliary president Marilyn Brown, nurse Doris Soles and volunteer Connie Barry shown with the new blanket warmer purchased for the hospital’s endoscopy department (from left)

The hospital’s auxiliary raises funds through jewelry, art, purse and nut sales, and has provided waiting room televisions, wheelchairs, blanket warmers, and helped purchase a van to safely transport wheelchair patients.

“We’re especially grateful for the support our communities give to our fundraising events,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services at the Peachtree facility. “We’ve just begun our annual pecan sale fundraiser, and are looking forward to helping purchase even more equipment for the safety and comfort of our patients.”

Murphy Medical Center currently has over 140 active volunteers, who contribute thousands of hours to help make the hospital and local communities a better place.

“Our volunteers are pleased to be able to provide this blanket warmer for the endoscopy department,” said auxiliary president Marilyn Brown. “We appreciate the opportunity to help make a positive impact on patient care.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org/auxiliary.

Employees Provide Mobility Equipment To Those In Need

Two Murphy Medical Center employees have joined forces to help residents of Cherokee and Clay counties seeking short-term loans of medical mobility equipment.

Richelle Thomas, physical therapy assistant, and Wesley Phillips, plant operations mechanic, founded Mobilizing Hope as a non-profit organization which provides free medical equipment loans for up to sixty days.

Richelle Thomas and Wesley Phillips of Mobilizing Hope shown with some of the medical equipment rentals available to Cherokee and Clay County residents (from left)

Richelle Thomas and Wesley Phillips of Mobilizing Hope shown with some of the medical equipment rentals available to Cherokee and Clay County residents (from left)

“We saw the need to help people who couldn’t afford to purchase, or whose insurance may have restricted their access to the equipment needed to safely get around,” Thomas said. “Our goal is to expedite the process and provide these free equipment loans as quickly as possible.”

With the help of cash donations and equipment donated by the hospital and local communities, Thomas and Phillips maintain a small storage warehouse in Andrews, ensuring the items are clean and always in top-working order.

“Some of the most requested items are crutches, walkers and wheelchairs,” Phillips said. “We also have requests for hospital beds, specialty chairs and mechanical lifts.”

The pair plans to expand Mobilizing Hope’s scope of services by adding more equipment, a storefront location, and a volunteer staff for equipment delivery and donation pickup.

“We believe in helping those in need in our local communities,” Thomas added. “Helping people regain their mobility is one of the most important things we can do.”

For more information, or to donate to Mobilizing Hope, call (828) 557-0310 or online at www.facebook.com/MobilizingHope

Education and Networking Event Still Running Strong

Hosting over 3,000 attendees since its 2013 inception, Murphy Medical Center’s Ladies’ Night Out shows no signs of losing momentum as it gallops into its third season.

In addition to providing a venue for participants to socialize and network, Ladies’ Night Out attendees have been treated to a wide variety of presenters – from a certified laugh therapist, to a panel of healthcare specialists fielding questions from the audience. The casual atmosphere provides a unique opportunity to relax, meet new people and re-connect with old friends.

Donning their derby finery, Murphy Medical Center’s Ladies’ Night Out team members and friends share a moment with Belgian horse Camelot at McGuire’s Millrace Farm. Joining Camelot are Lynn Stepp, Amy Stanley, Debbie Childs, Mary Carol Campbell and Barbara Brown (from left)

Donning their derby finery, Murphy Medical Center’s Ladies’ Night Out team members and friends share a moment with Belgian horse Camelot at McGuire’s Millrace Farm. Joining Camelot are Lynn Stepp, Amy Stanley, Debbie Childs, Mary Carol Campbell and Barbara Brown (from left)

“This year’s May event paired local optometrists Lynn and Jeff Taylor with a Kentucky Derby theme,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer services at the hospital. “Everyone seems to have a wonderful time. The feedback we receive each month underscores the attendees’ appreciation of these worthwhile events.” A recent Ladies’ Night Out participant commented, “I’ve been to several of these types of events at various organizations over the years, but this was, by far, the best and most unique I’ve ever been to. Thank you for doing this for us.”

“This program has additional benefits for our local communities too,” added Campbell. “We give an extra door prize ticket to anyone who brings a canned or dry good to donate to the local food bank. We’ve been doing that every month now, and the amount of contributions has been heartwarming.”

Ladies’ Night Out is held the first Tuesday of each month at McGuire’s Millrace Farm in Murphy from 5:30-6:30 pm. The free event is open to all ladies 13 and over. The October 6th event will feature general surgeon Dr. Barry Davis, whose topic, “Getting to know the girls” will discuss breast cancer prevention, treatment and post-surgical restoration options for women.

For more information, or to become a sponsor, please contact Mary Carol Campbell at (828) 835-3667 or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Hospital Extends ACR Ultrasound Accreditation

Murphy Medical Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in ultrasound as the result of an extensive review by the American College of Radiology (ACR). Ultrasound imaging, also known as sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body parts to help providers diagnose illness, injury, or other medical problems.

“We are pleased to announce the renewal of this accreditation,” said Paul Brown, Radiology Manager. “The fact that we’ve achieved it eighteen years in a row is quite an accomplishment.”

Murphy Medical Center registered sonographers Teresa Creasman and Debbie Childs demonstrate an ultrasound imaging device used in the hospital’s radiology department (from left)

Murphy Medical Center registered sonographers Teresa Creasman and Debbie Childs demonstrate an ultrasound imaging device used in the hospital’s radiology department (from left)

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards, following a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

The ACR is a national professional organization serving more than 36,000 diagnostic/interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.

“We’re very proud of this accomplishment,” Brown added. “With eighteen consecutive years of ACR accreditation, our clients can be sure they are receiving first-rate care provided by our skillful and experienced staff.”

For additional information, contact the hospital’s Radiology Department at (828) 835-7540, or visit Murphy Medical Center’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Murphy Medical Center Promotes Faith Community Nursing Program

Healthcare providers like Judy Herr know the importance of caring for their patients on many different levels.

A registered nurse for the past 16 years at Murphy Medical Center, Herr is one of over 15,000 practitioners worldwide providing both traditional and spiritual care for their patients as part of the Faith Community Nursing program.

Faith Community Nursing, also known as Parish Nursing, was formally established by the American Nurses Association in 2005, although its international origins date back to the 1800’s. To become a faith community nurse, a registered nurse must have a minimum of five years of clinical experience, maintain a current state license, and have completed a parish nurse course as recognized by the American Nurses Association.

“One of our goals is to provide spiritual comfort and care throughout the healing process,” stated Herr. “Working with our local churches, we’re able to help educate and inform congregation members about resources available in our local communities.”

One of the local churches actively supporting Faith Community Nursing is Shepherd of the Mountains in Murphy, where the program was established in 2013.

Donna Stone, a faith community nurse and congregation member, encourages everyone to participate regardless of denomination.

“We have an enthusiastic group gathering twice a week for exercise and fellowship,” Stone said at a recent morning walk at Murphy’s Konehete Park. “We’re able to meditate on our blessings as we enjoy these beautiful surroundings.”

The Faith Community Nursing Program encourages nurses to advocate within their church congregations, tapping into the diverse needs of faith communities in the region. Licensed registered nurses work on a volunteer basis as church-friendly educators to address disease prevention and start dialogues about healthy living. Each faith community nurse works within his or her church, combining professional experience with personal spiritual ministry.

To learn more about how to become involved or begin a discussion about healthcare in your church, call Judy Herr, Faith Community Nurse Coordinator at (828) 361-0230, or visit Murphy Medical Center’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Enjoying an early morning walk and fellowship in Konehete Park are Judy Herr, Donna Stone, Kathryn Gamble, Carol Scharbau, Kathy Pioch, Joanie Clinton, Peggy Flannigan, Jane Danforth, Diane Olans and Connie Barry (from left)

Enjoying an early morning walk and fellowship in Konehete Park are Judy Herr, Donna Stone, Kathryn Gamble, Carol Scharbau, Kathy Pioch, Joanie Clinton, Peggy Flannigan, Jane Danforth, Diane Olans and Connie Barry (from left)

Nurse Intern Program Graduates Recognized

Eleven nursing program graduate students from Tri-County Community College, Gardner-Webb University and Western Carolina University were recognized on June 25 for successfully completing an intensive six-week orientation program at Murphy Medical Center.

“I’m very proud of these outstanding nurses,” stated Diane Dockery, Professional Development Coordinator, who mentored the group throughout the rigorous program. “Each one of them showed exemplary compassion and dedication to excellence we strive to provide for our patients and their families every day.”

Throughout the six week program, the nurses completed orientation education, expanded their hands-on experience with healthcare equipment and gained a better understanding of how their jobs impacted others. In addition to their full-time commitment, all of the nurses were preparing for their upcoming RN board examinations.

While working at their individual specialties of study, the nurses also received training in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Medical-Surgical Unit, Operating Room and Emergency Department to provide a greater understanding of inter-departmental collaboration – a necessity in today’s healthcare system.

“This is an amazing group of individuals we have the pleasure to be working with”, Dockery added. “Each one is an asset to Murphy Medical Center and to everyone in our local communities.”

As Cherokee County’s largest employer, Murphy Medical Center currently has over 530 full and part time workers on staff, including over 400 nursing care providers. For more information, call (828) 837-8161, or visit the hospital’s website at www.murphymedical.org.

Nurse intern program graduate students join instructor Diane Dockery (shown far right) at the hospital’s entrance - Brittany Stiles, Jenna Anderson, Samantha Garrett, Rachael Dickey, Amber Cole, Abby Moody (front from left), Tobi Sellers, Rebecca Hand, Byron Barnett, Erica Hicks and Kaitlin Bourscheid (back from left)

Nurse intern program graduate students join instructor Diane Dockery (shown far right) at the hospital’s entrance – Brittany Stiles, Jenna Anderson, Samantha Garrett, Rachael Dickey, Amber Cole, Abby Moody (front from left), Tobi Sellers, Rebecca Hand, Byron Barnett, Erica Hicks and Kaitlin Bourscheid (back from left)

Teams Rally To Support United Way

Employees and volunteers of Murphy Medical Center presented a $2,000 check to the United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties on July 2, recognizing the agency for their essential community service.

“This is another shining example of how our hospital helps our local communities,” stated Mike Stevenson, CEO. “In addition to providing excellent care for our patients, our employees and volunteers always go the extra mile to support many worthy charitable causes.”

Murphy Medical Center hosts approximately ten fundraisers throughout the year, with proceeds used to provide educational scholarships, purchase new equipment and support local charitable organizations.

Karen Borchers, Executive Director of United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties (shown far right), receives a $2,000 check from hospital employee Lynnette Oquendo, volunteer Eva Robinson, employees Linda Bata, Denise Palmer, Amy Crisp and hospital employee and United Way Treasurer Paul DeMichael (shown from left)

Karen Borchers, Executive Director of United Way of Cherokee and Clay Counties (shown far right), receives a $2,000 check from hospital employee Lynnette Oquendo, volunteer Eva Robinson, employees Linda Bata, Denise Palmer, Amy Crisp and hospital employee and United Way Treasurer Paul DeMichael (shown from left)

‘Lifesavers’ Support American Cancer Society

Murphy Medical Center employees, families and volunteers raised over $5,800.00 for the Cherokee/Clay Counties Relay for Life event, with activities culminating at the annual walk held June 26 at Konehete Park.

“I’m overwhelmed at the level of support by everyone who helped make this event a success,” said Dona Adams, coordinator of the hospital’s ‘Lifesavers’ team. “Although Friday evening’s event was cut short by the rain, it didn’t dampen the level of enthusiasm our team showed for this very worthy cause.”

The Murphy Medical Center Lifesavers held bake sales, hosted an employee’s jeans day, sponsored games, organized fundraising activities and sold barbeque sandwich plates at Friday’s event.

“I especially want to thank those brave souls that showed up Friday night at the relay in the midst of a storm to support our team by either helping to work our tent or those who came out to support us,” Adams added. “Despite the rain and lighting putting an abrupt end to the relay, we managed to raise nearly $600.00 on barbeque dinner plate sales.”

Murphy Medical Center’s Lifesavers team braving the elements at Friday night’s event (shown from left) Michelle Stegner, Monique Matheny, Laura and Pierson Hughes, Eve Brown, Newell Collins, Baylor and Jennifer Eller, Pam Barmore, Dona Adams, Deena Collins, Scott Schultze, Lynn Oquendo, Angie, Reagan and Belle Schultze.

Murphy Medical Center’s Lifesavers team braving the elements at Friday night’s event (shown from left) Michelle Stegner, Monique Matheny, Laura and Pierson Hughes, Eve Brown, Newell Collins, Baylor and Jennifer Eller, Pam Barmore, Dona Adams, Deena Collins, Scott Schultze, Lynnette Oquendo, Angie, Reagan and Belle Schultze.

Murphy Student Honored For Work With Seniors

Seth Laney, a fifth-grade student at Murphy Elementary School, was recognized for his ongoing efforts to benefit the residents of Murphy Medical Center’s Nursing Home.

Friends, family and hospital staff members joined Laney on May 19 to celebrate his enthusiastic fundraising efforts, which yielded a bounty of art supplies and colorful gifts for the facility’s residents.

“I wanted to buy them nice things,” Laney said. “It makes them feel special and makes me feel good at the same time.”

Proudly displaying his certificate of achievement and a selection of his gifts for the nursing home residents, Seth Laney is joined by Long Term Care Ombudsman Larry Reeves, Seth’s mother Angie Roach, and Sarajane Melton, Director of Southwestern Commission - Area Agency on Aging (shown from left)

Proudly displaying his certificate of achievement and a selection of his gifts for the nursing home residents, Seth Laney is joined by Long Term Care Ombudsman Larry Reeves, Seth’s mother Angie Roach, and Sarajane Melton, Director of Southwestern Commission – Area Agency on Aging (shown from left)

Seth’s fundraising efforts have been ongoing for two years, and are enthusiastically supported by friends, family members and the congregation of Hanging Dog Baptist Church. The event marked his third contribution to the residents of the nursing home.

“He’s a fine young fellow with a big heart,” said Amy Stanley, Vice President of the hospital’s Long Term Care unit. “On behalf of our residents and staff, I’d like to thank Seth for his caring and generous gifts.”

The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of a Certificate of Achievement from Sarajane Melton, Director of Southwestern Commission – Area Agency on Aging, and Long Term Care Ombudsman Larry Reeves.

Seth proudly displayed his plaque, which read, “The Southwestern Commission – Area Agency on Aging hereby recognizes Seth Laney on behalf of the residents of Murphy Medical Center Nursing Home. His compassion and passion as demonstrated for the residents is extraordinary and deserving of affirmation. This presentation is given on the 19th day of May 2015, during the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Older Americans Act and the recognition of Older Americans month.”

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Congress passed the Older Americans Act in 1965 in response to concern by policymakers about a lack of community social services for older persons. The original legislation established authority for grants to States for community planning and social services, research and development projects, and personnel training in the field of aging. The law also established the Administration on Aging to administer the newly created grant programs and to serve as the Federal focal point on matters concerning older persons.

The Murphy Medical Center Nursing Home is a 134-bed facility which has been in operation since 1978. It includes a full-service physical therapy department with a fully-trained, licensed staff under the leadership of an experienced administration team. With its convenient attachment to a full-service hospital, the skilled nursing facility team has immediate access to laboratory and radiology departments, a pharmacy, medication management services and additional medical support in case of emergency.

For more information, contact Murphy Medical Center’s Nursing Home at (828) 835-7580, or online at www.murphymedical.org.

Supporting ACS Relay For Life

Murphy Medical Center employees and volunteers donated $1,000.00 to the American Cancer Society on May 19. The donation was made possible through various fundraising activities, including jewelry, book and scrubs sales held throughout the year.

The hospital’s relay team, Murphy Medical Center Lifesavers, has about 40 walkers who will participate in the Cherokee/Clay Counties Relay for Life walk on June 26 at Konehete Park. If you would like to join the team, please call Dona Murphy at 835-7502.

Presenting the check to Cherokee County’s Relay for Life event chairman Sarrah Allen (shown left) is hospital relay team captain Dona Murphy, Donna Miller, volunteer Alice Hopstock, Maxine Hill and Ramona Bryson. (shown from left)

Presenting the check to Cherokee County’s Relay for Life event chairman Sarrah Allen (shown left) is hospital relay team captain Dona Murphy, Donna Miller, volunteer Alice Hopstock, Maxine Hill and Ramona Bryson. (shown from left)

Promoting Hearing, Speech and Swallowing Awareness

Murphy Medical Center is spotlighting the importance of early detection and treatment of communication disorders during “May is Better Hearing & Speech Month,” and of swallowing disorders for National Dysphagia Awareness month in June.

Roughly 40 million Americans experience problems with their hearing, speech or swallowing — all vital components of daily living.

“Having full access to these abilities cannot be overstated,” said Paula Hall, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who has been with the hospital 11 years. “Many people have become accustomed to living with conditions that, in some cases, can be alleviated through therapy or by simple lifestyle changes.”

Emily Peacock (center), a WCU student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders, is given a demonstration of a flexible endoscopic evaluation swallowing unit by Murphy Medical Center’s speech-language pathologists Lindsay Campana and Paula Hall (shown from left)

Emily Peacock (center), a WCU student studying Communication Sciences and Disorders, is given a demonstration of a flexible endoscopic evaluation swallowing unit by Murphy Medical Center’s speech-language pathologists Lindsay Campana and Paula Hall (shown from left)

Hall cited symptoms of swallowing difficulties —including frequent coughing, choking or unintended weight loss — which, in some cases, could be alleviated simply by eliminating the use of common drinking straws while swallowing liquids. Some patients experiencing swallowing difficulties may find thicker liquids easier to ingest than thinner ones.

“Diet modifications and compensatory techniques, such as eating more slowly, taking smaller bites and adjusting body or chin position can have a dramatic effect on the person’s quality of life,” said Lindsay Campana, an SLP who has been with the hospital four years. Treatment can vary from exercises for weak muscles to the development of an individualized swallowing program. In many cases, improvement is evident within the first few treatment sessions.

Depending on a person’s specific condition, an SLP can assist in potentially life-enhancing treatment. In the case of someone with oral cancer, for instance, an SLP can deliver treatment that includes helping the person get used to the differences in the size, shape, and feel of the mouth. The SLP can teach the person how to produce speech sounds more clearly and develop better control over weakened muscles in the mouth or throat.

“Our goal is to provide a treatment plan to improve our patients’ overall health, happiness and independence,” added Campana. “Restoring their ability to express themselves to loved ones helps them regain their self-sufficiency.”

Speech, language or swallowing disorders may result from medical conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, brain injury or tumors, head and neck cancer, injury or surgery to the head and neck, or progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis or ALS. Adults may also experience speech-language disorders that have persisted since childhood, such as stuttering. Hearing loss is among the most common conditions affecting older Americans. In fact, according to an AARP-ASHA poll that was taken in 2011, a significant percentage of baby boomers have untreated hearing loss. Hearing and balance issues are also risk factors for falls—a serious concern for the older population—that may result in significant injury or death.

Untreated loss of hearing, speech or swallowing may be associated with anxiety, depression, reduced quality of life, and even early onset of dementia—all of which support the critical importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Family members and friends can assist a loved one with a communication disorder in numerous ways—including finding a medical specialist, accompanying him or her to appointments and carrying out a home exercise program established by an SLP. There are also everyday things a family member or friend can do to help make the communication process easier for anyone experiencing speaking or hearing challenges.

• Reduce background noises that may be distracting (e.g., turn off the radio or TV, close the door, or move to a quieter place).
• Stick to a topic. Avoid quick shifts from topic to topic.
• Allow extra time for responding. Don’t hurry the person.
• Be an active listener. Look for hints from eye gaze and gestures.

For more information about communication disorders, visit http://IdentifytheSigns.org.

Murphy Medical Center offers evaluation and treatment for a variety of communication and swallowing disorders for patients of all ages. To seek an assessment from a speech-language pathologist, contact Murphy Medical Center’s PARC Rehabilitation Center at (828) 837-7777, or visit their website at www.murphymedical.org.

Hospital Completes Telephone System Upgrade

Murphy Medical Center plant operations staff member Paul Kelly tests the performance of the hospital’s recently-upgraded telephone system

Murphy Medical Center plant operations staff member Paul Kelly tests the performance of the hospital’s recently-upgraded telephone system

Murphy Medical Center recently completed an upgrade to its telephone system, which now properly displays the hospital’s name and number to call recipients.

Before the upgrade, calls originating from the Peachtree facility appeared as “Unknown Caller” on caller ID-capable phones.

“One of the main advantages of the upgrade is for the benefit of our customers,” stated Paul Kelly, a twenty-two year veteran of the hospital’s plant operations department. “They’ll know they’re dealing directly with our hospital and not a company claiming to be who they’re not.”

The system upgrade now identifies incoming caller information to hospital staff as well.

“We’d like to thank the public for their cooperation during our transition,” Kelly added. “We’re also especially grateful for local media which helped keep the public informed during several recent planned outages.”

Hospital Encourages Bright Ideas

Visitors to Murphy Medical Center are being greeted by bright, colorful digital information displays, thanks to an employee’s award-winning “Bright Idea”, a program which encourages staff suggestions for the improved safety, convenience and comfort of the hospital’s patients and visitors.

Information Technology staff member Holly Norris suggested the modern, affordable displays as a way to inform and educate visitors and employees throughout the Peachtree facility. The first of the new displays were installed recently in the main entrances of the hospital and nursing home, and are receiving high marks for their rotating, up-to-date content.

“We’re very proud of Holly for suggesting this,” said Human Resources Manager Russ Paine. “The new digital displays are an important part of our continued facility improvement. In addition to their stylish, modern look, they provide an excellent source of information specific to the outstanding care and services we offer to our local communities.”

Murphy Medical Center Human Resources Manager Russ Paine congratulates hospital employee Holly Norris for her award-winning “Bright Idea”, shown with one of two new digital signage displays recently installed in the facility.

Murphy Medical Center Human Resources Manager Russ Paine congratulates hospital employee Holly Norris for her award-winning “Bright Idea”, shown with one of two new digital signage displays recently installed in the facility.

Intravenous Therapy Nurses Recognized

Murphy Medical Center joins thousands of infusion professionals throughout the country, celebrating Intravenous Nurse Day on January 25.

“Our staff has a combined total of over ninety years of experience”, stated Katie Gore, Certified Registered Nurse for the hospital’s Infusion Therapy Department. “We take great pride in treating each patient as though they were a member of our own family.”

Infusion Therapy staff members Katie Gore, Mary Cochrane and LaNita Harris (from left) gather to be recognized on Intravenous Nurse Day

Infusion Therapy staff members Katie Gore, Mary Cochrane and LaNita Harris (from left) gather to be recognized on Intravenous Nurse Day

Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication intravenously through a needle or catheter, and is usually prescribed when oral medications cannot effectively treat a patient’s condition. Officially recognized by Congress in 1981, Intravenous Nurse Day is celebrated to honor the hardworking individuals who dedicate their lives to the infusion specialty.

Registered Nurse LaNita Harris is one of the team who have committed their lives to patients requiring infusion treatment for osteoporosis, anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, immune deficiency, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

“Many infusion patients in our local area don’t realize their physicians can transfer their orders here, eliminating long drives to other facilities,“ Harris stated. “We are committed to providing our patients with a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere during the extended hours they spend in our infusion chairs.”