Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart recipient, Shirley Johnson, recently joined LifeShare to visit with Northeastern Health System employees about organ donation. LifeShare and Johnson were invited to NHS as part of the hospital’s celebration of National Heart Month. According to LifeShare, more than 118,000 Americans are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants; more than 700 of them Oklahomans. Johnson began what she calls her, “God Support Journey,” with a 3:00 a.m. heart attack on June 20, 2016. “I was awakened by what felt like an extremely painful cramp between my shoulder blades,” remembered Johnson. “This was the third time in three days I had experienced discomfort between my shoulders. Having done yard work over the weekend, and no longer being a spring chicken, I figured it was just a muscle cramp. Boy was I wrong!” Johnson’s husband, DJ, drove her to the emergency room where she was quickly transported to St. Francis Heart Hospital and rushed to the catheterization lab. Johnson had what is known as a “Widow Maker,” due to her heart attack’s intensity, 100 percent artery blockage, and low national survival rate. “Problem solved…so we thought,” said Johnson. “From June to October I was hospitalized several times. I received medications, a pacemaker/defibrillator, and the heart team attempted catheter ablation in my heart, four times, with no success due to 16 scars discovered in my heart.” Johnson’s condition quickly deteriorated, however her faith was increasing daily. “My faith was on fire! I felt God with me as I endured difficult procedures and had to make life decisions,” said Johnson. “Little did I know, I was about to become part of a miracle...
Tahlequah Hospital Foundation to Host 13th Annual Hearts of Gold Gala

Tahlequah Hospital Foundation to Host 13th Annual Hearts of Gold Gala

The Tahlequah Hospital Foundation will host the Thirteenth Annual Hearts of Gold Gala on March 2, 2018 with special guest, jazz musician, Grady Nichols, News on 6 Reporter, Tess Maune, and everyone’s favorite band, Emerald City. The Gala, a fundraiser to support Northeastern Health System, raises money to provide scholarships to students pursuing a career in healthcare and funds the latest in technology and facilities. Sponsored by Northeast Oklahoma Heart Center, the Gala will showcase the hospital’s growth over the last year as well as honor several individuals who have made a significant impact on healthcare in Tahlequah. “The awards given at the Gala are a great way to recognize the people who have made such great contributions to the community through their professional and volunteer service,” said Dr. Adele King, chairman of the Tahlequah Foundation Board.   “We have so many healthcare heroes in this community and it’s a perfect opportunity to recognize them.” The four awards given are the Heart of Gold Award, recognizing volunteer Vera Freeman for her many hours of service to the Tahlequah City Hospital Auxiliary and the community; the McIntosh, Masters, Medearis Award, recognizing Dr. Brent Rotton for demonstrating clinical excellence and his many years of service; the Thompson Award, recognizing Dr. Doug Nolan for his instrumental role in Tahlequah’s healthcare history; and the Dr. Mary Carlile Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing Maurice Turney for his many years of service to the Tahlequah community and beyond. “I think the Gala is important for our community,” said JoAnn Bradley, secretary of the Tahlequah Hospital Foundation. “It gives the Foundation an opportunity to help the hospital purchase...
Northeastern Health System Recognized for Medical Excellence

Northeastern Health System Recognized for Medical Excellence

CareChex®, an information service of Quantros, Inc., recently ranked Northeastern Health System (NHS) in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for Patient Safety in Vascular Surgery. CareChex® evaluates the performance of more than 4,000 hospitals across the nation, with awards based on cumulative performance across the most recent three years of public data. Medical quality evaluated includes process of care, outcomes of care and patient experiences in two primary areas—medical excellence and patient safety. The results enable health care organizations to compare their performance against providers in the nation, region, state and market. “We have a unique opportunity in Tahlequah, in that we are able to partner and build strong relationships with the Cherokee Nation,” said NHS President and CEO, Brian Woodliff. “By combining our resources we can provide experts in a variety of medical specialties to the citizens of Green Country.” In 2004, Cherokee Nation’s Comprehensive Care Agency partnered with the Tahlequah Hospital Authority to create Cherokee Health Partners (CHP). The joint venture purchased and installed new nuclear medicine scanners at Northeastern Health System and is open to both tribal and non-tribal members. “Having these machines locally, allows us to better serve our citizens in the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdictional area,” said Brian Hail, CEO of Cherokee Nation’s W.W. Hastings Hospital. “CHP has been a beneficial partnership, allowing patients to avoid long drives for specialized care.” In addition to ranking in the top 10 percent in the state for vascular surgery, the heart center received rankings in the top 10 percent in Oklahoma for cardiac surgery and cardiac care. “I am very proud of our...
NHS Names New Manager of The Coffee House

NHS Names New Manager of The Coffee House

Years ago, Northeastern Health System took the Starbucks products and added them to The Coffee House, where they serve an array of menu options for both food and drink. Overseeing this busy venue is new Barista Manger, Lisa Shelly-Simmons. Shelly-Simmons has worked at NHS since February of 2012. In that time, she has learned the ins and outs of the Dietary and Culinary department, and worked as a barista coordinator since 2016, under recently-retired, Gary Spriggs. “The people I work with are amazing,” said Shelly-Simmons. “NHS is a place where you can grow, learn, and excel as a person.” Shelly-Simmons credits her team for the success of The Coffee House. “My co-workers are my mentors,” she said. “They work hard to keep everyone happy and fed. I couldn’t be more proud of them. We are always open to new ideas, but as of right now, we have amazing staff, great coffee and delicious food.” Shelly-Simmons and husband Marvin have been together for 20 years. They have five children and six grandchildren. In her spare time, the couple enjoys spending time with their family, attending hockey games and hunting. The Coffee House is located on the first floor of Northeastern Health System. They are open Monday – Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as treats and Starbucks coffee. Share...
NHS Welcomes Surgical Oncologist to Tahlequah

NHS Welcomes Surgical Oncologist to Tahlequah

Northeastern Health System is pleased to announce the addition of Surgical Oncologist, Samuel Bieligk, M.D. The addition of Bieligk, allows cancer patients in Northeast Oklahoma to receive a full continuum of cancer care, including radiation, chemotherapy and surgical services. “Surgical oncology is a specialty that helps patients decide how to manage their tumor/cancer problem, including surgery,” said Bieligk. “Radical and minimally invasive procedures are all offered as part of the process.” Surgical oncology may include the removal of the tumor or surrounding tissue during an operation. Surgery is the oldest type of cancer therapy and remains an effective treatment for many types of cancer today. The goals of surgery vary, however, it is frequently used to diagnose cancer, remove all or some of a cancer or tumor, find out where the cancer is located, and find out if the cancer has spread or is affecting the functions of other organs in the body, to restore the body’s appearance or function, and to relieve side effects. “There are many patients with malignancy or suspected malignancy in the region that includes northeast Oklahoma, NW Arkansas, SW Missouri, and Southeast Kansas, that would benefit from a multidisciplinary team to determine how to diagnose, stage and manage their complex tumor/cancer problems,” said Bieligk. “In collaboration with Gastroenterology, Medical Oncology, Dermatology, General Surgery, Radiation Oncology and Radiology, a coordinated cancer program can be developed.” Patients with cancer have a chance to live long, productive lives, if given the chance. The comprehensive cancer program offered through Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center, an NHS subsidiary, will give patients that necessary chance. Bieligk joined the NHS team for...
Turney to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Turney to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Mr. Maurice Turney, who will receive the Mary Carlile Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Hearts of Gold Gala. Turney (left) was presented a certificate announcing him as a recipient of this prestigious award by NHS President and CEO, Brian Woodliff (right). Share...