News Room

Coleman, Texas (January 18, 2021) – Following a pre-construction meeting with the USDA on Thursday, January 14, Lott Brothers Construction Company, Austin, Texas, was given official notice to proceed with the construction of the new addition to Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC).

Others in attendance at the pre-construction meeting included representatives of the CCMC District, Rees Associates, Jacob & Martin Engineering and CCMC administration.  Together the project team members discussed the coordination and communication necessary to move the project forward on a timely basis.  

The project is expected to take about 18 months with all components completed as early as July 2022.  

“The District has been working on this for a long time,” noted Wayne Moore, CCMC District president.  “In an ordinary year, we would have planned a groundbreaking ceremony to share this momentous event with the community, but we thought it prudent to avoid any large gatherings during the pandemic,” Moore continued.

As a result, traditional groundbreaking duties were shared by only a few members of the project team along with the members of the medical staff.  

Hospital staff members were invited to share in the celebration throughout the day, digging into a chocolate “dirt” cake with plastic shovel spoons.

The professionals will move in on Monday, January 18, to mobilize for sitework.  This will necessitate the permanent closure of Frio Street between West College and West Elm streets.  

The entrance to the Emergency Department will remain in its current location at the back of the hospital.  Parking in the front of the hospital on Pecos Street will be reserved for patients.  

“We appreciate everyone’s patience over the next 18 months while we all work to enhance the hospital facilities to better meet the needs of our patients and families,” said Clay Vogel, hospital administrator.   

  Groundbreaking at CCMC New Building                                                            

Joining Wayne Moore for groundbreaking duties are (from the left) David Longely, FNP-C, John Horner, MD, Darron Atwood, MD and J. Paul Reynolds, MD.

 

Coleman, Texas (December 24, 2020) – Just in time for Christmas, COVID-19 vaccines were delivered to Coleman County Medical Center to help protect its staff who continue to care for COVID patients in Coleman County. 

 

Among the first to be vaccinated were local physicians at Coleman County Medical Center, Paul Reynolds, M.D. and Darron Atwood, M.D.  They received the first of two rounds of vaccines just before Christmas Day and will receive the second round in about four weeks.

 

“Of the over one million people that have been vaccinated in the country so far, very few have had an adverse reaction to the vaccine, and those who have a reaction have only had mild side effects.” says Dr. Reynolds. 

 

Some of the side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever, and generally last for no more than a few days.  “The mild side effects that some people have are due to the body’s immune response and it is not because they have injected a ‘live virus’ into the body,” explained Reynolds.

 

“It’s a much better alternative to contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” says Dr. Atwood.  “The vaccine ‘instructs’ the body how to fight the COVID-19 virus, so if you contract the virus later, your body will already have the information it needs to fight the virus,” he continued.

 

“Vaccination of our community is absolutely the best way for an eventual return to normal life.” says Clay Vogel, hospital administrator. “The first round is reserved for frontline health care workers and for people in nursing home care facilities,” noted Vogel, with vaccines administered to around 40 people so far, including hospital, clinic staff and first responders.  We hope to deliver the vaccine to the rest of the community soon.”

 

As future rounds of vaccines become available, Coleman County Medical Center will let the public know who in the community will be able to get their vaccinations.  Follow Coleman County Medical Center on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.

Coleman, Texas (October 19, 2020) – Coleman County Medical Center has just received a new state-of-the-art Samsung HM70A ultrasound imaging system, expanding the capability over the old ultrasound device.

 

This new ultrasound offers much higher clarity and the ability to perform echocardiograms, which allows the technician to watch the movement of the valves and chambers of the heart.  Rebecca White, the ultrasound tech at CCMC has been using the new equipment for a few weeks and says, “I am so happy to have this new ultrasound in the hospital, the efficiency and clarity of the new technology is astounding and soon we will be able to offer echocardiograms on a more regular basis.”

 

Ultrasounds tests use sound waves to ‘see’ into the human body to safely view vital organs, as well as giving an expectant mother the first views of their unborn child.  Ultrasound can even be used to guide physicians during procedures like nerve blocks and accessing veins for catheters.  Even patients with symptoms of COVID-19 can be scanned by ultrasound, to see if lungs are clear of infection.

 

“Expanding patient care is always a top priority, this new ultrasound is a great addition to the services at Coleman County Medical Center.”, says Clay Vogel, administrator at Coleman County Medical Center.

Rebecca White and the new Ultrasound at Coleman County Medical Center.

 

October 23, 2019

Coleman Medical Associates (CMA) was recently awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the clinic’s efforts to enhance the quality of care and improve the health status of Medicare patients.

This commendation is the highest honor awarded to clinicians participating in the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), a national program established by CMS in 2015.   
The award places CMA in the top 15 percent of the 140,000 clinicians participating in the program.

“We entered the program with an advantage,” said Michelle Burdick, RN, “because we had already established a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Medical Home Program and a Chronic Care Management Program at the clinic.  This award is an indication that our staff is continuing to doing a good job with both initiatives.”

The Medical Home Program is a model of healthcare delivery that allows the staff of CMA to work with patients to assess their health, address specific problems and concerns.  The Chronic Care Management Program focuses on coordination of care for patients with two or more chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Burdick is responsible for the development and management of the Chronic Care Program at CMA.

“It’s a team effort,” said Burdick.  “All of our physicians, nurse practitioner, nurses and other staff work together to enroll patients in these programs, and work in partnership with our patients to improve their health status.  As a result, we are able to demonstrate that our patients receive the services they need to get healthy and stay healthy, such as mammograms, vaccines, tobacco education and other preventive services.”  

“I am really proud of the staff at CMA,” said Darron Atwood, MD.  “Everyone at the clinic works hard to exceed the expectations of our patients,” he noted, “as well as the expectations of CMS.”  

May 28, 2019

The Newborn Hearing Screening Program at Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) was recently recognized with a 2-year certification as a “Distinguished” program, the highest level of certification granted by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).

The program was established to help ensure all newborns and infants at CCMC are screened for potential hearing loss, with appropriate follow-up, and early childhood intervention referrals for newborns and infants identified as deaf or hard of hearing.  

According to studies, hearing loss impacts one to three births per 1,000.  If undetected and without treatment, significant hearing impairment may negatively impact speech development and lead to other problems which can influence their social and academic skills.  

In order to be certified by the TDSHS, a program must provide hearing screening using equipment recommended by the department, use staff with appropriate training to provide the screening, maintain and report data electronically, distribute educational materials, provide information to the parents on follow-up services for newborns and infants who do not pass the screening, and be supervised by an appropriate professional.

“We were thrilled by the news,” said Sandra Ratliff, RN, supervisor of the CCMC program.  “Our staff works very hard to maintain a high quality program that meets the needs of newborns, infants and their parents, as well as state criteria,” she explained.  “Certification as a ‘Distinguished’ program lets us know we achieving our goals.”     

There are over 230 hospitals and birthing facilities with obstetrical services or neonatal intensive care units licensed by the TDSHS that perform newborn hearing screening in Texas.  Only 170 meet the national and state criteria necessary to achieve “Distinguished” status.  

“This means that the services at CCMC are as good as or better than any in the state,” said Clay Vogel, hospital administrator.  “I could not be prouder of our staff or our services.”

The TDSHS has established four levels of certification for newborn hearing screening programs:  Preliminary (a new program), Provisional, Standard and Distinguished.  Eight data metric standards measuring performance against national standards and state performance averages are used to determine certification outcomes.

May 24, 2019

Coleman, Texas (May 24, 2019) – Clinical staff at Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) attended a two-hour session at the Coleman Public Library, at the end of May, to learn more about the opioid crisis in Texas, and obtain additional training on the use of Naloxone/Narcan to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

 

“Concerns about opioid addiction and opioid overdose deaths in Texas and the U.S. have increased dramatically in the last few years, said Michelle Burdick, RN, “Opioid overdose deaths now exceed motor vehicle accidents as the number one cause of preventable deaths,” she explained.

 

Attacking addiction is, of course, a major concern, but decreasing overdose deaths is also a major focus.  The educational session — funded by the Texas State Office of Rural Health (SORH) and provided by Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative (TONI) in partnership with CCMC — offered free training to help local health, police and fire personnel, and other community members to recognize and reverse this life threatening condition. 

 

Trainers also provided each attendee with a free dose of Naloxone, a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

 

“We want to spread the word about the prevention of opioid addiction and reversal of opioid overdose to as many people in our community as possible,” said Burdick.  Anyone who would like more information is encouraged to check out TONI on its website or Facebook page.  

February 20, 2019

Coleman County Medical Center (CCMC) was recognized last week with the 2018 TMF Gold Award for Hospital Quality Improvement. This regional award was given to only 51 of the 745 hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, that demonstrated improved performance on specific national quality measures. 

“We are honored to be recognized by the TMF Quality Institute for both reporting quality measures and improving patient outcomes as reflected by these data,” said Clay Vogel, CCMC administrator, “but the benefit to our patients is the true reward.”

“Our staff, led by our chief nursing officer, Melissa Ereman, has worked hard over the last four years to systematically identify and act upon opportunities for quality improvement.” Vogel reported. “I am proud of our staff members for their continued commitment to quality
initiatives.” 

This is the second TMF Quality award received by CCMC.

Ereman is quick to acknowledge the impact of all of her nurses on quality improvement at the hospital. “Everyone works together as a team to identify and address opportunities for improvement,” said Ereman. “Quality is a team effort and I have a great team.” 

“I also want to thank the support team we have at Preferred Management Corporation,” noted Ereman. “Kathy Mechler provides clinical leadership to all Preferred- affiliated hospitals and helped us to establish the framework for our quality program, Laura Crowell makes sure that we can extract needed data from our electronic medical records, and Megan Cody drives us to report our quality measures to various agencies,” Ereman explained.

“TMF is proud to recognize hospitals for promoting quality improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture,” said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. “Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process, and we thank Coleman County Medical Center for their commitment to improving the health of patients and the efficiency of health care.”

The TMF Hospital Quality Improvement Award program is sponsored by TMF, the Arkansas Hospital Association, Oklahoma Hospital Association , Oklahoma State Office of Rural Health, Texas Hospital Association and Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals. There are three award categories: Gold is the highest tier, and has the most stringent requirements, followed by Silver and then Bronze.

Seven of the nine hospitals affiliated with Preferred were recognized by TMF in 2018, with five Gold Awards, one Silver Award and one Bronze Award. “Maintaining and improving access to quality patient care in our small communities is the primary goal of Preferred,” stated Andy Freeman, president and chief executive officer of Preferred. “We have invested in the resources necessary to support the efforts of our hospitals to achieve this goal, and I could not be prouder of the staff at the home office and in our hospitals for their hard work.”

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