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With the installation of a twenty-four foot Blue Light Centerpiece this week, the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial added the final piece to the newly repaired and renovated memorial plaza. The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial is the oldest state law enforcement memorial in the United States, dedicated on May 15, 1969. A few years ago it was discovered the memorial was sinking after almost fifty years of withstanding Oklahoma weather and rain water flowing over and apparently under it. Donations were made and the work to repair and renovate the memorial started on December 15th of last year when the memorial stones were taken up and stored. The renovated memorial was for the most part completed and was rededicated during the Fiftieth Annual Memorial Service on May 18th of this year. The center piece was the only part not ready by the service.
This Sunday, November 4th at 5:30 p.m. during the Oklahoma Chapter of the Concerns of Police Survivor’s Annual Blue Light Ceremony the perpetual Blue Light Center Piece will officially be turned on as a constant reminder of the service and sacrifices of our law enforcement officers. The memorial is located on the west grounds of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Headquarters, 3600 M. L. King Avenue in Oklahoma City. The public is encouraged to attend.
The names of over eight hundred officers who have died in the line of duty in Oklahoma, both before and after statehood, are engraved on the memorial. See the memorial’s web site at for more information on the memorial and Oklahoma’s fallen officers.

The holiday season is approaching, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department has a few safety tips for your family and friends. A small fire can double in size every 30-60 seconds. Following these safety messages will provide a safer winter and holiday season. The holiday season is approaching, and the Oklahoma City Fire Department has a few safety tips for your family and friends. A small fire can double in size every 30-60 seconds. Following these safety messages will provide a safer winter and holiday season. Smoke Alarms· Working smoke alarms should be placed inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including basements. The Oklahoma City Fire Department has a “Project Life” smoke alarm program. Firefighters will install smoke alarms at no charge for qualifying residents of Oklahoma City. Contact information 405-316-2337, or  Residents outside of Oklahoma City can contact your local fire department or Red Cross. · Test smoke alarms once a month while practicing your escape plan. Practice your escape plan based on your mobility and always have a meeting place outside the home. · Replace batteries once a year. When replacing the 9-volt battery consider upgrading to a 10-year lithium battery smoke alarm.· Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years or before expiration date located on the backside. · People with hearing impairment can contact the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT), 888-885-5588 or email     OkAT will install smoke alarms with strobe lights and bed shaker for qualifying Oklahoma residents. Apply at * According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or the alarms are not working.”Heating Safety·Keep space heaters a minimum of 3-feet away from anything that can burn. The 3-foot clearance must include people and pets. Never use extension cords with space heaters. Plug them directly into the outlet and ensure the space heater is the only item plugged into the outlet. Turn off and unplug when not in use or going to bed. ·Heating systems and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned every year by a qualified professional. Schedule your inspection and cleaning before use.  ·Keep metal fireplace screens or heat-tempered glass secured and in the correct position when in use. Discard cool ashes from the fireplace into a metal container. Keep the metal container at least 10-feet from your home.  ·Never use ovens, stove top, or open burning to heat your home. Open flame heat sources should have a venting system. The use of alternative heating sources inside your home could have deadly consequences caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or fire. ·Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction. ·Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.      *According to NFPA, “Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.”Holiday Safety·Don’t block exits with decorations. ·Follow manufacturer’s instruction and do not overload extension cords. ·Keep candles away from children and pets. ·Ask smokers to smoke outside. Wet all cigarette butts before discarding. ·Never leave food cooking on the stovetop unattended. Make sure you are alert when cooking. ·Cut 2 inches off the base of a live Christmas tree before placing in the stand. Add water to your tree stand daily. Don’t put heating sources or candles near the Christmas tree. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. ·Immediately remove the Christmas tree from inside your home after the holidays or when it is dry.  *According to NFPA, “Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.”Additional fire safety information is available at
This is the first of a series of safetey articles provided by  Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff Department and the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Dr. Edd Rhoades as Chief Medical Officer.

Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Interim Commissioner Tom Bates has appointed Dr. Edd Rhoades as Chief Medical Officer for the agency. Dr. Rhoades has been with the agency for 40 years and is currently serving as the Medical Director for Family Health Services.
“Dr. Rhoades has served the state and this agency with integrity in a number of key positions over the years and it is appropriate that he should be the first person to fill this important role,” said Commissioner Bates. “The establishment of a Chief Medical Officer aligns with the public health structure of many other states and will provide guidance to our core mission.”
The Oklahoma State Board of Health approved creation of the position at their Sept. 14 meeting, following a recommendation that was included in a corrective action plan provided to the legislature in January. The Chief Medical Officer will advise agency leadership on medical and public health issues and provide medical oversight and consultation to agency service areas and county health departments. Under the current organizational structure, the Office of the Commissioner continues to focus on improving the financial operation and organization of the agency to ensure efficient delivery of core services.
A graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Dr. Rhoades also holds a Masters of Public Health in Health Administration from the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and has received numerous awards for his work in maternal and child health and environmental protection. Among his honors are the Joan K. Leavitt, M.D. Award from the Oklahoma Public Health Association and the Mike Synar Environmental Excellence Award.
“I’m looking forward to working with Commissioner Bates and the senior leadership team to provide guidance for the agency as we continue to focus on issues that will improve the health of all Oklahomans,” said Dr. Rhoades. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to share my experiences and promote the great work being done by all of our public health professionals.

In recognition of November being National Diabetes Month, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is supporting efforts to bring awareness to the impact of diabetes on Oklahoma and its economy.
Oklahoma ranks eighth in the nation for percent of adults diagnosed with diabetes. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate more than one million Oklahomans have prediabetes, and two out of three are unaware they are at risk. Without proper intervention, it is estimated that 15-30 percent of them will develop Type 2 diabetes within five years, leaving them to pay more than double their current health care costs.
“Historically, the prevalence of diabetes has been higher in Oklahoma than in the United States as a whole,” said OSDH Diabetes Program Coordinator Rita Reeves. “The most current information from the CDC indicates the prevalence of Type 2 and Type 1 are increasing among young people.”
Average medical expenses for people diagnosed with diabetes are about $13,700 per year. Patients have a higher rate of being out of the workplace and receiving disability. Nearly 95 percent of cases are Type 2, which can be prevented or delayed through a lifestyle intervention with the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention Program. There are 21 programs in Oklahoma that offer guidance from a lifestyle coach to help set goals and adjust factors such as eating healthier, reducing stress and getting more physical activity.
Screening is the first step in preventing and managing diabetes. An online risk test to determine a person’s chance of having prediabetes is available at .
Those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to talk with their health care provider, and ask for a referral to an accredited self-management program, which can be found at .

Rex Van Meter, president of INTEGRIS Deaconess.

INTEGRIS assumed operations of Deaconess Hospital and its affiliated family care clinics at midnight, Oct. 1.
Rex Van Meter is the newly named president of INTEGRIS Deaconess, as it is now called. The hospital is considered a campus under the INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center umbrella.
Van Meter has been a part of executive leadership at INTEGRIS since 2001. He joined as vice president of finance at INTEGRIS Blackwell Hospital and was promoted to president there four years later. In 2012, he was named president of INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital, and has led that facility to successive year-over-year record performances. Van Meter earned a bachelor of accounting from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and a master of health care administration from Trinity University.

Dear Savvy Senior, Can you provide some tips on how to choose a good estate sale company who can sell all the leftover items in my mother’s house?  Inquiring Daughter

Dear Inquiring,
The estate sale business has become a huge industry over the past decade. There are roughly 22,000 estate sale companies that currently operate in the U.S., up nearly 60 percent from just 10 years ago. But not all estate sale companies are alike.
Unlike appraisal, auction and real estate companies, estate sale operators are largely unregulated, with no licensing or standard educational requirements. That leaves the door open for inexperienced, unethical or even illegal operators. Therefore, it’s up to you to decipher a good reputable company from a bad one. Here are some tips to help you choose.
Make a list: Start by asking friends, your real estate agent or attorney for recommendations. You can also search online. Websites like and let you find estate sale companies in your area.
Check their reviews: After you find a few companies, check them out on the Better Business Bureau (, Angie’s List (, Yelp ( and other online review sites to eliminate ones with legitimately negative reviews.
Call some companies: Once you identify some estate sale companies, select a few to interview over the phone. Ask them how long they’ve been in business and how many estate sales they conduct each month. Also find out about their staff, the services they provide, if they are insured and bonded and if they charge a flat fee or commission. The national average commission for an estate sale is around 35 percent, but commissions vary by city and region.
You may also want to ask them about visiting their next sale to get a better feel for how they operate. And be sure to get a list of references of their past clients and call them.
Schedule appointments: Set up two or three face-to-face interviews with the companies you felt provided you with satisfactory answers during the phone interviews.
During their visit, show the estate liquidator through the property. Point out any items that will not be included in the sale, and if you have any items where price is a concern, discuss it with them at that time. Many estate companies will give you a quote, after a quick walk through the home.
You also need to ask about their pricing (how do they research prices and is every item priced), how they track what items sell for, what credit cards do they accept, and how and where will they promote and market your sale. is a leading site used to advertise sales, so check advertising approaches there.
Additionally, ask how many days will it take them to set up for the sale, how long will the sale last, and will they take care of getting any necessary permits to have the sale.
You also need to find out how and when you will be paid, and what types of services they provide when the sale is over. Will they clean up the house and dispose of the unsold items, and is there’s an extra charge for that? Also, make sure you get a copy of their contract and review it carefully before you sign it.
For more information on choosing an estate sale company, see National Estate Sales Association online guide at, and click on “Consumer Education” then on “Find the Right Company.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor
Nov 1/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Nov 9/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10
Nov 13/ Tuesday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3;30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Rose State – 6191 Tinker Diagonal – room 203
Nov 14/ Wednesday/ Warr Acres/ 8:30 am – 3 pm/ 789-9892/ Kruck
Warr Acres Community Center – 4301 N. Ann Arbor Ave.
Nov 15/ Thursday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 307-3177/ Palinsky
Norman Regional Hospital – 901 N. Porter Ave.
Nov 17/ Saturday/ Shawnee/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 818-2916/ Brase
Gordon Cooper Tech Center – One John C. Burton Blvd.
Dec 6/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
Dec 8/ Saturday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3 pm/ 473-9239/ Williams
First Christian Church – 11950 E. Reno Ave. (Activity Room
Dec 14/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to:

Dr McKinney shows device to Crozier.

Cutting-edge, non-surgical treatment at OU Medicine targets chronic stuffy nose
An Oklahoma woman is one of the first patients outside of a clinical trial to experience the benefits of a new, non-surgical treatment for her chronic stuffy nose.
Most of us have experienced a head cold so bad that it leaves you so stuffed up you can no longer breathe through your nose. For Denise Crozier, 56, it wasn’t a cold causing her chronic stuffed up nose or the pain and pressure that accompanied it. The Oklahoma City woman suffered from nasal polyps, soft, non-cancerous growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses.
“When you get a lot of inflammation, the lining of the nose becomes very swollen and redundant, and it forms a round structure that basically fills the nasal cavity,” explained Dr. Kibwei McKinney, an ear, nose and throat specialist with OU Medicine.
Surgery had been the first line of defense for patients like Crozier for whom treatment with oral steroids has failed.
“I had four surgeries in Seattle before moving to Oklahoma, and then since I have been here, I’ve had three,” Crozier said.
Each time, the surgery would initially bring relief, but before she knew it, the polyps would be back.
“Each time, she got some temporary relief, but almost like clockwork, it would come back and she would have a return of her symptoms,” McKinney said.
This time, though, McKinney returned from a recent conference with a new treatment option for Crozier a newly-approved, non-surgical treatment. It utilizes a tiny sinus implant. He explained to her that it could be placed without pain during a visit to his office at OU Medicine.
The implant is a small teardrop-shaped device that when deployed appears a bit like a badminton birdie. It’s placed under the guidance of an endoscope.
“I actually have a camera and scope that I look through to see the anatomical structures and then I place the splint with minimal discomfort,” McKinney said. “It basically stints open the cavity and then over time it treats the surrounding tissue with steroids, which are very effective at controlling polyp growth. As the steroid is leached out, the polyps occupying the space begin to melt away and the pressure associated with them also goes away.”
As a nurse, Crozier did her homework and quickly realized that this treatment could offer relief and save her from another trip to the operating room.
“Anything to keep me out of the OR is fantastic,” she remarked.
The device was placed quickly and without pain during an office visit with McKinney.
“They numbed me up, so I really didn’t feel a thing,” Crozier said.
After several months, she returned to McKinney’s office to have the device removed; and just as it had gone into place under endoscopic guidance, it also was removed that way in just a matter of seconds.
Crozier’s eyes watered just a bit, but she said there was no pain and the relief she has experienced has been incredible.
“It’s wide open in there. There are no polyps or anything. It works. It’s great,” she exclaimed, adding that she would easily recommend the procedure to anyone else facing the same battle she has faced with nasal polyps.
Specialists at OU Medicine say the new treatment provides a valuable option for patients unable to take oral steroids, as well as for those who are not good candidates for surgery or for whom repeated surgeries have failed to bring relief.

Mandy Nelson, APRN in the medicine specialty unit at OU Medical Center, was named Nurse of the Year in the Advanced Practice category.

The March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter recently honored an OU Medicine nurse at its annual Nurse of the Year awards. Mandy Nelson, APRN in the medicine specialty unit at OU Medical Center, was named Nurse of the Year in the Advanced Practice category.
The Oct. 4 event celebrated nurses in more than a dozen categories, all of which were nominated by colleagues, supervisors or families they have served, according to the March of Dimes website. A selection committee of health care professionals selects the most outstanding nurse in each category.
Two additional OU Medicine nurses, Callie Tkach, RN in the NICU at The Children’s Hospital, and Susie Jones, APRN and Vice President of Quality/Safety and Nursing Practice at OU Medicine, were finalists in the Neonatal/Pediatric and Advanced Practice categories, respectively.
“Mandy and our finalists, Callie and Susie, are incredibly deserving of this honor,” said Cathy Pierce, Chief Nurse Executive at OU Medicine. “Our nurses work tirelessly to improve the lives of our patients and families. They truly represent the best in their fields and the best of OU Medicine.”

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400.
Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount. This year, for the first time, most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at
Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit