by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Norman Regional Hospital and Norman Regional HealthPlex were both awarded “A” grades in the spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital rating focused exclusively on hospital safety. Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to approximately 2,500 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.
The Leapfrog group began doing the Hospital Safety Grades in 2012 to help patients and families determine the safest hospitals to seek care.
Norman Regional Hospital, located at 901 N. Porter Ave., earned an “A” grade from Leapfrog for a consecutive year.
Norman Regional HealthPlex, located at 3300 HealthPlex Parkway, also earned an “A” grade, bringing up its “B” from the fall 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
“This is the only national rating of how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm and death, such as medical errors, infections, and injuries,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Receiving an ‘A’ Safety Grade means a hospital is among the best in the country for preventing these terrible problems and putting their patients first, 24 hours a day.”
Richie Splitt, president and CEO of Norman Regional Health System, was proud of Norman Regional Hospital’s “A” grade in the fall, and is even more proud of the healers at Norman Regional for earning an “A” at both campuses.
“We take safety seriously. We always want to make sure our patients are safe and well taken care of,” Splitt said. “Earning an “A” at both campuses is meaningful recognition of our continuous efforts to reduce medical errors, injuries and infections.”
Earlier this year, they health system was named one of America’s best for Bariatric Surgery and Stroke by the Women’s Choice Award, America’s trusted referral source for the best in healthcare.
The award signifies that Norman Regional is in the top 9 percent for bariatric surgery and top 8 percent for stroke centers of 4,812 U.S. hospitals and stroke centers reviewed.
“This is the second year in a row for Norman Regional Health System to be a Women’s Choice Award recipient for both bariatric surgery and stroke. We are incredibly proud of our healers for their hard work and dedication to patient care, safety and satisfaction,” Splitt said..
Norman Regional is one of 422 award recipients representing the hospitals that have met the highest standards for bariatric surgery across the U.S.
“As the FDA approves more bariatric procedures and treatment options increase, the Women’s Choice Award is helping women make educated, confident decisions about where they should go to get the very best care,” said Delia Passi, founder and CEO of the Women’s Choice Award. “There are many women who struggle with their weight, especially as they age. For some, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough and they need to turn to bariatric procedures to reduce their weight for their overall good health.”

Lindsay Roberts of Calera, Okla., is being recognized as a Significant Woman in Oklahoma Agriculture.

Highlight: Lindsay Roberts

by Betty Thompson

CALERA—Some people are born with an innate desire to help others. That is certainly true of Lindsay Roberts.
Growing up 10 miles north of the Oklahoma-Texas state line in Calera on her family farm, Roberts was heavily involved in agriculture from a very young age. And she loved it.
“It completely defined my life,” said Roberts, “Agriculture should define your life; It feeds you three times a day.”
Like many who grow up in the industry, Roberts became involved in the youth organizations 4-H and FFA. She began showing sheep at age three as a Cloverbud. As soon as she turned nine, she immersed herself in everything 4-H had to offer, showing, public speaking, shooting sports, and so much more. When she entered the 8th grade, she joined FFA and took advantage of the many opportunities it had to offer as well.
“I love both organizations,” Roberts said, “I think they are valuable resources.”
Roberts reflected on many life lessons she obtained in those organizations.
“I have a wonderful mom and grandma at home who taught me lots of things, but I learned how to set a table properly, how tip a waiter or waitress and how to put on pantyhose through FFA,” Roberts laughed.
She continued her FFA membership even into the collegiate chapter. Today she volunteers with both organizations wherever she can, one of those ways is by serving as the sheep superintendent for the Bryan County Junior Livestock show.
Roberts said many of the same volunteers who were here when she was showing as a kid are still in the barns volunteering today. She is the youngest of the livestock show volunteers, and the only woman.
“I love to help these kids with their projects,” Roberts said. “If they need something, or can’t afford something, I want to help. It’s my way of giving back to all those who helped my parents raise me.”
After Roberts graduated from Calera High School, she studied at Agricultural Economics at Murray State and went on to finish the degree at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
In the winter of 2004 Roberts was home on Christmas break from school and over at a friend’s house. As fate would have it, there was a young man there who was home on leave from the Navy. Dustin Roberts was deployed shortly after she met him, and the two began dating through letters and emails.
Shortly after, they got married, and three days later, Dustin deployed again for 18 months. They have been happily married for 13 years now.
The two have settled near where Roberts was raised, allowing her to help with her family’s fertilizer plant in Durant.
She is putting her economics degree to good use as the accountant for the family business, and also helps with other duties such as assisting with and loading bulk fertilizer, ensuring customer orders are filled and invoiced, and managing the office.
Her dad and grandparents have owned the business since 1995, and most of their employees have been there for over 15 years, so Roberts said they are all like family.
“I love working with my family every day,” Roberts said. “Not many people get to do that. It sure is rewarding at the end of the day.”
While working full time at the fertilizer plant, Roberts is also working on her Certified Public Accountant licensing at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.
“A lot of federal and state agencies recommend using a CPA that specializes in agricultural accounting,” Roberts explained. “That’s a service I hope to provide in our community.”
Roberts said there are not many CPAs who concentrate on agricultural accounting, so there is a great need in a highly agricultural area.
Her desire to help those in her community does not stop with 4-H, FFA and accounting. She has become the main point of contact for Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) issues in her area.
Roberts said the law enacted by the FDA took many producers, retailers and veterinarians by surprise.
“I worked with local vets and a local math teacher to work out an education program to help the vets and those of us on the retail side as far as what their options were,” Roberts said.
She even got her husband Dustin, who is the Representative for House District 21, to work on a legislative approach. She took time to meet with Congressmen and ranchers from various states, and as a result, she became a valuable resource to many in the community on how to stay compliant with the law.
She carries her helping nature into her home as well. In addition to the Roberts’ two rescue dogs and cat, they also have two rescue ducks.
Roberts said she was attending a birthday party for a toddler when she rescued the two baby ducks from being trampled by the toddlers.
“They weren’t being handled gently, so I just went over and scooped them up,” Roberts laughed. “I turned my green house into a full-blown aviary—they live the life of luxury.”
The rescue ducks, Petey and Petunia, are certainly not the only ones in southern Oklahoma who have benefited from Roberts’ generosity and desire to help.

The Fountains at Canterbury has been named a Five-Star Quality community according to in their most recent Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) survey, putting The Fountains at Canterbury in the top 10 percent of skilled nursing facilities in the area. The Fountains at Canterbury is managed by Watermark Retirement Communities, which operates 52 communities across the United States.
Senior living communities are reviewed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on more than 180 regulatory standards in conjunction with their state health inspection report. Communities are graded on a scale that gives greater weight to issues that cause critical exposure to any resident health or safety concerns.
Five-Star ratings are awarded exclusively to the top 10 percent of skilled nursing facilities that show extraordinary performance in the categories of health inspection, staffing and quality measures. The past three years of onsite health inspections are utilized as well as the staffing rating based on the number of hours of care provided on average to each resident each day by associates as well as quality measures on 11 different physical and clinical measures for residents.
“It is an honor to lead a team so dedicated to the care and well-being of our residents,” said Cody Erikson, Executive Director of The Fountains at Canterbury. “It is an even greater honor to see the unwavering commitment of that team earn the Five-Star rating under the superb direction of Nursing Home Administrator, Katy Woodard.”
The Fountains at Canterbury is dedicated to being the first choice in senior living, providing a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care, innovative rehabilitation therapies and skilled care. The Fountains at Canterbury is committed to creating an extraordinary community where people thrive. To learn more, please call (405) 381-8165 or go online to

Left to Right: Eunice, Patrick Munnerlyn, Beth Patterson, Director RSVP, Lance Ward Congregation Care Pastor Crossings, Jamie Jeter, RSVP Advisory Board, Kathleen O’Toole Incoming President RSVP, Teresa Scott, Board RSVP, Laura Pheeters RSVP Admin & Program Assistant.

4th Quarter of your Life – Spring Training was held at Crossings Church Oklahoma City on May 3rd. The weather started out with thunderstorms and tornado warnings. Break outs sessions were presented by Elaine Dodd, with the Oklahoma Banking Association on fraud & the Million Dollar Business in Oklahoma, Carla Scull with the Oklahoma Alzheimer’s Association. Patrick O’Kane with Sunbeam family services facilitated the Grandparents raising grandchildren.
Ray Walker, Director of Medicare Assistance, Jose Olivero with Social Security, Brandy Bailey Valir Pace, Jill Huff Director Marketing with Spanish Cove, Keri Dennis with Stone Creek Assisted Living, Jack Werner A to Z Home Inspection, Samantha Strealy Territory Manager with Comfort Keepers, Jay Parker from the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs held classes for more understanding on the options that many adults face every day. Our thanks to the Sponsors of the 4th Quarter, Comfort Keepers, SYNERGY HomeCare, Well Preserved Advisory Group, Spanish Cove, Stone Creek Assisted Living, Niki Higgins- Life Style Realty, Quail Creek Bank, Interbank, Baptist Village, Daily Living Center, Oklahoma City Hospice, OGE, Rick & Denise Guttenberger, Mercer Adams, Touch mark, Village Concept and Home Care Assistants for helping to make the 4th Quarter a great success. It was an honor to deliver “A big fat Check” to RSVP on Wednesday to help with the Senior Transportation program in Oklahoma County. The check was named after Lance Ward, Congregational Care Pastor asked Eunice if she brought the check? The answer was no – with that Mia, Eunice’s granddaughter came up with a “Paper check made by Mia titled “A BIG FAT CHECK “ all remaining proceeds from the 4th Quarter Event were donated to RSVP. Upon return to Crossings Lance immediately emailed Beth to let her know the Check is really in the mail!

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of a nursing home in Moore, and a full-time writer.

By Darlene Franklin

On the eve of Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle, I remember watching Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles when my children were small. A generation later, Americans remain fascinated with royal weddings. Although our country rejected a sovereign king at its birth, we still love pomp and circumstance.
According to the New York Post#, we remain fascinated by royalty because embody national unity in a unique way. (Presidents are rather polarizing figures).
Perhaps that’s why enjoying nature’s majesty leads us to the unifying force of nature’s God.
Consider the experience of Katherine Lee Bates.
In 1893, the young Wellesley professor taught a summer course in Colorado Springs. She joined a faculty trip to the top of Pikes Peak. Inspired by the panoramas, she wrote a heartfelt poem. Visitors today can read her words on a plaque atop the mountain that rises more than two miles into the sky:
O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain! America, America, God shed grace on thee.
Almost a hundred years later, I traveled to Colorado for the first time. I kept looking for the mountains. At the top of one final rise, they filled the horizon. Mountains, mountains, everywhere I looked, from north to south. Tall, rugged, in shades of slate blue and purple—breathtaking.
God’s majesty stampeded through my heart for the first time since I left New England for college, The soaring peaks increased my awareness of God’s other-ness as creator and king. I loved it so much that I stayed in Colorado for two decades.
As a child, I loved summer storms. Lightning flashed and waves crushed against the rocks with destructive force, but they didn’t scare me at all. In the pounding, echoing, hissing squall, I heard echoes of God’s voice and responded to His roll call.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory in the heavens.
In similar ways, music’s harmonies lift my heart to God. Two hundred seventy-five years have passed since Messiah, George Friedric Handel’s masterpiece, was first performed on Easter Sunday, 1742.Legend has it that King George II attended the premiere. He was so impressed by the Hallelujah Chorus that he remained standing for the duration of the song. Everyone around him also stood, as required by royal protocol. That’s the reason why audiences today stand during the performance. An earthly king recognized The King, and so must we.
I’ve had the privilege of performing all two and a half hours of the Messiah. When I’ve been at my lowest points, I lose myself in a music, whether classical or contemporary, that lifts God up. Worship His majesty.
While not nearly as melodic, a child’s first cry also showcases God. Nothing captures the pinnacle of creation, the one creature made in His image, as perfectly as a newborn child. So tiny, so helpless—so perfect. All parts work as God designed, made to live with God in eternity although it will take a second birth to make that happen.
As the proverb says, a child is God’s approval that the world should go on. God gave Abraham and Sarah a son after he had lived for a century. The Lord gave me a grandchild when my daughter died. My first great-grandchild this year brought happiness as old age approaches.
Lately I’ve discovered that the silence of old age adds a high-pitched bell, hardly heard, to the choir. A church holds regular services every Sunday and Wednesday at the nursing home where I live. Many of our most faithful members struggle to speak. One lady of German descent claps when the preacher’s family joins in the singing. Her evident delight brings to mind the verses from Psalm 8 that speak of “the praises of children and infants.”
Or how about my friend, who writes down her prayer requests because we struggle to understand her stroke-riddled speech? Or the ones who come in reclining chairs, their warm smiles saying it all? Sweet praise rises from the lady who reads out loud from her Bible, so soft-spoken we can’t hear her words. Their whispered, nonsensical, missing voices reach the highest heaven. I offer a pianist’s hands as a humble accompaniment to their purer worship.
God’s majesty confronts me, demanding an answer. I respond in worship.

Sikorsky has been the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer since 1939, producing every presidential helicopter in the modern era, as well as the highly celebrated military grade Black Hawk helicopter.
INTEGRIS is now using a Sikorsky SK-76 as an integral part of the health care system’s critical air medical transport efforts.
The unique aircraft, which is the most advanced multi-role helicopter of its kind, is being housed at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center and is owned and operated by Survival Flight.
This particular helicopter is specifically designed to transport injured and critically ill patients from hospitals across the state and region to INTEGRIS to receive specialized care. It will also be used in rescue operations and organ transplant procurements.
“The Sikorsky SK-76 is ideal for transporting the sickest of the sick patients, who demand the highest level of medical care,” says Tim Johnsen, president of INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. Before becoming an administrator, Johnsen was a cardiac intensive care nurse and director of an air medical transport program. He was also a director of emergency services at a trauma center. He was instrumental in bringing the Sikorsky to INTEGRIS.
“At 52 feet long, it is considerably larger than the average medical helicopter, making it possible to carry not only additional medical equipment and supplies, but also entire teams of medical professionals. These highly trained individuals can then deploy life-saving therapies while en route back to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. It truly is a mobile intensive care unit in the sky.”
Aly El Banayosy, M.D., is executive director of critical care and circulatory support at the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute. He says the Sikorsky helicopter will allow more people access to sophisticated and specialized therapies like cutting edge heart pump technologies such as the LVAD and Total Artificial Heart and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, known as ECMO.
“ECMO is a last resort lifesaving technique for patients facing imminent death caused by heart or respiratory failure. In many cases it really is a person’s only hope for survival. While there are other ECMO programs in the state, INTEGRIS has the only mobile ECMO team where we physically travel to other facilities to retrieve these patients. Now thanks to the superiority of the Sikorsky helicopter, our team is able to travel farther and faster to stabilize dying patients and give them one last chance at life.”
The Sikorsky helicopter is one of the fastest medical helicopters in existence and is capable of traveling 300 miles without refueling.
Douglas Horstmanshof, M.D., is a heart failure cardiologist with the Advanced Cardiac Care program at INTEGRIS. He says maintaining the highest quality continuity of care during transport is crucial. “Patients in need of air transport are typically in a very vulnerable state. Having a helicopter like the SK-76 allows the smooth and safe transport not only of the patient, but also the team of physicians and nurses necessary to provide the best possible care during that critical time.”
The helicopter went into service on May 5. INTEGRIS is the only health care system in the region utilizing a Survival Flight Sikorsky SK-76 for air medical transport.

Six (6) law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in Oklahoma will soon be engraved on the newly renovated Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial in Oklahoma City. Their names will be dedicated during the 50th Annual Oklahoma Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Service at 10 a.m. the morning of Friday, May 18, 2018. The public is encouraged to attend the service. The memorial is located on the west grounds of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Headquarters, 3600 M. L. King Avenue.
The six fallen officers being added are:
Perkins Police Officer Henry L. Cotton, died April 29, 1986, from complications following surgery for injuries sustained during a fight making an arrest March 28th;
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Corporal Stephen R. Jenkins, Jr., died January 7, 2017, from a heart attack he suffered after chasing an inmate with contraband at the Clara Waters Correctional Center in Oklahoma City;
Craig County Deputy Sheriff Sean F. Cookson, died February 27, 2017, from injuries sustained in a traffic accident the morning of February 22nd while in route to training;
Tecumseh Police Officer Justin M. Terney, died March 28, 2017, after being shot twice during a traffic stop about 11:30 p.m. the night before;
Logan County Deputy Sheriff David J. Wade, died April. 18, 2017, shortly after being shot several times while serving an eviction notice in Mulhall;
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lieutenant D. Heath Meyer, died July 24, 2017, from injuries sustained when he was accidently struck late the evening of July 14th by an OHP unit after he laid out stop sticks for a pursuit north bound on I-35 near NE 27th Street in Moore.
The Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial is the oldest state law enforcement memorial in the United States. It was dedicated May 15, 1969. The memorial recently underwent a $180,000 total renovation after it was found that the memorial plaza was sinking due to almost fifty years of rain water running over and under it. The memorial will also be rededicated during the annual memorial service May 18th.
For more information on the memorial and the eight hundred fallen officers honored on it see the memorial web site at

Cheap Cell Phone Plans for Seldom Calling Seniors

Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone plans available to seniors today? IÕm 78-years-old and want it primarily for emergency purposes.

Infrequent Caller

Dear Infrequent,
While unlimited high-speed data, video streaming and mobile hot spot are now standard for most cell phone plans today, there are still a number of low-cost wireless plans designed with seniors in mind.
These plans offer limited talk time and text, which is ideal for seniors who want to stay connected without spending much money each month. Here are some super cheap plans to consider.
Cheapest Plans
Prepaid plans are the best deal for seniors who only want a cell phone for emergency purposes or occasional calls. The very cheapest prepaid plan available today is T-MobileÕs Pay As You Go plan, which includes any combination of 30 minutes or 30 text messages for only $3 per month. After that, additional minutes and texts cost 10 cents each.
Phone prices start at $75, but if you have a compatible device, you can use it rather than buying a new one. You will, however, need to pay for a $10 SIM Starter Kit fee, whether you bring your own phone or buy a new one. Visit or call 844-361-2792 for more information.
Two other companies that offer low-cost prepaid deals are TracFone and AT&T.
TracFone (, 800-867-7183) has a 30 minute talk/text plan for $10 per month, or an even cheaper a 60 minute talk/text plan for $20 for three months, which averages out to only $6.66 per month.
And AT&T (, 800-331-0500) has two low-cost prepaid plans including the 25 cent per minute call plan, and a $2 daily plan that charges only when you place or receive a call or send a text that day. The fees are deducted from the prepaid balance on your account. But to use AT&T Prepaid, you must prepay into your account either $10 per month, $25 for three months or $100 per year.
Best Emergency Phone
If you’re interested in a senior-friendly cell phone that provides top-notched emergency assistance, consider the Jitterbug Flip (, 800-918-8543).
This is a nifty flip phone that has big buttons, enhanced sound, a simplified menu, and a 5Star urgent response button that connects you to a trained agent that will know your locations, and will be able to assist you whether you need emergency services, directions, roadside assistance or a locksmith, or to contact family. GreatCalls service runs on VerizonÕs network.
The Flip phone costs $100, with monthly service plans that start at $15 for 200 minutes. Or, you can get the 5Star service with 50 minutes of monthly talk time for $25.
Free Phones
If your income is low enough, another option you should check into is the federal Lifeline program, which provides free or low-cost cell phones and plans through numerous wireless providers.
To qualify, your annual household income must at or below 135 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines Ð which is $16,389 for one person, or $22,221 for two. Or, you must be receiving Medicaid, food stamps/SNAP, SSI, public housing assistance, veterans pension or survivorÕs pension benefit, or live on federally recognized Tribal lands.
To find out if youÕre eligible, or to locate wireless companies in your area that participates in the program, visit or call 800-234-9473.

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.