09/15/15

Merv Johnson, 79, has been a fixture of the Oklahoma Football Program for nearly four decades.

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by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

If you’ve been a fan of Oklahoma Football anytime during the last four decades you know the name Merv Johnson.
But what may be lost to you is how the 79-year-old has devoted the bulk of his life to not only building but sustaining football excellence at the University of Oklahoma.
Johnson has coached long enough to see the game change dramatically.
“Thirty to 40 years ago linemen couldn’t use their hands. They had to keep them at their chest,” Johnson recalls. “There was no chance of pass protection. Some think that’s the biggest change that’s ever occurred in the game.”
The hash marks have crept closer together, something that’s a staple in the pro game.
But Johnson doesn’t believe the NFL has really changed college ball much.
He still likes it for its purity, even though if he were coaching today he would be making millions of dollars.
Johnson admits the 80s were his time if he were going to pull the trigger to become a head coach.
“I felt like I (did try to become a head coach) but Oklahoma is a little bit of trap. You always have a chance to win big the next year,” he said.
In his 37th season at Oklahoma, Johnson now maintains dual titles at the university. He’s the director of football operations, a title Johnson admits is gracious at best. He handles some on-campus recruiting efforts and serves as the pro scout liaison.
Alumni love him and and request to see him. He’s a repository of all things associated with all that is good with Oklahoma football.
But Saturdays are when Johnson really shines – and it shows. He’s the radio color commentator next to Toby Rowland’s play-by-play.
While Rowland has become adept at telling Sooner fans what’s happening on the field, it’s Johnson’s wisdom and experience that unfold what is really happening.
For his efforts, Johnson was named the 2012 Bill Teegins Excellence in Sportscasting Award winner.
The Teegins Award honors late Oklahoma State announcer Bill Teegins, who died tragically in a 2001 plane crash, along with 10 OSU basketball players and support personnel.
Johnson is no stranger to tragedy. Oklahoma football has always been cathartic for him.
His youngest daughter, Jill Foster, died in a car accident at the age of 29.
Johnson was there for Oklahoma’s opener against UTEP less than one week later.
It was October of 2013, the morning of the TCU game, when Johnson’s wife, Cindy, was removed from life support after a stroke.
He was in the radio booth that evening. She died the next day.
Whenever life is profoundly confusing, the X’s and O’s always make sense for Johnson.
It’s how he feels his way through life.
On any given play Johnson can spot the weaknesses or failures – even if it’s a crowd-thrilling touchdown pass.
While 90,000 around him celebrate, Coach Johnson is logging mental notes.
In 1954 Johnson was graduating King City High School in Missouri. Just a few short years later he was an All-Big Seven tackle for Missouri and an academic all-conference selection.
He captained the prestigious Blue-Gray All-Star game and was named the league’s most outstanding student athlete.
“When I started coaching 100 years ago the old school coaches like (Robert) Neyland at Tennessee and (Bobby) Dodd at Georgia Tech and those gurus were defense,” Johnson said. “If you could punt the ball on the other side of the 50 when you turned it over to the other team they felt like the other team would not score more than one touchdown in a game.”
It was Barry Switzer that brought Johnson to Norman in 1979. It turned out to be the only place Johnson would ever go.
“The way he started off here you felt like you had a lot of chance of success,” Johnson said of Switzer.
In Johnson’s 20 years as an OU assistant coach, the Sooners amassed a 150-67-5 record, a national championship, six Big Eight Conference titles and seven bowl game victories.
He has produced 19 All-Americans and coached on staffs that have won four national championships (Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Arkansas).
He received the 2010 OU Regents Alumni Award, one of the highest honors given by the university.
He was an obvious choice when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002.
Johnson is also the first recipient of the National Football Foundation Integrity Award in 2003, an award that was subsequently named in his honor.
He received the All-American Football Foundation’s Mike Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.
Johnson still has a lot of family with two grown children and seven grandchildren.
Even though it pains him, he understands coming to work every single day won’t always be an option.
“I’ve thought about it a lot,” Johnson said. “I wouldn’t be very happy sitting on the porch all day long.”
He admits that multiple decades of travel have gotten old, though he’d jump on a plane in a heartbeat to go see his kids and grandkids.”
So travel is out. But what else?
“I’d rather just go fish in a pond,” he says.
In short, Johnson is a lifer in this college town. And while he still maintains that he’s the lucky one to still be around Norman, the rest of the Sooner Nation is reaping the benefits more than he’ll ever know.

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Jo Wise, 62, says seniors can enjoy a volunteer role with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.

by Mike Lee, Staff Writer

Jo Wise’s background is in nonprofit management. Management at the American Heart Association, director positions at City Arts Center and the Paseo Arts District, Wise’s wheelhouse is helping organizations help others.
That’s her comfort zone. But after being one of 500 people laid off when the economy went south a few years back, Wise found herself in front of a class of wide-eyed third graders.
“I don’t have kids and I don’t know why they thought I would be a good third-grade teacher,” Wise said of a friend who introduced her to Junior Achievement Oklahoma. “They appealed to my sensitive side and talked me into it.
“I just loved it.”
It’s been a little over two years now since Wise became the regional director of Junior Achievement Oklahoma, an organization that focuses on our future with volunteers who go into classrooms and teach real-world skills.
Junior Achievement’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
With the help of more than 213,000 volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their economic success. The programs educate young people to value free enterprise, business and economics through the support of teachers, parents, and volunteers in the classroom.
“I got so much personal satisfaction from it,” Wise said of the time she spent in the classroom. “I felt like I had done something really important. I never dreamt I would be in the nonprofit education business but it’s just been great.”
“We teach very practical information the kids don’t get anywhere else,” Wise continued. “They learn how to balance checkbooks, buy a car and how to budget. They learn how to think about jobs they want when they’re little and what they need to be studying for those jobs as they get older.”
From resumes, mock interviews – even business and job shadows – Junior Achievement prepares students.
Wise says volunteers are encouraged to share their own experiences so lessons really hit home. After all, learning from someone else’s mistakes can seriously shorten a learning curve.
“We try to bring relativity to what they’re being taught in the classroom,” she said.
Last year, Junior Achievement had 700 volunteers in Oklahoma classrooms. This year the goal is 750 and Wise says anyone can help.
“I’m a senior myself and I was semi-retired whenever I found this job,” Wise said. “(Seniors) make some of the best volunteers that we have.”
Junior Achievement provides hands-on experiences to help young people understand how the real-world works.
In partnership with business and educators, Junior Achievement helps educate students in personal finance and practical workplace skills, preparing them to pursue their careers as well as their dreams.
During the 2013-2014 school year Junior Achievement of Oklahoma:
* Helped teach more than 51,500 students relevant concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
* Over 9,000 JA BizTown citizens
* Connected over 3,500 business & community volunteers to classrooms
* Awarded 6 scholarships to graduating JA students
* Over 1,100 students competed in the JA Investor Challenge
* Over 1,200 high school students learned work readiness skills through JA Job Shadow and JA Workplace Internships
Last year, Wise said more than 14,200 students were impacted. The goal is to reach 16,000 students this year.
Junior Achievement has a 79-percent return rate, meaning the vast majority of volunteers enjoy their experience and come back again.
“Most people aren’t teaching anything they don’t know about already themselves,” Wise said. “So it’s easy to incorporate their stories into it. It’s an extremely rewarding experience.”
And the majority of schools Junior Achievement works with are Title I schools, meaning a majority of the student population is on the free or reduced lunch program.
“They don’t have role models to look up to,” Wise said.
Those interested in volunteering can contact Wise directly at 405-235-3399 or go to www.jaok.org. Junior Achievement has offices in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“Once I taught that third-grade class I thought I had missed my calling,” Wise said. “I couldn’t believe I was the age I was an I had never taught. I didn’t even know I had the aptitude for it.”

Joyce Clark with Achievis Senior Living Associates, by a sign she came up with near the entrance at FountainBrook Assisted Living & Memory Support, in east MWC. mh

by Mike Lee
Staff Writer

Aging in place is a buzzword these days. But what does it really mean?
Joyce Clark has devoted her life’s work to ensuring seniors feel comfortable in their surroundings, no matter where they are living.
Clark has made life a little brighter and a little better for literally thousands of seniors in Oklahoma.
As the founder and CEO of Achievis Senior Living Associates, Clark spends her time breathing life into senior communities. Whether it be a community that has faltered and needs to get back on track or a brand new building, Clark plays a vital role.
The 53-year-old understands the people she serves. She knows that when she’s called in as a consultant she’s doing more than just meeting a budget or a goal.
“I’m a pretty aggressive goal-setter,” Clark said. “The goal for me is to always position a community to where it has the best resident care and its services and amenities are competitive. Making a profit is vitally important of course but I find it comes much easier when you put residents and employees first.”
Clark’s current project is Whispering Creek, 5712 Goldfinger Road, on the border of south Oklahoma City and Mustang. It is an active adult retirement neighborhood with homes for lease. Whispering Creek is made up of 70 attractive duplex homes in a private, gated neighborhood that features a clubhouse, ponds with waterfalls, storm shelter, and walking trails. Friendly neighbors and premier amenities such as a fitness center and social events are steps away from your front door. All lawn care, maintenance, and property management is included so you can focus on fun and friends.
Scheduled events, organized by Whispering Creek staff and residents, include theme nights, holiday parties, and day trips to local attractions. Residents can be active in a variety of clubs that may include bridge, canasta, book of the month, poker, dinner club, and scrapbooking.
It’s these types of amenities that Clark makes sure she includes in all her properties.
But staying at home as long as possible is also the wish for many. Clark says there are things people need to consider to better age in place.
Clark is a proponent of making homes safer and easier to maintain. Reducing trip hazards and sharp corners is important. Grab bars, carefully placed furniture, non-slip flooring, and tucked away electric cords make a big difference.
Single-story homes without any steps are typically the best option. Doorways and halls should be at least 36 inches wide to incorporate wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices.
Oven knobs need to be on the front so that the cook does not have to reach over hot pans or a flame. Other suggestions are to ensure the microwave is at counter height and appliances have easy-to-read controls. Low-maintenance shrubs and plants are the best choice for foliage and decoration.
Clark is a leader of the senior housing industry. She’s been in the business long enough to see dramatic changes.
“I find that since the recession things are different,” Clark said. “People are waiting longer to make the move into assisted living. They’re more crisis driven. Sometimes their family is struggling financially and dependent on the senior’s income or housing”. Inter-generational living is coming back into the American lifestyle and Clark feels that can be rewarding for everyone.

Ramona “Moni” Heinrich has been recognized as the 2015 CattleWoman of the Year by the Oklahoma Cattle Women, Inc.

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The Oklahoma CattleWomen, Inc. (OCW) have recognized Ramona “Moni” Heinrich as the 2015 CattleWoman of the Year. The CattleWoman of the Year winner exhibits dedication to the organization and its programs throughout their history with the organization and throughout the previous year.
Heinrich has been a member of OCW for many years and lives in Ramona, Okla., with her husband Richard. She is a valuable recruiter for the organization and dedicated volunteer. Heinrich has been involved in her local CattleWomen chapter and OCW. In 2014, she became chair of the OCW volunteers for the Tulsa Beef Tent, a concession at the Tulsa State Fair where cattlemen and cattlewomen serve ribeye steak sandwiches.
In 2015, Heinrich volunteered to assist with a fundraiser, which supports the Oklahoma CattleWomen annual scholarships. She was also recently appointed secretary for OCW, a term which she will serve for the next two years.
Heinrich was recognized at the 63rd Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen/CattleWomen Convention on July 24, 2015 in Midwest City. Convention sponsors included American Farmers and Ranchers, Livingston Machinery, The Oklahoma Land Lady – Rachel Pickens, Davison and Son’s Cattle Co.
Oklahoma CattleWomen, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes efficient production of beef, educates consumers on the nutritional values of beef, and communicates goodwill within the communities and state. For more information visit www.okcattlewomen.org.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why? Epworth Villa

“I would be a squirrel so I could travel to different places.” Herman Reece

“I would be a cat because they are usually petted and cared for a lot.” Marlene Reece

“I would be a horse.  I remember riding a horse to school when I was 6 years old and it was always so dependable.” John Brothers

“I would be a cat.  Cats are so smart and independent as well as  being a loving companion.” Julia Loveless

Concordia Life Care Adminstrator Jerod Buttram and Jacquelyn Rolen, RN, serves as director of Health Services, offer guidance to the staff to serve the needs of residents.

by Jason Chandler
Staff Writer

Jerod Buttram spoke to a resident the other day who has lived in Independent living at Concordia Life Care Community. He’s now living is assisted living, said Buttram, Concordia Life Care administrator.
That’s the ease of Concordia, having a continuum of care to age in place.
“He’s a very stern, strong man,” Buttram said. “And he’s come to me more than once that I know more about him than anyone else. His family is pretty active with him, but he still feels that we are close enough that I know more about him than even a family does.”
Buttram knows that’s the type of reward that one doesn’t take for granted. Such a compliment is earned, he said.
“It was very heartfelt.”
All under one roof, Concordia Life Care Community is a faith based continuing care retirement community offering all levels of care from assisted living to memory support and skilled nursing.
Concordia was developed by 12 Lutheran churches during the 1950s. Now Concordia is the only community under the auspices of Lutheran Senior Citizens, Inc. Concordia can generally serve about 200 senior, Buttram said.
When a resident qualifies to live there, they are committed to receive whatever contractual level they need for the rest of their life.
Buttram has witnessed the transitions of life many of the residents experience, said Jacquelyn Rolen, RN, and director of Health Services.
When working with seniors, nurses and anyone who works at Concordia must have a heart to earn more than a paycheck, Buttram continued.
“If you get that and you have the servant heart, then the rewards are much greater than financial,” Buttram said. “And I fell the majority of the staff and the residents that live here get that concept.”
Finding that fit is almost magical, he said. You transcend a pay check, and that is what makes the caregiver and the Concordia environment special, he explained.
Rolen came to work at Concordia because she immediately sensed a different feeling there. She felt welcomed and that ambiance shines on the residents who live there.
“The residents are happy,” she said.
They are part of a community, sort of like a small town, said Buttram, who has served on a city commissioner in New Mexico.
“Concordia is a life care community. And it acts like an independent community does,” he said. “We have our own boards that get involved in the governance. You have residents who take a vested interest in their neighbors.”
They will report to staff if their neighbors are not feeling well or if they haven’t seen them out as often lately, Buttram said.
“They are a huge source for us about our own residents,” Buttram continued. “And so together, we care for everybody.”
Buttram has found his niche due to the fact that Concordia acts like a small town. Being faith based, there are a lot of residents from the Nazarene church and the Lutheran church, Rolen said.
“We have some ministers here that live here,” she said. “You can feel the faith in here.”
In Buttram’s office is a framed expression stating, “Every day is a gift,” which seems to reflect the general attitude of each hallway.
“Someone (a nurse) was over today checking Assisted Living to see how they’re doing,” Rolen said. “One of the residents said, ‘Have a normal day,’ and I looked at him (the nurse) and said, ‘What’s a normal day? I hope you don’t have too many emergencies today.’”
There is nothing about providing care to individuals that is routine, Buttram said. Every day is different and unique with its own challenges and rewards, he added.
Buttram and Rolen enjoy being assessable to the Concordia staff, many of whom have worked at other places and had never met the administrator and the administrator didn’t know them.
“Here, the staff knows both of us,” Buttram said. “They know the administrator by name and come in and share issues about work and personal. I’ve had that response to me I don’t know how many times. Too me that’s a good thing.” Nurses don’t run the other way when they see the director of nurses.
“In some places you hide, but here they come to Jackie,” he said.
Rolen said she has been a nurse for a long time and always wanted to be an open-door. She makes corrections when a nurse is wrong, but she tries to be positive because it provides better results and communication.
“I’ve always felt that you can’t keep correcting somebody if you can’t tell them how to do something right,” Rolen said.
Buttram said the best approach is to see that new challenges are a learning experience. The idea is to grow, he said. People make mistakes but the hope is that they don’t repeat mistakes, but learn from it.
“Hopefully we have that here,” he said.
Groups of men play poker in one room and you turn the corner and others are singing Happy Birthday to their neighbors and friends.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn  t4z@aol.com

Houmas House Plantation and Gardens is just a short drive northwest of New Orleans, and a world away from modern stress with a touch of old plantation elegance. In fact the old plantations of the fabled golden era of the south could never have matched the elegance that owner, developer and host, Kevin Kelly has created.
By taking an historical plantation featured in several movies as the icon of the old south, he has updated it without losing the charm of the old South we all seek. Year after year he has added to its elegance with extensive gardens, world class gourmet offerings, and overnight accommodations envy of any five star property.
For nearly two and a half centuries, the Sugar Barons of Houmas House have entertained their guests with the finest of food and beverage. It is in this spirit that Chef Anderson Foster allows his guests the opportunity to personalize their dining experience. His tasting menu allows for his guests to select among several choices for the ultimate customization of their menu. Visit Latil’s Landing Restaurant on their Restaurant Page for details and menus.
Or you may want to linger all day and enjoy 38 lush acres of gardens, ponds and the majestic live oak alley. Relax with a refreshing handmade mint julep by a handsome escort, and enjoy the breeze off the Mississippi just up over the levee in front of the plantation and stroll through the shadows of ancient oaks conjuring up fantasies of older days.
You may want to schedule your visit to coincide with the Art Gumbo Community Market presented by the River Region Art Association every third Saturday of the month under the trees at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, LA on The River Road from 10am – 2pm. The market offers Louisiana arts and crafts from local artisans including, paintings, jewelry, photography, pottery, and other such special crafts. Latil’s Landing Restaurant Chef, Jeremy Langlois offers a complimentary tasting of one of his amazing dishes. After visiting the Market, their Café Burnside, open for lunches and breakfast for casual but delicious dining.
The American Photo Safari group has teamed up with Houmas House to offer a day of learning, relaxation and beauty, In addition to the plantation house which contains eighteen rooms filled with antiques the experience includes acres of gardens, ponds, paths and its majestic Live Oak alley. It received the Country Roads Favorite Plantation Award for 2011, where you will also learn about its deep-rooted history of the plantation lead by guides in period dress.
225 Baton Rouge Magazine readers have voted Houmas House Plantation and
Gardens Best Wedding Reception Venue for 2015. It’s also the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor!
After visiting the plantation over the years as I have, I think you will agree with me that Houmas House is your favorite plantation experience. Never been? Visited in the past? Now is the time to renew and enjoy.
For more information, location and booking:
http://www.houmashouse.com

Mr. Terry Zinn – Travel Editor
Past President: International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association
http://realtraveladventures.com/author/zinn/
http://www.examiner.com/travel-in-oklahoma-city/terry-zinn
www.new.seniornewsandliving.com – www.martinitravels.com

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Dust off those go-go boots and get ready to have a gas. On October 14, singer/songwriter Darla Z will perform a benefit concert at UCO Jazz Lab for Pepper’s Ranch Foster Care Community in a night filled with sensational 60s tunes. Darla Z’s sixties show will take you back to the days of peace, love and flower power. Touted by celebrity web site Radar Online as a singer with “Amazing vocals…a first class ticket,” Darla Z is the star of three public television specials, Vegas Headliner, and often called the female version of Frank Sinatra. About Darla Z, John Avildsen, Academy Award winning director of Rocky, calls Darla Z’s voice “nectar for the ears.” Tickets to the show are $75.00, includes gourmet food and wine, and can be purchased by visiting www.peppersranch.com or by calling Tonya Ratcliff at 405-919-9888. Sponsorships are also available.
Founded in 2009, Pepper’s Ranch was the first foster care community in Oklahoma. The community provides life changing experiences and opportunities for the foster care children who call this 160 acre ranch near Guthrie, Oklahoma, their “home.” Pepper’s Ranch mission is to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect through loving homes, counseling, and growth-oriented activities. By creating a network of caring foster parents and adult mentors on whom children can depend, Peppers Ranch is committed to providing a safe and secure environment where physical and emotional wounds can heal.

By Greg Schwem

I took up cycling several years ago after reading multiple scientific studies concluding that the simple act of repetitive clockwise leg movement while hunched over and struggling to breathe (my definition of cycling) improves memory and concentration while reducing stress and anxiety. This being science, researchers no doubt spent astronomical hours and federal grant monies to recruit cycling enthusiasts, place them on stationary bikes, hook them up to heart monitors, take copious notes (“Look, Dr. Jackson, he’s still pedaling! What do you make of that?”) and then observe those same participants as they solved puzzles and engaged in cognitive activities.
Save yourself time and tax dollars, scientific community. Next time, simply hop aboard a bike and ride naked through a large metropolitan city.
Having recently completed Chicago’s chapter of the annual World Naked Bike Ride, I heartily concur with the “cycling helps your brain” theory. For the record, I wore boxer briefs and a helmet, firm in my belief that nudity should always take a backseat to safety, particularly when one is riding up Michigan Avenue on wet pavement while high-fiving Uber drivers. And for those who feel my decision to ride partially clothed was somehow illegal, allow me to set the record straight. Total nudity is not a WNBR requirement; some participants wore full cycling attire while others bared all, much to the horror of young families strolling near the American Girl store on the Magnificent Mile.
Let’s start with concentration. My prefrontal cortex – the portion of the brain that controls the ability to focus – was in fine form. Perhaps it was the random bare body parts, both male and female, to my left and right, or the body-painted butt in front of me proclaiming “Less Gas, More A**” (an event slogan coined to encourage more reliance on “people-powered vehicles”).
Alas, the cheap acrylic paint was no match for the recurring rain showers; the message slowly dissolved into its owner’s intergluteal cleft while I pedaled and focused intently. Add that image to the all the other stimuli flooding my acetylcholine receptor and I felt confident I could work as the lone barista at Starbucks and correctly produce every order during the Monday morning rush, no matter how complex. This from a guy who, prior to the ride, could only half remember his wife’s request to pick up ground beef AND toilet paper from the grocery store.
As the phalanx of nudity streamed up Rush Street, causing upper crust Gibson’s Steakhouse patrons to whip out their cellphones for something other than trading stocks, my stress and anxiety levels evaporated. Granted, I was a bit anxious upon checking in for the event and realizing I could be riding next to “Baby,” a New York man whose cycling ensemble consisted of a Scooby Doo mask, ski googles and candy-striped underwear. But Scooby/Baby quickly melded into the crowd. I bonded with 36-year-old Sarah, riding her fifth consecutive event and insisting she would continue doing so until “my boobs get caught in the spokes.”
Anxiety free and armed with my newly returned abilities of concentration and memory, I began to exercise the capabilities of my brain’s parietal lobe, processing auditory information and committing it to memory via the hippocampus deep within the medial temporal lobe. In other words, here are things I overheard on the WNBR and will NEVER forget:
“Does anybody have any duct tape?”
“Slow down. I don’t need road rash down there.”
“No photos please.” I’m still wondering how a publically naked person can be camera shy.
“Why bother closing the door?” (A comment made to a male participant about to urinate in a Porta-Potty)
“Go Hawks!”
Even among nudists, Chicago is a hockey town.

(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad,” available at http://bit.ly/gregschwem. Visit Greg on the Web at www.gregschwem.com.)

Jim Kendrick, CEO of Oklahoma Network and Devon Hyde, CEO of Deaconess announce new name of hospital: AllianceHealth Deaconess

by Vickie Jenkins

On August 11, 2015 Deaconess Hospital changes its name to AllianceHealth Deaconess and joined the nine other CHS-affiliated hospitals in the state to form AllianceHealth Oklahoma. One of the state’s largest healthcare systems, AllianceHealth Oklahoma combines the strength, resources and commitment to quality of 10 hospitals, more than 70 clinics, six home health agencies and more than 4,500 employed physicians and employees to serve patients across the state.
“Working together, we can embrace how we serve patients across Oklahoma, stated Devon Hyde, CEO of AllianceHealth Deaconess. “We are determined to offer patients the best possible experience, when and where they need it. When patients see the name AllianceHealth Oklahoma, we want them to expect high quality and safe care.”
What does this name change mean for you? “It creates a network so that when patients are receiving care in one of the outlying facilities, they have an understanding that there is a continuity of care throughout the state of Oklahoma. We have a pervasive presence in those communities, and if patients need to seek higher levels of care, it is certainly available within our network,” states Hyde.
“Currently, we provide healthcare in 10 Oklahoma communities, but no one has a sense that we are affiliated and provide coordinated care throughout the state. With the connection among our partners strengthened by a system name, common visual identity and consistent, strategic communications, our patients will know at every point along the continuum of care that they are being cared by our health network. From a hospital perspective, we are one of the largest health systems in the state. Most people don’t realize it but the branding will help patients easily recognize that our hospitals are part of a single network where they can expect to receive high quality care and the best possible experience,” Jim Kendrick, Network CEO comments.
The hospitals in AllianceHealth Oklahoma are:
* AllianceHealth Deaconess
* AllianceHealth Blackwell
* AllianceHealth Clinton
* AllianceHealth Durant
* AllianceHealth Madill
* AllianceHealth Midwest
* AllianceHealth Ponca City
* AllianceHealth Pryor
* AllianceHealth
* AllianceHealth Seminole
* AllianceHealth Woodward
All programs and services of these hospitals are also part of the AllianceHealth Oklahoma family; the physician practices are renamed as AllianceHealth Medical Group, Home Health agencies are now known as Alliance Oklahoma Home Health. Today, there are agencies located in Oklahoma City, Midwest City, Ponca City Pryor and Woodward. In Clinton, the agency offers home health and hospice services.
“Another great thing about these communities coming together, we get to see our employees be a part of an organization. It creates a greater level of coordination and care whether it be locally or throughout the regions, we provide outlets of an alliance. All organizations in the state of Oklahoma are now branded with the new AllianceHealth. It starts today and I am very excited about it,” Kendrick states. “All 10 hospitals have been locally operated, which they will continue to do, but they will now identify with the AllianceHealth Oklahoma network. Now, whether it is patient care or physician recruiting, we are going to do the best job we can having that visual alliance, we can now identify with the new, basic network through Oklahoma.”

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