Heritage Assisted Living Center Director of Admissions Kimberly Brinner, Director Curtis Aduddell and Chief Canine Officer Cotton have created a warm, inviting atmosphere for seniors in the metro.

by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

Heritage Assisted Living has been in Curtis Aduddell’s family for 17 years.
The director realizes when he comes to work every day he’s walking into someone’s home.
He’s proud of that. And walk the halls of the Yukon residence for a few minutes and you’ll quickly see he’s not the only one.
“More laughter going on here than any other facility around, I’ll bet you,” said resident Jane Carter.
“We do have fun,” resident Ron Kirby chimed in. “It’s the reason to live. That’s what it’s all about. When you’re happy you live longer.”
There’s life in these hallways.
The sound of people laughing.
The smell of chicken enchilada soup simmering on the stove in preparation for dinner.
Aduddell became a nursing home administrator in 1993 in Texas. When the opportunity arose to move back to Oklahoma he jumped on it.
His brother and father approached him with a plan to open several assisted living facilities. The family built Heritage Assisted Living from the ground up and Aduddell has been at 9025 Northwest Expressway ever since.
Joan Dark’s residence is just 10 feet down the hall from Aduddell’s office.
His door is alway open, usually with Chief Canine Officer Cotton’s head poking out. Aduddell’s affectionate, gentle and patient Great Pyrenees knows every resident by sight and visits with them on a daily basis.
In 2015, Dark sold her house and moved into independent living. Less than a year later she realized the move didn’t solve the day-to-day chores of cleaning, cooking and shopping.
A friend suggested Heritage Assisted Living.
“I love it here,” Dark said.
And one of the things she loves is the access she has to the man in charge.
She’s used that access on a couple occasions but mostly she pops in just to say hello.
“A lot of people like the fact they can go to somebody that can at least give them an answer. Whether the answer is yes, no, this that or the other you don’t have to run it up a corporate chain of command,” Aduddell said.
“We do it because we love the seniors and we love what we do. That’s my goal. Open door – absolutely.”
The open door policy is just one of the amenities new residents are offered when Director of Admissions Kimberly Brinner begins the discussion of moving in.
“We get a lot of information before people come in and find out their likes and dislikes,” Brinner said. “We try to pair them up with someone here who is very similar.”
From that information a myriad of things begin to fall into place.
“They feel comfortable. They know there are people they can go to talk to over and over again,” Brinner said. “We know this is going to be hard. The first six weeks are always bumpy, no matter wherever they go.”
“But it’s bumpy because their entire world has just turned upside down. We want to make sure during that time we’re here for them 100 percent.”
That’s where the hospitality committee comes in. Sharing stories, memories, tips and feelings of their own personal transitions oftentimes brings it home to people that they don’t have to go through this phase alone.
Residents are encouraged to take ownership at Heritage. Whether it be serving on resident committees or leading in other ways the message is clear: Heritage is your home.
“We work here. You live here,” Brinner said. “We’re working in your home. We want to know what you want us to do in your home. We don’t want to cross that line when we’re in your home. You tell us what you need us to do to make your life better.”
“The thing I always stress is that we’re a family-owned facility but we’re a family here. My mom lives here.”
Dinnertime is a special time at Heritage – largely because it’s driven by what residents want.
The food council meets monthly with Chef Felipe Castillo to help craft the menu.
Special requests are made and family recipes are shared with Castillo so he can share with everyone.
A few years back, residents even opted to restructure dining times and implement reserved seating.
“They wanted that. It’s not for our benefit,” Aduddell laughed. “They wanted it to get to know the people at their table.”
Remodeling has already begun at Heritage. A bistro will open along with a workout facility. More open reading areas will be offered.
Granite countertops and new flooring are also being installed.
Staff longevity reigns at Heritage. Director of Nursing Jodie Spradlin has several night staff that have worked at Heritage for 17 years.
Many others are reaching a decade of service to residents.
“People come and stay,” Aduddell said. “We just try to hire caring and compassionate people. I think we’ve done a good job in that.”
They’ve also done a good job of making a home.
To find out more information you can call Brinner at 405-470-4249 or go online to

Eddie Sims has spent four decades in health care and is the chief of EMSSTAT services in Norman.

story and photos by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer

For the last four decades Eddie Sims has kept a watchful eye on the citizens of Cleveland County.
You’ll probably never meet him but if you or a loved one ever requires emergency medical attention it will come as a result of the work put in by Sims and his staff.
The EMSSTAT manager and paramedic has around 100 employees who staff the emergency medical services for Norman, Moore, and adjacent rural areas of Cleveland County along with the northern half of the township of Goldsby.
That means Sims’ crew operates 13-14 ambulances on most days and is responsible for the lives of some 200,000 people at any given time.
Then there’s the athletic events.
“Luckily they’re planned,” Sims smiled. “It’s not a summer concert to benefit the tornado victims in the middle of July which I never want to see again.
“We cover the vast majority of OU athletics and a lot of community events in both cities. I live my life around OU. I don’t leave town for OU game days, graduation or medieval fair. There’s things you have anchored and live your life around those.”
When the football season begins and nearly 90,000 people descend on Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium for a daytime game a medical call for assistance comes in every 90 seconds.
Sims grew up in Miami, Florida with older parents. His father was diagnosed with cancer on his spine when Sims was 11.
He took care of his parents from then on.
Growing up in the early 1970s watching firefighters John and Roy man Squad 51 on the hit TV drama Emergency, Sims was hooked.
“During that time was when EMS was born. That’s what I wanted to do,” Sims said. “We used to sit around and watch it. I was used to being up 24 hours a day taking care of (my father) and responding to stuff. My mom had issues to where she really couldn’t do it and I was an only child.”
“I got involved with medicine and helping people before I really had a choice and it was really what I wanted to do.”
When he was old enough to get a job he found the local market tough to break into without a military or minority background.
“They wouldn’t even accept applications so when I was 14 or 15 I started chasing hurricanes,” he said. “In that process I met the director of the severe storms lab (in Norman) who invited us to come chase tornadoes.”
That began a routine where every spring he would fly to Oklahoma to chase storms.
He eventually settled in Norman and was among the first group to establish medical services under the Norman Police Department.
“When we started Norman probably had 50,000 or 60,000 people in it,” Sims said. “The culture in Oklahoma was ‘take me to the hospital now, you people don’t need to be doing anything to me.”
“There was a lot of public education. Being in a police system it was kind of a unique opportunity that a lot of us that had concerns how the police would integrate into an emergency medical system, it turned out to be an absolutely wonderful fit.”
In 1995, the City of Norman shuffled its emergency services and put them under the umbrella of the Norman Regional Health System.
“Again, that was a great opportunity because the resources the health system had were much greater than the city was willing to contribute,” said Sims, whose agency boasts higher than national average survival rates for patients experiencing cardiac arrest. “Medically, in 1978 if you had a heart attack we tried to get you to a hospital. If you had a second heart attack man you were lucky but you didn’t have much heart left and your quality of life went down.”
“If you had a stroke it really wasn’t an emergency because there wasn’t anything anybody was going to do for you.”
Within the last 10 years that all changed.
“We can get you to a hospital and the people in the cath lab can remove the blockage and you can walk out three days later healthier than when you started,” Sims said. “If you have a stroke and .. we take you to a stroke center and two days later you may have no residual effects at all.”
“The difference that EMS and emergency medicine has made over the four decades I’ve been doing this is amazing.”

Oklahoma County Sheriff Corporal Kim Lopez and the TRIAD Program are urging seniors to shop safe this holiday season.

by Bobby Anderson,
Staff Writer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for criminals looking to cash in on those just trying to spread a little holiday cheer.
In November, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Officer Corporal Kim Lopez celebrated 31 years in law enforcement.
And for the past several years she has served as the coordinator of the TRIAD program which pairs law enforcement and seniors together in an effort to reduce victimization of the elderly.
She sat down with Senior News and Living to share what criminals are looking for and how you can avoid being a target.
Lopez says the parking lot and the cash register are the two most vulnerable spots for seniors.
“I didn’t get what I have from cop school,” Lopez said. “I went to the professionals and career criminals are very quick to brag about how they selected their victims. Seniors have this vague knowledge of why we always say parking lots are fertile ground. But they need to know which ones and why.
“What I always say is the parking lots you feel the most comfortable in – not good.”
Lopez explained that cops aren’t the only ones who watch people’s body language. When people lower their guard in places where they feel more comfortable their body language eases.
Contrary to what you might believe, parking lots that serve 24-hour businesses are hot spots.
“Career criminals tell me when the drug deal goes bad, the fight is on and the police are in pursuit they want to ditch a car by getting to a parking lot and steal a car,” Lopez said. “They understand something we don’t. Crossing many different jurisdictions in a wide variety of vehicles makes it impossible for us to catch them.”
So consider that the next time you go to a casino, gas station or big box grocery store open 24 hours.
But the No. 1 place to be on your guard, according to Lopez, is the hospital parking lot.
Someone who commits a crime in a small town wants to get to a bigger location as soon as possible.
“People at hospitals are the worst for awareness,” Lopez said. “You’ll see people zoned out of their mind. They’ve been sleeping in a chair, eating out of a vending machine and haven’t showered for two days. They’ve had it. They’re worn out, care worn, and have a laundry list of things of things they are worried about and they’re not paying a bit of attention.
“It’s easier to get someone’s car keys and steal their car in a hospital than anywhere else.”
Wherever you checkout and pay for your purchases is another favorite spot for criminals.
Getting a shopping cart, even if you’re shopping for something small is a great way to put distance between you and someone looking to gain access to your checks or credit/debit cards.
Cell phones are able to take multiple pictures of the checking account information in seconds. Checks that are written and returned to be thrown away are favorite targets.
If you’re going to continue to write checks Lopez suggests using gel, liquid ink to write with. A criminal can use fingernail polish remover on a previously used check to “wash” it and reuse.
And criminals love to follow around senior men.
“Right there at the register, senior adult men are targeted because they carry way too much cash,” Lopez said.
Lopez has noticed an increase in criminals following senior men around and then using a razor blade to slice a hole in the bottom of the back pocket. The wallet falls, the criminal picks it up and is already several purchases down the road before anyone is the wiser.
Lopez also suggests:
· Getting your form of payment out in the “unmentionables section” of the store and not at the register is ideal.
· Carrying your purse in front of you, with your arm over.
· Use a lanyard wallet you can slip under your shirt.
· Turn your rings around at the register. Don’t advertise what you have so someone can target you.
· Use a pen when punching in your debit card number to prevent the use of criminals using clip-on, heat-sensitive cameras.
· Have your monthly Social Security check direct deposited to one account and set-up an auto transfer to an account linked to your debit card that you use to pay your bills. That way if the card and/or PIN is compromised thieves don’t have access to your entire account balance.

Oklahoma Assisted Living Association Executive Director Melissa Holland has been fighting for seniors amid the state’s budget crisis.

by Bobby Anderson
Staff Writer

Weeks of political wrangling at the Oklahoma Legislature in November put the immediate future of 20,000 Oklahoma seniors in jeopardy with only a temporary fix agreed upon as the year draws to a close.
In mid-November the ADvantage Waiver program, designed to help them live at home instead of a nursing home faced elimination. By the end of the month a temporary reprieve was granted with the program’s future still uncertain in 2018.
Melissa Holland serves as the executive director of the Oklahoma Assisted Living Association.
She says her phone rang off the hook throughout the legislature’s special session.
“It shouldn’t have come to this point,” Holland said of the 11th-hour reprieve the waiver program received from Gov. Mary Fallin.
Financially, the ADvantage Waiver requires that applicants qualify for Oklahoma’s Institutional Medicaid known as SoonerCare.
The SoonerCare income limit for long term care services for a single applicant is $2,205 per month. The countable resources limit is $2,000.
Holland points out the program is actually a federal one through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Which means it was funded through taxes paid into Social Security.
“So Oklahoma receives funds for that and they should be disbursing accordingly,” Holland said. “The funds come from CMS.”
After learning of the Oklahoma Legislature’s intent to short the Oklahoma Department of Human Services $69 million in funding for the next fiscal year, DHS sent out a letter in October announcing that the ADvantage Waiver program would end Nov. 30.
The move would cover $39.44 million of the department’s $69 million funding shortfall.
State Rep. Pat Ownbey, chairman of the House Human Services Committee, said he believes the program will survive.
“The intent of the Legislature is not to allow the ADvantage Waiver program to be cut,” he said. “It’s not going to happen. … We will get that (budget) hole filled.”
Even though DHS was required by law to notify recipients of the impending cut it was criticized by legislators for fear mongering.
“What’s interesting was I started fielding calls from seniors that needed to go into communities that were looking for long-term care options and they had nowhere to go,” Holland said.
One of Holland’s members had to send out 26 eviction notices in one day. A pharmacy service called and said it would be forced to lay off employees.
“The thing is these residents, these seniors, have paid that to society,” Holland said. “Some are veterans. Most have worked hard and they deserve this. They’ve paid into the system and this is basically their money that should be coming back to them from the government from the taxes they’ve paid.”
“They’re not people who have never worked or are trying to live off the system.”
The program faced elimination in the new budget sent to Fallin’s desk.
But Fallin struck down all but five of the 170 sections of the budget plan. The measure did ensure the ADvantage program would be funded until January.
“House Bill 1019X does not provide a long-term solution to the re-occurring budget deficits, and within three months we will come back facing an estimated $600 million shortfall,” she said.
“This will preserve a safety net for core health and human services until legislators come back for a second special session, which I intend to call in the near future,” said Fallin.
Fallin said she vetoed most of HB 1019X because it came perilously close to using most of the state’s available one-time funds in various accounts and drawing down on available savings in the Rainy Day Fund. Signing the measure would have left the state with few available funds to deal with an estimated shortfall of more than $600 million in the next regular legislative session, which begins in February.
Senior Joan Dark is an ADvantage program member who lives in a Yukon assisted living facility.
She was one of thousands of Oklahoma seniors who spent an anxious November waiting for news.
“I turn the news on and turn it back off. It’s not pleasant but I pray a lot,” Dark said. “I honestly don’t know. I just don’t know. I love it here. I just don’t want the legislature to close us down. I like the people, both the residents and the staff. They are so good to us.”

Dear Savvy Senior,

What’s the best way to distribute my personal possessions to my kids after I’m gone without causing hard feelings or conflict? I have a lot of jewelry, art, family heirlooms and antique furniture, and three grown kids that don’t always see eye-to-eye on things. Planning Ahead


Dear Planning,
Divvying up personal possessions among adult children or other loved ones can often be a difficult task. Deciding who should get what without showing favoritism, hurting someone’s feeling or causing a feud can be difficult, even for close-knit families who enter the process with the best of intentions. Here are a few tips to consider that can help you divide your stuff with minimal conflict.
Problem Areas
For starters, you need to be aware that it’s usually the small, simple items of little monetary value that cause the most conflicts. This is because the value we attach to the small personal possessions is usually sentimental or emotional, and because the simple items are the things that most families fail to talk about.
Family battles can also escalate over whether things are being divided fairly by monetary value. So for items of higher value like your jewelry, antiques and art, consider getting an appraisal to assure fair distribution. To locate an appraiser, see Appraisers.org or AppraisersAssociation.org.
Ways to Divvy
The best solution for passing along your personal possessions is for you to go through your house with your kids or other heirs either separately or all at once. Open up cabinets, drawers and closets, and go through boxes in the attic and/or basement to find out which items they would like to inherit and why. They may have some emotional attachment to something you’re not aware of. If more than one child wants the same thing, you will have the ultimate say.
Then you need to sit down and make a list of who gets what on paper, signed, dated and referenced in your will. You can revise it anytime you want. You may also want to consider writing an additional letter or create an audio or video recording that further explains your intentions.
You can also specify a strategy for divvying up the rest of your property. Here are some methods that are fair and reasonable:
· Take turns choosing: Use a round-robin process where your kids take turns choosing the items they would like to have. If who goes first becomes an issue, they can always flip a coin, draw straws or roll dice. Also, to help simplify things, break down the dividing process room-by-room, versus tackling the entire house. To keep track of who gets what, either make a list or use adhesive dots with a color assigned to each person to tag the item.
· Have a family auction: Give each person involved the same amount of play money, or use virtual points or poker chips to bid on the items they want.
For more ideas, see “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?” at YellowPiePlate.umn.edu. This is a resource created by the University of Minnesota Extension Service that offers a detailed workbook or interactive CD for $12.50, and DVD for $30 that gives pointers to help families discuss property distribution and lists important factors to keep in mind that can help avoid conflict.
It’s also very important that you discuss your plans in advance with your kids so they can know ahead what to expect. Or, you may even want to start distributing some of your items now, while you can still alive.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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

By Darlene Franklin

Merry Christmas? Not always. For many, it’s the loneliest time of year. Merry Christmas? Not always. For many, it’s the loneliest time of year. How do you read “Godisnowhere?” Many cheer that God is now here. Others wander in the darkness of “God is nowhere.” Some still wonder if Emanuel, God with us, has ever come. God not only makes promises. He transforms, fulfills, and perpetuates them. PROMISES GIVENIn the 21st century, Christians are tempted to question why people didn’t recognize Jesus as the Messiah at His birth. We don’t think about how long Jews had waited waiting for Emanuel to be born, ever since the birth of their nation, a promise that extended back to the Garden of Eden.Fifty-three years ago, my ten-year-old self said “I will” when the preacher asked, “who will go?” I fbelieved I was supposed to serve as a music missionary to Mexico.Our southern neighbor was pretty exotic to someone from Maine. I studied Spanish on my own until I got to high school and pursued advanced degrees in Bible and music.Did I ever get to Mexico? Yes, for eight glorious weeks one summer while I was in college. My dream of fulltime service ground down over the years. Financial and family difficulties intervened, and I found myself too old and unfit. I gave up, but God didn’t. When I moved west, Mexicans worked in fast-food restaurants, did my hair, and became my neighbors, friends, and co-workers. They accepted my halting attempts at Spanish with delight. When I didn’t get to Mexico, God brought Mexico to me. PROMISES TRANSFORMEDGod did more than bring Mexico to me. He turned the tables on me. A couple of weeks ago one of my nursing home aides, Maria Ochoa, helped me get ready for the day. Spanish Catholic music played on her phone, and I sang along. She showed me the lyrics on the screen. For ten minutes, we told the gospel through endless verses. It was a powerful time of worship. Maria had switched roles and ministered to me. The Lord took the promise to bring me to Mexico and transformed it into something even more beautiful.  Similarly, the Messiah who arrived didn’t match what people expected. Instead of a King to sit on David’s throne, God sent the Lamb who would take away the sins of the world and rule over a heavenly kingdom of people from every tribe and tongue and nation. PROMISES FULFILLEDThose first century Jews had it partly right. The Day of the Lord is coming and His Kingdom will be established on earth as it is in heaven. But they missed the bits about the humble servant who would suffer and die (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus fulfilled those prophecies. Sometimes a promise happens in stages. The fact we didn’t get everything we expected doesn’t meant those things will never come to pass. Take the book I’m working on now. I’ve been to compose prayers from Genesis to Revelation. I’m jumping for joy because God called me, promised me, that I would be writing a devotional book over twenty-five years ago. After my nonfiction proposals got rejected repeatedly, I decided God wanted me to write fiction. I’ve been blessed with many novels, and have contributed devotions to books now and then. Over the past eighteen months, God has opened one door after another to write nonfiction. And now God gave me this this awesome, almost scary, gift and assignment. Praise Him.PROMISES PERPETUATEDGod gives every generation enough signs to believe the Lord is returning in their generation.  In my youth, we looked at the restablishment of Israel as a nation for the first time AD 70 (in 1948). I spent my young adult years watching for the Lord’s return. If it happened within a forty-year generation of Israeli nationhood, He would come in 1988. When it didn’t happen, I knew I had figured wrong. Perhaps the biblical promises to bless the righteous to a thousand generations works like that. That’s a promise that stretches beyond the family I can imagine, to places I’ve never been-until the Lord’s return. God will fulfill every one of His promises. It’s only a question of when.Sponsored by Darlene Franklin. Best-selling hybrid author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. Mermaid Song is her fiftieth unique title! She’s also contributed to more than twenty nonfiction titles. Her column, “The View Through my Door,” appears in four monthly venues. Other recent titles are Christmas Masquerade and Maple Notch Romances Eight Couples Find Love You can find her online at: Website and blog, Facebook, Amazon author page

Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing Dean Lois Salmeron has spent her 55 years as an RN not only caring for patients, but also working to help educate nurses who will carry the torch into the future.

Salmeron career a combination of nursing and education

by Traci Chapman, Staff Writer

Oklahoma City University Dean of the Kramer School of Nursing Lois Salmeron has ascended the heights during her life – as a nurse, an educator, a wife and mother and as a professional who successfully navigated a journey few women of her generation did.
“I have always wanted to be a nurse – my father encouraged me to go into medicine,” Salmeron said. “However, in those days to combine being married and having a family for women was a rarity.”
Despite that fact, the young woman decided to follow her instincts – Salmeron first attending nursing school at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. Graduating in 1962, she and her husband married while she was a nursing student and he was completing his residency in anesthesiology.
With a diploma from St. Francis that allowed Salmeron to pass the state board and become a registered nurse, her first staff position was in the maternity acute care unit of the hospital where she attended nursing school. But, while she had a good start at the Wichita facility, it was only the start.
Her path veered in a different direction when Salmeron’s husband was offered a staff position at then-Baptist Hospital; the couple and their two children moved to Oklahoma City. It was after that move that Salmeron’s career really began to blossom.
She began her Oklahoma healthcare career as a staff nurse in Deaconess Hospital’s labor-delivery and mother-baby units – and, later, as nurse educator for Deaconess personnel hospital-wide.
That position showed yet another facet of nursing that would become a passion – education. That would be very important in the late 1960s when Mercy Hospital approached Oklahoma State University-OKC with a proposal.
It was a time when, like with Salmeron’s own experience, hospitals were the source of nurse education. Mercy’s idea to transfer its program to OSU-OKC helped spur a major change in the way nurses would obtain their degrees, and Lois Salmeron would be on the forefront of that movement.
“I was one of the first three faculty to begin that program,” she said. It was a program she would remain with for more than three decades, the last nine of her 31 years at OKC-OSU as division head of health services. While there, Salmeron also in the late 1980s spearheaded a nursing distance learning system for the Oklahoma panhandle area and based at OSU-OKC.
The now established nursing educator never stopped learning herself. Salmeron earned bachelor’s and masters of science degrees from University of Oklahoma; she obtained a master’s of arts in teaching at Oklahoma City University and Oklahoma State University Doctorate of Education with adult education focus.
In 2001, Salmeron was at a turning point, however. She retired from OSU-OKC, but the ongoing nursing shortage convinced her to remain in the field. Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing had room to grow – and a place for Salmeron to help it do just that. For four years, she served as an adjunct professor, but that was far from the extent of her contribution to OCU.
“As KSN was growing in numbers of nursing students, I was asked to apply for the assistant dean position – I was chosen for that position in July 2005,” Salmeron said. “I advanced to be the associate dean in two years.”
When the dean took a semester off in the spring of 2013, Salmeron was named senior associate dean in charge. In June, when longtime Dean Marvel Williamson retired from the college, Salmeron was appointed interim dean.
Salmeron became Kramer School of Nursing Dean in January 2014, becoming responsible for the entire nursing department – “budget, enrollment, recruitment of students and faculty, hiring staff and faculty, working with the other schools on campus, service to the university and the community, fund raising for the department, strategic planning, awareness of state and national guidelines that must be followed for approval and national accreditation, continuing education for faculty and staff, maintaining a positive culture for faculty, staff and students to succeed,” Salmeron said. “These are just some of the responsibilities of the dean.”
While her position meant a full spectrum of responsibilities, it didn’t diminish the dean’s love of nursing and teaching – something she said she didn’t want to completely relinquish. She therefore chose to retain a part of what brought her to Oklahoma City University in the first place.
“I teach one PhD course every Fall semester called Nursing Education Administration,” the dean said. “It is rewarding and challenging to work with these adult students sharing some of the components of what is required to lead a nursing education program.”
Salmeron’s wide-ranging experience has served her – and the college – well. Last year, OCU began a distance learning program in Duncan that harkened back to her 1980s panhandle experience.
Like much of Salmeron’s career, the Duncan program is just one of several milestones of the past that have inspired achievements in the present. And, Salmeron herself has been a source of inspiration for thousands of students who know how much she has achieved in a world very different from today’s nursing opportunities – and her work has spurred countless awards, including the Distinguished Professional Service Award from the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, a nonprofit aimed at promoting the health of women and newborns.
Salmeron was also the first nurse to ever receive the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Graham White Award and was in 2003 inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.
Salmeron has achieved as much in her personal life as she has in her profession – she and her husband have been married for 57 years and live in the home they built and moved into in 1968. The couple has three grown children who understood their mother’s education advocacy – a son and daughter are PhDs, while a second son earned his MBA and has his own financial management company. His siblings are a researcher in plant molecular biology and a clinical psychologist in private practice.
“My husband grows orchids, has his own greenhouse, is retired, but supports my passion of educating the next generation of nurses,” Salmeron said.
At 77, while many people would be looking to slow down or take an easier path, those around her said Salmeron shows no sign of doing that. Juggling a myriad of responsibilities at work, the dean also gives back to the community – she volunteers on several state and national nursing committees and serves on several boards, including Mercy, Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society; she is also an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing peer reviewer.
Salmeron’s hands on approach shines through in all of her endeavors – her work, charitable and volunteer endeavors and her personal life – and it’s something illustrated by her view of the school and its culture, what she called the Kramer Way.
“My priority at KSN is to create the positive culture in which the faculty and staff can guide the nursing students to be successful and ready for the professional responsibilities that they will have,” Salmeron said. “The Kramer Way means we all try to live a life that values caring, kindness and respect.”

What do you hope is under the Christmas tree this year? Heritage Assisted Living Center

Just time with my family and friends. Joan Dark

Could I get new eyes? I can work with my hearing, but not my eyes. Jane Carter

I would like to get a chair lift that mounts to a car so I can travel more. Ron Kirby

I’d like a brand new outfit to go to town. Mary Brunnert

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

While I live in the capitol of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, I find that up the turnpike in Tulsa a capitol of fun. It can be a quick and convenient get away from every day hum drum – of course that is if you don’t live in Tulsa.
A favorite and icon of Tulsa is the shopping center, Utica Square. In this out-door mall, you can find several stores regrettably not found in Oklahoma City. A park and walk up and down the hill of the shopping district gives you a chance to slow down and take in the well landscaped area. With not a lot of open ground space Utica Square makes the most of its flower beds with seasonal extravaganzas. Spring is intoxicating with its joyful spring bulbs where tulips abound. In the fall you may find autumn décor with pumpkins and kale cultivations. And of course, who doesn’t like to visit malls during the Christmas season, and Utica Square is no different. A must visit is Utica’s icon upscale dining experience at the Polo Grill where reservations on open table or by phone during popular times is a necessity. The service and luxurious atmosphere is only surpassed by well-prepared cocktails that might accompany your perfectly cooked steak or other delicacies.
Next door to the Polo Grill is the perpetual favorite for party and holiday décor at Casey’s. This gift shop institution offers a full selection of Christopher Radko glass ornaments all year round, and a variety of party napkins, cards and invitations along with many holiday set-a-round items.
Several blocks north is the Cherry Street District of Tulsa. There are a variety of unique shops as well as dining opportunities. Parking along the street you can stroll to find mid-priced to upscale priced gifts and decorating items with French oriented antiques at Charles Faudree (1345 East 15 street), and reasonably priced décor items at The Nest and the unusual at Spirit Works. When you’ve got to eat or be refreshed with a beverage you can choose: The Palace Café, Roosevelt’s, Kilkeeny’s Irish Pub, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and the favorite La Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe.
For art lovers the Gilcrease and the Philbrook museums are musts. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the extensive art at the preserved Tulsa home of the Philbrook, and a bit farther out of town the Gilcrease with its modern expansive building hosting classical art as well as special exhibits of contemporary offerings. Philbrook exhibits a European garden design in their “backyard” which on a pretty day is a joy to stroll. There is an upscale restaurant in both museums which continue the elegant dining or snacking tradition for which museum cafes are known. The Philbrook’s exhibits, “Museum Confidential” (behind the scenes of museum workings) runs through May 6, 2018 and its “Game On” (a large scale photograph of one action packed football play) runs through Feb 4, 2018. While near Tulsa’s downtown you might consider timing your visit with a production performance at the Chapman auditorium.
Over by the Broken Arrow expressway is Broken Arrow’s performance art center, where they recently hosted a two person show of Broadway’s Tommy Tune and Chita Rivera. The dedication and preservation of their main street features the Rose District where planters alongside the on-street parking is home to a variety of rose bushes. Also, there is a monumental bronze sculpture call the “Contract” emphasizing the bond of a handshake agreement. The Main Street Tavern is a popular dining establishment complete with a full bar. Their meat loaf is not what is expected, so if ordering that, be sure and ask about its preparation, as mine was a slice of ground beef swallowed up in heavy brown gravy. Their fish and chips is a well-received entree.
Broken Arrow’s history can be seen at the Museum on Main street along with the Historical Society. One marker in town harkens back to the Kentucky Colonel Hotel which was known for its fried chicken, build in 1903 and razed in 1955. It was a welcome respite for train travelers. Today the Rose district plays host to a popular sprinkler park where children run in and out of water spouts in the shadow of the glass atrium of the Performing Arts Center down the street.
Tulsa and Broken Arrow are good starts in your exploration of favorite north-eastern Oklahoma get away attractions.

Q. My husband and I are both self employed and have Obamacare (aka The Affordable Care Act,ACA). Even though we make a good income, it fluctuates but we do not qualify for any subsidies. Our premium has jumped to over $1000 per month with a deductible of $6500!! There is nothing affordable about raising our premium 76%. Our stress level has also jumped 76%. What is happening to hard working people whose incomes do not jump even close to 76%.
Janet and Kyle

A. Oklahoma has only one health care provider, Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS). All the other insurance carriers have left Obamacare. When losses exceed premiums, the only options are to stop doing business with this group of Oklahomans or raise premiums.
According to John Doak, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, since the 2014 implementation of the ACA, BCBS combined losses are more than $300 million. So they can exit this group of people, leaving them with no coverage or they can skyrocket the premiums.
Subsidies sound great but not everyone qualifies for them. It sounds like you and your husband fall into the group of people that will have to find a way to make more money on your own. As if you didn’t have enough stress, now this.
Oklahoma is an unhealthy state. According to Business Insider, Dec 2013, Oklahoma ranks #7 on the 10 Unhealthiest States List. Obesity rates are high in our state. The amount of public funding available for health care has dropped 40% in the past two years. Addiction rates are high.
Options for those on Obamacare are limited but the following are: suggestions:
1. Check to see if you qualify for any subsidies.
2. Don’t have insurance and pay the penalty at tax time.
3. Spend less – can you modify your budget?
4. Work more – not good for mental health/physical health
5. Lower stress by staying as healthy as possible
*exercise–get out and move your body *nutrition–choose healthy options, avoid impulse eating *laugh — there are funny moments — seize them *sleep — most people are sleep deprived.
Maybe you can motivate the unhealthy Oklahomans to put down their fork and put their walking shoes on. This is a serious issue with a serious consequence and a domino affect that could be disastrous.