Pam Hart, director nutrition for Moore Public Schools, is helping feed children in the community through the summer nutrition program.

by Bobby Anderson
Staff Writer

Pam Hart has spent the better part of the last three decades ensuring when children come to school a hot meal will be there waiting for them.
For many children, it’s the only meals they can count on.
And when the school doors close for the summertime that doesn’t mean the need goes away.
That’s why the director of child nutrition for Moore Public Schools and directors like her across the metro participate in the Summer Food Service program.
Hart says the Moore Public Schools program is going strong after nearly a decade.
“We felt like it was a win-win on both sides,” Hart explained. “We had some employees who needed money in the summertime and we were able to take advantage of the government program where all kids could eat for free.”
The program is simple: those 18 and under can come to designated locations and eat breakfast and lunch for free. No questions asked.
That means parents and grandparents with limited incomes can ensure their child will have at least two nutritious meals Monday through Friday.
Adults can eat as well for $3.75 per meal.
In Moore, breakfast is served from 8-9 a.m. with lunch following from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lunch includes the options of a peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese sandwich, a fresh fruit, fresh vegetable chips and a treat.
Juice or milk are also included.
Hart has spent the last 30 years working at Moore Public Schools. The bulk of that has been as the director of child nutrition.
She’s seen the program change and evolve.
The summer nutrition program will travel around the district, usually coinciding with a summer school program at the site.
A couple summers ago the program went out into the local parks.
The outreach was a big success, so much so that the district decided to use bond funds to invest in a food truck.
Hart said the kitchen on wheels could triple or quadruple the number of sites meals may be offered in the future.
“They’re usually pretty good at being lined up and ready to go by the time we get there,” Hart said of the park sites. “It’s convenient when they’re waiting on us.”
Last June, Moore Public Schools served 16,307 lunches and 4,422 breakfasts.
June school nutrition sites in Moore include Plaza Towers, Sky Ranch, Central Elementary and Southmoore. Park sites will include Fairmoore, Veteran’s Memorial Park, Buck Thomas Park and Central Park.
Sites will rotate in July. You can contact the district directly at 405-7030.
Around the metro
The larger districts around the metro participate in the Summer Food Service Program, a federally-funded program administered in Oklahoma by Child Nutrition Programs, Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Federal regulations require that SFSP sponsors notify local health departments of their intention to provide a food service during a specific period at specific sites and arrange for prompt and regular trash removal.
All SFSP sites must meet proper sanitation and health standards which conform to all applicable state and local laws and regulations in the storage, preparation and service of food. You can contact Oklahoma City Public Schools child nutrition at 587-0000.
Edmond Public Schools can be reached at 340-2800.
Regional Food Bank
Through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Summer Feeding Program, any child 18 and under can receive free, nutritious meals at 132 sites across central and western Oklahoma.
“One in four Oklahoma children are food insecure. As schools close for the summer, many children are left without their primary source of healthy food,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “No one, especially children, should ever have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Our partner agencies across the state are ready to fill the summer break gap.”
Through the program, community-based partner agencies distribute freshly packed meals and snacks prepared by the Regional Food Bank to students. The program is offered at sites in 31 counties across the Regional Food Bank’s service area.
In Oklahoma County alone, meals and snacks are offered at 73 different sites. A full list of sites participating in the Summer Feeding Program and when they offer meals and snacks can be found by visiting
Volunteers are needed to help pack fresh meals in the Regional Food Bank’s production kitchen, Hope’s Kitchen, throughout the summer. Multiple shifts per day are offered Tuesday through Saturday. Volunteer by visiting or calling 405-600-3160.
For Hart, the summer program has just been common sense.
“A lot of these kiddos from low-income families the meals they get from school are the only hot meal they get in some cases,” Hart said. “In a lot of cases it may be so bad that they may not have those meals available in the summertime. We’re glad to be able to support this so those kids don’t have to go without during summer.”

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden recently welcomed Isla, a California sea lion pup rescued from the Santa Barbara Harbor in Santa Barbara, California, by Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI). The pup who is approximately 11-months-old arrived at the OKC Zoo in mid-May.
Born off the California coast, Isla was found malnourished and emaciated at the Santa Barbara Harbor in November 2018. When concerned citizens called the CIMWI Rescue Hotline, volunteers with the nonprofit organization responded and rescued the pup. The sea lion was transported to CIMWI’s facility to be rehabilitated in hopes of returning her back to the wild. Isla was CIMWI’s 100th marine mammal rescued in 2018. After 90 days of rehabilitation, which included medication, increased fish intake, and daily health checks, she was deemed releasable by the Institute’s veterinarian. Isla, known then as number 100, was released 25 miles offshore, near Santa Cruz Island around other wild sea lions.
Nine days later, Isla returned to the Santa Barbara Harbor and walked into the lobby of the nearby Alma Mar Motel. In the 9 days she was back in the wild, she had lost 9 pounds, which indicated to CIMWI staff that she was unable to forage for herself in the wild. When they brought Isla back to the center, it became clear, after weeks of observation, that Isla was more habituated to humans than she was to the other marine mammals in the institute’s care. From this assessment and Isla’s weight loss when she was back in the open ocean, CIMWI caretakers were certain that Isla would not thrive in the wild, so for her safety and well-being, she was deemed non-releasable.
Once it was decided that Isla could not return to the wild, CIMWI contacted National Marine Fisheries Service (a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA) to locate a zoo or aquarium, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), that could become Isla’s permanent home, and the OKC Zoo was selected. The OKC Zoo then began making preparations to send two team members, Lead Marine Mammal Trainer, Sierra Chappell, and Social Media Coordinator, Sabrina Heise, to California to bring Isla from Santa Barbara to Oklahoma City.
“By becoming a forever home for Isla and providing her with care, veterinary monitoring and an enriching environment, not only are we ensuring her survival, but we are also safeguarding the future of her species,” said Sierra Chappell, lead marine mammal trainer. “Her energetic spirit and inspiring story will resonate with Zoo guests and create a connection that will last a lifetime.”
On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Isla entered a temperature-controlled crate and was loaded into a van bound for the Los Angeles International Airport. At 6 a.m., she was boarded on a FedEx cargo plane with Chappell nearby to ensure she was comfortable during the flight.
Once Isla arrived at the OKC Zoo, she was introduced to her new habitat at the OKC Zoo, where she will stay throughout her 30-day quarantine before she begins interacting with the Zoo’s other six California sea lions. The sea lion habitat, located near the Sea Lion Presentation Stadium, is 10-feet-deep, and Isla is currently viewable to Zoo guests. When she has cleared her quarantine period, Isla will begin meeting her sea lion family.
Considered to be highly intelligent animals, California sea lions’ survival is based on the health of the ocean’s ecosystem. Sea lions are threatened by plastic pollution and are vulnerable to the effects of climate change on ocean currents, which impact their fish prey abundance. They are also victims of bycatch in fisheries. The OKC Zoo participates in AZA’s Species Survival Plan for California sea lions.
Tis the sea-sun to make a splash this spring with a trip to the OKC Zoo to meet Isla! Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay up-to-date with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by visiting Our Stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming Oklahoma Zoological Society members at or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit

Welcome To Tealridge!

Ruby Pearl Doolin was born in 1916 and will celebrate her 103 birthday June 30.

Ruby Pearl Doolin was born in 1916, and on June 30th she will turn 103! Ruby Moved in to Legend at Jefferson’s Garden in April of 2018; we were immediately taken with her charm, her sense of humor, her energy and her appetite! Come in to this quaint Legend Community on any day and you will find Ruby walking the building chatting up the staff and Resident’s, teaching us how to do the Charleston whenever she hears music, or rearranging furniture! Ruby was a career interior decorator at a time when everything was done by hand; she would do her own upholstery work and sew custom curtains for her clients. She eventually became part of the Pete Locke custom home design team and is credited to have decorated practically every home in Nichols Hills at some time throughout the years. Ruby is also a natural care giver and cared for her older sister who was quadriplegic; as a result of that care, love and compassion she lived to be 87 years old! It is a common sight to observe Ruby offering care and help to her friends and neighbors in the community.
By the time Ruby was 18 years old she was a beauty queen, winning a home town beauty pageant, she also sang on the radio before TV was even invented! While she was still 18 Ruby was offered a recording contract in Los Angeles which her mother vehemently turned down on her behalf. Besides having a career and taking care of her sister, Ruby would marry and raise four children, two sons who are 80 and 81 years old as well as two step children who cherish her!
When Ruby first arrived at Legend at Jefferson’s Garden we were so amazed by her vitality that we decided to ask her what her secret was? She responded, “well, I just don’t think about it”. I think we should all take that as advise from Ruby! We adore Ruby and look forward to many more years of life, love and laughter from this precious senior.
Legend at Jefferson’s Garden is located at 15401 N Pennsylvania Avenue in Edmond. Visit for more information.

Thomas Hill Trauma Survivor.

Trauma survivor defies the odds twice with help of OU MEDICINE husband and wife surgeons

by Caroline Rykard, OU Medicine

Alisa Cross, M.D. and Brian Cross, M.D. with OU Medicine Trauma One Center.

It was a beautiful weekend when a routine commute to work almost ended an Edmond resident’s life and ultimately led to another medical discovery.
Around 5:30 a.m., July 23, 2016, personal trainer Thomas Hill was on his way to see a client when he was involved in a freak accident that left him in a ditch off Interstate 44 and fighting for his life. An eyewitness called the paramedics, and Hill was rushed to the OU Medicine Trauma One Center. He saw more than 15 doctors, including Alisa Cross, M.D., a trauma surgeon who helped to stabilize him and performed life-saving surgery.
“Thomas came in at the highest level of activation we have here at the OU Medicine Trauma One Center and was taken immediately to the operating room,” Cross said.
The Trauma One Center at OU Medical Center is the only Level One Trauma Center in Oklahoma as verified by the American College of Surgeons. This is the highest national rating a trauma center can receive.
Because his complex injuries required multiple surgeries, Hill was put in an induced coma for two months. It wasn’t until he woke up from the coma that he discovered the frightening details of his accident and realized that his left leg had been amputated. His once-muscular and fit body was now weak and foreign to him. He was angry and frustrated, but he worked hard to change his mindset.
“My focus right now is just getting better, living a better life and focusing on what I can do,” Hill said. “I was always telling my clients to ‘push through, push through. Don’t let anything stop you, don’t let anything break you.’ But now, I’m telling myself those words and motivating myself to change my ‘cant’s’ into ‘cans’.”
Hill stayed at OU Medical Center for six months. He had just begun thinking about returning to his gym when he received shocking news.
While doctors were conducting a CT scan to check his progress, they noticed something unusual in his kidneys. Shortly after, Hill was diagnosed with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, a rare hereditary condition associated with kidney cancer. A year after Hill’s trauma, Brian Cross, M.D., a urologic oncologist at Stephenson Cancer Center, and husband to Alisa Cross, removed 11 tumors from his right kidney and six months later, removed seven from his left kidney.
“His attitude throughout this whole thing has been remarkable,” Brian Cross said. “It would be more than many people could handle, but Thomas has handled it with amazing perseverance and his prognosis is excellent.”
Although Hill still needs assistance to move around, he is back at his gym, Next Level Fitness, training and motivating his clients and himself. He believes the car accident saved his life.
“If the accident hadn’t happened, the cancer was eventually going to get me,” Hill said.
Many people have taken note of Hill’s courage. For his determination and positive attitude, he was presented an award this month during OU Medical Center’s Trauma Survivors Reception.

Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn

In the Oklahoma region many of us over the years have visited Wichita Kansas, whether for a theatrical event at Century Two or to see the Chisholm Trail, or to just get a bit of Western atmosphere. I too have, over the years, visited Wichita and on a recent visit was surprised at the additions to this vibrant city.
My home base was the new Ambassador Hotel, an Autograph Collection Hotel, ( where the modern black and gray and chrome atmosphere welcomes the well-worn traveler seeking a step up from the ordinary. Located downtown with convenient self-parking and an expansive room with courteous attendants and city views, the Ambassador promises a surprise upscale experience. While I requested long in advance for one of their ADA rooms, there was no bench or chair in the walk-in shower. I re-requested such from the front desk, and by the next day, with some bumps in the road, was happily accommodated.
The hotel staff was very good in following through with requests. I only wish the food and beverage side of the hotel had not disappointed. The steak and unique charred Caesar salad were exceptional at the Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, however they did not honor a coupon, they gave me for a drink at the downstairs pseudo speak easy. Even after talking to the Food and Beverage manager and crew it was not accepted, even though my server agreed the coupon was misleading – almost a bait and switch situation. I did not mind paying for my drink, but the experience left a bad farewell feeling for the hotel, as I was leaving the next day. Just a heads up, as I tell it like I experience in all my travel articles. So when I say “I’m impressed,” you know it.
About a block from the hotel is the Roxy Theater, ( with a disguised rear entrance for the uninitiated, to a funky building housing a dinner theater. The food was acceptable for Dinner Theater fare and their production of Avenue Q, was one of the best I have seen. The wait staff had more tables than they could easily accommodate. I’d recommend the Roxy, now you know what to expect.
A pleasant unexpected surprise is the Tanganyika Wildlife Park ( where wild animals including a plethora of giraffes, a Rhino, a variety of primates are among the surprises. Roaming the expansive grounds, even during a rain shower is a recommended experience where you can slow down and enjoy nature and its creations.
Who’d think that there was a goat farm in Kansas that also served adult beverages and farm to table gourmet lunches which is Elderslie Farm.
( Being a family owned operation from chef to owner tour guide, the home-grown sincerity rang throughout the farm, from goat milking and cheese making to the wood working of heritage wood into tables, shelves and doors. Admiration goes out to Elderslie Farm for their preservation of tender loving care and investment in preservation. They even have a large blackberry patch that is a community pick and share in June. The season for blackberries is brief – influenced heavily by the unpredictable spring weather. Reserve a tour and luncheon here – you will be surprised.
Talk about surprises, two dining establishments blew my critical socks off. Georges, a true French bistro, ( located in an unprepossessing strip mall, will delight your taste buds. My luncheon Martini and Prosciutto Eggs Benedict with truffle frites, was accented by the continental waiter and the chatter of the accompanying “ladies who lunch,” who find this their congenial gathering place.
6Steakhouse, ( located out near the Zoo and offering lake front views, is an upscale dining experience not to be passed by. An aged steak prepared to my specification, even with a second “more heat” request, was memorable. What they call creamed corn is a unique roasted corn medley, from which you could make an entire meal. A relatively new establishment promises many years of good times with their sleek upscale interior dining and even an added education into the ageing of fine beef, I found enlightening. (if you say “6S” fast enough it can sound like, success.)
Of course, Wichita is known for its Keeper or the Plains symbolic statue with its reflections in the river, is still an attraction to be viewed anytime.
The veteran Treasures of the World warehouse style building ( is a long-time Wichita resident. It offers mainly replicas of world history documents and artifacts, (including Custer’s button up fly underwear). Seeing many letters of world figures and artifacts can be quite educational for the youth, along with the ever-popular T-Rex skeleton. Also you can enjoy the gardens of Botanica ( and the restored WWII B29 bombers at B-29 Dock Hangar and Educational Center ( .
The best surprise of all was the Wichita Art Museum’s ( limited showing of what could be called the most comprehensive overview of the Works and Life of Georgia O’Keeffe. Having seen many exhibitions of her work, I was delighted to see her paintings and timeline juxtaposed with her actual artifacts and many of her dresses. Hurry to see this unique collection as it closes June 23rd!
To help with your Wichita surprises contact them at:

Every year, 800,000 new strokes are reported in the U.S.
Strokes happen all the time, and yes, it can happen to you. Approximately 20 percent of stroke victims are between the ages of 20 and 55. Knowing the signs of stroke and acting quickly can make the difference between saving a life and a tragic outcome.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. Unfortunately, few people know what a stroke is and how to recognize when a stroke is happening, according to the National Stroke Association.
But what medical professionals call the “Golden Hour” when someone is having a stroke can make all the difference in the world. The reason the first hour is golden is because stroke patients have a much greater chance of surviving and avoiding long-term brain damage if they arrive at the hospital and receive treatment with a clot-busting drug called TPA within that first hour.
“Time saved is brain saved,” says Mary Pinzon, who is a stroke education nurse at INTEGRIS. “Time lost is brain lost. That’s why recognizing the signs of stroke is so important. Immediately knowing what to do when someone is having a stroke can save someone’s life and help them avoid brain damage. If you suspect someone is having a stroke, the absolute first thing to do is call 9-1-1,” she says.
According to a study from the American Heart Association, every minute in which a stroke is untreated, the average patient loses 1.9 million neurons, 13.8 billion synapses, and seven miles of axonal fibers. With each hour in which treatment fails to occur, the brain loses as many neurons as it does in almost 3.6 years of normal aging.
“Time is of the essence. I can’t stress that enough,” says Pinzon.
Pinzon’s favorite saying is “Each One, Teach One.” In that spirit, after you read this, learn the signs of stroke and what to do in those precious first minutes, pass it on. You just might save someone’s life.
What is considered a stroke?
A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off, causing brain cells to be deprived of oxygen and die. A stroke can cause life-altering, devastating changes like loss of speech, movement and memory.
“Stroke is a SUDDEN onset of symptoms when just a minute ago a person was fine,” Pinzon says. There are two major types of strokes, but each one is treated differently.
The most common type of stroke is an Ischemic Stroke, which causes a loss of oxygen to the brain due to a blockage of a vessel in the brain. Roughly 85 to 88 percent of strokes fall under this category.
“It’s so important to get treatment immediately for Ischemic Stroke because we now have a clot-buster called TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator). It’s an enzyme drug that can dissolve clots, and any stroke-ready hospital can administer it,” says Pinzon.
A hemorrhagic stroke is rarer but is caused when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. High blood pressure is the number one cause of hemorrhagic strokes.
“When you arrive at the hospital, the ER will immediately order a CAT scan to see what type of stroke you are having,” Pinzon says. “That’s why you shouldn’t give someone having a stroke an aspirin. If they are having a brain bleed, it could make it worse.”
BE FAST with signs of stroke
Each year, about 185,000 people die from a stroke, but if you know the warning signs, you can help save a life. “Any one of these symptoms could indicate a stroke, which is still more reason to know the signs and why time is so important,” Pinzon says.
Pinzon says the best way to identify stroke symptoms is the acronym BE FAST.
B – Balance. A loss of balance or the sudden inability to stand or walk.
E – Eyes. A sudden loss of vision, changes in vision and blurred vision are symptoms of a stroke.
F – Face. Ask the patient to “show your teeth” and smile. A crooked smile is an indicator of stroke.
A – Arms. Ask the victim to hold up both arms with palms facing skyward. Look to see if one arm drifts down or cannot be lifted.
S – Speech. Slurred or garbled speech indicates a stroke, as does a strange giggle while talking.
T – Terrible headache. An explosive headache is the hallmark of a bleeding stroke.
Remember, time is the key to surviving a stroke. Again, call 9-1-1 first.
One other very important tip: never give a suspected stroke victim anything by mouth. Says Pinzon, “Not a sip of water. Not an aspirin. Nothing. Many stroke victims have trouble swallowing and may choke to death.”
Though stroke remains a killer, recent and ever-changing medical advances are improving survival rates every year. The right care, if done right away, can save lives and quality of life. For more information about stroke and how to recognize the signs, visit the INTEGRIS James R. Daniel Stroke Center.
To have a free stroke education training at your workplace, call Mary Pinzon, RN, CPE, M.Ed., at 405-644-6867.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Xiao-Hong Sun, Ph.D.

Research from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has revealed a new role for an organ instrumental in immune system function. The discovery could lead to new therapeutic approaches to a wide range of illnesses, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
The thymus is a small organ that sits on top of the heart and generates a lifetime supply of T cells, a type of specialized white blood cell that plays a central role in immunity during childhood and puberty. The thymus exists specifically to train the immune system to recognize what is normal and what is not. When the number of T cells in the body is adequate, the thymus shrinks and all but disappears by adulthood.
OMRF scientist Xiao-Hong Sun, Ph.D., and her lab discovered that the thymus can stop the production of T cells midway and make an entirely different kind of cell in their place called innate lymphoid cells.
“This ability to stop T cell production and change to something else had never been shown,” said Sun. “This is a very basic finding, and we have much to learn about the implications, but it could point to the origin of a number of diseases.”
Innate lymphoid cells play a part in immunity, specifically to protect the body from parasitic infection. Sun said while they serve an important function, they lack the sophistication of T cells, and this could lead to negative health consequences in situations where they arrive in too large a number.
“Innate lymphoid cells are like the paramedics of the immune system. They respond to tissue damage or infections very quickly,” said Sun, who holds the Lew and Myra Ward Chair in Biomedical Research at OMRF. “They are first responders, but you still need a specialist or surgeon later on to treat the problem fully, and that’s what T cells do.”
“Dr. Sun has clearly evolved into one of the leaders in the field of studying these types of lymphocytes and is continuing to show their importance in different disease states,” said OMRF Vice President of Clinical Affairs Judith James, M.D., Ph.D. “These are important findings that will push her work and her field forward.”
Sun said this discovery could lead to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of multiple diseases, including asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis. The findings, which could ultimately open doors to new treatment approaches to these conditions, were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
“Many people downplay the importance of the thymus—it’s even removed in many childhood procedures, but this may lead to a shift in how medical professionals think about the organ,” Sun said. “Innate lymphoid cells are still new in scientific terms, and we have much to learn about them. Now that we know they have a significant role in an important immune organ will give us entirely new ideas to pursue.”
OMRF researchers Miranda Liangyue Qian, Ph.D., Sandra Bajana, M.D., Ph.D., Constantin Georgescu, Ph.D., Jose Alberola-Ila, M.D., Ph.D., and Jonathan Wren, Ph.D., contributed to the findings.

Address500 Adair Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73110

The Tulsa Health Department (THD) and the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) have partnered to investigate a confirmed case of measles in Okmulgee County. The confirmed case was announced by OSDH on May 15, and is the first confirmed case of measles in Oklahoma since May 2018. As of Jan. 1, there have been at least 880 cases of measles reported in the United States from 24 states. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994.
Through information obtained from the ongoing investigation, health officials want to alert anyone who visited New Beginnings Church, 4104 E. 151st St. S. Bixby, on May 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for their end of the semester program and Pre-K graduation ceremony about potential exposure to the measles case. Health officials from the Tulsa Health Department are collaborating with New Beginnings Church and the Oklahoma State Department of Health to identify anyone who may have visited during this specific timeframe to inform them of their exposure and provide recommendations.
Individuals are protected if they are immunized with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine after their first birthday, or if they were born during or before 1957, or if they have previously had the measles. Anyone who is concerned about a possible exposure should contact public health officials at 800-234-5963. Measles was confirmed on May 15 in a person who returned to Oklahoma after traveling to various domestic and international destinations. The virus is still common in many parts of the world with outbreaks occurring in Europe, Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. These outbreaks have resulted in travelers who develop illness in the U.S. following their return. In addition to the high number of cases, there are outbreaks ongoing in several states. THD is offering the MMR vaccine at no cost to those exposed at all immunization clinics. View information about locations and hours at All OSDH County Health Department locations will also be providing MMR immunizations.
Immunization records may be obtained at, or through your private health care provider or school.
People who are susceptible to measles usually develop symptoms about 10 days after exposure with a range of 7-21 days. Symptoms of measles begin with a mild to moderate fever, runny nose, red eyes, and cough. A few days later, a rash appears starting on the face spreading to the rest of the body accompanied by a fever that can reach up to 105 degrees. Symptoms can range from severe to milder, depending on the individual. Measles can lead to pneumonia and other complications, especially in young children and adults over 20. The disease can also cause serious problems in pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
People with measles can spread the virus up to four days before the onset of the rash and until four days after the rash starts.
Measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine (usually given in combination with rubella and mumps, called MMR vaccine). The vaccine is recommended for all children at 12 to 15 months of age and again at four to six years of age. If a person has not received a second dose of the vaccine between four to six years of age, the booster dose may be given at any age thereafter. The measles vaccine is very effective. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two doses are about 97% effective.

Darlene Franklin is both a resident of Crossroads of Love and Grace in Oklahoma City, and a full-time writer.

By Darlene Franklin

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 31

The year I was born (1954), President Eisenhower added the words “under God” to the pledge. The words hold a special place in my heart, for personal and patriotic reasons. Let’s raise the standard high to the music of Key, Sousa, Springsteen, and Cohen. 44
Although no other flag can replace the importance or meaning of the red, white, and blue in my life, I’ve lived under at least six different flags during my faith like the amusement parks of the same name. To the national flag, I would add three state flags, my family crest, and the
Christian flag. 55
At sixty-four, my life divides neatly into three twenty-year segments. I spent the first score of years in New England, mostly Maine; ten years in Oklahoma; twenty in Colorado; and now another ten years in Oklahoma. In between sprinkle brief stints in New Jersey, Texas, and Arkansas for job and school. 51
The flags for Maine, Colorado and Oklahoma differ widely. They each, in style and content, fairly scream the essence of the state they represent. 24
Maine’s flag depicts a moose laying on grass between ocean and a white pine tree, flanked on by a sailor and a farmer. If the state animal and tree left me in doubt, I couldn’t miss the bold letters proclaiming “Maine.” The state motto, “Dirigo,” means “I lead.” I chuckle to myself as I picture Mainers saying, “That’s right. We’re going to do things our way, and who cares about the rest of the world?” It makes me nostalgic to look at the flag. 84
Colorado’s flag is in your face in a very different way. The bold red C emblazoned upon a blue-white-blue striped background shares its colors with the United States flag. But such a simple design would never rep resent California, and I doubt Connecticut would add a gold nugget in the middle of the C. Clear blue skies, white snow, golden sunshine – that’s my Colorado. 64
The Indian war shield with a peace pipe and olive branch could only belong to Oklahoma. I agree with the words of its pledge, “its symbols of peace unite all people.” Not that Oklahoma has a perfect record—nowhere does—but I love living in a state where contemporary Indian life marches seamlessly and colorfully alongside our state life. 59
If Maine represents my past, and Colorado the stuff of my dreams, Oklahoma represents who I am today—at peace after a trauma-filled past. 24
Research into the crest for my maiden name Sparks revealed several surprises. For one things, “Sparks” is derived from Sparrowhawk, the favorite falcon of Richard the Lion-Hearted. One of his falconers took it as his surname, representing his occupation. When the Sparrowhawk and the Lion-Hearted fought side by side during the Crusades, the falconer saved the king’s life on two occasions. 62
I don’t know with one hundred percent legacy that Sparrowhawk is my ancestor, but it’s possible. I love the family crest. The family motto, “swift and true,” also comes from King Richard—the words he used to describe his favorite falcon. 41
Atop the crest stands a leopard with fire spewing from its mouth. Hmm, a big cat. I’m a Leo by birth, and I wonder if my affinity to all things cats is a family trait. The lively, fiery disposition attributed to Sparks has also been true of me. The green and gold checkered background both suggest the country—Scotland—but also qualities of generosity, elevation of mind, hope. 68
I bet everyone’s family flag holds similar interesting revelations. 9
What about the Christian flag? When I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the Bible, I declare my loyalty to “one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe,” as well as “God’s Holy Word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.” 72
Combined, they speak to me not of patriotism, but of my core values. I am daughter of the king, my birthright through my Savior, and that brings liberty to me, and to those around me. 35
Let’s take a few moments this month to think about the flags that represent our past, our present, and our future heritage. 22 193

Thursday, May 9 was a typical morning for Lt. Joshua Manion with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. He was asleep in his bed at Fire Station 22 when he briefly woke up at around 3 o’clock in the morning. He says he looked at the clock and decided it was too early to get up, so he went back to sleep. When he woke up again at 6 a.m. – something had changed.
“I was dizzy,” remembers Manion. “I thought I must have gotten out of bed too fast, so I sat back down. But each time I tried to get back up again, I would lose my balance.”
Manion only had an hour left on duty. He thought whatever he was experiencing would wear off if he just kept moving. He managed to make his bed but felt uncharacteristically uncoordinated on his left side. “I was walking like someone who was intoxicated – and then I became violently ill.”
Manion has been on numerous medical calls as a fire-fighter and has encountered many people exhibiting stroke symptoms, but he says his symptoms were different. “I didn’t have the typical facial droop, slurred speech or weak arms, so even with all my training, I never suspected I was having a stroke.”
Thankfully Lt. Clay Evans, a firefighter paramedic at Fire Station 22, did suspect it was a stroke. He and Major Milton Blackburn rushed Manion to INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center. The quick-thinking actions of these firefighters quite possibly saved the life of one of their own.
“Joshua suffered a posterior circulation stroke in the cerebellum of his brain. This area is responsible for balance and the coordination of muscle activity,” says Ashish Masih, M.D., a vascular neurologist at INTEGRIS. “There are varying outcomes for this type of stroke from slight uncoordinated movements, to coma, to even death. Joshua is remarkably lucky that his fellow firefighters were able to recognize the atypical signs of this type of stroke and to act as quickly as they did.”
Manuel Fortes, M.D., an interventional neuroradiologist with INTEGRIS, performed an endovascular thrombectomy on Manion to remove the clot that was blocking blood flow to his brain. “NIHSS stands for National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale,” explains Fortes. “It is a way to objectively score stroke symptoms, ranging from a score of 0 to 42. We’re happy to say Joshua has a score of zero, meaning he has little to no deficits as a result of his stroke.” The official cause of his stroke is unknown at this time. He will undergo more testing and will be closely monitored. He hopes his story will serve as a reminder that strokes can happen to anyone at any time. “I’m only 42 years old. I don’t smoke, I’m active and seemingly healthy,” says Manion. “In my sixteen years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department I’ve never taken one sick day. If a stroke can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”
Manion encourages everyone to learn the signs and symptoms of stroke. He says even though his symptoms were a little different, it’s still good information to know – and may even save a life.
Manion is anxious to return to work and admits he doesn’t like being on the receiving end of a rescue. “I’m not used to people doing things for me. I’d much rather be on the other end for sure. But I think seeing things from the ‘patient perspective’ may actually help me become an even better firefighter.”