Residents at Concordia Life Care Community in Oklahoma City are fighting back against aging with weekly Rock Steady Boxing classes.

Story and photos by Bobby Anderson

The first rule of Rock Steady Boxing at Concordia Life Care Community is that everyone is encouraged to talk about Rock Steady Boxing.
Resident Ramona Duff says the weekly classes are packed with useful information, stress relief and good, old-fashioned fun.
“It’s really good for balance,” said Duff, who attends Monday and Friday classes. “I had watched other people box and I knew we wouldn’t be hitting each other. It keeps me on my feet longer.
“I like the camaraderie. It’s a great group of people.”
Chris Coleman is the wellness coordinator at Concordia and is responsible for bringing the program to the community.
“We brought it here for the Parkinson’s program and after we got trained in that we realized the same principles could be applied to anyone who wants to reduce falls, build stamina and just be a little bit more active,” Coleman said.
Wednesday classes are open to anyone in the community affected by Parkinson’s. Attendees are encouraged to call first for an evaluation.
“We had to let people know it was just going to be fun and not anything that’s going to be aggressive,” Coleman said.
Concordia’s Dovie Kasper has been coming to the classes since they started five months ago.
“I just love hitting those bags,” Kasper said. “It gets you a lot of energy when you start.”
When she’s hitting the bag Kasper said she may or may not picture a particular face or annoying situation while she punches away.
“It’s good for that, too,” she laughed.
The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation estimates there are more than one million people in the United States diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and more than 60,000 people are diagnosed each year. Rock Steady Boxing is the first gym in the country dedicated to the fight against Parkinson’s.
As word of this unique program spread and the demand for the classes increased, Rock Steady Boxing created classes to meet the fitness levels at all stages of Parkinson’s – from the newly diagnosed to those who had been living with it for decades plus.
“When I think about exercise it’s diversifying the muscles you use,” said Coleman, who obtained Rock Steady certification. “It’s just an excuse to work on a new movement pattern. At the very least it can create new neural pathways. Do what you can but take what you can from the principles.”
Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living.
More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression.
Rock Steady Boxing, the first boxing program of its kind in the country, was founded in 2006 by former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor, Scott C. Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s.
Work done through the Parkinson’s Outcome Project, an ongoing study involving more than 12,000 patients in five countries, suggests that patients should exercise at least 2.5 hours each week to slow decline and maintain a better quality of life. A similar study advised that patients should begin regular exercise at diagnosis.
Still, this research stops short of recommending a specific exercise regimen as a best strategy.
In Parkinson’s, neurons in a brain area called the substantia nigra that are responsible for producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine gradually die off, leading to motor symptoms such as tremor and bradykinesia (slow movement).
Levodopa — which works to increase dopamine levels in the brain but cannot rescue damaged neurons — is currently the front-line treatment for the disease.
Some evidence suggests that, like levodopa, exercise may exert some of its effects by increasing dopamine.
At Concordia, the benefits are evident. Walk into the gym and you’ll see people laughing and smiling, before they even strap on the gloves.
Coleman likes the more intimate environment and says people can let their guard down – pun intended – while raising the level of their health and well being.
“We all kind of laugh at ourselves,” Coleman said. “It’s a camaraderie builder.”

Running Back Legend Joe Washington and long time NFL great picks up a Pickleball racquet for the first time.

Story and photos by Darl DeVault

When active people first see athletes playing pickleball the first thing they say is “Can I try it.” That is exactly what happened last Fall when University of Oklahoma football running back legend Joe Washington saw pickleball demonstrations during the Oklahoma State Fair.
Once on the court and swinging a pickleball racket, Washington’s interest grew with each volley, as his first exposure lasted a vigorous 15 minutes.
Washington dresses more formally than some, as he played in the NFL for nine years. But his manner of dress did not stop him that day. The former football star, 65, was so taken with the sport he forgot to take off his sports jacket as he applied his talent as an athlete.
“I had no idea a sport would let you smash the ball like a pro tennis player and yet not be afraid you would hurt the player on the other side of the net,” Washington said recently. “Playing pickleball made me feel like I was a tennis pro while giving me that feeling of being a kid again.”
Many seniors have caught on to the sport as well, as the sport is exploding in popularity. The court (44 by 20 feet) is about the size of the inner third of a tennis court. For seniors this means it is easier to keep the ball in play.
Players get their exercise in each of the 11-point games lasting about 15 minutes because the ball stays in play longer on the small court.
When Washington first saw that he could easily return each volley he stopped a minute and really examined the paddle. The paddle doesn’t have strings. Using a soft ball makes this a low intensity stroke that puts minimal stress on the tendons and muscles of the arms.
“With the serve done underhanded, I could easily concentrate on moving into position to return serve,” Washington said. “The game became easier to play with every point, as learning it is quick and the effort so easy on your arm.”
The demonstration Washington attended was a part of the run up to the Oklahoma Senior Games last year. The Games held in the Fall in Oklahoma have seen a major spike in pickleball participants in the last few years, as more players catch on to the low stress paddle sport.
Nationally the number of places to play has more than doubled since 2010. There are now nearly 4,000 locations around the country on the national associations Places to Play map. On the road to forming the USA Pickleball Association, the sport really started in 1967 when Joel Pritchard and Bob O’Brian played the fledgling game they helped create.
By 1990 all 50 states were roaring with the sound of ball against paddle. This year the USAPA says the sport has seen a 650 percent increase in numbers over the last six years.
Because of its appeal to all levels of athletes, the sport is gaining popularity within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities. Growth worldwide is seen in many new international clubs forming and national governing bodies now established in Canada and India.
Washington is a Crimson and Cream football legend. He helped win two national championships as the marquee running back. As a wishbone running back, receiver, punt and kick-off returner he fueled the head-coach-Barry-Switzer-led back-to-back national championships glory days of 1974-75 in Norman.
Difficult to tackle in the open field, he was one of the most complete offensive players to ever play on Owen Field. His nine-year NFL career was also successful, earning him Pro Bowl status and playing time in a winning Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins in 1982.
Then “Little Joe” returned to OU to run the Varsity “O” Association in 2007 for sports letterwinners and has been helping all things OU sports ever since.
One of the smallest and most elusive running backs at 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, he was one of the few players to ever leave the Sooners holding their yards-from-scrimmage record with 4,248 yards. His track-star speed was his ticket to greatness, although he is quick to explain he is proud he was also a spirited blocker when anyone else ran with the ball at OU. Selected consensus All-American and 1974 NCAA Football Player of the Year and later a 2005 College Football Hall of Famer, he is now the author of The Seven Secrets of the Silver Shoes: Principles for Success On and Off the Field.
This year the Oklahoma Senior Games pickleball tournament runs September 27-29 at the OKC Tennis Center at Will Rogers Park with an entry deadline of September 13. Go to okseniorgames.org to enter.
For those active seniors who want to see pickleball played and explained before they try it, the USAPA Web site features many videos on its Pickleball Channel.


Macaroni “Mackee”, a 10-year-old Dalmatian therapy dog, walks close by owner Jane Neely and settles on the floor surrounded by children and books at the Midwest City Library.
After a little girl reads a book to Jane, while showing pictures to Mackee, a young boy comes in near the spotted dog and begins reading a book about cougars.
“Children are so open. They just sit down without any inhibitions and pet Mackee or read to him,” said Jane, a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Central Oklahoma volunteer since 2005. “Sometimes they read to me and sometimes they like me to help them with their reading. Mackee is patient and just loves the kids.”
Jane is an active member of Therapy Dogs International, the leader in training and certifying therapy dogs, and Mackee is a certified therapy dog. She has had a love of Dalmatians for years, having owned nine. When she first began volunteering with RSVP, she gave her time delivering meals, but the love she has for her dogs and sharing them with others blossomed into a new volunteer opportunity reading to children at libraries and visiting nursing homes, where sometimes Mackee performs tricks for the residents.
Laura McPheeters, RSVP of Central Oklahoma volunteer coordinator, said that Jane’s dog is an icebreaker and comfort to children and the elderly, and that people feel no judgment and feel unconditionally supported by the dogs almost instantaneously.
“I think it’s fun to be a volunteer with RSVP and share my dog with people,” Jane said. “Dogs are born to love.”
Since 1973, RSVP of Central Oklahoma has helped senior adults continue to live with purpose and meaning by connecting them with rewarding community volunteer opportunities, including RSVP’s Provide-A-Ride Senior Transportation Program. RSVP is a partner of Senior Corps and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, call Laura McPheeters at 405.605.3110 or visit rsvpokc.org. You can also follow RSVP on Facebook at facebook.com/RSVPokc.


The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden partnered with Oklahoma Forestry Services to celebrate the 75th birthday of America’s favorite fire prevention personality, Smokey Bear. The celebration took place July 26th at the Oklahoma City Zoo’s Oklahoma Trails, Big Rivers Building.
“Together with Oklahoma Forestry Services, we were honored to commemorate this historical occasion celebrating one of the world’s most recognizable animal ambassadors,” said Barry Downer, OKC Zoo’s Deputy Director. “Like Smokey Bear, the OKC Zoo is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our natural world and this event is a memorable way to connect Oklahomans to this vital campaign and its message.”
Smokey Bear’s birthday party featured Oklahoma Forestry Services firefighters, fire prevention information, fun Smokey giveaways, birthday cake—and of course, the bear himself! Plus, the OKC Zoo’s grizzly and black bears received their own birthday cakes created by their caretakers as part of the festivities. Grizzly bear brothers, Will and Wiley, received enrichment treats as did the black bears, Maynard and Woody Both the grizzly and black bear enrichment sessions were viewable from inside the Big Rivers Building and were free with regular Zoo admission.
For 75 years, Smokey Bear has been educating the public about fire prevention and the importance of protecting America’s wild places from unwanted, human-caused fire. Smokey, one of the most beloved ambassadors of our time, and his signature catchphrase, “Only you can prevent wildfires,” are truly iconic. His message of wildfire prevention is the center of the longest-running PSA campaign in our nation’s history.
“We are excited to partner with the OKC Zoo to celebrate Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday,” said Mark Goeller, Director, Oklahoma Forestry Services and State Forester. “Smokey’s fire prevention message is as relevant today as it was in 1944, and we hope it continues to resonate with generations to come.”
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 ZOOfriends.org or in-person at the Zoo! To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.


Colorful senior cheerleaders attend the Oklahoma Senior Games track and field events in last year in Shawnee.

Story and photos by Darl DeVault

Regina Stewart (right) checks the signup sheet at the Oklahoma Senior Games cycling event last year at Lake Stanley Draper.

Oklahomans who have a flair for providing community service can help stage the Oklahoma Senior Games. Volunteers can help promote healthy lifestyles by encouraging active seniors 50 and over to enhance the quality of their lives through athletic and recreational competition.
Regina Stewart, the Games’ volunteer coordinator, a senior athlete herself, is direct in her support of the concept. “The Senior Games keeps me motivated to stay active and compete, which allows me to be healthy,” Stewart said.
Volunteering opportunities abound as the statewide events grow to more than 1,000 competitors this year. Your fellow citizens need your help to conduct the many activities needed to allow events to run smoothly in September and October.
Stewart said she counts on the community to continue embracing what has come to be known as the “Oklahoma Standard.” The Games promote healthy lifestyles for seniors through education, fitness and the spirited competition of sports and recreational games. This goes along with inspiring everyone to embrace health and appreciate and enjoy the value of sports related exercise.
Also the track and field coordinator, Stewart said that more than 100 volunteers helped last year around the state. She estimates double that number can help this year to handle the growth in the many sports and games offered.
Organizers anticipate even more interest this year as they share their message during the Oklahoma State Fair. Volunteers who want to attend the Fair free with free close-in parking can sign up to host demonstrations of table tennis, disc golf, the long jump, and a rowing machine. This booth will be in the Modern Living Building. The Fair runs September 12-22.
More details and signup for these three, four-hour shifts each day of the Fair are on the okseniorgames.org Web site under the Volunteer tab.
The organizers are counting on the warm hospitality and strong sense of community spirt our citizens have shown as volunteers that allow the state to thrive.
“Our volunteers are a major part of how and why our state has proven itself as a great place to compete in senior games each year,” Stewart said. “We have grown each of the last four years because of the time and energy Oklahomans who do not compete have invested in offering the Games to those who do compete.”
Officials ask that corporations organize groups of volunteers of 10 or more employees who can be assigned to specific sports. These groups will be kept together to spark morale within the volunteering ranks.
Volunteers make up the largest resource for the sanctioned state organization to produce state games each year. This help allows the events to be the qualifying site in the Sooner state for the National Senior Games Association’s National competitions.
The Games provide 20 sports and games, some with variations, that provide athletic training opportunities and social interaction.
Along with the competitions, organizers provide healthy lifestyle educational information for seniors, especially at the booth at the Fair.
Please visit the newly expanded okseniorgames.org for more info on volunteering and all the sports and games offered. For general questions call (405) 821-1500 or email info@okseniorgames.org.

Examples of ways to volunteer are listed below:

Oklahoma State Fair: sports demonstration hosts and information providers
Archery: Check-in, refreshments
Badminton: Check-in, refreshments
Basketball: Scorekeepers, check-in, refreshments
3 on 3 Basketball Free Throw/Around-the-world: Scorekeepers, rebounders
Bowling: Check-in, refreshments
Cornhole: Check-in, Scorekeepers
Cycling: Check-in, course monitors, bike holders, refreshments, medals
Golf and Golf Croquet: Check-in, refreshments
Horseshoes: Check-in, refreshments
Pickleball: Check-in, refreshments, scorekeepers
Race Walking: Check-in, water stops, course monitors, refreshments, medals
Racquetball: Check-in, refreshments
Road Races: Check-in, water stops, course monitors, refreshments, medals
Registration: Check-in athletes, t-shirt distribution,
Shuffleboard: Scorekeepers,
Swimming: Timers, Refreshments, Medals
Table Tennis: Check-in, refreshments,
Tennis: Check-in, refreshments, water coolers, t-shirt sales, ball retrieving/distribution
Triathlon: Course monitors, swim lap counters, water stops, check-in, refreshments
Track and Field: Check-in, field event helpers, timers, refreshments, runners, medals
Washer Pitch: Check-in, scorekeepers, refreshments


David Ellis, member and deacon of Mayfair Church of Christ is also the coordinator of the food pantry at the church.

by Vickie Jenkins
Staff Writer

There are a few churches around the metro area that offer a food pantry to those people that need a little extra hand every now and then. Mayfair church of Christ is one of those generous churches.
Meet David Ellis where you will find him here at the church different days of the week, different times of the day, and a lot of his time is spent in a room at the back of the church; designated as The Food Pantry. He will be doing his job as he serves as the food pantry coordinator.
“It all started fourteen years ago with a man named Jerry Bostick who actually started the food pantry at the church. Things were a little different back then,” David said. “There was a closet, literally, a closet, on the other side of the church, where a few boxes of food were stored and a few people picked up a few things. It was twelve years ago that I volunteered to help out. I’m still doing it,” he said with a smile. “Sometimes, I feel like maybe I got shanghaied into it, he laughed. “I really do enjoy it and it makes me feel good to be helping out. Since I am retired, I consider this my full-time job.”
Just for an update, In June, the pantry served 84 households consisting of 251 persons, (40 seniors, 122 adults and 89 children) we have received 34 cases (40 pounds each) of canned food as our portion of the Mail Carriers Food drive held in May. Distributions will begin when the Pantry opens on July 10, 2019. The hours of the Pantry will be each Wednesday 3-5 and the last Monday of each month 10-noon.
How do people hear about the Food Pantry? “Word of mouth is the biggest. Most of the people that come by to pick up food have been coming for several years. On the other hand there are some people that come one time during the whole year. We are here, come rain or shine,” David replied.
David explained how the people get approved to accept food from the food pantry. “The people have to qualify to register for the food pantry; they have to be in one of the six approved zip codes, meet federal income guidelines, show a picture ID and bring some type of document that verifies their address. We get shipments of food from the food bank which includes USDA meats, bread, vegetables, fruit, staples, canned goods and dry goods. We then take special care to bag the groceries according to the size of their family.”
How does David feel about being the food pantry coordinator? “It makes me feel good about the situation, especially when the people come in the very first time. They are not sure what to expect or not sure how to accept the help. I just want to make them feel comfortable and let them know that we are willing to help them,” David replied
“Even though I am the food pantry coordinator, there are plenty of others that use their time to serve others too; the volunteers…say there is a lot of work that goes into the food pantry but it is all well worth it. I am thankful for the people here at the church that are willing to serve,” David said. “I call that teamwork, he added.
On a personal note, David and his wife Elaina just celebrated their 50th anniversary on June 21st. Their families, along with their four grandchildren, were fortunate to be in town for the big celebration.
Because of his past experiences in life, his organizations skills were remarkable. ‘I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was preparing me for this job back then,” he said with a smile. “Running the food pantry takes a lot of organization, from ordering the food, to making sure there is enough for the families each month. We usually distribute about 3000 pounds of food, a little less than a ton. That is a lot of food!”
Asking if David had any words of encouragement, he said, “Well, my daughter said, ‘you are really a glass-half-full guy, aren’t you?’ I agreed with her, wondering what she meant. I laughed at the thought. All in all, yes, I am the Food Pantry Coordinator at Mayfair Church of Christ. I am happy to serve others.”
If you would like more information about Mayfair Church of Christ, located at 2340 N.W. 50, Oklahoma City, OK 73112 or call 405-842-2993


Pictured are two of the residents at Tealridge Retirement Community, L-R, Don McDuff, and Bill Hurst standing with Sandy Sitter, RN, BSN, Assistant Director of Nursing.

by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer

Welcome to Tealridge Retirement Community. We offer Independent Living apartments, Assisted Living services and apartments, and Memory Care.
Our all-inclusive retirement community located in Edmond, Oklahoma is designed for you to be able to live in maintenance-free comfort, which frees you to retire on your terms. We are here to help make the transition easier for you or your loved one. -Tealridge Retirement Community-
With a bright smile and a friendly handshake, Sandy Sitter is the Assistant Director of Nursing. Sandy is an RN, BSN at Tealridge Retirement Center, where she has been working for about a year. With high standards of caring for others, it’s no surprise she was named Nurse of the Year 2019 by the Oklahoma Assistant Living Association and was also Nurse of the Year in 1994, presented by Baptist Hospital.
Growing up in Nebraska, Sandy moved to Oklahoma City, OK in 1987. She went to York College in Nebraska, came here to go to Oklahoma Christian College and UCO for nursing, where she met her husband, married and has lived here ever since.
“I actually got my degree in Psychology but due to some medical reasons, I stayed home at the time. There was a big gap from when I quit working until I had a real desire to go to school again to be a nurse. It all came about when my grandmother had cancer. I noticed all of the nurses were so kind, making my grandmother feel as comfortable as they could. I told myself that I wanted to go to nursing school and I would take care of the patients just like the nurses had cared for my grandmother. My grandmother passed away before she saw me graduate nursing school yet, I know she is proud of me for pursuing such a career,” Sandy commented. “Little did I know that my grandmother was forming my life in my everyday walk, preparing for my job as a nurse,” she added.
“One of my first jobs as a nurse was working in the cancer unit at Baptist Hospital. From there I worked at Integris Hospice. That is where I learned that all senior residents should be treated with dignity and respect. I love caring for the elders,” she said.
When asking Sandy what her favorite part of her job as Assistant Director of Assisted Living is, she replied, “It is definitely the love that I have for the residents. I just love them all so much. Right now, we have room for 84 residents and currently, we have 64 residents. I like the fact that I have a close relationship with all of them.”
If Sandy were to give advice to someone going into the medical field, she would tell them not to lose sight of who your patient is. “Don’t get so wrapped up on the medical side that you lose track of who they are as a person. Take care of the patient as if you were in their place,” she said.
On a personal note, asking Sandy to describe herself. “Well, that is certainly a hard question,” she said with a laugh. “I am very compassionate and I am a loyal friend. I value my friendships; a very important deal for me. I am a mom, and I have two daughters; Jenna, 25, who lives in North Carolina and Kristen, 19 who attends Oklahoma Christian University. I love spending time with them. I am a Christian and attend Life Church in Edmond and I love the Lord. I have a sweet little dog named Millie; just a good ole dog and I like taking her for walks. I am a huge animal lover. I think humor and laughter is important so you will probably see me having a pretty good time here at Tealridge,” she said.
Encouraging words and a positive attitude are what make Sandy an outstanding nurse. “First thing in the morning, I give my day to the Lord, and I always treat others with dignity and respect. I am happy, and even keeled. I think about my words before I say them and I treat people the way I want to be treated. My love for others comes from my heart,” she said.
If you were to sum up your life in two words, what would those two words be? “That would be BLESSED and HAPPY,” she replied with a smile.


Do you have swelling in your legs that will not go away?
Do your legs get red and warm?
Are your legs discolored or “stained”?
Do you have “weeping” from the lower legs?
Have you had a blood clot in your legs or in your lungs?
Do you have an ulcer or wound in your lower legs that will not heal, or has to be treated by a wound care specialist?
If one or more of these symptoms apply to you, then you could have Venous Stasis Disease
What is Venous Stasis Disease (VSD)?
Veins are the blood vessels which collect blood from tissues and organs all over the body. These veins are filled with carbon dioxide and waste products of metabolism from the tissues and organs. The veins return the blood to the right side of the heart and lungs to be replenished with oxygen and nutrients. It is then pumped out again to the tissues and organs of the body by the left side of the heart. In VSD the veins are not working effectively and blood flow back to the heart is slowed causing poor circulation and pooling of blood in the legs which leads to swelling.
Who is affected?
Primarily older men and women, but VSD can affect all ages. It becomes increasingly common with each year of life. Men are affected earlier, but women catch up quickly. People who have had blood clots in the legs or lungs, pelvic injury or surgery are at higher risk. This can also occur in some people because of the way their bodies are built. People who tend to stand in one position for prolonged periods or who sit at a desk for extended times are at increased risk.
How is it diagnosed?
Careful history and physical exam of an individual by a healthcare professional. After a physical exam, if venous stasis disease is suspected specialized ultrasound exams of the veins in the leg are performed . Oftentimes, specialized testing such as venograms or ultrasound with a probe or camera inside the vein is used to further diagnose.
What are the consequences of the disease?
Pain, cramping in the legs, burning pain, numbness, and tingling in the feet are common symptoms of venous stasis disease. Wounds or infections that are slow to resolve or do not resolve are also signs of the disease. Feet that turn blue, have constant severe pain, ulcers or dark “staining” of the skin may be a result of VSD. If left untreated or treated too late, it can lead to amputations or spread of infection into the bone or blood stream. Eventually, it can also lead to marked thickening of the skin in the legs and transformation to skin more like a thick hide in the lower legs.
Is it preventable?
Try to avoid sitting or standing in position for prolonged periods. Avoid periods of more than 2 hours at a time. Try to spend a few minutes walking and exercising the muscles in your legs, this helps “pump” blood back to the heart.
* Diabetes – it is very important to work with your primary healthcare professional to control your diabetes with a combination of medication, healthy diet, lifestyle modification, and weight loss
* Right heart failure – this can lead to swelling of both legs and requires management by a cardiologist
* Smoking – never start, or if you still smoke – QUIT!
* Overweight – manage with diet modification, weight loss, regular exercise
How is Venous Stasis Disease treated?
* Initially, conservative treatment such as compression stockings is used to put pressure on the legs, reduce swelling, and help pump blood back up to the heart. Diuretics or “water pills” may need to be supplemented to help reduce swelling.
* If there is a wound present, sometimes treatment by a wound care specialist is required
* Minimally invasive (percutaneous) procedures through an iv placed into the vein – in the neck or groin.
*Angioplasty – balloons of various sizes are used to expand a vein to its natural size – the balloon is removed after treatment is complete
*Stents – used in select situations to expand a vein to its normal size, and hold it open with a “scaffold” – these are permanent implants.
Who can treat it?
This can be treated by select cardiologists, vascular surgeons, and interventional radiologists. If you feel that you may be at risk for venous stasis disease, or have some of the above symptoms, you should consult your primary healthcare professional to screen for it, and to discuss treatment options.
Dr. C.V Ramana is a vascular and interventional radiologist with more than 20 years of practice experience. He has expertise in all areas of vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Ramana has a Ph.D from Yale University and MD from CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio where he subsequently completed his fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Cleveland Clinic.


I like the nice weather and getting out in it and maybe walk. Joan Quatro

I used to jog a lot but now I just do boxing. Dovie Kasper

Vacation. I used to hike, backpack and rock climb. Now I don’t do much of anything. Robert Quatro

I like to camp, boat, ski and fish. I’m an outdoor person – have been all my life. Chris Offerson



When Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist Shannon Lucid (second from left) was selected in 1978 to become part of the first class of female astronauts in NASA’s space shuttle program, news crews descended on OMRF.
Before Shannon Lucid logged 5,354 hours in space, she was a technician and post-doctoral fellow at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in the 1970s.

Saturday will mark a half-century since Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. In the 50 years since, space missions have had an unlikely touchpoint right here in Oklahoma—at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
In 1978, Shannon Lucid, Ph.D., then working as a post-doctoral researcher at OMRF, was selected as part of the first class of female astronauts in NASA’s space shuttle program. Her time at OMRF, where she’d studied how chemicals cause cancerous changes in cells, had not prepared her for the media onslaught that followed the announcement.
Local and international news outlets, including crews from Time, Life and People magazines, came to OMRF to interview Lucid. She even appeared on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.
Despite Lucid’s newfound fame, she remained “very down to earth,” said Don Gibson, who worked in the lab with Lucid during the six-plus years she was at OMRF. She spent several months wrapping up her scientific projects at the foundation, determined not to leave any loose ends for her colleagues.
It took seven years of training, but in 1985, Lucid became the sixth American woman to reach space. And as a mission specialist aboard three different space shuttles, she put her scientific training to use.
She conducted a project on the growth of ice crystals and studied the effects of space on wild wheat. She observed quail embryos and, in a nod to her days at OMRF, even did a project with lab rats.
“On the Columbia, we had 48 rats to tend, and I worked with them every day,” Lucid told OMRF’s Findings magazine in 2016. “No one else on the mission had ever done that sort of thing, so I was a natural for that task.”
While NASA’s research has focused on what transpires far above the earth’s surface, many of the projects on space flights also aim to change things right here on our planet. That was the case with a pair of experiments that OMRF’s Allen Edmundson, Ph.D., sent into space in 2003 aboard the shuttle Columbia.
The experiments involved taking cells from cancer patients in their natural, liquid form and transforming them into solid crystals. Once the cells had been crystallized, which happens more readily in the gravity-free atmosphere of space than under earthbound conditions, Edmundson planned to bombard them with radiation to study their structure. He hoped that unmasking the cells’ structure might lead to new cancer treatments.
However, after 16 days in space, the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on the shuttle died.
When Edmundson later viewed photos of shuttle debris found near Nacogdoches, Texas, he was stunned. There, amidst the wreckage, was a small, aluminum container that had held his experiments.
“I couldn’t believe that our little box could have survived a fall from 200,000 feet,” he said. Still, his experiments did not.
The Columbia tragedy put a temporary halt to human space flight, but those missions eventually resumed. This past March, Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA was aiming for a new generation of Americans to reprise Armstrong’s lunar landing by 2024.
“We still have so much to learn from space,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “Judging from history, I feel confident that Oklahoma scientists will continue to contribute to this process of exploration and discovery.”