2009 'Champions of Health' Winners Announced
Tulsa County Recycled Medication Program has been named the Community Health Champion and recipient of the 2009 Rodney L. Huey, M.D., Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award, the highest honor of the Champions of Health awards.
The Recycled Medication Program serves as a model for the public-private volunteer physician partnership. The program is accomplished through the cooperation of the Tulsa County Social Services, Tulsa County Medical Society, 27 retired volunteer physicians and the Tulsa County Pharmacy. This is the first program in the nation to legally “recycle” unused prescription drugs from long-term care facilities to charity clinics.
Long-term care facilities have traditionally destroyed unused prescription drugs that were no longer needed but not yet expired. The Recycled Medication Program re-routes those medicines to a local charity pharmacy instead, where they are used to fill prescriptions of county residents who could not otherwise afford them. Collected psychotropic medications are provided to a local community mental health center.
Over-the-counter medicines and products have been provided to 11 foreign nations and were utilized during Hurricane Katrina. In the last five years, more than $5.5 million in medicines have been distributed by filling more than 55,000 prescriptions. The program has since been replicated in whole, or in part, in 37 states.
The Rodney L. Huey, M.D., Memorial Champion of Oklahoma Health award will be accepted at the 2009 Champions of Health Awards Banquet, 6 p.m., Nov. 17 at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center. The event reunites Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis as keynote speaker with local attorney and Flash Point political talk show co-host Mike Turpen as emcee.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners and to all who participated in the Champions of Health awards. All are winners for the work they are doing to improve the health and welfare of Oklahomans,” Hargis said. “I am honored to help recognize these health leaders at this year’s awards banquet.”
Reservations to the Champions of Health awards banquet are available for $30 each and may be purchased through Friday, Nov. 6 by calling 1-866-876-4376. MasterCard and VISA payments are accepted.
Event sponsorships benefit the Oklahoma Caring Foundation’s which provides Oklahoma Children with free childhood immunizations and basic access to health care. For more information about sponsorships or the awards banquet, go to http://www.championsofhealth.org .
“To truly make an impact, it’s important to shine a light on those whose efforts are making a difference in the health of Oklahomans,” said Bert Marshall, president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. “Our goal is that together we can develop partnerships and replicate that impact throughout the state.”
The Champions of Health awards program is presented by the following partner organizations: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Hospital Association, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association.
As Champion of Oklahoma Health, the Recycled Medication Program receives a grant of $2,500. Four other Champions also will be honored and each awarded a $1,000 contribution to their organization or program:
Champion of the Uninsured – Crossings Community Clinic, Oklahoma City – Crossings Community Clinic, housed in the Crossings Community Center, offers medical care, dentistry, eye care and counseling services to the uninsured in the Oklahoma City area.
More than 450 patients are seen each month, treating high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. The volunteer base includes registered nurses, residents, doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dental hygienists, mental health personnel and substance abuse professionals. Patients are seen by appointment and are scheduled with an appropriate health care provider, based on their individual needs.
Crossings Community Clinic has formed partnerships with health care providers in the Oklahoma City area which allow them to find ways to help those who need more specialized care or surgery.
Champion of Senior Health – Dr. James Pletcher, Miami – Dr. Pletcher is a psychiatrist and chief of staff for INTEGRIS Baptist Regional Health Center in Miami, Okla. He also serves as medical director at Betty Ann Nursing Center in Grove, Okla. Pletcher’s contributions to the community go far beyond his office walls—he regularly travels to towns in southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma, treating rural residents with mental illnesses.
Diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia require special attention, as hospitalizations can be particularly traumatic to those patients. Pletcher meets with patients in smaller towns to keep their medications adjusted to avoid such unnecessary hospitalizations.
Champion of Children’s Health – The Margaret Hudson Program, Tulsa – The Margaret Hudson Program (MHP) was founded in 1968 in honor of Dr. Margaret Hudson, a strong advocate of helping teen mothers complete high school by providing medical care and social support needed to produce healthy babies and competent parents. The program works to educate pregnant and parenting teens and their families to be healthy, self-sufficient, contributing members of the community.
MHP provides a comprehensive program of academic, social and child care services, as well as WIC, Healthy Start, outreach, mentoring and the Pointers on Parenting Network Group for Young Fathers and Grandparents.
Corporate Health Champion – Oklahoma State University’s Seretean Wellness Center, Stillwater – Seretean Wellness Center has a vision to make OSU the healthiest campus in America by providing a variety of health and wellness programs to OSU faculty, staff and students. The center’s mission is to help people achieve a balance of physical and mental health. An employee health clinic for university employees and spouses is offered, providing physical exams and treatment of minor illnesses. The center also provides wellness screenings, smoking cessation programs, wellness seminars, an onsite fitness center, massage therapy, nutrition services and other programs.
Cowboys on the Move, a Web site designed to get the campus moving, was launched in 2009. The site provides fitness and nutrition information, local trail maps, a fitness event calendar and incentives for employees to track the minutes they spend exercising. Employees are challenged to achieve 150 minutes of exercise each week.
View 2009 Press Releases