Mercy Health Love County - News

Press Release Archive

Doctors Draw from Lab Tests Most of All

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Testing Daily: Medical technologists in the laboratory of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic, and EMS include (front) Gay Galano, Olivia Sunga, Elmer Denoso, and (back) Carolene Thompson, laboratory services director Kelvin McMillan, and Dunhill Casipong. Not pictured: Richard Acayan, medical technologist, Tad Hall, PA, and Dr. Ron Fattor.

Laboratory tests are the most frequently-performed procedures at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS. 

More than 100,000 exams...

Love County Division Exceeds United Way Goal

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Drive Tops Goal: United Way chair Daren Flanagan (right) celebrates results with (left) Don Sessions, assistant drive chair; Greg Winchester, Red River Valley REA; Linda Briggs, Chickasaw Nation legislator; and Richard Barker, Mercy Health/Love County.
For the fourth autumn in a row, Daren Flanagan of Flanagan/Watts Funeral Home, has overseen a goal-busting United Way drive.
The Love County division contributed a total of $13,531, surpassing its target of $12,500.

Film X-rays Made To Disappear At Hospital Radiology Department

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Speedy X-Ray: Elijah Churchill, 3, has a chest x-ray with assistance from his mother, Jamie Churchill. Elijah was one of the first patients to benefit when imaging plates replaced film in the creation of x-rays at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS. He is the great-grandson of the late Sue Cavitt of the hospital staff.
The radiology department at the hospital recently switched from film x-rays to digital x-rays, and that’s been just fine with Elijah Churchill.

Ambulance Delay Heightens Tragedy of Child's Death

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


Carol and Rick Sommers of Leon display a picture of their three-month old son, Michael Richard Sommers. His death gave them a sense of urgency to improve emrgency response with E911.
Editor's Note: See related video for this story: 
Few understand the meaning of urgent response like Carol and Rick Sommers.
The couple waited more than 35 minutes for an ambulance to arrive from a station only 2.5 miles away while...

Dedicated Officer to Investigate Domestic Violence Crimes

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


Marietta city leaders have announced a grant to employ a fulltime domestic violence officer for the city and county starting January 1.
“We are very pleased. Domestic violence is a paramount issue, not just in Marietta but in Love County and elsewhere. To add an officer with that sole responsibility will make an impact in this community and benefit the entire county,” said Marietta Mayor Michelle Porter.
The grant, for almost $50,000, has been awarded under the federal S.T.O.P...

Public Meetings Bring Out 911 Appeals and Questions

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

 SOS for 911: Love County dispatcher Billy Bob Ball appealed for a Yes vote for enhanced 911 services at a public meeting at Turner School. The countywide election is Dec. 8.

An emergency dispatcher and a county sheriff made moving appeals for enhanced 911 at recent public meetings held to explain the election issue to Love County voters.

The final public meetings, both beginning at 7 p.m., will take place at Enville Community Building on Monday, Nov. 30, and Marietta School Cafeteria...

Letter to Editor from Deer Attack Victim

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Nov. 23, 2009

To the Editor,
Marietta Monitor:
No, I did not try to pet Bambi, nor did I take him on in my back yard. 
We had a deer circling our house. He kept circling and each time he passed the back yard he eyed the swimming pool. I thought maybe he was thirsty and if I put out a pan of water he wouldn’t jump our fence and mess up the pool. 
I put a pan of water outside and joined my husband inside the garage. The deer came around the corner into the garage and charged. He...

'Best Rural Ambulance' Hampered By Outdated 911

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Tad Hall, P.A., manager of Mercy Health/Love County Emergency Department and Love County EMS, and Dr. Vergil Smith pause in the emergency department to talk about what E911 will mean.

Love County offers arguably the best rural ambulance service in Oklahoma – 28 paramedics and EMTs, two stations, five ambulances, a rescue unit, and advanced life-support capabilities for adults and children.
Too bad they don’t know where they’re going.
But 911 calls for medical assistance don’t...

Emergency Responders Calling for Public Meetings

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Priceless: Marietta Police Chief Linda Johnson wore a campaign shirt to the E911 planning meeting Monday night. It reads, “E-911 user fee per cell phone – 50¢. E-911 user fee per landline – $2.50. 911 Responder saving your life – PRICELESS.”
A series of five public meetings will help Love County voters determine whether to pass an approximate $2.50 per month fee on landline telephones and a $.50 per month fee on cell phones to fund a modern emergency...

Hospital Helping with Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Open enrollment for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans is from November 15 through December 31.
Participants may change plans now for 2010. Changes generally cannot be made again until the next open enrollment a year from now.
Volunteer enroller Don Sessions, Falconhead, recommends that all participants go through a new plan search every year at this time.
The reason: “Certain insurance companies may be charging more for premiums and co-pays and dropping coverage of...

Installing Enhanced 911 May Take 3 Years

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009


Getting Started

Pending approval of E-911 service fees by voters on Dec. 8, fully installing an enhanced emergency answering system will take up to three years. 

 Equipment will not be purchased and operational until the 18-24 month mark.
Mapping and Addressing Takes Months
The most time-consuming stage comes first – mapping and addressing every structure in the county. The fieldwork alone will consume 12-18 months, mapping experts say.
In the end, residents will have a 911...

Dr. O'Connor Named Physician of Year

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Tad Hall, PA, Cassie Sallee, PA, Dr. J.T. O’Connor, Jr., Kari Cochran, PA, Richard Barker, Mercy Health/Love County CEO, and Connie Barker, clinic manager, celebrate Dr. O’Connor’s award as Physician of the Year from the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants.

Dr. J.T. O’Connor, Jr., D.O., of Marietta was honored as Physician of the Year by the Oklahoma Academy of Physician Assistants at the OAPA annual conference in Norman on Oct. 22.
The family practitioner was recognized...

Love County Lagging in Life-Saving 911 Response

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Love County is one of only 17 counties in Oklahoma that has not implemented telephone service fees in any community to upgrade its 911 system, according to the statewide 911 advisory board.

Put another way, the risk to life and property is relatively greater here than in the other 60 counties because of the added time it takes fire, police, and ambulance to find emergency scenes.

A remedy is the one Love County voters will address on December 8. Adopting telephone service fees is the means...

Emergency Responders 'Hurry Up and Wait'

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Paramedic Teresa Tow (back to camera) and other Love County medical, law enforcement, and fire responders share stories of delays in response time to 911 calls that can be overcome if voters will approve system improvements.
“Please hurry!” is often the urgent plea of callers to the 911 emergency dispatcher.
But responders say Love County’s outdated 911 answering system costs them valuable minutes in reaching the site of medical, fire, and law enforcement emergencies.

Family Shelter's New Director To Attend Local Candlelight Vigil

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The new director of the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma will be attending her first Candlelight Vigil on October 8. 

But Sara Bell is no stranger to the area. The daughter of Vanesa Harper Ramsey and Charles A. Roberts grew up in Marietta. She and her husband, Dillon Bell, graduated with the Marietta class of 1998.
Sara Bell earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources counseling with a minor in psychology at East Central University.
Prior to joining the Family Shelter in July...

Left for Dead, Shooting Victim Lives To Help Others Survive Domestic Violence

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Patricia Dewbre has something to say about the deadly nature of domestic violence, and she hopes lots of acquaintances from her youth in Love County will come out to hear her keynote speech at the second annual Candlelight Vigil at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 at Marietta School Auditorium.

“I survived an incident meant to leave me dead. I want to help other people stop keeping their own situation a dark, dirty secret in the closet and understand they can get help and get out of it,” she...

Hospital Trains Ham Radio Operators

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Radio Test: Kevin O’Dell, instructor, points out features of a ham radio set to (back) Charlie Garner, Carolyn Garner, Dusty Michael, Tad Hall; and (front) Jeff Hicks, Obie Heath, and Tracy Walker.

Eight more medical staff and volunteers have joined the ranks of amateur (ham) radio operators to serve Love County in public health emergencies or other disasters. 

Carolyn Garner, Charlie Garner, Tad Hall, Jonathan Hall, Jeff Hicks, Dusty Michael, Obie Heath, and Tracy Walker completed a...

Domestic Violence Event Set for Oct. 8

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Victim advocate Yolanda Gay is asking the public to mark their calendars for an event Marietta School Auditorium to honor the memory of  Love County residents who have lost their lives to crimes of domestic violence. 

The second annual Candlelight Vigil is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, October 8. Guest speaker will be Patricia Dewbre, a survivor of domestic violence. Gay will also give her survivor testimony.
Music will be by Pemberton & Langley, a Southern gospel performing group. John...

City/County Offering Phone Text Alerts

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The city/county office of emergency management has begun offering a free service that allows residents to receive phone text messages or emails concerning public safety emergencies in the county. 

“It’s possible for me to send alerts for weather, missing kids and adults, advisories, pretty much any emergency that affects this area, plus community information,” said Tracey Smithwick, agency director.
Residents sign up through a website, The service requires either a...

Area's Newest Paramedics Are Tops in Their Class

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Dan McLeod, SOAS; Richard Barker, Mercy Health/Love County Administrator; Alex Scott, SOAS; and Brandon Mathews, William Heath, and John Gilliam, Love County EMS, participated in paramedic graduation at Kiamichi Technology Center. (Photo by Connie Barker)

Go to the head of the class, Love County EMS and Mercy Health/Love County! 

The only EMS in Oklahoma to offer Paramedic and Basic EMT education to the public graduated its first paramedics in July. 

William "Obie" Heath and Brandon...

Record Numbers Seeking Food Assistance from Hospital Pantry

Monday, June 29th, 2009


Hunger and food insecurity are taking an increased toll on people in Love County and the rest of Oklahoma.
Record numbers are seeking food assistance.
Hospital Pantry Food Drive Is Continuous
The food pantry offered by employees of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic, and EMS in Marietta serves the largest number of clients.
“We are seeing an increasing number of new applicants, people that have not needed food before,” said Ann Langston, pantry representative.

Hospital Revamping Computer Technology

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009


Caption: James Riggs

A specialist at keeping up with the “next best thing” in computer technology has joined Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic, and EMS.

 James Riggs is the first manager of information systems. He will be exploring and implementing ways to use computers to serve patients faster and safer throughout the institution. 

“I’m thrilled that James has the desire to come here and help enhance the quality of services to our patients and practitioners,” said Richard...

Marietta Hospital Launches New Website

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic has recently launched a new Web site. The health care site provides information about hospital/clinic/ER programs, services, history, news, and more.

Features include:
·        Hospital services
·        Clinic services
·        Emergency services
·        Health and wellness
·        Employment opportunities
·        Press releases – This section is a...

Puppet Show Concludes Child Abuse Prevention Month

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

For the 16th year, a Child Abuse Prevention Month puppet show will make its way to all Love County Elementary Schools, April 27-29. 

The program was developed by the Love County Task Force on Child Abuse Prevention in 1994. Marietta High School speech and drama students act as the puppeteers.
In the performances, the puppets tell about abuse and what they did about it. The purpose is to make it clear to young children that when personal safety or discomfort is involved, the child can...

125 Motorcyclists Expected For Benefit

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Up to 125 motorcyclists are expected to thunder through Marietta Saturday morning on a benefit ride for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

They will stop briefly at the pavilion on the east side of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, with the first wave expected around 10:20 a.m. 

“A Real Reason to Ride Poker Run” is sponsored by the C/SARA Foundation, whose work in crisis intervention benefits children from Love County and four surrounding counties, according to Sissy Burge of...

National Doctors' Day Salute

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

On March 30, the hospital recognizes National Doctors' Day.





Hospital EMS Fire Brigade Serving Casino and County

Thursday, March 19th, 2009


That One’s Mine: Scott Neu, Paramedic (left) is first out on ambulance calls and Adam Zimmerer, EMT is first out on fire calls from the WinStar station. They are members of the hospital-managed EMS and Fire Brigade serving WinStar casino properties and southern Love County.
EMS Manager Tad Hall, PA and Training Officer Dusty Michael
Fire and Ambulance: Some of the members of the new hospital-managed EMS and Fire Brigade at WinStar Casino include Ryan Weger, Bobby Sharp,...

Clinic Welcomes New Physician Assistant

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009


 Nathan Murray
A new physician’s assistant has joined Mercy Health/Love County Hospital, Clinic and EMS.
Nathan Murray feels right at home, he said, seeing 15-20 patients per day, mostly children, since coming on duty in January at the clinic.
“The community has been more than welcoming to me. I’m a pretty big country boy. I like to hunt and fish and I wanted a small-town setting,” he said.
Murray, 25, is a recent graduate of the PA Program at the OU Health...

Love County EMS, Hospital Respond To Lone Grove Tornado

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Love County EMS sent ambulances and rescue units to the scene of the Lone Grove tornado last Tuesday evening. 

Local paramedics transported injured patients, engaged in search and rescue for victims trapped in fallen buildings and debris, and supplied radio relays when normal medical communications in the area went down.
The first and last patients taken to hospitals rode in Love County ambulances, said EMS manager Tad Hall, PA.
Several, including priority one trauma patients, were...

O'Connor Chairing Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Dr. J.T. O'Connor, Jr., a physician with Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, is chairman of the state board that regulates administrators of Oklahoma's 350 nursing homes.

O'Connor has served on the Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators since 2005. He was appointed by Governor Brad Henry.

The board licenses and disciplines more than 800 nursing home administrators.

O'Connor has been a family practitioner in Marietta for 35 years. He also serves as...