Health briefs for May 12
CDC pushes need of measles vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 764 confirmed cases of measles in 23 states since Jan. 1. No case has been confirmed in Oklahoma, but officials with the state Health Department are encouraging families to review their immunization records before any upcoming international travel.
Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but has been making a comeback this year with the greatest number of cases since 1994. Outbreaks have resulted from people becoming infected while traveling to other countries where the measles virus is still commonly spread.
Vaccination is recommendations for people traveling internationally who are 6 months old or older, unless there is evidence of immunity. That includes birth before 1957, laboratory evidence of immunity, or laboratory confirmation of disease due to measles. For questions about your risk for measles or need for the vaccine, contact your medical provider or your local county health department.
OCU nursing program adds Lawton hospital
Oklahoma City University will expand its satellite nursing program at Duncan Regional Hospital to include the Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, starting with the fall semester in August. Students may take nursing classes tuition-free if they agree to work at Comanche County Memorial Hospital for at least three years after graduation.
Students in the program will enter the junior-level nursing courses. Classes will be three days per week in the Learning Center at Duncan Regional Hospital, and clinical rotations will take place two days per week at the Lawton hospital.
Up to 20 scholarships for each cohort in the bachelor of science in nursing program are available. Lois Salmeron, dean of OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing, said the expanded program is a significant step for improving nursing education in southwest Oklahoma.
An OCU admissions counselor will be at Comanche County Memorial Hospital from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Tuesday in May to provide program details and enrollment information. For more information, go to okcu.edu/nursing.
Wellness to be topic for town hall meetings
Officials from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Oklahoma City Public Schools will host town hall meetings this week at Oakridge Elementary and Sequoyah Elementary, schools that will be converted to Learning and Wellness Academies after they close at the end of school year.
Town hall events will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Oakridge Elementary, 4200 Leonhardt Drive, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Sequoyah Elementary, 2400 NW 36.
Each academy will feature a multidisciplinary team of community health workers, public health nurses and social workers, in addition to programming, such as literacy classes, cooking demonstrations and after-school activities.
“Our mission is to build partnerships with other community organizations to improve the physical, social and emotional health of our city’s vulnerable youth, their families and the community.” said Gary Cox, health department executive director.