People, Places & Events



  Changes at ETMC cuts length of ER stay
By Toni Garrard Clay
Special to Monitor

ATHENS–In the year and a half Holly Foxworth has worked as director for emergency and trauma services at ETMC Athens, changes have been made to provide faster and more efficient care in the emergency department.
Those changes have helped reduce the average length of stay at the ER by half an hour.
In September 2006, the average visit from arrival to full discharge lasted 188 minutes.
As of September 2007, the average was 158 minutes and the median time was 140 minutes.
From a patient’s viewpoint, one of the most notable changes is in the waiting room, where there is no longer a registration desk.
“Now a patient will see a healthcare professional in the lobby,” Foxworth said, who has added personnel to that area. “That person will be triaged immediately by the nursing staff,” she added.
Once a patient’s condition is assessed, he is assigned one of three color levels – green, yellow or red – which coordinate with being a non-urgent patient (suffering a minor cut, for example); an urgent patient (a broken bone) or an emergent patient (heart attack).
The color code helps streamline the care patients’ receive according to need.
Along with the banishment of the registration desk, there is no longer a separate express care area, which was previously run as a quasi-clinic across the hall from the primary ER area. Instead, resources and personnel were combined, and the results have been positive.
“We now have more caregivers to see more patients based on the level of care they require,” Foxworth said.
“All the patient information is gathered at the bedside now,” explained Sandy Shehee, team leader for ER registration. “We are more oriented toward patient satisfaction.”
Part of that service includes providing cards on which the attending physician’s name can be written, along with diagnosis, phone numbers, medication and further instructions.
“The patients really like having the card because it helps them remember whatever they need to about their visit,” Shehee said.
Since ER registration workers no longer stay behind a desk, they utilize mobile workstations, with wireless laptops and scanners on wheeled carts.
Guest services also teams up in the daytime with ETMC Athens Auxiliary members who, whenever possible and appropriate, provide patients and even family members with food and drinks.
“Everybody really seems to like that,” Shehee said.
“We also have tickets to be used to get a meal in the cafeteria or have dietary bring food up if it’s around mealtime or if someone has had to be here a long time,” Foxworth said.

Academic Rodeo scholarships offered
Special to The Monitor
TYLER–The East Texas State Fair has announced plans to award scholarships in the secondary levels of its annual Academic Rodeo.
General manager John Sykes described the scholarship program as “an exciting opportunity for secondary students as they prepare for college or training after high school” and consistent with the organization’s commitment to “promoting education and the spirit of competition.”
The competitive event for East Texas students, now in its 18th year, will award six scholarships to students in grades six through eight in amounts of $1,000, $750 or $500.
Five scholarships in amounts of $2,000, $1,500 or $1,000 will be awarded to students in grades nine through 12.
To be eligible to apply for these scholarships, the students in each level must be a current-year first, second, or third place winner in one of the Academic Rodeo contests.
In addition, the winners will continue to receive the appropriate medallion or ribbon for their placing in the contests.
Awards for students in kindergarten through fifth grade will continue to include the appropriate medallion or ribbon and a cash award for each winner.
The annual event held preliminary rounds in two contests in November and will conclude activities in January and February.
Deadline for the scholarship applications is March 30, with announcement of the recipients in May.
More than 70 public, private, and home schools have registered for the event, which will see 2,000-plus students participating in the contests during the run of Academic Rodeo.
For additional information about the scholarship programs, other awards, or to view schedules of various events, consult the fair Web site, , or contact Academic Rodeo Coordinator Deborah Newman at (903) 597-2501.

UPS Store, Marines Toys for Tots provide Christmas toys
Special to the Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–Again this year, The UPS Store in Gun Barrel City has joined with the Marine Toys for Tots to provide hundreds of Christmas toys to area children.
Toys will be distributed through the Family Resource Center.
“The Cedar Creek Lake community has been tremendously supportive of our store since we opened four years ago,” store owner Ted Ingersoll, said.
“We believe we have an obligation to serve the entire community, and this is a good example of our sincere commitment,” he added.
Some 4,500 UPS stores across the country participate in the Marines Toys for Tots program.

Monitor Photo/Barbara Gartman
The UPS Store in Gun Barrel City provides approximately $1,500 for toys from the Marines Toys for Tots project. Pictured are (from left) UPS staff Bonnie Boley, Melissa Kennedy holding a friend’s daughter Cloe, local UPS Store owner Ted Ingersoll, Family Resource Center director Toni Muirhead, Cathy Noss, Santa (Carla Hawk) and Mrs. Santa (Kim Thompson).

The UPS Store in Gun Barrel City has received contributions of more than $1,500 from its area customers to provide toys to local kids.
“We learned the Marines were unable to make distribution of the toys this far south of the DFW area.
“So, I arranged with Gen. Bill Gossel, head of the DFW program, to come to the Metroplex warehouse myself to collect toys for distribution to area children who otherwise might not have as merry a Christmas,” Ingersoll explained.


Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

We are five beautiful Heeler mix pups. We were brought here by animal control, so we have no history. We are sweet little pups starting out in a new world. We’ve been wormed and given our first shots. We are sweet babies looking for our new forever homes.

My name is Chloe. I am a beautiful female kitten. I was brought to the Shelter by my owners who were not able to keep me. I am a very playful kid looking for my new forever home.

My name is Rebel. I am a beautiful male Pit Bull mix pup. I am somewhere around four months old. I am a sweet and playful puppy. I am such a wonderful kid in need of a new wonderful home.

My name is Chris. I am a male Retriever mix pup. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am a very sweet young man with lots of energy. I have been given my first shots. I am a sweet kid looking for my home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at