The interactions with those you meet during life-changing events have the power to shape your entire perspective. You remember the tone of their voice, their words and their actions. You remember how they made you feel. In health care, every encounter with every patient matters. It is not only how we deliver medical care, but how we truly care for people – our patients – like Larry Hester.

Life-flighted from Hillcrest Hospital Henryetta to Hillcrest Medical Center’s Oklahoma Stroke and Neurological Institute in September, Larry underwent emergency brain surgery to reduce the... Read More »


The Center for Diabetes Management at Hillcrest Supervisor Cassie Stanzak, RD/LD, CDE, gives an inside look into building her career at Hillcrest.

I have been at Hillcrest eight years. When I started working here, I knew I wanted to do an outpatient education role, but I never thought I would grow in my profession as much as I have here at Hillcrest.  I love to watch people learn – especially when they are motivated. I started in a role that was part-time in the fitness center and part-time in The Center for Diabetes Management as a registered dietitian. Through the years, I became... Read More »

When Asnul Bahar decided last year he should have a primary care physician, he never would imagine the diagnosis he would be given after an annual checkup. “I did not have a doctor and did not go for checkups, but decided I needed to last November,” says Asnul. “I went to Utica Park Clinic physician, Dr. Michael Gebetsberger, for a checkup and had several tests done.” A month later, Asnul heard back from Dr. Gebetsberger regarding his lab results. “My blood test results showed I had A1C levels (average blood sugar levels) of 6.6, when the average healthy range is 4.0-5.6. He told me these... Read More »

There is a difference between a response and a reaction. It is as clear of a distinction between Hillcrest Medical Center Safety and Security Director and Chief Security Officer Jesse Millan and fictional character Barney Phife, the deputy sheriff in the Andy Griffith Show whose framed photograph hangs on the wall of Jesse’s office. “It is a daily reminder of what not to be,” says Jesse of the alarmist, emotional and often inept law enforcement image Barney portrays. Responding, instead of reacting, to crisis and emergency situations is the foundation of Jesse’s 24 year career in hospital... Read More »

In many ways, Nat Torkelson’s, MS, RN, career in nursing has been a lifelong pursuit. In her office on the campus of Hillcrest Medical Center, where she serves as the administrative director of cardiovascular services at Oklahoma Heart Institute, a collection of neatly situated items speaks to her 45 years of service – framed degrees, employee art and a photo album of co-workers from the past she received as a gift, are among a few. Classical music plays in the background as she recalls her earliest memories playing with her sisters and neighborhood friends. Nat was always the nurse. “... Read More »

Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and there are many disorders patients may suffer from after having a stroke. One disorder is called dysphagia, which is a swallowing disorder that may occur in up to 65 percent of stroke patients. Dysphagia causes difficulty swallowing and, in some cases, patients find it impossible to swallow.

Kaiser Rehabilitation Center speech pathologist, Demetra Pinos, prefers to work with patients who have swallowing disorders. Demetra has been working at Kaiser for over 20 years. She took interest in this field after growing up... Read More »

As summer draws near, health care providers remind us to be aware of our exposure to mosquitoes. This is a common concern for the season, but this year a new focus has emerged: the Zika virus. Utica Park Clinic recently explored Zika and how it can be transmitted on their blog. In addition to being aware of what Zika is and how it can spread, it’s also important to know more about how to prevent it to protect you and your family.

The first line of defense recommended to guard against mosquitoes is insect repellent. A recent study conducted by Consumer Reports tested the... Read More »

Electronic cigarettes have become popular to millions of Americans who believe they are seeking a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. It has fueled a $1.5 billion market in the U.S., along with a fair share of controversy. Reports of the batteries in these devices exploding and causing severe burns sparked an investigation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2014. Twenty-five cases of e-cigarette battery explosions were reported from 2009 to 2014, and although FEMA stated these explosions were “rare,” a notable increase in cases has been seen this year in Tulsa... Read More »