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Arkansas Methodist Medical Center


The Foundation at AMMC

Home Sweet Home Becky Loyd loves life at the Chateau

Angels Among Us

Showing compassion in a time of darkest grief // Spring 2013 // The Beacon



Patients aren’t tHe only ones giving us HigH marks. AMMC RANKED IN THE TOP 18% NATIONWIDE AS A JOINT COMMISSION Top performer Arkansas Methodist Medical Center was named one of the nation’s Top performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in America. AMMC is the only hospital in the region to receive this honor and one of only 620 hospitals in the U.S. earning the Top performer distinction. The Joint Commission honored AMMC for exemplary performance in improving care for conditions including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

900 W. kingshighway· Paragould, ar · 870-239-7000 ·

from the ceo

The   Beacon Spring 2013

It’s a family tradition

editorial team

Shay Willis

Director of Marketing & Public Relations 870.239.8031

Terry Austin

Director of The Foundation 870.239.7305

AMMC Administration

President/CEO.......................Barry Davis VP of Finance/CFO..........Brad Bloemer Chief Nursing Officer......Lana Williams Director of HR................ Dennis Cooper External Operations Mgr.... Gary Biggs Assistant........................Leigh Ann Jones Assistant................................. Teresa Ervin

AMMC executive board

Chairman.............. Dwight Williams, MD Vice Chairman................... Rhonda Davis Treasurer......................................Bill Fisher Secretary.........................................Paul Hill Past Chairman........................... Pat Quinn Members.............Albert Fonticiella, MD Darrell Bonner, MD George Cook Sherland Hamilton Jannie Distretti Tom Kirk Jon Collier, MD Mike Gaskill

here’s a theme you’ll likely notice in this issue of our magazine: family. From the newest member of the Dixon family – the first baby born at AMMC in 2013 – to the longtime support of the Block family, from the family atmosphere of Chateau on the Ridge to the heartfelt and compassionate care we give to families in a time of unspeakable sorrow, you’ll find that word appearing over and over throughout these pages. It’s my hope, too, that you’ll find that word coming to mind when you visit AMMC. We describe ourselves as family – a family of nearly 700 employees, around 110 Auxilians and 48 physicians, but a family nonetheless. We take care of one another, laugh together, learn together, celebrate together, and in times of sadness, we lean on one another to get through the worst of it. At the time of this writing, nearly 300 of our employees donate to a fund that provides assistance to fellow employees in times of crisis and need. Our goal is to treat you like family when you visit AMMC. Whether you’re here as a patient or a visitor, we consider you part of our family while you’re with us. Our employees have heard me say this numerous times: Every hospital has buildings, rooms, equipment, and medical professionals. What sets one above another is the display of genuine compassion that accompanies the medical treatment. I believe we excel there. Take that as bragging if you wish – we all brag on our kids now and then, and while the employees here aren’t my kids, I am intensely proud of the effort and attitude they display during every shift, every day of the year. I hope your experiences with us bear out my confidence in them. Whether you come through our doors for a great cup of coffee at Foundation Station, a sandwich at Beacon’s Deli, a workout at the Wellness Center, a visit to a loved one, or for a procedure of your own, please know that we appreciate and value you. When you’re with us, you’re among family.

Barry Davis, President & CEO // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


this issue

Always building. You’d have to work hard to find a kinder couple than Bill & Kat Block, and you’d likely not have much success. Not only are they exceptionally warm and engaging, they’re also committed to the sustained economic growth of Paragould and its surrounding communities. More than that, they’re committed to the collective success of the people of this area. For those reasons and many, many more, we’re delighted to share their story with you in this issue. The Beacon gratefully acknowledges the support of Bill & Anne Fisher, who serve as personal underwriters. To learn more about underwriting or advertising opportunities, call 239-7077.

It’s all about you (and the USA)

2012 AMMC Patients by state of residence

File this under, “Bet you didn’t know.” In 2012, Arkansas Methodist Medical Center provided care for 81,101 patients. As you see from the graphic above, most of those patients came from Arkansas and Missouri, as you might expect. But you might not have anticipated the national reach of your hometown medical center.


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

From Florida to Washington state, from California to New York – and lots of places in-between – people in need of healthcare found it right here in Paragould. We’re happy to be here for each of those 81,101 friends. Regardless of state boundary, it’s all about you.

table of contents

14 Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill Dixon family & Dr. Paul Becton

this little piggy stayed home. Becky Loyd’s collection of “pigurines” is famous at Chateau on the Ridge. It’s almost as well-known as her upbeat outlook on life.


page turners. (Top) Groundbreaking on Paragould Medical Park, page 6 • (Left) Baby New Year arrives, page 10 • (Middle) A donation you can make with an empty wallet, page 8 • (Right) Pageant raises Foundation funds, page 20

TABLE OF CONTENTS CEO’s Note.......................................................................... 3

Angels Among Us.......................................................12

This Issue.............................................................................. 4

Part of the Family.........................................................14

Paragould Medical Park.............................................. 6

The Building Blocks....................................................16

Give Blood!.......................................................................... 8

Foundation News & Notes.....................................18

Baby New Year...............................................................10

Miss AMMC Pageant..................................................20

Women’s Services........................................................11

Tribute Gifts.....................................................................22

cover:.Bill and Katherine (“Kat”) Block, at the player piano they donated to AMMC. You can see (and hear) that piano playing daily in the atrium, right next to Foundation Station. ©2013 by AMMC.

for Run s! ose the R ge 19 Pa

While researching some historical documents for this issue’s feature on the Block family, we ran across one of the hospital’s first patient handbooks. A page is excerpted above. // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


hard hat area

Pictured left to right are Betty Rodgers with Jonesboro Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine; Architect George Krennerich; Nabholz Construction CEO Bill Hannah; AMMC President/CEO Barry Davis; St. Bernards President/ CEO Chris Barber; Sister Lillian Marie; Dr. Dwight Williams; Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill; Vice President of Healthcare Services with St. Bernards Matt Parker and AMMC CFO Brad Bloemer.

Paragould Medical Park construction officially begins Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and St. Bernards Healthcare held formal groundbreaking December 18, 2012, for Paragould Medical Park, a new ambulatory care facility located at 4000 Linwood (U.S. 49 South) in Paragould. AMMC and St. Bernards are developing Paragould Medical Park on a 48-acre plot located on the west side of U.S. 49 north of the new Greene County Tech High School. The development will be anchored by a primary care facility. “The new medical park venture represents another collaborative effort involving AMMC and St. Bernards,” said Barry Davis, president and chief executive officer of AMMC. “This venture enables both organizations to pool valuable resources and limited capital in such a way to undertake a project for


the benefit of the community that we might not be able to do independently.” “We are pleased to collaborate with AMMC to provide convenient access to quality ambulatory healthcare services for residents of Greene County and other parts of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri at this new location,” said Chris B. Barber, president and chief executive officer of St. Bernards Healthcare. “We are especially pleased with physician interest in this project, and we feel the location of Paragould Medical Park is ideal. We look forward to a continuing relationship with AMMC as we both work to bring the very best in healthcare possible to patients in this region.” The development is just south of the route of the new U.S. 412 Bypass. It has nearly 1,000 feet of highway frontage

The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

and will be very easy for residents to access regardless of their direction of travel on U.S. 49. The initial phase of construction will include a 60,000-square-foot structure that will accommodate clinical offices of a number of primary care physicians and specialists as well as pre-admission testing for patients who will be admitted to AMMC and St. Bernards, laboratory services, imaging services and physical therapy and rehabilitative services. The facility will be connected fiberoptically to both AMMC and St. Bernards. Paragould Doctors’ Clinic will move offices to the new site, and primary care physicians Drs. Len Kemp, Lance Monroe, Mack Shotts and Dwight Williams will see patients there seven days a week, including evening hours on weekdays.

LEFT: AMMC CEO Barry Davis addresses the gathering. RIGHT: Shay Willis, AMMC Director of Marketing & PR, and former Paragould Chamber of Commerce Membership Manager Lesley Hobbs.

BancorpSouth representatives Jacob Bland, Joe Williams and Joe AMMC Executive Board members (from left) Sherland Hamilton, Wessell visit with Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin and Paragould George Cook, and Dr. Darrell Bonner. Mayor Mike Gaskill.

Other physicians have expressed interest in relocating offices. And Paragould Wound Healing Center, another collaborative venture between AMMC and St. Bernards, will move to the new site as well. Jonesboro Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine ( JOSM) will have a satellite office at Paragould Medical Park, where physicians will continue to see orthopaedic and sports medicine patients. Paragould Medical Park will provide opportunity for the consolidation of clinical sites for other specialists who see patients in Greene County and the

surrounding area on regularly scheduled clinic days. Those include neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and behavioral health specialists. Others expected to be represented there are nephrologists, oncologists and infusion therapists. Out parcels are available for development for businesses such as pharmacies, durable medical equipment providers, dentists, other types of healthcare providers, branch banks or restaurants. The property is highly visible and easy to get to. It is in a location that is sure to develop quickly once the new U.S. 412 Bypass is constructed, Davis

says. “This development gives Arkansas Methodist and St. Bernards an opportunity to strengthen our relationship while providing quality primary care and other health services in a convenient and easy-to-reach environment.� The two healthcare organizations also worked together to open Paragould Wound Healing Center earlier in 2012. Contractor for the project is Nabholz Construction. Brackett Krennerich Architects designed the structure to be especially energy efficient. Paragould Medical Park is expected to open later this year. // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


you’re so vein

How to save a life 2013 Blood Drives at AMMC Date


Tuesday, May 28

4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, June 6

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

Tuesday, July 30

4:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 8

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

Thursday, October 10

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

Thursday, December 12

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

All blood drives are held in the AMMC Auditorium. Note the special evening-hour blood drives on May 28 and July 30.

Blood Donation Facts

:02 <38 100 44, 5,000,000 000

Frequency of blood need in the U.S. (Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood.) Pints of blood that could be required for a single car accident victim.

Percentage of the U.S. population that is eligible to donate blood: Number of patients who receive blood in a year:


Number of blood donors in the U.S. per year:

You don’t have time. You don’t like needles. Or invasive questions. (But it’s really the needle, right?) Whatever the reason, many eligible blood donors choose not to donate a unit of their blood. Whether it’s a matter of time or the ick factor, something holds them back. If you’re one of those people, think of this: people receiving blood probably don’t like needles, either. And they certainly have things they’d rather do than receive medical care after a car accident, or a surgery, or a cancer treatment. But they need that care. And they need blood. Your willingness to fight through the squeamishness and donate a unit of blood (and 45 minutes of your day) can save a life. Arkansas Methodist Medical Center hosts American Red Cross blood drives every 56 days throughout the year. (Donors of one unit of blood must wait 56 days before donating again.) This year, we’re adding two special donation opportunites. On May 28 and July 30, AMMC will host drives from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. for those who would like to donate but can’t fit it into their workday. Did you know you can also schedule an appointment for AMMC blood drives? Visit, create an account, find the date and location of the appropriate blood drive, and select the donation time that best fits your schedule. Upon your arrival at the drive, notify someone at registration that you have an appointment. Appointments help speed up your donation and help Red Cross personnel plan a more efficient blood drive. Last year, 425 units of blood were donated at AMMC-hosted drives. With just one drive completed in 2013, 67 units of blood have been donated. You can make a difference by donating blood at every opportunity this year.

Number of blood donations needed each day in the United States


FEED THE NEED. Successful blood donors at AMMC-hosted drives receive 3 coupons worth $5 apiece, redeemable at the Auxiliary Gift Shop, Foundation Station (serving Starbucks coffee), Beacon’s Deli, or the AMMC Cafeteria. Successful “double-red” donors receive 6 coupons!


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

Mom’s need motivates local blood donor David McSpadden was sitting in Arkansas Methodist Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit when he had an epiphany. McSpadden’s mother, Linda, was in the ICU following complications from a surgery performed at another hospital. She had bled internally and needed several units of blood during her recuperation. After visiting his mother and noticing they shared the same blood type, David stopped at the nurses’ station to ask the nurse on duty for the date of the next blood drive at AMMC. “She said, ‘They’re having one today in the auditorium,’” he recalled. “I guess there really is no time like the present.” Just the day prior, he had run into an old high school classmate who asked about his mother’s health. When David mentioned that she needed units of blood, the friend noted “being proud” that he had been able to donate several pints of blood over the years. When David found out his friend also had the same blood type as Linda, it left an impact. “When you look at that bag with (the blood type) marked on it, you just sit there and wonder, ‘What person gave that gift that potentially saved my mother’s life?’” David said. And at that point, he decided that he would be a gift-giver, too. He reported to the AMMC auditorium and signed up to give blood. David discovered that day that he is able to donate “double reds” – double red cell donation via an apheresis machine which collects red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. “I thought they weren’t going to let me give at all because of my blood pressure,” he said. “It’s not that high, but it was that day because I was pretty nervous about giving blood.” But once he started the process, David’s nerves settled quickly. “Once I got in the chair, I wasn’t nervous any more,” he said. “They’re professionals – you’re in good hands.” And as his mother’s health continues to improve, David plans to continue giving as well. “They (The American Red Cross) have my cell number. They’ll call me when I’m eligible to give again,” he said.


e started U.S. Renal Care in 2000, right here in Paragould, and have

grown to more than 125 locations across the country – with more growth planned for the future.

At U.S. Renal Care it is our continuing – and growing – commitment to provide the very best renal care services and facilities available in the communities we serve.

901 W. Kingshighway Paragould, AR 72450 Phone: 870-215-0187 Fax: 870-215-5320 // Spring 2013 // The Beacon 9

new year baby

Welcome the first baby of 2013!

anks Our th who e to thos these ed donat the o items t mily! fa Dixon

• • • • • • •

Photo by Shay Willis

The first baby born in the New Year at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center arrived at 12:18 pm on Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Caroline Lee Ann Dixon weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 18 inches long. Her parents are Michael and Lindsey Dixon. Caroline and her parents received several gifts from hospital departments, individuals and local businesses. Pictured left to right are Michael, Roman and Presley Dixon; Dr. Paul Becton, OB/GYN and Lindsey and Caroline Dixon.

A case of diapers from AMMC Materials Management Department; An AMMC baby spoon and bassinet from AMMC OB Unit Coordinator Lori Walker, RN; A hand-knit blanket from Mary Esther Herget; Gift certificates from Kiss the Cook, Details - A Hair and Nail Studio, and Pitter Patter Photography; A $50 savings account at First National Bank; A potted plant from Ballard’s Flowers and Gifts; A breastfeeding pillow from AMMC Lactation Consultant Tritia McGrew, RN.

CR Doc - Page 1 - Composite

“We care about your Health.” “We are patient people.”

2700 W. Kingshighway, Ste. 4 • Paragould, AR


Roger Cagle, MD Family Medicine Cathy Young, APN Convenient Care


First National Bank

Walk-ins Welcome

The Working Bank for Working People.

Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri. 8am-7pm • Wed. 8am-1pm • Sat. 8am-2pm • Closed Sundays


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //


Tritia McGrew (far right), RN and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, makes sure mom, baby, and even dad are ready for the big changes (and the little ones, too) that come with the arrival of a newborn. Also pictured are Laura (left) and Abel Manuel.

Expecting? Expect personal care at AMMC At Arkansas Methodist Medical Center, the Lactation Services Department overseen by Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant Tritia McGrew, RN, offers childbirth education classes, feeding classes to expectant mothers and Mommy and Me breastfeeding support group meetings for expectant or new moms. Plus, Lactation Services offers inpatient and outpatient visits, and outpatient lactation visits are available both prenatal and postnatal. The Women’s Services Department (OB) focuses on women’s health and reproductive services including preand post-delivery care by either vaginal or cesarean delivery and post-op gynecological surgery. The AMMC

staff is provided with education on breastfeeding and is required to be neonatal resuscitation (NRP) certified. According to the NRP Office, The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) is an education program jointly sponsored with the American Heart Association (AHA). The course has been designed to teach an evidencebased approach to resuscitation of a newborn to hospital staff who care for newborns at the time of delivery, including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists. Since the inception of the NRP in 1987, over three million individuals in the United States and a countless number of individuals

abroad have been trained in NRP. Along with breastfeeding education and neonatal resuscitation certification, two nurses within the Women’s Services Department are AWHONN (The Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses) certified intermediate Fetal Heart Monitoring (FHM) instructors. AWHONN is an internationally recognized leader in fetal monitoring that understands fetal monitoring is a continuous process, and that process can promote optimal birth outcomes by identifying and implementing the best practices for fetal heart rate assessment, interpretation and interventions.

Your local provider of medical equipment since 1996!

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501 W. Kingshighway Paragould, AR 72450 (870) 239-0997 // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


Angels Among Us Hospital and community come together to offer service and sympathy in the darkest of days

Some people only dream of angels… we saw one.

- Text on front of memorial cards

The birth of a baby brings about changes in the parents’ lives that simply can’t be fully expressed – they must instead be experienced. The elixir of exhaustion and joy, the rush of worry and wonder and complete inadequacy is unique and beautiful. And most of the time, the nurses and staff of AMMC’s Women’s Services (OB) department are witness to these beautiful beginnings. “OB is a very happy place when it’s


happy,” said AMMC Director of Education Debbie Brehmer. But... “But when it’s sad, it’s very, very sad.” Every so often, things don’t go well. Babies arrive with severe developmental issues that render them unable to survive beyond a precious handful of ticks on the clock. Mothers so early in their terms they hadn’t yet even realized they were pregnant deliver babies too tiny to live. And in the place where there ought to be joy and wonder for new parents, there is instead something else entirely. Something nobody wants to think or talk about, but something very real and raw. And in the haste to put that something out of mind, what is often also too easily forgotten is that the parents of these babies are just that: parents.

The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

“Most people misunderstand pregnancy loss,” Brehmer said. “When a woman has a miscarriage, she will grieve just as much as if she lost a fullterm baby. Maybe she was at 10 or 12 weeks – she hadn’t started showing, and no one knew she was even pregnant. “She may not get the sympathy, the social support. But she has lost all her hopes and dreams for that baby.” For these mothers and families, AMMC provides assistance via SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, a national organization whose mission is to “serve those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life.” Lori Walker (Director of Women’s Services), Lana Tedder, and Brehmer are trained SHARE caregivers. The service helps

the entire family navigate the grieving process. The SHARE program is supported and supplemented by a partnership of AMMC employees and compassionate volunteers, which provides grief assistance in more tangible ways. A group of women from the First Baptist Church in Paragould make tiny gowns for the babies. The babies are photographed in one gown, which the family then receives as a memento, and buried in a second gown. Whenever possible, the baby’s handprints and footprints are gently inked onto a memorial card for the family. (Brehmer noted they have been able to successfully take footprints from a 6-week fetus.) A support group in Little Rock sends gowns and baby blankets as well. A local family, one that has suffered the loss of a baby, crafts tiny, handmade caskets – about the size of a shoebox – for burials. Arkansas state law makes no burial provisions for babies born at less than 21 weeks gestational age or under 300 grams (about 10.5 ounces, roughly the weight of an apple) birth weight. No birth certificate or death certificate is issued, and burial plans are left entirely

to the family. “Losing a baby is heartbreaking and expensive,” Brehmer said. “We do these things free of charge for the family.” Dr. David Quinn, pathologist and chief of staff at AMMC, and his wife, Laura, have purchased burial lots in a local cemetery. When families cannot afford burial, a lot is provided free of charge. Such quiet and deep generosity is not unusual for the Quinn family, but in this particular instance, it reflects a bond they share with these families. In 2005, while living in Oklahoma, the Quinns lost their daughter when Laura delivered just 3 months into the pregnancy. The Quinns and their two sons were devastated by the loss. “When you’re that far along in a pregnancy, you’re making plans for your life that include that baby,” Laura Quinn said. “Everything we had planned had her in it. We had started buying things again, loading up on baby things, and when we lost her, it was so tragic.” The Quinns found a funeral home in the area whose owners had experienced similar loss and offered free funeral and burial services for others.

“They wanted to help people understand this was a real human being,” Laura said, “and that you loved them even though you had never met them. It really rescued us at a time when we didn’t know what to do.” A few years later, when the Quinns moved to Paragould, they purchased a lot in a local cemetery and had their daughter’s remains moved there. A small, square plaque marks her tiny grave. In the course of his work as pathologist at AMMC, Dr. Quinn would see the heart-wrenchingly small bodies of children born before viability. “He just could not stand the thought of that child’s family not knowing what to do next,” Laura recalled. The Quinns purchased more lots at the cemetery as a gesture of empathy for those families who suffered the loss the Quinns themselves had. “One thing I’ve realized over the years: It brings Heaven and earth that much closer together,” Laura said. “To have a child in Heaven waiting on you, praying for you, hoping to see you… it just makes Heaven seem so much closer.” // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


assisted living

Becky Loyd was ready to live at Chateau on the Ridge before construction was complete. She hasn’t looked back since.

Part of the family 14

written by Shay Willis

Chateau on the Ridge Continuing Care Retirement Community was a dream long before it was a reality. And Becky Loyd, one of the nine charter residents of the development’s assisted-living facility, has nothing but positive things to say about her home: “Safety. Family. We’re family. There are so many things. They are so little but yet, they’re so big. No cooking. No cleaning. The opportunity to be driven to the places I need to go. Friendliness. I don’t have one bad thing to say.” Becky’s family practice physician, the late Dr. Tory Stallcup, first introduced her to the idea of assisted living. Shortly thereafter and not too long after

The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

“I am always cared for. I know how good it can be.

I’m treated like family, not a resident.”

Becky oversees the Chateau’s General Store, keeping the shelves stocked with essential items (and the really good stuff, like candy). She’s also right at home in her own apartment (far right). On the shelves behind her, you can see a portion of her collection of pigs, many of which have been given to her by friends.

losing her son, John, and her husband, Jack, Becky’s oldest daughter, Missy, came from Illinois to Missouri to visit her mom. In Arbyrd, Becky lived alone in her home. Although she had to sell her house before moving into a different residence, Missy, with her notebook full of questions, and Becky, met with representatives from Arkansas Methodist Medical Center about Chateau. The meeting ended in Missy, with all questions answered, turning to her mother and saying, “Mom, I want you to live here.” Becky said, “Now remember, this was before there was even a building to tour. Missy pulled out her checkbook, paid the deposit and together we picked out my apartment.” After selling her home and moving into her apartment, it didn’t take long for Becky to acclimate to her new place.

She said, “I’m already known as the pig lady.” After seeing Becky’s apartment and the shadow box beside her door, you’ll know where the term of endearment comes from. She operates the general store and serves as the resident council chairman. Becky enjoys her new home and family so much, during a recent hospital stay, she said, “I miss it!” “Chateau is a family oriented place. A single person with no living family members can come out here and feel like they have a huge family in no time,” she said. Along with being with her new friends that seem like family, Becky also enjoys all of the activities she gets to participate in at the Chateau. Becky said, “There’s always something going on from playing BINGO, cards, domi-

noes or the Wii to going out to eat, attending the Roundup music show in Brookland and seeing different acts at the Collins Theatre.” Different individuals and groups also come out and entertain. The Senior BEES line dancers, the Ukulele Band and Elrod the Magician are just a few. “Mary Esther Herget told Elrod she wanted a man,” Becky said, smiling. “And that is what she got: a balloon shaped like a man.” When asked what she would tell someone considering assisted living, Becky said, “I am always cared for. I know how good it can be. I’m treated like family, not a resident.” Becky has four children, James, Missy, Melanie, and her late son, John; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Chateau on the Ridge Assisted Living is a 59-bed facility that opened in October 2011. It has eight two-bedroom and 51 one-bedroom apartments. It is located on 10 acres of nearly 53 acres off Carroll Road in Paragould. For more information, visit // Spring 2013 // The Beacon or call 870-215-6300 to schedule a tour.


The Building


Generations of the Block family of Paragould have supported Arkansas Methodist Medical Center since before the building’s footings were dug. More than 70 years later, the family tradition continues. The basement walls of Bill & Kat Block’s home are a veritable textbook of Paragould history. Framed photos hang in a tidy grid, encircling the room with treasured mementos of family and friends, customers and co-workers and buildings. One black-and-white shot features a stately home on the city’s Main Street – a gravel Main Street, upon which a random hog casually ambles as if out for a stroll to the mailbox. Mr. Block laughs while relaying the photo’s back story of how a prominent Paragould family has ties to the home but claims no affiliation with the pig. Time spent with the Blocks will be seasoned with laughter and engaging stories. They’re caretakers of the city’s


history, and more than that, they’re participants in it. They have those great stories because they’ve been so deeply involved. For multiple generations, the Block family has helped build the community by repeatedly investing both their energies and their earnings. And prominent in the family’s philanthropic legacy has been its desire to sustain Arkansas Methodist Medical Center. “The hospital is such a necessary instrument to our economy and the welfare of our people,” Mr. Block said. “It’s a pleasure – and it’s necessary – to support it when we can.” And support it they have, from its very beginnings. Mr. Block’s father, Maurice (M.F.)

The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

Block, was a driving force in the effort to build Community Methodist Hospital (the original name of AMMC), according to a story printed in an older edition of a Paragould phone book: “Reportedly, the prime mover for a new hospital in the 1939-40 timeframe was Maurice (M.F.) Block. Mr. Block was concerned that a new hospital be organized and operated with requirements for high medical standard...” M.F. Block, founder of the 99-yearold eponymous insurance agency in Paragould, was originally an attorney and purchased a small insurance agency in 1914, just before joining the French Foreign Legion. He served in France for a year before the American Expeditionary Forces arrived during World War I. Upon his return, he began the insurance agency and immersed himself in advancing the interests of the community. He was, Bill Block said, instrumental in luring the city’s first factory – the Ely

“The hospital is such a necessary instrument to our economy and the welfare of our people. It’s a pleasure – and it’s necessary – to support it when we can.” Walker shirt factory – to Paragould in the 1930s, a move that led the city’s migration toward the industrial sector and its abundant higher-wage jobs. “He was always civic-minded,” Mr. Block says of his late father. “He wanted to see Paragould progress.” And when his attention turned toward the need for a new hospital, M.F. Block moved aggressively to make it happen. “He went to Washington D.C. two or three times to solicit funding,” Bill Block said. “Paragould didn’t have the money for a new hospital at that time. He got the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to construct the building, and he got an architect in Little Rock to draw up the plans for practically nothing.” Construction on the new hospital began in 1941, but the project’s momentum faded rapidly with the start of World War II and the end of the WPA. With no money and no construction crew to complete the work, the unfinished hospital sat untouched, cold and empty for several years. As a young man, Bill Block was frequently at his grandparents’ home – located across 9th Street from the construction site – and watched with interest as the WPA crews hustled in their work. But when that work ceased, he reflected with some sadness on the stalled progress of the building and its symbolism for the community and country. The nation’s money, energy and attention were understandably focused on the war effort. “It just sat there for four years, people throwing rocks through the windows,” he recalls. “It was just a shell of a building.” But there was little Bill Block could do. As a young teen, he was away in school in the early 40’s following his

A word from the chairman. Mr. Block served as chairman of the AMMC Board of Trustees in 19811982. Here is his letter in an annual report document from that timeframe.

mother’s death. He was drafted in 1944 and served three years in World War II, enrolled in college at the University of Arkansas for four years, and then was recalled to active duty for the Korean conflict. It was 1952 when Bill and his bride, Kat, moved back to Paragould. Fortunately, in the intervening years, a group of interested citizens had stepped forward with a vision and plan to complete the hospital. In 1947, the voters of Paragould approved $150,000 in bonds to finish construction. Within two years, Community Methodist Hospital opened its doors, accepting 14 patients transferred from Dickson Memorial Hospital. The years that followed brought growth for the hospital, the city, and for the Block business and family. In 1977, Bill Block was asked to serve on the hospital’s executive board of directors, a seat he would occupy for the

next 24 years, not all of them smooth. For instance, barely a month after being named board chairman in July 1981, Mr. Block had to oversee a sudden change in administration at the hospital. In the months that followed, the hospital was up for re-accreditation, and Mr. Block, along with interim administrator Mr. Ralph Haizlip and the executive board, helped successfully guide the hospital through the grueling process. In addition to his administrative and business skills, Mr. Block also brought to the hospital his ability to encourage others to get involved. When the medical center began a campaign to build a “critical care unit,” Mr. Block served on the fundraising committee that was tasked to raise $1 million in donations. “We set a goal that we thought was  Continued on Page 23 // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


the foundation

Because he made such a difference...

The Foundation at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center is proud to sponsor the Dr. Tory Lee Stallcup Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund is designed to honor the life and career of Dr. Stallcup, who passed away in August 2012 at the age of 40. Dr. Stallcup served Paragould and AMMC for many years as a family practice physician, and then as a hospitalist. Dr. Stallcup was a “native son” of Paragould, and he chose to return to his hometown to practice medicine. He developed an enduring reputation because of his compassion for his patients and his philanthropy to local causes dear to him. The fund established in Dr. Stallcup’s memory will be an endowment that provides scholarships to encourage others to follow in his footsteps. The fund will provide stipends to medical school students who commit to practicing at AMMC upon completion of their studies. Preference will be given to students from Paragould and other local communities. Just as Dr. Stallcup made such an impact in his life, you now can perpetuate that impact by honoring his legacy. Your gift to the Dr. Tory Lee Stallcup Memorial Scholarship Fund pays tribute to his life and career while also encouraging more young men and women from this area to follow his example in returning home to practice medicine. All gifts to this fund are 100% tax-deductible, and Dr. Stallcup’s family is notified whenever a gift is made to the fund. If you have questions about the fund, call Foundation Director Terry Austin at (870) 239-7305 or e-mail

Dr. Tory Lee Stallcup Make checks payable to: The Foundation (Write “Stallcup” on your check’s memo line) Mail your gift in the envelope provided (page 12), or send it to this address: The Foundation P.O. Box 339 Paragould, AR 72451

Did You Know? The Foundation at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center has given roughly $750,000 in grants to AMMC over the last decade. These funds have been used to purchase new ambulances, to fund college scholarships, to convert hospital rooms from semi-private to private, to provide new wheelchairs for patients, and much, much more. How can you help? Attend one of our events (see page 19), or consider making a gift of cash, stock, or real estate, or include The Foundation in your estate plan. Donations made to The Foundation are 100% tax-deductible and promote the quality, patient-focused care offered by AMMC, your independent community medical center. Learn more about The Foundation’s work: Call Terry Austin at 239-7305!


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

New Equipment Facility Improvements Education Wellness Senior Care

Celebrating the Run fo r the Roses Saturday, May 4 • 4: 00 p.m. Paragould Commun ity Center

You’re invited! Put on your Derby hat and have some fun! The Foundation will host an afternoon and evening of entertainment centered around the sport of kings: thoroughbred horse racing. Be part of this special event on Saturday, May 4, beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Paragould Community Center. Attendees will assemble to watch the Kentucky Derby – “the most exciting two minutes in sports” – and then, when the race is won and lost, the fun begins! Partygoers will have the opportunity to play games of chance in a relaxed and friendly setting, with all proceeds benefitting The Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s event will be used to purchase an infant bedded warmer for the nursery in the AMMC Women’s Services Department. Tickets to the event are $150 for an individual, or $200 for a couple. Women are encouraged to wear a Derby hat. The one judged as the best hat will win its wearer a prize! To learn more about attending the event, or about sponsoring it, contact The Foundation at (870) 239-7077.


nnual ha

Kentucky Derby Party Sat., May 4 @ 4:00 p.m. Paragould Community Center Tickets: Singles: $150 Couples: $200 Ladies, wear your best Derby hat. The best hat wins a prize!

Foundation Golf Tournament Thursday, Sept. 12

Paragould Country Club Four-player scramble $500 per team Call for sponsorship opportunities

for more info, Call (870)239-7077

We’ve got your back.

216 West Emerson

Paragould, AR

870 - 236 - 8744 // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


miss ammc

Ashley Meadows M iss A M M C 2 0 1 3

Congratulations to Ashley Meadows, winner of the 2013 Senior Miss AMMC Pageant. Ashley, the daughter of Rick & Michelle Meadows, receives a $500 scholarship. The Foundation congratulates and thanks all participants in the pageant. More than $7,000 was raised through the event, and those funds will be used to purchase a bedded infant warmer for the nursery in AMMCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Services Department. Photos (above, left) feature India Perkins, Miss AMMC 2012, crowning 2013 winner Ashley Meadows.

[1] Senior Miss AMMC [1]: Audience Favorite Morgan Danielle Woodard; 2nd Alternate and Most Photogenic Chloe Ashlyn Sutton; Senior Miss AMMC Ashley Nicole Meadows; 1st Alternate Mackensie Brooke Nutt. [2]: Junior Miss AMMC (11th grade) and Most Photogenic Mckinlee Cierra Walker. [3]: Junior Miss AMMC (10th grade) Tristin Abigail Rawls; Audience Favorite Tori Lyn Henry; 1st Alternate and Most Photogenic Lauren Ashley Waldon and 2nd Alternate Morgan Tate Preston. [4]: 1st Alternate Sydney Dawn Howe; 2nd Alternate Emily Faith Vore; Teen Miss AMMC (9th [2] Junior Miss AMMC 11th grade) and Most Photogenic Ashlynn Khayana Ruhl; Audience Favorite Cara Ann Dunehew.

[4] Teen Miss AMMC 9th

[5] Teen Miss AMMC 8th

[3] Junior Miss AMMC 10th

[6] Teen Miss AMMC 7th

[5]: 2nd Alternate Courtney Shae Smith; Teen Miss AMMC (8th grade) and Most Photogenic Meredith Breann Greathouse; 1st Alternate and Audience Favorite Bailey Nicole Bridges. [6]: Teen Miss AMMC (7th grade) Sydney Nicole Manchester; 1st Alternate Karissa Joleigh Summitt; 2nd Alternate and Most Photogenic Breanna Adams and Audience Favorite Abigayle Rose Baker.


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

[1] Preteen Miss AMMC

[5] Tiny Miss AMMC

[2] Young Miss AMMC

[6] Toddler Miss AMMC

[7] Baby Miss AMMC [3] Little Miss AMMC

[4] Petite Miss AMMC [1]: Pre-Teen Miss AMMC (5th and 6th grade) Breanna Elizabeth Joiner; 1st Alternate Katelyn Ashleigh Cole; 2nd Alternate Jordan Rena Condray; Most Photogenic Kalynn Grace Cox and Audience Favorite Caitlynn Danielle Michael. [2]: Young Miss AMMC Morgan Addison Garner; Audience Favorite Karlie Paige Thompson; Most Photogenic Molly Suzanne Linam; 2nd Alternate Sarah Grace Purcell; 1st Alternate Reilly Claire Davis. [3]: 1st Alternate Addie Grace Terrell; 2nd Alternate Emily Susanne Miller; Little Miss AMMC and Most Photogenic Maggie Nicole Porter and Audience Favorite Katelyn Reece Milligan. [4]: Petite Miss AMMC Phoenix Grace Voss; 1st Alternate Addison Kay Hedge; Most Photogenic Bella Kay Reynolds; 2nd Alternate and Most Photogenic Cathryn Michelle Forbis.

[8] Wee Miss AMMC [5]: Tiny Miss AMMC Ava Grace Ruthven; 1st Alternate Callie Jo Combs; Most Photogenic Karlee Jean Mathis; 2nd Alternate Brayleigh Cheyenne Sneed and Audience Favorite Danica Shay Guillot. [6]: Audience Favorite Chloe Ann Newberry; Toddler Miss AMMC Leah Madden Johnson; Most Photogenic Ellee Dawn Vincent; 2nd Alternate Whitley Jean Newman and 1st Alternate Marlie Reese Cissell. [7]: Baby Miss AMMC Abbie Jo Gage; 1st Alternate Lola Mae Jones; 2nd Alternate Kayleigh Reanna Green; Most Photogenic and Audience Favorite Greta Grace Troutt. [8]: Wee Miss AMMC Lillee Ann Nash; Most Photogenic and 1st Alternate Falan Sue Poe; 2nd Alternate Karter Tinley DeRoe and Audience Favorite Brailey Jordyn Hammon. // Spring 2013 // The Beacon


Tribute gifts

Memorial Gifts Toby Block Anne Wells Hester Dr. Tory Stallcup Dr. and Mrs. Dwight Williams Dr. and Mrs. Jon Collier Families, Inc Counseling Services Dr. and Mrs. Paul Becton, Jr. Mike and Betty Rutherford Roy and Linda McSpadden Mary Inez Foster Al and Lana Williams Branch Thompson Warmath & Dale Alfred and Debbie Henson AMMC Retirees Club Dr. Bill Page Annetta Page Dennis Fields Frank and Polly Hyde Dr. George Hobby Annetta Page Louise Evans AMMC Retirees Club John Robert Smoot Glenda and Robin Smoot Martha Johns Priscilla Hobby Lena Spillman Lawrence and Inas Treadway Jacksie and Nadine Jamison Nettie Williams Dr. Len and Mrs. Denise Kemp Helen Dover

These Memorial and Honor Gifts to The Foundation were made between November 2012 and January 2013.

Gifts of Honor In honor of Gary and Beverly Biggs Virginia Biggs In honor of Judge Gerald and Mrs. Lottie Brown Ann C. Gregg In honor of the AMMC Home Health Department Pete and Linda Black In honor of Dr. David and Mrs. Laura Quinn Pat and Debbie Quinn In honor of Dan and Suzanna Quinn Pat and Debbie Quinn In honor of Rose Barton Kenneth and Nina Rainwater In honor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cory Register In honor of Fred Workman Judy Workman

In honor of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Carmon Kendall and Sandy Jetton In honor of Phil Herget’s Birthday Don and Nancy (Herget) Wood In honor of Dr. Len and Mrs. Denise Kemp Kendall and Sandy Jetton In honor of AMMC Home Health Employees Dinah Bates In honor of Harold and Mozelle Dortch Chip Dortch In honor of Barry Davis and his appointment as President/CEO Dr. and Mrs. Larry Lawson In honor of Debra Vassar and her 32 years of service to AMMC Dr. and Mrs. Larry Lawson

Dr. and Mrs. James A. Dillman Suzanne Dahling Wilma Hamilton Lawrence Hamilton Dr. Richard Martin Sally Martin James Vance Roy and Linda McSpadden Management & Employees of Turner Dairy Mary Tate Robin Patten Sandra Purdom Roy and Linda McSpadden Management & Employees of Turner Dairy Walta Mildred Haynes Cynthia White Neil Whitlatch Roy and Linda McSpadden Brian Tolleson Bill and Anne Fisher Buena Vesta Roberts AMMC Retirees Club Jane McKenzie Bill and Anne Fisher Bill and Kat Block Miriam Robeson Terry and Jana Jetton Janet Baumanis

enjoy tHe freedom to Workout personalized training programs WHen you Want. to meet your goals. Achieve your health fitness athlete goals day or night, anytime you want, Whether you’re anand advanced looking for an edge or just 24trying hourstoadrop day at the AMMC Wellness Center. Take advantage a few pounds, the AMMC Wellness Center has of a a training health program forfitness you. Complete with the latest fitness equipment, complete and package from personalized training, nutritional professional trainers exercise and a variety of training programs, the AMMC advice, diet programs, routines and more. No contracts. No Wellness Center offers you the best fitness experience for the money. waiting. No kidding.

flex your


Training programs include:

- group fitness

personal trainers ·- LES MILLS Body FLoW · LES MILLS Body PuMP latest equipment · SPort SPECIFIC ProgrAM ·- MAtrIx

- nutritional programs · SILvEr SnEAkErS - Hmr at Home meal program · ZuMBA - les mills WeigHt & exercise program - on-site security For more information about specific training programs, group


fitness classes, membership plans and more, call the AMMC Call the AMMC Wellness Center at 870-239-7028 or visit Wellness Center at 870-239-7028. for more information.

w e l l n e s s


The Beacon // Spring 2013 //

c e n t e r

m y a m m c . o r g w e l l n e s s c e n t e r

The Building Blocks probably unattainable for Paragould at that time,” he said. “And then we went over it.” Mr. Block credits the “wonderful people” of Paragould, Greene County, and those with business interests in the community for making the project a reality. And in 1992, when The Foundation was established to provide ongoing support for AMMC, Mr. Block was appointed to its board and has served continuously ever since. Mrs. Block, too, supports The Foundation and AMMC through her service as a member of the Women’s Council. “We’re extremely fortunate that we have such a good hospital,” Mr. Block said. “Not just for medical care, but for the personal care you receive here. They don’t advertise or flaunt it, but the hospital provides millions of dollars of care each year without any pay. So it’s neces-

continued from Page 17

sary that if you can contribute, you do so.” And the Blocks continue to contribute in many ways. In 2007, thenFoundation Director Tim Wooldridge took Mr. Block on a tour of an assistedliving facility. From that tour sprang the idea of a similar facility in Paragould. Soon enough, Mr. Block found himself chairing yet another board: Mirroring his father’s involvement in the founding of AMMC, Mr. Block and his fellow board members established the vision and drew the plans for what would become Chateau on the Ridge. “In those planning stages, we had an idea but didn’t know how to bring it to fruition,” Mr. Block said. He and the other board members – Alvin Samuel, Bill Fisher, Fred Swindle and Moud Gazaway (Barbara Hamilton joined the board in November 2012) – toured

multiple facilities in several states as they gathered ideas. The result of their hard work and hands-on involvement is Chateau on the Ridge, the assistedliving facility widely considered among the nicest in Arkansas. (See related story, page 14.) Since before the first footings were dug for AMMC, the Block family has been deeply interested and involved in providing better, healthier lives for the people of Paragould and surrounding communities. Across multiple generations – and extending to Jeff Block, the son of Bill & Kat, who runs the family insurance business, serves on AMMC’s corporate board of directors, and is a faithful supporter of The Foundation – the Blocks have helped build a better region by helping build a better medical center.

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The Beacon: Spring 2013 Edition  

The quarterly magazine of Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and The Foundation at AMMC.

The Beacon: Spring 2013 Edition  

The quarterly magazine of Arkansas Methodist Medical Center and The Foundation at AMMC.