Staley named Chief Medical Officer
Ozark Guidance CEO Cynthia Curatalo announced Randy Staley, MD as the community mental health center’s new Chief Medical Officer. A native Arkansan, Staley earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas School for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. At the University of Kentucky in Lexington Dr. Staley completed a five-year combination residency in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and pediatrics. He is board certified in general psychiatry and professionally affiliated with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Arkansas Medical Society.
“Since joining Ozark Guidance in 2010, Dr. Staley has demonstrated proven leadership qualities while championing the best care for our clients,” Curatalo said. “His vision and enthusiasm aptly lend themselves to the creation of new programs for our clients, such as the ADHD specialty clinic in Bentonville.”
Doing Good—ADHD Specialty Clinic
Doing Good - Therapeutic Foster Care Program
Ozark Guidance is pleased to announce that Dr. Randy Staley has accepted the position of Associate Chief Medical Officer with Ozark Guidance. Dr. Staley joined the Ozark Guidance team three years ago as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
“Dr. Staley’s expertise in child and adolescent psychiatry, general psychiatry and pediatrics have been a wonderful resource and support for the work we are doing and I believe will prove to be even more valuable in his new leadership role,” Dr. Lance Foster, Ozark Guidance Chief Medical Officer, said.
Dr. Staley is board eligible in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics. He earned his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine in Little Rock. He completed his residency training in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. He served as chief resident in his final year of training. Dr. Staley is professionally affiliated with the American Medical Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Dr. Staley’s new role will include supervising advanced practice nurses and psychiatric residents, supporting training and education throughout the center, taking a lead role as liaison to the medical community of Northwest Arkansas and continued clinical work in our child and adult division.
The Ozark Guidance mission is saving and changing lives by providing compassionate, quality mental health services. Ozark Guidance is a local non-profit community mental health center that serves over 14,500 Northwest Arkansas residents including 4,800 children each year. Comprehensive mental health services are available for adults and children at clinics located in Bentonville, Berryville, Huntsville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale and Siloam Springs. For information call Staci Clinkscales 479-750-2020 or visit the web site at www.ozarkguidance.org.
OG Celebrates 40 Years of Excellence
Ozark Guidance (OG) will celebrate 40 years of providing mental health services for the residents of Northwest Arkansas in 2010. CEO and President, Tom Petrizzo announced that the press conference will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Springdale Country Club. Governor Beebe will be sending his liaison, Joyce Dees, for Health and Human Services to participate in the press conference and Don Tyson, one of OG’s earliest, essential supporters and other founding Board members will be honored at the ceremony. The press conference will include an unveiling of the new Ozark Guidance logo, a special blue bird designed by Terra Studios to mark this hallmark occasion for OG, and the launching of a mental wellness awareness campaign for 2010.
After the accompanying luncheon, the guests will enjoy a cake challenge contest with four local participating bakeries: Brick House Kitchen, Harps Bakery, Rick’s Bakery and Shelby Lynn’s Cake Shoppe. The guests will sample the cakes and select the one with the best taste and design to become the official baker for Ozark Guidance’s 40th Anniversary celebrations. Jane Guyton, Executive Vice President of the Ozark Guidance foundation explained that Ozark Guidance will be hosting several special events throughout 2010 to mark this milestone in the history of OG and Northwest Arkansas. “We will also be launching a special mental wellness awareness campaign with teal as our banding color”, Guyton said. She also commented that Ozark Guidance is planning several events throughout the year to help NWA residents to better understand mental illnesses and to help break down the barriers and stigmas associated with mental illness.
Ozark Guidance is a local not-for-profit organization with locations in Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs, Huntsville and Berryville. All services for children and adults are focused on the mission: Saving and changing lives by providing quality, compassionate mental health services for all people.
Annually Ozark Guidance provides services for over 14,000 Northwest Arkansas residents including over 4,500 children.
A Breakdown Next Door
From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Sunday, August 30, 2009:
JULIA ROBINSON SHIMIZU IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
A week ago, my husband and I spent the day knocking on doors and apologizing to our neighbors. The night before, I had called 911 for an ambulance to transport our schizophrenic son to the hospital. Again. He didn’t want to go. Again.
He pushed me away from the phone and began raging at the 911 operator as we ran from the house. Almost immediately, there were two police officers on our front lawn. Our son stood in the kitchen, shouting at them to leave. They called for backup; four, then six officers on the front lawn. Patrol cars blocked traffic on the narrow street in front of our North Hollywood, Calif., home. Our son called 911 again, screaming, shouting: “There are police officers here, make them go away!”
I tried to reason with the police: “We just need an ambulance.” But by this time, it was out of my hands. Two more officers arrived and ordered me to the edge of my yard, away from the view of the kitchen window. Another pair of officers pulled me aside, asking me what had happened. “I called an ambulance,” I said, watching two more officers stride across the brown lawn. One, her dark hair pulled back in a tight bun, carried a shotgun wrapped in what looked like bright green cloth. She paused to smile at me, “Just bean bags, not lethal,” and stood at the ready under the mulberry tree.
We have been through this so many times before. We’ve heard all the arguments from well-meaning people about how Big Pharma is bad and that we should try diet or therapy or other things. But from here in the mental health trenches, the reality is very simple. When our son takes his prescribed psychotropic medications, no one would ever suspect the depth of his illness. But when he is off his meds, he is unable to eat, sleep, bathe or make sense. He is overtaken by delusions: The Red Hot Chili Peppers have used his name without his permission; sitting on his guitar case is the same as playing the guitar. He regularly becomes violent when we suggest he should resume his medication or stop smoking pot. Oh, yes, pot. Research has shown that marijuana use is toxic to schizophrenics, that it exacerbates psychosis. It was an astounding surprise to me that marijuana could be so dangerous.
As more and more officers arrived, my cell phone rang. Our son. I held the phone away from my ear so my husband and I could both hear it. “How could you do this to me? I hate you! Stop being my mom!”
There was still no ambulance, but now officers had pulled the screen from the dining room window and climbed inside. There were shouts, thumping and thrashing as they tackled our son. Four officers carried him down the front steps, howling and spitting. They pulled a hood over his head, handcuffed him, hobbled him with an ankle leash of thick webbed nylon and set him on the curb.
This is his sixth hospitalization in less than a year and comes just eight days after his previous discharge. At 24, he is no longer covered by our insurance, but this may be to his advantage. We’ve been told he can now access services through the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and we’re hopeful there may be more options for him now.
With severe mental illness, nothing is certain. Except that we owed our neighbors an apology for the disruption. It felt odd, standing on doorsteps of neighbors we hardly know, telling them we were sorry. All those who answered their doors were quick to wave our apology away: “No, no, no problem.”
We were hesitant to share our story with our neighbors, but giving up the pretense of privacy offers us a chance to be free of the burden and shame of this mystifying illness. By being open, we may even be able to help someone. Our letter to our neighbors included information about NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an all-volunteer grass-roots organization dedicated to helping individuals and families living with mental illness.
Our odyssey has taught us many things, but none more important than these: Mental illness is no one’s fault. Treatment works. There is hope.
Octogenarian Just Refuses to Quit
SPOTLIGHT NANCY McVEY : Octogenarian just refuses to quit
Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe compared mental illness to a butterfly's metamorphosis on Friday.
"Those who suffer with mental illness struggle to be free, much like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon," she said. "They struggle for a diagnosis, and they struggle to find a facility that can treat them. But once they find that treatment, they emerge more beautiful than before." Beebe served as keynote speaker during Ozark Guidance's second annual Butterfly Festival. The event takes place each May, as a culmination to Mental Health Month. This year's butterfly release took place at the Gerald and Vicki Harp Park on the Springdale main campus.
"It's important for us all to remember why we're here today," said master of ceremonies Jennifer Irwin, of radio station Magic 107.9. "One in five people will experience mental illness. It's a disease that affects more people than cancer, diabetes and heart disease." According to Irwin, mental illness ranks as the No. 1 reason for hospital admissions nationwide.
Friday's event, dubbed "Metamorphosis: Freedom Through Mental Health," featured the release of more than 500 monarch butterflies. The release signified the thousands of Northwest Arkansas residents living with mental illness who have hope for a better future. Specifically, the butterflies represented those being treated with mental illness, those struggling with the disease, those who care for the mentally ill, and those who've lost their lives.
"People with mental illness suffer every day," Irwin said. "Unfortunately, it's a disease that has negative stigma in society. This is a time to not only reflect on the lives that are broken or lost, but also a time to recognized those who've recovered." In honor of Mental Health Month this year, Ozark Guidance has launched the Live Your Life Well campaign to provide people with specific, research-based tools that can combat stress and promote health and wellbeing.
"We don't have enough facilities in our state to treat those affected with mental illness," Beebe said. "Northwest Arkansas is very lucky to have Ozark Guidance. It helps those suffering emerge from their cocoonlike state to go on living long, wonderful lives." Beebe, who's known for being a mental health advocate in Arkansas, named Ozark Guidance as the largest mental health facility the state. "Mental illness is a disease, and it needs to be talked about," she said. "We need to raise as much funding and awareness as we can."
Located at 2400 S. 48th St. in Springdale, Ozark Guidance is a nonprofit, private community mental health center with satellite offices in Bentonville, Berryville, Fayetteville, Huntsville and Siloam Springs. The facility treats those suffering with mental illness through a variety of treatments, including individual counseling, education and rehabilitation.
Butterflies released during Friday's ceremony were available for purchase through the Ozark Guidance Foundation. Proceeds will benefit children's mental health services in Northwest Arkansas.
Posted on Monday, February 9, 2009
Psychiatrist Lance Foster spent two and a half years working at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and said he learned from the experience because he worked with people from a variety of disciplines.
It is the same kind of work he does at Ozark Guidance Center, where he has worked for the past 10 years. He was promoted to chief medical officer in July.
He said he likes the community approach to psychiatry.
"My religious beliefs and work beliefs and family beliefs fit with community," he said.
Foster grew up in Cabool, Mo., which is east of Springfield, Mo., and earned his medical degree at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Although he remembers wanting to be a doctor from the age of 5, he did not decide on psychiatry until he was in high school.
Foster said his initial experience at UMKC in psychiatry was not a good one and he had thought about going into emergency medicine. But a mentor and subsequent experiences made him stay in the field.
He said he decided on child and adolescent psychiatry when he went to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for his residency and after he and his wife, Kelly, started having children of their own.
"I just kind of fell in love with it," he said.
While he works with patients of all ages, Foster said he loves to interact and help small children, and even teaches a Sunday school class for 3-yearolds at the family's place of worship, Fellowship Bible Church in Lowell.
There is a shortage of child psychiatrists, he said, and he does not understand why, because he enjoys working with children.
"When they have a feeling, it's not hidden," he said. "They show you who they really are."
Working with young chil- dren, he said, can help build on the "scaffolding" that starts in early life; in other words, the earlier the treatment, the better.
He said he sees a lot of change when he works with young children and their families.
Being a parent, he said, "certainly makes me humble" and helps him to think about what other parents and children are going through, that "life is not all neat and clean" - that sometimes it is messy.
After he completed the fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry in Virginia, Foster and his wife, Kelly, who had already started their family by that time, wanted to go overseas.
Foster decided to spend a year in Springdale working on a temporary basis for Ozark Guidance Center, which paid his housing and provided him a car. Then, after a year, he and the family headed to Melbourne, population about 4 million, where they lived, worked and absorbed the culture.
"It was pretty wonderful," Foster said. "The people were friendly. They like Americans. They are a very welcoming group of people."
The couple's daughter, Harper, 10, was born there. Their two sons, Graham, 16, and Nolan, 14, picked up Aussie accents to bring home, although they have since faded.
While in the country, Foster worked in his field and Kelly, a surgical registered nurse at North Hills Surgery Center in Fayetteville, worked in her occupation. They also found time to travel throughout the country.
He said he thinks he and Kelly "see the world the same. She's been a good life partner for this journey so far."
When he was working in Australia, he said, the approach looked more like the community service model that existed in the United States 20 or 30 years ago.
"It's a team approach," he said.
He said he worked with a lot of different therapists and it was a good career move.
"It was very educational," he said. "I felt like I was continuing my learning down there."
The family, which lives in Fayetteville, came back to the area from Australia in 1999, and Foster worked at Ozark Guidance again. He had meant for it to be temporary, but, as he looked for a position in community psychiatry at other places, he said he found that the grass was not greener. He took a position as a staff psychiatrist and later became the associate medical director under Dr. Travis Jenkins before he arrived at his current position.
As chief medical officer, Foster is responsible for the supervision, recruitment and retention of staff physicians and nurses and clinical quality facilitation and development. He also serves as the medical liaison with key medical community stakeholders and is a member of Ozark Guidance's executive leadership team.
"I really believe in what Ozark Guidance is doing, and to be a part of that and support the docs is a good thing," he said.
Foster said he still spends most of his time working with patients, with about eight hours a week devoted to administration.
He collaborates with the therapists and other staff on treatment plans.
As for the administrative side, a key project Ozark Guidance is a part of is the opening of a 30-bed psychiatric unit at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale.
"There's a lot of people in this," he said.
Ozark Guidance Center, he said, serves a lot of the indigent population, the working poor of the area.
"We're the conduit for some of the state money," he said.
He said having a local place to hospitalize people is important - to keep people in their communities.
He said that, while hospitalization is necessary at times to stabilize people, it is important to work with people in the community to make sure they are getting what they need in their lives.
He said he believes in changing the "real life" of the person for lasting change to occur.
"Our objective is to get them back in community," he said. "We believe very much in community."
He said that community approach also means Ozark Guidance Center working with other agencies and doctors in the area to help people.
He said it also includes being out in the schools, including when tragedy strikes, as it did last Sunday when two Fayetteville High School students, Forrest Daniel Turner, 15, and Beau Allen Spencer, 16, died in a fire.
Community psychiatry, he said, "fits my whole belief system. I believe that we're all in this together."
Jenkins Celebrates 35 Years of Service
From the Siloam Springs Herald, October 12, 2008
- Heart patients are three times more likely than others to be depressed
- Only half of heart doctors say they treat depression in their patients
- Depression can result in poorer outcomes and a poorer quality of life
- AHA panel recommends asking heart patients two questions to screen them
Read the full story on cnn.com: http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/09/29/heart.patients.depression.ap/index.html
Vorsanger Honored by Mental Health Council
On Tuesday, August 12, at the annual Mental Health Council of Arkansas convention in Hot Springs, Fred Vorsanger was honored for his years of dedicated service to the needs of persons with mental illness in Northwest Arkansas.
For many years, Vorsanger has been committed to the growth and continued financial success of Ozark Guidance. Under his leadership, the Ozark Guidance Foundation grew to a permanent endowment in excess of $3 million and there are partially restricted foundation funds in excess of $1 million. He was instrumental in the growth of these funds through his personal efforts and diligence in communicating and working with local donors and family foundations in Northwest Arkansas.
During his tenure on the Ozark Guidance Foundation Board, Vorsanger contributed countless volunteer hours hosting Foundation fundraising events, such as golf tournaments, dinners, and most recently a successful butterfly release. He is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Foundation remain strong so that it furthers the mission of the Ozark Guidance. Under his leadership on the endowment fund committee, a portion of the endowment earnings are added to the Ozark Guidance operating budget each year in an effort to promote and retain the vital mental services needed for the clients and families served by Ozark Guidance.
The Board of Directors and the staff of Ozark Guidance are extremely proud that the Mental Health Council of Arkansas awarded its 2008 Community Service Award to Fred Vorsanger for his dedication and unselfish commitment to the residents of our Northwest Arkansas.
Vorsanger is a Vice President Emeritus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and currently is the arena administrator for the Bud Walton Arena. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ozark Guidance from 1990 to 1994. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Ozark Guidance Foundation since 1994, and currently holds the position of Board Chair. He served as Vice Chair of the Foundation Board starting in 1995, and has served as Chair for the last six years.
Vorsanger has been a tireless supporter of the University of Arkansas, its students, and the broader community of Northwest Arkansas. He served as Mayor of Fayetteville and as President of the Fayetteville Rotary, as well as District Governor of the Rotary District, which encompasses Northwest Arkansas.
Estrogen May Ease Schizophrenia in Women
8/4/08: CHICAGO (Reuters) - Adding estrogen to routine medication helped reduce the number of psychotic symptoms in women with schizophrenia, researchers said on Monday.