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For Sammie Wikel, a 29-year-old first-grade teacher at Osage Elementary School in Pryor, life was good.

She lived on the family farm with her husband Derek and his 6-year-old daughter, surrounded by four generations. As they raised horses, cows, goats and even a couple of tortoises on the farm, Wikel also wanted to raise a child of her own.

Even though her first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, they kept trying and were happy to be pregnant again.

Reegan Smith and her husband, both newcomers to Oklahoma, originally had their sights set on an at-home delivery for the birth of their first child. But when circumstances changed, the family was thankful Melinda Steelmon, D.O., and Hillcrest Hospital Claremore were there to provide a calming experience during a chaotic time.

“I felt so cared for by the Hillcrest nurses,” Smith said. “Every single person I interacted with was an absolute angel. I could have had a more traumatic mental experience if I didn’t have the Hillcrest staff with me. They made a world of difference.”

Following a quadruple bypass procedure, Robert Copeland was skeptical when it came to the next steps in his recovery. Thanks to the Hillcrest Hospital Claremore cardiac rehabilitation program, he feels more confident in his future.

“It was really good,” Copeland said. “I hated to see it end.”

We’re proud to share the Hillcrest Hospital Claremore 2021 Community Benefit Report. Along with hospital statistics, this report reflects Hillcrest Claremore’s impact on the community through unfunded care, discounts to uninsured patients and support to local vendors. It’s an honor to provide unsurpassed care and support to our community every day. Click here for the full report.

(March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. Hillcrest Hospital Claremore would like to thank our physicians for the dedication and passion they show for their patients. In honor of National Doctors’ Day, we would like to spotlight obstetrics and gynecology specialist, Melinda Steelmon, D.O.)

Melinda Steelmon was accustomed to a small-town atmosphere growing up in McAlester.

“I grew up on a farm in the country,” she said. “I really liked that kind of lifestyle.”

For years, Hillcrest Hospital Claremore has maintained strong ties to the community and surrounding area. One of the best examples of that relationship is through a special group of volunteers.

Over 47 patients were tested for COVID-19 last weekend at Hillcrest Hospital.

“A community testing site such as the health department or your primary care provider (PCP) should be utilized for COVID testing and for treatment of minor COVID symptoms,” Hillcrest Communications Manager Rachel Weaver Smith said. “The ER is not the correct place to come if you just want a COVID swab and a note for work. If you need emergency care, we are here for you.”

Karen Choate, MSN, RN, employee health and infection prevention at Hillcrest Hospital Claremore, has a passion for learning and helping others to improve their craft in the medical field.

Choate had the opportunity to display and discuss her master’s capstone presentation on her thesis project, “Intravenous (IV) medication education program for emergency nurses,” at the 2021 Oklahoma Nurses Association Nursing Convention.