Health news and issues in the Ozarks.

Say you're a Midwestern farmer in a hospital bed, recovering from surgery or a major illness. It's time for the nurse's check-in, but there's no knock on the door.

At Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, a camera attached to the wall over the foot of the bed whirls around, as a video monitor next to the camera lights up to show a smiling face with a headset on.

"Good afternoon, this is Jeff with SafeWatch," the smiling face says. "Just doing my afternoon rounds."


The new tower at Cox South is being occupied this week.  Wednesday, healthcare workers moved patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to their new unit.Each baby required a team of experts as they were transported down hallways to their new rooms.

The new NICU features 28 beds each in private rooms with a twin pull-out bed for parents to spend the night.

The ten-story west tower at Cox South houses the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital and the Jared Neurosciences Center.  The 343,000 square foot facility cost $130 million.

McDonald County, Missouri, is home to many immigrant groups that have moved into the county in the last twenty years. These groups include Hispanic, Somali, Burmese, Sudanese and numerous others. And while these groups do not overlap culturally, they do share one thing - language acts as a barrier to access when it comes to their health.

Lucia Sebastian is the Language Assistant at the Head Start in Noel, Missouri. She works with the numerous immigrant children who have limited English skills and need help to communicate.

She has a four-year old daughter enrolled at Head Start, but she recounted an incident where Head Start was instrumental in helping her older son, Victor.

When her son was eleven years old, he was playing baseball with a friend in the yard and got hit in the mouth with the bat. The blow knocked out several teeth, but Sebastian was unsure she could afford the costs of taking Victor to the hospital.

Michele Skalicky / KSMU

The new ten-story west tower at Cox South houses the Dee Ann White Women's and Children's Hospital and the Jared Neurosciences Center.  The public got a chance to tour the 343,000 square-foot, $130 million addition during an open house celebration Saturday.  The ground floor is home to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which features 28 beds each in a private room with space for a parent to spend the night.  Parents also have a private lounge with a kitchen, free Wi-Fi, TV, shower and more.