Ozark Center touts “Reconnect” program at conference
From Freeman Health System
Joplin, Mo — The unique strengths of the Joplin-based “Reconnect” Eating Disorders Clinic — a program of Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System — could one day be duplicated nationwide to help individuals with eating disorders in rural communities.
“Access to eating disorder treatment programs is difficult to come by in rural locations; it gets very costly and it’s not an option for a majority of people in rural areas who have an identified eating disorder,” said Jacob Hefner, Ozark Center Director of Adult Psychiatric Practices. “Typically, treatment centers are located in large cities.”
“Reconnect,” established in 2018, was the first documented eating disorder treatment program at Ozark Center, offering comprehensive behavioral healthcare.
“As far as we are able to determine,” Hefner said, “we were one of the first ones to attempt an eating disorder program on an outpatient basis.”
The clinic consists of trained professionals with a variety of backgrounds. Together, they take a coordinated team approach to treating patients suffering from a wide range of eating disorders, from binge eating to bulimia. The program links each patient with a psychologist or therapist, as well as a registered dietitian, psychiatric provider, primary care physician, medical support and Reconnect coach.
Dr. Jennifer Copeland, Ozark Center Psychologist, recently promoted the program at the 56th Annual Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Conference in New York City, a three-day event which drew fellow psychologists, researchers and physicians from around the country.
Both Copeland and Hefner highlighted the alarming lack of eating disorder treatments found in the country’s rural areas while underscoring Ozark Center’s determination to continue treating four state residents with leading edge services. Due to the exposure from the national conference, they hope “Reconnect” will be used as a blueprint to establish similar programs in other rural parts of the country.
“Our hope in presenting was to inspire others,” Copeland said. “There are other communities around the country like ours that need these programs, and they need to know it is possible.”
Nine percent of the U.S. population – 28.8 million people – suffers from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, and eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
“I think what’s really important is that our community has access to expert care that was not available previously,” Copeland said. “It’s such a privilege to do the work we do. For some folks who are really struggling, their treatment is more intense, and we get to spend more time with them throughout the week. Speaking for the whole “Reconnect” team, we care about them and the work we do together.”
Supreme Court adopts new plan to expand access to justice for those with limited English proficiency
From the Kansas Judicial Branch
TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court has adopted a new plan to expand access to justice for court users with limited English proficiency.
The Language Access Plan was created by the Supreme Court’s Language Access Committee and it serves as a blueprint for providing language assistance to court users with limited English proficiency. It includes an overview of current language access services and a plan for expanding those services.
The committee began developing the statewide language access plan in late 2021 and presented it to the Supreme Court in fall 2022. The committee’s efforts were guided by the committee’s chair, District Judge Teresa Watson. Watson serves in the 3rd Judicial District, which is Shawnee County.
“The Language Access Committee has been making advances in language access in our court system since the committee was formed in 2014,” Watson said. “I am grateful to the committee for their diligence in producing this roadmap for our courts.”
The plan assesses and gives guidance, advice, and recommendations on relevant state demographics and language access needs, the language access infrastructure in Kansas, court interpreter requirements, court education and training, and other related resources.
“A strategic goal set by the Supreme Court several years ago was to maximize access to and promote justice,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “Adopting this statewide language access plan is another key step toward realizing that goal for all court users.”
The Language Access Committee was created under Supreme Court Rule 1701. The committee makes recommendations to the Supreme Court for developing and administering a comprehensive language access program. Its aim is to make Kansas courts accessible to people with limited English proficiency.
Quarterly Exhibit at Miners Hall Museum: Of Money and Metals: Doing Business in the Mining Era
From the Miners Hall Museum
Join us as we begin 2023 with our first quarterly exhibit. “Of Money and Metals: Doing Business in the Mining Era”.
Dave Sorrick, our host, is the co-owner of In God We Trust LLC in Mindenmines, Missouri. Sorrick has over forty years of numismatic experience as a collector and dealer. He is a member of all local coin clubs and has served in a variety of offices in those hobby organizations. Sorrick is a post-president of the Kansas Numismatic Association and was appointed to the Kansas Commemorative Coin Commission to oversee the design of the Kansas state quarter in 2005. He currently hosts the Second Tuesday Coin and Currency Auctions monthly in Mindenmines, as well as annual coin shows in Lamar and Joplin, Missouri.
We will explore the means of commerce — the coins, currency and substitutes that made doing business possible during the mining era of 1860 to 1980. You will learn about the changes in the composition of our coins, the common alternatives to legal tender and the transition from the use of coins to the adoption of currency and related financial instruments.
The second and third of three special monthly programs will be held on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm. Doors open at 1:30. Admission to all programs is free.
• February 19: “Banknotes and Banking” will be presented by Dave Sorrick and a panel including Brent Bedene. Join us for a discussion of National Bank notes and local banking traditions.
• March 12: “Discover Your Treasure” will be presented by Dave Sorrick with special guest Janet Dermott-Baxter. Learn how to sort your coins for appraisal with your Q&A specific to your accumulation. “Which may I spend and which should I save?” Meet the artist who created Abe, the CENTennial Pig (aka Abe) for the 2016 SEK Artfest.
For further information on our programs, you can follow “Miners Hall Museum” on Facebook or Twitter or become a member of the museum to receive our newsletter and a personal invitation to all our special events.
Easterseals launches ES Gaming, a disability-inclusive Esports network
From Easterseals Midwest
Illinois, Kansas, Missouri — There is a new player in the gaming community aimed at creating inclusive, accessible spaces for an underserved population – disabled gamers. Easterseals Midwest, along with seven other Easterseals affiliates across the country, is excited to announce ES Gaming. ES Gaming exists to create a new standard for equity, inclusion, and access among all disabled gamers and amplifies disabled voices and accessible innovations to deliver a more inclusive space in an ever-evolving industry.
While disability awareness and accessibility in gaming have risen to become a priority for many companies and developers, there are still barriers for gamers with disabilities. Online communities can be exclusionary for disabled gamers, where they feel unwelcome and often bullied out of gaming spaces.
“It took me a while to find a gaming community that was both accessible and accepting,” Erin Hawley, Digital Content Producer for Easterseals and gaming accessibility consultant, said. “I love having the opportunity to help others find that space. Community gaming has such a positive impact on mental health by combating isolation, and I want others to know there is a place for them to exist as who they are without judgment.”
While strides have been made in the industry toward inclusion, there is still not enough knowledge and understanding of accessibility and what that really means for disabled and non-disabled gamers alike. ES Gaming will change that with educational and engaging social content, ongoing Twitch streams featuring disabled gamers, and other community events aimed at bringing gamers together for a collective cause.
“ES Gaming will not only introduce more people with disabilities to esports and gaming but also introduce more people already in the esports community to disabled gamers,” Wendy Sullivan, CEO of Easterseals Midwest, said. “We’re so excited for the potential it has to transform the gaming community for disabled and non-disabled gamers alike.”
ES Gaming continues to grow and build connections in the gaming community and industry. To learn more about ES Gaming and to see how you can get involved, visit www.esgaming.gg, follow EsGamingHQ on social media, and check out the Game4Access Twitch page.
About Easterseals Midwest | Easterseals Midwest is a nonprofit organization leading the way to 100% equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports nearly 6,000 people each year across Missouri, Kansas, and parts of Illinois through four divisions: Autism, Community Living, Early Childhood, and Employment Services. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society. To learn more, visit www.easterseals.com/midwest.