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Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your MindOthers might think having two female kickers on the football team is strange, but to Ocean Springs coaches and teammates, its just not a big deal. The two soccer-players-turned-football-kickers are Kaylee Foster, a senior, and Sydney Johnson, a freshman.  To the outside world, having female kickers makes a statement that “our ladies take athletics seriously,” Coach Ryan Ross said.

But to the team, “they’re just part of us, and we don’t look at them any differently,” he said.  “We look at them like athletes who contribute to our team.”

Both ladies have been kicking since the seventh grade and say the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of their time on the field. Foster, who plans to play soccer for Mississippi College, said it’s going to be hard to leave her teammates. “I’ve been doing this for so long and to think it’s going to be over in a few months is sad,” she said. “It was a little scary at first, but all of the guys have been welcoming. I don’t have a brother, but now I have 99 brothers.”

When she’s gone, “I just want them to remember that I worked really hard,” Foster said. “I got this spot not because I’m a girl, but because I worked really hard.” Johnson said she enjoys kicking because she gets to make new friends, and she’s thankful for the path Kaylee has helped pave for female kickers. “Now I get the same respect she did,” said Johnson, who has a brother on the team. “There’s a few people who think, ‘Oh my God! It’s a girl kicker!’ but really it’s pretty normal. It’s great.” Johnson appreciates good competition, she said, “and obviously Kaylee is a very good kicker.”IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

Coach Ross said having a stellar soccer program helps groom the girls for kicking. “Kicking is in their blood,” he said.  “They go above and beyond. It’s good for them, and it’s good for us.” Even though Johnson and Foster aren’t viewed as a novelty by the team, Ross admits, “it’s a big deal when you sit back and look at it.”

Cheerleader Chloe Kirby said having female kickers helps get the crowd pumped up, but the ladies represent much more than that. “The fact that there are two female kickers is an empowerment to women in general,” Kirby said.  “It sets an idea in other little girls’ heads that maybe I want to be a kicker when I grow up. I think it’s a hard task to find female kickers in general, but if you have them it sets you apart as a school that embraces females in athletics.” The cheerleaders even have a special cheer for Kaylee that uses her name, Kirby said. For any females considering a spot in a male-dominated sport, Johnson has some advice: “Just do you. Do what you want to do, and people will respect that.”

 

 

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Did You Know About This Free Health Clinic in Ocean Springs?

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Bethesda Free Health Clinic, from its Ocean Springs home, is offering community members free healthcare, basic dentistry and health education, regardless of residency, insurance or income.

The clinic, at 6912 N. Washington Ave., has proudly served more than 14,000 patients from Jackson County and beyond, Executive Director Mary Buffington said, even from as far away as Japan.

The clinic receives no state or federal funds. “We depend entirely on the community,” Buffington said.

The clinic’s medical unit operates much like an urgent care facility.

“We are never going to be your personal physician,” Buffington said. “We just hold you up until you can either get in to see your physician, or, for the working folks … meet your deductible or copay.”

Since dentistry is such an expensive segment, the clinic is currently only able to offer basic extractions. One local dentist comes in once a week, and another comes in every other week to perform those services.

Another important service is health education.

“Mississippi is number one with diabetes, hypertension and obesity,” Buffington said. “We teach people how their lifestyle affects those diseases. We teach a lifestyle that makes it easier for you to feel better.”

Bethesda received a $20,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. That grant supports the work of a nurse educator, who provides patients with information on diabetes, high blood pressure and general health education, including nutrition, exercise and stress management.

The clinic’s mission, Buffington said, is “to keep our community as healthy as possible.”

Bethesda is open Monday-Thursday, with one physician on site every day.

“If you walk in our doors, our goal is for you to be able to see a physician and us help you as much as possible,” Buffington said.

All of the physicians volunteer their time, and the medical director is Dr. Francis Selman, a well-known retired surgeon.  

“We have some very highly qualified physicians,” Buffington said.

She said the clinic is “extremely important” to Jackson County.

The clinic opened in d’Iberville in March 2011 but moved to Jackson County in 2012.

“Ocean Springs has been wonderful to us,” Buffington said. “A lot of our volunteers come from Ocean Springs, and most of our doctors come from Ocean Springs, so it’s been very welcoming, and we can use all support.”

Locals have been helpful to the clinic, but the clinic is returning the favor through its services.

“I think that we are extremely important to the working folks of Jackson County,” Buffington said.  

Monetary donations are always needed at the clinic, as well as volunteers.

Buffington said she can use anyone in the medical field, clerical and administrative help, and just about anyone else.

“Almost any profession, if you’ve got an hour or two, I can use you,” she said.

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What Happens When You Roll Ice Cream and Serve Coffee?

OCEAN SPRINGS—Since Fahrenheit Café opened in Ocean Springs, the rolled ice cream eatery has captured an audience with a novel way to eat a classic dessert.
“I call it an ‘Instagrammable’ business,” said owner Justin McMillian. “It’s very eye-appealing. People enjoy watching the process.”

The art of rolled ice cream begins with a base liquid poured onto a cold metal surface and ends with the ice cream artist scraping your ice cream into little columns that stand upright in your container. Basic vanilla and chocolate are available, of course, but it’s the interesting flavors and endless topping combos—like, say, fruity pebbles ice cream topped with brownie bites and strawberry syrup–that have helped sustain the buzz. “I think it’s a good fit for Ocean Springs, because it’s just different,” McMillian said. “You can’t get it anywhere else.”

If rolled ice cream isn’t enough for you, McMillian, who purchased the café on U.S. 90 about a year ago, has recently added more options to satisfy your sweet tooth:  A Hawaiian shaved ice machine, scooped ice cream, cake slices, cake pops and a full-service coffee bar for coffee however you want it. If you need something savory to go with the sweet, Fahrenheit Café also dishes up pizza.

The idea, McMillian said, is to sustain his business beyond the rolled ice cream “fad” inspired by Thailand street vendors. The original owners opened the shop here after visiting a rolled ice cream shop in Atlanta, and the concept is spreading across the United States. Still, while people are still enjoying rolled ice cream, McMillian and his crew enjoy experimenting with flavors. His personal favorite flavor so far has been a king cake flavor that was offered during Mardi Gras season, but any cake that catches McMillian’s eye could end up a special flavor of the week—if it passes the taste-testing phase. (McMillian admits, however, that his idea for Takis-flavored ice cream was immediately rejected by his employees.)

“That’s what I like about it. We experiment and come up with new stuff all the time.”

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Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is accepting online applications

IMG_8228 Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival is accepting online applications

(Ocean Springs, MS) – The 40th Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival presented by Blue Moon, known as the largest fine arts festival in Mississippi, is currently accepting online applications for consideration to the fall festival. Applications and all required information must be uploaded via ZAPP by August 1, 2018 or late fees will apply. The show application process closes August 15.

The annual festival showcasing more than 400 national artists, crafters, food vendors and musicians has made a transition from paper applications to online applications through ZAPP. ZAPP is an online site seen by more than 70,000 artists nation-wide. The program allows artists to directly upload images, bios and more.

To be more competitive with other national award winning festivals and to allow artists ample time to set their schedules for the festival, the application deadline is August 1. Artists will be notified following that deadline of their application status.

The 40th Annual Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival will be held in downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi on November 3 and 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information or application assistance, please give festival coordinators a call at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau at 228-875-4424. Applications can be found at www.peterandersonfestival.com by clicking on the link under the “Vendor Info” tab.

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Singing River Health System has again been named #1 on the MS Gulf Coast for Overall Hospital and Surgical Care.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Georgia Storey, 228-382-7045

July 5, 2018     

Sarah Duffey, 228-326-0824

 

 

 

Singing River Health System Ranked Best on MS Coast for Medical Excellence  

1st in Medical Excellence in Overall Medical Care and Surgical Care

Pascagoula, MS –Singing River Health System has been recognized by an independent quality ratings firm as the Number One Provider on the MS Gulf Coast for Medical Excellence in Overall Medical and Surgical Care for 2018 based on key clinical performance measures.  

 

This distinction along with dozens of others was announced by CareChex®, an information service of Quantros, Inc.   CareChex is an innovative medical quality rating system designed to assist hospitals and health systems in improving the quality of inpatient care and promoting medical excellence to consumers, payers and employers across the US.   Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, clinical outcomes and patient experiences.  

 

Besides the #1 ranking for Medical Excellence on the Gulf Coast, Singing River also garnered top rankings in the region for an additional 36 categories, including Overall Hospital Care, Surgical Care, Cancer Care, Major Cardiac Surgery, Heart Attack Treatment and others.   The system was also named #1 in Mississippi for Patient Safety in Interventional Coronary and Neurological Careand among the top ten percent nationally for Patient Safety in Overall Medical Care.   A complete list of the system’s awards are available on their website athttps://www.singingriverhealthsystem.com/featured/number-one-quality-awards-2018/ .

 

“This is a testament to the compassion, skill and commitment that our team of caregivers delivers” said Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer for Singing River Health System.  “CareChex provides the most statistically accurate quality ratings available in the industry, using publicly reported data to look at all aspects of care.   It is an important quality of life measure for all who live and work here on the coast.”  

 

Andy Weissberg, SVP Marketing Communications at Quantros noted, “Singing River Health System has demonstrated its ability to provide high quality care to the community it serves.  To receive this many awards for medical excellence and patient safety is an outstanding accomplishment for both the physicians and hospital staff.  We congratulate them on their commitment to delivering high quality, patient‐centered care.”

 

Additional information about the ratings and those of other providers across the nation can be found online at www.CareChex.com

Singing River Health System is pleased to announce some of its latest clinical achievements.  Recently, SRHS was awarded the American Stroke Association’s “Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award,” and now it has received another set of quality awards for outstanding healthcare.

The full list of awards received may be found below.

 

#1 on the MS Gulf Coast for:

Overall Hospital Care

Overall Surgical Care

Cancer Care

Major Cardiac Surgery

General Surgery

Heart Attack Treatment

Spinal Surgery and Hip Fracture Repair

 

# 1 in Mississippi for:

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

Neurological Patient Safety

Vascular Surgery Patient Safety

Top 10% in the US for:

Overall Medical Care Patient Safety

Cancer Care Patient Safety

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

COPD Medical Excellence

 

 

Singing River Health System strives to provide the community with top-notch healthcare and are here to serve you. For more information on these achievements, call 228-382-7045.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ocean Springs named “Coolest Small Town in America”

Ocean-Springs-MS-The-Shed-by-Fred-Salinas Ocean Springs named “Coolest Small Town in America”

OCEAN SRINGS—Word is spreading across the nation that Ocean Springs is a small town full of big fun.

Locals already know that Ocean Springs is a destination for good food and good times, and now Budget Travel has named it one of its “10 Coolest Small Towns in America.”  The website’s annual competition highlights hidden gems of less than 20,000 people that offer quality cuisine, natural beauty, and unique cultural experiences without breaking the bank.
The article recognizes Ocean Springs—dubbed the “Gulf Coast foodie magnet” —primarily for its variety of eateries that dish up everything from seafood to barbeque to artisan cheeses, but the town also earns kudos from the publication for its night life, convenient access to the Gulf waters, and eclectic art scene.

As Robert Firpo-Cappiello, the site’s editor in chief, wrote, “When you’re not chilling on the beach or paddling on the Gulf and its inlets, Ocean Springs will feed you well,”
Other notable towns joining Ocean Springs on the publication’s 13th annual list include Gatlinburg, TN, Jackson Hole, WY, and Sonoma, CA.

“To be showcased with towns in California, Tennessee and others, it is a real honor for us,” said Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce – Main Street – Tourism Bureau. “Ocean Springs is a unique town whose character from the art, night life, nature and people make it a top place to eat, shop and stay.”

Ocean Springs is no stranger to national recognition. In 2017, travel and arts website Culture Trip named Ocean Springs the Most Beautiful City in Mississippi, and in 2016, it made the Smithsonian’s list of “20 Best Small Towns to Visit.”
To read the full Budget Travel article, visit https://www.budgettravel.com/video/coolest-small-towns-america.

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Bethesda Free Health Clinic in Jackson County Offers Completely Free Services to Those in Need

bethesda Bethesda Free Health Clinic in Jackson County Offers Completely Free Services to Those in Need

Bethesda Free Health Care Clinic is a non-profit organization that offers basic primary medical care, critical dental care, diabetes and hypertension lifestyle management, and breast cancer exams. The clinic is located at 6912 N. Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564. Days and hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. and 12:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. The clinic operates on a first-come, first-served basis. As we never know how many people will be requesting service on any given day, patients needing to be treated should be at the clinic at either 9:00 A.M. or 12:30 P.M. for the best opportunity to be seen. We do require that all patients bring any medications that they are currently taking and their next doctor appointment card showing the date and time.

Services are absolutely free of charge to patients of Bethesda. Since opening its doors in 2011, Bethesda Free Health Clinic has provided services to over 14,000 patients. Those seeking services are primarily the uninsured and under-insured of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. All of our funding derives from members of the community, both in the form of monetary contributions and in services donated by medical, dental and support staff. We do not receive any state or federal government monies.

Those wishing to help Bethesda Free Health Clinic may do so in many ways. The clinic is always seeking monetary funding to cover operational costs. Volunteers on both the medical and administrative sides of the clinic are needed as well. We also accept donations of items such as paper towels, disinfectant spray cleaners and wipes, toilet paper, and office supplies and equipment. For a full list of all items needed at the clinic, or for further information on how members of the public can help, please call Bethesda Free Health Clinic at 228-818-9191.

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3rd Annual SNO Days Camp

11665542_741260222648958_234697806314332480_n-320x320 3rd Annual SNO Days Camp

The 3rd Annual SNO Days Camp at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs will take place on June 19-21, 2018. On the evening of June 21, there will be a fundraising family picnic for the benefit of South Mississippi Special Needs Organization from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm inside the theater of the Mary C. the Songs & Stories Show will begin, with musicians Double Dee (Darwin & Dana) and the SNO Camp Participants.

The purpose of the this minicamp is to provide a two hour, three day class for those with intellectual and/or physical disabilities whose ages vary between 6 and 60. The show is free. The picnic will consist of hamburger or hot dog plates being sold for $6.00 each. All proceeds of the picnic goes to help SNO continue to offer their quarterly events for the benefit of the special needs community and their families here in the coastal counties area of South Mississippi.

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Ocean Springs Mayor’s Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

Youth-Recycling Ocean Springs Mayor's Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

The City of Ocean Springs Mayor’s Youth Council recently completed their first large-scale final community project with the fruition of the Recycle Bin Project.

The project has been an idea of MYC Special Events Coordinator Caroline Wiygul since her first year on the council in 2016-2017, but the council was unable to complete it until this year. The council contacted several Gulf Coast businesses to ask for donations for the project. After the bins were delivered, MYC members hand painted each bin with a native Gulf Coast animal at the Ocean Springs Public Works Department.

“This project was a way for the youth of our City to say that recycling is important to us and to start something that City leadership can continue to expand if they want to,” Wiygul said.

Youth-Recycling Ocean Springs Mayor's Youth Council Completes Recycle Bin Project

The five recycling bins are placed around downtown with two on Government Street, two along Washington Avenue and one at City Hall.

“This past year’s council was very environmentally conscious and felt like hand-painted recycle bins would not only be a way to encourage responsible waste management amongst our citizens but would also be fun and reflect the artistic spirit of Ocean Springs,” said Cristina Werner, executive assistant to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. “This project is important to our community because we have a responsibility as citizens to take care of our city, and the beautiful Gulf Coast that we get to enjoy every day.”

The Mayor’s Youth Council consists of 28 high school juniors and seniors from within the Ocean Springs School District. Each term lasts for one year. The council is funded by the City, but the council members fundraise year-round in order to maximize their annual budget. The council meets bimonthly and hosts community events and fundraisers and volunteers with the city’s special events.

“Being a part of the MYC is highly beneficial to our youth because it gives them the opportunity to exercise individual leadership skills, interpersonal communication with their peers and municipal leaders, public speaking, and to plan and execute special events,” Werner said.

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The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is a Registered Host Site for Global World’s Largest Swimming Lesson Event

The YMCA is proud to be a host site for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson 2018! 

On June 21, 2018, the lesson will begin promptly at 11:00am at the Blossman Family Branch YMCA on Government St.  Registration begins June 11 through 10:00am on June 21, the day of the lesson.  The lesson will be limited to the first 30 registrants, so register soon!  Ideal age for participants is from 7 to 16 years old.  

The cost?  $1!! 

WLSL018_640p The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA is a Registered Host Site for Global World's Largest Swimming Lesson Event

Click the image above to view larger.

The purpose of the lesson? To provide kids and parents exposure to life-saving water safety skills and build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. Program organizers are working to connect the dots between the real risk of childhood drowning and the need for basic water competency skills and crucial parental supervision to keep kids safe in and around the water. Research shows:

  • The problem is life threatening for children: Per the CDC, drowning remains the leading cause of injury related death for. children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause for children under 14. Internationally, the World Health Organization estimates drowning is one of the top five causes of death for people aged 1-14 in 48 of the 85 countries it monitors.
  • Many lack basic swimming skills: In 2014, a survey completed by the American Red Cross found more than half of all Americans (54 percent) either can’t swim or don’t have all of the basic swimming skills.
  • Parents don’t recognize supervision is key: According to a 2016 Safe Kids Worldwide report, despite the fact that lack of supervision played a role in the majority of drowning deaths, less than half of parents (49 percent) indicate they remain within arms’ reach of their child in the water.

More than 41,000 swimmers in 27 countries on six continents participated in 2017. Each location and tens of thousands of participants help spread the Swimming Lessons Save Lives™ message each year.

For more information, please contact Michele Cateson, Aquatics Director, Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA, at mcateson@mgcymca.org or 228-875-5050.

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