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Medical City McKinney celebrated Certified Nurses Day on Monday, March 19th by honoring more than 120 board certified nurses for their professionalism, leadership, and commitment to excellence in patient care.

Board Certification of nurses plays an increasingly important role in the assurance of high standards of care for patients and their loved ones. Nursing, like health care in general has become increasingly complex. While a registered nurse (RN) license provides entry to general nursing practice, the knowledge-intensive requirements of modern nursing require extensive education, as well as a strong personal commitment to excellence by the nurse.

Medical City McKinney encourages national board certification for all its nurses. Patients are encouraged to inquire whether there are certified nurses on staff when they visit a hospital or their primary care provider.

Many nursing certification bodies exist to serve the full range of specialized nursing care offered in the contemporary health care system; national nurse-certifying bodies should be accredited by either the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC) or the National Organization for Competence Assurance (NOCA), or both.

Medical City McKinney is a 260-bed, acute care hospital that offers comprehensive services including a Level III trauma center, cardiovascular, neurological services, general surgery, orthopedics, women’s services, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and behavioral health services. Medical City McKinney is a primary stroke center, a stroke rehabilitation center and achieved the Joint Commission’s prestigious Top Performer recognition for sustaining excellence in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, stroke and perinatal care. Medical City ER Stonebridge, located at Custer and Hwy 380, is Medical City McKinney’s off-campus emergency room. Medical City McKinney is part of Medical City Healthcare. For more information: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Medical City McKinney is pleased to announce three nurses have received recognition as one of DFW’s “The Great 100 Nurses” including Christine Law, Surgical Recovery; Dave Owen, Education Director; and Brandon Stark, Medical/Surgical Director.

“The Great 100 Nurses” recognizes RNs for excellence in the art and science of nursing. Nurses were nominated by peers and selected because they are role models, leaders, community servants, compassionate caregivers and significant contributors of the nursing profession. Honorees come from all practice areas in nursing, including acute care, sub-acute care, school nursing, nurse leaders, academics and more.

“Medical City McKinney has many outstanding nurses, and I am proud to see three of our nurse leaders selected for this prestigious honor. The Great 100 Nurses recognizes each of them for their individual contributions to the nursing field,” said Ernest C. Lynch, III, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of Medical City McKinney.

Christine Law

Since joining Medical City McKinney in 2011, Law has had the opportunity to see nursing from several angles. She started her nursing career in behavioral health, transitioned to the ICU, and recently moved to surgical recovery.

While in ICU, Law played a significant role in the unit culture and also served as the preceptor for the majority of all new nurses joining the unit.

“I volunteered to serve as the preceptor for new nurses because I wanted to make sure they had an opportunity to feel comfortable to collaborate and ask questions if they didn’t know the answer,” Law said.

Dave Owen

Starting his nursing career more than 26 years ago while serving in the Navy, Owen has dedicated his career to teaching and mentoring nurses, physicians, EMTs and other healthcare providers.

He joined Medical City McKinney in 2008 and is responsible for developing clinical supervisor and charge nurse training programs to build skills and leadership. He is also deeply committed to educating those in the community and teaches CPR at churches and other community organizations.

“I feel so blessed to be able to share the joy of working in the profession of nursing with others,” Owen said. “I have dedicated my career to leading, training and mentoring the current and future generals of caregivers.”

Brandon Stark

Brandon Stark joined Medical City McKinney in February 2018. As an experienced nurse leader, Stark is recognized for his authenticity and ability to build relationships on mutual respect. He leads by example and is committed to excellence always.

Outside the hospital, Stark gives his time to coaching and mentoring young athletes on his son’s youth baseball team, and to Habitat for Humanity projects in the community.

“Being recognized as a Great 100 nurse is beyond humbling,” said Stark. “This is a true testament of the importance of being a community. Focusing on dedication, encouragement, accountability and growth, our nursing communities will continue to do great things.”

Twenty-five Medical City Healthcare nurses have been named to DFW’s “The Great 100 Nurses” list for excellence in nursing. This is the largest number of recognized nurses in the healthcare system’s history.



The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive at Medical City McKinney, 4500 Medical Center Drive, on Friday, March 2nd from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Red Cross will be set up in Classrooms 3 and 4 in the hospital.

Being a blood donor is safe, simple, and very fulfilling. Donors can help as many as three different patients with just one donation. Individuals who give blood assure an adequate supply is available - possibly saving someone's life.

Potential donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good general health.  People who present to give blood should eat a nourishing meal before donating and must bring a photo ID. 

Visit to schedule an appointment. Use sponsor code medicalcitymckinney. Walk-ins welcome.

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Medical City McKinney is expanding its rehabilitation and behavioral health services with the construction of a leading edge, dedicated pavilion on its main campus. The $52 million expansion project will allow the hospital to relocate services from the Wysong campus to the main campus, while also adding additional patient beds.

 “By expanding and moving these services to our main campus, we will be able to provide our patients with a full continuum of care in one location,” said Ernest C. Lynch, III, FACHE, CEO of Medical City McKinney. “Our patients will be better served when our entire range of healthcare services are centrally located on one campus.”

Once the rehab and behavioral health pavilion is complete it will include:

  • 20 inpatient rehabilitation patient rooms
  • 80 adult and geriatric behavioral health patient rooms
  • Outpatient behavioral health program
  • Outdoor healing garden
  • Design elements to include focus on natural lighting and open floor plan in common areas

“We currently offer adult and geriatric inpatient treatment programs for a wide range of conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders,” said Amee Nash, vice president of behavioral health services. “We are excited that the expansion will allow us to enhance our offerings and add new outpatient programs to meet a growing community demand, and to keep our promise of patients first.”

 “The new inpatient rehabilitation facility will allow our dedicated team of doctors, therapists, and nurses to provide comprehensive rehab services in a beautiful, inviting environment with top-of-the-line therapy equipment,” said Allison Wheeler, director of rehabilitation services.

 The Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health Pavilion coincides with a major capital investment initiative of more than $1.5 billion spent or committed over three years by Medical City Healthcare. Investments include expansion and improvements to existing hospitals, upgraded technology and new services such as burn and trauma care.

 “Medical City McKinney is expanding to meet our growing community’s needs,” said Lynch. “This project is just the beginning of a multi-phase expansion for the hospital.”

 Construction will begin mid-2018 and is expected to be complete by December 2019.

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 Medical City McKinney caregivers met former patient, 18-year-old Caleb Johnson, who goes by “Caleb Electric Brain” on his blog, and his family on Monday, January 15.

Johnson created a Facebook video searching for the ER nurse who cared for him as an infant after a tragic car accident 17 years ago on November 22, 2000. The accident injured his four siblings and took the lives of both parents. The video went viral and has been viewed more than 52 million times, so far.

While the nurse he was searching for, Dennie Miller, died in 2003, he was able to connect with six other staff members instrumental in his and his siblings’ care. An emotional Skype reunion held in December inspired the family to a travel from Utah to McKinney for an in-person reunion. Caleb, his four siblings, and eight other family members traveled to McKinney.

“I felt like a call or a letter wasn’t good enough,” said Johnson, “We needed something more.”

Registered nurses Janna Sullivan, Michelle Hooks and Shelly Morris, as well as Wendi Gracy, now a surgical liaison, respiratory supervisor Thomas Augustine, and X-ray technician Michele Haning were all working that early morning.

“We always talked about that baby. We wondered how he was doing,” said Sullivan.

“I’ve worked here 25 years, and this reunion, seeing Caleb doing so well, has made it all worth it,” said Augustine.

As a gift of appreciation, Johnson handed each person a collection of family photos and thank you notes.

"Our lives were changed in a moment,” he said. “In the depth of our pain, you were there to care for us and to show us that life is valuable. Some of us you saved directly, but for the rest of us you saved someone important – a brother, a cousin, a nephew.”

Before parting, the team shared stories of Dennie and how special this reunion would have been for her.

“She would relish this,” said Gracy.  “She has a good seat, for sure. She’s watching down on us.”

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Medical City McKinney and its medical staff donated $30,000 to three local charities – Community Food Pantry of McKinney, Community Health Clinic of McKinney and McKinney Education Foundation.

Both Medical City McKinney and its medical staff donated $5,000 each for a total of $10,000 to each of the three charities.

Medical City McKinney has supported all three of these organizations for more than 10 years,” said Ernest C. Lynch, III, CEO of Medical City McKinney. “The hospital and our medical staff are honored to be a part of their mission to develop programs, services and scholarships that benefit so many.”

The Community Health Clinic’s mission is to provide basic healthcare and preventative health education to qualifying residents of Collin County. With 995 active patients, the clinic had 2,500 patient visits this year.

“The Community Health Clinic is a much needed healthcare resource in the community and Medical City McKinney’s support helps us to continue our role to provide an essential public service to the health and welfare of the community,” said Jackie Rakowski, Executive Director of the Community Health Clinic.

 The Community Food Pantry of McKinney is a nonprofit outreach program that provides food to families and individuals in need. Last year, the food pantry provided 93,408 meals, which fed 3,308 children and 4,356 adults.

“This donation will help the Community Food Pantry buy enough groceries for 10,638 meals,” said Carol Bodwell, director and board president of the Community Food Pantry. “That’s a lot of food for a lot of people.”

The McKinney Education Foundation raises money for educational grants for McKinney ISD teachers and for scholarships for deserving graduates of McKinney high schools and Serenity High, for students recovering from substance abuse.

“Medical City McKinney’s support allows us the opportunity to continue our impact on McKinney ISD students through scholarship, grant and college advisor programs,” said Ashley Sine, executive director of McKinney Education Foundation.


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Medical City McKinney first hospital in North Texas to use Bluetooth compatible cardiac monitor

Suzanne Hall, 71, a McKinney resident with atrial fibrillation, will start to monitor her heart rhythms and transport data to her cardiac electrophysiologist via her smartphone.

Hall became the first patient in North Texas to receive the Confirm RX™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM), the only smartphone compatible ICM designed to help physicians remotely identify cardiac arrhythmias. The device received final FDA approval on Tuesday, November 14.

About the size of a paper clip, the monitor is implanted just under the skin of the chest during a quick, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. The ICM continuously monitors heart rhythms to detect a range of cardiac arrhythmias, including irregular heartbeats or atrial fibrillation.

Hall, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in 2015, will use the cardiac recorder to check her symptoms on a real-time basis. “Because of the AFib I am tired and feel faint,” says Suzanne Hall. “I will now be able to check my symptoms and know when I am going into AFib.”

Before today, patients would wear a holter monitor for 24 hours or up to two weeks, an event monitor, or a cardiac telemetry monitor. “The downside to these monitors is that they only give you a snapshot in time. If you’re not wearing the monitor then no data is received,” said Dale Yoo, MD, medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Medical City McKinney.

“The benefit of this implantable cardiac loop recorder is that it can correlate any symptoms a patient may have to their phone via Bluetooth, and we can see if they are having palpitations or any issue with the heart and are able to respond immediately instead of having to wait overnight for information to come in.”

Another benefit to the device is that it provides physicians with daily, real-time data over the course of two years, allowing them to refine and further personalize patient care.

“With constant monitoring we will be able to take patients that have a low risk of stroke off anticoagulants (blood thinners). We can place them back on the medications if the need arises,” said Dr. Yoo. “This way we can manage their blood thinning ability without them being on medication every day.”

Extended monitoring also provides the physician with the data to determine next steps. Data may reveal that a patient needs a pacemaker or defibrillator, and the ICM device will be removed at that time, or it may be replaced after two years with a new device for continued monitoring.


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 It’s early November and North Texas is just now feeling the crisp bite of fall weather. As the trees turn colors and leaves begin to fall, allergens such as ragweed and mold begin to rise, resulting in watery and swollen eyes, sniffling and sneezing.

An overactive immune system that develops a hypersensitivity to normally harmless pollens, such as ragweed, is the cause of allergies.  Symptoms are more likely to occur in the fall because that is when ragweed pollinates into the air, causing a person’s immune system to react.

Common symptoms include itchy eyes and a runny nose, but allergies can also cause an itchy throat, itching inside the nose, swollen eyelids or stuffy nose and in some people, it can cause fatigue or irritability.

“Treatment for ‘mild’ pollen allergy is simple,” said Matt Morgan, MD, an allergist on staff at Medical City McKinney. “Most over-the-counter medications and prescriptions are likely to work well.”

However, people with severe ragweed allergies may experience recurring sinus infections, severe eye symptoms, or it may even trigger serious asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest.

“When you experience severe symptoms that consistently result in sinus infections every season, then over-the-counter medications might not be effective,” said Dr. Morgan. “In the most severe cases, desensitization, such as allergy shots, might be the only available effective therapy.”

Pollen extract in allergy shots is specifically designed to treat the immune response to ragweed or other weed pollens. This approach may require regular trips to the doctor.

There are many effective over-the-counter solutions for allergy sufferers including Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra and Xyzal.

“Antihistamines are the most basic allergy medicine,” said Dr. Morgan. “Other options include steroid nasal spray such as Flonase and Nasacort, which benefit multiple symptoms including congestion, not treated with the oral antihistamines.”

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Medical City McKinney  donated more than 70 Stop the Bleed kits to Anna High School on Thursday, October 12. Members of the hospital’s trauma team will instruct teachers on how to quickly stop life-threatening blood loss due to injury later this month during the school’s teacher in-service.

Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign intended to educate bystanders on how to stop a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The kit contains pressure dressing, gauze, shears, a tourniquet, and a simple guide on how to stop the bleed.

 “A person can die from blood loss within minutes,” said Mike Mixson, Medical City McKinney trauma services director. “But if a bystander is familiar with how to control the bleeding until first responders arrive, they can save a person’s life.”  

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David Lambert, MD, a general surgeon on staff at Medical City McKinney, is quickly becoming a leader in robotic surgeries in North Texas. Today, he completed his 727th robotic surgery and was the first surgeon at Medical City McKinney to utilize the new da Vinci Xi Surgical System®.

“The arms and camera on the da Vinci Xi® are an advancement over the current robot,” said Dr. Lambert. “With this new robot I will be able to perform more complicated abdominal procedures that I would typically have done with an open incision.”

The da Vinci Xi® offers patients minimally-invasive surgery with greater precision, and is the third surgical robot for Medical City McKinney.

“We are committed to providing our patients and physicians with new minimally-invasive technology that enhances outcomes,” said Ernest C. Lynch, III, CEO of Medical City McKinney.

Medical City McKinney started using the da Vinci technology in 2013 and has since performed 1,120 robotic surgeries.

Compared to prior da Vinci® Systems, the da Vinci Xi® system's key features include:

  • A new overhead instrument arm to allow anatomical access from virtually any position.

  • A new endoscope digital architecture that creates a simple, more compact design with improved visual definition and clarity.

  • Ability to attach the endoscope to any arm, providing flexibility for visualizing the surgical site.

  • Smaller, thinner arms with newly designed joints that offer a greater range of motion.

  • Longer instrument shafts for greater operative reach.

    The newer system provides surgeons with superior visualization, enhanced dexterity, greater precision and ergonomic comfort compared to other surgical approaches. It allows skilled surgeons to perform surgical procedures for complex diseases and conditions across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures, including:

  • General surgery

  • Colorectal

  • Urology

  • Thoracic

  • Gynecology

    “Since this newer technology allows for more complicated procedures, more of my patients will be able to benefit from robotic surgery,” Dr. Lambert said.