Katherine Meekins, OMS, APRN, FNP-C, has joined Lourdes Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine and Mercy Medical Associates. She is a graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, University of Southern Indiana and Chamberlain College of Nursing. Meekins is certified as a family nurse practitioner with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Nurse Association, Association for the Advancement of Wound Care and Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing Society. She is also a certified ostomy management specialist. Previously, she worked with Lourdes in the positions of intensive care nurse, post anesthesia care nurse and float pool.

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Nathan Lawrence has joined Murray-Calloway County Hospital as the director of quality management. He previously held the same position at Saint Francis Health System. He also worked as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit, was a medical/surgical team leader, and quality improvement manager with EASTAR Health System, formerly Muskogee Regional Medical Center. As the director of quality management, he will focus on patient safety, improving value based purchasing, and strengthening the overall culture of safety in the organization. Lawrence has a bachelor's degree in nursing from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and is working on his master's degree in health care quality and safety from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has completed training in NIMS (national incident management system) and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.

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Twenty-two law enforcement dispatchers, including Kimberly Genis, Paducah 911, recently graduated from the Public Safety Dispatch Academy at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice training. The five weeks of training consisted of 205 hours of academy instruction. Training areas included identifying the role and responsibilities of the dispatcher, correct phone and radio procedures, handling emergency and non-emergency calls for service, emergency dispatch protocols, and use of the state and national criminal databases.

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Spring Creek Health Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was recently given a Five-Star Rating for Quality for Nursing Homes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated the Five-Star Quality Ratings to incorporate new measures, giving families more information at their fingertips to help them make important decisions about care. These new measures look at successful discharges, emergency visits, and re-hospitalizations, and complement other nursing home measures.

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Erin Coale, PMHNP, has joined Lourdes Behavioral Health and Mercy Medical Associates. She graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing with a master of science in nursing with a specialty as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. She is also a licensed diabetes educator. Previously, Coale served as the director of clinical relations at Genesis Health Technologies.

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Greg Curlin, of Fulton, has been appointed to the Kentucky Water Transportation Advisory Board by Gov. Matt Bevin. Curlin is executive director of the Hickman-Fulton County Riverport Authority. He will represent public riverports and serve through Sept. 30, 2020.

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Barnhart Crane & Rigging Co., the largest crane, rigging and logistics company in the U.S., has opened its second Kentucky location with a new office in Calvert City. Barnhart also has a Owensboro location and 45 other branches nationally, including locations in the region in Tennessee and Illinois. The Calvert City location will provide customers access to an inventory of local cranes ranging from 60- to 600-ton capacity, as well as specialized rigging equipment.

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Mattie Jo Smith, a Murray State University alumna and long-time educator from Benton, will be inducted into the 2018 Kentucky Teacher Hall of Fame in February. The Hall annually recognizes P-12 educators throughout the state who have made a significant and positive impact in the education of young people. Smith first earned her teaching certificate from Murray State Teachers College in 1938 and began her teaching career in a one-room Marshall County school. She later returned to Murray State to complete her bachelor's degree in 1957. She retired in 1980 from the Benton Independent School District, where she had taught junior high math and English since 1952.

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Xtek Inc., a Cincinnati-based company specializing in custom mechanical components for heavy industry, recently acquired Precision Machine Inc. and Precision Maintenance Inc., both located in Paducah. Precision Machine had been a 100 percent employee-owned company since 2012, and was founded by Buel Alexander and Randy Warmath over 30 years ago. It is a leader in machining, fabrication, repair, field maintenance and alignment services for the steel, paper, and chemical industries. PMI employs over 80 people, including highly skilled mechanics, welders and machinists. Precision Maintenance Inc. was privately owned by Alexander and Warmath. Xtek Inc., founded in 1909, is also a 100 percent employee-owned company specializing in the design, heat treatment, fabrication, and repair of custom mechanical components for heavy industry. The Paducah acquisitions will allow Xtek to grow its maintenance service offerings in the Southeast, according to Roger Miller, Xtek, president/CEO. Xtek also operates facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Plzen, Czech Republic.

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Lourdes and Mercy Medical Associates announce the following:

n Dr. David Musser has joined Mercy Vascular Specialists and Mercy Medical Associates. He comes to Lourdes from WellSpan Vascular Surgery in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and completed a vascular surgery fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital. He joins the practice of Drs. Timothy Ranval and Scott Sanders, Penny Legereit, physician assistant, and Kyli Koenigsmark, nurse practitioner.

n Elizabeth Garrett, ARPN, has a new position with Mercy Neurology. She earned her doctorate in nursing practice, family nurse practitioner from Murray State University. Garrett is certified as an advanced registered nurse by the Kentucky Board of Nursing and a member of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, Kentucky Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nurse Pracitioners. Previously, she worked as a nurse at Lourdes in the intensive care unit and as a clinical house supervisor.

n Sharon Hodges, ARPN, has joined Mercy Urology. She graduated from Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Murray State University. Hodges is a certified adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and a certified medical examiner. She is a member of the Kentucky Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives. She previously worked at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.

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Among the appointees to the Kentucky Oral History Commission, announced by Gov. Matt Bevin, are: Jordan N. Smith, Murray, a governmental relations director and instructor at Murray State University, to a term expiring Feb. 15, 2020; James S. Humphreys, Murray, a history professor at Murray State University, to a term expiring Feb. 15, 2021; and Nathan B. Lynn, West Paducah, a special collections assistant at the McCracken County Public Library, to a term expiring Feb. 15, 2020. The commission, administered by the Kentucky Historical Society, reaches across the state to record and preserve the diverse stories that are part of the commonwealth's rich history.

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Roy Riley, president of Peel & Holland, and Don Frizzell, president of Frizzell Insurance Agency, have announced the merger of their agencies. The merger will allow the combined company to meet long-term strategic goals and continue to serve its clients and communities. Clients of both organizations will experience virtually no changes other than enhanced services and offerings made possible by the merger. Frizzell will assume the role of risk advisor for Peel & Holland. Frizzell, as well as Amberly Tynes, will integrate into Peel & Holland's property and casualty division. The Frizzell office is closed and clients are encouraged to visit the Peel & Holland office on West 12th Street (just off the Benton courthouse square). An open house at Peel & Holland will be held at the end of January to celebrate the merger. Peel & Holland, established in 1924, is a leading provider of insurance, risk advisory services and employee benefits. It has offices in Benton, Mayfield, Murray, Paducah and Franklin. Frizzell Insurance began serving west Kentucky in 1969.

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