CoxHealth: Update to Our Community – December 2022

CoxHealth Promotes Three Leaders to New Positions

As CoxHealth continues its focus on strategic growth for the future, three of its leaders are being promoted to new roles within the organization.

Amanda Hedgpeth, President of Springfield Hospitals, is being promoted to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President.

Hedgpeth has nearly 17 years of service at CoxHealth, including leadership roles in budgeting, hospital operations, innovation, process improvement, and urgent cares. Most recently, she held the role of President of Springfield Hospitals, while also serving the chief architect for CoxHealth’s strategic planning process.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see Amanda step into this important position,” says CoxHealth President and CEO Max Buetow. “Her operational and financial expertise are a great complement to the passion she has for serving our patients and colleagues.”

Reporting to the CEO, Amanda will oversee systemwide hospital operations, as well as continue to lead our strategic planning efforts.

Beth Polivka, Vice President and System Chief Nursing Officer, is being promoted to Senior Vice President and System Chief Nursing Officer. This expanded role will report to the COO and will carry the responsibilities of oversight of nursing practices and functions across the organization.

Polivka began her career at CoxHealth 20 years ago as a frontline nurse, and she has steadily advanced through increasing levels of leadership.

 Dr. Shawn Usery, M.D., M.B.A., Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, is being promoted to Senior Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Usery will report to the COO and will continue to lead medical staff activities, quality, safety, and accreditation for the system.

Dr. Usery joined CoxHealth in 2008 as a resident in our Cox Family Medicine residency. After graduating residency, he began his career as a hospitalist at Cox South in 2011. Since then, he has held multiple clinical and leadership positions across our system.

 With these transitions, CoxHealth will be hiring a new President of Springfield Hospitals and a new Vice President of Nursing, Springfield Hospitals.

All of the promotions are effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Joins Cox Monett Hospital

Cox Monett is pleased to welcome Dr. Stephen Hudson to its growing orthopedic services team.

Hudson, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, grew up in Monroe, La., where he was a standout athlete in high school. Coach Ken Hatfield of the Arkansas Razorbacks recruited him to play football in the late 80s. This was Hudson’s first experience in southern Missouri and the northwest Arkansas area, and he quickly fell in love with the region.

“I had thoughts of pursuing medicine as a student-athlete, but it was my interactions with our team physicians that sparked my interest in orthopedic surgery,” he says. “I loved the idea of being able to help people get back to the sports and activities they love to do.”

Hudson attended medical school at Louisiana State University and completed his residency and internship at the University of Arkansas.

After spending more than 20 years working at a large hospital in Little Rock, Ark., Hudson returned to northwest Arkansas five years ago to take advantage of the slower pace.

Hudson became aware of the growing orthopedic program at Cox Monett from his longtime friend, Dr. Bill Goodman, an orthopedist at the hospital.

“When I visited Cox Monett for the first time, right away I noticed how all the staff members were so friendly and engaging,” he says. “There was an overall feeling of people working together to care for patients, and being a part of this team and caring about the health system’s mission is very valuable to me.”

Both surgeons will be performing total joint replacements and general orthopedic procedures at the hospital.

Hudson will be sharing his orthopedic practice with Goodman in the CoxHealth Monett Surgery Clinic, located in the CoxHealth Monett Clinic, 1000 E. Hwy. 60 in Monett.

The spacious clinic is attached to Cox Monett Hospital, which opened in January 2021. The hospital features an expansive operating suite built for orthopedic procedures, an in-house MRI, and diagnostic services conveniently located inside the specialty clinic.

Additional specialists, including orthopedists, currently see patients in the Visiting Physicians Clinic located at 2200 E. Cleveland Ave. in Monett.

“I am excited that I can help a wide variety of patients with diverse orthopedic issues and allow them to stay close to home for treatment,” he says. “It’s an honor to be a part of a five-star hospital, the medical community, and the town of Monett.”

Hudson is married to his wife, Mary, and they have twin sons, Sam and Ben, who are young adults now.

In his free time, he likes to travel with his family, bike, camp, and enjoy the great outdoors.

To make an appointment or for more information, please call 417.236.2440 or visit

Flu Updates and Key Reminders

Across our system, we have seen a significant increase in influenza in recent days, and signs point toward an early peak in cases this season. For the week ending November 26, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported 552 cases, which is more typical of January or February numbers in recent flu seasons.

Other respiratory illnesses and our COVID-19 patient volumes have risen recently as well. We have learned much from the pandemic, and we are well prepared to manage the respiratory season. And, as always, we will continue to be transparent with our colleagues and our communities.

Below are some key reminders and updates for our teams as we head into a busy flu season:

Help prevent the spread: Pay close attention to any symptoms. If you develop a fever and/or respiratory symptoms, stay home from work. If you test positive for influenza, please stay home to protect our patients and colleagues.

Use PPE and perform hand hygiene: Please remember to change your PPE and perform hand hygiene regularly, and always between contact with patients.

Follow CDC guidance if you are ill: You can see CDC recommendations for flu season, and a FAQ, at this link.

If you are experiencing symptoms, contact your primary care provider to determine the best place to seek care. We also have the Care Finder tool on our website, which can assist you with finding the right care based on your symptoms (

Flu Updates and Key Reminders

With this year’s early rise in influenza cases, community spread of influenza has now reached levels that meet the criteria for our usual seasonal hospital visitor restrictions for children.

Beginning Thursday, December 1, CoxHealth will be restricting children ages 14 and under from visiting our hospitals.

As is the case each year, the change is designed to reduce the spread of influenza and other respiratory illnesses in our community, and to keep you and our patients safe. Given the large spike of flu cases and at the request of Springfield-Greene County Health Department, CoxHealth leadership made the decision to join other health systems in this standard restriction.

We are continually monitoring the level of influenza in our community and at our facilities, while following CDC guidelines. We will update you as needed on our ongoing influenza response plan.

Cox Monett Obtains Designation as a Level III Stroke Center

When it comes to a stroke, time matters.

In 2013, Cox Monett Hospital became one of the first designated Level IV stroke centers in southwest Missouri. Now, the award-winning hospital has met the criteria to upgrade from a Level IV to a Level III certified stroke facility.

“While the decision to apply for a stroke center designation is a voluntary one, the upgrade in levels speaks volumes for our team members who want to provide the fastest and highest quality of care for our community,” says Dr. Megan Carter, medical director of the Cox Monett Emergency Department. “As a Level III Stroke Center, we can now provide inpatient care for some stroke patients with the close collaboration of neurologists at a Level I Stroke Center, such as Cox South in Springfield.”

The Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) system, created in 2013 through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, is a statewide emergency medical care response system aimed at providing quicker response and higher quality care when a time-critical emergency happens. The goal is to create consistent, statewide rules and regulations to help EMS, EMTs, and hospital personnel ensure patients are being transported and treated by the most appropriate facility for their needs.

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Call 9-1-1 right away if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

For more information about stroke, please visit

CoxHealth Pediatric Specialty Center Welcome the Following New Visiting Physicians Through our Partnership with St. Louis Children’s Hospital

  • Dan Willis, MD – Pediatric Hematologist-Oncologist (sees patients the second Wednesday of every month)
  • Andrew Lee, MD – Pediatric Ophthalmologist (sees patients the third Thursday and Friday of every month)
  • Margaret Reynolds, MD – Pediatric Ophthalmologist (sees patients the third Thursday and Friday of every month)

For more details regarding the services that they provide, as well as the other visiting physicians, please see the attached updated brochure.

Hospital-Based Billing

Although hospital-based billing is not new, we occasionally receive questions regarding how this works. We have attached a brochure with more details should you ever get questions from your employees. These brochures are also available in all of our hospital-based clinic locations.

It’s Miracle Week at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Join Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in helping local kids with medical needs during Miracle Week, presented by Corwin Automotive. Call 417.268.3222 to make your pledge or click here to donate securely online. To see stories of Miracle kids, tune in to KY3, KSPR, and The Ozarks CW. You can view the Miracle Week newscast schedule here.

For more information about these or other services at CoxHealth, email


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