Our Mission: To lead in providing quality, comprehensive healthcare that is affordable and accessible, and to support the dedicated professionals who make caring for the individuals we serve their number one priority


Sue Curfman, President and CEO




Meet Jen Heizer, Healthcare Home Nurse Care Manager. Heizer has worked for COMTREA for five years, and began as a Community Support Specialist.

In my role, I see behavioral health clients annually, and complete a head-to-toe health screening on them, covering all the bases of the individual both mentally and physically. I work daily on assisting individuals in accessing needed health care, behavioral health, and social services and supports. As a Nurse Care Manager, I serve clients with managing their mental illness, physical well-being, and other chronic conditions, and educate each client individually on working towards improving their general health and developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

My job is important to COMTREA and the community because I am a stepping stone for our clients. When I sit down with an individual for their health screening, I always begin with asking them to focus on their physical and medical health! My goal is to enlighten clients that taking care of your mental health is important, but not to neglect your medical and physical wellness. I encourage clients to step out of their comfort zones and visit their primary care physicians to talk about aches, pains, questions, and concerns. Prevention screenings such as yearly vision exams, dental exams and cleanings, and well-woman exams and mammograms are vital. I discuss and bring these to their attention in hope of them recognizing how important it is in achieving a comprehensive state of wellness.

I have lived in Festus all of my life! I attended Southeast Missouri State University after graduating from high school, and I have been a nurse for 11 years. I have two sons; there is never a dull moment at my house, and I know way more about Fortnite and NBA 2k18 than I care to admit! I love to cook, but require everyone stays out of my kitchen. I am one of those people that loves winter! It is the snow, ice, burning fireplace, comfy pajamas, warm fuzzy socks, soup, cookies, and hot chocolate.

Meet Sarah McGrath, School Liaison Counselor at COMTREA. I provide therapy and resources/supports to students, their families, and school staff in the Jefferson County School Districts. This year, I am servicing schools in the Northwest School District. I collaborate with school staff and provide more intensive therapies that the school counselor is not able to provide or that their job does not allow the time and intensity to provide to students. I conduct group therapy, individual therapy, collaborate with teachers and staff to support students, and connect with parents and caregivers to provide support for carry-over at home and/or other resources available to assist the student and family, overall.

The school liaison position is very important due to the amount of time we can spend with a student versus a school counselor. I was a school counselor for 11 years, and one of the drawbacks was time constraints; this did not allow for developing therapeutic relationships. As a liaison counselor, I get to build therapeutic relationships. I can dive deeper into a situation, not just teach, but practice skills with students to better themselves. I am able to have conversations with families about medical and mental health needs that unfortunately school staff are limited to discuss. School counselors really depend on the services that the liaisons provide for kids. Many times, as the school liaison, I am the only way that a child can receive some more in-depth therapeutic interventions and that is really important!

Life throws crazy, unexpected things in our path, but one thing I have learned is the power of relationships and kindness. All it takes is one friendly smile or a simple “hi” to change someone’s day, know that they matter, and have purpose in this world.”

Meet Katie Prendergast, Assessment Coordinator, a registered alcohol and drug counselor for the COMTREA adolescent CSTAR program.

My role at COMTREA includes taking calls for assessments, scheduling appointments, and doing weekly counseling groups for a caseload of clients.

I feel my job is important because we are ‘planting seeds’ with the adolescents. I am fully committed to helping each and every client and treating them as individuals. It is important to break the cycle of addiction in the family. We help adolescents identify possible reasons for their alcohol or drug use and work on building positive coping skills. We try to fill the ‘tool box’ with a variety of skills to prevent relapse.

I have been lucky over the 19 years that I have been with COMTREA to work with people that I truly enjoy. It is important to be able to rely on your coworkers after a long and sometimes stressful day.

Got Sensitive Teeth?

Think you won’t ever be able to have ice cream again?  Well, good news, you don’t have to live with sensitive teeth!

There are several reasons why your teeth may become sensitive, ranging from mildly-severe worn tooth enamel to something a bit more detrimental such as a fractured tooth. 

Here are some other possible causes:

  • Brushing too hard resulting in gum recession.  This means your protective gums are not covering the most vulnerable parts of your tooth! 
  • Fractured teeth, missing fillings, gum disease or periodontitis, and cavities can also be painful.

If you find yourself with some sensitivity, there are options for you depending on your certain situation, and you should always consult your dental professional for detailed answers.  Don’t live with the possibility that it could get worse! 

Your dental professional may suggest some of the following treatments for sensitivity:

Sensitive Toothpaste: This is specially designed to help fill in microscopic tubes in your tooth enamel, which helps to insulate the nerve and help protect it from cold and hot foods or drinks. 

Fluoride Varnish: This would help relieve sensitivity by adding a protective layer over the sensitive area.

Desensitizing Agents: This treatment can be received at a dental office. Desensitizing treatment is stronger than over-the-counter sensitivity products.

Gingival Grafting:  If your sensitivity is due to brushing too hard or trauma that has removed gum tissue, you may need surgical intervention to help replace the tissue that generally does not grow back on its own.  This is called grafting which it is a minor surgical procedure done with a specialist in office under local anesthetics.

Root Canal:  If you have sensitivity due to a large cavity, there is also hope for you!  The tooth could undergo a root canal to save it.  This is also a procedure done in office under local numbing and helps preserve your smile!

How do you prevent tooth sensitivity? 

Most of these situations that cause sensitivity can be avoided.  If you brush with proper technique and a soft bristled toothbrush, the chance of brushing away the gum tissue is minimal.  Ask your dental hygienist how to brush properly and effectively!  Brushing also helps prevent tooth decay, or cavities, which helps reduce the need of a root canal in the future!

Prevention is the key to a less expensive and less painful dental situation!  If you have any questions about tooth sensitivity or any other issues with your teeth, gums, or mouth, your dental professional is ready and willing to answer them for you! 

Mouth Healthy. (n.d.-a). Sensitive Tetth. Retrieved from https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/s/sensitive-teeth

One in Five People Don't Wash Their Hands

  • Sadly one in five people don't wash their hands, and of those that do, three out of ten people use soap. Only about one person washes their hands for 15-seconds or more. The result – “waste” matter including bacteria such as E. coli can be found on just over a quarter of our hands.

Germs from Flushing the Toilet Can Jump Six Feet

  • It's not just the door and toilet handles you need to watch out for in public restrooms. Every time a toilet is flushed and the lid is left up, a fine mist is sprayed into the air that contains all types of bacteria causing diseases.
  • Air movement including hot air dryers can blow around the bacteria. It can be inhaled or deposited on your clothes, creating a potential mobile source of infection.

Q:  Who created soap?                                            

A:  The Romans.

We have them to thank because it's like a “do-it-yourself'” vaccine. When you use soap correctly to wash your hands it drastically decreases the chance getting sick.

Q:  What is the proper way to wash your hands?        

A:  Get your Hands Wet. Scrub your hands for 15 -20 seconds to kill germs. Rinse and Dry.

Q:  How long is 15-20 seconds?                                

A:  It is the same time that it takes to sing the happy birthday song, twice!

Written by: Dr. Hampton M.D., COMTREA Pediatrician 

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COMTREA Main Office: Festus, Missouri

Phone: 636-931-2700   Fax: 636-931-5304  New Patient: 1-877-266-8732

This health center receives HHS funding and has Federal Public Health Services (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.

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