SOMC named 13th on Modern Healthcare list

Southern Ohio Medical Center is proud to announce it has once again been named one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

This year’s winners were ranked on one of two separate lists for either healthcare provider/insurer or healthcare supplier. SOMC ranked 13th among providers/insurers nationwide and 2nd in the category of large providers. This is the fifth consecutive year that SOMC has been featured on this list.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the best healthcare facilities to work for in America by Modern Healthcare,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “Being named to this list is a tremendous accomplishment and says a lot about both the quality of people and the quality of care you can expect to find at SOMC.”

The Best Places to Work in Healthcare award recognizes employers for creating workplaces that enable employees to perform at their optimum level while providing the best possible patient care and services. Approximately 300 companies deemed as both providers/insurers and suppliers applied to be on this year’s list.

“It’s all about our employees,” Arnett said. “Our employees love what they do, and sustaining a great place to work ultimately allows them to continue providing exceptional care to our patients and their families.”

To achieve this designation, SOMC completed a culture audit questionnaire. The Best Places Group then surveyed SOMC employees regarding policies, practices, benefits, leadership and planning, training and development, and overall satisfaction.

Modern Healthcare revealed the ranked order of the 2014 Best Places to Work in Healthcare at an awards gala in Chicago on Oct. 23.

“SOMC is a great place to work and people want to be a part of that. This distinction, as well as our Magnet designation, VPP Star status, and FORTUNE Best Places to Work award, shows that there is something special at SOMC,” Ken Applegate, director of Human Resources, said. “These accolades are a great source of pride for our employees and our community and we are honored to be featured among some of the most impressive healthcare providers in the country.”

 

Obesity can lead to other problems

Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems, including cancer. In fact, it raises your risk of getting at least 13 types of cancer… and studies have shown that one in three cancer deaths can be traced back to excess body weight, poor nutrition and/or physical inactivity.

The link between obesity and cancer has to do with the overall affect excess weight has on your body. It negatively affects your immune system, how your body’s cells grow and divide and even your levels of certain hormones and proteins.

It’s a serious issue, and one that affects two out of every three Americans.

You may feel like you could stand to lose a few pounds, but whether or not you’re technically overweight or obese can be boiled down to one number – and it isn’t your weight. It’s your BMI.

To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight by 703. Then, multiply your height in inches against itself (if you’re 70 inches tall, your formula would be 70 times 70). Then divide the first number into the second number to determine your BMI.

If your BMI is between 18.5 and 25, you’re in a normal weight range. If it’s lower, you are underweight. If it’s 25-30, you’re overweight. If your BMI is more than 30, you’re obese.

And if that’s the case, it’s no secret what your next steps should be. You should try to decrease how many calories you consume and increase how many calories you burn. Cutting out 500 calories a day will result in you losing one pound every week – after a year, that’s 52 pounds!

While actually cutting those calories may seem like a daunting task, there are various ways that SOMC may be able to help. For more information, visit somc.org or contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7650.

Ash Dash set for November 15

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s “Raven Rock Ash Dash” 5k is scheduled to take place on November 15.

“The Ash Dash is an opportunity for you to replace an unhealthy habit with a healthy one,” Director of Community Health and Wellness Wendi Waugh said. “We’re encouraging people to put down the cigarettes and put on some running shoes.”

The race is a 5k with obstacles, and is designed to get participants’ adrenaline pumping while testing them physically. All participants must sign a waiver in order to participate. Children under the age of 18 are permitted, but must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. All participants will receive an Ash Dash t-shirt.

For more information, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7650. Registration can be completed online at www.tristateracer.com.

Some conditions affect women more than men

Just as breast cancer is more likely to affect women than men, there are several other health issues and conditions which impact the genders differently.

The impact and prevalence of alcohol abuse, for example, can be different in men and women. Men are more likely to become addicted to alcohol, but the health affects of alcohol abuse are more serious in women. These effects include an increased risk for breast cancer, heart disease and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Similarly, women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States.

Women are also more likely to show signs of depression and anxiety than men. Depression  is the most common health problem for women, and they receive the diagnosis at higher levels than men. The same is true of osteoarthritis.

Even STDs can be more serious for women than men. Untreated STDs cause infertility in at least 24,000 American women every year – and they are untreated more often in women because symptoms are less obvious.

And though most risk factors for strokes apply to both men and women, there are several gender-specific risk factors that affect women. Because of this, there are actually more women who suffer from strokes than men. Factors for women, but not men, include taking birth control pills or being pregnant.

With all this considered, it is perhaps understandable that – according to a survey by the American Psychological Association – half of all women reported experiencing stress. These numbers were also higher than those reported by men, only 39% of which reported feeling stress.

Regardless of statistics, however, it is important for both women and men to do what they can to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A major part of that is a healthy diet and regular exercise, as well as regular checkups with a family doctor. To find out how SOMC can help you in those departments, visit www.somc.org.

SOMC provides $1,000 scholarship to Clay graduate

Clay High School graduate Mary E. Shelby is the latest recipient of the Clay School Legacy Fund Scholarship, sponsored by Southern Ohio Medical Center. The scholarship was for $1,000. Shelby, who currently studies nursing at Shawnee State University, is pictured here alongside Clay Alumni Association Treasurer Charles T. Leonard (left) and SOMC Director of Financial Services and Business Development Craig Gilliland.

Understanding risk factors of breast cancer

It’s hard not to notice the pink ribbons, parades and celebrations that fill the month of October. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month continues to grow, however, it’s important not to lose track of the issue at the heart of it all – awareness.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and their second leading cause of death. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life – that’s more than 220,000 women in the United States alone. And, while it is rare, breast cancer can occur in men as well.

That’s why it is so important to understand the various risk factors associated with breast cancer. Some, such as family history, are unavoidable. Others, however, are under your control.

These factors include:

  • Lack of physical activity
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • Frequent consumption of alcohol
  • Receiving combined hormone replacement therapy
  • Receiving radiation to the chest

Limiting these factors is one way to decrease your odds of being diagnosed with breast cancer. For more information, or to find out how you can help spread awareness, visit www.somc.org/cancer

Everyday ways to fight the flu

Everyone knows that the best way to fight the flu is by being vaccinated, but there are other things you can do in your everyday life to keep you protected.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that, in addition to your vaccine, you:

•  Try to avoid close contact with sick people

•  Stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone if you or your child become ill with flu-like symptoms.

•  Limit contact with others as much as possible while sick

•  Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze – and throw the tissue in the trash afterwards!

•  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This can spread germs.

•  Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs

•  Look out for additional public health advice if an outbreak of flu or other illness occurs

You should also ask your employer about their plans in the event of an outbreak. Find out if flu vaccinations are being offered on-site, and make sure you have an adequate supply of tissues, soaps, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs and disposable wipes. You should also consider training others to do your job in case an illness forces you to stay home.

And of course, if you begin to feel sick while at work you should go home as soon as possible. These same steps can apply to your child while at school.

Everyday actions can help slow the spread of germs. Following these steps are an excellent way to reduce your odds of getting the flu this year.

How to prepare for flu season

Flu seasons are unpredictable. Its timing, severity and length can vary from year to year. Even the virus itself can change, with each year bringing a new strain of the flu.

But even with these variables, there are several things that you can keep in mind to help you better prepare.

The peak of flu season most commonly falls in January or February, though is can occur as early as October or as late as May. Whenever it comes, you can make sure you’re protected by receiving a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Being vaccinated in October is the best strategy. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection.

Children between the ages of six months and eight years may need two doses of the flu vaccine. Your child’s healthcare provider can tell you whether or not that is the case for your child.

In addition to vaccinations, you can also prevent the spread of the flu by washing your hands and avoiding unnecessary interactions with people who are ill. If you fall ill yourself, you should stay home from work or school to prevent the spread of germs.

This is especially important if you have contact with a child under the age of six months. Those children are too young for a flu vaccine, but are still at higher risk of serious flu complications.

No more excuses, you need to get a flu shot

After being given to hundreds of millions of people for more than 50 years, the verdict is in: the flu vaccine is safe, effective and necessary.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious disease that can lead to serious illness – especially for pregnant women, young children, older people and people with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart disease. Being vaccinated is not only important for your own health, but it protects those around you by limiting the spread of the flu.

The most common side effects of the flu vaccine are mild. While some may mistake these side effects as the flu, it is literally impossible for the flu vaccine to cause influenza. Common side effects that may be mistaken for the flu include feeling achy or experiencing soreness in the arm where the shot was given. If you receive a nasal spray vaccine, you may have a stuffy nose and sore throat.

If you happen to experience any of these side effects, they typically last only one or two days. The same cannot be said for the actual flu.

To maximize the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, you should receive your vaccination before the flu begins to spread in your community. That’s because it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection. If you wait too late, it’s possible you will not be fully protected when the flu begins to circulate.