SOMC Hospice continues honoring veterans

william-davis-vetwebAs part of their involvement in We Honor Veterans, SOMC Hospice recently completed three “pinning ceremonies” to honor patients that have served their country in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The pinning recipients were Charlie Lindsay, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Korea; William Davis, a veteran of the U.S. Army who served during Vietnam; and George “Pete” Coburn, a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force who served during World War II.

Pinning ceremonies allow those who have served country to receive recognition in a unique way. However, they are only part of what SOMC has done through its involvement in We Honor Vvet-charles-lindseywebeterans. SOMC Hospice has also implemented ongoing veteran-centered education for their staff and volunteers to improve the care they provide to veterans.

The We Honor Veterans campaign provides tiered recognition to organizations that demonstrate a systematic commitment to improving care for Veterans. “Partners” can assess their ability to serve Veterans and, using resources provided as part of the campaign, integrate best practices for providing end-of-life care to Veterans into their organization. By recognizing the unique needs of our nation’s Veterans who are facing a life-limiting illness, SOMC Hospice is better able to accompany and guide Veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending. And in cases where there might be some specific needs related to the Veteran’s military service, combat experience or other traumatic events, SOMC Hospice will find tools to help support those they are caring for.

For more information, or to find out how you can volunteer for future pinning ceremonies, call 740-356-2567.

SOMC Development Foundation Joins #GivingTuesday Movement

The SOMC Development Foundation is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global initiative that encourages individuals to give back to their communities through charitable giving. #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following widely recognized shopping events “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

“The goal of #GivingTuesday is to remind people that they shouldn’t forget about their own communities during the holiday season,” Kara Redoutey, director of Community Relations and Development, said. “When it comes to improving our local community, there is no donation too small to make a difference.”

The SOMC Development Foundation encompasses funds that support a plethora of local causes including Hospice, Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Pediatrics, Community Health and Wellness, the SOMC Endowment Fund and other areas of greatest need.

2016 will mark the fifth year of the #GivingTuesday movement. In 2015, the movement featured more than 45,000 partners in 71 countries and raised nearly $117 million.

“We have been incredibly inspired by the generosity in time, efforts and ideas that have brought our concept for a worldwide movement into reality,” said Henry Timms, the founder of #GivingTuesday. “As we embark on our fifth year of #GivingTuesday, we are encouraged by the early response from partners eager to continue making an impact in this global conversation.”

Those who are interested in supporting the SOMC Development Foundation on #GivingTuesday initiative are encouraged to donate on November 29 at www.somc.org/news/donations-page/.

For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (www.givingtuesday.org), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday) or follow @GivingTues and the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media.

SOMC AIC accepting new patients

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s ambulatory infusion clinic is now accepting new patients.

SOMC AIC offers a variety of services, including administering IV fluids, IV medications, IV antibiotics, subcutaneous medications, IM medications and more. SOMC AIC also offers outpatient labs for patients with any type of infusaports, midline, PICC line or groshong catheters.

SOMC AIC is supported by a staff of experienced RNs with extensive knowledge regarding outpatient infusions and specialty medications.

“What sets our team apart is our expertise and experience,” AIC Nurse Manager Kathy Davis said. “We’re an excellent option not only for patients being referred by a physician, but also for walk-ins with an outpatient lab order who have an infusaport or PICC line.”

Patients wishing to receive service from SOMC’s ambulatory infusion clinic should ask their physician to fax their orders to 740-353-0468.

SOMC AIC can be reached at 740-356-7240. For more information, visit somc.org.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

It may be hard to believe, but there was a time when lung cancer was a rare, uncommon ailment. In the late 1800’s smoking cigarettes became very popular, so by the early 20th century, lung cancer had become a global epidemic, and medical researchers were concluding the primary cause was cigarettes.

In 1964, the US Surgeon General’s Office released its first report on tobacco use. Part of the study’s conclusion said:

Cigarette smoking is carnally related to lung cancer in men; the magnitude of the effect of cigarette smoking far outweighs all other factors. The data for women, though less extensive, point in the same direction. The risk of developing lung cancer increases with duration of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and is diminished by discontinuing smoking.

(Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service” (1964)

Today, the numbers of smokers have dropped, but lung cancer remains by far the leading cause of cancer deaths in our area as well as the entire country. Cigarette smoking is still the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In fact, the Center for Disease Control says 80 to 90 % of lung cancer diagnoses are the result of smoking. The other 10 to 20% are caused by second hand smoke, radon gas, and other substances found in some workplaces.

Are you at risk for developing lung cancer? If you meet the criteria below, consider calling SOMC’s Lung Navigator, Jenny Woodyard to talk about scheduling a lung cancer screening-740-356-LUNG (5864).

• Age 55 – 77

• Tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years (which means, on average, you’ve smoked one pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for 15 years).

• Current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years

• No history of lung cancer

• No signs or symptoms of lung cancer (unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood)

Early detection is the key to helping patients live longer, healthier lives. In fact, CT screenings have proven to reduce lung cancer deaths by up to 20 percent for qualifying high-risk lung patients. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a good time to think about your health and do something good for your lungs.

SOMC Named Among Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work”

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been selected as one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

SOMC ranked 34th overall and 10th among providers/insurers nationwide, marking their seventh consecutive year on the list.

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

Each year, Modern Healthcare recognizes employers for creating workplaces that enable staff members to perform at their optimum level while providing the best possible patient care, products, and services.

To achieve the designation, companies are required to complete a culture audit questionnaire. Employees are then surveyed to evaluate their organization in several areas including policies, practices, benefits, leadership and planning, training and development, and overall satisfaction.

“This award is really a testament to the excellence of our employees,” Arnett said. “Our staff members love what they do, and sustaining a great work environment simply allows them to continue providing exceptional care to our patients and their families. I cannot say enough about their dedication and passion.”

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

To learn more about the 2016 Best Places to Work in Healthcare, please visit www.modernhealthcare.com/community/best-places/2016/. To learn more about Southern Ohio Medical Center, visit us on the web at www.somc.org or on Facebook www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter/.

50 years of putting the patient first

Home Care 5WebThe last 50 years have seen a lot of changes in the world of healthcare. The same is true for SOMC Home Health Services. Since Scioto Memorial Hospital opened the state’s first hospital-based, Medicare-certified Home Care agency in 1966 the program has been continuously improving and expanding. 

The program has grown to provide care in several counties across southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, and has incorporated new technology as well. Whether it was offering point-of-care documentation by laptop computers in 1993 or adding remote patient monitoring through home telehealth services in 2009, SOMC has consistently found new ways to improve the patient experience.

Home Care 2WebSome things, however, haven’t changed much at all.

“The core is still that the patient is always priority,” Brenda Fucci said.

Fucci has been part of SOMC’s Home Care team since the mid-1980’s, save for a seven-year period when she was with hospice. She is not the only employee who to boast an impressive length of service, and the fact she and so many others have demonstrated such dedication to their patients and to each other is part of what makes Home Care so special.

“We’re like a family,” Fucci said. “Many years ago, no one ever left unless they retired or moved away.”

WEBAudrey Evans has felt the benefits of that atmosphere first hand. Years ago, a trio of 4-H’ers in a club Evans advised lost their father to an accident. She was touched when her co-workers responded by donating money raised through the department’s “jeans fund” – where employees donate a dollar to wear jeans on Fridays – to the children.

“They pull together like that. I’ve seen it happen time and time again,” Evans said. “If a staff member is sick or needs help, everyone pulls together.”

Around the holidays, the staff also chips in to provide gift cards to patients they know are in need. It’s part of an enhanced relationship the Home Care team is able to build with their patients.

Barb Free, who has been with Home Care for 30 years, explains that the relationship is closer when the care is delivered inside the patient’s home.

“When a patient is in the hospital, they feel like they’re on ‘your turf’ and they’re uncomfortable,” Free said. “In the home, it’s different. You get to enjoy all their animals and things like that. It’s just different in their home.”

Ultimately, giving the patient that level of comfort is what Home Care is all about. The staff works hard to make sure patients receive the care they need without having to be admitted to the hospital, even going so far as to teach patients and their families how to administer IVs.

“Our goal is to help a patient stay in their home,” Fucci said. “To do that, we teach families a lot about their diagnosis, their medication and how to do IVs.”

“Patients are a lot more involved in their own care than they used to be,” Free added.

While some of the ways Home Care empowers patients and their families may be new, the reason behind it is the same as it has always been – because it’s in the best interest of the patient.

SOMC Home Health Services was the first agency in Scioto County to achieve JCAHO accreditation and has maintained this accreditation since 1989. SOMC has ranked by National Research Corporation as “elite status” six times in the last ten years. Elite status indicates that SOMC has scored in the top 25% of agencies nationwide based on publicly reported patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and financial management parameters.

SOMC Home Health Services is located at 724 Eighth Street in Portsmouth and can be reached at 740-356-5600.

SOMC Cardiac Rehab Obtains AACVPR Certification

DSC_4305WebThe Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Southern Ohio Medical Center has received re-certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). SOMC Cardiac Rehab was recognized for its commitment to improving a patient’s quality of life by enhancing standards of care.

“Cardiovascular programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems (such as heart attacks, stents, angioplasty, open heart surgery, and congestive heart failure) recover faster and improve their quality of life,” Keri Imm, nurse manager of SOMC Cardiac Rehab, said. “Our programs incorporate exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.”

To receive AACVPR certification, the SOMC Cardiac Rehab program participated in an application process that required extensive documentation of its practices. AACVPR certification is the only peer-reviewed accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Programs are reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

Imm added that programs certified by the AACVPR are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. SOMC’s AACVRP certification is valid for three years.

SOMC Hospice conducts first veterans pinning ceremony

Hospice PinningWebSOMC Hospice recently conducted its first “veterans pinning ceremony” since becoming a national partner of We Honor Veterans in September. The recipient of this pinning was Ralph Bell, a veteran of the war in Vietnam.

The ceremony, which was attended by Bell’s friends and family as well as multiple SOMC Hospice staff members, was conducted by Army Sergeant Josh Lucas. During the ceremony, Lucas presented Bell with a certificate of recognition, a personalized note and an honorary “veteran” lapel pen.

“Honoring our veterans for their service to our country and our community is important to us,” SOMC Coordinator of Hospice Relations Scott Hilbert said. “We want all of our veteran patients, just like Ralph, to be recognized for their service. By partnering with We Honor Veterans and conducting ceremonies for patients and their families, we are able to give back to our community.”

We Honor Veterans is a campaign that focuses on implementing veteran-centered education for hospice staff and volunteers in order to improve care provided to veterans. SOMC Hospice intends to conduct additional pinning ceremonies to honor other veterans that are receiving hospice care.

For more information, or to find out how to become involved with upcoming We Honor Veterans pinning ceremonies, call 740-356-2657.

Ways to lower your risk of breast cancer

We have all heard it – what we eat, what we do, how we live may have an effect on our risk of getting breast cancer. We can’t alter family history, but according to research, there are some things we can change that help lower our risk. Here is a list compiled by the Mayo Clinic:

  • Don’t smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. Besides, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding might play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options.
  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. Generally it’s recommended to limit yourself to less than 1 drink per day as even small amounts increase risk.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet might decrease your risk of some types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. For example, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead o f red meat.
  • Living a healthier lifestyle may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but always be vigilant about detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.