SOMC lab services earn re-accreditation

Laboratory Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center have received re-accreditation status after undergoing an inspection by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) March 11.

“The goal of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is to improve patient safety by advancing the quality of pathology and laboratory services through education, standard setting, and ensuring that laboratories meet or exceed regulatory requirements,” Bridget Scott, director of SOMC Laboratory Services, said.

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program is based on rigorous standards that are equal-to or more-stringent-than the U.S. federal government’s own inspection program. During the accreditation process, inspectors examine a lab’s records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.

Laboratory services of the SOMC Main Campus, Cancer Center, Anti-Coagulation Clinic, and Urgent Care centers were inspected.

“Earning this re-accreditation makes us part of an exclusive group of more than 7,600 laboratories worldwide that have met the highest standards of excellence, and we are extremely honored to receive such recognition,” Scott added. “I thank all our employees for their help in maintaining excellence throughout our organization and extend a special thanks to our Lab staff for their focus on perfection.”

For more information about SOMC, please visit www.somc.org or like SOMC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.

Registration open for Tri for your LIFE

TriWebSOMC’s “Tri for your LIFE” sprint triathlon will take place on Sunday, August 23. The event begins with a 200-meter swim in the SOMC LIFE Center pool, followed by a 10-mile bike course and a 5k run. The event can be completed individually or by a relay team.

SOMC will also be having a kids’ triathlon, called “Kids Tri for you LIFE” on Saturday, August 22. For children ten and under, the triathlon consists of a 100-meter swim, a 5k bike ride and a half-mile run. For children 11 and older, it is a 200-meter swim, a 10k bike ride and a one-mile run.

“Our ‘Tri for your LIFE’ events are designed to be challenging, but accessible, for people of all ages,” Director of Community Health and Wellness Wendi Waugh said. “We’ve had wonderful turnout in the past and we’re looking forward to another great event this year.”

For those registering before August 12, cost to participate in the “Tri for your LIFE” triathlon is $45 for an individual and $55 for a relay team. Cost to register for the “Kids Tri for your LIFE” is $25. After August 12, however, all registration costs increase by $10.

There is no race day registration, and online registration will close on August 22 at 11:59 p.m. All registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

To register, or to find more information, visit www.hfpracing.com.

SOMC named 83rd among “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials”

somcWebSouthern Ohio Medical Center is honored to announce that they have been recognized by Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE Magazine as one of the country’s “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials.” SOMC ranked 83rd on the list.

The top 100 companies were selected based on a nation-wide survey of nearly 90,000 millennial-aged employees, administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work.

“Companies focused on growth understand that it’s critical for senior leaders to have an in-depth understanding of their employees’ experiences, regardless of their age, role in the organization, and other demographic profiles,” Great Place to Work CEO Michael Bush said. “Great workplaces are constantly monitoring and analyzing employee experiences and taking action to improve them. Ranking on this list is a great indicator that a company’s efforts to create great workplaces are resonating with millennials.”

In just 10 years, millennials (or people born between the 1980s and 2000s) will make up 75 percent of the workforce. To compete for top talent and ensure their long-term success, businesses must prepare to appeal to and engage this unique generation of employees.

“At SOMC, we understand how important it is to create a work environment that supports all of our employees,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “Ranking 83rd on this list offers evidence of the value we place on creating an exceptional work environment for all our employees.”

The “100 Best Workplaces for Millennials” is part of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE based entirely on employee surveys from published Great Place to Work Reviews. To view the complete 2015 list, please visit www.greatplacetowork.com.

For more information about SOMC, please visit www.somc.org or like SOMC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.

SOMC welcomes new Junior Volunteers

Jr VolunteersWebSouthern Ohio Medical Center welcomed a new team of Junior Volunteers recently.

SOMC’s Junior Volunteers are given the opportunity to create valuable contacts and skills while supporting the staff and patients at SOMC. All Junior Volunteers must be at least 15-years old. For more information, click here.

Summer Family Hours available at LIFE Centers

The SOMC LIFE Center is now offering summer “Family Hours” at all three locations. Family hours allow the children of Life Center members to use the facility for free, as long as they are accompanied by their parent.

Summer Family Hours at Portsmouth, Wheelersburg and Lucasville locations are from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. These are in addition to regular Family Hours, which are on Friday nights from 7 to 10 p.m., as well as on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

During Family Hours, children under the age of 14 may use the facility as long as they are provided by a parent, grandparent or legal guardian. Children 12 and under may use the gym, pool, track, weight room and machines. Children 11 and under may use the gym and pool areas with adult accompaniment.

Family Hours at the Wheelersburg and Lucasville locations, however, are only for children 12 and older.

If you have a child of the opposite sex that is over the age of five, you must use the family locker room.

For more information about the SOMC LIFE Center or Family Hours, call 740-356-7650.

UV system implemented for LIFE Center pool

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just a summer dabbler, anyone who has ever been around a swimming pool is bound to recognize the distinct smell of chlorine. Touted for its ability to sanitize, oxidize, and deter algae, the popular chemical ensures that swimming pools are bacteria free and ready for use during the warm summer months.

Unfortunately, there are also many health concerns associated with chlorine by-products, which commonly cause red, stinging eyes, skin irritations, asthma, coughing, and other allergy symptoms.

The LIFE Centers of Southern Ohio Medical Center are seeking to lessen these concerns through the installation of an ultraviolet (UV) pool sanitizer at its Portsmouth location (1202 18th Street).

“SOMC is constantly seeking innovative ways to improve the cleanliness of our facilities and continually meet and surpass national safety standards,” Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC LIFE Centers and Community Health & Wellness, said. “The cleanliness of an environment can directly impact satisfaction, and we want to ensure that our patrons are receiving the most enjoyable experience possible. Our investment in this UV technology will help us meet that goal.”

SOMC’s new ultraviolet system uses a medium-pressure light to alter the DNA of targeted germs such as algae, bacteria, viruses, cysts and protozoa. This cutting-edge, non-chemical process is a safe way to sanitize water, air, and surfaces, and eliminates unwanted chlorine by-products (including that all-to-familiar chemical smell).

“The presence of this system will not only eliminate the allergic reactions that affect many of our patrons and staff members, but will also add another layer of disinfection to further decrease the outbreaks of Recreational Water-Borne Illnesses that have occurred over the past few years,” Suzie Hunter, aquatics supervisor for the LIFE Center, said. “These improvements are very substantial for our facility and we hope all of our customers will reap the benefits.”

For more information about memberships to the Portsmouth, Wheelersburg or Lucasville LIFE Center locations, please call 740-356-7650 or visit them online at www.somc.org/life/.

Camp LIFE registration open

FigSouthern Ohio Medical Center’s annual Camp LIFE program, which encourages children to stay active and healthy over the summer, is set to take place June 8-12 and July 13-17 at the Portsmouth LIFE Center.

“Camp LIFE was developed as a way to combat occurrences of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children, but has attracted a wide variety of participants because of the enjoyable and educational activities it provides,” Brad Zieber, supervisor of PT, PEC and Special Projects at the SOMC LIFE Center, said.

“The program is really just a great way for kids to make new friends, get fit, and learn skills that will help them stay healthy long after camp is over.”

The camp sessions will last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, which drop-off beginning at 8:45 a.m. The program is open to children ages 7 to 13, and parents can register for one or both of the week-long sessions being offered.

“During camp, we teach children the basic principles of nutrition and exercise through cooking and physical activities that keep them entertained,” Zieber said. “We prepare lunch and snacks together, play healthy games, and stress the importance of fitness through daily walks, swimming and other sports. The program is designed in a way that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical condition or ability, and we always have a lot of fun.”

Cost to participate is $85 per child. For more information or to register, please visit the Portsmouth LIFE Center or call 740-356-7650.

Casino Night fundraiser set for July 11

PrintSouthern Ohio Medical Center’s annual Casino Night fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 11 at the SOMC Friends Center.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and include gaming, heavy hors d’oeuvres and prize drawings throughout the evening. Proceeds from Casino Night will go towards the SOMC Development Foundation’s Annual Fund.

“Casino Night is an opportunity to have a good time while supporting a good cause,” Director of Development and Community Relations Kara Redoutey said.

Individual tickets cost $50 each and come with $25,000 in funny money to be used for the event’s many games.

Sponsorships are also available: It is $500 to become a Silver Sponsor, which comes with four tickets, $25,000 in funny money per person and recognition at a gaming table. A Gold Sponsorship costs $1000, comes with ten tickets, $25,000 of funny money per person, recognition at a gaming table and recognition at the event.

Additional information is available by calling 740-356-2794 or emailing CoburnS@somc.org.

Important bicycle safety tips

Flowers aren’t the only thing that come out in Spring – you’re likely to notice more bicyclists out and about as well. An estimated 30% of Americans own bicycles, and 45% of them ride at least occasionally.

If you’re behind the wheel of a car, it’s important to keep an eye out for bicyclists – but there are also several safety tips you should keep in mind if you’re the one actually on the bike.

First, you should check your bike before riding it. Make sure that there aren’t any issues that might prevent you from traveling safely. Once the bike checks out, put on a helmet. Wearing a properly fitted helmet can reduce your risk of head injury by 74-85%.

Don’t wear loose clothing when riding a bike. It can get caught in the bike’s chain, gears or breaks. In fact, you should consider clipping your pants to make them fit closer to your legs. If you’re riding at night, wearing reflective gear is highly recommended.

When riding on the road, stay on the right side and ride in a straight line. You should ride in the same direction as traffic and take less-traveled routes so you won’t have to compete with larger vehicles for a piece of the road. When riding past parked cars, keep a car door’s width of distance from them just in case somebody opens the door as you go by.

There are some rules that apply whether you’re in a car or on a bike, such as never assuming that other drivers can see you. When bicycling, you are also obligated to obey traffic signs and signals. This means stopping at stop signs and red lights. You should obey the two-second rule, as well. When a car in front of you passes a fixed object, begin counting. If you reach that same object in less than two seconds, you’re following too closely.

The number one safety tip no matter how you travel, though, is to be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for cars, bikers and pedestrians at all times – because you never know if they’re watching out for you.