Gill Director of Physician Services

Ben Gill

Ben Gill has accepted the position of Administrative Director of Physician Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Gill is responsible for the operational direction of the Medical Care Foundation, which includes employed physician offices, Medical Education, and the Center for Occupational Medicine.

A Wheelersburg native, Ben is a 1997 graduate of Princeton University. He joined SOMC in 2001 as a physician office manager for the Medical Care Foundation and has served the last five years as Medical Education Coordinator. In November, he began serving as the Interim Director of Physician Services.

Ben and his wife, Toni, reside in Portsmouth with their two children.

Coroner Urges Safety On Area Roadways

Dr. Terry Johnson

With the first hints of spring in the air, Dr. Terry Johnson, Scioto County Coroner, wants to remind everyone in the region to stay safe.

“It’s been a long, cold winter,” Johnson says, “and did we ever have a February that we’re glad to put behind us! I just want us all to be safety-conscious in the months to come.”

With brighter skies and warmer temperatures, he warns that pedestrians will be walking the roads and streets and more kids will be out on bikes and skateboards. As motorists, we need to watch out for them.

“We’ll also see the usual up-tick in motorcycle riding, ” Johnson says. “Please, please, please—watch out for the bikers. They have a perfect right to be there, and they are extremely vulnerable to collisions. Watch out for the four-wheelers, too. They are not supposed to be on the roads, but they are. All terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not designed and are not licensed for highway use, and I hope that all law enforcement agencies and responsible citizens will work together to keep these vehicles off-road, where they belong. We’ve had far too many injuries and deaths from these vehicles being used improperly, and I just hate to see the tragedy it brings upon our families. If someone gets hurt or killed on an ATV this year while riding on the highway, that casualty will be totally uncalled for and totally preventable – period.”

Johnson urges truckers and car operators to look out for one another during the spring and summer driving season. Among the points he wants to stress:

  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Always use your safety belt, and make sure that your passengers do as well.
  • Drive defensively and assume that the people driving near you will do something stupid—all too often, they do!
  • Leave early for your destination and do not get in a rush.
  • Show courtesy to your fellow drivers.
  • Avoid road rage: if you find yourself cursing and banging the steering wheel and making obscene gestures, you’re wrong—period!
  • Avoid in-car distractions , such as cell phone use and “gadgeteering.”
  • Do not tailgate or “push” the operator ahead of you down the road.

“Watch out for motorcycles and bicycles and people walking and kids playing. This is stuff that everyone knows to do, but right now is an especially dangerous time as we make the transition from stuffy housebound living to the wonderful out-of-doors. I just want folks to pause and think about being safe.”

Regarding motorcycles, Johnson urges operators to ride as responsibly as possible. “Be conspicuous. From a safety standpoint, you can’t make yourself too conspicuous.” Unfortunately, most of the “cool” garb that bikers prefer to wear tends to make them “disappear” against the road, particularly at dusk or dawn, and while riding at night. “Bright, reflective gear makes you much more visible, and can save your life.” Wear protective equipment regardless of the state law minimums. “It makes no sense to ride a motorcycle without a helmet,” says Johnson. “The risk of a head injury in the event of an accident—even a minor accident—is just too great.”

Wear a long sleeve protective shirt or jacket and good boots that come over the ankle. Eye protection is essential, as are gloves. “You have to think like you’re going to wind up hitting the pavement. If you don’t prepare for the worst, your skin and bones are going to pay a heavy price when things go wrong.” As you get your bike out of winter storage, make sure that it is mechanically sound and that the tires are in good shape and properly inflated. “Know your equipment, know what it can and can’t do, and stay within the operational envelope.”

Also, if you are a new rider, be especially cautious. Inexperienced riders are particularly vulnerable, especially if they are not safety conscious. “When you take a motorcycle out on the street for the first time, the learning curve is steep. There are just too many things that can hurt you. You have to go slow and be smart as you learn.” Johnson is an experienced motorcyclist who has been riding since age 16. “Experienced riders, on the other hand, have to guard against being complacent. Accidents happen to riders with lots of experience, too.”

For ATV riders, Johnson urges much the same as he does for motorcyclists. “It’s all about doing smart things. If you treat ATV riding like you’re playing a video game, eventually you are going to pay the price,” Johnson says.

ATVs have limits, and each year too many people come up against those limits. Some hills are just too steep, some terrain is just too rough, and just because your ATV is as fast as lightening doesn’t mean you have to go faster than conditions will bear.” If your ATV isn’t designed for doubling a passenger, do not do it! Your machine will be outside of design limitations as you go through curves or up hills. That means that it will flip or tumble. “Every year we have many, many injuries due to this simple fact.”

Wear a helmet, eye protection, sturdy clothes and boots. Take a safety course—manufacturers offer these courses free of charge, and that information can be obtained through ATV dealers. “Most of all, keep them off the highway. They are not designed for the road, not licensed for the road, and accidents involving ATVs on the highway are typically catastrophic.”

For automobile operators—be courteous and watch out for others. For motorcyclists—be conspicuous and assume that others do not see you, and wear a helmet and eye protection. For ATV operators—keep them off-road and wear a helmet and eye protection.

Stay safe – let’s all live to see and enjoy the changing leaves of fall!

Dr. Johnson can be reached for comment or questions at: (740) 259-5699 (SOMC Lucasville Office) or (740) 355-0113 (Coroner’s Office, Scioto County Courthouse).

SOMC Lab Receives Accreditation

The Southern Ohio Medical Center Laboratory has been awarded a two-year accreditation by the commission on Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

Leeann L. Sammons, SOMC vice president of Health and Safety, stated that the laboratory’s success is the result of the efforts of a well-trained, conscientious staff.

“The lab staff is committed to achieving and sustaining exceptional results, through benchmarking with national top performers,” Sammons said. “This accreditation is another validation of their hard work to offer the best services available.”

Inspectors examine the records and quality control of the laboratory for the preceding two years, as well as the education and qualifications of the total staff, the adequacy of the facilities, the equipment, laboratory safety and the laboratory management to determine how well the laboratory is serving the patient.

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, is recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program. The SOMC Laboratory is one of more than 6,000 CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.

The College of American Pathologists is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. It is a medical organization serving nearly 16,000 pathologists and the laboratory community throughout the world.

Adams Appointed at OUCOM

Darren C. Adams, DO

Dr. Terry Johnson, Assistant Dean for Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUCOM), is proud to announce that Darren C. Adams, DO, has been appointed to the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the college.

Dr. Adams’ appointment is effective through 2010. This is an appointment of the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) Group IV in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Adams received his medical degree from OUCOM. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at OUCOM and O’Bleness Hospital in Athens.

Dr. Adams is a member of the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center and practices Obstetrics and Gynecology in Portsmouth.

Promise Guild Supports Art Therapy For Cancer Patients

Jenifer Combs, Anna Cardenas and Joyce Payton

The Promise Guild, part of the Friends of SOMC, recently purchased art supplies as part of the complementary therapy using arts and crafts for cancer patients at the SOMC Cancer Center. The art therapy proposal was presented by SOMC Cancer Center Oncology Nurse Jenifer Combs, RN, BSN, OCN. Shown (l-r) with some of the supplies are Combs with Promise Guild members Anna Cardenas and Joyce Payton.

Snook Joins SOMC Cardiology

Mamie Snook

Mamie Snook, RN, MS, CNS, CNP, RDCS, has accepted a full-time position as a nurse practitioner with SOMC Cardiology, beginning April 2. She will continue in her role of helping expand Southern Ohio Medical Center’s heart and vascular program and be intricately involved in the care of SOMC cardiology patients.

Snook has served as the clinical nurse specialist for SOMC Heart and Vascular Services for the past year. For the past seven years, she has also served as nurse practitioner in the office of Drs. Ronald Arrick and Kevin Kammler. She has been with SOMC for 27 years, serving in critical care, cardiac rehabilitation and cardiovascular testing.

Snook is a graduate of Holzer Medical Center as a diploma nurse, obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Ohio University, graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) as a CNS from the Ohio State University and graduated in her post masters program as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from Ohio State. She became a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer in 1989.

SOMC Personnel Complete OSHA Safety Training

Safety leaders at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently completed OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Certification in the Standards for General Industry and the Standards of the Construction Industry. Certification training consisted of 30 hours of training in each area. The training provided OSHA guidelines that assist with SOMC’s organizational goal of achieving OSHA VPP (Voluntary Protection Programs) Star status and in continually striving to make SOMC safe.

Those completing the training are (front, l-r): John Schaffer, Manager Telecommunications, Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of Health and Safety Services; Greg Malone, Bio-Medical Engineering; Sharon Nolan, Infection Control; Abby Floyd, Plant Operations; Sheri Anderson, Safety Services; Craig Gilliland, administrative director of Facilities; back (l-r); Penny Cooper, director of Safety Services; Ted Stidham, Warehouse; Tom DeCamp, Plant Operations; Joan Thomas, director of Environmental Services; Henry Stewart, Maintenance; Randy McGraw, Maintenance; Joe McKinnon, manager of Security Services and Harold Bise, Maintenance.

Guild Flower Sales Under Way

The Scioto Guild, a part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, will host their annual flower sale through April 3. Orders are available for geranium baskets, hanging baskets for a variety of flowers and ferns. Flowers are purchased locally. Orders may be placed by calling Bonnie Johnson at 354-6536 or Gerri Nourse at 259-5868. Pick-up dates are May 8 and 9 at the Friends Community Center. Pictured, members of the guild begin planning for the event.

Stewart Receives IDEAS Award

Terry Stewart, Southern Ohio Medical Center Emergency Services, left, receives an IDEAS (Ideas Developed by Employees At SOMC) award from Amy Beinkampen, Director of Heart and Vascular Services and Quality Leadership Team Leader, for his suggestion to develop an Excel program to automatically calculate Emergency Department census numbers to reduce error. Stewart also received $25 in tokens that can be cashed in or saved for a day off with pay. The SOMC IDEAS program was developed to encourage and promote suggestions and reward employees for taking an active role in making SOMC a great place to work.