September, 2008


Ministry and Nursing Conference Oct. 10-11

Regional leaders in ministry and nursing will come together in October for a special conference addressing issues that connect personal faith and both spiritual and physical well-being.

“Serving The Least of These In Your Faith Community” will include three days of pre-conference and conference activities open to registered and licenses practical nurses, health ministers, pastors and nursing students.

The sessions will include a pre-conference from 1 to 4:20 p.m. Friday, Oct. 10 , and conference sessions and activities from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11. The events will be at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Kentucky.

Topics will address health ministry, faith community nursing, supporting families with addiction, depression, special needs, and a panel on spiritual care. Poster presentations and discussions are also planned.

Everyone interested in attending is encouraged to call 888-635-2200 for fee information and to register prior to Oct. 3.

The event is presented by the Shawnee State University Department of Nursing, Southern Ohio Medical Center Congregational Partnerships, Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital Healthy Community Services, river Cities Health Ministries, Area Health eudcation Center Constortium for Health and Education in Appalachia Ohio (CHEAO).

Surgeon Nien Welcomed at SOMC

Yih-Dar Nien, MD, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center and is practicing with Southern Ohio Surgical Associates.

Dr. Nien received his medical degree from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. He completed his residency in general surgery at Marshall University, Huntington, WV; an internship in general surgery and a fellowship in wound healing research at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. He has successfully completed part 1 of the American Board of Surgery certification. His areas of interest include all aspects of general surgery including thyroid, breast, gallbladder and colon surgery.

Dr. Nien can be reached at Southern Ohio Surgical Associates, 1611 27th St., Braunlin Building Suite 306. Call (740) 353-8661 for an appointment or more information.

Longaberger Consultants Support Cancer Patients

Local independent Longaberger consultants and branch leaders recently donated $349 in proceeds from a fundraiser July 21 to the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund. The fund is established to help cancer patients in financial need. Shown are (l-r): Sandy Wilson, Barb Ashworth, Bonnie Warner, Autumn Risner, Joan Howell, Lillie Mullins, Charlene Mains, Gwyn Barker, Amy Dever, Sue Hatten, Dolores Schuman.

September 2008 is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer among men. One out of 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. The good news is that since 1994, the death rate from prostate cancer has decreased 4 percent each year. In 2004, there were 2 million prostate cancer survivals in the United States.

Li-fen L. Chang, MD, senior medical director of Radiation Oncology at Southern Ohio Medical Center, says the successful decrease in the prostate cancer mortality rate is due to several factors.

“Early detection save lives,” Dr. Chang says. “Successful screening using DRE (digital rectal examination) and PSA (prostate specific antigen, a blood test) helps detect prostate cancer at an earlier, more curable stage.”

Dr. Chang also credits improvements in prostate cancer treatment with increasing survival rates. One new development in surgical removal of the prostate is robotic-assisted prostatectomy, which shortens recovery time.

“Radiation therapy has also dramatically improved in the past decade,” she says. “Treatments are much more precise and tailored to the patient’s individual anatomy, resulting in less damage to surrounding healthy tissue, fewer side effects and faster recovery.” Dr. Chang noted that the SOMC Cancer Center offers some of the most advanced technologies for treating prostate cancer.

“Using testosterone suppression therapy in conjunction with radiation therapy or surgery is also a better treatment approach for high-risk patients,” she says, adding that research and new developments are continuing with approaches such as targeted therapy and a vaccine against prostatic acid phosphatase, a substance found in most prostate cancer.

Dr. Chang says the most important thing every man can do is be proactive in early detection. Become familiar with your family health history and any relatives with a history of prostate cancer. Talk to your physician about risk factors and symptoms. Be aware of any urinary symptoms, such as frequency of urination, burning sensation when urinating, difficulty starting the stream, weak stream, getting up many times at night for urination, etc.

Always maintain a good life style today: exercise at least three times a week, pay attention to what you eat, increase vegetables and fruits, cut down fatty food, red meat, avoid obesity, manage your stress, and maintain a high quality of rest. If you are a smoker or drinker, the most important health measure you can do is quit smoking and quit drinking.

For information about SOMC smoking secession classes and resources, call (740) 356-2692. For more information about prostate cancer, call the SOMC Cancer Center at (740) 356-7490 or visit www.somccancer.org.

Lay Ministry Training

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will offer free lay ministry training for local parishioners and clergy members during a day-long session from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth.

The training, entitled “Our Journey of Hope,” will teach participants more about the special and spiritual needs of cancer patients and the ways one may provide support for them within their church and community. Continental breakfast and lunch will be available.

The program will be led by Rev. Percy McCray, Jr., director of Pastoral Care and Social Services for the CTCA, and is sponsored in part by local Scioto Christian Ministries and Southern Ohio Medical Center.

There will be a $12 advanced-registration fee per participant, or $15 the day of the event. For more information, or to register, please call Sharon Carver at 740-356-2692.

Free Breast Cancer Screening

Area women are invited to attend Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Screening planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane.

Southern Ohio Medical Center, the Fight Cancer…Save Lives…Act Now Cancer Coalition, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation are sponsoring the event, which is intended for women who do not have insurance or who have large insurance deductibles that prohibit this early detection screening.

Registration by appointment can be made by calling the SOMC Volunteer Office, (740) 356-8234.

All-woman Performance Will Help Breast Cancer Patients

Vincent Scarpinato, MD, Southern Ohio Medical Center and the Portsmouth Little Theatre will present “The Story Goes On…,” an all-woman performance in song and dialogue that reveals many inspiring moments among the lives of women with breast cancer.

The production will be a fundraiser for the SOMC Breast Cancer Patient Compassion Fund, held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 and 4 at Portsmouth Little Theatre, 1117 Lawson St.

Tickets are $25 each and available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane. Cash or checks are accepted. The Breast Cancer Patient Compassion fund helps local cancer patients in financial need.

“While there are often resources for breast cancer patients, there are still many who have a critical need and fall through the cracks,” Dr. Scarpinato says. “Some can’t even afford to travel a few miles to get their treatment. This production will raise funds to help those people.”

Dr. Scarpinato said he has produced the show in New York as a fundraiser for breast cancer causes and it has proven to be a very inspirational experience. Locally, musical direction will be by Linda Tieman, with set design by Eric Armstrong.

“This is a moving, funny, wonderful presentation about women with breast cancer expressing themselves and their emotions over the many facets of their lives,” he says. “We’re hoping to raise awareness not only about the critical need to get a mammogram, but how we can help those people less fortunate.”

The cast is comprised of amateur performers who will portray women affected by cancer. The castincludes Barb Glockner, Michele Imes, Grace Morgan, Olivia Morgan, Talitha C. Malone, Jessica Powell, D.O., Ashlee Ratliff and Stephanie Schaefer.

Seating at the theatre is limited and anyone interested is encouraged to purchase tickets early.

Notre Dame Volleyball Girls Encourage Cancer Support

In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Notre Dame girls volleyball team (pictured) will raise funds for the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund during their upcoming game Oct. 2 at Notre Dame High School. The Lady Titans will play Glenwood High School, with the junior varsity game starting at 5:30 p.m. and varsity game to follow. A portion of the admission proceeds and concessions, along with a special bake sale, will be donated to the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund, a special fund to support local cancer patients in financial need. Everyone is encouraged to come and see Notre Dame and Glenwood volley for breast cancer. For more information about the fund and how you can help, call the SOMC Cancer Center, 356-7490.

SOMC Employees Go Above and Beyond to Help Local Students

Through determination, competitive drive, and more selfless hearts than can be counted, employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center helped to donate more than 4,200 pencils, glue sticks, notebooks and other items during the 2008 United Way School Supply Drive, which took place Aug. 1 on the Main Campus.

“There are many underprivileged families in our community, sometimes with two or three children to a home, and it can become a very large burden to bare when each child needs their own set of school supplies,” Mary Peercy, executive director of the United Way of Scioto County, said. “SOMC and its employees have always been a huge supporter of providing these resources for our local students.”

School supply lists were given to employees, with each listed item designated a point value, Beverly Stringer, member of the SOMC United Way committee, said.. For each point a staff member earned per donation, they were given the chance to enter into a drawing for either an OSU- or UK-themed gift basket. Points also were tallied per department and the team to earn the most would win a pizza party.

The SOMC Housekeeping Department was named the overall winner of the competition, donating an outstanding total of more than 1,300 supply items.

“Our donation was a group effort and we never could have reached our total if it weren’t for the commitment given by each individual,” Tammy Wiedbruak, housekeeper at SOMC, said. “Our department decided right off the bat that we wanted to do what we could to make this project possible. The competitiveness of it all encouraged us to do even more.”

“We’re always looking for ways to jump in and support those in need,” Tresea Johnson housekeeper at SOMC, said. “There are so many people, especially children, within our community that need that extra bit of encouragement or financial help and we’re more than happy to be there for them when they need us.”