SOMC Ranked First Among Ohio’s Best Employers

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named the Number One Best Employer in Ohio. This third annual program was created by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Manufacturers’ Education Council, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Ohio State Council, Ohio Matters, and Best Companies Group.

“We are honored to be named to this list again this year, and to be ranked first,” SOMC CEO Randy Arnett said. “The selection is based largely on the survey of our own employees and their view of SOMC. The fact that we scored so well says a lot about SOMC as a quality employer and a great place to work.”

Earlier this year, SOMC was named to the Fortune 100 Best Places To Work In America, in an intense review that also was based largely on feedback from employees. Also in January SOMC was named a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an honor for excellence in patient care given to less than 4 percent of hospitals nationwide.

The Ohio survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the Best Employers in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 20 companies split into two categories: 10 small/medium-sized companies (25-249 employees) and 10 large-sized companies (250 and more employees). SOMC has been ranked first among this year’s Best Employers in Ohio in the large category, and is on the list for the third consecutive year.

Honorees and their rank order in the large-sized company category were: SOMC, Edward Jones, The CareWorks Family of Companies, InfoCision Management Corporation, SS&G Financial Services, Inc., EMP Management Group, Ltd., Firelands Regional Medical Center, VSP- Vision Service Plan, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Marietta Memorial Hospital.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill eligibility requirements including being a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity; being a publicly or privately held business; having a facility in Ohio; having at least 25 employees in Ohio; and being in business a minimum of one year.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Employers in Ohio. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Ohio with assistance from ModernThink LLC, who analyzed the data and determined the final rankings.

The actual rankings were announced at an awards ceremony April 15 and published in Ohio Matters. For more information on the Best Employers in Ohio program, visit www.BestEmployersOH.com.

SOMC Scioto Guild Donates For Hospice Laptop Computers

The Scioto Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented funds raised from the annual guild flower sale for the purchase of two portable laptop computers for the SOMC Hospice Center. The computers can be used by patients and loved ones during their stay at the center, to check email, use the Internet and other activities. This year’s guild flower sale will wrap up with pick-up of flowers ordered from 12 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 5 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 at the SOMC Friends Center, 1202 18th St. There will also be extras available for purchase at that time. Shown thanking the guild for their support is (second from left) Hospice Center Nurse Manager Donna Holcomb, RN, with (from left) outgoing Guild President Libby Fitch, Treasurer Ruth Boden, Secretary Donna Borden and incoming President Pidge Fuller.

Wheeler Named Kentucky Colonel

Wayne B. Wheeler, MD, (left) Medical Director of LIFE Ambulance and an Emergency Medicine physician at Southern Ohio Medical Center through Emergency Physicians Medical Group, was recently presented the commission of Kentucky Colonel by former SOMC Chaplain Oscar Perry. Perry nominated Dr. Wheeler for the honor because of his ongoing service to the community. The commission is appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels provides support to charitable and educational organizations in Kentucky. Dr. Wheeler has been practicing medicine in the Portsmouth area for more than 25 years.

SOMC Welcomes Orthopaedic Surgeon Pettey

James Pettey, MD, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center as Senior Medical Director of Orthopaedics.

Dr. Pettey comes to SOMC from Colorado Springs, CO, where he has served as Surgical Specialties Flight Commander, Chief of Surgery and a Clinical Instructor for Orthopaedic Residents for the United States Air Force Academy, 10th Medical Group. He has served in various command positions, including Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery, at air bases in Florida, California, Germany and at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

Dr. Pettey also served as team physician of the NCAA Division II USAF basketball and Preparatory School football teams.

Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Pettey is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons. He received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, completed a residency in Family Practice at Deaconess Hospital, Evansville, Ind., and a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at University of California Davis, Sacramento, Calif.

Dr. Pettey and his wife, Katy, will reside in the Portsmouth area. They have three children.

Dr. Pettey will begin seeing patients in his office Friday, May 2, in Suite 304, Fulton Building, SOMC Main Campus. Appointments can be scheduled by calling on or after April 21 at (740) 353-7017.

Deaf Services Center To Assume Operation Of Community Services For Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Deaf Services Center, Inc., (DSC) of Columbus, Ohio will assume management and operation of Community Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSDHH) in Portsmouth following approval on Tuesday, April 8 by the DSC Board of Trustees.

CSDHH was operated and had been subsidized by Southern Ohio Medical Center for more than 20 years. DSC is a private, non-profit community center serving deaf communities in 15 counties including Central Ohio and southeastern Ohio.  Core services include case management, interpreting, advocacy/education and leadership.

Clients in the deaf community should see no change in services,” CSDHH Director Teresa Bryan said. “The location is expected to remain on the SOMC South Campus, at least for the near future, and the same services are expected to be provided through DSC’s operation.”

John L. Moore, CEO/Executive Director of DSC, said DSC is looking forward to working with the deaf and hard of hearing in the Portsmouth community and ensuring that their needs are being met.

“DSC is pleased in ensuring that the continuation of services provided in Portsmouth will continue under our fiscal oversight of operations,” Moore said. “We have committed to the continuation of services until June 30, 2009, and in the meantime we will be working with the Portsmouth CSDHH in the development of a transition committee to enable your center to become independent or find an appropriate host agency locally to continue services beyond June 30, 2009.”

In addition to program fees, private funders, governmental contracts, donors and fundraising efforts, which comprise the bulk of DSC’s financial support, the program also has an agreement with the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC). RSC is the state agency charged with helping Ohioans with Disabilities achieve independence and retain or obtain jobs. The program’s mission is to empower the deaf and hard of hearing with access to communication, services and events in the community.

“I want to thank John Moore and the Deaf Services Center for their leadership in taking over the administration of the Portsmouth area Community Center for the Deaf,” John Connelly, Executive Director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, said.  “This will help ensure continued service for Portsmouth area customers. We appreciate our partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center and wish them well as they continue to focus on the overall healthcare needs of Southern Ohio.”

CSDHH serves 186 deaf and hard of hearing people in nine counties around Portsmouth. The change in management is expected to be finalized by April 18.

Work SOMC Wound Healing Manager

Kathy Work, RN, has been named Program Manager at the SOMC Wound Healing Center. She will be responsible for all aspects of the center’s operation including ensuring quality patient care, recruiting and hiring, compliance with federal and state guidelines, budgeting and fiscal policies, and marketing and sales.

Work came to Southern Ohio Medical Center in 2007 from Heartland Home Health with more than 20 years of nursing, wound care and hyperbaric experience. She resides in the Wheelersburg/Minford area.

The SOMC Wound Healing Center, located on SOMC’s Main Campus, provides state-of-the-art, hospital based outpatient treatment of chronic wounds, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The Center has the benefit of a Disease-Specific Care Certification for diabetic wound care accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization, as well as evidence-based treatment modalities for chronic wounds related to circulatory and autoimmune disorders.

SOMC Encourages Kids To ‘Love Your Heart’

More than 1,000 kindergartners from 11 area schools joined Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man on a journey down the yellow-brick road and into the world of healthy heart care during the annual Love Your Heart program at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The event took place April 1, 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Introduced by the SOMC Intensive Care Unit in 1999, the Love Your Heart program is an educational tool that combines hands-on learning stations, the five senses and a popular storybook theme to teach five- and six-year-olds how to stay smart when it comes to keeping their hearts healthy.

“We wanted to create a program that provides children with beneficial information in a really fun way,” Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the ICU at SOMC, said. “That’s how we came up with the idea to tie heart care into the story of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.”

Aeh explained that during the two-hour program, children are taught how the Tin Man received a heart from the Wizard, but neglected to take proper care of it and caused it to turn black. Children are then given the opportunity to go through five interactive exhibits that incorporate sight, taste, touch, hearing and exercise into maintaining a healthy heart to teach the Tin Man how to make his heart red again.

SOMC employees dressed in full costume to bring the story’s most beloved characters to life and more than 100 other hospital employees and nursing students from around the region helped in monitoring the event.

“Not only do children get excited to see the story progress and do the activities, but we also have a lot of fun dressing up and acting it out,” Aeh said.

“The program was created as a way to give back to our community but it’s turned into so much more,” Korina Eichenlaub, nurse educator of the SOMC ICU, said. “My daughter has attended the program and when she came home she explained to me how blood flows through her ‘vines’. I had to tell her that they’re actually called veins, but it’s great to see the impact the story had on her.”

“Teachers always give us really positive feedback about the program, too,” Lora Maddix, registered nurse of the SOMC ICU and program coordinator, said. “They look forward to this field trip and they really fight for it if it gets cut from their schedule.”

In fact, Love Your Heart has been so successful that the ICU staff has twice received the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Seabury and Smith, Inc., Community Service Award for their efforts.

“We started by funding the program ourselves, but now we’re able to do so much more through grants and the help of the Scioto County Area Foundation,” Aeh said. “The program’s turned into a great resource for our local children and we look forward to continuing our partnership in health to those we serve and the lives we positively affect for many years to come.”

Family Presents Baskets To SOMC In Honor Of Son

The family of Joshua McClaskey (inset), a Lucasville area youth who died of a brain tumor in 2007, recently presented Easter baskets in his name to the Pediatrics Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center. Joshua’s mother, Amy, said the presentation of the baskets fulfilled a wish he expressed while fighting his illness that other sick children in hospitals receive some holiday cheer at Easter in the form of the baskets. Area businesses supported the effort with donations of items, including Minford Pharmacy, Minford Quick Stop, Muletown Minimart, Minford Family Dollar and the Salvation Army, who donated bibles for each basket. Shown at the presentation are Pediatrics Department Nurse Andrew Ruggles, RN, accepting the baskets from Tiffany and Cassandra McClaskey.

OU Class Gives Stuffed Toys To SOMC Pediatrics

Representatives of instructor Shannon Brogan’s Interpersonal Communication Class of Ohio University in Chillicothe recently visited the Pediatrics Unit of Southern Ohio Medical Center as part of a service project to support an area agency. Class members collected teddy bears from friends, family and classmates and delivered the stuffed toys to the pediatrics units of a Chillicothe hospital as well as SOMC in Portsmouth. Shown at the presentation are (from left) class members Caleb Penn and Judy Ward with SOMC Pediatrics staff members Amber Coriell and Kara Penley.