SOMC Observes ‘Year of Fitness’

The SOMC LIFE Center is observing the “Year of Fitness” by encouraging residents in the community to observe a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise.

As part of encouraging exercise programs and a healthy lifestyle, the facility will offer 13-month memberships for the price of 12 months until July 31, with access all three facilities (Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, Lucasville) and more than 40 hours of fitness classes each week, an indoor walking track, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a four-lane lap pool at the Portsmouth facility, and free personal consultations and programs.

For more information call the SOMC LIFE Center, (740) 356-7650.

Beulah Baptist Presents Atkins Memorial Gift To SOMC Cancer Services

Maria Atkins, wife of the late Phillip Atkins, recently presented a $1,000 gift in Phillip’s name from Beulah Baptist Church to Southern Ohio Medical Center Cancer Services on the first anniversary of her husband’s death. Phillip had been a patient of the SOMC Cancer Center. Shown at the presentation are (from left) Heather Ashley and Wendi Waugh of SOMC; Maria Atkins; Amory Novoselac, MD, of SOMC; Jeanette Langford and Pastor Adrian Jones of Beulah Baptist Church.

Musical Fun Has ‘No Name’ At Cancer Event

When attendees of SOMC’s National Cancer Survivors Day celebration June 8 hear the event’s musical entertainment, they will find it memorable but may not be able to put a name to it.

“We’re the No Name Band,” lead singer Vincent Scarpinato, MD, says. “We have no name. We’re a collection of diverse musical interests and we have no repertoire in common.”

A surgeon, an oncologist, an optometrist and a recent high school graduate will entertain the cancer survivor event guests. The group of four musicians range in age from 17 to 48, and are mixing up their love of contemporary, classic rock, hard rock and Broadway standards for the audience.

Each year the SOMC Cancer Center welcomes current and former cancer patients and their loved ones for an afternoon of fun, refreshments and fellowship in conjunction with National Cancer Survivors Day. The local event’s theme this year is “A Day Picnic In Central Park,” and the No Name Band will present a collection of songs centered around New York and Central Park.

“It’s fun, it’s unusual and it’s for a good cause,” Scarpinato, a local surgeon on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, says. In addition to general surgery, he specializes in breast surgery and has cared for many cancer patients.

“We will have New York artists, songs about New York and a few surprises,” he says.

Joining Scarpinato will be the Cancer Center’s very own Amory Novoselac, MD, on guitar. Having played since he was a boy, the medical oncologist favors hard rock but is enjoying the chance to try songs he’s never heard.

“It’s exciting to learn new songs, like (Harry Chapin’s) ‘Mr. Tanner,’” he says. “It will be a new experience because we are performing quite a few I’ve never played until now.”

Dr. Novoselac has treated many area cancer patients in the past three years and looks forward to providing them a gift of music.

Lending bass and backup vocals is local optometrist Mike Raies, who has been loving and playing music since he was learning the violin at 6 years of age. No stranger to concert performances, Raies has been playing about eight performances a year for more than 20 years with a band of optometrists, “Bad Habits,” who have been together since winning a talent show while still students in optometry school.

“With ‘Bad Habits’ we’ve known each other so long and played together so much it’s like telepathy,” he says. “With this band and this performance the challenge will be working with different styles of music.”

For recent Portsmouth West graduate Scott Ewing, the performance will be a chance to practice in a different environment than his lead singing in another local band. He is bound for Ohio University this fall, with a duel major in voice and piano. The other members are quick to point out that Ewing’s talent is moving toward a professional level, while they are simply enthusiasts.

Scarpinato, who has been singing since grade school in church choirs and has performed extensively in community theater musicals, the concert will be a fun diversion. He will appear as “The Count” in Southern Ohio Light Opera’s upcoming performance, “A Little Night Music,” by Stephen Sondheim at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

The Cancer Survivors Day annual celebration will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. Survivors will have the chance to win special treats and door prizes. All cancer survivors and family members are welcome.

SOMC’s Sammons Receives Degree

Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of Health and Safety at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received a Master’s of Science Degree in Safety, Security and Emergency Management with a concentration in Occupational Safety from Eastern Kentucky University.

A native of Gallipolis and daughter of Ron and Jean Ann Lemon, Sammons is a 1988 graduate of Gallia Academy High School, received her Associate in Applied Science degree in Legal Assisting in 1990 and her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies in 1992 from Marshall University.

Sammons has been employed at SOMC for almost 11 years and resides in South Shore, Kentucky, with her husband, Mike, and their two children, Raigan, 13, and Carson, 4.

SOMC Rehab Helps Break Communication Barriers

Imagine you need to yell for help, but the words won’t come out of your mouth.

Communication barriers may result from conditions such as stroke, brain injury, or disease. Patients may have trouble expressing thoughts or cannot find the right words to say. They may not be able to understand verbal or written language, reason and judge, or solve problems.

“About 10 percent of the American population has a communication disorder,” Kevin Stimpert, executive director of Rehabilitation Services, said.

“In addition to medicine and surgery, the effects of communication disorders on individuals can be minimized through rehabilitation and education. Speech and hearing specialists help individuals untangle the twisted messages that limit their ability to comprehend or express thoughts. We also help them learn new ways to produce speech, and regain the ability to put words together.”

In May, SOMC observes Better Hearing and Speech Month and acknowledges speech pathologists, audiologists and other professionals who work with people with communication challenges. Therapists at SOMC include Jody Cooper, SLP; LuAnn Lashley, SLP; Stephanie Willis, SLP; Ginger Wright, SLP, and Kristie Thacker, AUD.

“Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), in particular, have the challenging job of helping people recover competence in communication,” Stimpert explained. “SLPs assess and treat all types of communication disorders, as well as swallowing disorders, and give patients and families the tools to overcome these difficulties.”

Stimpert said SLPs help patients use remaining skills and, when necessary, learn alternative communication.

“We often forget that we not only communicate by speaking, but also by gesturing, writing, drawing, reading, and our facial expressions. Speech therapists also evaluate a patient’s ability to solve problems he or she might encounter after returning home.”

Many patients with conditions such as stroke, brain injury, or Parkinson’s disease have swallowing disorders. The speech therapist evaluates the patient’s feeding and swallowing to provide effective treatment, which may be as simple as altering a person’s head or body position during swallowing or coughing or eliminating certain food textures. Other individuals may need to learn new ways to swallow.

For additional information on services at SOMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, call Brett Lacey at (740) 356-7438.

Grief Support Focuses On Living Alone

SOMC Hospice is offering a four-week grief support group that is focused on cooking for one, staying healthy, socialization and will give participants the opportunity share in educational discussions about the grieving process. Participants will be encouraged to share memories, questions and concerns with others that have experienced the same loss and are struggling with the reality of learning to live alone.

Meetings will be held every Tuesday in June beginning at 5 p.m. June 3 in the Hospice Conference Room of the Gibson Building on the SOMC East Campus, 2201 25th St.

Space is limited, so registration is necessary. Call Susan Goins at 356-2676.

Hospice Hike Draws 560 Walkers

The 22nd Annual Hike for Hospice attracted 560 walkers Saturday, May 17 to support SOMC Hospice, the program for the terminally ill, by participating in a 5-k “fun walk” through residential Portsmouth. The participants raised approximately $36,000 in funds for the program, and were treated to refreshments by Subway and Life Ambulance.

SOMC’s Skaggs Speaks At National Conference

Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, CNA-BC, Director of Nursing for Emergency and Outpatient Services, recently spoke at ACI’s Fourth National Conference on Improving and Expanding Emergency Department Services in Washington D.C., April 30-May2, 2008.

Skagg’s discussed “10 Years and 10 Winning Service Strategies for Your Emergency Department – All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” She has been an employee of Southern Ohio Medical Center for more than 25 years, and the Director of Nursing for Emergency & Outpatients Services at SOMC for the past 14 years.

Service Guild Supports SOMC Heart Education

Members of the Service Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented a $1,000 donation to the SOMC Love Your Heart program, which uses a Wizard of Oz theme to teach five- and six-year-olds how to create and maintain a healthy heart. The presentation was made during the annual event, which was held April 1, 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Shown at the presentation are Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the SOMC Intensive Care Unit; Tony Smith, assistant nurse manager of the SOMC ICU; Lora Maddix, RN and program coordinator; Freda Villiter, guild member; Alicia Fink, RN; Joyce Craig, guild member; Tami Peach, RN; Maxine Arnett, guild member; Korina Echinlaub, nurse educator of the SOMC ICU; and Teresa Barnett, RN.