SOMC Wound Healing Center Names New Program Director

Neva Moore has been named program director of the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Wound Healing Center.

Moore, a native of Flatwoods, Ky., joined the staff of the Wound Healing Center in July 2008 as the office coordinator. She assumed her new duties as program director on Jan. 1. Moore is responsible for promoting the center as well as overseeing its day-to-day operations.

She is a graduate of Russell (Ky.) High School and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Phoenix University.

The Wound Healing Center offers a comprehensive program that includes state-of-the-art treatment for non-healing wounds. A referral is not necessary for an appointment at the center, which is located in the Rardin Building at 1745 27th St. on SOMC’s Main Campus. The phone numbers are (740) 356-8775 or toll-free (888) 356-8775.

SOMC, OUCOM Host Dinner for Local Pre-med Students

SOMC and OU-COM partnered to provide a better understanding of the ins and outs of medical school during a sit-down dinner Feb. 10. Shown at the event are (front row, l-r) pre-med students Joshua Days, Travis Greim, Adams Evans, Nick Collins, Carrie Dunham, Jessica Reinhardt, Gerad Gray, Matt Watson and Julie Lewis; and (back row, l-r) Dr. Schriner; Dr. Johnson; Ben Gill, administrative director of SOMC Physician Services; Dr. Aaron Adams, director of SOMC Medical Education; Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC; Dr. Stewart; and Dr. John Kasper, director of the SOMC Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) and the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) hosted a dinner for local junior and senior pre-medical college students Feb. 10 at the Friends Community Center.

During the dinner, students were given the opportunity to learn more about the medical school application process by speaking with OU-COM staff members and current physicians, medical students and residents at SOMC.

“As a teaching hospital, SOMC partners with OU-COM to host medical students and residents in the fields of OB/Gyn, Family Practice and Emergency Medicine,” explained Dr. Terry Johnson, director of the SOMC Family Practice Residency and assistant dean of OU CORE. “We are very invested in our area’s youth and their aspirations to seek medical education and careers, which is why we wanted to provide them with a better perspective through this event.”

Presentations were made by Dr. Kendall L. Stewart, vice president of SOMC Medical Affairs and Dr. John Schriner, director of admissions at OU-COM. A question and answer series was also available at the end of the event.

“The best received portion of the evening was the panel session, which allowed pre-med students to ask those currently in the program about medical school and medicine as a career choice,” Dr. Johnson continued. “Overall, I was very pleased with this as a first effort. It demonstrated yet another aspect of SOMC’s ongoing commitment to serve the people of our area and I hope that we can make it an annual affair.”

SOMC named in Hospital of Choice Awards


Southern Ohio Medical Center is now among the top healthcare organizations in the country as a Hospital of Choice. R. Vincent Parr, President of the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers, announced the winners of the Hospital of the Choice Award for the winter quarter.

“This is quite an honor. This shows that we are working hard for our patients in full circle – providing quality health care and maintaining top notch customer service,” said Valerie DeCamp, director of inpatient services at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Each year AAHCP evaluates approximately 400 hospitals for consideration of this Award. One hundred hospitals each year are recognized for a period of one year and posted on the website www.choicehospitals.com. The Hospital of Choice Award is designed to find America’s most customer-friendly hospitals based either on an extensive application process, or by a secret review of a facility’s public communication and staff interaction with customers.

The application process requires a review of six principal areas of consideration including Standards of Conduct, Performance Management and Improvement, Staff Development and Training, Systems of Communication, Good Citizenship, and Educational and Promotional Material available to consumers.

“We continually listen to our patients and visitors as well as our team members to ensure that we are providing the best in everything we do. This designation is very significant on showcasing our efforts toward world class customer service in our organization,” said Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs, director of nursing, emergency & outpatient services at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

AAHCP recognized the first hospitals with the Hospital of Choice Award in 2002. For further information, please contact Sara Suliman, Choice Awards Coordinator, or Ken Carson, Choice Awards Manager, at (703) 655-1381, or by email at choicehospitals@aol.com. The list of this year’s winter quarter are listed below.

Aultman Hospital
Canton OH

Cabell Huntington Hospital
Huntington WV

Concord Hospital
Concord NH

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital
Birmingham AL

Effingham Hosital
Springfield GA

Florida Hospital Waterman
Tavares FL

Fremont-Rideout Health Group
Yuba City CA

Gundersen Lutheran
La Crosse WI

Little Company of Mary Hospital
Torrance CA

Medical City Dallas Hospital
Dallas TX

Memorial Hospital
York PA

The Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha NE

Northwest Florida Community Hospital
Chipley FL

Parrish Medical Center
Titusville FL

Pikeville Medical Center
Pikeville KY

River Falls Area Hospital
River Falls WI

Southern Ohio Medical Center
Portsmouth OH

Southwest Health Center
Platteville WI

St. Mary Medical Center
Langhorne PA

Swedish Medical Center
Englewood CO

Union Hospital Health Group
Terre Haute IN

University of Kansas Hospital
Kansas City KS

Western Maryland Health System
Cumberland MD

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Yakima WA

SOMC Employee Receives MBA

Kara Miller, medical education coordinator for Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), has been awarded her master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University.

Miller received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Shawnee State University and has been employed at SOMC since June 2007.

She also serves as SOMC’s administrator for the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE).

SOMC To Offer Scrapbooking Grief Support Group

Hospice of Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer a special scrapbooking grief support group during March.

The sessions will give participants an opportunity to remember their loved ones while talking about their feelings of grief and loss.

“Memories are a way of holding on to things you love and things you never want to lose,” said Susan Goins, social worker with SOMC Hospice. “Scrapbooking can lead to healing after the loss of a loved one because it gives us a visual memory of special moments with them.”

The group will meet once a week for three weeks, beginning March 3. Sessions will begin at 5 p.m. in the conference room of the Gibson building on SOMC’s East Campus.

The sessions are free and materials for scrapbooking will be provided. Participants should bring pictures, cards, letters or other items to include in their scrapbook pages.

Space for this special grief support group is limited. Anyone wishing to participate should call Goins at (740) 356-2676 or call Hospice at (740) 356-2651 by March 3.

Promise Guild donates flat screen television to Cancer Center

The Promise Guild, a guild of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, donated a 42-inch, flat-screen television to the SOMC Cancer Center. The television was purchased through funds accumulated from various fundraising activities. From left, Promise Guild members, Anne Cardenas, Marilyn Mercer, Rose Havens, Joyce Payton and Sherill Day pose in front of the new television, located in the waiting area.

SOMC Leading the Way in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Dr. Henry Childers with Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is leading the way in minimally invasive procedures and currently is the only organization in the region performing these procedures in heart surgery.

“Minimally invasive heart surgery allows the patient to undergo a heart procedure without the extensive opening necessary to get to the areas that need repair. It also allows the patient a much faster recovery time,” said Henry Childers, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the SOMC Heart and Vascular Unit.

Minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through a small incision, no more than four inches, made in the patient’s chest cavity in order to conduct the procedure. By using this procedure, no bone or muscle is cut and the patient incurs a smaller incision area, which reduces pain and scaring. This process also reduces the risk of infection, causes less bleeding, pain and trauma to the chest cavity and decreases the length of stay in the hospital.

“We have been able to get patients back on their feet in as little as 24-hours after their surgery. Recovery time is also drastically reduced from the average recovery time of traditional heart surgery of up to eight weeks due to the fact that we do not have to cut bone. With this procedure, recovery time is as little as two weeks,” Childers explained.

“I feel 100% better,” said Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure. “I have a lot more energy. I can do my housework and can watch my grandson play ball. I couldn’t do that before the surgery.”

Childers explained that heart valve surgeries, including valve repairs and valve replacements are the most common types of minimally invasive procedures, however the process can also be used for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, epicardial lead placement and atrial fibrillation.

“We are continually staying ahead of the pack on techniques and technology at SOMC. This procedure eliminates the cutting of muscles and bone which lessons the amount of time patients are in the operating room and reduces the amount of time needed for recovery,” he said.

Ruby said her recovery time was extremely fast. “I had my surgery on Tuesday and was home by Saturday. I was up and moving around and already felt great. I’m now in rehab and walking on the treadmill.”

Childers specialized in minimally invasive procedures during training at Cornell Medical Center in New York and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued to perfect this technique over the years, leading the way in the region. For more information on this procedure contact SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Associates at 356-8772.

Cook With Heart focuses on healthy eating habits

Lisa Carmichael, medical technician at Southern Ohio Medical Center, preps a community member for a glucose reading at last year’s heart event, Sing with Heart. This year’s event, Cook with Heart, will take place at the SOMC Friends Community Center, on Feb. 24, from 2 to 7 p.m. and will provide free health screenings on various healthy-heart indicators including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and heart risk analysis.

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its fourth annual heart awareness program, “Cook with Heart,” from 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth.

“Each year we try to incorporate a heart-healthy theme to our community awareness program so we can focus not only on taking care of the heart, but also on creating an overall healthy lifestyle,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said.

This year’s event will feature cooking demonstrations of various recipes that promote healthy eating. Demonstrations will begin at 4 p.m. with free samples to be offered by SOMC Dietary Services.

“In order to have a healthy heart, you have to have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to prepare quick and easy meals that are good for you and maintain great taste,” Fraulini said.

While learning healthy cooking tips, participants also will be able to take part in free health screenings which will begin at 2 p.m. and include total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and a heart risk analysis. Pre-registration is required.

For more information about Cook with Heart, or to schedule your free heath screening, please call 740-356-7665.

Scarpinato Elected Cancer Liaison Physician by CoC, SOMC

Vincent M. Scarpinato, MD, senior medical director of the Surgery Department at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has been elected to serve as Cancer Liaison Physician for the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the SOMC Cancer Committee.

During his three-year term as liaison, Dr. Scarpinato will bridge the gaps between the two committees, the American Cancer Society and the community, helping to identify and report the needs of the local area and improve the quality of care offered to the cancer patients of SOMC.

“Cancer Liaison Physicians are responsible for providing the leadership and direction to establish, maintain, and support their facility’s cancer program, consistent with the criteria set by the Commission on Cancer,” Wendi Waugh, director of Cancer Services at SOMC, said. “Dr. Scarpinato has been an exceptional link between the community and our hospital and I know he will continue to improve our efforts while serving in this role.”

In October 2008, the CoC granted SOMC Cancer Services with a three-year accreditation for its outstanding achievement and compliance with the commission’s standards. Out of the eight potential areas of commendation, SOMC Cancer Services received seven.

“Being accredited by such an outstanding and prestigious organization was a huge achievement for our Cancer Center and I am excited to increase our interaction with the CoC through this position,” Dr. Scarpinato said. “It’s both a pleasure and an honor to be chosen by these groups to serve our community and I look forward to working with them during the next three years.”

Board-certified in General Surgery, Dr. Scarpinato received his medical degree from New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. He previously served as program director of the Department of Surgery as well as chief of Surgical Education at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center. He has been part of the surgical staff of SOMC for the last two years and has been practicing general and breast surgery for 17 years.