January, 2010


SOMC, LIFE Ambulance Strengthen Partnership

In an effort to reinstate and strengthen the partnership between Southern Ohio Medical Center and LIFE Ambulance Services, SOMC logos will now appear on LIFE Ambulance emergency and non-emergency vehicles. Pictured above (l to r) is Mike Pistole, President and CEO of LIFE Ambulance; Claudia Burchett, vice president of SOMC Patient Services; Doug Avery, chief operating officer of LIFE Ambulance; and Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, director of nursing for SOMC Emergency and Outpatient Services.

For more than 20 years, Southern Ohio Medical Center and LIFE Ambulance Service, Inc. have partnered to provide the residents of Scioto and surrounding counties with top-quality, timely patient care.

“The partnership between our two organizations stemmed from a general understanding of respect, camaraderie and belief in our community,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “We both feel a strong obligation to the people of this area and hold a very high commitment to strengthening the bond between our local companies and philanthropic endeavors.”

To reinstate this belief, SOMC logos will now appear on the LIFE Ambulance emergency and non-emergency vehicles.

“We’ve always had a strong partnership, but we were looking for a way to make our support for each other more known throughout the community,” Doug Avery, chief operating officer for LIFE Ambulance, said. “Adding SOMC’s logos to our vehicles will further demonstrate our commitment to the growth of and dedication to our local businesses, healthcare system and people of this area.”

Vice President of SOMC Inpatient Services Claudia Burchett explained that the two organizations also will continue collaborating with local companies to increase health awareness and knowledge within the community.

“During our partnership, SOMC and LIFE have worked together to provide our local residents with better health care opportunities through screenings and events like the Scioto County Fair,” she said.

“These opportunities have also been offered through the help of teams from Shawnee State University, local city health departments and even other health care systems throughout the region. We hope this aspect of collaboration will continue to evolve with the needs of our community and we look forward to expanding our possibilities with other local resources in the future.”

SOMC wins Distinctive Workplace Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently received notification from Press Ganey Associates, Inc. that the organization has received the 2009 Distinctive Workplace Award.

“This is a great honor for our organization,” said President and CEO Randy Arnett. “This award recognizes that our employees love what they do and take pride in practicing their gifts right here at SOMC.”

Press Ganey currently partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities (including more than 40 percent of U.S. hospitals) to measure and improve the quality of their care. The company’s databases are the largest in the industry and allow facilities nationwide to benchmark their results against peer organizations.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is one of only nine Press Ganey clients in the nation to receive this prestigious honor. The award is given based on clients who have reached and maintained the 95th percentile or better in employee satisfaction. Southern Ohio Medical Center currently stands at the 98th percentile for overall employee satisfaction.

SOMC has been recognized nationally and statewide for employee satisfaction. SOMC has been named to the FORTUNE Great Places to Work list three years in a row and has been in the top three on the Ohio’s Best Employer list for the past four years.

“Without the dedication and high-level of quality our staff provide every day, we would not be considered for such designations. We are proud of our team of experts at SOMC and are proud to offer the best to our community in quality care,” Arnett said.

SOMC Introduces Seasonal Selections Room Service

Seasonal Selections

To enhance the quality of service provided to patients and better meet their nutritional needs, Southern Ohio Medical Center is proud to announce the addition of the Seasonal Selections Room Service program for 2010.

“After receiving feedback from both patients and staff members, Nutrition Services started creating a program that would provide a wider variety of food options, while maintaining our patients’ specific diet and nutritional requirements,” Nicki Welch, chief clinical dietitian at SOMC, said.

Seasonal Selections Room Service began Jan. 26 and has replaced the hospital’s previous meal program. The new service gives patients more individualized, personal control of their menu selection.

“Our new menus will contain items specifically designed by our own nutrition specialists and will give patients the feeling of a higher-class restaurant-style of dining,” Jack Smathers, manager of Nutrition Services, said. “The program also will give our patients and their guests the ability to order what they want, when they want it, which is a completely different set-up than that of the past. It’s going to make a huge difference.”

Nutrition Services Director Mike Cremeans explained that the program has been in the works for more than a year and is the reason behind the hospital’s cafeteria reconstruction project.

“To provide a higher quality and quantity of menu items, a renovation was needed,” he said. “The new cafeteria space and kitchen will allow both employees and our customers to see improvement in our services.”

Patients and their guests will be able to order room service between the hours of 6:45 a.m. and 7 p.m. A Nutrition Services Ambassador will be available for questions and to aid patients in ordering from a Seasonal Selection Room Services menu.

SOMC Named Healthy Worksite

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently recognized by Healthy Ohio and received the Healthy Worksite Honorable Mention Award.  This award identifies Ohio employers that demonstrate a commitment to employee health by incorporating comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs.

Regina Tipton, wellness specialist at SOMC explained that the award acknowledges efforts of employers in Ohio to facilitate and encourage employee health, enhance productivity and ensure a healthy work environment.

A questionnaire, proof of policies and examples of programs used to encourage better health amongst employees are part of the application process. All worksites in Ohio, large and small, for profit and non-profit have the opportunity to apply for the award.

“SOMC strives to be the example not just to our employees but for other employers and the community,” Tipton said. “We want to encourage a healthy community resulting in our children and their families living long and happy lives.”

SOMC Named a FORTUNE 100 Best Company to Work For

Southern Ohio Medical Center learned today that not only has the organization been named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the third year in a row, but also moved up five spots. The full list and related stories will appear in the Feb. 8 issue of FORTUNE magazine, available on newsstands on Monday, Jan. 25, and now at fortune.com/bestcompanies.

“We are truly proud to once again be named to this prestigious list,” said Randy Arnett, President and CEO of Southern Ohio Medical Center. “It continues to confirm that we have excellent employees who love what they do and show it through the care they provide.”

FORTUNE Deputy Managing Editor Hank Gilman says, “The most important considerations for this year’s list were hiring and the ways in which companies are helping their employees weather the recession. All 100 companies on our list are currently hiring, many of the aggressively, leading to more than 96,000 open job positions expected in the next year.”

“We put our employees and patients first in all decision making.” said Vicki Noel, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, “Staff are actively involved in the organization which helped us maintain a strong workforce while other organizations have been forced to place freezes on retirement programs and hiring or reduce wages during this recession. We have a dedicated staff who are focused on what is best for our patients and one another.”

To pick the 100 Best Companies, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the Institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about the management’s credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication and diversity.

“I am proud to say that I am a member of the SOMC family. And that is really what we are here – family. You just can’t match what we have and what we provide to our patients anywhere else in the region,” said Christy Aeh, Nurse Manager of ICU.

SOMC to Host Knit for Hope

Knitters and crocheters of all skill-levels are invited to get-together for an evening of fun, food and to support a good cause as part of the Knit for Hope group at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The group will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio.

Patterns for lap quilts, throws, shawls, hats and caps will be available, though attendees are asked to bring their own needles and yarn (of any color). Finished products will be donated to breast cancer patients of the SOMC Cancer Center.

For more information, please call the Friends Center at (740) 356-7101.

SOMC Vascular Surgeon Receives High Satisfaction Scores

If you ask Marion Hochstetler, M.D., vascular surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center, what he does for a living, he’ll jokingly say, “I’m a human plumber.”

“If a vein or artery is blocked, I go in and remove the blockage,” Hochstetler said. “I spent two years specifically studying artery and vein diseases.”

He was raised on a farm in Orrville, Ohio.  In his free time, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his wife and two children. Hochstetler’s uncle was a physician who taught him a variety of skills and inspired him to become a surgeon.

While only practicing with the Surgery Associates of SOMC for six months, Hochstetler has already made quite an impression on the employees at SOMC, achieving the 99th percentile in the most recent satisfaction survey.

One of Dr. Hochstetler’s patients, Merlyn Cole, 73, from South Webster said, “He is the most wonderful physician. He’s so down to earth and the ‘doc’ explained everything in a way my wife and I could easily understand, which calmed our nerves.”

Dr. Hochstetler literally “plumbed” Cole’s arteries in his legs to relieve blockage created by the build up of cholesterol. Cole used to walk two miles everyday until he began to feel pain in his legs. After correcting his artery blockage, he feels better than he has in years and is thankful for Dr. Hochstetler.

“Dr. Hochstetler is a breath of fresh air,” Sally Berry, RN, CNOR, staff nurse in surgery, said. “He is relaxed with his patients which in turn lowers their anxiety. I wish I was on his surgery team just so I could work with him more often.”

In addition to removing blockage from patients’ legs, Dr. Hochstetler offers a variety of vascular and surgical services. He treats peripheral arterial disease, complex aneurysms, aortic diseases, varicose veins, venous and diabetic ulcers, placement and revision of dialysis access, and the management of neck artery blockage with stenting or open surgical treatment.

One such patient is Mr. Homer Lute, who suffered from severe neck artery blockage. Lute, 73, from McDermott felt short of breath and came to SOMC’s emergency department. During his workup, he was found to have critical neck artery blockage, placing him at high risk for having a stroke.  Dr. Hochstetler performed surgery to remove the blockage and he went home the next day.

“Just before the new year, I had my surgery. Dr. Hochstetler made me feel comfortable and everything went smoothly,” Lute said. “He is a very good doctor and I would recommend him to anyone.”

Cole added,“You won’t find a better doctor anywhere. I’ve been to the big cities for healthcare but the care I’ve received at SOMC is excellent and we are lucky to have Dr. Hochstetler here in Portsmouth.”

Dr. Hochstetler is currently accepting patients and can be reached at the SOMC Surgical Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building, Suite 102, Portsmouth, Ohio. Call (740) 353-3562 for more information.

Neurologist Turkewitz Welcomed At SOMC

Jay Turkewitz, MD, a physician specializing in Neurology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Turkewitz received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in Boston, Mass. He completed a residency in Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y. He is board certified in Neurology and Electrodiagnostic Medicine.

Dr. Turkewitz joins Dr. Leon Rosenberg, neurologist and can be reached at the SOMC Physician Specialty Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 206, Portsmouth, Ohio, 45662. He will begin seeing patients Feb. 1, 2010. Call (740) 355-9240 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Community Unites to Benefit Breast Cancer Fund

During the next two weeks, Southern Ohio Medical Center will team with Shawnee State University, the Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Portsmouth West High School to host programs geared at creating awareness of breast cancer and raising funds for those receiving treatment.

“We all know someone who has battled breast cancer, which is what makes the disease so personal,” Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center, said. “It’s a topic that not only impacts our patients, but affects the lives of our whole community. That’s why so many supporters have graciously stepped forward to help our cause.”

SOMC and SSU will kick things off with a “Pink Out!” during the homecoming men’s and women’s basketball games at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Rhodes Athletic Center. The first 1,000 attendees will receive a free “Pink Out!” T-shirt.

“Breast cancer is a topic that is important to our employees, faculty members, students and student athletes,” SSU President Rita Rice Morris said. “It is something that is very real, and personal for us, as we’ve had friends, co-workers and family members affected by this disease. Helping to raise awareness is our way of supporting them and their families.”

The public is also invited to an evening of song and celebration during “A Night of Broadway” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. All proceeds of the evening will benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund.

“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, senior medical director of Surgery at SOMC, said. “Some can’t even afford to travel a few miles to get their treatment. This production will raise money to help those people.”

“A Night of Broadway” will feature vocal selections from both alumni and current Portsmouth West High School students under the direction of Vocal Music Teacher Linda Tieman. Several quality merchandise and event packages also will be available for raffle.

“The students have been working day and night to put this show together and have invested their heart and soul into seeing it succeed,” Tieman said. “They really want to do something for the good of the community and the whole process has been very inspirational for them. We’re honored just to be able to help.”

Dr. Scarpinato explained that he and Tieman partnered to produce last year’s performance of “The Story Goes On,” which raised more than $16,000 for the compassion fund.

“‘The Story Goes On’ was amazingly successful and we hope to top it this time around,” he said. “It’s been such an honor to work with these students and have the support of so many within the community. These projects are truly terrific and we thank everyone who has offered to be a part of them.”

A limited number of seats will be released for the event and are $50 per person for the VIP section, $25 per person for the patron section, and $11 per person for the reserved section. Purchase of a VIP ticket will include invitation to a champagne reception, which will follow in the Howland Recital Hall.

Tickets are available exclusively through the McKinley Box Office and can be purchased by calling 351-3600, visiting the box office between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday—Friday or going online to www.ticketmaster.com.