March, 2010


SOMC Patient Beats the Odds

Noah Riggs (center) recently went through a complicated open-heart surgery at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Riggs is pictured above with his cardiothoracic surgeons, Dr. Alain Asher (left) and Dr. Henry Childers, senior medical director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at SOMC.

After completing a routine physical required for admission to truck driving school, Noah Riggs, 28, thought he would easily pass and begin the next chapter of his life. Much to his surprise, he failed the physical and was referred to his family physician. Dr. McGinnis examined him only to find a heart murmur and a 102-degree fever, although Noah said he felt fine.

As a result, several tests were ordered and an echocardiogram discovered two leaks in the valves in his heart (endocarditis), a congenital deformity and a severe infection. Due to deterioration in his heart, Noah needed two valves replaced. He was immediately admitted in to the Heart Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center. After three weeks of intense antibiotics, an emergency surgery was needed to save Noah’s life. A five-hour heart surgery turned into a complicated 12 hour, life-threatening ordeal.

“My heart wouldn’t beat on its own,” Noah Riggs, said. “They let my mom come back to the operating room and she whispered in my ear. I remember hearing everything; she told me she loved me. I squeezed her hand to let her know I was listening.”

“The entire team and I knew that Noah was in critical condition,” Amy Fraulini, director of Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC, said. “We told the family to prepare for the worst.”

During the surgery, Dr. Childers, senior medical director of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Dr. Asher, cardiothoracic surgeon, inserted a ventricular assist device to help Noah’s heart continue to function. As a result of the machine, he needed to be transferred for specialized care. After realizing there was too much equipment to transport by helicopter, LIFE Ambulance arranged two ambulances to transport Noah, the equipment, Dr. Asher, Becky Kalb, RN, Janet Nichols, RN and his family to Columbus.

“I can’t express enough praise to the team of doctors and nurses who cared for me,” Riggs, said. “The surgeons could have given up on me but they didn’t. They wanted to see me live the rest of my life.”

“As we worked our best to help Noah, I couldn’t help but picture my daughter lying on the table,” Julie Thornsberry, staff nurse in the CVOR, said9. “I kept thinking, I want to work as hard for him as I would for my own child.”

When Dr. Asher was asked why he rode in the ambulance for two hours with equipment on his lap, he said, “it was the right thing to do.” The family, as described by Dr. Childers, was very supportive and grateful of all the staff and the dedication and effort it took to save Noah’s life.

“It’s like a football team, it’s not just up to the quarterback to win the game,” Dr. Henry Childers said. “This can’t be a one man show; Noah is the perfect example that a positive attitude, strong family support and a team effort from all the care givers can save a person’s life.”

Noah’s family members offer their sincerest gratitude to the physicians, nurses and staff at SOMC. Noah’s mother, Sheila Riggs is an employee at SOMC and she never once felt like the quality of care and treatment she and her family received was a reflection of her employment with SOMC but the excellent care that anyone would receive at SOMC.

“Noah is alive and well today,” Pam Partlow, Noah’s aunt, said. “At SOMC we were treated with respect, as though the entire family was a part of his care. The people of the Heart and Vascular Services are a well-oiled machine, they are the epitome of teamwork.”

“If you want value placed on your loved one, then you wouldn’t want to go anywhere else but SOMC,” Partlow added. “Noah is living proof.”

SOMC to Host Knit for Hope

Knitters and crocheters of all skill-levels are invited to 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, March 30 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.

Scioto Guild Taking Orders for Annual Flower Sale

Members of the Scioto Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, are now taking orders for their annual Flower Sale.

Flowers for sale include hanging baskets of Ivy Geranium (red, lavender, pink), New Guinea Impatiens (red, orange, purple, blackberry cream), Purple Wave Petunias or Blue Angel at a cost of $15 each. Baskets of eight Geranium plants (in pots; red, salmon, pink) will be sold for $20 and hanging ferns for $12.

All orders must be placed by March 30 and proceeds will benefit the SOMC Breast Center and other hospital projects. To place an order, please call Gerri Nourse at (740) 259-5868, Rosalee Greene at (740) 353-2075 or Bonnie Johnson at (740) 354-6536.

Orders will be available for pickup May 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio.

SOMC Offers Grief Support Group

outhern Ohio Medical Center’s Hospice Bereavement Program will offer a grief support group called “Picking Up the Pieces.” The group will meet at 5 p.m., April 6 at the Hospice conference room, located in the Gibson building, 2201 25th Street, Portsmouth.

“Adjusting after the death of a loved one is difficult,” Susan Goins, bereavement coordinator for SOMC Hospice, said. “If you are struggling with the grieving process, we invite you to join us for an educational support group.”

“Picking Up the Pieces” is a six weeklong course and will give participants an opportunity to share memories, ask questions and voice concerns with others who have suffered loss and understand the struggles of living alone.

Registration is necessary. For more information or to register, please call Susan Goins, (740) 356-2676 or 1-800-779-7902.

SOMC Offers New Option for Hip Surgery

Southern Ohio Medical Center is pleased to announce the recent attainment of a new piece of equipment called the HANA® Table. This modern surgery table allows the physician to use the direct anterior approach method for total hip replacements and other joint and fracture surgeries.

“The direct anterior approach simply means to enter from the front,” Dr. Gerardo Trinidad, orthopedic surgeon, said. “The table allows us to maneuver the patient’s legs and hips to gain better access to the area, resulting in a much smaller incision than a traditional hip replacement.”

Dr. Trinidad explained that while using the direct anterior approach, the surgeon does not have to detach or cut through any muscle, which significantly reduces pain, rehabilitation time and length of stay in the hospital. This procedure also drastically lowers the risks of post-op dislocation.

“After a traditional total hip replacement, a patient would typically be hospitalized for three to ten days, depending on their specific situation,” he added. “With the use of the HANA Table, our patients will be able to leave the hospital after two to four days, respectively.”

“The patients benefit the most from this new equipment that allows increased mobility and a quicker return to normal activity with fewer restrictions,” Tom Greene, administrative director of Surgery Services at SOMC, said.

Dr. Duane Marchyn, orthopedic surgeon, worked with Stryker’s development team to create a technique, procedure and invent the instruments needed for the anterior approach. After the method was developed, the HANA Table was then created for surgeons to begin offering this procedure in their local areas.

“The direct anterior approach is a great thing for patients,” Marchyn said. “It’s not for every single hip replacement but a lot of people will benefit from it.”

Dr. Trinidad and Dr. Marchyn have completed specific training courses to enhance their ability to perform this surgery. In addition to total hip replacements, the HANA Table can be used for broken hips and femurs, hip pinning, hip arthroscopy, total knee arthroplasty and total hip resurfacing.

Greene added, “Before we had this technology, many people would leave Portsmouth to have this type of procedure done, but now our patients can stay close to home and get back on their feet in no time.”

The HANA Table is now available for use at SOMC. If you are interested in learning if you qualify or if you are concerned about arthritis of the hip, please contact Dr. Trinidad’s office at (740) 351-0980 or Dr. Marchyn’s office (740) 353-1709 to schedule an evaluation.

SOMC Opens Seasons Dining

Seasons Dining

After months of construction, remodeling and preparation, SOMC Nutrition Services is proud to announce the grand opening of Seasons Dining—the newly remodeled cafeteria and dining space for employees and visitors of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“Our team has been working around the clock to create a completely different dining experience for our patrons,” Mike Cremeans, director of SOMC Nutrition Services, said. “The renovation has increased our seating capacity by about 20 seats and will provide a much more comfortable arrangement within a warm, inviting atmosphere that mimics the rest of the hospital’s color palate and design.”

Recently opened to employees and visitors, the brighter, more inviting space will not only provide a better layout for patrons, but also will include a much healthier, upper-scale dining menu.

“Seasons Dining will offer many new menu items and cooking techniques, including an array of entrees, salads, pizzas and grill stations,” Jack Smathers, manager of SOMC Nutrition Services, said.

Smathers explained that for the past six months, the Nutrition Services staff has had the unique opportunity of training with Chef Mark Dyball, former executive chef of UCLA Medical Center and founder of Culinary Directions.

“Chef Dyball has been traveling to Portsmouth to bring us fresh ideas on familiar cuisine, as well as a variety of new and exotic international entrees,” Smathers said. “It’s been very exciting to watch as our staff has developed and learned his innovative cooking procedures. They are definitely ready to show off their skills and offer new specialties to delight our customers palates.”

Dining hours for the cafeteria will continue to run from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with hot food items served from 6 to 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6:30 p.m. Hot food hours from 1 to 3 a.m. will be added for late night customers.

“Seasons Dining will be a beneficial change for both our internal and external customers and we’re very excited for this opportunity,” Cremeans added. “We can’t wait for everyone to experience what we have to offer and we hope it will only further enhance our ability to provide excellent service.”

Medical Oncologist Welcomed at SOMC

Thomas Summers, D.O., a medical oncologist, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

Dr. Summers received his medical degree from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-SOM. He also completed a fellowship in Medical Oncology/Hematology at UMDNJ.

Dr. Summers will begin accepting patients March 22 and can be reached at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth, Ohio. For more information, call (740) 356-7490.

SOMC to Offer Master Zumba® Class

Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer a rare opportunity for additional Zumba® Fitness participation with a Master Class from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, May 22 at the SOMC LIFE Center in the gymnasium, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth.

Doug and Joan Jones from Studio Zumba Ohio will teach the class and they are Zumba Education Specialists, only two of a select few in the world. They have personally trained more than 1,000 people to become Zumba instructors.

“This is a great opportunity for our area. Doug and Joan are part of the original team that created the Zumba craze around the world. They have worked closely with Beto Perez (the founder of Zumba Fitness) and are very talented individuals. We know this is going to be a very high-energy workout,” said Debra Kielmar, lead group fitness instructor at the SOMC LIFE Center.

Doug Jones is a former Mr. Dayton Bodybuilding champion and was first runner-up in the Mr. Ohio contest in 1991. Joan Jones is a member of the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America. Both have been instructing Zumba since 2003.

Tickets can be purchased at the SOMC LIFE Center, Portsmouth facility, for $20 in advance or $25 the night of the event. Proceeds will benefit the SOMC Endowment Fund. For more information, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 356-7650.

Portsmouth West Donates $1,500 to SOMC Hospice Services

West

Members of the Vocal Department at Portsmouth West High School recently donated $1,500 to the Hospice Services of Southern Ohio Medical Center. The funds were raised through student, parent and local business donations given as part of the department’s first annual Holiday for Hospice festival. The event was held at the school last December. Pictured at the check presentation are Portsmouth West Vocal Choral Officers Jessica Lucas (left) and Clark Tieman (right) with SOMC Hospice Claims Coordinator Sheila Riggs.