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


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.

Lichtenstein and Moore Present at Wound Healing Conference

Local health care experts from the SOMC Wound Healing Center recently returned from a symposium in Orlando, Fla. where they were briefed by internationally recognized specialists and consulted with peers from around the country on new treatment options and research that may bring additional advances in the care of chronic wounds.

Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, medical director and Neva Moore, program director, attended the conference which was sponsored by National Healing Corporation, an industry leader which partners with the center and accounts for nearly one-third of all management and outsourced wound centers in the United States.

Lichtenstein made a presentation to medical directors from various national wound healing centers. She discussed ways to improve and build a successful wound center. Moore spoke about recruiting and retaining panel physicians to an audience of program directors and clinical nurse managers.

Located at on the main campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center, in the Rardin building, the SOMC Wound Healing Center offers state-of-the-art methodologies and treatments including the use of vascular studies, tissue culturing and pathology, revascularization, skin grafting and clinical or surgical debridement.

Likely candidates for treatment are those suffering from diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, infections, vascular disease, compromised skin grafts and flaps and wounds that haven’t healed within 30 days. For more information, please call (740)-356-8775.

Hope Guild Donates to SOMC

The Hope Guild, part of the friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently donated $10,000 to SOMC Hospice Services. To raise the money, the guild held various fundraisers throughout the year, including book sales and an employee sale at Scioto Shoe Mart. The funds were used to purchase pillows for chairs and other needs of patients and their families. Shown above is the Hospice Center of SOMC.

SOMC to Recognize Certified Nurses Day

March 19, 2010 is Certified Nurses Day, a national day of recognition for certified nurses. Southern Ohio Medical Center will honor its 162 board certified nurses who provide quality care to their patients every day.

The date was specifically chosen as the national day to celebrate because it’s the birthday of Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles. She is globally known as the “Mother of Nurse Credentialing” and served as the President of the American Nurses Association. A recipient of numerous honors and recognition, Styles is responsible for encouraging board certifications and higher standards of patient care.

“We are very proud of all of our nurses at SOMC,” Valerie DeCamp, director of nursing, said. “On behalf of the organization, it is my pleasure to express the gratitude we feel for the proficiency and leadership our nurses demonstrate when they achieve and maintain national board certification in their nursing specialty.”

Certification, as defined by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), is the formal recognition of the specialized knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by a nursing specialty to promote optimal health results.

“As a result of nurses acquiring additional certifications, it creates an environment of professionalism and specialized competency,” Karen Walburn, manager of Employment, said. “This special day gives us an opportunity to recognize and encourage nurses to pursue this important step in their careers.”

Nurse certification has been linked to a reduction in medical errors, according to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

Ryan Carpenter, RN, BSN, CEN, SANE, assistant nurse manager of the Health Care Center said, “As a certified nurse, I feel more prepared. I’m more confident in knowing that my skills are up-to-date and that I will have the knowledge and expertise to provide excellent care for my patients.”

“We realize that it takes personal dedication and persistence to achieve and maintain certification,” DeCamp added. “We value their commitment to nursing excellence.”

SOMC Research Highlighted at National Conference

Three nurses from Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department recently presented their research poster at the Emergency Nurses Association Leadership Conference in Chicago, Ill. Shown above (l to r) is Jenny Foit, RN, BSN, staff nurse; AJ Foit, RN, BSN, CEN, assistant nurse manager and Jason Ross, RN, CEN, nurse manager.

hree nurses from Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department were recently selected to present their research efforts at the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Leadership Conference held Feb. 18-21 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, Ill.

AJ Foit, RN, BSN, CEN, assistant nurse manager; Jenny Foit, RN, BSN, staff nurse and Jason Ross, RN, CEN, nurse manager, studied ways to decrease blood culture contamination rates in the emergency department in an effort to improve the quality of patient care at SOMC.

“Attending the conference was a great networking opportunity as well as a chance to see what other hospitals are doing,” Ross said. “We were able to compare our hospital to some of the nation’s most respected facilities and it was plain to see that very good things are happening at SOMC.”

More than 1,000 emergency nurses from across the United States gathered at the conference to discuss trends and topics related to the emergency nursing profession. The poster from SOMC was titled Reducing Blood Culture Contamination Rates in the Emergency Department. This was its second appearance at a national conference.

“It was a privilege to present our research poster at the conference,” AJ Foit said. “Research is an integral part of our Magnet status at SOMC and the results allow us to improve service for our patients and their families.”

SOMC Receives Komen Grant

Southern Ohio Medical Center will continue to offer breast health screening services to uninsured and underinsured women in Scioto, Pike and Lawrence counties, thanks to a grant received from the Columbus Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

“This is the fourth year SOMC has been awarded the grant,” Kimberlee Richendollar, breast health navigator at the Cancer Center, said. “We will receive $69,250 for the 2010-2011 grant year, which is significantly more than last year.”

Richendollar explained that the grant is used to fund a program at the Cancer Center called Hands of Hope. The funds provide free mammograms, as well as other screening services for women in the community. Criteria and eligibility is screened and determined by Richendollar with guidelines set by the grant.

“Women diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage have much higher survival rates,” Richendollar said. “Unfortunately, not everyone in our community has the financial ability or access to obtain screening services for early detection, which is why the Hands of Hope program is so important.”

The program also provides breast health education to the public through health fairs and screenings. During the 2009-2010 grant year, Hands of Hope was able to provide more than 150 free screening and diagnostic mammograms to local women.

“We are so glad to have the opportunity to partner with Komen Columbus again this year,” she said. “As a result of the grant, the Hands of Hope program provides a great service to our community and we hope it will help the women of our area to become better informed about breast health and the importance of proper screening.”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest and most progressive network of breast cancer survivors and activists. Since its inception in 1982, the foundation has contributed more than $1.5 billion in funding for global breast cancer research, as well as millions of dollars of support for local education, screening and treatment programs.

To learn more about Hands of Hope and its qualifications, please call Kimberlee Richendollar at (740) 356-PINK (7465).

SOMC named in Best in Ohio list for fifth year in a row

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Ohio State Council and Best Companies Group recently announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) has again been selected as one of the Best Employers in Ohio. SOMC has been named a Best Employer in Ohio for the past five years.

“We are very proud of the family atmosphere here at SOMC. It resonates in our relationships with one another and with our patients,” said Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The distinction is given based on an evaluation of various workplace attributes including hiring processes, celebrating in the workplace, caring among team members and communication. A majority of the process is weighted by the thoughts and opinions of the employees of SOMC. SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the state including large corporations and other healthcare organizations.

“This is quite an honor for our organization,” said Randy Arnett, President and CEO of Southern Ohio Medical Center. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the nation.”

Arnett said the distinction will not only emanate pride to our community through employees, but will also help with recruitment and retention.

“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction, as well as our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status and our FORTUNE Best Places to Work distinction will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” he said.

In the next few weeks, SOMC will receive a feedback report and the ranking of the organization based on data accumulated from the evaluation process. The list will be revealed in a special publication produced by Journal Publications Inc., which will be distributed statewide in May 2010.

Teamwork Displayed in SOMC’s ICU

The underlying theme in most service stories told by patients of Southern Ohio Medical Center is teamwork. When employees are asked every year on surveys about the teamwork within their department, most will tell you it’s excellent. In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a collaborative effort is not only desired but it’s essential and often complimented.

“I’ve worked for other units at SOMC and I thought the teamwork was incredible but then when I came to the ICU, I was blown away by the way everyone works together,” Eric Bennett, assistant nurse manager of the ICU, said. “I’m a big advocate of teamwork, it can make your shift really great or really bad. You don’t have to tell the staff what to do in the ICU because they are already doing it.”

Bennett and a team of physicians, nurses, EEG technicians, medical techs, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, lab techs and Critical Care physicians called Intensivists recently pulled together when an ICU patient coded. Dr. Jay Turkewitz, a new neurologist at SOMC, was called to the bedside during this particular instance.

This was Bennett’s first interaction with Dr. Turkewitz and he was amazed at the way the physician interacted with the family, explaining everything and genuinely caring for the patient. After his shift, Bennett decided to write Dr. Turkewitz a thank you email and was surprised when he replied.

“I don’t deserve the recognition, the team does,” Dr. Turkewitz said. “From the nurses in the room to the housekeeper who kept the floors from becoming slippery, the collaborative effort was evident.”

Mardi Carter, EEG tech wasn’t surprised when she heard about the email, “I’ve worked at SOMC for 23 years and I see this type of teamwork happen all the time in the ICU,” she said. “The cooperation of the team has aided in saving many lives over the years.”

In November of 2007, the Intensive Care Unit opened its doors to patients’ loved ones 24 hours a day—the only ICU in the region that offers this. “If the family chooses to be present during a code, it greatly decreases anxiety both for the patient and the family,” Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the ICU, said. “Family presence allows loved ones to see the teamwork and effort it takes to provide excellent care for the patient.”

“Many people think they have to travel outside of Portsmouth to receive the best critical care but we have the best technology, a specialized physician for every aspect of the body and we micromanage our patients,” Bennett said. “We have all the things and more that the bigger city hospitals have.”

Bennett explained how several ICU staff members have worked at other hospitals and positively compliment the teamwork shown at SOMC. Unlike most other ICU’s, SOMC has Critical Care Intensivists seven days a week dedicated to the ICU all hours of the day and with on-call coverage during the night hours.

A web camera is used by the Intensivists to check on patients during the night. The critical care physicians also have access to the bedside monitoring devices through their home computers. Nurses in the ICU collaborate with the Intensivists using these tools to enhance the quality of care for their patients.

“I’m excited to be here, SOMC has made excellence a part of its culture,” Dr. Turkewitz said. “The administration chooses to hire physicians and employees who have the ability to strive for excellence in all aspects of service and quality patient care.”