SOMC to Offer New Diabetes Programming

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently awarded a $200,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Healthy Ohio/Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction.

The funds will be used toward the implementation of a Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, created to provide immediate access to lifestyle education for people in Scioto County with type 2 diabetes.

“Type 2 diabetes affects many people within Scioto County, but unfortunately there are many factors that prevent this population from receiving the care they truly need,” Ashley Salyers, clinical educator at SOMC, said. “The Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will address this concern by providing educational services to individuals who lack accessibility, affordability and availability to specialized medical care.”

SOMC Workforce Development Manager Jill Preston explained that the newly established program will be offered as seven 10-week sessions over the course of the next year and a half. For each week of the program, participants will meet for two hours to focus on education topics related to diabetes self-management, as well as the importance of fitness and exercise.

“We want to ensure that participants have all the resources necessary to successfully manage the disease on their own once the program is complete,” Preston said. “Not only will this include one-on-one education time with clinical dieticians, exercise physiologists and diabetes experts, but we’ll also provide important supplies needed to monitor the disease, like glucometers, test strips and lancets.”

“We hope that this combination of components will create life-changing and life-long results for our community,” Salyers added. “The need for this education is clearly there and we’re happy to finally have the funding to do something about it.”

The program will be offered at four locations throughout the county and will be held in conjunction with the Portsmouth City Health Department, the Scioto County Health Department, the Family Health Care Center, Community Action Organization and Shawnee Mental Health. Physician referral for participation is required.

For more information, please speak with your primary care physician or contact the SOMC Diabetes Education Department at 356-2627.

Friends of SOMC Scholarships Now Available

Applications for the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center scholarshipare now available for full-time students pursuing a course of study in a health-related field.

Application forms can be picked up from the Friends of SOMC office in the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., the Volunteer Office on the SOMC Main Campus, 1805 27th St., or online at www.somc.org.

Completed forms, along with a transcript of credits and class standing, must be completed and returned by April 1, 2010 to be considered for the fall school term.

The Friends of SOMC Financial Aid Committee will process all applications and name the recipients, giving preference to SOMC employees, their offspring or spouses. The number of awards will be determined by the funds on hand and available from the Friends of SOMC.

The scholarship may be renewed each school year, not to exceed four years. It is not necessary for recipients to re-apply each year as long as the requirements are being met.

Recipients of the awards will receive their checks issued by the Friends of SOMC for a proportionate part of the yearly award at the beginning of each semester of the school year. Successful applicants will be notified on or before June 1, 2010.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Schackart at 356-6160.

SOMC to Host Garden With Heart

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its fifth annual heart awareness program, “Garden with Heart,” from 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 16 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 John Marra, WSAZ’s garden expert, exhibiting various gardening techniques and tips to promote an active lifestyle. Demonstrations begin at 3 p.m.

“In order to have a healthy heart, you must have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to grow heart healthy vegetables and herbs which encourage healthy eating and exercise,” Fraulini said.

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

For more information about Garden with Heart or to schedule an appointment for your free health screening call 356-7665.

Health Hearts Luncheon held Feb. 12

SOMC Heart and Vascular Services and the Department of Nursing at Shawnee State University partnered to promote community awareness of programs, education and local sponsors diligently working to lower Scioto County’s risk for heart disease during the second annual Health Hearts Luncheon held Feb. 12. The event featured guest speaker, Southern Ohio Medical Center open-heart patient, Lavonne Valoski (center), as well as Amy Fraulini, director of Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC.

Shown above at the luncheon with Valoski are SOMC employees and patients (back row: l to r) Ann Cooper, nurse manager of Surgery, Keri Imm, nurse manager of Cardiac Rehab, Valoski, Mr. Questel, SOMC open-heart patient, Mrs. Questel, Paul Rase, nurse manager of Heart Care and (front row: l to r) Julie Thornsberry, RN of the CVOR, Amy Fraulini, director of Heart and Vascular Services and Tom Greene, director of Surgical Services.

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.