SSU Students Provide Screenings at Senior Expo

hawnee State University nursing students in partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center provided blood pressure and blood sugar screenings during the Senior Expo, held Sept. 10 at the Scioto County Fairgrounds. Lindsay Ellis (right) is shown taking Alberta Potters (left) blood pressure as students Tracy Carey and Ashlee Ratliff assist other participants.

SOMC Promotes Healthy Living at Senior Expo

Southern Ohio Medical Center handed out items to promote healthy living at the Senior Expo held Sept. 10 at the Scioto County Fairgrounds. Amy Montgomery and Marianne Neville (left) are shown passing out plastic food containers with freezable lids to participants. SOMC Home Care, Heart and Vascular, Wound Healing and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program were just a few of the services available at the expo to educate seniors and provide information about the very good things happening at SOMC.

ACS Offers Prostate Cancer Support Group

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host annual prostate cancer screenings from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 16, 20, 22, and 30, location to be announced. All screenings are free of cost and include a PSA blood draw and an exam.

The following criteria is recommended but not required: Men at age 50 who are at average risk of prostate cancer; Men at age 45 who are at high risk including African Americans and those who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 65 or younger; and lastly men age 40 who have several first-degree relatives who developed prostate cancer at an early age.

If detected early, prostate cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. In 2009, more than 200 screenings were completed at SOMC. Space is limited and reservations are necessary. To make an appointment, please call the SOMC Volunteer Office at 740-356-8234 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

SOMC Offers Breast Cancer Support Group

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Cancer Center now offers a breast cancer support group called the “Pink Ribbon Survivors.” The support group will meet to discuss the challenges, options and stresses that accompany breast cancer.

The new group will meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 15 in the SOMC Cancer Center conference room, located at 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth.

“We offer two breast cancer support groups at the SOMC Cancer Center,” Wendi Waugh, administrative director of SOMC Cancer Services, said. “We currently have a group that meets at 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month but we wanted to start a new group that gathers together in the evenings, in an effort to better meet the needs of our patients.”

For more information, please call the SOMC Cancer Center at 740-356-7496.

SOMC Offers New Technology for Pulmonary Testing

Estel Gayhart (left), Registered Respiratory Therapist at Southern Ohio Medical Center uses the new Pulmonary Diagnostic equipment to test Amy France (right).

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently purchased two new pulmonary diagnostic machines and has donated the previous equipment to the Respiratory Therapy program at Shawnee State University.

“We felt like the equipment in the pulmonary diagnostic lab needed to be updated to provide better service for our customers and also to meet the American Thoracic Society standards,” Rory Phillips, administrative director of Pharmacy and Respiratory, said.

The new machine includes an exercise bicycle for exercise induced asthma testing and metabolic testing. Patients will sit in a body plethysmography (also known as a body box) which is a very sensitive lung measurement device used to detect lung pathology that might be missed with conventional pulmonary function tests. Also, the new box is wheelchair accessible.

“We are very excited that we now have the capability to test children ages six and up,” Pam Kayser, RRT/RPFT, supervisor of the Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at SOMC, said. “In the past, we have tested children on some occasions but it’s difficult because they don’t understand what is happening or what we are asking them to do.”

Kayser explained that the new software displays animation so children and even adults will be able to see a simulation of the breathing exercise and interact better with the test and the respiratory therapist.

“At SOMC, we invest in technologies that enhance the quality and safety of our patients,” Dr. Elie Saab, senior medical director of Inpatient Services at SOMC, said. “In addition to the new equipment and better software, we now have the accessibility and ability to review the test results any time of the day, resulting in more efficient and excellent service provided for our patients.”

The SOMC Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab now offers complete pulmonary testing, including cardio pulmonary stress testing, bronchial probacation testing (asthma), metabolic testing, and exercise-induced asthma testing, among others.

In addition to the variety of tests available, SOMC also offers Pulmonary Rehabilitation as treatment for patients with various pulmonary and lung diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). The goals of Pulmonary Rehabilitation are to reduce the symptoms associated with COPD, to decrease disability, to increase participation in physical and social activities, promote independence and to improve a patient’s overall quality of life. A physician’s order is needed for pulmonary rehabilitation.

For more information about the services provided, please call the SOMC Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at 740-356-8485.

SOMC Hosted Luncheon for Volunteers

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held a luncheon for the special volunteers who donate thousands of hours every year to help SOMC succeed. The volunteers gathered together for an afternoon of good food, fellowship and bingo.

“We try to celebrate our volunteers with fun activities like this,” Jenny Lavender, manager of Volunteer Services, said. “SOMC is so grateful for the work the volunteers do and of all the time they so graciously provide, this is just one way we can show our appreciation.”


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer at SOMC, please call 740-356-8236.

Wellington Joins in River Days Children’s Activities


Wellington, the Wellness Hound mascot for Southern Ohio Medical Center made a special appearance at the River Days Festival, Sept. 5. He participated in the children’s activities at York Park, sponsored by the Kiwanis of Portsmouth. Jenny Lavender, the president of Kiwanis and the manager of Volunteer Services at SOMC has organized the event for 11 years. Pictured above is Wellington with Lylianah Brock of Wheelersburg.

SOMC to Form New Chapter of Mended Hearts

On an effort to provide support for local heart patients, several employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Services have teamed up to form a local chapter of the Mended Hearts program.

The Mended Hearts, Inc. is a national nonprofit support organization that includes heart patients, spouses, healthcare professionals and others interested in helping patients with the emotional recovery from heart disease. With 280 community-based chapters nationwide, Mended Hearts has 24,000 members, making it the largest heart-related patient support group.

“Members assist cardiac patients with an extensive accredited visitors program, support groups, health information workshops, social and special events and other volunteer activities,” Keri Imm, nurse manager of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at SOMC, said. “Mended Hearts has been offering hope and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers for 50 years and the outreach and support is a proven benefit to the community.”

Imm added that while heart patient-to-patient visits are the core of the Mended Hearts’ program, volunteers do not have to be a patient. Caregivers, family members of patients, physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals and anyone else interested are invited to participate.

The first meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Oct. 5 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. in Portsmouth. For more information or to reserve your seat, please call Keri Imm at 740-356-7663.

Roberts and Roberts Welcomed at SOMC

Rita S. Roberts, DO and her son, Philip M. Roberts, DO will be joining the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center. Both physicians are board certified in Family Practice.

Dr. Rita Roberts received her medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003. She completed an internship and residency at Southern Ohio Medical Center from 2003 to 2006. Dr. Roberts is a member of the Shawnee State University board of trustees.

Dr. Rita Roberts has been in practice with her son at the Family Health Center in Waverly, Ohio for the past four years. She was a pediatric nurse practioner for 20 years both at the Family Health Center and with Dr. John Ditraglia.

Dr. Philip Roberts received his medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2004. He competed an internship and residency at Southern Ohio Medical Center from 2004 to 2007. Dr. Roberts is the husband of Dr. Jennifer Roberts, a physician specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology at SOMC.

“We are really excited about coming to SOMC,” Dr. Philip Roberts, said. “We are looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”

Roberts and Roberts Family Practice, LLC is currently accepting appointments and will open Oct. 4. The office is located on the SOMC main campus, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 206, Portsmouth, Ohio. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 740-354-7600.