March, 2012


SOMC Sports Motion announces All Sport Combine for local athletes

SOMC Sports Motion is offering an All Sport Combine for local athletes on May 12 at Valley High School. The event, which is open to athletes of any sport entering grades 9 through 12 as well as graduating seniors, includes several classic combine drills. Registration costs $15 and must becompleted by May 1.

Competitions include the 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press and squats. Following the competition, individual event as well as ‘all school’ champions will be named.

“We’re very excited about this event because it gives our athletes another opportunity to compete and improve their skills,” Brett Lacy, Community Relations Coordinator for SOMC’s Outpatient Rehab, said. “We have tremendous athletes in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. Not only does this give them a chance to work on their abilities, it’s also another opportunity for some friendly competition between the athletes and their schools.”

Athletes are asked to wear t-shirts, gym shorts and flat sole tennis shoes to the event. For certain events, cleats may also be worn. Official results will be mailed to the athletes’ home after the event. The public is also encouraged to attend and cheer on the athletes.

Registration forms will be made available at local high schools as well as the SOMC LIFE Center. Once completed, they should be mailed to:

High School Combine
SOMC LIFE Center
1202 18th Street
Portsmouth, OH 45694

For additional information on SOMC Sports Motion’s All Sport Combine, please contact Brad Zieber at 740-356-7572 or Matt Wilson at 740-356-7650.

SOMC Earns HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award

For the third year in a row, Emergency Services of Southern Ohio Medical Center have been recognized for their impressive achievements in patient care, once again earning the HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award.

SOMC is one of only 263 hospitals nationwide to earn the prestigious award for 2012, which is determined through a study of patients admitted to the hospital from the emergency room for further medical treatment. The findings are based on an analysis of more than seven million Medicare patient records from 2008 to 2010.

“Receiving this award places us among the top 5 percent of emergency medical services in the nation and is quite a testament to the superior emergency care we are providing to the patients who enter SOMC,” Dr. Jason Cheatham, medical director for SOMC Emergency Services, said. “We have an outstanding team of physicians, nurses and staff members working to treat our patients with the highest quality care the minute they present to the ED and this award reflects that success.”

The HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals report focused on 12 of the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies, including bowel obstruction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and stroke.

Other findings of the HealthGrades report stated that Medicare patients treated at hospitals recognized with a HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award had, on average, a 41.52 percent lower risk of death compared to patients treated at non-recipient hospitals. If all hospitals performed at the level of the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award recipient hospitals, an additional 170,856 people could have potentially survived hospitalization from 2008-2010.

“Our findings show the care you receive once admitted to the hospital can also make the difference between life and death,” Dr. Arshad Rahim, report author and director of Accelerated Clinical Excellence at HealthGrades, said. “We encourage all patients to educate themselves about the quality of emergency medical providers in their area and to choose a top performing hospital whenever there is a choice.”

HealthGrades is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, helping consumers make informed decisions about physicians and hospitals. For more information about the Emergency Services provided at SOMC, please visit them on the web at www.somc.org.

SOMC Recognizes Certified Nurses for Enhanced Patient Care

March 19 is annually celebrated around the country as Certified Nurses Day—a time to thank and recognize certified nurses for bringing an increased value and quality of work to their organization.

Southern Ohio Medical Center will use this day as an opportunity to honor the hospital’s 170 board certified nurses who provide excellent care to their patients every day.

“It is my pleasure to express gratitude for the proficiency and leadership our nurses demonstrate through achieving and maintaining national board certification in their specialty,” Chief Nursing Officer Claudia Burchett, vice president of SOMC Nursing Services, said. “Nurses represent one of the most critical and essential components of our modern healthcare system and we are very proud of their hard work, dedication and professionalism toward providing excellent patient care at SOMC.”

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

Studies have even linked certification to the quality of patient care, stating that certified nurses earn enhanced credibility and can directly impact such important care-related issues as falls, pressure ulcers, and pain knowledge.

“When nurses acquire additional certification, it creates an environment of specialized competency that can’t always be achieved through other means, adding strength to a person’s nursing abilities and contribution toward patient care,” Valerie DeCamp, director of SOMC Inpatient Services, said. “This day gives us a chance to recognize and encourage nurses to pursue this step in their careers.”

“We realize that it takes personal dedication and persistence to achieve and maintain certification, and we value all of our certified employees for their commitment to excellence,” Burchett added. “Our hospital is very grateful for their continued efforts and strides in creating an environment of enhanced patient care.”

Scioto Guild now 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), Hybrid Geranium (red), New Guinea Impatiens (red, orange, purple, blackberry cream), Purple Wave Petunias, Blue Angel, or Million Bells (yellow, terra cotta, blue) for $15; baskets of eight Geranium plants (in pots; red, salmon, pink) for $20; and hanging ferns (Boston, fluffy-frilly) for $12.

All orders must be placed by March 30. Pick up will take place May 6 and 7 at the Friends Community Center, 18th St., Portsmouth. Proceeds will benefit the SOMC Breast and Cancer centers. To place an order, please call Linda Spires at 353-6208 or Rosalee Greene at 353-2075.

SOMC Nursing Research Highlighted at National Conference

Nurses of the Emergency Department at Southern Ohio Medical Center were recently selected to present at the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Leadership Conference held Feb. 22-26 in New Orleans, La.

More than 2,000 emergency nurses from across the United States and the world gathered at the conference to discuss trends and topics related to their profession including leadership, communication, healthcare reform, patient satisfaction, and other ideas to improve emergency department operations.

SOMC staff members presented two of the 39 research and evidenced-based posters displayed at the conference: Julie Hiles, RN, BSN, assistant nurse manager of the SOMC Emergency Department and Pediatrics, Jennifer Foit, RN, BSN, and ED Clinical Coordinator Angela Hodge presented, “Emergency Department: The Frontline Defender for Pertussis Prevention,” while Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, director of nursing for SOMC Emergency, Pediatrics & Outpatient Services presented, “Decreasing Wait Time to Provider with Treatment Triage Teams: Keeping Vertical Patient Vertical.”

Pictured at the conference (l to r) are Foit, Hiles and Hodge.

SOMC, OhioHealth bring expert stroke care to Portsmouth

Southern Ohio Medical Center is now utilizing technology that ensures stroke patients in Portsmouth are never far from neurologists who specialize in stroke care. SOMC is just the 10th site-hospital in Ohio to utilize the program, which is available through a partnership with OhioHealth.

“By using a two-way video and audio system, our nurses are able to work side-by-side with neurologists from the OhioHealth Stroke Network,” SOMC’s Administrative Director of Nursing Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs said. “Through this collaboration, we’re able to offer patients in Portsmouth more efficient treatments and increase their chances of a better outcome.”

For stroke patients, a few hours can be the difference between a full recovery and permanent neurological damage. Time is of the essence, and SOMC will be able to limit the amount of time it takes to accurately diagnose strokes thanks to their access to the OhioHealth Stroke Network.

In addition to helping diagnose patients with more speed and precision, SOMC will also use the OhioHealth Stroke Network to develop a treatment plan.

“This technology serves as an extra set of eyes and ears in real-time communication,” Dr. Jason Cheatham, Medical Director for Emergency Services, said. “It provides us with valuable patient evaluation and support.”

Janice Love was one of the first patients to experience the benefits of SOMC’s collaboration with the OhioHealth Stroke Network. It’s a collaboration that she says helped put her at ease during a recent hospital visit.

“My physician at SOMC was able to work with another doctor through the OhioHealth Stroke Network,” Love said. “They were both able to see me, talk to me and make sure I was doing alright. It was absolutely amazing.

“I just congratulate SOMC for bringing this technology to Portsmouth,” Love added. “It saved me because, through it, they were able to avert a stroke.”

SOMC honors volunteers with luncheon

Volunteers from Southern Ohio Medical Center enjoy a banquet held in their honor. SOMC rewarded its volunteers with the well-attended luncheon in the Friends Center, praising them for the work they do to help SOMC provide excellent care to its patients. In addition to luncheons, volunteers are also given reduced rates at the LIFE Center, free flu vaccinations and more. SOMC Volunteer Services can be reached at 740-356-8236.

Cantrell Named Risk Manager at SOMC

Tiffany Cantrell, RN, BSN, has been named a risk manager of Patient Safety at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Cantrell received her associate’s degree in Nursing from Shawnee State University in 2006 and a bachelors of Science in Nursing from Ohio University in 2011. She has been a part of the SOMC family since 2004, previously working as a nursing assistant, assistant nurse manager, and clinical educator of the Orthopedic Care Unit. She currently resides with her family in Portsmouth

In cooperation with SOMC, Mended Hearts forms new chapter in Portsmouth

In an effort to secure support for a growing number of heart patients in the Portsmouth area, Mended Hearts, Inc. is happy to announce the formation of its newest chapter in cooperation with SOMC.

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 300 community-based chapters nationwide and 18,000 members nationwide, Mended Hearts is the largest heart-related patient support group in the United States.

“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 SOMC Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, said. “Mended Hearts has been offering hope and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers for 60 years and we hope to keep that tradition alive right here in Portsmouth with as much outreach and support as possible.”

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

The group’s next meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. March 20 at the Friends Community Center. For more information, call 740-356-7663.