March, 2014


Minford girl scouts donate cookies to hospice

Girl Scout Troop 1217 of Minford recently donated more than 85 boxes of girl scout cookies to the patients and staff at SOMC Hospice. The troop, led by Stephanie Neu and Julie Bennett, is comprised entirely of kindergarteners from Minford Elementary. For more information on SOMC Hospice, visit somc.org or “like” SOMC on Facebook.

“Amazing Race” registration open

Fans of “The Amazing Race” have an opportunity to feel the thrill of the competition for themselves. Southern Ohio Medical Center is hosting a local “Amazing Race” competition in conjunction with several local sponsors.

The event is comprised of a series of events meant to provide both a physical and mental challenge, while also being fun and entertaining. “Amazing Race” teams will compete against one another for the chance to win up to $2,500.

Teams may consist of no more than four people, all of whom must be at least 18 years of age. If preferred, individuals are also permitted to compete on their own. Creative team names, and even costumes, are also encouraged.

Once a team has been formed, it has until April 12 to register. Registration may be completed at TriStateRacer.com and costs $150 per team. All participants will also be asked to sign a waiver in order to participate.

Proceeds from the “Amazing Race” will go towards to the SOMC Development Foundation’s Community Health and Wellness Fund, which supports health and fitness opportunities in the community.

SOMC announces “Pot of Gold” winner

After two weeks of voting, the Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Children’s Theater (PAAC) has successfully won SOMC’s “Pot of Gold” Facebook contest. As a result, PAAC will be receiving a $5,000 donation from SOMC.

However, the other organizations featured in the contest will not be going home empty-handed. SOMC will also be donating $500 to the second and third place finishers as well as $250 to those who finished fourth and fifth.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Children’s Theater (PAAC)
  2. Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America (Tecumseh District)
  3. Portsmouth Public Library
  4. Scioto County Homeless Shelter
  5. Southern Ohio War Memorial

“We are proud to be in a position to support our community, and it’s especially fulfilling when we can let our friends and neighbors be a part of the process,” Director of Community Relations and Development Kara Redoutey said. “We’re proud of all five organizations featured for both the work they do for our community, and for having supporters who are so passionate about their cause.”

Every year, SOMC invests millions into the local community through financial contributions and charity care. This is the second time that SOMC has allowed the public to participate in a significant contribution through social media. In 2012, SOMC’s Community Valentine also allowed Facebook users to choose between five local organizations. The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund received the most votes in that contest.

“The members of our community are wonderful and, through social media, we’ve been able to reach out to them in a variety of ways,” Redoutey said. “Their engagement and feedback means a lot to us.”

For more information, visit www.somc.org or like SOMC on Facebook at facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.

Pediatric Guild donates to SOMC Maternity

The SOMC Pediatric Guild recently donated care packages with diapers and other necessities to maternity. The packages will be sent home with parents who otherwise may not be able to provide their new addition with the items. Pictured here are, from left to right, Nurse Manager of Maternity Services Jone Stone and Pediatric Guild members Taralyn Bernard, Debbie Daniels and Aubrey Roy.

Colon cancer risk factors and stages

Like many diseases, colon cancer is associated with several risk factors over which you have no control. For example, you cannot help it if you are older than 60 or have a family history of colon cancer. Being of African American or Eastern European descent can also increase your odds. Other factors to consider when evaluating your risk of colon cancer include having colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease or a personal history of breast cancer.

The fact that there are so many factors which are unavoidable, however, mean it is especially important for us to pay attention to the factors we can control.

As is the case with many cancers, smoking is one risk factor that is entirely preventable. Drinking large quantities of alcohol can also increase your chances of developing colon cancer, as can eating a lot of red or processed meats.

A healthy lifestyle can improve your odds of avoiding colon cancer – and regular screenings can help you catch it early if it still develops. Finding it in the early stages is your best bet if you do develop colon cancer. In fact, the five-year survival rate if found early is 90%.

The five stages of colon cancer are:

  • Stage 0: Very early cancer on the innermost layer of the intestine
  • Stage 1: Cancer is in the inner layers of the colon
  • Stage 2: Cancer has spread through the muscle wall of the colon
  • Stage 3: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other organs outside the colon

The five-year survival rate drops dramatically if cancer is not detected until the later stages, so if your lifestyle includes too many colon cancer risk factors make sure you are receiving regular screenings.

SOMC announces “Pot of Gold” Facebook competition

Southern Ohio Medical Center is encouraging its Facebook fans to vote in a new poll to determine the recipient of a $5,000 donation.

The competition will close on St. Patrick’s Day and, in honor of the holiday, has been titled “SOMC’s Pot of Gold.” It features five local organizations that touch the lives of our community in a variety of ways. Whoever receives the most votes will be awarded the entire $5,000 donation. The organizations featured are:

  • Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Children’s Theater;
  • Portsmouth Public Library;
  • Scioto County Homeless Shelter;
  • Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America (Tecumseh District);
  • Southern Ohio War Memorial

“Every year, SOMC invests millions into our community whether through charity care or donations like this,” Director of Community Relations and Development Kara Redoutey said. “What sets this apart, however, is that it gives our community an opportunity to be a part of the process.”

This is the second time that SOMC has allowed its Facebook fans to weigh in on a donation. Last year, the hospital highlighted five different organizations in a contest known as SOMC’s Community Valentine.

The final results will be recorded, and the winner announced, at noon on March 17. Participants in the contest must have a Facebook account and “like” SOMC’s fan page, located at facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.

March is colorectal cancer awareness month

The month of March is dedicated to raising awareness of colorectal cancer, which is the second-deadliest cancer in the United States. It can, however, be prevented. Finding and removing precancerous polyps that can develop into cancer can stop colorectal cancer before it even starts. Screenings can also detect colorectal cancer early, when it is most curable.

All adults over the age of 50 are at risk for colorectal cancer and should be screened for adenomatous polyps and cancer. Some people have a greater than average risk and should work with their doctor to develop an individualized screening plan. While screening is the most important way to prevent colorectal cancer, there are lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk for polyps and colorectal cancer.

Symptoms of colon or rectal cancer include:

•  A change in bowel habits

•  Blood in the stool

•  Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely

•  Stools that are narrower than usual

•  General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps).

•  Weight loss with no known reason

•  Constant tiredness or anemia that cannot be explained

•  Vomiting

Receiving a colonoscopy is one of the best ways to protect yourself from colon cancer, and is especially important for those over 50. To schedule your colonoscopy, please call 740-356-6828.