‘Heart & Vascular’ Category


When It’s A Matter Of The Heart, The McGraw’s Have It All In The Family

The McGraw’s are not only coworkers, but family. As employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center, they have all have been fortunate to receive excellent heart services at SOMC. Because of quality care and cardiac rehab, they are all on their way to long, healthy lives. Shown above is (from l to r) Randy, his wife Bobbi, Jake and Tim McGraw.

Imagine for a moment that you just finished assisting heart surgeons as they put a pacemaker into a patient. After the surgery, you grab some breakfast, sit down to eat and you begin to have a heart attack. Sheer panic…and terror. You yell for help from a co-worker. Luckily for Jake McGraw, he was working in a hospital when this happened to him, only three months ago.

Needless to say, Jake, a CVOR tech at Southern Ohio Medical Center, was grateful to be working at SOMC and only steps away from some of the best heart surgeons in the region. They rushed him to the emergency room and had him in the heart catheterization lab within six minutes. Jake had two stents inserted in his heart and a week later, had a pacemaker put in. Jake is only 46 years old.

Twenty-seven years ago, Jake’s father, Jacob McGraw, Sr. died of a sudden heart attack at the ironic age of 46. He too worked at SOMC, as the Maintenance Supervisor. Jake Jr. was overweight and had never felt any symptoms or warning signs. “I thought because of my father, that I might be more susceptible to heart issues and I was a little worried but I never thought something like this would happen.”

Jake’s frightening ordeal was enough to motivate his brothers, Randy McGraw and Tim McGraw, both employees of the SOMC Maintenance department, to have heart caths done to check their hearts for potential problems. According to the American Heart Association’s 2011 statistics, a premature parental history of a heart attack has been shown to approximately double the risk of a heart attack in men by 70 percent.

Tim had his heart cath done at SOMC only a week after Jake’s heart attack and luckily everything looked clear. Randy, the eldest brother, wasn’t so fortunate. His heart cath revealed significant blockage in his left main coronary artery, also known as the “widow maker.” Randy’s wife, Bobbi, also an employee at SOMC, wept when the physicians told her. Bobbi had just lost a close friend and coworker to a heart attack and she was scared for husband. The physicians at SOMC assured her that everything would be fine and they would take excellent care of Randy.

Randy had a stent put in his heart, stayed in the hospital overnight and went home the next day. “I’m so grateful that I had the heart cath done and that they found the blockage early,” he said. “I’m now in cardiac rehabilitation at SOMC and it’s excellent. I really think it’s helping.”

Since Jake’s heart attack, his other brother, two sisters, an aunt and his sister-in-law Bobbi have also had heart caths, tests and have talked with their family physicians about the severity of heart disease in the McGraw family.

February is American Heart Month and if you have a family history of heart disease, please schedule an appointment with your family physician to see if there is a need for cardiology follow-up. Also, SOMC offers a heart disease support group that meets monthly. For more information about the Mended Hearts group, please call 740-356-7663.

Southern Ohio Medical Center has choreographed a heart awareness music video featuring heart and cardiac rehab patients, members of the Mended Hearts group and employees who have had heart services at SOMC. The video also highlights the McGraw family. To watch the video, click here.

SOMC to Host Laugh With Heart, Feb. 15

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its sixth annual heart awareness program, “Laugh with Heart,” from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. in 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. Laughing for just 15 minutes a day can reduce stress, pain and conflict. This year’s event will feature live comedians Mark Wood and Jimmy Davis beginning at 3 p.m. “Laugh with Heart” is free and open to the public. “In order to have a healthy heart, you must have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to prevent heart disease and a fun way to do that is by laughing.” Fraulini added. While enjoying a comedian, participants will also be able to take part in free health screenings beginning at 2 p.m. The screenings include total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and a heart risk analysis. Pre-registration is required. For more information about Laugh with Heart or to schedule an appointment for your free health screening call 740-356-7665.

SOMC Heart Unit Provides Warm Hands, Warm Hearts This Winter

Warm Hearts

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Heart Care Unit concluded their annual “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” donation campaign Jan. 10, 2011. Through the project, the Heart Care Unit collects gloves, hats, scarves and coats from employees, patients and visitors. An overwhelming amount of items were collected this year and will be donated to homeless shelters throughout Scioto County. Sheila Whiteley, third-year family practice resident at SOMC (shown above), capped off this year’s event, donating 36 hand-knitted hats that she made herself. Whiteley said she began the task in early November, spending an estimated four hours creating each cap, for a total of 134 hours.

SOMC to Offer Heart Support Program, Jan. 18

The Heart and Vascular Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center have formed a local chapter of the Mended Hearts program and will meet from 5 to 7 p.m., Jan. 18 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. in Portsmouth. 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 adds 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. For more information or to reserve your seat, please call 740-356-7663.

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.

SOMC Donates School Supplies to Benefit Community

Employees at SOMC donated more than 4,000 items to the students of our local community during the 2010 United Way School Supply Drive. Pictured at the donation drop-off are: (front row, l to r) SOMC United Way Committee members Missy Hutchens, Beverly Stringer and United Way of Scioto County Executive Director Mary Peercy; and (back row) SOMC Junior Volunteers Kasey Manchester and Katie Maynard.

Employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center helped to donate 4,063 supply items for area school children during the 2010 United Way School Supply Drive, which took place July 30 at the hospital.

“Last year we collected a tremendous amount of school supplies and this year was no different,” Beverly Stinger, coordinator of the SOMC United Way campaign, said.

School supply lists were given to employees, with each item designated a point value, Stringer explained. For each point a staff member earned, they were given the chance to enter into one of five gift basket prize drawings.

Points also were tallied per department and SOMC Nutrition Services was named the overall winner of the competition. The department also won a pizza party and three of the available gift baskets; however, Nutrition Services has elected to donate the money that would be used for the pizza party to Sierra’s Haven.

Environmental Services came in second place followed by Medical Imaging, Administration and Performance Improvement. The total number of donations increased by 330 items from 2009.

“With the current economic times, it’s especially incredible to see the generosity displayed to our community by SOMC employees,” Mary Peercy, executive director of the United Way of Scioto County, said. “SOMC and its employees have always been a huge supporter of providing supplies for our local students and we thank them for their continued dedication.”

SOMC Recognized As A Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) has been named a Gold Level Start! Fit Friendly Company by the American Heart Association. This is the third year SOMC has earned the recognition.

The award is given to companies that demonstrate a commitment to promoting exercise and good nutrition in the workplace. To reach the gold level, a company must meet certain criteria including offering employees physical activity support, increasing healthy eating options at work and promoting a wellness culture.

According to the American Heart Association website, the Start! Fit Friendly program is designed promote positive change in businesses by recognizing companies that create a culture of physical activity in the workplace.

SOMC Vascular Surgeon Hochstetler Receives Certification

Marion Hochstetler, M.D., vascular surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently received board certification from the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Hochstetler received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio. He completed a residency in general surgery at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio and a fellowship in vascular surgery at Greenville Hospital in Greenville, S.C. He is now board certified in general surgery and vascular surgery.

Dr. Hochstetler is in practice with the SOMC Surgical Associates. The office is located at 1711 27th St., Braunlin Building Suite 402, Portsmouth, Ohio. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (740) 356-3562.

SOMC Hosted 10th Annual Love Your Heart

Becky Cooper, RN of SOMC’s Emergency Department assists two kindergarten students in using Doppler to hear their heartbeat during SOMC’s 10th Annual Love Your Heart educational event.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently hosted the 10th Annual Love Your Heart event, April 20 and 21. Since 2000, the program has used a Wizard of Oz theme to educate more than 10,000 five and six-year-old children about healthy heart habits.

Debbie O’Dell, kindergarten teacher at Portsmouth West, has brought her classes to Love Your Heart since the program started ten years ago. She explained that it’s good for her students to take a field trip and learn outside of the classroom.

“My students love coming to SOMC to learn about their hearts,” O’Dell said. “A lot of people don’t take care of their hearts and I think it’s due to a lack of education. If you teach the students while they are young, then they are more likely to utilize this knowledge as adults.”

When the schools arrived at the SOMC Friends Community Center, they were greeted by the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, Dorothy and other characters from the Wizard of Oz. The children learned that the Tin Man received a new heart and that he needs to learn how to take care of it. After the opening program, small groups were led through five different interactive stations where they learned how to feed, see, hear, feel and exercise their hearts.

“By using a storybook theme to present the information, SOMC staff assisted children in developing their cognitive learning skills,” Christy Aeh, nurse manager of ICU and program director for Love Your Heart, said. “This approach to teaching has been so successful that in May 2001, the ICU staff received the Seabury and Smith, Inc., Community Service Award, for our efforts in teaching area children about heart health.”

“Love Your Heart stemmed from the education team of the Intensive Care Unit,” Tony Smith, assistant nurse manager of the ICU, said. “I portray Tin Man every year and I really enjoy teaching the students and creating a connection between Tin Man’s heart and theirs.”

Schools from Wheelersburg, Northwest, Stanton, Clay, Notre Dame, South Webster, Green, Valley Portsmouth City and Minford brought 1,150 children to this year’s event. SOMC nursing staff and nursing students from Shawnee State University, Collins Career Center, Pike County, Rio Grande and Ohio University nursing students volunteered their time to help the event run smoothly.

“I think Love Your Heart is a great program and good education for kids,” Sarah Fox, SSU student volunteer and nurse resident at SOMC, said. “My niece came last year and she kept talking about how much fun it was.”

“Love Your Heart has proven to be one of the most successful programs conducted for kindergarten-aged children in the Scioto County area,” Aeh added. “We are grateful that SOMC can provide such a wonderful program for our community and we look forward to planning Love Your Heart 2011.”