‘Heart & Vascular’ Category

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.”

SOMC Provides Screenings at Garden With Heart

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently provided more than 150 free screenings during Garden With Heart, held Feb. 16. The event raised awareness of heart health, provided education and hosted local health vendors. Special guest, John Marra, WSAZ’s garden expert (center) offered gardening advice to audience members and promoted healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Shown with Marra are staff members of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Services.

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 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.

SOMC Vascular Surgeon Receives High Satisfaction Scores

If you ask Marion Hochstetler, M.D., vascular surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center, what he does for a living, he’ll jokingly say, “I’m a human plumber.”

“If a vein or artery is blocked, I go in and remove the blockage,” Hochstetler said. “I spent two years specifically studying artery and vein diseases.”

He was raised on a farm in Orrville, Ohio.  In his free time, he enjoys hunting and spending time with his wife and two children. Hochstetler’s uncle was a physician who taught him a variety of skills and inspired him to become a surgeon.

While only practicing with the Surgery Associates of SOMC for six months, Hochstetler has already made quite an impression on the employees at SOMC, achieving the 99th percentile in the most recent satisfaction survey.

One of Dr. Hochstetler’s patients, Merlyn Cole, 73, from South Webster said, “He is the most wonderful physician. He’s so down to earth and the ‘doc’ explained everything in a way my wife and I could easily understand, which calmed our nerves.”

Dr. Hochstetler literally “plumbed” Cole’s arteries in his legs to relieve blockage created by the build up of cholesterol. Cole used to walk two miles everyday until he began to feel pain in his legs. After correcting his artery blockage, he feels better than he has in years and is thankful for Dr. Hochstetler.

“Dr. Hochstetler is a breath of fresh air,” Sally Berry, RN, CNOR, staff nurse in surgery, said. “He is relaxed with his patients which in turn lowers their anxiety. I wish I was on his surgery team just so I could work with him more often.”

In addition to removing blockage from patients’ legs, Dr. Hochstetler offers a variety of vascular and surgical services. He treats peripheral arterial disease, complex aneurysms, aortic diseases, varicose veins, venous and diabetic ulcers, placement and revision of dialysis access, and the management of neck artery blockage with stenting or open surgical treatment.

One such patient is Mr. Homer Lute, who suffered from severe neck artery blockage. Lute, 73, from McDermott felt short of breath and came to SOMC’s emergency department. During his workup, he was found to have critical neck artery blockage, placing him at high risk for having a stroke.  Dr. Hochstetler performed surgery to remove the blockage and he went home the next day.

“Just before the new year, I had my surgery. Dr. Hochstetler made me feel comfortable and everything went smoothly,” Lute said. “He is a very good doctor and I would recommend him to anyone.”

Cole added,“You won’t find a better doctor anywhere. I’ve been to the big cities for healthcare but the care I’ve received at SOMC is excellent and we are lucky to have Dr. Hochstetler here in Portsmouth.”

Dr. Hochstetler is currently accepting patients and can be reached at the SOMC Surgical Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building, Suite 102, Portsmouth, Ohio. Call (740) 353-3562 for more information.