‘Heart & Vascular’ Category


SOMC Heart and Vascular Services Pass ODH Inspection

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently passed inspection from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Adult Open Heart Programs.

“The success of passing this inspection ensures our community that we conduct a compliant program that offers best practice heart care,” said Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services.

The ODH surveyors arrived at SOMC July 16 for a two-day site visit to review the entities of both programs in detail, tour the cath lab and open-heart facilities, as well as observe several surgical procedures.

“The surveyors were very complimentary of our team and the preparation that occurred for this site visit,” said Fraulini. “The surveyors travel all over the state reviewing health care facilities and they were wowed by our Heart and Vascular Center, the flow of patient care, how well our staff worked together, and our overall patient satisfaction.”

The five areas of the inspection included: physical building and equipment; patient care; staffing; administrative policies and procedures; and patient rights. The surveyors also interviewed open-heart patients and their families to gain a better understand of the care that was provided to them while at SOMC.

“This site visit was the first of many for SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Services and ODH will return once every three years, unannounced,” said Fraulini. “This achievement is yet another way to measure our progress toward obtaining the highest quality of heart and vascular care available.”

Vascular Surgeon Hochstetler Welcomed At SOMC

Marion Hochstetler, MD, a physician specializing in vascular surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Hochstetler received his medical degree from Northeaster Ohio Universities 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 Systems in Greenville, SC. He is board certified in general surgery.

He can be reached at SOMC Surgical Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 102, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 353-3562 for more information.

Dr. Hochstetler will also begin accepting patients at the SOMC Wound Healing Center beginning Aug. 5. Patients may self refer to the center or have their family physician refer by calling 356-8775.

SOMC Receives Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation

After completing a rigorous assessment and application process, Southern Ohio Medical Center has received full Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

“Chest Pain Accreditation ensures that our patients are receiving the highest quality treatment needed during the critical early stages of a heart attack, helping to avoid as much heart damage as possible,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said.

“It also ensures that we are meeting, exceeding and providing the highest quality of heart and vascular care available and verifies that we are on target with other heart care programs around the country.”

To receive the accreditation, SOMC had to meet the criteria of eight key elements which included: Emergency Department integration with Emergency Medical Services (EMS); timely diagnosis and treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS); assessment of patients with low ACS risk and no assignable cause for symptoms; process improvement; personnel, competencies and training; organizational structure and commitment; functional facility design; and community outreach.

“When we started our journey toward Cycle 1 Accreditation in 2005, we developed a Chest Pain Committee consisting of Emergency and Cardiology physicians, EMS, and hospital and nursing personnel who worked to meet the stringent standards associated with Acute Coronary Syndrome patients,” Fraulini explained.

The hard work, planning and processes developed by the group paid off, and SOMC received Cycle I Accreditation in 2006. A Cycle II Chest Pain Accreditation subteam was then formed from members of the previous committee, who submitted the Cycle II application last November. The process was followed by a site visit in early 2009.

“This accreditation is a critical component of the continuum of heart and vascular care that we’re providing for our community,” Fraulini added. “It not only validates our commitment, but further complements our goal of bringing state of the art, best practice heart and vascular care to our patients.”

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Asher Welcomed At SOMC

Alain Asher, MD, a physician specializing in Cardiothoracic Surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Asher received his medical degree from the University of Paris, Paris, France. He completed a residency in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery from Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. He is board certified in General and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Asher can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for more information.

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 second year SOMC had 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.

This year 962 business have been named Start! Fit Friendly Companies.

SOMC Physicians Receive Vascular Interpretation Certification

Three Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) physicians have received certification in vascular interpretation from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), a national accrediting organization.

Dr. George Esham, Dr. Thomas Khoury and Dr. Michael Martin received the Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) credential after meeting specific educational and professional qualifications and completing a comprehensive written examination. The RPVI credential is offered exclusively to vascular ultrasound and technology physicians.

This certification reinforces SOMC’s commitment to clinical excellence and strengthens the degree of confidence patients have while receiving treatment at the hospital.

Dr. Esham is medical director of the Cardiovascular Lab and Cardiopulmonary Rehab Unit. He received his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his training at the University of South Alabama. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has been a member of the SOMC medical staff for 27 years.

Dr. Khoury is chief of surgery at SOMC. He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut and completed his surgical training at the University of Miami, Fla., and Harvard University/Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass. He completed his cardiovascular research fellowship at Boston University and vascular surgery training at Tuft’s University Baystate Medical Center. He is board-certified in surgery and has been on staff at SOMC for 16 years.

Dr. Martin, an internal medicine specialist, received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed his training at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has been a member of the SOMC medical staff for 15 years.

ARDMS is an independent non-profit organization that administers examinations and awards credentials in the areas of diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic cardiac sonography, vascular interpretation and vascular technology.

SOMC Leading the Way in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Dr. Henry Childers with Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is leading the way in minimally invasive procedures and currently is the only organization in the region performing these procedures in heart surgery.

“Minimally invasive heart surgery allows the patient to undergo a heart procedure without the extensive opening necessary to get to the areas that need repair. It also allows the patient a much faster recovery time,” said Henry Childers, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the SOMC Heart and Vascular Unit.

Minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through a small incision, no more than four inches, made in the patient’s chest cavity in order to conduct the procedure. By using this procedure, no bone or muscle is cut and the patient incurs a smaller incision area, which reduces pain and scaring. This process also reduces the risk of infection, causes less bleeding, pain and trauma to the chest cavity and decreases the length of stay in the hospital.

“We have been able to get patients back on their feet in as little as 24-hours after their surgery. Recovery time is also drastically reduced from the average recovery time of traditional heart surgery of up to eight weeks due to the fact that we do not have to cut bone. With this procedure, recovery time is as little as two weeks,” Childers explained.

“I feel 100% better,” said Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure. “I have a lot more energy. I can do my housework and can watch my grandson play ball. I couldn’t do that before the surgery.”

Childers explained that heart valve surgeries, including valve repairs and valve replacements are the most common types of minimally invasive procedures, however the process can also be used for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, epicardial lead placement and atrial fibrillation.

“We are continually staying ahead of the pack on techniques and technology at SOMC. This procedure eliminates the cutting of muscles and bone which lessons the amount of time patients are in the operating room and reduces the amount of time needed for recovery,” he said.

Ruby said her recovery time was extremely fast. “I had my surgery on Tuesday and was home by Saturday. I was up and moving around and already felt great. I’m now in rehab and walking on the treadmill.”

Childers specialized in minimally invasive procedures during training at Cornell Medical Center in New York and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued to perfect this technique over the years, leading the way in the region. For more information on this procedure contact SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Associates at 356-8772.

Cook With Heart focuses on healthy eating habits

Lisa Carmichael, medical technician at Southern Ohio Medical Center, preps a community member for a glucose reading at last year’s heart event, Sing with Heart. This year’s event, Cook with Heart, will take place at the SOMC Friends Community Center, on Feb. 24, from 2 to 7 p.m. and will provide free health screenings on various healthy-heart indicators including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and heart risk analysis.

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its fourth annual heart awareness program, “Cook with Heart,” from 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 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 cooking demonstrations of various recipes that promote healthy eating. Demonstrations will begin at 4 p.m. with free samples to be offered by SOMC Dietary Services.

“In order to have a healthy heart, you have to have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to prepare quick and easy meals that are good for you and maintain great taste,” Fraulini said.

While learning healthy cooking tips, participants also will be able to take part in free health screenings which will begin at 2 p.m. and 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 Cook with Heart, or to schedule your free heath screening, please call 740-356-7665.

Anticoagulation Clinic part of Heart and Vascular process

The Anticoagulation Clinic is located on Oakland Avenue on the South Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Patients who have had heart valve replacements, had complicated surgeries, blood clots, or heart beat irregularities may be asked to take Coumadin to help slow the blood clotting process. These medications, known as anticoagulants, are used to prevent major complications, such as vessel or valve obstruction, or strokes. In order to properly administer and monitor patients using these medications, Southern Ohio Medical Center houses a specialized department called the SOMC Anticoagulation Clinic.

“Our facility is always dedicated to nationally recognized best practices and having an anticoagulation clinic, on-site. Providing this service along with our other heart and vascular areas is best practice,” said Rory Phillips, RPh, Director of Pharmacy at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

SOMC’s Anticoagulation Clinic opened its doors in 2002 in order to bring state of the art treatment methods to patients in our area. Now, part of the overall heart and vascular process, Phillips said SOMC services encompass all aspects of total heart and vascular care.

“Our pharmacists have more than 45 years of combined experience in caring for Coumadin patients in the outpatient setting. Five hospital pharmacists rotate through the clinic, most of which are Doctor of Pharmacy graduates, but all have national certification in anticoagulation” he explained.

Phillips said the clinic results exceed national patient safety and quality standards with a proven track record that has been shared across the United States at other healthcare organizations and national conferences.

“We have exceeded the Joint Commissions quality standards and patient satisfaction expectations in our clinic and have shared our practices to help other organizations make improvements. Like with everything we do at Southern Ohio Medical Center, we set the bar high so that we are continually focused on providing the highest quality care,” he shared.

SOMC’s Anticoagulation Clinic is located on Oakland Avenue on the South Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center and cares for more than 825 patients currently. For more information on anticoagulation and other related services, contact the clinic at 356-7539.