‘Heart & Vascular’ Category


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.

SOMC Welcomes Cardiologist Jovanovich

Southern Ohio Medical Center has welcomed Daniel B. Jovanovich, MD, FACC, FSCAI, a physician specializing in cardiology, to the medical staff.

Dr. Jovanovich came to Portsmouth from Tullahoma, TN. He received his medical degree from Hahnemann University, Philadelpha, PA. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA., and a fellowship in Cardiology at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Dr. Jovanovich has served as director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at McKeesport Hospital, McKeesport, PA., and director of the Interventional Cardiac Cath Lab at Harton Regional Medical Center, Tullahoma, TN. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Interventions.

He and his wife, Lorie, reside in the West Portsmouth area. He can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH  45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for an appointment or more information.

SOMC Welcomes Cardiothoracic Surgeon Henry Childers

Henry E. Childers IV, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Childers joins SOMC as part of the expansion of Heart and Vascular Services in preparation for the arrival of open heart surgery at the hospital later this year. He came to Portsmouth following a successful surgical practice in Greensburg, PA.

A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Childers received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, completed his surgery residency at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a senior clinical associate in surgery at Cornell University Medical College and served as chief resident in the Department of Surgery at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. He has also practiced cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Division of Cadiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Childers and his wife, Dr. Maria Childers, a pediatrician, reside in the Wheelersburg area with their two children.

A member of SOMC Heart & Vascular Associates, Dr. Childers can be reached at 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth. Telephone (740) 356-8772 for more information.

Nationally Known Heart Nurse Speaks At SOMC

Nationally known Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist Barbara “Bobbie” Leeper, MN, RN, CCRN, from Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, presented a discussion on care and monitoring of heart surgery patients during SOMC Heart and Vascular Services’ Cardiac Symposium July 31 at the Friends Community Center. Leeper spoke to an audience of more than a hundred nurses and medical specialists from across the region during the symposium, which offered networking for professionals as Southern Ohio Medical Center prepares for the arrival of open heart surgery as part of expansion of services and facilities in 2008 and 2009.

Service Guild Supports SOMC Heart Education

Members of the Service Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented a $1,000 donation to the SOMC Love Your Heart program, which uses a Wizard of Oz theme to teach five- and six-year-olds how to create and maintain a healthy heart. The presentation was made during the annual event, which was held April 1, 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Shown at the presentation are Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the SOMC Intensive Care Unit; Tony Smith, assistant nurse manager of the SOMC ICU; Lora Maddix, RN and program coordinator; Freda Villiter, guild member; Alicia Fink, RN; Joyce Craig, guild member; Tami Peach, RN; Maxine Arnett, guild member; Korina Echinlaub, nurse educator of the SOMC ICU; and Teresa Barnett, RN.

PALS Support SOMC ‘Love Your Heart’

Members of the Portsmouth Area Ladies (PALS) recently presented a $1,000 donation to the Love Your Heart program at Southern Ohio Medical Center, which uses a Wizard of Oz theme to teach five- and six-year-olds how to create and maintain a healthy heart. The presentation was made during the annual event, which was held April 1, 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Shown at the presentation are Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the SOMC Intensive Care Unit; Tony Smith, assistant nurse manager of the SOMC ICU; Lora Maddix, RN and program coordinator; Freda Billiter, PALS member; Brenda Thacker, PALS member; Alicia Fink, RN; Maxine Arnett, PALS member; Tami Peach, RN; Teresa Barnett, RN; and Korina Echinlaub, nurse educator of the SOMC ICU.