Infectious Disease Specialist Babic Welcomed At SOMC

Maja Babic, MD, a physician specializing in infectious diseases, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Babic received her medical degree from the Belgrade Medical School, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University Hospitals of Cleveland. She also completed internships at the University Hospitals of Belgrade and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and served as a general practitioner at Belgrade Medical Center. She and her husband, Dr. Claus Simpfendorfer, a radiologist practicing at Southern Ohio Medical Center, reside in the West Portsmouth area with their two children.

Dr. Babic can be reached at SOMC Physician Specialty Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 206, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 355-9240 for more information.

Suttles joins Umhoefer Practice

Jill Suttles, FNP, B.C., has joined the practice of Dr. Kimberly Umhoefer, 1735 27th Street, Waller Bldg., Suite 204, on the main campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Suttles earned her degree as a board certified, Family Nurse Practitioner from Marshall University. She is also a Registered Nurse with 16 years nursing experience prior to receiving her nurse practitioner’s certification. Suttles and her family reside in Wheelersburg.

Dr. Umhoefer’s practice specializes in Internal Medicine and provides both inpatient and outpatient care to adult patients 18 years and older. For information or to schedule an appointment, call 355-8930.

Lichtenstein Certified

Sonja Lichetenstein, M.D., General Surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently received her certification in wound care from the Council for Medical Education and Testing.

Dr. Lichtenstein received her medical degree from State University of New York and completed her training at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. She is board certified in general surgery.

The SOMC Wound Healing Center is located on the main campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center in the Rardin Building. For more information on wound healing at SOMC call 356-8775.

Breast Cancer Support Group

The Breast Cancer Support group will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Golden Corral restaurant in New Boston. This will be the annual Christmas party. In lieu of gifts, please bring canned goods to be donated to area church food pantries. For more information or to ride share, call Georgene Bussey at 354-2902.

LIFE Center to begin Youth Conditioning Program

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s LIFE Center will begin a Youth Conditioning Program on Jan. 6, 2009. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Portsmouth facility.

Children ages 8 to 14-years-old are invited to participate. Classes are supervised by certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors. Fees may be paid monthly and are $40 for LIFE Center members and $50 for non-members. New participants may join at any time.

For more information, contact Jim Kolar at 740-356-7566.

LIFE Center to Host Open House

Already making resolutions to start the year off healthy and fit? The Southern Ohio Medical Center LIFE Center is making resolutions to help. The LIFE Center is planning a preview of what you can expect in group fitness, personal training and equipment available to help you meet your goals.

“January is the start of a brand new year that gets a lot of people motivated to set healthy goals. We want to give people the opportunity to see all we provide in helping meet those goals,” said Gary Coovert, Director of the SOMC LIFE Center.

The LIFE Center will host an open house on Jan. 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. WNXT Disc Jockey Steve Hayes will host the evening with a live remote. Group fitness instructors will be conducting demonstrations of the various classes offered and will feature the latest addition to the line-up, Zumba™.

“Zumba™ is a fun, energetic, easy and effective workout that is perfect for all ages,” said Debbie Kielmar, lead group fitness instructor at the SOMC LIFE Center. “There is just something in the beat of Latin music that is energizing and gets you moving.”

The SOMC LIFE Center will be open to the public during this time. Guests can take advantage of tours, demonstrations, equipment usage and enjoy refreshments and prizes.

“Our staff will be available to answer questions, give demonstrations and give information on the various programs that take place throughout the year. This is a great opportunity to learn everything you need to know about starting the year off right with a health and wellness resolution,” Coovert explained. “And if you are planning to join the LIFE Center, we will waive the enrollment fee during this time. This is a savings of $50.”

For more information on the SOMC LIFE Center Open House, contact the LIFE Center at 356-7650.

New HDR Technology at SOMC

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently acquired new technology to speed the breast cancer treatment process. This new procedure is called MammoSite HDR (high dose rate) partial breast irradiation, it will reduce radiation therapy from six-seven weeks to five days.

Dr. Vincent Scarpinato, Senior Medical Director for the Department of Surgery was instrumental in bringing this new technique to SOMC.  The procedure begins with removal of the tumor from the patient, followed by the placement of a catheter (small tube) leading to where the cancer was removed. This device, the MammoSite balloon catheter, is used by the radiation oncologist a few days later for partial breast irradiation known as brachytherapy.

“With this procedure, the patient receives treatment from inside the cavity where the tumor was removed rather than with an external beam pointed from the outside,” Dr. Scarpinato explained. “This dramatically reduces the time and number of treatments necessary and most patients have their therapy completed in five days.”

MammoSite partial-breast irradiation is a technique that delivers more focused radiation to a smaller area of breast tissue. The MammoSite device is a double channel balloon catheter consists of a silicon balloon and a 15 cm catheter.

The catheter on the MammoSite device attaches to a special machine called a High Dose Rate (HDR) machine. This machine inserts a tiny radioactive seed into the middle of the balloon, which delivers radiation only to the area around the balloon. After several minutes the seed is withdrawn. After the treatments are complete, the balloon is deflated and the MammoSite device is removed.

“This approach allows for a much higher, very localized dose of exposure that kills the remaining cancer cells at the site. Whereas previously the patient may chose mastectomy, complete removal of the breast, HDR brachytherapy offers an opportunity to have a lumpectomy and radiation therapy that preserves the breast,” said Dr. Li-Fen Lien Chang, Senior Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Services. “This procedure also lessons the time needed to receive radiation therapy. Patients can receive this treatment in five days rather than six to seven and half weeks.”

After the treatment, the oncologist can remove the catheter and the cavity will fill up naturally with body fluid. Not all breast cancer patients are good candidates for MammoSite partial breast irradiation. Approximately 64 percent of breast cancer patients are potential candidates for the HDR approach. Five-year data is now available showing the procedure has comparable low recurrent rate compare to traditional external beam irradiation.

“Currently there are nationwide clinical trials to further define the best candidate for this technology. We exclude very young patients (<45 years old), very large tumors (>3 cm), positive lymph node metastasis, positive resection margin or when the balloon surface is too close to the skin (<7mm). If you are a breast cancer patient and are interested in MammoSite HDR brachytherapy, please contact SOMC Cancer Center for an appointment. We are so proud to bring this technology to the Greater Portsmouth area,” said Chang.

Hospice Ornaments Available

SOMC Hospice, part of Southern Ohio Medical Center, is once again offering a unique way to remember loved ones during the holidays and to support patient care to those currently using Hospice services. This year’s ornament is a beautiful pewter ornament (pictured) with a Million Miles Apart poem engraved on it. As in the past, the ornament will include an engraved tag which can display the name of the person you are honoring.  Orders will be taken until December 31.  The cost is $25.  For more information and to place an order call 353-2567.

SOMC to Ring in the Season Through Annual Hollydays Event

The annual week-long Hollydays celebration at Southern Ohio Medical Center is one of the hospital’s biggest fundraisers, raising an average of more than $30,000 per year. Pictured above are Hollydays sponsors Mike Dunlap of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company (left) and Scott Davis of the Roger W Davis Funeral Home (right), along with Holldays Committee Members (from left) Tami Davis, Penny Chamberlin, Jenny Lavender and Janet Williams.

The annual Hollydays celebration at Southern Ohio Medical Center has reached its 25th milestone and community members have cordially been invited to celebrate during the fundraiser’s week of events, which all take place at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth.

“Hollydays is one of our organization’s biggest fundraisers and we spend months planning it out and seeing that it runs smoothly,” Tami Davis, chairman of the Hollydays committee at SOMC, said. “The celebration is split into multiple days and activities in hopes of providing fun and holiday cheer for all types and ages of people.”

Hollydays will kick off with a semi-formal Opening Night Gala at 6 p.m. Nov. 21. The evening will feature food, silent and live auctions, craft vendors, live entertainment and a wine tasting conducted by local experts, Dr. George and Sandy White. Tickets are $40 per person with a cash bar available. “The gala is the biggest night of the fundraiser and is always our most heavily attended event,” Davis said. “This year we’ve changed it up by doing away with the typical sit-down dinner and offering more of a mix and mingle atmosphere. We’re hoping this will encourage attendees to talk more, get up and dance and take a better look at all the decorations that are available for auction.”

The specially decorated wreaths, trees and centerpieces also may be viewed during the weekend’s public exhibition from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23. The exhibition will feature entertainment from local performers, craft vendors, children games and a snack bar. Tickets are $2 per person.

Children also are invited to enjoy a meal with the jolly man himself during Breakfast with Santa from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the Gift Gallery on the Main Campus or the Volunteer Office at the Friends Center.

Other events planned for the week include the Hollydays Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 25 and the Train Show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 29 and noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 30.

“There are many people who help make this event what it is and we thank them all for their continued support,” Davis said. “This fundraiser is a great opportunity for our hospital and a wonderful way for family and friends to get together, get in the holiday spirit and gear up for the coming season. We hope to see everyone there!”

Hollydays is sponsored in part by the Friends of SOMC, AAA, American Savings Bank, BB & E, Inc., BesTitle Agency, Inc., Century 21 Empire Realty, Dr. and Mrs. David Mays, Dr. and Mrs. Robert Schrimpf, Dr. and Mrs. Kendall Stewart, Edward Jones Investments, Hillview Retirement Community, LIFE Ambulance, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sammons, Mr. and Mrs. Tom and Vicki Noel, Party Connection, Pepsi Cola Bottling Co., Portsmouth Area Ladies, Inc. and USEC. All proceeds collected will benefit projects at SOMC.

For tickets or additional information, please call the Friends Community Center at 356-7101.