SOMC Earns OSHA’s Highest Workplace Safety Leadership Status

eceiving the national gold standard for safety and health, Southern Ohio Medical Center has been awarded the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Designation. VPP is a cooperative program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

A ceremony with presentations by OSHA officials was held Thursday, Nov. 6 in the SOMC Cafeteria.

By earning VPP Star status, SOMC is in the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in safety excellence leadership.

“We maintain a focus on continual process improvement for patient and worksite safety,” Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of Health and Safety, said. “This honor means SOMC demonstrates some of the safest practices in the nation for both patients and our workforce.”

To meet VPP criteria, SOMC has to exceed and then sustain specific requirements in leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training, Sammons explained.

“SOMC has been recognized at the Star level, which indicates that we not only meet the intent of the OSHA standards but we go above and beyond to make our hospital one of the safest in the country,” Penny Cooper, director of Worksite Safety at SOMC, said.

“VPP sites have been shown to have more than 50 percent fewer injuries and lost worker days than the national average,” she said. “Our journey began more than five years ago. After years of preparation, we submitted our application in the fall 2007 and received our site visit earlier this year.”

“With our recognition as a Magnet hospital in nursing, and being named to Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Places To Work For in America, this honor represents yet another step in our commitment to bringing the safest, highest quality, best health care available,” SOMC President Randy Arnett said.

“This national honor not only validates our commitment to the safety of everyone who steps through our doors, but helps attract the best and brightest professionals to our hospital and the community.”

Holiday Grief Support Group

A five-week free educational support group meeting to help heal the sadness of loss and enjoy the blessings of the holiday season will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, at the Gibson Building East Campus conference room. Anyone struggling with the anxiety of holiday grief is welcome to attend this course, sponsored by SOMC Hospice, part of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

This five-week series of group meetings will give participants an opportunity to discuss holiday memories, make a keep sake ornament, holiday journaling and a chance to share questions and comments with others who have experienced the same loss and who understand the stress and anxiety that comes with the holiday grief.

Space is limited so registration is necessary by calling Susan Goins, 356-2676.

SOMC Nurses Celebrate National Med-Surg Week

Staff members of both the 3 North A and B nursing units at Southern Ohio Medical Center honored those employees who have received medical-surgical certification during Med-Surg Nursing Week Nov. 1–7. Medical-surgical nurses are one of the largest groups of practicing professionals in the health care industry, receiving specialized skills and knowledge for the entire spectrum of patient care. Med-surg nurses practice in a variety of settings and administer care particularly to adult patients and their families. Pictured above are members of the 3 North B Nursing Unit.

Flu Shots At Friends Center Nov. 4

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be offering flu vaccine from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 4 at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. The cost of the flu vaccine is $15 and the cost of the pneumonia vaccine is $30. Both can be billed through Medicare. No other form of insurance or Medicaid can be accepted.

For more information call SOMC Community Health and Wellness, 356-2692.

Anesthesiologist Almeida Welcomed To SOMC

Ryan Almeida, MD, a physician specializing in Anesthesiology, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Almeida came to SOMC from Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware, Ohio. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, completed an internship in Preliminary Surgery at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, and his residency in Anesthesiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL). He is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology, the American Medical Association and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama.

Dr. Almeida and his wife, Anne, reside with their children in the Portsmouth area. He can be reached in the Anesthesiology Department at SOMC, (740) 356-8231.

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.

Local Author Donates Bench To SOMC Cancer Center

Local author/poet Walter Stout, a patient at the SOMC Cancer Center, recently presented a granite bench to the center. The bench includes an engraved poem about cancer treatment and is now located at the entrance area. Shown are (from left) Ruth and Walter Stout with SOMC Cancer Center staff members Staci Howard, Tracey Hall, Norma White and Lisa Morgan.

SOMC Rehab Therapy Month: ‘It’s All About Movement’

The staff of SOMC Rehabilitation Services recently celebrated National Physical Therapy Month for October, with efforts to educate the public on how therapists help people move forward with their lives.

Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants at SOMC Outpatient Rehabilitation, part of Southern Ohio Medical Center, will join others across the country in celebrating National Physical Therapy Month in October.  This year’s theme is “Physical Therapy: It’s All About Movement,” which is designed to educate the public on how physical therapists are the experts on movement, ultimately helping people move forward with their lives.

“Our role as physical therapists is to bring the body back to optimum function following an injury, illness, or disease,” Ryan Walker, PT at SOMC Rehabilitation Services, says.  “But we’re also concerned with promoting strong bodies and general health through injury prevention techniques and fitness programs.”

The American Physical Therapy Association sponsors the observance each year in order to raise awareness of the importance of physical therapy in healthcare.

PTs work with patients to help them regain mobility and function and to reduce or eliminate pain.  PTs have extensive knowledge of the body’s muscle systems and joints, so they are able to accurately assess a patient’s muscle strength and endurance, joint motion, and ability to perform everyday functions following an illness or injury.

SOMC Rehabilitation provides comprehensive physical rehabilitation services for people recovering from stroke, orthopedic injuries, neurological disorders, and other debilitating injuries and illnesses.  For more information about programs call 740 356-7554

SOMC Welcomes Overacre As MRI Supervisor

Southern Ohio Medical Center has welcomed Susan “Bambi” Overacre, RT(R), MR(CT) as supervisor of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Overacre came to SOMC from King’s Daughters Medical Center. She previously resided in Pensacola, FL, where she worked as a CT supervisor and in MRI at West Florida Hospital for 19 years.

An area native, she worked at SOMC in Radiology from 1978 to 1981. She received her degree in Radiology from Shawnee State University. She lives in the Portsmouth area and has two grown children and two grandchildren.