Breast Cancer Support Group Meeting Oct. 15

The Breast Cancer Support Group will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesay, Oct. 15 at Gatti’s Pizza, 1658 11th St. The cost of the meal is $6.41 including pizza buffet, salad bar, drink, dessert and tax. The group will discuss the upcoming Christmas celebration and ideas are welcomed.

SOMC Offering Less Invasive Varicose Vein Treatment

SOMC surgeon Dr. Henry Childers is now providing a new approach in varicose vein treatment, using radio waves in a tube to shrink and close the diseased veins in a less invasive procedure. The tube is inserted (left), radio waves are emitted (center) to collapse the vein and the tube is removed (right).

Southern Ohio Medical Center has announced that Dr. Henry Childers is now performing a procedure that treats the underlying cause of painful varicose veins.

Dr. Childers is one of the first physicians in the area to use the VNUS ClosureFAST catheter, a tube that uses radio waves to heat, shrink and close diseased large leg veins in approximately three minutes of RF treatment.

The entire ClosureFAST procedure, from insertion of the catheter to removal, generally takes less than 20 minutes with little pain or bruising for the patient, Dr. Childers said.

“Patients are very happy with this treatment approach and we’re very pleased to be able to bring it to our community,” Dr. Childers said. “Patients nationally who have had this procedure are amazed at how quickly the procedure is completed and how little discomfort they feel, and they’re pleased to be able to walk out after the procedure and resume normal activities the next day. The treatment outcomes are normally excellent – the procedure is successful in closing the vein, and their quality of life improves quickly.”

The ClosureFAST catheter received FDA clearance in August 2006, providing a treatment alternative for the nearly 25 million Americans who have varicose veins, many of whom suffer from pain, swelling, fatigue and disfigurement. The catheter is threaded into the diseased saphenous vein through a small puncture, and RF energy is transmitted to the device to heat and seal the diseased vein walls, forcing the body to re-route blood flow through healthier leg veins.

“Family history, pregnancy, excess weight and professions requiring extended standing are all risk factors for varicose vein disease, and the majority of patients are women,” Dr. Childers said. “We’re gratified to be able to offer this fast procedure as an outstanding alternative to traditional surgery for the many patients who have suffered from this disease.”

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

Area Businesses Give For Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patient Heather Brooks and her son Dillan recently accepted the grand prize from a drawing in conjunction with “The Story Goes On,” a fundraising performance of local talent presenting stories about breast cancer survivors in dialogue and song. The performances, held Oct. 3 and 4 at the Portsmouth Little Theatre, were produced by breast surgeon Dr. Vincent Scarpinato as a fundraiser for Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund to help cancer patients in need. Brooks accepted the grand prize, a large basket featuring new cookware and assorted kitchen items donated by local realtor Debbie Gambill and Century 21 Realty, at the SOMC Cancer Center. Other local businesses who supported the effort included Hattie Beasley’s; Z Collections; Union Mills Confectionary; Krista Putnam, Mac Cosmetics; SOMC Life Center; Gabby’s Hair Salon; B Sweete Chocolatiere; The Journey Within; Portsmouth West High School; Luther Transfer; Portsmouth Little Theatre; Life Ambulance; Nick Fite; Amy Shirey; Creative Hair Design; WNXT; and The Party Connection.

‘Story’ Raises $16,000 For Cancer Patients

Dr. Vincent Scarpinato (second from right) recently presented SOMC Cancer Services Director Wendi Waugh with approximately $16,000 in funds generated from “The Story Goes On,” an all-woman performance held at the Portsmouth Little Theatre to raise awareness about breast cancer. Local performers presented stories about breast cancer survivors in dialogue and song during the show, which Dr. Scarpinato produced and directed. Shown with Waugh and Scarpinato are (left) Kelly Lawson, clinical manager of Oncology Services at SOMC, and (right) breast cancer survivor and patient advocate Norma White, purchasing analyst for SOMC Cancer Services. The funds will support the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, designed to help patients who need financial support.

Scioto County Coroner Slated For Third Tour of Duty in War Zone

Scioto County Coroner Terry A. Johnson, D.O., announced today that he will be deployed with the Ohio Army National Guard (OHARNG) in 2009 to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 9.

“I have been expecting this for some time, but now it’s official,” Johnson said. “I have been selected and given a report date in early 2009 for Fort Benning, GA.”

Dr. Johnson announced that no interruption in coroner service will take place and he will continue in his position as Scioto County Coroner while on military duty, as stipulated by Ohio law. His tour is expected to last approximately three and a half months, during which Scioto County’s Chief Deputy Coroner Wayne Wheeler, MD, will coordinate operations for the Scioto County Coroner’s Office.

“This is my third trip over, so we have done this before,” Johnson said. “I maintain a staff of deputies who cover the county when I am not available. I have worked hard to put together this team. The deputies are well qualified to handle any and all issues. I am grateful that Drs. Wheeler, George Pettit, Robert Newman and Darren Adams will be here to serve the people of Scioto County while I do my duty. I’m blessed to work with such an exceptional group of doctors.”

Johnson holds a commission as a US Army colonel and is the commander of the Ohio Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment. Since the beginning of the Global War On Terrorism in 2001, he has overseen statewide medical operations necessary to deploy Ohio’s citizen soldiers.

In addition to his duties as coroner, Johnson is the director of the Family Practice Residency program for Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC). He is an assistant dean and clinical associate professor of family medicine at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUCOM). He supervises resident physicians and medical students at the Lucasville Family Practice Center. Patient hours at Lucasville will continue in his absence.

“The support I have received from SOMC and from OUCOM has been exceptional. I could not work for finer institutions. They are backing me 100 percent, just as they do for all their military employees. This is the kind of support that every soldier across America should receive. SOMC and Ohio University go above and beyond in their support of America’s soldiers. Our community can take great pride in this. I also can’t say enough about the support I have received from my constituents, the good people of Scioto County. It is wonderful to live in a place where people support the troops and value their service. They recognize that my mission as an Army doctor is to look after our kids who are over there serving us.”

Johnson’s first trip to Iraq came in the spring of 2004, when he was stationed in Baghdad and the Green Zone. He re-deployed in the spring of 2006 as a Task Force Flight Surgeon, supporting a special helicopter unit operating in Kuwait and Iraq. The upcoming 2009 mission will see him perform similar duties for an Ohio Aviation Battalion, the 1-137th Assault Helicopter Battalion. The Battalion will be operating out of bases north of Baghdad. As on previous deployments, Johnson will maintain communication with his various offices while in Iraq through frequent calls and email.

Johnson also pointed out that he is just one of many from our community and Ohio who have been called to duty. “My hat goes off to all who have been activated, and for the members of our full-time military who continue to do such an incredible job. My family and I pray for the safe return of each and every one.”

Jordan Director of SOMC Community Relations

Shawn Jordan has been named the director of Community Relations at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

In this position, Jordan will plan, coordinate and implement public relations and communication programs, both internally and externally, to provide increased understanding and awareness of the services provided at SOMC.

Jordan has been an employee of SOMC for the past 11 years, holding previous titles as manager of Workforce Development and marketing communications specialist of Community Relations.

She received her bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Journalism and Theater from Morehead State University and her graduate certificate in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University. She is currently pursing her master’s of science in Healthcare Administration.

Jordan resides in Wheelersburg with her husband, Chris, and their three children. To contact her, please call (740) 356-2716.

Bible School Donates Bears To Hospice

Community of Christ-Pleasant Valley vacation Bible school children recently made more than 100 bears for patients of SOMC Hospice, part of Southern Ohio Medical Center. Debbie Hogan (right) of the church presented the bears to Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Beverly Stringer.

Massage Therapy Launched at Wheelersburg LIFE Center

The LIFE Center of Southern Ohio Medical Center has added a new line of massage-therapy services to its Wheelersburg facility.

Tiffany Slusher, licensed massage therapist of the Wheelersburg LIFE Center, is now accepting clients. Slusher is a graduate of Hocking College and has been a practicing massage therapist for four years. She is certified to perform Swedish, deep-tissue and hot-stone forms of massage therapy.

Both 30-minute and hour-long sessions are available and appointments are necessary. To schedule or for more information, please contact Tiffany Slusher at the Wheelersburg LIFE Center at (740) 574-4022.

SOMC Offers New Approaches In Knee Replacement

Orthopedic medicine at Southern Ohio Medical Center is taking a healthy step forward in knee replacements, with new technologies that are bringing less invasive surgery with a potentially lower risk of infection and blood loss, less anesthesia time and faster recovery time.

Orthopedic surgeons James Pettey, MD, and Gerardo Trinidad, MD, are each adopting variations in surgical technology that allow the replacement joint to be anchored in ways that more closely resemble the patient’s anatomy.

Conventional knee replacement surgery has usually meant preparing the bone using standardized cutting blocks that come in pre-determined sizes. The surgeon measures the dimensions of the ends of the thigh and leg bones and uses the closest approximate size.

New technological approaches allow for more precisely sized blocks that are specially made to match the individual patient’s anatomy.

“An MRI scan is made of the patient’s leg,” Dr. Trinidad said. “Then the manufacturer takes that scan and creates a block that is much closer to the size of the patient’s original anatomy.”

In a total knee replacement, the old joint is removed, along with any associated tissue impacted by trauma, disease such as arthritis or other conditions. The ends of the thigh and leg bones are trimmed down using the special cutting blocks and the implants are anchored to the bones with pins and special cement.

“The result is a smaller incision, less trauma to the patient, a faster procedure, lower risk of infection and faster recovery,” Dr. Trinidad said. He is currently involved in trials for a new technological procedure, one of only six hospitals nationwide offering the approach.

“The technology uses computer software to evaluate MRI images of the arthritic knee and calculate the amount of joint surface which has been lost to arthritis,” Dr. Pettey explained. “The cutting blocks are a tool the surgeon can then use to remove a specific amount of bone and thus replace the arthritic knee.”

Dr. Pettey can be reached at (740) 353-7017. Dr. Trinidad is available at (740) 351-0980.