LIFE Center Fitness Challenge Winners

The SOMC LIFE Center Annual Fitness Challenge Banquet was held April 24 honoring members for their achievements. A member from each LIFE Center facility was presented a plaque for earning the most points in the LIFE Center’s Fitness Challenge. Participants earned points for each physical activity they completed during the challenge.

The winners were (from left) Barb Conaway of the Lucasville LIFE Center; Mike Horner of the Wheelersburg LIFE Center; and Ruth Eckstein of the Portsmouth facility.

SOMC’s New Portable X-ray Technology Saves Time

SOMC Radiologic Technologists Josh Drake, Angie Willis and Christina O’Rourke

Patients in need of x-rays at Southern Ohio Medical Center will now benefit from quicker, more precise imaging thanks to the hospital’s new Digital Radiographic Mobile X-ray System.

“The new DR Mobile acquires an image via an attached detector screen right at the patient’s bedside,” Howard Stewart, administrator of the Radiography Information System and manager of PACS, said.

“The image is viewable on the new system immediately upon completion of the exposure, which can be a real time saver when dealing with many of the urgent cases we see in the ER and ICU.”

In the past, technologists have hand-carried cassettes back and forth from patient rooms to the Radiology Department in order to process and review x-ray images. But because of the DR Mobile’s maneuverability and special Flat Panel Detector used to take on-the-spot images, technologists are now able to take and view x-rays in any patient’s room in mere seconds.

Stewart says the machine’s sharp, high-resolution images can be output to any image server or laser printer. The system’s wireless networking capabilities also enable technologists to transmit images to multiple locations or physicians at a time, granting much easier patient access to all medical staff.

“The machine is going to be extremely helpful in getting our patients what they need in the shortest amount of time possible,” Stewart said. “We always have their best interest in mind and this new machine is definitely going to deliver them the quickest and best results.”

Haywood Honored By SOMC Staff

Phillip Haywood with staff of the SOMC Health Care Center

Phillip Haywood of Portsmouth (seated) was recently honored by the staff of the SOMC Health Care Center on his last day of medication infusion treatments. Haywood had been receiving the treatments, lasting up to 12 hours, each week for the past seven years, but recently his physician determined he was ready to “graduate” from the treatment program. The staff presented him with balloons and pizza during the celebration.

SOMC Earns National Honor For Medical Records

Southern Ohio Medical Center has earned the Five-Star Award from Professional Resource Consultants, Inc. (PRC) for scoring in the top 10 percent among hospitals for the local medical staff’s perception of SOMC’s medical records and information processes.

SOMC contracts with PRC to survey local physicians each year on their perceptions about the hospitals departments and services. These survey scores are then compared with a national database of more than 300 other hospitals to provide comparisons with some of the best hospitals in the country.

SOMC’s score on medical records and information was above the 90th percentile in the database. An award will be presented to SOMC during PRC’s client education conference in June.

Hospice Center Welcomes New Friend

The SOMC Hospice Center, a new inpatient facility for hospice patients on the SOMC East Campus, welcomed a new resident this week. Swann, a three-year-old German Shepherd mix is the facility’s new resident pet. She was purchased from a special non-profit shelter, Circle Trail, Inc., that trains assistance dogs. The dogs are typically trained to work with the blind or hearing impaired owners. Swann was initially to be trained as a specialized single-owner assistance dog, but according to Circle Trail, she was “too loving” and was a better match as a facility pet. At the SOMC Hospice Center, she will visit patients and families at their request. According to SOMC Hospice Center staff, Swann is being well-received with patients, families, and staff who are thrilled to call her their new “social worker.” Shown, Swann visits Patricia Carver with social worker Kathy Staker.

SOMC’s Rase Receives CCRN

Paul Rase

Paul Rase, BSN, CEN, RRT, Nurse Manager of the Cardiovascular Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received his certification as a Critical Care Nurse (CCRN).

Rase has been at SOMC since February, coming to SOMC Heart and Vascular Services from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, where he was employed in Nursing Administration/Supervision. He also has been the Director of Emergency Room, Cardiology, Neurology, Respiratory Therapy, and Sleep Lab and has previous flight nurse and open heart surgery experience.

Rase is participating in the planning of the new SOMC Cardiovascular Unit, an acuity adaptable unit to care for angioplasty and open heart patients post intervention/surgery until they are discharged.

Rase and his wife, Beth, live in the Ironton area with their two children.

SOMC Ranks Second Among Ohio’s Best Employers


The Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Society of Human Resources Management has named SOMC one of the best companies to work for in the state of Ohio for the second year in a row.

At the ceremony April 24, held at the Capitol Theatre in Columbus, SOMC ranked number two out of 11 large companies who were chosen as best employers. The Best Employers in Ohio award is designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in the state.

Data was collected and ranked by the company ModernThink for the Ohio Chamber and Ohio Society of Human Resources Management.

The distinction was given based on an evaluation of workplace camaraderie, fairness, credibility, pride and respect but most importantly the thoughts and opinions of the employees of SOMC. SOMC was evaluated against various organizations statewide including large corporations and other healthcare organizations.

Zaph Laboratory Services Director

Andrea Zaph

Andrea Zaph has accepted the position of Administrative Director of Laboratory Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Zaph is responsible for the operational direction of the laboratory, the emergency department STAT lab, EKG testing, phlebotomy, point of care testing and outreach services.

Zaph is a West Portsmouth native and a 1994 graduate of The Ohio State University. She joined SOMC in 1994 as a medical technologist and has served as the laboratory night supervisor and for the past three years as the Pathology/Cytology Supervisor.

She and her husband, Kevin, reside in West Portsmouth with their three children.

SOMC Hospice Center Receives Support From Hope Guild

The Hope Guild, a part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, presented a check for $2,000 as a donation toward the needs of the SOMC Hospice Center. Jean Fraley, left, Saundra Hall and Lorraine Fraley, right, presented the check to President and CEO Randy Arnett, center, during the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon April 10.