Notre Dame Volleyball Girls Encourage Cancer Support

In conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Notre Dame girls volleyball team (pictured) will raise funds for the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund during their upcoming game Oct. 2 at Notre Dame High School. The Lady Titans will play Glenwood High School, with the junior varsity game starting at 5:30 p.m. and varsity game to follow. A portion of the admission proceeds and concessions, along with a special bake sale, will be donated to the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund, a special fund to support local cancer patients in financial need. Everyone is encouraged to come and see Notre Dame and Glenwood volley for breast cancer. For more information about the fund and how you can help, call the SOMC Cancer Center, 356-7490.

SOMC Employees Go Above and Beyond to Help Local Students

Through determination, competitive drive, and more selfless hearts than can be counted, employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center helped to donate more than 4,200 pencils, glue sticks, notebooks and other items during the 2008 United Way School Supply Drive, which took place Aug. 1 on the Main Campus.

“There are many underprivileged families in our community, sometimes with two or three children to a home, and it can become a very large burden to bare when each child needs their own set of school supplies,” Mary Peercy, executive director of the United Way of Scioto County, said. “SOMC and its employees have always been a huge supporter of providing these resources for our local students.”

School supply lists were given to employees, with each listed item designated a point value, Beverly Stringer, member of the SOMC United Way committee, said.. For each point a staff member earned per donation, they were given the chance to enter into a drawing for either an OSU- or UK-themed gift basket. Points also were tallied per department and the team to earn the most would win a pizza party.

The SOMC Housekeeping Department was named the overall winner of the competition, donating an outstanding total of more than 1,300 supply items.

“Our donation was a group effort and we never could have reached our total if it weren’t for the commitment given by each individual,” Tammy Wiedbruak, housekeeper at SOMC, said. “Our department decided right off the bat that we wanted to do what we could to make this project possible. The competitiveness of it all encouraged us to do even more.”

“We’re always looking for ways to jump in and support those in need,” Tresea Johnson housekeeper at SOMC, said. “There are so many people, especially children, within our community that need that extra bit of encouragement or financial help and we’re more than happy to be there for them when they need us.”

SOMC Emergency Department New Entrance Open

Patients and visitors to the Emergency Department at Southern Ohio Medical Center should be aware of the new entrance to the department. The new entrance is located beyond the former entrance on the other side of the building, past the ambulance entrance.

Visitors and patients can approach the Emergency Department from 25th Street as before, but instead of going into the circle drive, proceed to the Left along the south side of the hospital. The new entrance has a sheltered patient drop-off. Adjacent parking for all visitors is adjacent to the new entrance.

The former entrance to the department has been changed to a staff-only entrance. The Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day.

SOMC To Offer Prostate Screenings This Month

In conjunction with National Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer free prostate cancer screenings by appointment Sept. 16, 18, 22, 23 and 24 at a location to be announced.

“Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men,” Christopher Schmidt, DO, a urologist on staff at SOMC, said. “There is often no way to detect prostate cancer in its early stages without a screening by a medical professional, and we’re glad to be able to help with this early detection effort.”

Dr. Schmidt and other SOMC physicians including Drs. Amory Novoselac, Justin Greenlee, John Oehler, Li-fen Chang and Ebenezer Kio will be providing the screenings. Space is limited and reservations are necessary. For an appointment call the SOMC Volunteer Office, (740) 356-8234 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

“Yearly prostate screenings are recommended for all men more than 50 years old,” Dr. Schmidt said. “However, African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer are considered higher risk and should have an exam yearly beginning at age 45.”

The prostate is a walnut-size gland sitting below the bladder that assists in production and delivery of fluids in semen during sexual activity. As men age, the gland can enlarge. A digital-rectal examination by a physician can help determine if the gland has irregularities in shape, size or texture, which could indicate cancer. A blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen or PSA test, is also used to help determine if cancer is present.

“Even if you can’t make an appointment at one of these times, I urge you to talk to your family physician about your risks and have an annual screening,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Early detection of cancer is critical to successful outcomes, and screening regularly gives the best chance of that early detection, long before symptoms may arise.”

SOMC Health Screens At Summer Sizzle

SOMC will provide total cholesterol, HDL, glucose, blood pressure and health counseling to individuals attending the Summer Sizzle Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. Individuals should not eat two hours before the finger stick testing for accurate results. All testing is free.

SOMC Cancer Services Receives ACoS Accreditation

The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has granted SOMC Cancer Services a three-year approval with commendation in seven areas, Cancer Services Director Wendi Waugh announced.

The three-year accreditation is the highest level of recognition offered by the commission, awarded only when a program complies with all standards. There are eight potential areas of commendation and SOMC Cancer Services received seven of them.

“SOMC Cancer Services voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality care and participate in an extensive evaluation of performance and processes,” Waugh said. “This accreditation took several years to prepare for, and validates our services as offering comprehensive care, the latest technology and a multi-specialty team approach to patient-centered care.

“The SOMC Cancer Center continues to be a hub of comprehensive cancer care in our region with the latest approaches to treatment,” she said. “We will be expanding later this year to begin high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, which will reduce the radiation treatment for certain kinds of breast cancer to five consecutive days, as opposed to the conventional treatment that can take up to seven weeks. We will continue our commitment to bringing the best cancer treatments available to our community.”

The SOMC Cancer Center opened in 2005, offering both radiation and medical oncology treatment services under the supervision of a team of physician, nursing and technological specialists in a state-of-the-art, caring environment. For more information regarding SOMC Cancer Services call 356-7490 or visit the website at

SOMC Welcomes Anesthesiologist Soumakieh

Fouad Soumakieh, MD, a physician specializing in anesthesiology, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Soumakieh came to SOMC from St. Joseph Medical Center, Reading, PA. A graduate of Aleppo Scientific College, he received his medical degree from Aleppo University in Syria. He completed an externship at Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center, a residencey in anesthesia at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY, a cardiac anesthesia fellowship and a pain management fellowship at New England Medical Center, Boston, MA. He has also practiced at St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington, DE.

Dr. Soumakieh and his wife, Rana, have three children and reside in the Wheelersburg area. He can be reached at SOMC at (740) 356-8231.

Radiologist Simpfendorfer Welcomed at SOMC

Claus S. Simpfendorfer, MD, a physician specializing in radiology, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Simpfendorfer came to SOMC from the Cleveland area and practiced at the Cleveland Clinic. He completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Cleveland Clinic, as well as a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio. He is certified with the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. Simpfendorfer and his wife, Dr. Maja Babic, a physician specializing in Infectious Diseases, reside in the West Portsmouth area with their two children. He can be reached at SOMC at (740) 356-8030.

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.