Guild Flower Sales Under Way

The Scioto Guild, a part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, will host their annual flower sale through April 3. Orders are available for geranium baskets, hanging baskets for a variety of flowers and ferns. Flowers are purchased locally. Orders may be placed by calling Bonnie Johnson at 354-6536 or Gerri Nourse at 259-5868. Pick-up dates are May 8 and 9 at the Friends Community Center. Pictured, members of the guild begin planning for the event.

Stewart Receives IDEAS Award

Terry Stewart, Southern Ohio Medical Center Emergency Services, left, receives an IDEAS (Ideas Developed by Employees At SOMC) award from Amy Beinkampen, Director of Heart and Vascular Services and Quality Leadership Team Leader, for his suggestion to develop an Excel program to automatically calculate Emergency Department census numbers to reduce error. Stewart also received $25 in tokens that can be cashed in or saved for a day off with pay. The SOMC IDEAS program was developed to encourage and promote suggestions and reward employees for taking an active role in making SOMC a great place to work.

New Emergency Residency Program Launched at SOMC

John S. Kasper, DO

John S. Kasper, DO, has been named the director of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“We’re developing a four-year internship/residency training program in Emergency Medicine,” he explains. “Graduates coming from various institutions will have an opportunity to observe and learn approaches to address acute or life-threatening emergencies.”

Following the initial “foundation” year of work in the Emergency Department at SOMC, participants will have a choice to commit to three additional years of training and experience or pursue studies elsewhere.

“This program complements the family practice program already in place at SOMC,” he says, adding that students are expected from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, as well as other institutions in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Dr. Kasper is certified in Emergency Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine. He has more than 28 years of experience in the practice of Emergency Medicine, recently serving at Good Samaritan Hospital’s Trauma Center in Dayton. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, and received his undergraduate degree and master of science degree from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA. He completed his internship at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI. He began his residency training in orthopedic surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, TX, but ultimately changed his interest to Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Kasper has more than 30 years of US military service, attaining the rank of Brigadier General in the US Army Reserve. He recently retired with honors.

SOMC Cancer Services Receives Komen Grant

Beginning in April, Southern Ohio Medical Center will be able to offer more breast cancer services to uninsured and underserved women in Scioto, Pike and Lawrence counties, thanks to a grant received from the Columbus chapter of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

“The grant is going to open a lot of doors for us and will really give us a chance to provide a unique service to the women of our area,” Heather Ashley, RN, BSN, OCN, clinical manager of Medical Oncology at SOMC, said. “We’ve never had something on this level happen to us and we’re all very excited about its possibilities.”

The $48,500 grant given to the SOMC Cancer Center will be used to start the Hands of Hope program. Hands of Hope will be geared toward educating community woman 40 years and older about the importance of early breast cancer detection and supplying those already diagnosed with added guidance and support.

“Women diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage have much higher survival rates,” Ashley said. “Unfortunately, not everyone in our community is financially able to go through the steps necessary to complete early detection, which is why the Hands of Hope program is so important.”

Hands for Hope will provide free mammograms and financial assistance for breast biopsy to uninsured women. Those currently affected by breast cancer will be provided with a special nurse contact, called a Breast Health Navigator, to bridge the gap between the physical aspects of breast cancer and the immediate needs throughout diagnosis, surgery and treatment. After breast surgery, patients will receive a visit from the Breast Health Navigator nurse for education regarding post-surgical care and the recovery process before leaving the hospital.

“We’re so glad to have the opportunity to partner with Komen Columbus,” Ashley said. “The program will be a great service to our community and we hope it will help the women of our area in winning the fight against cancer.”

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest and most progressive network of breast cancer survivors and activists. For the past 25 years, the foundation has contributed more than $1 billion in funding for basic, clinical and translational breast cancer research and innovative projects in the areas of breast cancer education, screening and treatment.

To learn more about Hands of Hope and its qualifications, call Heather Ashley at (740) 356-7594.

SOMC’s Skaggs At Conference

Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, CNA

Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, CNA, of Southern Ohio Medical Center recently attended the Emergency Nurses Association Leadership Conference 2007 in Boston, Mass., Feb. 22-25.

More than 1,400 nursing leaders from across the country and around the world attended topics including education, professional development, personnel, quality, and safety, as related to emergency department operations.

Skaggs presented “Drug Dependency and Drug Testing – Lessons for Leaders” at this conference.

She has been the director of Nursing for Emergency and Outpatient Services for more than 10 years at SOMC.

Crawford Earns IDEAS Award

Mike Crawford (second from right) of Emergency Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently presented with the SOMC IDEAS (Ideas Developed by Employees At SOMC) award by Sheri Anderson of SOMC Safety Services. Crawford suggested additional lighting to assist pedestrians from the Red Parking garage to the Emergency Department. Scott Malone (left) and Ernie Curtis (right) worked on the installation of the lighting. SOMC’s IDEAS program rewards employees for presenting viable ideas that support the organization’s values of safety, service, quality, relationships and performance.

SOMC’s Rapid Response Team Featured In National Publication

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been acknowledged in a national publication for its success with a program that brings intensive care to patients outside the Intensive Care Unit.

Since September 2005, SOMC has deployed Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) to respond to calls from staff members concerned about patients outside ICU who show signs of failing health. The program was recently recognized for its outstanding work in the February issue of the Voluntary Hospital Associations’ national newsletter.

Christie Aeh, nurse manger of the ICU, says the RRT program at SOMC is similar to those in other area hospitals. However, SOMC’s outcomes are very unique, exceeding those of other hospitals in the state.

“It’s quite an honor to be held so highly among other hospitals,” Aeh said. “The program has worked so well for us and our patients and we hope to further improve upon its effectiveness far into the future.”

Each RRT consists of ICU nurses and a respiratory therapist on-call 24 hours. When a staff member becomes concerned about a patient’s condition due to changes such as rapid heart rate or lowered blood pressure, the RRT is called to intervene.

Upon arrival, the RRT receives a bedside report from the receiving unit and evaluates the patient. The team then collaborates with the department nurse and supervisor to determine the best treatment options for the patient.

SOMC’s program was created as part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “Save 100,000 Lives” campaign.

“Rapid Response Teams provide staff with the necessary resources to seek immediate help when handling patients who may be showing signs of deterioration, often determining the difference between life and death,” Mamie Snook, clinical nurse specialist for Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC, said. “Because of this, the RRT program has proven to be very beneficial to our hospital and patients.”

“In a nutshell, RRT brings the Intensive Care Unit to the bedside of any patient anywhere within the hospital,” Dr. Elie Saab, medical director of the ICU, said.

“The RRT is helpful because it provides nurses and other hospital staff with a group of clinicians who can be called at any time to give critical care expertise,” Amy Carter, assistant nurse manager of the ICU, said. “Many times, nurses know when something isn’t quite right with their patients, and these teams allow us to act ahead of time before conditions can decline.”

SOMC also has been participating in the VHA’s database, which tracks the effectiveness of a hospital’s RRTs, and has been recommended as a mentor hospital for the RRT model.

Tower Crane Erected At SOMC Site

One of the largest construction cranes ever used in Scioto County arrived on 14 semi-tractor trailers at Southern Ohio Medical Center March 8. Mounted on a pad of 116 cubic yards of concrete, the crane stands 140 feet above the site of the new Emergency and Surgical departments’ expansion on the hospital’s south side.

With an arm-like “jib” with a reach of 196 feet, the crane will lift construction materials at the site during the coming months. Pictured, the cab of the crane is lifted by a temporary extended crane onto the tower.

SOMC’s 50,000-square-foot expansion of Emergency and Surgery is expected to be complete next year. Combined with the expansion in front of the hospital, the $100 million project is expected to employ about 500 construction personnel over the next three years and 200 permanent medical professional jobs.

Jacobs Receives Coronary Certification

Norman Jacobs, MD, MS

Norman Jacobs, MD, MS, diagnostic radiologist at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has earned Level 2 certification in Cardiovascular Computerized Tomography Angiography (CTA) from the Society of Cardiovascular Computer Tomography (SCCT).

Dr. Jacobs’ certification is part of SOMC’s ongoing commitment to bringing the latest effective diagnostic imaging procedures and technology to the community. The SCCT is a professional medical membership organization committed to the further development of cardiovascular computer tomography through education, training, accreditation, quality control, and research.

Level 2 certification reflects extensive training in administering and reviewing computerized imaging of the heart and surrounding vessels for diagnosis of medical conditions.

Dr. Jacobs received his medical degree from Temple University Medical School and completed his training at Duke University Medical Center and Georgetown University Medical Center. He has been in practice as a radiologist in the Portsmouth area for the past 20 years.