Cancer Society: MRI Beneficial For Breast Cancer Patients

For more than six years, the Cancer Center and the MRI Department at Southern Ohio Medical Center have been working together to ensure that patients fighting against, or are at high risk of, breast cancer are able to beat the disease. Now the American Cancer Society has confirmed what SOMC has already been practicing: women can benefit from an MRI exam to locate tumors as well as track the progress of cancer treatment.

“Using MRIs to detect and track breast cancer is a remarkable tool and I think it’s wonderful that the guidelines have been issued,” Chris Sanders, supervisor of the MRI Department at SOMC, said. “They definitely reinforce the procedures we’ve already been using and I hope they will create a greater awareness of the importance of early breast cancer detection.”

The ACS guidelines have always encouraged certain easy steps to help find breast cancer early. These include simple self-exams and an annual check-up with a physician, as well as an annual mammogram after age 40.

Now, the new ACS guidelines are also encouraging women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer to receive annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screenings in addition to regular mammograms.

“Anyone over the age of 30 who has a strong family history of breast cancer should go through annual MRI screenings,” Sanders said. “The exam is also recommended to symptomless patients who already have abnormal gene mutation, have received chest radiation at a younger age or have been diagnosed with a disease that heightens the risk of developing breast cancer.”

MRI scans are more helpful than mammography alone because of their ability to create more detailed images through magnets and radio waves. Because of this process, MRIs are better at showing increased or abnormal blood flow in the breast, allowing doctors to catch tumors at earlier, more treatable stages.

While MRIs can lead to false-positive results, Sanders says this has not been a problem at SOMC. Last year, the hospital achieved a 96 percent accuracy rate on breast cancer screenings completed through MRI.

“Our statistics are phenomenal and show that our capabilities are of extreme quality matched to hospitals throughout the nation,” Sanders said. “Finding a hospital with the most advanced equipment and qualified staff should be of the utmost importance to every patient and we have the resources to stay healthy right here in our local community.”

For more information on MRIs and breast cancer awareness, talk to your physician or call 356-8329 or 356-8326.

Area Athletes Receive Branch Rickey Awards

Representatives from area schools were honored with the Branch Rickey Awards April 24 during the SOMC LIFE Center’s Annual Banquet.

The Branch Rickey Student Award is presented annually to 20 area high school junior/seniors in memory of Rickey, a Scioto County resident who became the general manager of Major League Baseball’s Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey was also instrumental in bringing the first African American player, Jackie Robinson, into Major League Baseball and helped found the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Winners of the 2006/2007 Branch Rickey Student Awards are: Clay High School – Justin Craft; East High School – Kerissa Bennett; Eastern High School – Aaron (AJ) Osborne; Glenwood High School – Kendra Wiley; Green High School – Nathan Patten; Greenup High School – Bridget Gibson; Minford High School – Shaye Berry; Northwest High School – Kylon Crabtree; Notre Dame High School – Daniel Sand; Piketon High School – Kacey Smalley; Portsmouth High School – Howard Harcha; Portsmouth West High School – Austin Seevers; Shawnee State University – Allassondro Roberts; South Webster High School – Brandi Hagen; Valley High School – Courtnie Merritt; Waverly High School – Bruce Evans; Wheelersburg High School – Aaron Conn.

Dr. Lee Office Moving

C. Charles Lee, MD

C. Charles Lee, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has announced that his office will move from his current location, Suite 105, Building H to Suite 302, Building J, on the Main Campus of SOMC.

Dr. Lee’s last day in the current location will be Friday, May 4. His office hours will resume Friday, May 11 in the new location. For more information call Dr. Lee’s office at (740) 353-2023.

SOMC Employees ‘Melt Down’

Fifty-four teams including 250 employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center completed an organization-wide ‘Employee Meltdown’ weight loss program from Jan. 29 – March 19. The employees collectively lost more than 1,920 pounds (more than the weight of an Alaskan bull moose).

The Biomedical Engineering Dept. team “Control Al. Delete” (pictured) won the competition, losing 10.7 percent of their body weight (103 pounds) during the program through proper diet, exercise or both.

SOMC employees are competing in a walking program, wearing pedomoters and totaling their steps through mid-May to see which team walks the greatest distance. The program promotes increasing physical activity throughout the day, not just the typical idea of exercise, and weekly tip sheets are helping increase the steps taken.

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.