Ohio National Guard Honors SOMC For Supporting Troops

Brigadier General Matthew L. Kambic, Assistant Adjutant General for the Ohio Army National Guard, visited Portsmouth Monday, May 12, hosted by Col. Terry Johnson, DO, flight surgeon and commander of the Ohio Medical Command for the Guard.

Gen. Kambic came to honor Southern Ohio Medical Center as a strong supporter of the Guard and its members, and publicly thank SOMC President Randy Arnett for supporting Col. Johnson, who is a member of SOMC’s medical staff and director of the Family Practice Residency Program at the hospital.

“We’ve deployed more than 10,000 soldiers in the global war on terror and none come out of Ohio without going through Dr. Johnson’s hands,” Gen. Kambic said during a presentation to Arnett. “We just deployed four brigades and the troops from Ohio performed so well everyone wants to know what Ohio is doing. It’s the talent and teamwork that Terry and his team have built.”

Gen. Kambic thanked Arnett for supporting Col. Johnson during two deployments to the Middle East and a future deployment next spring. He presented SOMC a lithographic plaque featuring command coins from Adjutant General, Major General Gregory L. Wayt, Gen. Kambic and Command Sergeant Major William L. Gilliam of the Guard.

“SOMC employees have a strong tradition of service to our country and we thank our men and women like Dr. Johnson and the many others who serve in our armed forces,” Arnett said. “We’re proud to be an employer of many who give this highest commitment.”

Dr. Johnson added that the support coming from an employer is often invaluable for a soldier in the field.

“The last thing a soldier should have to worry about when risking his or her life is whether there will be a job waiting when the tour is over,” he said. “It’s a critical concern and I feel very blessed to have SOMC’s support during my service.”

Hope Guild Presents $10,000 for SOMC Projects

Members of the Hope Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett with a check for $10,000 raised through the group’s annual fundraisers. The donation was presented during the Volunteer Luncheon, which took place April 17 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, and will benefit projects throughout the hospital.

Life Supports Local Officer In Figure Championship

Wayne B. Wheeler, MD, medical director of Life Air and Life Amublance Service and a physician on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented Portsmouth Police Officer Tiffany Underwood with support from Life for her upcoming competition in the Junior National Figure Championship in Chicago. Underwood is an area native, a local search and rescue group participant and long-time fitness enthusiast who is aspiring to reach professional status in figure competition.

Last year she won competition in the Arnold Classic in Columbus and placed in competition in Pittsburgh, competed May 10 this year in Columbus, and is scheduled for competition at the end of May in Toledo, prior to the Chicago event this summer. She and her husband, Keith, reside in the Portsmouth area.

Anyone interested in helping support Underwood in representing the area in national figure competition can call her at (740) 352-7415.

Gollamudi Receives Sleep Medicine Certification

Murthy Gollamudi, MD, FCCP, a pulmonologist on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently received his certification in Sleep Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Gollamudi is also certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonology and Critical Care.

Pulmonologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of lung disease. Dr. Gollamudi began practicing in the Portsmouth area in 2002. He obtained his medical degree from Madras Medical College in Madras, India. He completed residencies at State University of New York in Buffalo, NY; University Hospital of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve. He resides in the Portsmouth area with his wife and two children.

Cedar Street Ladies Present Lap Quilts To SOMC Cancer Center

The Evangelical Christian Ladies of Cedar Street CCCU recently presented 19 lap quilts to the SOMC Cancer Center for patients undergoing treatment. The group has also previously presented about 75 quilts to SOMC Hospice for the terminally ill, and has decided to also provide some of the quilts for cancer patients. Shown at the cancer center during the presentation are (from left) Amory Novoselac, MD, of the Cancer Center; Phyllis Sparks of Cedar Street CCCU; Jamie Arnett, RN, of the Cancer Center; patient Joann Hood; Eleanor Scaggs and Gail Moritz of Cedar Street CCCU; Stephanie Craft, LSW, of the Cancer Center.

SOMC Hike for Hospice May 17

Supporters of SOMC Hospice will participate in the 22nd annual Hike for Hospice Saturday, May 17. This non-competitive 5-k “Fun Walk” will begin at the SOMC Hospice Center (East Campus), 2201 25th St., with check-in at 8:30 a.m. and the walk beginning at 9:30.

SOMC Hospice is a non-profit agency offering a special way of caring for those faced with terminal illness. Participants of the hike raise funds by asking friends to sponsor an amount per kilometer walked or giving an outright donation.

Participants also can join in groups of three or more to form teams, presenting banners, shirts or other forms of promotion. Each team receives one complimentary 8×10 photo.

Hikers and supporters will be eligible for prizes, and shirts will be available for purchase. Awards will be presented at the end of the hike to teams as well as individuals in various categories.

This year’s route is reversed from those of years past, proceeding through the adjacent residential neighborhood along 23rd and Summit streets, Kinney’s Lane, Offnere Street, through Greenlawn Cemetery, Micklethwaite and Shawnee roads, Dorman Drive, Grandview Avenue, and back to the SOMC Hospice Center.

Rest stops will be available along the way and free lunch will be provided by Subway Sandwiches & Salads of Portsmouth and Lucasville. Other corporate sponsors include The Community Common, Life Ambulance, OSCO and Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Early registration is encouraged but hikers can also register the day of the hike. For more information call (740) 353-2567.

SOMC Nurses Receive Scholarships

Kelly Lawson RN, OCN and Kristie Meeker RN, BSN, OCN, nurses of the Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center, have each been named recipients of a 2008 Congress Scholarship for $1,000 from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

To receive the award, participants were asked to create an essay based on how they respond to patient- and family-care challenges within their clinical profession. The scholarship will be used to cover registration fees and travel to and from the ONS 33rd Annual Congress, which will take place May 15 – 18 in Philadelphia, Penn.

A Portsmouth native, Lawson is a graduate of Shawnee State University. She has been a part of the nursing staff at SOMC since 1990 and is currently Breast Health Navigator and Clinical Manager of Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Center.

Meeker is a graduate of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Shawnee State University and started working at SOMC in 1999. She currently resides in the Minford area.

SOMC Creates New Medication Control Technology

Southern Ohio Medical Center became the first hospital approved by the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy to deploy its own technology and process of checking controlled medications loaded into automated dispensing units for nursing staff.

In May 2007 the board approved SOMC’s “Pyxis Check,” a program written by the hospital’s own Information Services staff.

“SOMC was in the process of upgrading the automated dispensing units for controlled subtances throughout the hospital,” SOMC Pharmacy Director Rory Phillips explained. “The Pyxis system is used to secure controlled substances and other prescription drugs, such as narcotics, and requires biometric identification (fingerprint) to access these medications.”

Phillips said state regulations require a system of checking to assure the correct medication is loaded into each Pyxis unit. Typically this requires pharmacist approval.

“I believe our system is safer than human eyes. There are a lot of reasons why a human can make a mistake and the wrong drug could be placed in the wrong compartment in the Pyxis unit,” Phillips said.

“Dennis Ward and Brian Hickman in our own Information Services department wrote a special program that allows a pharmacy technician to scan the barcode of the medication, then a special barcode on the compartment of the Pyxis unit. If the wrong drug is scanned, an audible alert sounds to tell the technician something is wrong.”

“The Information Services department is proud to play a part in supporting clinical excellence here at SOMC,” Ward said. “By developing this program in-house, we were able to enhance an existing best-practice process.”

The Pyxis Check system resembles the Bar Code Medication Administration system now in place at SOMC for nurses to administer medication at the patient’s bedside. Special dispensers in the halls by patient rooms contain the barcode medication packets of non-controlled scheduled medications for each patient. The nurse uses a scanner on the packet, the patient’s ID bracelet and the nurse’s own badge to assure the right patient is receiving the right medication at the right time by the right person.

“We are proud of our own Information Services staff for being able to create this program tailored to our needs,” Phillips said. “This kind of safety initiative and leadership has created interest among some Columbus-based hospital pharmacy staffs, who have asked if they could obtain copies of this for their use as well.”

SOMC Ranked First Among Ohio’s Best Employers

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named the Number One Best Employer in Ohio. This third annual program was created by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Manufacturers’ Education Council, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Ohio State Council, Ohio Matters, and Best Companies Group.

“We are honored to be named to this list again this year, and to be ranked first,” SOMC CEO Randy Arnett said. “The selection is based largely on the survey of our own employees and their view of SOMC. The fact that we scored so well says a lot about SOMC as a quality employer and a great place to work.”

Earlier this year, SOMC was named to the Fortune 100 Best Places To Work In America, in an intense review that also was based largely on feedback from employees. Also in January SOMC was named a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, an honor for excellence in patient care given to less than 4 percent of hospitals nationwide.

The Ohio survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the Best Employers in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 20 companies split into two categories: 10 small/medium-sized companies (25-249 employees) and 10 large-sized companies (250 and more employees). SOMC has been ranked first among this year’s Best Employers in Ohio in the large category, and is on the list for the third consecutive year.

Honorees and their rank order in the large-sized company category were: SOMC, Edward Jones, The CareWorks Family of Companies, InfoCision Management Corporation, SS&G Financial Services, Inc., EMP Management Group, Ltd., Firelands Regional Medical Center, VSP- Vision Service Plan, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Marietta Memorial Hospital.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill eligibility requirements including being a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity; being a publicly or privately held business; having a facility in Ohio; having at least 25 employees in Ohio; and being in business a minimum of one year.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Employers in Ohio. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure their experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Ohio with assistance from ModernThink LLC, who analyzed the data and determined the final rankings.

The actual rankings were announced at an awards ceremony April 15 and published in Ohio Matters. For more information on the Best Employers in Ohio program, visit www.BestEmployersOH.com.