Deaf Services Center To Assume Operation Of Community Services For Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Deaf Services Center, Inc., (DSC) of Columbus, Ohio will assume management and operation of Community Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CSDHH) in Portsmouth following approval on Tuesday, April 8 by the DSC Board of Trustees.

CSDHH was operated and had been subsidized by Southern Ohio Medical Center for more than 20 years. DSC is a private, non-profit community center serving deaf communities in 15 counties including Central Ohio and southeastern Ohio.  Core services include case management, interpreting, advocacy/education and leadership.

Clients in the deaf community should see no change in services,” CSDHH Director Teresa Bryan said. “The location is expected to remain on the SOMC South Campus, at least for the near future, and the same services are expected to be provided through DSC’s operation.”

John L. Moore, CEO/Executive Director of DSC, said DSC is looking forward to working with the deaf and hard of hearing in the Portsmouth community and ensuring that their needs are being met.

“DSC is pleased in ensuring that the continuation of services provided in Portsmouth will continue under our fiscal oversight of operations,” Moore said. “We have committed to the continuation of services until June 30, 2009, and in the meantime we will be working with the Portsmouth CSDHH in the development of a transition committee to enable your center to become independent or find an appropriate host agency locally to continue services beyond June 30, 2009.”

In addition to program fees, private funders, governmental contracts, donors and fundraising efforts, which comprise the bulk of DSC’s financial support, the program also has an agreement with the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC). RSC is the state agency charged with helping Ohioans with Disabilities achieve independence and retain or obtain jobs. The program’s mission is to empower the deaf and hard of hearing with access to communication, services and events in the community.

“I want to thank John Moore and the Deaf Services Center for their leadership in taking over the administration of the Portsmouth area Community Center for the Deaf,” John Connelly, Executive Director of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, said.  “This will help ensure continued service for Portsmouth area customers. We appreciate our partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center and wish them well as they continue to focus on the overall healthcare needs of Southern Ohio.”

CSDHH serves 186 deaf and hard of hearing people in nine counties around Portsmouth. The change in management is expected to be finalized by April 18.

Work SOMC Wound Healing Manager

Kathy Work, RN, has been named Program Manager at the SOMC Wound Healing Center. She will be responsible for all aspects of the center’s operation including ensuring quality patient care, recruiting and hiring, compliance with federal and state guidelines, budgeting and fiscal policies, and marketing and sales.

Work came to Southern Ohio Medical Center in 2007 from Heartland Home Health with more than 20 years of nursing, wound care and hyperbaric experience. She resides in the Wheelersburg/Minford area.

The SOMC Wound Healing Center, located on SOMC’s Main Campus, provides state-of-the-art, hospital based outpatient treatment of chronic wounds, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The Center has the benefit of a Disease-Specific Care Certification for diabetic wound care accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization, as well as evidence-based treatment modalities for chronic wounds related to circulatory and autoimmune disorders.

SOMC Encourages Kids To ‘Love Your Heart’

More than 1,000 kindergartners from 11 area schools joined Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man on a journey down the yellow-brick road and into the world of healthy heart care during the annual Love Your Heart program at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The event took place April 1, 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Introduced by the SOMC Intensive Care Unit in 1999, the Love Your Heart program is an educational tool that combines hands-on learning stations, the five senses and a popular storybook theme to teach five- and six-year-olds how to stay smart when it comes to keeping their hearts healthy.

“We wanted to create a program that provides children with beneficial information in a really fun way,” Christy Aeh, nurse manager of the ICU at SOMC, said. “That’s how we came up with the idea to tie heart care into the story of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.”

Aeh explained that during the two-hour program, children are taught how the Tin Man received a heart from the Wizard, but neglected to take proper care of it and caused it to turn black. Children are then given the opportunity to go through five interactive exhibits that incorporate sight, taste, touch, hearing and exercise into maintaining a healthy heart to teach the Tin Man how to make his heart red again.

SOMC employees dressed in full costume to bring the story’s most beloved characters to life and more than 100 other hospital employees and nursing students from around the region helped in monitoring the event.

“Not only do children get excited to see the story progress and do the activities, but we also have a lot of fun dressing up and acting it out,” Aeh said.

“The program was created as a way to give back to our community but it’s turned into so much more,” Korina Eichenlaub, nurse educator of the SOMC ICU, said. “My daughter has attended the program and when she came home she explained to me how blood flows through her ‘vines’. I had to tell her that they’re actually called veins, but it’s great to see the impact the story had on her.”

“Teachers always give us really positive feedback about the program, too,” Lora Maddix, registered nurse of the SOMC ICU and program coordinator, said. “They look forward to this field trip and they really fight for it if it gets cut from their schedule.”

In fact, Love Your Heart has been so successful that the ICU staff has twice received the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ Seabury and Smith, Inc., Community Service Award for their efforts.

“We started by funding the program ourselves, but now we’re able to do so much more through grants and the help of the Scioto County Area Foundation,” Aeh said. “The program’s turned into a great resource for our local children and we look forward to continuing our partnership in health to those we serve and the lives we positively affect for many years to come.”

Family Presents Baskets To SOMC In Honor Of Son

The family of Joshua McClaskey (inset), a Lucasville area youth who died of a brain tumor in 2007, recently presented Easter baskets in his name to the Pediatrics Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center. Joshua’s mother, Amy, said the presentation of the baskets fulfilled a wish he expressed while fighting his illness that other sick children in hospitals receive some holiday cheer at Easter in the form of the baskets. Area businesses supported the effort with donations of items, including Minford Pharmacy, Minford Quick Stop, Muletown Minimart, Minford Family Dollar and the Salvation Army, who donated bibles for each basket. Shown at the presentation are Pediatrics Department Nurse Andrew Ruggles, RN, accepting the baskets from Tiffany and Cassandra McClaskey.

OU Class Gives Stuffed Toys To SOMC Pediatrics

Representatives of instructor Shannon Brogan’s Interpersonal Communication Class of Ohio University in Chillicothe recently visited the Pediatrics Unit of Southern Ohio Medical Center as part of a service project to support an area agency. Class members collected teddy bears from friends, family and classmates and delivered the stuffed toys to the pediatrics units of a Chillicothe hospital as well as SOMC in Portsmouth. Shown at the presentation are (from left) class members Caleb Penn and Judy Ward with SOMC Pediatrics staff members Amber Coriell and Kara Penley.

SOMC’s McKinnon Published

Joseph McKinnon, manager of the Security Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has written an article published in the Winter 2008 issue of the “Journal of Healthcare Protection Management,” a nationally-recognized publication of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS).

McKinnon is the author of “Infant Abduction: Taking A New Look at ‘False’ Alarms.” The article discusses complacent responses and negative attitudes toward “false” infant protection situations and the need to see these alarms as an opportunity to test total response systems, rather than as a nuisance.

McKinnon earned his associate’s degree in Corrections Technology from Shawnee State University in 1978 and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1996.

McKinnon previously worked in the Portsmouth City Municipal Court, as investigator for Scioto County Children’s Services and as probation officer for the Common Pleas Court of Scioto County. He was an officer with the Portsmouth Police Department for 21 years. McKinnon joined the staff of SOMC in March of 2006.

SOMC Fitness Instructor Presents at Regional Conference

Debbie Kielmar, fitness program lead of the SOMC LIFE Center, recently presented at the 2008 Midwest Fitfest conference, which took place Feb. 23 and 24 in Dayton.

More than 300 students and professionals from around the region attended the event, which was created to provide learning and leadership opportunities in the field of fitness. Presenters were chosen based on education, experience and certification and were given the opportunity to share programs they had designed and/or implemented within their fitness communities.

Kielmar presented Drums Alive and Functional Fusion, two routines that have been used as part of the group fitness schedule at the LIFE Center. Functional Fusion, created by Kielmar, is a total body workout that combines traditional toning with functional training exercises in a low repetition, constant progression. The program is currently featured at 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the LIFE Center in Portsmouth.

Kielmar is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified and has been a member of the LIFE Center staff for more than 10 years. For more information about either of the fitness routines, or about becoming a member of the SOMC LIFE Center, please call 740-356-7650.

Community Gets SOMC Check-up While ‘Singing With Heart’

Community members lined up to test their health and their singing ability during the Sing with Heart event at Southern Ohio Medical Center, which took place Thursday, Feb. 28 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Throughout the evening, members of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, as well as other employees, helped to screen more than 200 people on various healthy-heart indicators including blood pressure, pulse oximetry, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index. Staff members also provided health counseling on topics such as diabetes, smoking, asthma and lab results and prescriptions.

Performances from local talent including Clay High School, West High School and the cast of Portsmouth Little Theatre’s perfomance of “Little Shop of Horrors” kept the mood (and heart rates) up all night long and karaoke was open for the public in between performances.

Sing with Heart is another community event of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, a program which is expanding in preparation for the arrival of open-heart surgery at the end of this year. In conjunction, 170,000 square feet of new facilities will be opening at the hospital in the summer and fall, including new emergency, surgical, patient care and cardiac testing and care areas, as well as new a new registration department and lobby.

SOMC Ranked Among Top 25 Percent of Home Health Providers in Nation

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named to the 2007 HomeCare Elite, a compilation of the most successful Medicare-certified home health care providers in the United States.

“SOMC has made a commitment to bringing medical care to those patients in the home with the level of quality that puts their care among the best anywhere,” SOMC Home Care Director Karen Thompson said.

“This annual review identifies the top 25 percent of agencies, ranked by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, quality improvement and financial performance.”

The 2007 HomeCare Elite also indicates those providers who are included in the Top 100 and Top 500 of providers nationwide. The data used for this analysis was compiled from publicly available information.

SOMC has maintained one of Ohio’s most well-established and experienced home care programs in the state. This is the second time SOMC Home Care has been named to the list.

“We applaud the success of all the providers named to the 2007 HomeCare Elite,” said Bill Bassett, Senior Director of Market Strategy at OCS, Inc. “Being noted as one of the top performers in the nation in this very competitive environment shows that SOMC is dedicated to quality and performance.”

The 2007 HomeCare Elite is the only performance recognition of its kind in the home health industry. The 2007 HomeCare Elite is brought to the industry by OCS, Inc., the leading provider of healthcare informatics and DecisionHealth, publisher of home care’s most respected independent newsletter Home Health Line. The entire list of the 2007 HomeCare Elite agencies can be viewed by visiting the OCS web site at