SOMC’s stars ready to shine for Red Cross

Although the event won’t take place until March, voting has already begun for “Dancing with Our Stars,” a local dance competition that serves as a fundraiser for the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The event features two ‘stars’ from Southern Ohio Medical Center: Wendi Waugh and Dr. Nathan Bennington.

Neither Waugh nor Dr. Bennington benefit from formal dance training, and both have admitted to being a bit surprised by how steep the learning curve can be. However, they’re both excited to be developing new skills and using them to help an organization like the Red Cross.

“Keeping in mind that it’s for charity makes it easier,” Waugh said. “I’m all about whatever I can do for the community.”

Waugh is the director of the SOMC Cancer Services/Community Health and Wellness. In that capacity, she works to provide screenings and wellness opportunities for the community. That includes events such as 2012’s ‘Tri for Your LIFE’ triathlon, which attracted more than 100 competitors with some coming from as far away as Florida and Minnesota.

Waugh’s primary goal may be to raise funds for the Red Cross, but there is one other goal she’d like to accomplish – she’d like to win.

“I feel like I’m putting a lot of hours into this, and I hope that in the end my partner and I look like professional dancers,” Waugh said. “In fact, I want to do so well that they ask me to dance as a professional next year.”

In order to do that, she has spent many hours with her dance partner, Dan Gray, learning the cha-cha. Dr. Bennington has also invested considerable time into learning to dance.

“I have never taken dance lessons or done anything like that. Trying to learn dancing from somebody else is definitely foreign to me,” Dr. Bennington said.

His partner, Debbie Kielmar, is the Group Fitness Supervisor at the SOMC LIFE Center and has put together their routine for the competition. Dr. Bennington is careful, however, not to reveal too much about their plans.

“All I’m going to say is that ours is going to be the most unique,” Dr. Bennington said. “It won’t be ballroom dancing, let’s put it that way.”

Like Waugh, Dr. Bennington has a history of community service and involvement that motivates him to help raise funds for the Red Cross. In fact, Dr. Bennington was a recipient of the Red Cross’ Humanitarian Award in 2012. He received the honor along with Dr. George Pettit after the duo traveled to the Philippines for a medical mission that included removing a 33-pound tumor.

Votes can already be cast online for both Wendi Waugh and Dr. Nathan Bennington, but each vote requires a $1 donation to the Red Cross.

To support Wendi Waugh, visit

To support Dr. Nathan Bennington, visit

Additional information can be found by liking SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC begins mammogram self-referral program

Women are now able to receive mammograms at Southern Ohio Medical Center without a physician order, thanks to SOMC’s new self-referral program.

Under the new program, women who are at least 40 years of age can schedule a screening mammogram for prevention and early detection of breast disease. However, women who detect lumps or other causes for concern can schedule their mammogram at SOMC regardless of age.

“Through this program, we’re providing patients with easier access to screenings,” Noel Pemberton, SOMC’s administrative director of medical imaging, said. “The process to schedule self-referrals will be handled through Central Scheduling. It will be the same process patients use to schedule an appointment with a doctor’s order.”

The self-referral program has been approved by the Ohio Department of Health and began on February 4.

“It is our goal to detect breast cancer as early as possible,” Pemberton said. “We believe this program will help us do just that.”

To schedule a self-referral, contact SOMC Central Scheduling at 740-356-8128.

SOMC hosting Relax with Heart event on February 19

SOMC will host its eighth annual heart awareness program, Relax with Heart, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Friends Center.

“Relax with Heart will focus on the many ways you can easily reduce stress and unwind,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said. “Stress affects each of us differently but there are many healthy habits we can form to protect us from the damage it may cause.”

Relax with Heart will offer the public opportunities to learn how to relax through low-impact exercise, massage therapy, and spa treatments and will also include screenings for total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index (optional), and a heart risk analysis.

The event is free, though pre-registration is required. For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call 740-356-7665.

Dr. Khoury establishes SSU scholarship fund

SOMC’s Dr. Thomas Khoury has established a scholarship at Shawnee State University for students who are studying poetry. Dr. Khoury established the fund in honor of his uncle, Dr. James Barbar, who was a poet, an educator and a lawyer. SSU has placed a plaque recognizing Dr. Barbar in the Clark Memorial Library.

Seen here with the plaque are SSU Coordinator of Creative Writing, Neil Carpathios, SSU President Dr. Rita Rice Morris, Dr. Thomas Khoury, SSU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Dr. Timothy Scheurer and SSU Provost Dr. David Todt.

SOMC Partnering with Nationwide Children’s Hospital for Pediatrics, Neonatal Care

Southern Ohio Medical Center has announced it will be partnering with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to bring additional resources and care to pediatric and neonatal patients.

“We consider it our responsibility to make sure our community has access to the best care possible, and this new affiliation will help us do just that,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “By combining the resources and expertise of Nationwide Children’s Hospital with that of our current pediatricians, we can bring our patients a higher level of pediatric care and service.”

As part of the affiliation, SOMC will be able to directly consult with specialists at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. SOMC’s medical staff will also benefit from training and mentoring programs as well as state-of-the-art pediatric research and clinical trials.

“Together, SOMC and Nationwide Children’s Hospital will build upon the tremendous care already provided by our current pediatricians,” Arnett said. “They will be able to provide even greater care by taking advantage of Nationwide Children’s telemedicine services and pediatric and neonatology expertise.

“Our hospitals will also be able to work together to place graduating residents from Nationwide Children’s Hospital right here in southern Ohio, which will directly impact the quality of care available at SOMC.”

“We are looking forward to our formal collaboration with Southern Ohio Medical Center,” said Gil Peri, vice president of Regional Development at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  “We will bring our pediatric expertise to the community working closely with local pediatricians to enhance care in the Portsmouth and surrounding communities.  Together we can improve the health of the neonatal and pediatric community we serve.”

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Ranked 7th of only 12 children’s hospitals on U.S.News & World Report’s 2012-13 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare networks providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children, and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. In June 2012, the hospital celebrated completion of the largest pediatric expansion construction project in United States history, adding 2.1 million square feet of clinical, research and support facilities to total 5.3 million square feet on its main campus.  A medical staff of 1,100 and 8,300 employees provide state-of-the-art pediatric care for nearly one million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. Nationwide Children’s remains true to the original mission since its founding in 1892 of providing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay. More information is available at

Imageworks Hair Salon donates to the SOMC Cancer Center

Imageworks Hair Salon owner Terri Bragdon recently presented the Cancer Center of Southern Ohio Medical Center with a donation of more than $530 to benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. The funds were raised at the Imageworks Salon in Wheelersburg and will benefit local breast cancer patients in their fight against the disease, helping to pay for critical needs such as the cost of mammograms and wigs and prosthetics after surgery. Pictured at the donation are Bragdon (center) and other members of the SOMC Cancer Services team.


Veterans Helping Veterans gives award to SOMC

Veterans Helping Veterans and Others recently presented Southern Ohio Medical Center with a plaque in recognition of the hospital’s financial support. In 2012, SOMC donated $1,000 to support Veterans Helping Veterans and Others. Seen here, Veterans Helping Veterans commander and founder John D. Foster presents SOMC Director of Community Relations and Development Kara Redoutey with the plaque. For more information, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC donating $10,000 to community through Facebook poll

Southern Ohio Medical Center is donating $10,000 to local organizations and, through its Facebook fan page, allowing community members to decide exactly how those funds will be dispersed.

“SOMC has a long history of supporting the local community, but this time we wanted to do something a little bit different,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “We wanted to let the community help us decide how to distribute the contribution through social media, and we’ve been thrilled with the results so far.”

SOMC’s Community Valentine is a campaign that encourages community members to vote for one of five local charities featured in an SOMC Facebook poll. Each organization will receive a percentage of the $10,000 donation equal to the percentage of votes they receive in the poll. Voting will end at noon on February 14.

The charities featured are:

  • The Ohio River Valley Red Cross;
  • Scioto County 4-H;
  • Sierra’s Haven;
  • Stepping Stone House;
  • and the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund

“For our first Community Valentine, it was important to us that we select five well-known, reputable organizations that provide a variety of benefits to the community at large,” Arnett said. “Whatever your passion is, we feel confident that there’s an organization in our poll that speaks to it. If the community really gets behind this and we decide to do it again in the future, we may include different organizations.”

In order to participate, community members must have an active Facebook account and must “like” SOMC’s fan page. The poll is located at the top of the page, and will remain there until voting ends on February 14. SOMC’s Facebook fan page can be found at

HomeCare Elite names SOMC Home Health Services one of nation’s Top Agencies of 2012

SOMC Home Health Services has been named a Top Agency of the 2012 HomeCare Elite, which is a compilation of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States.

“This is a tremendous honor,” Karen Thompson, administrative director of SOMC Home Care, said. “It has long been our goal to provide the patients of this area with the best Home Care possible.  Being named one of HomeCare Elite’s Top Agencies of 2012 shows that our hard work is paying off, and we hope to provide even greater care in 2013.”

HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies in the U.S.   Agencies are evaluated by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, process measure implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and financial performance.

“The 2012 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care and serving as leaders in the home health community. Their success offers data-driven proof of being well-managed and high quality care providers to hospitals, managed care organizations, ACOs, and other potential referral partners across the healthcare continuum,” said Susan L. Henricks, President and COO of National Research Corporation, the parent company of OCS HomeCare. “Again, this year, we updated our methodology to reflect the rapidly evolving quality-focused healthcare landscape and national value-based purchasing trends. We congratulate SOMC on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

For more information, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at