SOMC staff featured in ‘DWTS’-style charity event

Wendi Waugh

Dr. John Turjoman

Dr. John Turjoman

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be well represented in the Red Cross’ first annual Dancing with Our Stars competition.

Dr. Nathan Bennington and Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center and Community Health and Wellness, will both be featured as ‘stars’ in the competition. Dr. John Turjoman and Life Center Group Fitness Supervisor Debbie Kielmar will be participating as professional dancers.

The event, which is modeled after the hit television show ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ is a

Debbie Kielmar

Dr. Nathan Bennington

fundraiser for the Red Cross and will be held at the SOMC Friends Community Center. It will take place on March 22 at 7:30pm and will be hosted by SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett.

“With the current economic crisis and unusual weather patterns, we need support now more than ever to raise funds for those in time of need,” Red Cross Director Mary Arnzen said. “The Red Cross is not a government funded agency, so we rely completely on support from the communities we serve.

“We really value the contributions we receive and we strive to spend the money we receive wisely,” Arnzen added. “In fact, ninety-one cents of every donor dollar goes to direct services, and 97% of our workforce is made up of volunteers.”

Wendi Waugh will be partnered with Dan Gray, while Dr. John Turjoman will dance alongside Amy Oberling Hassel. Dr. Nathan Bennington and Debbie Kielmar are partnered with each other.

Visit the SOMC Facebook fan page at for updates and more information.

SOMC makes sixth straight appearance on FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

For the sixth year in a row, Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named to Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. SOMC moved up from last year’s ranking and is now listed at number 29.

SOMC is the only hospital in the area to earn a spot on the list.

“Being honored as one of FORTUNE’s best places to work means a lot to us at SOMC,” Randy Arnett, President and CEO of SOMC said. “Our community is more than a place of business for us; it’s our home. It’s important to us that our area has a hospital that can offer cutting-edge healthcare with proven results, while also offering rewarding and meaningful employment opportunities.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the 2,300 employees and physicians who helped make it happen,” Arnett added.

In addition to being recognized as one of the country’s best places to work by FORTUNE Magazine six years in a row, SOMC’s workforce has also earned and maintained a number of other distinctions, including:

  • Magnet designation, which is one of the country’s highest nursing honors
  • Being ranked as the 10th best place to work by Modern Healthcare
  • Receiving an “A” for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group
  • VPP Star Status from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for excellent workplace safety and health

“The satisfaction and engagement of our workforce directly impacts the experience of our patients,” Vicki Noel, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, said. “Without a workforce that is committed and caring, we would not have been able to achieve the level of quality, safety and service that make our recognitions possible. ”

To pick the 100 Best Companies, FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Two-thirds of a company’s score is based on the results of the Institute’s Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees from each company. The survey asks questions related to their attitudes about the management’s credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company’s responses to the Institute’s Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring, communication and diversity.

Cardiovascular Testing Lab donates to Red Cross

Members of the Cardiovascular Testing Lab at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently donated $300 to the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. The funds were collected in lieu of department Christmas gifts and will be used to benefit victims and relief efforts of Hurricane Sandy. Shown on the day of the donation are Ohio River Valley American Red Cross Executive Director Mary Arnzen, Registered Nurse Claudia Wilburn, and other employees of the SOMC Cardiovascular Testing Department.

SOMC plans diversity celebration for MLK Day

Employees and community members are invited to join Southern Ohio Medical Center as they honor multiculturalism and the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during a Diversity Celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 21 in the cafeteria and ED/Waller Corridor on SOMC’s Main Campus.

“We always work to create a program that celebrates and strengthens the ideals set forth by Dr. King,” Deanne Malone, member of the SOMC MLK Committee, said. “Last year’s event was very well received, so this year we’ve planned to once again spotlight the history of the cultures that make up our very own community and SOMC family.”

Malone explained that as part of the celebration, attendees who dine in the cafeteria that day will have the opportunity to purchase and sample traditional southern-comfort favorites. Diners also will be invited to showcase their heritage through hands-on activities featuring diversity boards and maps of the local region, country and world.

“Our goal is to create visuals of the diversity that makes up our workforce and community, giving us a tangible representation of how global we truly are,” Malone said.

Other opportunities to gain education about the customs, traditions and history of local cultures also will be available and a prize drawing will take place Jan. 21

“Our committee is honored to once again provide this type of educational service to our employees, patients and visitors and we hope our efforts will help improve the cultural understanding of our community,” she added.

“The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. grow in meaning every year and we hope our celebration will do his message justice.”

For more information about the celebration, or for volunteer opportunities, please contact Deanne Malone at 356- 8597.

Eastern finishes first season after SOMC donation

Last year, the Eastern Football Program didn’t exist. This year, its fans are celebrating the conclusion of its first season – a winning season – and enjoying benefits that extend far beyond the playing field.

Eastern began their football program with the help of a donation from Southern Ohio Medical Center. SOMC provided 40 helmets for the school, which helped jump-start the program and offered significant financial savings for the district. SOMC also donated helmets to established programs at East, Notre Dame, Minford and Northwest.

SOMC’s donation to the emerging Eastern program, however, has done more than give students an opportunity to enjoy America’s most popular sport. Teachers say it has also helped them in the classroom and given them increased self-confidence.

“Since we began our program, many of our more problematic students have exhibited much better behavior. We’re also seeing kids who didn’t put forth much effort in the classroom trying a lot harder,” Scott Tomlinson, head coach of Eastern’s Junior High team, said.

It didn’t take long before those stories made their way to Eastern Superintendent Neil Leist.
“After about 8 weeks of school, the building principles began telling me that their discipline problems were down to about a third of what they had been,” Leist said.

As one might expect, the program has also led some students to develop an interest in healthy living.

“One student recently told his science teacher how excited he was that he had lost 20 pounds since he started playing football,” Tomlinson said. “He said he is going to continue working out and running in the offseason to make sure he’s in good shape for next year.”

Eastern’s Junior High team finished its first season 6-2 and included 32 members. Eastern’s Pee Wee program had 36 boys from the fifth and sixth grades. Those boys were split into two teams, both of which also finished with winning records.

Leist admits he was caught off guard by the early success.

“I went around telling the parents at that time, ‘We will not win a game this year, Pee Wee or Junior High, because these kids have never played. Don’t expect to start winning until three years down the road,’” Leist said. “Then, the next thing we know we’re 4-0 at the Junior High level.”

With the first season under their belts, both the students and the school are setting their sights on the next one.

“We’ve purchased weight room equipment so that our eighth and ninth graders can start lifting weights and working out,” Tomlinson said. “We’re going to continue to encourage them as they strive to become as healthy as they can.”

For more information, ‘like’ SOMC on Facebook at

‘Burg cheerleaders donate to Breast Cancer Compassion Fund

Cheerleaders from Wheelersburg High School recently made a donation of $1,325 to the Breast Cancer Compassion Fund at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The funds were raised after the cheerleaders sold 661 t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Team Wheelersburg: Charged Up and Ready for a Cure!”

SOMC’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund helps patients pay for utilities, medications, transportation and common necessities needed during cancer care. For more information or to find out how you can donate, call (740) 356-7490 or “like” SOMC on Facebook at


SOMC Awarded an “A” for Outstanding Patient Safety

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors.

Through the collected data, U.S. hospitals are assigned an A, B, C, D, or F.

“To earn an ‘A’ for our Hospital Safety Score is quite an accomplishment and a true testament to the exceptionally safe environment we have created at SOMC,” Leeann L. Sammons, chief safety officer and vice president of SOMC Safety, Risk Management and Insurance, said. “It’s through the dedication of many employees that we are able to sustain this excellent safety culture and I’m grateful for all that has been done to help us provide the safest patient-care possible.”

The Leapfrog Group is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of healthcare to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals.

“Hospitals like this that earn an ‘A’ have demonstrated their commitment to their patients and their community,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said. “I congratulate SOMC for its safety excellence, and look forward to the day when all hospitals will match this standard.”

To see SOMC’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, or to find information on how you can protect yourself and your and loved one during a hospital stay, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at

SOMC, Portsmouth Ambulance using new technology to improve heart attack response times

Southern Ohio Medical Center and Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services are utilizing new technology to increase the survival rate of local heart attack patients.

When an individual suffers a heart attack, Portsmouth Ambulance is now able to get key information to the Emergency Room at SOMC long before the patient even arrives by transmitting 12-lead EKGs. Portsmouth Ambulance is the first privately owned ambulance service in Scioto County to possess that capability.

“The faster we can get information about a heart attack patient, the better the odds are of achieving a positive outcome,” SOMC’s Administrative Director of Nursing Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs said.

“We’re dedicated to offering excellent care to heart attack patients at SOMC,” Amy Fraulini, director of Critical Care and Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC, said. “We are an accredited chest pain center designated from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, and this technology should help us to offer even greater care in the future.”

The information sent to SOMC is analyzed while the patient is still in the ambulance, which means that the Emergency Room and Cardiac Catheterization Lab can begin preparing to treat a heart attack patient long before they arrive at the hospital.

“Our goal is to help patients receive the best treatment possible,” Mike Adkins, CEO of Portsmouth Ambulance, said. “Using 12-lead EKGs helps us do just that through early detection. The sooner we are able to get heart attack patients the treatment they need, the more heart muscle we are able to save.”

Portsmouth Ambulance can be reached at 740-354-3122. For more news and information regarding Southern Ohio Medical Center, “like” SOMC on Facebook at