SOMC Cancer Center becomes first in the tri-state to offer AccuBoost technology

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Cancer Center has become the first facility in Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, or Ohio to implement AccuBoost technology for patients with breast cancer who have had a lumpectomy.

AccuBoost is a revolutionary new technology that uses real-time mammographic images to direct radiation to lumpectomy sites with pinpoint accuracy, providing better – and safer – results.

“For most patients with breast cancer who have had a lumpectomy followed by whole breast radiation, an additional ‘boost’ of radiation is given to the lumpectomy site. That’s because this is the most likely site of breast cancer recurrence,” Dr. Johnny Ray Bernard, Senior Medical Director of SOMC Radiation Oncology, said. “The lumpectomy site has traditionally been located using a CAT scan, which is not optimal considering the breast position is different compared to her mammogram.”

The AccuBoost technique has been shown to target the lumpectomy site with GPS-like precision, with less breast tissue being treated compared to CAT scan planning. The technique also distributes the radiation dose evenly for less skin reaction compared to CAT scan planning yielding improved cosmetic results.

“AccuBoost is great because it allows us to pinpoint the site where the cancer was removed by comparing mammogram to mammogram instead of using CAT scan planning,” Dr. Bernard said. “This targeted treatment technique is also different from traditional boosts that are delivered from only one direction.  AccuBoost distributes the dose from 4 different directions for less skin reaction compared to all the dose coming from a single direction for  better cosmetic results.  It is the first innovation in breast boost radiation in over 30 years.”

The SOMC Cancer Center is located at 1121 Kinneys Lane in Portsmouth, and can be reached at 740-356-7490. For more information, visit or “like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC welcomes 2013 junior volunteers

SOMC Junior Volunteers

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently welcomed a new class of junior volunteers to the hospital. The SOMC Junior Volunteer Program has become a popular way for students to spend their summer. As volunteers, they are able to work along adult volunteers and SOMC staff, gaining job skills and experience. To learn more about the volunteer opportunities available at SOMC, contact the Volunteer Office at 740-356-8234.

Pictured here are this year’s summer volunteers, as well as Jenny Lavender (back row, far right) of SOMC Volunteer Services.


SOMC donates to Clay Legacy Fund

Clay Legacy Fund; Kara Redoutey, Courtney Delotell

For the third year in a row, Southern Ohio Medical Center has donated a $1,000 scholarship to a graduate of Clay High School through the Clay School Legacy Fund. This year’s recipient was Courtney Delotell, who plans to study nursing at Shawnee State University.

Pictured from left to right are:

Fred Reeder, Clay Alumni Vice President; Michelle Ruby, Clay Alumni Secretary; Kara Redoutey, SOMC Director of Community Relations; scholarship recipient Courtney Delotell; Charles T. Leonard, Clay Alumni President; and Dave Richard, Clay Alumni Treasurer.


SOMC announces Old Hollywood Casino Night fundraiser

Southern Ohio Medical Center is inviting the public to kick back and enjoy an Old Hollywood-style Casino Night at the SOMC Friends Center on June 21. Proceeds from the event support the SOMC Development Foundation.

“Our Casino Night fundraiser will help us make sure we can offer the latest treatments and technology to our patients,” SOMC Director of Community Relations and Development Kara Redoutey said. “The SOMC Development Foundation’s purpose is to give our community the resources required to meet our local healthcare needs. The money we raise from this event will help make sure local ambulances have everything they need to effectively care for heart attack patients.”

Proceeds from last year’s foundation fundraiser helped SOMC equip local ambulances with 12-Lead EKG technology, which can dramatically reduce the time it takes for heart attack victims to receive the care. Funds raised this year will go towards providing local EMS with technology and software systems to build upon those advancements even further.

Individual tickets to SOMC’s Casino Night fundraiser cost $75 each and come with $25,000 in funny money, which can be used to play games during the event.

For $500, individuals can become “Superstar Sponsors” and receive two tickets, $25,000 in funny money per person and recognition at a gaming table. A $1,000 donation earns the individual “Director’s Circle” recognition, eight tickets with reserved seating, $25,000 in funny money per person and recognition at a gaming table.

The event’s top three winners will receive prizes, while everyone else will be entered into a drawing. The event will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and attendees are encouraged to wear cocktail attire or dress as their favorite Old Hollywood star.

Social hour begins at 6:00pm and gaming will last from 7:00pm until 10:00pm. For more information, or to reserve a ticket, contact the SOMC Development Office at 740-356-2794.

SOMC to host mental health in-service on June 18

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting a mental health in-service at 1 p.m. on June 18. The event, which will take place in the East Campus Conference Room located inside the Gibson Building, is entitled “Dementia: Improving Communication.”

There is limited space available so participants are asked to RSVP by contacting Erica Kegley prior to June 17. Kegley can be reached at 740-356-6845.

Camp LIFE registration is now open

Parents looking for a unique way to keep their children active, healthy and occupied this summer are encouraged to sign up for Camp LIFE at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“Camp LIFE is a fun opportunity for kids to make new friends, get fit, and learn skills that will help them stay healthy long after camp is over,” Brad Zieber, supervisor of PT, PEC and Special Projects at the SOMC LIFE Center, said. “The program is open to children ages 7 to 13 and parents can register for one or both of the week-long sessions we plan to offer this year.”

Camp sessions will take place June 10-14 and July 29-Aug. 2, with activities lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the SOMC Life Center. Off-site educational opportunities are also scheduled throughout the week.

“During camp, we teach children the basic principles of nutrition and exercise through cooking and physical activities that keep them entertained,” Zieber said. “We prepare lunch and snacks together, play healthy games, and stress the importance of fitness through daily walks, yoga, swimming and other sports.”

Camp LIFE was developed as way to combat occurrences of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children, but has attracted a wide variety of participants because of the enjoyable and educational activities it provides.

“We’ve designed Camp LIFE in a way that they can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical condition or ability,” Zieber said. “Our goal is to lay the foundation for healthy living in a fun, supportive environment.”

Cost to participate in Camp LIFE is $75 per child and $50 for each additional family member. For more information or to register now, please visit the Portsmouth LIFE Center or call 740-356-7650.

SOMC celebrates Critical Care Awareness Month

Critical Care Awareness MonthThe Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses were created to recognize and salute the dedicated nursing professionals who care for critically ill patients. To further honor these efforts, May is designated as National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is proudly joining in this annual observation to applaud the members of its critical care team who work to provide the highest quality patient care each and every day.

“There is tremendous teamwork among our critical care employees,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Critical Care and Heart & Vascular Services, said. “Every day is challenging, but the collaboration, camaraderie, and communication between our disciplines helps us create optimal patient- and family-centered results.”

Many staff members make up the SOMC critical care team, including physicians, medical residents and students, nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and pastoral care. Together, these employees care for an array of complex medical conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, respiratory failure, multisystem organ failure, overdoses, major surgeries, and many other types of trauma.

“Every member of our team is extremely important, but the expertise of our intensivists really enhances the quality of care we’re able to provide to our patients,” Fraulini said. “These physicians are specially trained to care for critical patients and we are fortunate to have the talents of Dr. Michael Metry and Dr. Abdul-Karim Haffar on our staff.”

Michael Metry, MD, is the senior medical director of SOMC Critical Care and has been a physician at SOMC for almost a year. He received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School in Chicago, Illinois and completed a residency in internal medicine at the Jackson Memorial Hospital/Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Miami, Florida. He completed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Critical Care.

Abdul-Karim Haffar, MD, FCCP, joined the SOMC team in April 2013. He received his medical degree at North East Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio and completed a residency in internal medicine Residency at the Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. He completed a pulmonary fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Penn., and a critical care fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care.

“Both of these physicians are amazing clinicians, and we are so pleased with the results and positive outcomes they are helping to achieve at SOMC,” Fraulini said. “Our critical care team continues to grow stronger every year and we are proud to have so many physicians who are dedicated to making our program excellent. We would be nothing without their continued support.”

“Our staff members are incredible team players who work so well together during intense, critical situations,” Paul Rase, nurse manager of SOMC Critical Care, added. “I am very proud of my employees and I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated staff. I thank them all for their commitment to critical care.”

SOMC hosting golf tournament on June 14

Southern Ohio Medical Center is inviting the public to participate in the 28th Annual LIFE Center Invitational Golf Tournament, which will be held at the Elks Country Club on June 14.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to the SOMC Foundation to enhance services provided by SOMC.

The tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 14, with a barbecue lunch planned for 1:00-3:00 pm. Door and raffle prizes will be awarded.

For those registering prior to June 1, cost is $150 per person or $525 per four-person team. After June 1, costs are $200 per person, or $550 per four-person team. There is a limit of 32 teams. For more information, please contact Kim Castle at 740-356-6355 or at

12-Lead EKGs help SOMC beat national benchmark for heart attack care

Carlos Morris fits the profile of someone who is serious about maintaining good health.

He is not overweight. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t smoke. He exercises almost every day. That’s why he was just as surprised as anyone when, while working out at the Wheelersburg Life Center, Carlos had a heart attack.

“I was just working out on one of the machines,” Carlos said. “Once I finish, I usually take a couple of laps to cool off, but this time I couldn’t. I was sweating unbelievably, then my chest started hurting and I became nauseated.”

An ambulance was called to take Carlos to Southern Ohio Medical Center, but his treatment actually began long before he arrived at the hospital. That’s because the ambulance was equipped with a 12-lead EKG system that helped emergency staff in Portsmouth evaluate Carlos’ condition while he was still in Wheelersburg.

Using the EKGs, Carlos was diagnosed with an acute heart attack and the results were sent to SOMC’s Emergency Room via cell phone technology before he ever arrived at the hospital. Because of this, the cardiologist and cath lab team were able to prepare to treat him as soon as he arrived.  This allowed him to completely bypass the Emergency Department and go straight to the Cath lab.

Within 46 minutes of the squad’s arrival at the Life Center, and within 23 minutes of their arrival at SOMC, Carlos made it to the Cath lab, had a balloon inserted and the affected artery was re-opened.

“The national benchmark for getting heart attack patients to the cath lab is 90 minutes, but we were able to cut that by more than half thanks to the use of the 12-lead EKG system in the field by Porter Township EMS ,” SOMC Director of Critical Care and Heart and Vascular Services Amy Fraulini said.

When a heart attack occurs, the faster a patient can be assessed and treated the better their odds of survival. Carlos’ story demonstrates how 12-lead EKGs used by ambulances can increase those odds, and that is why SOMC has made it a goal to ensure that all local ambulances carry the technology. The process of equipping these squads has already begun, thanks to funds raised through community donations. The proceeds from SOMC’s 2012 Ohio River Cruise also went towards purchasing the equipment.

Thanks to the quick care Carlos received, he has already returned to the Life Center and is looking forward to resuming his normal routines.

“I’m very grateful for everything that was done for me,” Carlos said. “I’d like to personally thank everyone who made it possible.”