SOMC breaks ground on West Portsmouth facility

Southern Ohio Medical Center broke ground on a new West Portsmouth facility on the morning of Friday, January 16. The facility will be located on U.S. 52 next to Earl Thomas Conley Park and will provide primary care. Pictured with shovels are the groundbreaking were, from left to right, Laine Young, CNP; Don Hadsell of J&H Erectors; County Commissioner Doug Coleman; County Commissioner Bryan Davis; and Kirk Donges of TSHD.
For updates regarding SOMC construction, visit the SOMC Construction Blog at

Five resolutions you may not have considered

To some people, the words “New Year’s resolution” sound an awful lot like “broken promise.” It doesn’t have to, though. Here are five very reasonable resolutions that you’ll have an easier time maintaining:

1.   Unplug daily. Modern electronics allow us to be plugged in 24/7, and as a result many people feel more stressed out than ever. On top of that, studies show that media overload can increase your risk of depression, social anxiety, job burnout and even allergies. The answer? Resolve to turn off your phone and/or computer for a full day every week. If you look closely, you might just notice that there’s an entire world out there just beyond the edges of your iPhone.

2.   Conquer clutter. Cleaning up your house or workspace, and keeping it clean, can do wonders for your mood. Plus, living amongst clutter can sap your energy, and just imagine all the things you could accomplish if you had a little more of that.

3.   Get your finances in order. If you examined your monthly expenditures, odds are you can find something to cut out. If you really want to find savings, look beyond classic techniques like not eating out as often. Maybe you don’t need to maintain both a cell phone and a home phone, or maybe there’s a way you can still watch your favorite shows without also buying 150 channels you don’t like. Think outside the box! If all else fails, simply resolve to live below your means. Have 10% of your paycheck automatically put into a saving’s account and then leave it there. You may be surprised by how quickly that money adds up.

4.   Embrace generosity. It can be as little or as much as you’d like, but just resolving to donate some of your time or money to charity can be a very rewarding experience. You can also resolve to be more generous simply by going out of your way to help someone that has nothing to offer in return.

5.   Spend more time in the kitchen. Kitchens these days are getting fancier and fancier, yet they’re also used less and less. Discover the joy of preparing your own meals – both your body and your taste buds will appreciate it.

Tips for keeping your New Year’s Resolution

It’s a new year, and for many people that means they’ve made plans for a “new you.” But even the most sincere resolutions can fall to the wayside – and they often do. If you find yourself struggling to keep your resolutions for more than a few months, here are some suggestions to help you out.

First, ramp up slowly. Starting with a modest resolution, and then building on it over time, is an easier path to travel than promising dramatic changes all at once. Instead of vowing to never eat sweets again, resolve to just cut back or only enjoy it in moderation.

Resolve to change habits, not to reach arbitrary goals. Instead of resolving to lose a specific amount of weight, resolve to adopt a healthy habit that will help you close in on that goal. Saying that you’ll have fresh fruit for breakfast or take a brisk walk after work is a lot less intimidating than saying you’ll lose 30 pounds by March.

Expect to slip, especially in the first couple of weeks. It doesn’t mean that your resolution is broken, it’s just a reminder that meaningful changes can be difficult to make. Slipping means that you need to work harder, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Write yourself a reminder of why this change is important. Remembering why you’re making this change can help keep you going when you feel like you’d rather just quit.

And most importantly, start now! Resolving to do something tomorrow is not that different than resolving to do it never. If you’re serious about making a change, take the first step today. It can be as simple as taking a walk during your lunch break or saying no to something you know isn’t good for you. You don’t have to spend an hour after work at the gym, but you should make sure you do something to prove to yourself that you’re serious.

SOMC announces free smoking cessation classes for 2015

SOMC is continuing to provide free smoking cessation classes through 2015. Classes are being offered at four different locations. Use this guide to make sure you or your loved ones know where to go when it’s time to kick the habit!

SOMC Cancer Center

January 12 | 5:30 p.m.

January 16 | 10:00 a.m.

June 1 | 5:30 p.m.

September 11 | 10:00 a.m.

SOMC Vanceburg Family Practice & Specialty Associates

March 4 | 10:00 a.m.

SOMC Waverly Urgent Care & Specialty Associates

March 4 | Noon

Wheelersburg Public Library

March 6 | 11:30 a.m.

SOMC hosting in-service on preventing falls

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host a “Preventing Falls” in-service from 1 to 2 p.m. on January 13 in Room 3 of the Education Building, located on SOMC’s main campus.

Rose Netzler, vice president of Clinical Services at Horizon Health, will lead the in-service. Professionals and community members are invited to attend, and it is not necessary to RSVP.

For more information, contact Erica Kegley at 740-356-6845.

Toland Tournament raises $3,000 for Hospice

The recent Paul Toland Memorial Tournament, a bass tournament held in honor of Paul Tauland and organized by his wife Kim, raised $3,000 for the SOMC Hospice CARITAS Fund. Pictured here from left to right are Becky French of SOMC Social Services, Kim Toland and Susan Goins, also of SOMC Social Services.

The tournament’s first-place finishers were Chris Malone and Bill Kinder. Bill Turley and Eddie Frye finished second, Tim Hines and Tim Frye finished third, Corey Campbell and Tim Wheeler finish fourth and Jere Rigby and Hogan Hass finished fifth. Greg Mawery and Chuck Yaniko won the tournament’s “smallest bass” award.

Service Guild donates to A Night of Broadway

The SOMC Service Guild, pictured here with Dr. Vincent Scarpinato, donated $5,000 to support A Night of Broadway, an event being held at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on January 31, 2015, to support the Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. Tickets go on sale January 1, 2015.

SOMC Receives Silver Level Healthy Worksite Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently recognized for their outstanding efforts toward employee health and fitness, receiving the 2014 Silver Level Healthy Worksite Award presented by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Healthy Ohio Business Council (HOBC).

A total of 71 companies, cities, and townships applied for the 2014 Healthy Worksite awards, which recognize Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs.

“Poor nutrition, inactive and sedentary lifestyles, tobacco use, and alcohol and drug use limit our potential to be productive Ohioans. This is why a comprehensive approach to preventive health and wellness at worksites is an essential part of improving both the health of Ohioans and the overall success of our state,” Dr. Andrew Wapner, chief of the Bureau of Healthy Ohio at ODH, said. “Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award winners are leading the way in this effort by making a healthy work environment a priority for their employees.”

Applicants are scored on how well their wellness programs facilitate and encourage employee health, enhance productivity, and ensure a healthy work environment.

“In terms of health and wellness, SOMC strives to be the leading example not just to our employees, but for other employers and the community,” April Sanders, manager of SOMC Employee Health and Wellness said. “We work to encourage a healthy community that will result in our children and their families living long and happy lives. We’re glad to be making strides both in and outside our workforce.”

The Healthy Worksite awards are sponsored by Provant, a leader in population health management strategies and customized worksite wellness services that support employee well-being and productivity and healthcare cost containment. For more information about the Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award program, please visit

SOMC Named as a Top Agency of the 2014 HomeCare Elite

Home Health Services of Southern Ohio Medical Center are proud to announce that they have been named a Top Agency of the 2014 HomeCare Elite™, a recognition of the most successful and top-performing home health agencies in the United States.

SOMC Home Health has maintained recognition as one of Ohio’s most well-established and experienced home care programs since its inception in 1966. This is the sixth time that the program has been named to the Elite list.

“As Ohio’s oldest hospital-based home care service, we are honored to once again be a part of this prestigious list,” SOMC Home Care Director Karen Thompson said. “Our program is dedicated to maintaining leadership status in best practices and performance, and we have made an ultimate commitment to provide excellent care to those we serve. This designation only further verifies our success and is a humbling validation of the excellent care our nurses, therapists and aides provide.”

Now in its ninth year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies.  Winners are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience (Home Health CAHPS®), quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance. Out of 9,994 agencies considered, 2,501 are elite.

“The 2014 HomeCare Elite winners demonstrate a commitment to providing high quality care in their home health communities and we recognize them for their remarkable achievements,” Mary Oakes, senior vice president of Post-Acute at National Research, said. “We congratulate SOMC on being recognized as a top home care agency.”

“HomeCare Elite recognition is a significant acknowledgement. In today’s healthcare ecosystem, it is imperative that our seniors have access to quality home healthcare to ensure better patient outcomes and improve overall cost, and therefore, home healthcare continues to remain an integral part of the care continuum,” Marci Heydt, product manager for the post-acute care business group of Decision Health, said. “The winners of the HomeCare Elite Award are proving that a heightened focus on clinical outcomes, patient experience, and financial management lead to success.”

The award is sponsored by OCS HomeCare by National Research Corporation, the leading provider of home health metrics and analytics, and DecisionHealth, publisher of the most respected independent newsletter in the home health profession, Home Health Line. The entire list of 2014 HomeCare Elite agencies can be viewed by visiting the National Research Corporation website at