Pettit receives Outstanding Physician Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Dr. George P. Pettit has been selected to receive this year’s Outstanding Physician Award.

Pettit was chosen to receive this award by the Scioto County Medical Society, which honors physicians that meet certain criteria, such as having 20 years of medical service, the respect of their peers and being involved in their community.

As an OB-GYN for SOMC, Pettit has also been actively involved in the community. His involvement included being the medical director of the Portsmouth City Health Department, president of the Scioto County Medical Society, medical director of the American Cancer Society and the chief-of-staff at Mercy Hospital. Today, Pettit continues to help those in need as a staff physician at the Scioto County’s C.A.O. clinic and a medical consultant for Pike County’s C.A.O. clinic.

“The community has been very good to me and I try to give back,” Pettit said.

Dr. Pettit also provides medical care for people that may not receive assistance otherwise in his community and overseas during several medical mission trips. He has helped patients in Mexico, Pakistan, Haiti, Rwanda, India and the Philippines — where he successfully removed a 33-pound tumor from a patient in need.

Along with his medical work, Pettit was involved in his community as one of the first co-chairs of the Relay for Life. He is also one of the top 10 volume-buyers of junior livestock sale in Scioto, Pike and Greenup Counties.

One of the areas where Pettit takes the most pride, however, is in his involvement with public education. He has been a member of the Portsmouth City School Board for the past 15 years, and considers his work with that organization to be of high importance.

“Children are the future of our society and public schools are the foundation of America’s freedom,” Pettit said regarding his role as a Portsmouth City School Board member.

Dr. Pettit is happy to serve his community and others with his work and involvement. He acknowledges the importance to give back to the community and his obligation to serve the public.

“Everyone who has been successful has a responsibility to give back to the community,” Pettit said. “I enjoy giving back and doing things that benefit my fellow citizens.”

SOMC named FORTUNE’s 18th best place to work

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been recognized as one of the best places to work in America by FORTUNE Magazine. SOMC came in 18th on the magazine’s prestigious list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, moving up 11 spots from last year’s designation.

FORTUNE cited SOMC’s support for employees aiming to improve their education as one of the reasons for the high ranking, noting: “This regional health care system pays 100% of tuition for employees seeking to advance their education and pursue a degree in the medical field.”  SOMC’s educational assistance program for employees and their dependents has often been recognized as one of the best in the tri-state area.

SOMC was the highest-ranking health care provider, highest ranked organization in Ohio, and one of only three companies located in Ohio, Kentucky or West Virginia.

“To be included in the top 20 on a list like this is an incredible accomplishment,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “As a hospital, we’re known for the outstanding care that we provide for our patients, but we also care deeply about our employees. We work hard to be a good employer for our community, and this achievement is the culmination of those efforts.”

SOMC has now been featured on FORTUNE’s list for seven years in a row. It is one of many honors that have been bestowed upon the hospital. SOMC has also been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the best healthcare facilities to work for, an OSHA VPP Star organization, and re-designated as a Magnet facility, which is one of the country’s highest nursing honors.

To view the complete list, visit For more information about SOMC, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC guilds raise more than $65,000 in 2013

The guilds at Southern Ohio Medical Center share a common goal – to support the needs of the patients, as well as the hospital’s beneficial programs through fundraising efforts. They achieved their goal in 2013, raising more than $65,000 as part of their effort to advance the mission of SOMC.

“The women and men of SOMC’s guilds are truly extraordinary individuals and make such a difference for the patients, families and staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center,” SOMC Guild Coordinator Jenny Lavender said.

In 2013, SOMC’s guilds donated a total of $65,311.98 including a $30,366.08 donation from the Hope Guild. The Kardia Guild donated a total amount of $7,435.90, while the Pleasure Guild donated $10,050.00. Meanwhile, the Scioto Guild donated an amount of $17,460.00 with the proceeds from the Annual Flower Sale fundraiser.

“Our guilds’ support allowed SOMC to purchase items, such as a Breast Prone Board, EMT/Heart Care Equipment, IV Ultrasound Machines and Breast Pumps for Maternity and donations toward the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund and Pediatric Nursery,” Lavender said.

SOMC is supported by a total of six guilds, including a newly formed Pediatric Guild. For more information, or to find out how you can support SOMC’s guilds, contact Jenny Lavender at 740-356-8236.

SOMC announces Runner’s Assessment Program

Local runners looking to improve performance or avoid injury now have a new weapon in their arsenal.

The Runner’s Assessment Program at Southern Ohio Medical Center allows runners to determine what could be contributing to pain, learn specific corrective exercises and improve efficiency with Dart Fish software.

A running assessment consists of a runner placed on a treadmill and is asked to run at a comfortable pace. He or she is recorded with a video camera and analyzed with Dart Fish software, which looks at each joint, measures the joint angles and looks at symmetry in the running pattern.

Kelly Wheeler, an SOMC physical therapist who provides the Running Assessment Program, ran three marathons including the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“This is really my heart because I’m a runner myself,” Wheeler said. “I really enjoy it.”

After she developed pain from running, Wheeler had a runner’s assessment. She described the different processes of the Running Assessment Program, such as checking strengths and motion, flexibility and watching mechanics during squatting.

A prescription from a physician requesting a running assessment is needed if one is having pain while running. If one is wishing to improve running efficiency, there is a cash fee of $150 for a running assessment.

For more information, call the SOMC Rehab Care Unit at 740-356-2400.


SOMC LIFE Center offers ways to get in shape

The SOMC LIFE Center offers several ways to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle for all ages with classes, programs, equipment and training to help you meet your fitness goals.

Personal Trainers at the LIFE Center can customize exercise plans to meet your specific needs. All LIFE Center Personal Trainers have a degree in exercise discipline or a certification through a nationally recognized Fitness agency. Training sessions can be used in 30-minute or 1-hour blocks, and they can be one-on-one or in a group setting. More than one person can share a trainer for an additional $10 per hour per person. There is also a limit of three people per trainer in group training sessions. With a customizable exercise plan, a personal trainer can design the perfect program to help achieve your goals.

Along with keeping yourself healthy, it is important to involve your kids in exercises, as well. The SOMC LIFE Center offers new programs called FitTots and Kidz Fit for LIFE. The goal of the programs is to get kids started on a lifelong journey to health and fitness in a non-competitive and fun environment. FitTots and Kidz Fit for LIFE are offered Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm. The LIFE Center is also providing a Kid’s punch card to allow children to workout with their parents or guardians in many of the group fitness classes.

For more information about Personal Training, FitTots or Kidz Fit for LIFE, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7560.

5k Race Cup Series coming in 2014

In 2014, there will be a new way for local runners to compete: the 5k Race Cup Series.

Several local organizations are partnering to start the 2014 5k Race Cup Series, which combines the results of six local 5ks to crown male and female grand prize winners.

The way it works is that, after each race in the series, the top 10 males and the top 10 females will be rewarded points – 100 for first place, 90 for second, 80 for third and so on. At the end of the series, each participant’s points will be totaled and the top male and female will each be awarded a grand prize.

The 5k Race Cup Series schedule includes a total of six races, scheduled as follows:

• March 15 – CAO Shamrock Shuffle
• April 16 – SSU Spring Bear Run
• August 30 – SOMC Run For Your LIFE
• September 17 – SSU Fall Bear Run
• October 4 – Counseling Center Natural High
• December 6 – Red Cross Jingle Bell Jog

It is not necessary to participate in every race to be eligible for the cash prize. For more information on this upcoming event, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7650.

Dr. Martin Staker donates to SOMC Cancer Center

During the month of October, Dr. Martin Staker offered patients first day services in exchange for a $29 donation to help promote national breast cancer awareness. The donations totaled $633 and were presented to Kim Richendollar of the SOMC Cancer Center, seen here alongside Dr. Martin Staker and staff members Judi Emnett and Brittany Salyers.

SOMC physicians recognized as “Center of Excellence” providers

Dr. Johnny Bernard, Jr.

Dr. Vincent Scarpinato

Two SOMC physicians were recently recognized as having achieved a “Center of Excellence” level of care in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). The designation recognizes these physicians’ commitment to education, training and experience in state-of-the-art breast cancer treatment.

“We are very excited and proud of Drs. Johnny Bernard, Jr. and Vincent Scarpinato.  Each has achieved Center of Excellence recognition,” Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center, said. “We take pride in offering our patients excellent care and the most advanced treatments possible. Both physicians have really stepped up to ensure that their patients have access to the newest technologies in breast cancer care.”

The physicians received the designation for demonstrating proficiency in inserting the SAVI applicator into the lumpectomy cavity after surgery and, following insertion, delivery of radiation therapy.

“After a lumpectomy, patients will typically require radiation treatment to eliminate any remaining cancer cells,” Dr. Johnny Bernard, Jr. said. “With the SAVI applicator, we are able to deliver this treatment in a way that is more targeted, and thus minimizes radiation exposure of healthy tissue.”

The SAVI applicator is an advanced therapy for breast cancer as a part of breast conservation therapy.

“Traditional radiation treatment involves irradiating the entire breast,” Dr. Scarpinato said. “SAVI gives us the ability to isolate the area where the tumor has been removed from and target the area.”

For more information on SAVI, visit or call 740-356-7490.


Valley kindergarteners go caroling at SOMC Hospice

Kindergarten students from Valley Elementary School recently visited SOMC Hospice to sing Christmas carols to patients and staff. The group was made up of students from three separate classes. For more information about SOMC Hospice, please call 740-356-2567. To see more photos from this event, like SOMC on Facebook.