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

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.