SOMC sets goal to treat, discharge all urgent care patients within 60 minutes

Southern Ohio Medical Center has put an emphasis on making sure that patients who visit any of their three urgent care facilities will be treated and on their way home within 60 minutes of their arrival.

“Many urgent care visits are not planned. We understand that when you come to the urgent care, you want to receive care and be on your way as quickly as possible,” SOMC Administrative Director of Nursing Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs said. “That’s why our goal is to have our patients back on their way home within 60 minutes of when they first arrived.”

SOMC has urgent care facilities in Portsmouth, Wheelersburg and Waverly.

“Our urgent care facilities are designed to be a faster alternative to an Emergency Department visit,” Dilts-Skaggs said. “We provide care for minor illnesses and injuries. We can also treat cuts, sprains and broken bones.”

SOMC Urgent Care staff includes a combination of physicians, certified nurse practitioners, nurses, x-ray technologists, registration staff and lab technologists. All three facilities also provide outpatient lab, x-ray services and physicals.

The Portsmouth Urgent Care facility also has an Ambulatory Infusion Clinic, which provides for patients in need of IV antibiotics, IVIG, Reclast and blood products without having to admit them into the hospital.

Additional services are also available in the Waverly Urgent Care and Specialty Center. This facility offers consultations and follow-up appointments with SOMC specialists such as pulmonology, neurology, general surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, medical oncology and orthopedics.

The Portsmouth Urgent Care can be reached at (740) 356-7920.

The Wheelersburg Urgent Care can be reached at (740) 574-9090.

The Waverly Urgent Care can be reached at (740) 947-7662.

For more information, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at


SOMC thanks nurses in honor of Certified Nurses Day

March 19 is nationally recognized as Certified Nurses Day, and Southern Ohio Medical Center is marking the occasion by honoring its 188 board certified nurses.

“We are so proud of our nurses and the excellent care they offer our patients each and every day,” Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer Claudia Burchett said. “Nurses represent one of the most critical and essential components of our modern healthcare system.”

Certification, as defined by the American Board of Nursing Specialties, is the formal recognition of the knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated by achieving the standards identified to promote optimal health results in a nursing specialty.

“It takes personal dedication and persistence to achieve and maintain certification,” Burchett said. “The hard work, professionalism and dedication that these nurses possess is vital to the care we provide at SOMC.”

SOMC encourages all of its nurses to pursue board certification, and currently has certified nurses working in 24 separate patient-care areas. The hospital will host a Nursing Certification Fair on March 19 to help nurses prepare for certification and learn more about the process.

For more information, visit or “like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC Pediatric Associates to open this summer

Southern Ohio Medical Center announced plans to open SOMC Pediatric Associates this summer. This new service will provide your children with access to comprehensive pediatric care in a convenient setting.  Renovations will begin soon in the 1st floor of the Fulton building at SOMC. This location was chosen for the access to parking and the ability to utilize the entire floor to provide pediatric and laboratory services. The SOMC Pediatric Associates will feature open scheduling, extended weekday and weekend office hours, and increased communication between patients, office staff, nurse practitioners, and the physician. Your children will have a team approach to continuous and comprehensive care that is family-centered.

John R. Radford, MD, FAAP has been named the Senior Medical Director of SOMC Pediatrics and will oversee the Pediatric office and service line.  He has been a pediatrician for 20 years and was most recently practicing in the Waverly area. Dr. Radford is board certified in Pediatrics.

Along with the resources and support provided by our affiliation with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, SOMC is very excited to offer this convenience to the pediatric population in our area. SOMC Pediatric Associates will follow the family-centered approach to care by helping to streamline your child’s healthcare needs.  

SOMC announces pressure ulcer prevention event at Pleasant Hill Manor

The Southern Ohio Medical Center Wound Healing Center will be hosting an event on the prevention of pressure ulcers at Pleasant Hill Manor from 8-9 a.m. on March 21.

Gina Smith, a clinical manager at the SOMC Wound Healing Center, will be the presenter. 1 contact hour will be awarded for nurses who attend, and criteria for completion include attending at least 80% of the session.

For more information, or to register, contact Barb Michael at 740-289-2394 or by email at

Susan G. Komen grants $81,757 to SOMC’s Hands of Hope program

The Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure recently announced they would be awarding Southern Ohio Medical Center $81,757 to support the hospital’s Hands of Hope Program.

“We are extremely grateful to have the continued support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure,” SOMC Director of Cancer Services Wendi Waugh said. “This is the largest amount they’ve given us to date, and it will ensure that local women without insurance or underinsured women can still receive their annual mammograms without the fear of medical bills.”

Hands of Hope is a grant-funded program at SOMC that provides free services such as mammograms and clinical breast exams. The program also seeks to educate women 40 years and older about the importance of early breast cancer detection, while supplying those already diagnosed with guidance and support.

“We recently learned through a community survey that even though there has been a tremendous effort in the area to educate women on the importance of annual mammograms our screening rate is still lower than other areas in Ohio and the nation.  Early detection is key to improving survival rates. Through the Hands of Hope program, we are helping promote early detection by providing resources and removing financial obstacles wherever we can,” Waugh said.

When treated early, the five-year breast cancer survival rate is 98 percent.

“The financial support from our organization serves as a safety-net for women in our service area, allowing the funded organizations to deliver services to women who would not be able to afford them,” Julie McMahon, director of mission at Komen Columbus, said.

The SOMC Breast Navigator can be reached at 740-356-PINK. To learn more, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at

A good night’s sleep is more important than you may think

With many people juggling hectic schedules and working long days, it can sometimes be hard to find time for a good night’s sleep. However, getting enough sleep is more important that some people may realize. That is why March 3 – 10 has been designated as Sleep Awareness Week.

While the amount of sleep you need varies from person to person, on average most adults require between 7 and 8 hours per night. When you obtain less sleep than you require, you go into “sleep debt.” Like all debts, this will have to be repaid – with interest. The more sleep you miss, the more sleep you will require.

Contrary to what many people believe, you cannot simply “get used” to sleeping less without suffering adverse consequences. Tests have shown that sleep-deprived individuals actually perform tasks as poorly or worse than people who are intoxicated. Specifically, sleep deprivation will negatively impact your:

  • Attention
  • Vigilance
  • Memory
  • Decision making
  • Reaction/Response times
  • Judgment

And despite popular opinion, it is not possible to cancel out these effects with caffeine or other stimulants. The impact of sleep deprivation does not end with cognitive functions, either. It has very real, and very serious, health implications.

It is believed that sleep deprivation may affect the immune system, making you more vulnerable to common viral illnesses, obesity, heart disease, depression and even diabetes.

REM sleep also lets the brain replenish the mechanisms for memory, learning, performance and problem solving. This means that if you get less than 6 hours of sleep, it may prevent you from retaining information.

The importance of a good night’s sleep is great, as are the consequences for not achieving it. If you believe that you may suffer from a condition that is causing you to experience sleep deprivation, contact the SOMC Sleep Lab at 740-356-8822.

SOMC to host “Matters of the Mind” health screenings

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting “Matters of the Mind,” a special event that offers free health screenings related to the brain and neurological system, on March 5 from 2 until 6 p.m. at the SOMC Friends Center.

The event will feature cognitive screenings, hearing screenings, balance assessment, evaluations for risk of falling or stroke and more.

Following the screenings, there will be presentations from SOMC physician specialists and nurse practitioners. Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

To learn more about “Matters of the Mind,” or to schedule an appointment for a free health screening, call 740-356-2794. Pre-registration is required and must be completed by March 1.

SOMC announces results of Community Valentine

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently announced the final results of its ‘Community Valentine,’ in which SOMC pledged donations to five local organizations in accordance with how many votes each received in a poll on the hospital’s Facebook fan page. Because of the overwhelming response the poll received, SOMC has rounded up each organization’s donation to the nearest thousand.

SOMC is donating $4,000 to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund; $4,000 to Sierra’s Haven; $1,000 to Scioto County 4-H; $1,000 to the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross; and $1,000 to the Stepping Stones House.

Pictured together are representatives from all five organizations, alongside SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett. From left to right; Josi Brodt and Jo Williams with Scioto County 4-H, Dr. Gail Counts with Sierra’s Haven, Randy Arnett, Virgie Hunter with the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, Dan Castle with Sierra’s Haven, Mark Hunter with the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, Mary Irwin with the Stepping Stones House and Elijah Allen with the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.


SOMC’s stars ready to shine for Red Cross

Although the event won’t take place until March, voting has already begun for “Dancing with Our Stars,” a local dance competition that serves as a fundraiser for the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The event features two ‘stars’ from Southern Ohio Medical Center: Wendi Waugh and Dr. Nathan Bennington.

Neither Waugh nor Dr. Bennington benefit from formal dance training, and both have admitted to being a bit surprised by how steep the learning curve can be. However, they’re both excited to be developing new skills and using them to help an organization like the Red Cross.

“Keeping in mind that it’s for charity makes it easier,” Waugh said. “I’m all about whatever I can do for the community.”

Waugh is the director of the SOMC Cancer Services/Community Health and Wellness. In that capacity, she works to provide screenings and wellness opportunities for the community. That includes events such as 2012’s ‘Tri for Your LIFE’ triathlon, which attracted more than 100 competitors with some coming from as far away as Florida and Minnesota.

Waugh’s primary goal may be to raise funds for the Red Cross, but there is one other goal she’d like to accomplish – she’d like to win.

“I feel like I’m putting a lot of hours into this, and I hope that in the end my partner and I look like professional dancers,” Waugh said. “In fact, I want to do so well that they ask me to dance as a professional next year.”

In order to do that, she has spent many hours with her dance partner, Dan Gray, learning the cha-cha. Dr. Bennington has also invested considerable time into learning to dance.

“I have never taken dance lessons or done anything like that. Trying to learn dancing from somebody else is definitely foreign to me,” Dr. Bennington said.

His partner, Debbie Kielmar, is the Group Fitness Supervisor at the SOMC LIFE Center and has put together their routine for the competition. Dr. Bennington is careful, however, not to reveal too much about their plans.

“All I’m going to say is that ours is going to be the most unique,” Dr. Bennington said. “It won’t be ballroom dancing, let’s put it that way.”

Like Waugh, Dr. Bennington has a history of community service and involvement that motivates him to help raise funds for the Red Cross. In fact, Dr. Bennington was a recipient of the Red Cross’ Humanitarian Award in 2012. He received the honor along with Dr. George Pettit after the duo traveled to the Philippines for a medical mission that included removing a 33-pound tumor.

Votes can already be cast online for both Wendi Waugh and Dr. Nathan Bennington, but each vote requires a $1 donation to the Red Cross.

To support Wendi Waugh, visit

To support Dr. Nathan Bennington, visit

Additional information can be found by liking SOMC on Facebook at