Glocker GM donates to SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund


Mike Glockner of the Glockner GM Superstore recently presented SOMC Cancer Center Director Wendi Waugh and Dr. Vincent Scarpinato with a check for $4,540. The money will benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which helps provide basic necessities for cancer patients. In all, SOMC’s “Paint It Pink” events – combined with the October showing of “The World Goes Round” – have raised more than $50,000 for the fund.


West Middle School donates $1,500 to SOMC Cancer Center


After holding a ‘Dance-a-Thon’ to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness, students from Portsmouth West Middle School recently donated $1,500 to the SOMC Cancer Center. An additional $1,500 was donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The students raised the money by selling water and refreshments during the two-day ‘Dance-a-Thon.’ Each student participating in the event also donated $2 for each period in which they took part in the Dance-a-Thon. Health and Physical Education teacher, Amy Kayser, helped organize the activities.

Pictured here, from left to right, is Breast Health Navigator Kim Richendollar, Cancer Center Director Wendi Waugh, Gracie Evans, Caitlin Russell, Lindsey Howard and West Health and PE Teacher Amy Kayser.

SOMC Veterans express pride, gratitude for military service

Growing up, Doris Robinette always admired her big brother. She admired him so much that when he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War, she decided to sign up as well.

“I was just a kid sister that looked up to her brother,” Robinette said. “I thought whatever he did, I had to do.”

Like most military women at that time, she did not serve in direct combat, but her service was instrumental to the war effort nonetheless. She was a jet engine mechanic, tasked with caring for the vehicles that would carry other soldiers into the fray.

Today, she continues to serve her community, but in a very different venue. She is a claims processor at Southern Ohio Medical Center, and she is not the only military veteran that now sets up camp at SOMC.

Over the years, SOMC has provided employment to many Americans transitioning out of the armed forces. Their positions range from housekeepers to physicians, and their military service ranges from the Vietnam era to modern wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are common threads that bind them, however. All chose to serve, in part, because they believed in serving a cause larger than themselves. They also believe it is important to show gratitude to others who have risked their lives to serve their country.

Gary Curtis, SOMC’s financial accounting manager, served in the military during the Vietnam era. For him, the decision to enlist was an easy one to make.

“I was brought up to believe that everyone should step up and take their turn serving this country,” Curtis said. “Back then, politicians actually said things like ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’”

For both Curtis and Robinette, their military service is a source of great pride. Veterans Day is an outlet for that pride, but it also gives them an opportunity to reflect on others who placed the country’s needs above their own.

“Veterans Day makes me think about those that came back wounded, or didn’t come back at all,” Curtis said.

“I don’t think about myself. I think about the ones before me,” Robinette added. “My dad was in the Navy, my brother was in the Army, I had a nephew in the Marines and I went in the Air Force. I’ve always had a sense of pride for our flag, and whenever I hear the National Anthem it has always made me cry.”

For SOMC Managed Care Reimbursement Manager James Bussa, Veterans Day isn’t just emotional – it’s arguably the important holiday of the year.

“Having been a veteran myself, and considering that 90 percent of my friends are active duty vets or retired vets, it’s definitely my favorite holiday,” Bussa said. “It almost trumps Christmas.”

Bussa’s service began in 1989 and continued through two wars in Iraq. It included stints in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Qatar. In 2005, he served as an instructor for the Iraqi military.

“The Iraqis that were in the program treated us very well,” Bussa said. “They all took great risks being in the program, from death threats to their families to actually threats to themselves.”

As the son of a Vietnam veteran, however, he understands that military appreciation is not something to be taken for granted. Although he only has the tales of his father to go by, he’s heard stories of soldiers returning from Indochina to meet protestors who offered less than warm welcomes.

Veterans Day is important because it’s an opportunity to make sure today’s heroes receive a warmer reception. That support from home is very important to those serving overseas.

“The amount of support we received during every trip I made to that part of the world, whether it was care packages or letters from kids at schools that had never met us, all made a difference,” Bussa said. “It made it bearable.”

Andrew DeCamp, a unit clerk in the SOMC Heart Care Unit, can attest to that. As a United States Navy Corpsman who is currently in Afghanistan, he knows the power of a kind word from home.

“I’m currently serving and deployed in Afghanistan with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133,” Andrew DeCamp said. “When members here get to call home or get a letter or package, our morale shoots through the roof.”

His mother, SOMC Director of Nursing Valerie DeCamp, does her part to keep his morale up by mailing him a care package every week.

On Veterans Day, Valerie will be far from alone in expressing gratitude for those who currently serve, just as Andrew will not be the only one thankful for those who served before.

“Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor veterans all over the United States, from all branches of the military,” Andrew DeCamp said. “Almost every family in the United States has a member who is a Veteran or in the Armed Forces. I have the honor of having uncles, cousins, and a grandfather who all served and I have the honor and privilege to follow in their footsteps.

“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to every one of them.”

SOMC, Hoxworth hosting blood drive on November 6

Southern Ohio Medical Center and the Hoxworth Blood Center will partner to host a blood drive open to hospital employees and the community from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on November 6 in Suite 207 of the Waller Building on SOMC’s Main Campus.

Supplies are critically low due to the recent storm activity on the East coast, so all participants and blood types are welcome and encouraged to donate. Donors will receive a long-sleeved Cincinnati Bengals T-shirt while supplies last. (Sizes may vary.)

Those wishing to donate must have a photo ID, be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Participants with tattoos or sterile piercings will be accepted, so long as they were administered in a licensed facility in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana.

Appointments are preferred and can be made online at or by calling 740-356-8045, 740-356-8670 or 740-356-8118.

SOMC Hospice ornaments now available

The Hospice program of Southern Ohio Medical Center is once again offering a unique way to support patient care and remember loved ones during the holiday season.

This year’s annual Hospice keepsake ornament is on sale now and will be available until Dec. 31. The silver ornament is heart-shaped and features a beautiful white dove in the center. As in the past, the ornament also includes a tag that can be engraved to display the date, your name, or the name of the individual receiving the gift, as well as the name of the person you wish to honor.

Cost is $25 per ornament and limited quantities are available. Proceeds collected will benefit SOMC Hospice. For more information or to place an order, please contact Scott Hilbert at 356- 2653.

Local businesses offering Paint It Pink discounts

Southern Ohio Medical Center is asking local businesses and residents to help raise breast cancer awareness by wearing pink on October 19, but some local businesses are taking additional steps to make sure the message gets across.

Wall-to-Wall Wallpaper, located at 8516C Ohio River Road in Wheelersburg, is planning to donate 10% of all sales on October 19 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund.

And, Z Collections, located at 1662 11th Street in Portsmouth, is offering a special discount for individuals who participate in Paint It Pink. They will be offering a 15% discount to customers who are wearing an SOMC Paint It Pink t-shirt.

“We wanted to do what we could to help raise breast cancer awareness,” Z Collections Assistant Manager Amy Nolen said. “Not only does this promotion do just that, it’s also a way for us to say ‘thank you’ to everyone else that helps ‘Paint It Pink’ on October 19.”

For Wall-to-Wall owner Debbie Allard, the decision to participate is somewhat personal.

“My mom died of cancer,” Allard said. “Cancer is just something that really affects everyone, and we just wanted to try and do a little bit to help.”

The Portsmouth Brewing Company has also gotten involved.  They are selling pink butterflies for $1.00.  The butterflies will be hung in the windows of the establishment throughout the month of October.  At the end of October, the staff plans to donate the proceeds to the SOMC Compassion Fund.

“We wanted to be pink in October but that didn’t seem like enough,” Emily Ulbrich of The Portsmouth Brewing Company said. “We wanted to help people locally.”

Additionally, Patter Fam Sauces, which is located in Wheelersburg and sells products online at, will be donating $1 of every bottle of Bourbon Barrell Hot Sauce sold to support the fight against breast cancer.

Wall-to-Wall will be open from 10am to 6pm on October 19. The store offers wallpaper and more, including home décor, specialty foods and Ohio State memorabilia.

Z Collections is open from 10am to 8pm, Monday through Saturday, and offers shoes, handbags and accessories. For more information, visit

Paint It Pink t-shirts can be purchased at the SOMC Cancer Center, the SOMC Gift Gallery or by calling 740-356-PINK. Orders of 25 shirts or more can be delivered.

SOMC named 10th best place to work by Modern Healthcare, first among large employers

Southern Ohio Medical Center today announced it has placed 10th overall in Modern Healthcare’s 2012 Best Places to Work in Healthcare awards. Among large employers, SOMC placed first. This is the third year in a row that SOMC has been featured on this list.

The magazine’s annual Best Places to Work in Healthcare program recognizes employers for creating workplaces in healthcare that enable employees to perform at their optimum level to provide patients and customers with the best possible patient care and services.

“We are honored to be recognized as one of the best healthcare facilities to work for in America by Modern Healthcare,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “To finish 10th overall, and first among large employers, is a tremendous accomplishment and says a lot about both the quality of people and the quality of care you can expect to find at SOMC.”

“Being named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2012 demonstrates that SOMC has built a culture where employees are supported and engaged, which benefits not only patients and customers but the employer’s overall performance as well, ” said Fawn Lopez, vice president and publisher of Modern Healthcare. “These healthcare employers are models for others who are seeking to build a successful culture, resulting in optimum performance levels and benefits for their organization.”

SOMC announces plans to construct medical building in West Union

Southern Ohio Medical Center has purchased 2.5 acres in the Adams County Commerce Park and is currently in the planning and design stages of constructing a medical building there. The building will host the practice of Drs. John and Angela Shupert, who recently joined the SOMC Medical Care Foundation.

“We are thrilled to welcome Drs. John and Angela Shupert to our team, and we are excited to have a physical presence in Adams County,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “Adams County is in SOMC’s ‘Top 5’ of counties for patient volumes, and we are looking forward to being able to better serve our growing number of patients in the area.”

“Our goal is to begin construction early in 2013,” Justin Clark, director of plant operations at SOMC, said. “We are still in the process of determining the scope of our services to be offered at the facility and will provide more details as they become available.”

For more information, like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC awarded VPP Star Designation, among nation’s top 1 percent for safety

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been awarded with Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star Designation, an honor that places SOMC among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in safety excellence leadership.

VPP is a cooperative program of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“To be among the top one percent of hospitals in the nation for safety is a tremendous honor. Earning VPP Star Designation is not only great news for SOMC, but it’s great news for our employees,” Christy Aeh, director of Safety Services at SOMC, said.

Meeting VPP criteria required SOMC to exceed, and sustain, requirements in leadership and employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control and safety and health training.

VPP have been shown to have more than 50 percent fewer injuries and lost worker days than the national average.

“All of us at SOMC have high expectations for ourselves, and this distinction is a direct result of that,” Aeh said. “We want our employees to know that they’re working in a safe environment.”