SOMC Hospice Volunteers Reach 25-Year Milestone

SOMC Hospice Volunteers Doug Besco, Dottie Glover, and Iona Martin (shown l to r) recently received special acknowledgment during the annual Hospice Volunteer Recognition Dinner for achieving the program’s first 25-year milestones.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently celebrated the individuals who give their time, kindness, and exceptional dedication to assisting the patients and families of SOMC Hospice during the annual Hospice Volunteer Recognition Dinner, held Oct. 6 at the Friends Community Center.

“Every year we set aside an evening to bring all of our volunteers together and honor them for the hours, patience, and love they continually show to our Hospice families,” Beverly Stringer, volunteer coordinator of Hospice Services, said. “Our program would be nothing without their support and this event is just a small way to show them how big a difference they make in the lives of others.”

More than 80 participants make up the Hospice volunteer program, ranging in age from 15 to 94. Many of the volunteers have been a part of the organization for countless years, though local residents Doug Besco, Dottie Glover, and Iona Martin received special acknowledgment the night of the banquet for achieving the program’s first 25-year milestones.

“It’s unbelievable that we’ve already been with this program for 25 years when I can clearly remember the day we each received our first five-year award,” Martin said. “Time has flown by since then, but every second I’ve volunteered has been worthwhile. I rely on this program and the program relies on me. It’s a great relationship.”

Glover explained that each volunteer can assist the Hospice program through a variety of opportunities including clerical assistance, annual fundraising events, providing relief to caregivers during in-home visits, or even sitting with a patient at the end of their life as part of the 11th Hour team.

“No matter what option you choose, you always become very close to these people and they grow into an extension of your own family,” she said. “Each opportunity is a blessing, and though it can be heartbreaking at times, it’s really a rewarding experience.”

Besco added that though the aspect of helping others is what initially drew him to the program, the act of volunteering has provided him with so much more, including a newfound support group among his fellow co-workers.

“Though it’s our job to provide support to the patients, our team is also here for one another,” he said. “It doesn’t matter the situation—you just know that someone will lend a hand or offer encouragement. It’s nice to have so many wonderful, caring people to count on and I’m honored to be a part of this group.”

“I’m very lucky to do what I do and I work with some of the most special employees,” Stringer said. “They teach me something new every day—not only about myself, but about the ways that generosity and compassion can change a patient’s life. Our volunteers make the SOMC Hospice program what it is and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.”

To learn more about the volunteer opportunities available through SOMC Hospice, please call Beverly Stringer at 356-2653.

Hope Guild Donates to SOMC Diabetes Education

Members of the Hope Guild, a part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented Jill Preston, RN, (front right) Manager of SOMC Workforce Development with a donation of $10,000 for diabetes education. The guild raised the money through various fundraisers during the year. SOMC will use the funds to continue the diabetes education program and educate the community about diabetes prevention and self-management.

SOMC White Wins Susan G. Komen Model Survivor Contest

Norma White, (right) a pharmacy tech and purchasing clerk at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently won the Susan G. Komen Model Survivor Contest. White’s co-worker Kristi Coleman, a certified cancer registrar, nominated White for the contest (left).

Norma White, pharmacy tech and purchasing clerk at Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently nominated for the Susan G. Komen For The Cure Columbus Affiliate Model Survivor award by a co-worker. White’s nomination has been chosen among thousands of entries as one of the three women who exemplify the determination and inspiration that it takes to battle breast cancer.

Kristi Coleman, certified cancer registrar at SOMC, nominated White when she learned of the contest. She wrote White’s survivor story and submitted it to the Susan G. Komen Columbus Affiliate Board of Directors.

“I found out about five years ago that I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” White, said. “I was diagnosed at the young age of 32 and this horrible news was not long after I learned I was unable to have children and had to undergo a total hysterectomy at the age of 31.”

White mixes chemotherapy for patients at the SOMC Cancer Center and after her diagnosis, she would be mixing her own chemotherapy.

Coleman says of her friend, “Norma battled through her treatments with courage and strength I’ve never seen and continued to work while undergoing chemotherapy treatments. She was sick, tired and had no hair but that didn’t stop Norma or keep her spirits down, she continued to push through.”

White said that after she survived breast cancer, she became a spokesperson for the SOMC Cancer Center. She meets with newly diagnosed patients and provides them with words of encouragement and answers their questions. White says, “I know what it’s like to be the patient.”

“Norma didn’t battle breast cancer alone, she had her husband Mitch by her side the whole time,” Coleman added. “Sadly, five years after Norma’s battle for her life, Mitch tragically lost his to a brain aneurism.”

Coleman, along with many of White’s other co-workers, feel that Norma is the model survivor. She has been dealt a bad hand of cards but doesn’t let it keep her down for long. Coleman says, “Norma is the strongest woman I’ve ever met. She is beautiful inside and out.”

The Susan G. Komen For The Cure Columbus Affiliate will present White with a pair of tickets to the “Keys To The Cure” fashion show at Saks Fifth Avenue at Polaris Fashion Place benefitting Life Care Alliance on Oct. 16 and she will be recognized on their website and blog.

“I’m so excited to go for a night out and be surrounded by other breast cancer survivors and supporters,” White, said. “I never realized my story until I read it and I just keep pushing on each day looking forward to the future of what lays ahead and I’m so honored to be considered a model survivor.”

SOMC To Host Fourth Annual Nursing Research Symposium

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host the Fourth Annual Nursing Research Symposium from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth.

Area nurses, faculty and students are invited to learn more about the nursing research being conducted at SOMC, Shawnee State University, Riverside Methodist Hospital and its universal nursing implications.

Presentations will be made on a variety of topics including Addressing Nursing’s Agenda in this Age of Uncertainty, Transition to Practice Research, CordStat Project, Medication Technology Enhancement and Patient Safety, Teen Pregnancy and STD Prevention, Early Ambulation of Immobilized Patients In Critical Care, Appalachian Health Care: A cultural Collage of Find Hospitals, Family Traditions and Folk Remedies, Preventing Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Cardiac Patients, Experience of Patients with Fractured Hips from Time of ED Discharge to OR Admission and Use if Epinephrine/Lidocaine for Control of Local Oozing in Post Cath Patients-alternative to Pressure/Compression.

The event is free of cost. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and contact hours will be awarded. Pre-registration is requested and can be made by calling Kim Lawless at 740-356-8310.

SOMC Utley Named AHIMA Certified Coding Trainer

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) recently named Susie Utley, manager of Coding and Reimbursement at Southern Ohio Medical Center, an ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer. The trainer certificate represents a high level of achievement and demonstrates proficiency and a broad base of knowledge in the area of coding and reimbursement.

“As a certified trainer, I will be qualified to train other coders and SOMC staff on the new coding system,” Utley said. “This certification is beneficial and has provided me with the confirmation that I have the necessary knowledge to assist our organization in a smooth transition to the new coding and reimbursement structure.”

Utley has been employed at SOMC for 28 years with 22 years in coding and reimbursement and she is an AHIMA certified coding specialist. Utley will be recognized on the AHIMA website and will be a member of the AHIMA Ambassador Program.

The ICD-10 coding structure will replace the current coding system, called ICD-9 and will directly impact hospital reimbursement. The United States is one of the last countries in the world to make this conversion, set for October 1, 2013.

Cancer Patients Invited to Look Good…Feel Better Program at SOMC

Southern Ohio Medical Center and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are helping to make cancer patients feel more confident about their appearance through the Look Good…Feel Better counseling program-a national public service created by the Cosmetic, toiletry and Fragrance Association, the National Cosmetology Association and the ACS to help patients who have recently completed or are currently undergoing cancer treatment.

The program meets the second Tuesday of every month, with the next session taking place at 5 p.m. Oct 12 at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth.

During the two-hour, hands-on workshop, attendees will participate in skin-care and make-up application lessons, proper nail-care techniques and will learn how to wear and create headscarves and turbans to mask hair loss. Each patient will be given their own make-up kit and will also have the opportunity to try on and learn more about receiving wigs through the ACS wig-bank.

Participation is free but registration is required. To register or for more information, please call the local chapter of the ACS Cancer Resource Center at 740-356-7606.

SOMC to Host Free Breast Cancer Screenings

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host free breast cancer screenings from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18 and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane in Portsmouth.

The event is open to local uninsured and underinsured women and free clinical breast exams will be provided. Free mammograms will also be provided through the Hands of Hope program funded by the Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in cooperation with Southern Ohio Medical Center and the Scioto Foundation. The mammograms will be scheduled through the SOMC Breast Center.

Women age 40 or older or younger women with a family history of breast cancer are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and can be made by calling the SOMC Volunteer Office at 740-356-8234.

SOMC Names New Clinical Manager Of Wound Healing Center

Gina Smith, RN has been named Clinical Manager of the Southern Ohio Medical Center Wound Healing Center. In this new role, Smith will be responsible for overseeing the nursing care and operations for the inpatient wound care program, the hyperbaric oxygen unit and the Wound Healing Center.

Smith joined SOMC in 1980 and has previously provided excellent nursing care in the Intensive Care Unit and the Wound Healing Center. She earned an associate’s degree in Nursing from Shawnee State University. Smith recently received national board certification for Wound Care Associates from the American Academy of Wound Management.

Smith currently resides Wheelersburg with her family.

ACS Offers Prostate Cancer Support Group

Man to Man® is an American Cancer Society (ACS) support program for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. The support group will meet at 5 p.m. October 4 at the SOMC Cancer Center located at 1121 Kinney’s Lane in Portsmouth. The group invites guest speakers and meets on the first Tuesday of every month. For more information or to register please call the ACS CancerResource Center at 740-356-7606 or 1-888-227-6446.