SOMC offering Palliative Care House Call program

Patients suffering from a serious medical illness or chronic illness often require special care. Such care is now available in the comforts of your own home through the SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls program.

With the House Calls program, services are provided in your home by a nurse practitioner to help assist patients with their illness and medications. The nurse practitioner will assist a patient’s primary care provider to coordinate a specially designed plan of care. House Call providers will be the primary care provider’s “eyes and ears,” monitoring the patient’s environment and regimen.

“The SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls program allows us to bring outstanding care directly to the environment where our patients can feel the most comfortable,” SOMC Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Scott Hilbert said. “It’s an especially attractive option for patients who need frequent care but have difficulty getting out of the house, and patients who have a complex medical condition that is difficult to manage alone at home.”

SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls is also a good fit for patients who want more private, personalized attention or who often require same-day care but want to avoid urgent care clinics or the E.R.

“This program can be provided wherever the patient calls home, whether it’s a residence, a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living facility,” Hilbert said.

Palliative consulted patients discharged home will receive an outpatient follow-up visit within three to five days of hospital discharge. This visit can help with difficult to manage symptoms and coordination of care with patient’s new or established primary care physician.

For more information, visit www.somc.org or call 740-356-2567.

Dr. Jesse Houghton’s a star in Red Cross event

It’s official: Dr. Jesse Houghton is a star.

Just one year after moving to Portsmouth, the SOMC physician has been selected to compete in the Red Cross’ “Dancing With Our Stars” charity competition in April.

Houghton is paired with Cirque d’Art dancer and Dancing with Our Stars veteran, Autumn Thompson. They are so far keeping the details of their performance under wraps, but their practices have already begun… as has a new emphasis on fitness.

“It’s not the first thing that you think of, but this competition forces you to get in shape,” Houghton said. “It’s a two minute dance, but if you’re going full steam for the whole two minutes you’ve got to be in shape.”

Houghton’s routine also incorporates aspects that can be physically demanding, such as lifting his partner up over his head.

“I’m someone who always likes a challenge,” Houghton said.

Embedded in this particular challenge is the opportunity for Houghton and his supporters to build a winning streak for local physicians. Last year, Dr. John Turjoman captured the top prize while Dr. Nathan Bennington was named fan favorite.

This year, it falls on Houghton – as the only SOMC employee to be featured as a “star” – to notch a victory for the medical staff.

“I think there is a little pressure,” Dr. Houghton said, “but I think we have a good team between myself and Autumn.”

Dancing With Our Stars success isn’t based solely on their performance, however. Votes are already being accumulated through donations to the Red Cross, with each dollar given counting as one vote.
To vote for Dr. Jesse Houghton, simply make a donation of any amount to the Red Cross through the following link:  http://www.crowdrise.com/2014OhioRiverValleyDWOS/fundraiser/jessehoughton

SOMC supports the Southern Ohio War Memorial

SOMC's Eric Kephas presents a check to the Southern Ohio War MemorialSouthern Ohio Medical Center recently donated to the Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation during the organization’s 2013 Veterans Day Celebration. The $500 contribution supports efforts to construct a war memorial honoring southern Ohio’s veterans.

Seen here, Eric Kephas of SOMC Community Relations presents the check to (from left to right) committee co-chairman Gene Elliot, Ed Warren, Larry Merritt, Kathi Jo Zornes, Mike Chaffin, Ora Picklesimer and Jim Rockwell. Not pictured is co-chairman Ron Caldwell. For more information, visit www.somc.org or like SOMC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.

Patter Fam Sauces donates to Compassion Fund

Patter Fam Sauces recently donated $600 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. The Breast Cancer Compassion Fund is dedicated to the support of breast cancer patients, helping cover the costs of common necessities needed during cancer care such as utilities, medications and transportation. For more information, visit www.somc.org.

SOMC hosting holiday depression in-service

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting an in-service on holiday depression on December 3. The in-service, which will take place in the Gibson Building conference room on SOMC’s East Campus, will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Susan Goins of SOMC Hospice will be the event’s presenter. CEUs will be offered for Ohio nursing and social work. Limited space is available.

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Mary Scott at 740-356-8719.

Portsmouth Ambulance donates to Breast Cancer Compassion Fund

Portsmouth Ambulance recently donated more than $800 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. They raised the money through t-shirt sales and presented the donation to Kim Richendollar, breast health navigator at the SOMC Cancer Center. The SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund is dedicated to the support of breast cancer patients. To find out how you can make a donation, call 740-356-7490.

Abbly Floyd changes her life, not her diet

When Abby Floyd began her weight loss journey, there were plenty of signs telling her the timing was right. She was always tired, her clothes didn’t fit and she had pain in her knees, back and feet. She was also aware that both sides of her family have a history of heart disease and diabetes.

“I was becoming aware that I may be headed in the same direction,” Abby said, “So I decided I was ready to try and make some kind of a change. After all, I want to be active with my grandchildren.”

Abby’s turnaround was aided by her decision to stop drinking pop and start paying closer attention to the foods she ate. She managed portions, planned her meals and logged her calories. She also joined the “Lose & Win for LIFE” program and began taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Even with all of these changes, however, she continues to eat her favorite foods and does not consider herself to be on a diet. This, she says, is something bigger.

“I do not look at this change as a diet,” she said. “Diets don’t work for me. This is a lifestyle change.”

It has been approximately one year since Abby changed her life. She has lost weight, been able to cut back on medications and is now fit enough to run in the mornings. And, just as she hoped, it’s helped her become more active with her grandchildren. In fact, on at least one occasion she has been even more active than her grandchildren.

“One day this spring, I was playing with my four year old granddaughter in the yard,” Abby said. “We were running and chasing each other and she suddenly stopped, put her hand up and said, ‘Stop Gammy!’ I asked her what was wrong and she said, ‘I need to rest.’ That was an awesome feeling to know I outlasted a very healthy four year old!”

SOMC announces “Surviving the Holidays” support group

The holidays can be difficult, especially for those mourning the loss of a family member. For those who are struggling to make it through the season, however, Southern Ohio Medical Center is there to help.

SOMC will be holding a series of “Surviving The Holidays” support group meetings designed to help take the anxiety out of the holidays following the death of a loved one.

“Through ‘Surviving the Holidays,’ we will be providing the help and support so many need during this time of year,” Bereavement Coordinator Susan Goins said. “Our meetings will include a light supper, as well as educational materials and discussions meant to help those who may be struggling with the death of a loved one.”

“Surviving The Holidays” is a five-week group that starts just before Thanksgiving and continues until after New Years. Meetings will last from 5pm until 7pm, and are scheduled for: November 26, December 3, December 10, December 17 and January 7. All meetings will take place in the Gibson Building Conference Room, located on SOMC’s East Campus.

Group space is limited, so those interested in attending will need to register. For more information, contact Susan Goins at 740-356-2676.

Cessation classes help couple kick the habit

Robert and Judy Dixon smoked for 50 years before enrolling in SOMC’s free smoking cessation class.

For more than 50 years, Robert and Judy Dixon made sure they always had at least two items that served as unfortunate reminders their youth: Their lighters and a pack of cigarettes.

Robert started buying cigarettes as a child, when he could get five for a nickel, and he began smoking when he was 16. For his wife, the habit started at 18. But for both of them, it ended last March when they attended free smoking cessation classes at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“I quit on March 17,” Robert said. “She quit on the 18th.”

Prior to finally giving up the habit, they had each only considered quitting once before. Robert gave it up for a week, during which he admits to still sneaking cigarettes, while Judy managed to stop for a month before being derailed by stress related to the death of her sister.

Their resolve stiffened, however, when Robert found out the habit he had picked up in an attempt to fit in had ultimately resulted in colon cancer.

“I was in the Cancer Center when Dr. (Thomas) Summers said, ‘I’ve got something I’d like for you to do for me.’ I said, ‘What’s that?’ He said, ‘Join our smoking cessation class,” Robert recalled. “I said ‘okay’ and I signed up for it.”

Because Robert’s attempt was less likely to succeed if there was still a smoker in his home, Judy enrolled in the class as well. Early on, their instructor said something that gave her a new way of looking at her addiction and helped motivate her to quit.

“She told us, ‘A lot of you have went 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, 50 years smoking. You learned how to smoke in those years. Now you’ve got to learn how not to smoke,’” Judy said. “I’d never looked at it that way before. Approaching it like I was just learning not to smoke was key for me.”

Another moment that stood out came when they were asked to ‘bury’ – or throw away – their cigarettes. In fact, Robert said it was the most difficult part of the entire class. Throwing them away wasn’t made easier by the fact they were no longer nearly as cheap as they had been when he was a boy. Robert and Judy estimate they were actually spending $60 a week on cigarettes.

“If I had all the money I smoked up I could buy a real fancy car and take a big dream vacation,” Robert said. “It’d be a lot of money.”

That money may be gone, but now so are the cigarettes – and Robert and Judy credit SOMC with helping them make the change. They’ve essentially become ambassadors for the smoking cessation program, surprising skeptical friends who didn’t think they could quit and encouraging other smokers to follow in their footsteps.

Quitting may not be easy, but the free smoking cessation classes have given Robert and Judy Dixon the tools they need to finally beat the habit once and for all.

“I still get the cravings, but if you can get it off your mind for four minutes, you’ve got it whooped,” Robert said. “These classes helped me see that, and I’d recommend them to anyone that wants to quit. If you need help, that’s the place to go get it.”