SOMC Wound Healing Center to Host Open House

Community members are invited to learn about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the treatment and prevention of chronic wounds during an open house at the SOMC Wound Healing Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 25. The center is located in the Rardin Building on the SOMC Main Campus, 1745 27th St., Portsmouth.

“Southern Ohio Medical Center has been extensively working toward obtaining the latest in wound and cancer-related therapies and treatments and we’re very excited to educate the community about our findings,” Neva Moore, program director of the SOMC Wound Healing Center, said.

During the event, physicians and staff members will be available to give tours, answer questions, and provide information about how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be used to heal many types of wounds including diabetic foot ulcers, arterial insufficiency, comprised skin grafts and radiation injuries.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively new form of treatment that significantly helps increase the speed at which wounds and injuries heal,” Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, medical director of the SOMC Wound Healing Center, said.

The process works through a pure oxygen chamber that has been pressurized at higher-than-normal atmospheric levels. Patients lie in the chamber for two hours at a time and are able to watch television and relax while the healing process occurs.

“The air pressure inside the chamber is two and a half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere, helping the blood carry oxygen to injured organs and tissues more quickly and efficiently,” she explained.

“This type of non-evasive therapy is extremely helpful for most wounds and has been particularly useful for those suffering from delayed bone damage caused by radiation therapy. We look forward to introducing our community to its possibilities and hope to see them at our open house.”

For more information about the event, or to learn more about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please contact the SOMC Wound Healing Center at 356-8775.

SOMC Celebrates 100 Open-Heart Procedures

Staff members and physicians of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Services celebrated their 100th open-heart procedure with a special luncheon Aug. 11. Thanks to the hard-work and dedication of the employees, the program (which opened in December of 2008) also recently received Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers and passed inspection by the Ohio Department of Health for Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Adult Open Heart Programs. Shown during the celebration are members of the SOMC Heart and Vascular team.

SOMC Hosts Scioto County Walking Challenge

On the heals of the Scioto Slimdown, Southern Ohio Medical Center and the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce will team-up to host an eight-week walking challenge aimed at encouraging the community to be active.

“The event will be called the Scioto County Walking Challenge and will focus on participants completing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day,” Regina Tipton, wellness specialist, who is working with the chamber to organize the challenge, said.

The competition will begin Sept. 5 with a one-mile kick off walk at 8 a.m. during SOMC’s annual Run For Your Life event. The program will conclude Oct. 30.

“We are challenging everyone to walk around the Daytona 500 and every 30 minutes of exercise will equal one mile,” she explained. “The team that completes the 500 mile track first, and the team that completes the most miles in general, will both be named winners of the competition.”

Anyone can form a team and there is no limit to the number that can participate. There must be a designated captain, team name, and each member must submit a $7 entry fee to cover the cost of T-shirts.

Registration forms for the event are available at any of the Life Center locations and must be completed and returned to the LIFE Center by Aug. 21. Forms can also be faxed to 354-6102.

“We are at a stage in our economy where our health tends to fall to the wayside,” she added. “This challenge will be an efficient and cost effective way to manage your health and we hope to see both our employees and community members participate.”

For more information about the challenge, please contact Tipton at 356-7510.

Interventional Cardiologist Gill Welcomed At SOMC

M. Taimoor Gill, MD, a physician specializing in non-invasive cardiology and interventional cardiology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Gill received his medical degree from the Allama Iqbal Medical College. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia University and fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Marshall University School of Medicine. He also completed a fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at the University of Connecticut. He is board certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Nuclear Cardiology and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Gill can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for more information.

SOMC Donates School Supplies to Benefit Community

Employees at SOMC donated more than 3,700 items to help the children of our community during the 2009 United Way School Supply Drive. Pictured at the donation drop-off are SOMC United Way Committee members Missy Hutchens, Beverly Stringer and United Way of Scioto County Executive Director Mary Peercy.

Employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center helped to donate 3,733 supply items for area school children during the 2009 United Way School Supply Drive, which took place Aug. 7 at the hospital.

“Last year we collected a tremendous amount of school supplies and this year was no different,” Beverly Stinger, coordinator of the SOMC United Way campaign, said. “I was concerned that the economy might prevent employees from giving, but one department alone gave more than we received all-together last year.”

School supply lists were given to employees, with each item designated a point value, Stringer explained. For each point a staff member earned, they were given the chance to enter into one of five gift basket prize drawings. Points also were tallied per department and the team to earn the most would be awarded a pizza party.

SOMC Nutrition Services was named the overall winner of the competition, donating enough supplies to earn an outstanding 4,944 points. The department also won the pizza party and three of the available gift baskets.

“I have worked for SOMC for three years and I wanted to find a way to get my department involved,” Nutrition Aide Penny Robinson said. “I took this project and ran with it.”

Robinson encouraged her coworkers to donate toward the cause and helped raise approximately $600. She also received a generous donation from employee Sheila Rawlins and her husband, Sgt. Anthony Rawlins, on behalf of the Ohio Army National Guard.

“I was budget conscious while shopping and looked for the best deals so the money would stretch to buy more supplies,” she said. “I went shopping nearly every day after work and spent all but two cents. We were very determined to win first place.”

The SOMC Housekeeping Department challenged Nutrition Services by gathering as many school supplies as possible, placing second in the competition with 2,250 points. The department won the remaining gift baskets and plans to use them during National Housekeeping Week this September.

“With the current economic times, it’s especially incredible to see the generosity displayed to our community by SOMC employees,” Mary Peercy, executive director of the United Way of Scioto County, said. “SOMC and its employees have always been a huge supporter of providing supplies for our local students and we thank them for their continued dedication.”

“I want to thank my coworkers for helping the community through this process and making it a great experience for everyone involved,” Robinson said. “Next year will be bigger and better and I can’t wait to see how far we can push ourselves to help those in need.”

Human Resources Employment Office Relocating

he Human Resources Employment Office at Southern Ohio Medical Center will be relocating to Suite B02 in the basement of the Waller Building on the SOMC Main Campus, 1735 27th St., Portsmouth.

The previous employment office on the SOMC South Campus, 1825 Oakland Ave., will be closed Friday, Aug. 14 to prepare for this transition. The new office will open during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17.

Parking for the new location can be found on the fourth level of the Blue Garage adjacent to the Braunlin Building on the Main Campus. Those interested in applying for jobs online may continue to do so by visiting www.somc.org/jobs/.

The SOMC HR Employment Office can be reached by phone before Aug. 17 at 740-356-7231 or after at 740-356-6440.

Girl Scouts Donate Blankets to SOMC Cancer Center

Members of local Girl Scout troop 305 recently created and donated 16 blankets for the patients of the Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The troop’s service project will go toward their hours needed to receive the Girl Scout Silver Award later this year. Shown at the presentation with the troop members and leaders are SOMC Cancer Center staff members Traci Boland (left) and Eve Phipps (right).

SOMC Heart and Vascular Services Pass ODH Inspection

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently passed inspection from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Adult Open Heart Programs.

“The success of passing this inspection ensures our community that we conduct a compliant program that offers best practice heart care,” said Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services.

The ODH surveyors arrived at SOMC July 16 for a two-day site visit to review the entities of both programs in detail, tour the cath lab and open-heart facilities, as well as observe several surgical procedures.

“The surveyors were very complimentary of our team and the preparation that occurred for this site visit,” said Fraulini. “The surveyors travel all over the state reviewing health care facilities and they were wowed by our Heart and Vascular Center, the flow of patient care, how well our staff worked together, and our overall patient satisfaction.”

The five areas of the inspection included: physical building and equipment; patient care; staffing; administrative policies and procedures; and patient rights. The surveyors also interviewed open-heart patients and their families to gain a better understand of the care that was provided to them while at SOMC.

“This site visit was the first of many for SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Services and ODH will return once every three years, unannounced,” said Fraulini. “This achievement is yet another way to measure our progress toward obtaining the highest quality of heart and vascular care available.”

Emergency Physician Barhorst Welcomed At SOMC

Brian Barhorst, MD, a physician specializing in emergency medicine, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Barhorst received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at Summa Health Systems in Akron, Ohio. He is board certified in emergency medicine.

Dr. Barhorst will see patients at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department. He can be reached by calling 356-5000.