Free Breast Screening Scheduled April 30 at SOMC Cancer Center

Free clinical breast exams will be offered at the SOMC Cancer Center April 30 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The exams are available to uninsured or underinsured women. Participants 40 years old or older, those who are younger but have a strong family history of breast cancer or a woman with an abnormal finding on a self-breast exam are welcome.  Appointments are necessary and may be made by calling the SOMC Volunteer Office at (740) 356-8234.

“Any woman who needs a mammogram and has not had one in the last year will be given a free voucher,” said Kelly Lawson, clinical manager of the Cancer Center. The mammograms will be scheduled at the SOMC Breast Center.

This is the third year SOMC has been awarded a grant through the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Columbus Affiliate. This grant allows women who meet the guidelines to have access to screenings for early detection of breast cancer. In 2008 the Cancer Center held two breast screenings, conducting approximately 55 exams, Lawson said. Two women were diagnosed with cancer as a result of the screenings and currently are undergoing treatment, she added.

Educational materials will be available during the screenings and Kim Richendollar, R.N., B.S.N., SOMC breast health navigator, will be on hand to provide information to participants about breast health.  As breast health navigator, Richendollar has in-depth knowledge about benign and cancerous breast diseases. She can provide patients with facts about breast diseases and can refer them to the proper agency for assistance as needed.  Richendollar also provides current educational information to patients, physicians and nurses.

SOMC physicians, nurses, volunteers from the Fight Cancer, Save Lives Cancer Coalition and other health care providers volunteer their time for the screenings, Lawson said. The free screenings are provided by SOMC, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Columbus Affiliate and Southern Ohio Women’s Cancer Project.

The SOMC Cancer Center is located at 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth.

Breast Cancer Support Group to Meet

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Support Group will meet on April 15 at 1 p.m. at the SOMC Cancer Center, located on Kinneys Lane in Portsmouth

A box lunch will be provided. Please RSVP at 354-2902 or 352-6702 no later than April 13.

SOMC Physicians Receive Vascular Interpretation Certification

Three Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) physicians have received certification in vascular interpretation from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), a national accrediting organization.

Dr. George Esham, Dr. Thomas Khoury and Dr. Michael Martin received the Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) credential after meeting specific educational and professional qualifications and completing a comprehensive written examination. The RPVI credential is offered exclusively to vascular ultrasound and technology physicians.

This certification reinforces SOMC’s commitment to clinical excellence and strengthens the degree of confidence patients have while receiving treatment at the hospital.

Dr. Esham is medical director of the Cardiovascular Lab and Cardiopulmonary Rehab Unit. He received his medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his training at the University of South Alabama. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has been a member of the SOMC medical staff for 27 years.

Dr. Khoury is chief of surgery at SOMC. He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut and completed his surgical training at the University of Miami, Fla., and Harvard University/Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass. He completed his cardiovascular research fellowship at Boston University and vascular surgery training at Tuft’s University Baystate Medical Center. He is board-certified in surgery and has been on staff at SOMC for 16 years.

Dr. Martin, an internal medicine specialist, received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed his training at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has been a member of the SOMC medical staff for 15 years.

ARDMS is an independent non-profit organization that administers examinations and awards credentials in the areas of diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic cardiac sonography, vascular interpretation and vascular technology.

Programs To Educate Community Members On Health Issues Begin April 11

A series of programs designed to educate community members on health issues will kick off with a daylong event Saturday, April 11, at the 14th Street Community Center.

Saturday’s free event is the first of three in the Community Pulling Together For Health program. During the week of April 13-17, Working It Out Military style, an exercise program, will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the community center. On April 24 from 6-8 p.m. a skit for seniors titled “I Am Not Old…I Am Just Getting Better” will be performed.

The April 11 event begins at 9 a.m. with a men’s prayer breakfast. Pastor David Malone from Kingdom Builders Church will speak about Nurturing Spiritual Health. At 10 a.m. free health screenings begin and continental breakfast will be available.

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) will provide free cardiac risk screenings all the day. Representatives from several local agencies will be available throughout the day to provide health and community information.

From 10 to 11:30 a.m., local physicians and other medical professionals will be on hand for the Ask the Doctor session. They will discuss health issues affecting the African American family.

Also at 10 a.m., Dr. George Pettit, an obstetrician and gynecologist at SOMC, will discuss cervical cancer and human papilloma virus, a virus that infects human skin and mucus membranes.

Dr. Li-Fen Chang, a radiation oncologist at SOMC, will talk about preventing cancer with a healthy lifestyle at 10:30 a.m.

Laurie Hoagland, program manager for the Cincinnati Alzheimer’s Association, will speak at 11 a.m.

A free lunch provided by Life Ambulance Service will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Living with diabetes will be the topic of a noon seminar with Jewell Collins, R.N.

Morten Haugland, a certified behavioral analyst with the Haugland Learning Center in Columbus, will speak at 12:30 p.m. The Haugland Learning Center services the educational needs of children throughout the state who have autism or Asperger syndrome.

A special “Girl Thing” workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. for young women ages 10 through 18. Maureen Cadogen, an advocate for Ohio youth, will lead the workshop on self-esteem, etiquette, healthy living, abstinence, beauty education, drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Staff Sgt. Jonathon Kirkendall of the United States Army will lead the free exercise program which begins April 13. Exercise will be moderate and health assessments including blood pressure, weight, body mass index and a healthy lifestyle survey will be part of the program. Each participant will receive a t-shirt.

The skit for seniors on April 24 will be about taking care of the caregiver. Tracee Black of Tova’s N.E.S.T. in Columbus, will speak. Tova’s N.E.S.T. provides education, promotes awareness and serves as a support system for those individuals challenged with mental health issues and co-occurring disorders.

A Community Pulling Together for Health is sponsored by Portsmouth Inner City Development, SOMC, Northend Community churches, Shawnee State University’s Mobile Health Unit and the 14th Street Community Center. It is funded by a grant from the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.

SOMC Surgeon Nien Certified

Yih-Dar Nien, M.D., General Surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center, was recently certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Nien received his medical degree from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. He completed his residency at Marshall University and a Fellowship in wound healing research from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Nien is in practice with Thomas Khoury, MD, FACS, FICS and is located on the main campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center in the Braunlin Building, Suite 306. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 353-8661.

Ohio’s Safe Haven Law Revised

Ohio’s Safe Haven law has been revised and now permits parents who want to legally abandon a newborn to do so within 30 days of the birth.

The revision, which went into effect March 24, changes the maximum age of the child from 72 hours old to 30 days old, according to Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs, director of nursing for emergency and outpatient services at Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC). SOMC’s Emergency Department is a Safe Haven location.

The Safe Haven law provides protection for birth parents (mother or father) who voluntarily give up, abandon or desert an infant, provided the child is left with a medical worker in a hospital, a medical worker at a fire department or other emergency service organization or with a peace officer at a law enforcement agency.

A parent will not face prosecution for leaving the child at a Safe Haven location as long as the child has not been abused.

Ohio’s Safe Haven law was enacted in 2001 and aimed at reducing the number of infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe environments, Dilts-Skaggs said. Since it went into effect more than 50 newborns have been surrendered in Ohio.

New Technology Lets Cataract Patients See Better Without Glasses

Cataract patients who undergo corrective surgery at Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) now are able to select uniquely designed lenses that potentially can give them freedom from reading glasses and bifocals.

The AcrySof ReSTOR intraocular lens (IOL), developed by Alcon Laboratories, is a unique lens that represents a technology breakthrough in ophthalmology, according to Dr. Robert J. Knox, an SOMC ophthalmologist.

“This premium lens is available to any patient with the desire for optimum vision following cataract surgery,” he said. “It is designed to allow vision at all distances – up close, far away and everything in-between.” Knox said he and his patients have been very pleased with the results and many patients describe the “wow” factor the lenses have provided them.

A cataract is a condition in which the natural human lens become cloudy, resulting in blurred vision, Knox explained. Intraocular lenses are designed to replace cataracts and allow clear vision.

“With a traditional monofocal lens implant, the patient would be able to see at a distance but would still need glasses for close-up vision to read a newspaper or medicine bottle,” Knox said. “With the AcrySof ReSTOR bifocal lens, 80 percent of patients would be able to see at a distance and up close, completely independent of glasses for all daily activities.”

The lens was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2005 and first used by Knox in April 2008.

“The surgical procedure to implant the premium lens is no different from getting a conventional lens,” Knox said, “and is done on an outpatient basis.” As with any surgical procedure there are risks and side effects which may be outweighed by the potential benefits of restoring a patient’s vision, he added.

More information about cataract surgery and the AcrySof ReSTOR lenses is available from Knox. He may be reached at (740) 355-1161. His office is located at 1534 11th St., Portsmouth.

Cardiac Risk Screening Set For March 23 At Nile Township

Cardiac risk screening will be available March 23 from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Nile Township Community Center. Staff from the Community Health and Wellness Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) and the Shawnee State Mobile Health Unit will do the screenings.

Participants can have their total cholesterol, HDL (high density lipid) cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure checked. Appointments are not necessary. Anyone wishing to be tested should fast for two hours prior to the test.

A nurse practitioner will provide free breast health exams and health information will be provided.

For more information contact Sharon Carver, SOMC community health specialist, at (740) 356-2692.

Lose Weight, Get Healthy With Scioto Slimdown 2009

Scioto Slimdown 2009, a six-week long event designed to help community members get in shape and improve their health, will kick off April 8.

The focus of the event, sponsored by Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), the SOMC LIFE Center and the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, is to increase awareness of health and wellness in the community.

“Our goal is to instill the importance of fitness and nutrition to community members,” said Lisa Carver, administrator of the chamber of commerce. “We want to demonstrate proper nutrition improves health. We want to get everyone in the mind to improve their health.”

“It’s a great partnership to get health and wellness information out to the community,” said Regina Tipton, wellness specialist, who is working with the chamber to organize the Slimdown. “We have obesity, diabetes, heart disease here and just losing five or 10 pounds can greatly impact a person’s health and improve the quality of life. We want to make our community healthy.”

Anyone can organize a team of three to five people and participate in the Scioto Slimdown. Each team must have a designated captain and a name. The entry fee is $5 per person and includes a t-shirt. Registration forms must be turned in to the SOMC LIFE Center, 1208 18th St., by March 25. The forms also may be faxed to (740) 356-6102 by that date.

Carver said she got the idea for the Slimdown after visiting SOMC.

“While I was waiting to have some blood work done, I picked up a copy of the Weekly Beat (SOMC’s employee newsletter) and saw the article about the SOMC Meltdown (the employee weight-loss challenge),” she said. “I thought that was pretty cool and I wanted to do something like that with the chamber.”

Carver’s next step was to contact hospital personnel to see if they would help her manage an event. She eventually ended up talking to Gary Coovert, LIFE Center director.

It was Coovert’s idea to go countywide with the Slimdown, she said. He also put Carver in touch with Tipton, who agreed take care of registration, weigh-ins and do a weekly tip sheet about nutrition and exercise for the dieters.

“It’s great we can take a program that we modeled for our employees and use it for the community,” Tipton said. “This (the Scioto Slimdown) will give people the means to start a lifelong relationship with exercise and nutrition.”

As an added benefit of the program, participants in Scioto Slimdown will be able to purchase a membership at the LIFE Center for the duration of the competition for $40.

“That’s quite a savings and we hope people will take advantage of it,” Carver said.

“People should take advantage of it,” Tipton added. “If their goal is to lose weight, use this to get jump started.”

Initial weigh-ins will take place April 1–7 at the LIFE Center. All team members must be present at the initial weigh-in and the registration fee is due at that time. The teams with the greatest total weight loss and the highest percentage weight loss will receive prizes. The Slimdown ends on May 20.

More information is available from Tipton at (740) 356-7510.