SOMC Honors Local Pre-Med Students

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held an awards ceremony and dinner July 9 to honor local students who have been accepted into medical school for the 2009 school year. Each was welcomed by SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett and presented a medical dictionary from Dr. Aaron Adams, director of SOMC Medical Education.

Additional presentations concerning the SOMC Residency Training Program were made by Dr. Tom Carter, associate program director of the SOMC Emergency Medicine Residency, Dr. Terry Johnson, director of the SOMC Family Practice Residency and assistant dean of OU-COM CORE, and Dr. George Pettit, chief of OB/GYN Services at SOMC.

Those honored at the event include (front row, l to r): Michelle Wong (attending Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine); Matt Watson (Ohio University); Chase Hoover (The Ohio State University); and (back row, l to r): Nathan Hudson (University of Kentucky); Adam Evans and Seth Phillips (both Ohio University).

SOMC Receives Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation

After completing a rigorous assessment and application process, Southern Ohio Medical Center has received full Cycle II Chest Pain Center Accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

“Chest Pain Accreditation ensures that our patients are receiving the highest quality treatment needed during the critical early stages of a heart attack, helping to avoid as much heart damage as possible,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said.

“It also ensures that we are meeting, exceeding and providing the highest quality of heart and vascular care available and verifies that we are on target with other heart care programs around the country.”

To receive the accreditation, SOMC had to meet the criteria of eight key elements which included: Emergency Department integration with Emergency Medical Services (EMS); timely diagnosis and treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS); assessment of patients with low ACS risk and no assignable cause for symptoms; process improvement; personnel, competencies and training; organizational structure and commitment; functional facility design; and community outreach.

“When we started our journey toward Cycle 1 Accreditation in 2005, we developed a Chest Pain Committee consisting of Emergency and Cardiology physicians, EMS, and hospital and nursing personnel who worked to meet the stringent standards associated with Acute Coronary Syndrome patients,” Fraulini explained.

The hard work, planning and processes developed by the group paid off, and SOMC received Cycle I Accreditation in 2006. A Cycle II Chest Pain Accreditation subteam was then formed from members of the previous committee, who submitted the Cycle II application last November. The process was followed by a site visit in early 2009.

“This accreditation is a critical component of the continuum of heart and vascular care that we’re providing for our community,” Fraulini added. “It not only validates our commitment, but further complements our goal of bringing state of the art, best practice heart and vascular care to our patients.”

SOMC Cancer Services to host Carnival for a Cure

2009 River Days Candidate Julie Seaman will team with SOMC Cancer Services to host a Carnival for a Cure from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at the Cancer Center.

“Each River Days candidate is required to pick a platform which she must create awareness of throughout the community,” Seaman, senior at Northwest High School, said. “I chose breast cancer because of the significance it has played in my life.”

Seaman explained that her great-grandmother passed away from the disease, strengthening her goal to spread the importance of early detection.

“There are many tools out there that can be used to help the prevention of breast cancer, but unfortunately, many women wait until it’s too late,” Seaman said.

“Through this event, and my campaign, I hope to encourage young ladies to stay healthy by checking their family history, knowing the warning signs and receiving an annual screening. It’s never to early to start fighting against breast cancer.”

The carnival is open to both employees and community members and many family-friendly activities are planned including inflatables, snow cones, cotton candy and tours of the center’s new HDR breast cancer treatment room. River Days candidates from each local school district also will be on hand and Steve Hayes of Mix 99.3 will broadcast live for a portion of the event.

All proceeds collected during the day will benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to breast cancer patients.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon Asher Welcomed At SOMC

Alain Asher, MD, a physician specializing in Cardiothoracic Surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Asher received his medical degree from the University of Paris, Paris, France. He completed a residency in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery from Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. He is board certified in General and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Asher 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 Nursing Camp to Offer Hands-on Experience

Local students enrolled in grades 7—12 who are interested in learning about the nursing profession are encouraged to sign-up for the 2009 Nursing Camp at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 13 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth. Lunch will be provided by Life Ambulance.

“A lot of the time, students don’t find out what being a nurse is truly all about until their very first day of nursing school,” Katy Stephens, nurse recruiter at SOMC and coordinator of the camp, said. “This program lets them explore the idea of nursing before deciding that it’s really what they want to study during their collegiate careers.”

During the camp, participants will gain a better understanding of nursing responsibilities through one-on-one interaction with hospital employees, as well as many hands-on activities and simulation tools.

“We want to give students experiences they can learn and grow from,” Stephens said. “In the past, we concentrated more on having speakers come in to talk about nursing, but this year students will actually be able to get their hands in there and see what it’s all about. It should be a lot of fun and we’re really looking forward to it.”

The program is open to 30 participants.

For more information, please call Katy Stephens at 356-7191.

Neurologist Rosenberg Welcomed At SOMC

Leon Rosenberg, MD, a physician specializing in Neurology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Rosenberg received his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, RI. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Neurology at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va. and a Fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. He is board certified in Neurology, Electroencephalography, Neurophysiology, Electrodiagnostic Medicine and Neurorehabilitation.

Dr. Rosenberg can be reached at SOMC Physician Specialty Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 206, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8570 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Hospice Hikers Raise $32,000 for SOMC

A record number of 753 supporters, volunteers and community members helped to collect more than $32,000 in funds during the 2009 Hike for Hospice at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“This was the largest turn out we’ve ever had and the weather cooperated perfectly. It was such a fantastic day all around,” Sheila Riggs, claims and information systems coordinator of SOMC Hospice Services, said.

Teams of five to 60 participants sported signs and T-shirts of various colors, names and slogans during the hike, which raises funds annually for SOMC Hospice Services and is held as a tribute to all hospice patients and their family members.

The event was sponsored in part by Blackburn’s Supermarket, The Community Common, Crispie Crème Donuts, Kroger (Wheelersburg), Life Ambulance, OSCO, Partlow’s Auto Sales, SACS, Scents from Heaven, Subway Sandwiches & Salads (East End Gallia), Tim Horton’s, Union Mills Bakery and Westside IGA.

“Our services rely on the support of our community and we couldn’t do what we do without them,” Beverly Stringer, volunteer coordinator of SOMC Hospice Services, said. “We greatly extend our gratitude to everyone who attended, helped behind the scenes, and made this our most successful hike to date.”

Team and individual winners of various categories also were announced at the hike’s conclusion and include:

Team Awards: Largest Total Donation OSCO

Most Sponsors Golden Bears

Largest Team Donald’s Rays

Largest Business Affiliated Team OSCO

Largest Community Based Team Golden Bears

Most Family Members Mike’s Crew

Most Original Team Costume Larry King Family

Youth Group with the Most Participants Eclectic Cloves 4-H Individual Awards: Largest Total Donation 1. Dr. Suzann Bonzo 2. Thelma Shirey

Most Sponsors 1. Thelma Shirey 2. Dr. Suzann Bonzo

Oldest Hiker Aileen Kuhner

SOMC Cancer Center Brings Disease Awareness to Local Students

The Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently opened its doors to local students to bring a greater understanding and awareness of the disease, its treatments and its preventive measures to the youth of the community.

“Earlier this year, we sent letters to all area guidance counselors, inviting students to visit the center for a special one-on-one tour and day of learning,” Kelly Lawson, clinical manager of SOMC Oncology Services, said. “Multiple schools responded to the offer and so far we’ve probably conducted six tours to around 200 students.”

Alice Spriggs, third grade teacher at Northwest Elementary School, said she eagerly jumped on the invitation, noting that the tour was the perfect opportunity to give her students a better grasp of the disease.

“Last year we had a student who was diagnosed with cancer, and now-a-days there are so many with family members who are suffering from it,” she said. “My students wanted to know what they could do to help, which is why we wanted to visit the center and hear first-hand from the employees who work there everyday.” 

Lawson explained that during the tour, students are able to learn specifics about many different types of cancer and the therapies and treatments that may be associated which each.

“We try to gear the visit toward the group’s specific age so they can gain the most from the experience,” she said.

“For one eighth grade group, we talked a lot about lung cancer prevention and showed them X-rays of the disease in hopes of keeping them from smoking. With the younger kids, we focus on lighter, but relevant topics, like wearing sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and eating balanced diets and exercising to stay healthy.”

Students also have the chance to ask questions and learn answers to topics that may previously have seemed frightening, such as hair loss, length of hospitalization and painfulness of treatment.

“The visit really put things in a different perspective and was very worthwhile,” Spriggs said. “It also helped my students learn that, while cancer is a terrible disease, it does not always mean death and there are things that can be done to prevent it. We thank the Cancer Center for their kindness and enthusiasm and look forward to bringing students back next year.”

Adams receives board certification

Darren Adams, DO, recently received board certification from the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States and is one of 24 specialty boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Dr. Adams received his medical degree from the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUCOM) and completed his training at O’Bleness Hospital. He specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Dr. Adams is located on the Main Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center, Fulton Building, Suite 302. To schedule an appointment, call 353-2023.