SOMC to Host Knit for Hope

Knitters and crocheters of all skill-levels are invited to an evening of fun, food and to support a good cause as part of the Knit for Hope group at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The group will meet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio.

Patterns for lap quilts, throws, shawls, hats and caps will be available, though attendees are asked to bring their own needles and yarn (of any color). Finished products will be donated to breast cancer patients of the SOMC Cancer Center.

For more information, please call the Friends Center at (740) 356-7101.

Scioto Guild Taking Orders for Annual Flower Sale

Members of the Scioto Guild, part of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, are now taking orders for their annual Flower Sale.

Flowers for sale include hanging baskets of Ivy Geranium (red, lavender, pink), New Guinea Impatiens (red, orange, purple, blackberry cream), Purple Wave Petunias or Blue Angel at a cost of $15 each. Baskets of eight Geranium plants (in pots; red, salmon, pink) will be sold for $20 and hanging ferns for $12.

All orders must be placed by March 30 and proceeds will benefit the SOMC Breast Center and other hospital projects. To place an order, please call Gerri Nourse at (740) 259-5868, Rosalee Greene at (740) 353-2075 or Bonnie Johnson at (740) 354-6536.

Orders will be available for pickup May 2 and 3 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio.

SOMC Provides Screenings at Garden With Heart

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently provided more than 150 free screenings during Garden With Heart, held Feb. 16. The event raised awareness of heart health, provided education and hosted local health vendors. Special guest, John Marra, WSAZ’s garden expert (center) offered gardening advice to audience members and promoted healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Shown with Marra are staff members of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Heart and Vascular Services.

Turjoman appointed to SOMC Board of Directors

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently announced the appointment of John Turjoman, M.D., to the SOMC Board of Directors.

Dr. Turjoman received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass. and completed a residency at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Conn. He is board certified in pediatrics and served as the SOMC Chief of Pediatrics in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Dr. Turjoman has practiced in Wheelersburg for seven years and currently resides in Portsmouth. His office is located at the Wheelersburg Pediatric and Family Care Center, 8930 Ohio River Rd., Wheelersburg, Ohio.

SOMC Employee Wins WSAZ’s Celebrity Look Alike Contest

Willy, did anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like Dr. House?” Karen Llewellyn, nurse manager of SOMC Home Care Services, said.

Willy Baldridge, courier at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has been told numerous times by patients, co-workers and even complete strangers that he resembles Dr. House from the hit television show, “HOUSE.” When Baldridge learned of a celebrity look alike contest hosted by WSAZ, he decided to enter.

“One day, a woman stopped me in Wal-Mart and asked if she could take my picture. She told her daughter that she had seen a man around town who looked like Dr. House but her daughter didn’t believe her,” Baldridge said. “Six months later, I bumped into her daughter at the Dollar Tree; she finally believed her mom.”

Baldridge decided to enter the contest for a chance to win the $500 prize. He submitted his picture along side a picture of Dr. Gregory House, played by actor Hugh Laurie. He landed a spot in the top five as a result of public voting. After nearly 3,000 public votes and official judging, Baldridge was named the WSAZ Celebrity Look Alike winner for the Tri-State area.

“Many of my votes came from SOMC employees and physicians,” he said. “I had a lot of fun competing and I’m thankful to those who participated and helped me win.”

Night of Broadway Raffle

Kelly Lawson (left) clinical manager for SOMC Oncology Services presented Kris Lewis (right) with a gift basket from a raffle in conjunction with “A Night of Broadway,” a fundraising event hosted by Dr. Vincent Scarpinato, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth West Vocal Department, Shawnee State University and the Portsmouth Area Art Council held Jan. 30 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The event raised more than $19,000 for the SOMC Breast Cancer Patient Compassion Fund, designed to help local breast cancer patients with transportation and medications.

Local realtor Debbie Gambill and Century 21 Realty provided Lewis’ gift basket. Terri Holler was named the winner of the “Best of Scioto County” gift basket put together by Becky Lovins and the Portsmouth Area Arts Council and Jane Gee accepted the giveaways from LIFE Ambulance and The Wharf.

Other local businesses that supported the effort included Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association; Portsmouth Little Theatre; Port City Café; Hatti Beasley; Market Street Café; Z Collections; Morgan Brothers Jewelers; B Sweete Chocolaterie; The Party Connection; WNXT; and The Portsmouth Daily Times.

A Night of Broadway Donation

Dr. Vincent Scarpinato recently presented a donation of more than $19,000 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, designed to provide assistance for local breast cancer patients. Shown at the presentation is (l to r) Joni Bray, RN; Dr. Scarpinato; Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center; and Kelly Lawson, clinical manager for SOMC.

The donation came from the “Night of Broadway,” fundraising event hosted by Dr. Scarpinato, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth West Vocal Department, Shawnee State University and the Portsmouth Area Art Council, held Jan. 30 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.

SOMC to Offer New Diabetes Programming

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently awarded a $200,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Healthy Ohio/Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction.

The funds will be used toward the implementation of a Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, created to provide immediate access to lifestyle education for people in Scioto County with type 2 diabetes.

“Type 2 diabetes affects many people within Scioto County, but unfortunately there are many factors that prevent this population from receiving the care they truly need,” Ashley Salyers, clinical educator at SOMC, said. “The Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will address this concern by providing educational services to individuals who lack accessibility, affordability and availability to specialized medical care.”

SOMC Workforce Development Manager Jill Preston explained that the newly established program will be offered as seven 10-week sessions over the course of the next year and a half. For each week of the program, participants will meet for two hours to focus on education topics related to diabetes self-management, as well as the importance of fitness and exercise.

“We want to ensure that participants have all the resources necessary to successfully manage the disease on their own once the program is complete,” Preston said. “Not only will this include one-on-one education time with clinical dieticians, exercise physiologists and diabetes experts, but we’ll also provide important supplies needed to monitor the disease, like glucometers, test strips and lancets.”

“We hope that this combination of components will create life-changing and life-long results for our community,” Salyers added. “The need for this education is clearly there and we’re happy to finally have the funding to do something about it.”

The program will be offered at four locations throughout the county and will be held in conjunction with the Portsmouth City Health Department, the Scioto County Health Department, the Family Health Care Center, Community Action Organization and Shawnee Mental Health. Physician referral for participation is required.

For more information, please speak with your primary care physician or contact the SOMC Diabetes Education Department at 356-2627.

Friends of SOMC Scholarships Now Available

Applications for the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center scholarshipare now available for full-time students pursuing a course of study in a health-related field.

Application forms can be picked up from the Friends of SOMC office in the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., the Volunteer Office on the SOMC Main Campus, 1805 27th St., or online at

Completed forms, along with a transcript of credits and class standing, must be completed and returned by April 1, 2010 to be considered for the fall school term.

The Friends of SOMC Financial Aid Committee will process all applications and name the recipients, giving preference to SOMC employees, their offspring or spouses. The number of awards will be determined by the funds on hand and available from the Friends of SOMC.

The scholarship may be renewed each school year, not to exceed four years. It is not necessary for recipients to re-apply each year as long as the requirements are being met.

Recipients of the awards will receive their checks issued by the Friends of SOMC for a proportionate part of the yearly award at the beginning of each semester of the school year. Successful applicants will be notified on or before June 1, 2010.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Schackart at 356-6160.