Johnson Elected to SOMC Board of Directors

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently announced the election of George V. Johnson, M.D., to the SOMC Board of Directors.

Dr. Johnson received his medical degree from Ohio State University in 1966. He completed an internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and a residency in Radiology at Ohio State University Hospital. Following his residency, Dr. Johnson served as major in the Air Force from 1970 to 1972. He is board certified in Radiology.

Dr. Johnson practiced medicine at SOMC for 35 years and retired June 1, 2007. He continues to serve as emeritus physician status at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Dr. Johnson currently resides in Portsmouth.

SOMC Nursing Camp Offers Hands-On Experience for Students

Southern Ohio Medical Center held a 2010 Nursing Camp July 19 for local students grades seven through 12 interested in pursing nursing. Shown in the picture are the participants using surgery instruments to get Hershey kisses out of a box that simulated a body.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held a Nursing Camp for students grades seven through 12 interested in pursing nursing as a career. The camp, held July 19 at the Friends Community Center, led students through a day in the life of a nurse at SOMC.

“We host the nursing camp every year to better prepare students for the nursing field,” Katy Stephens, nurse recruiter at SOMC, said. “Even though the day only provides a glimpse of what nursing is all about, it’s still more than what most people know when they start nursing school.”

The camp started at 10 a.m., introducing participants to cardiac nursing. In this portion of the day, they examined real pig hearts and learned about open-heart surgery. After a quick tour of the main campus, participants stopped by the SOMC/SSU SIM Lab to learn more through simulated nursing exercises.

“This was my first time attending Nursing Camp,” Courtney Cole, a senior at Lewis County High School, said. “I had a really great time and enjoyed myself. I liked trying to find the patient’s pulse in the SIM lab.”

After lunch, participants learned about emergency nursing by touring the LIFE ambulance mobile unit and watching demonstrations of patient immobilization.

“I volunteered to lay on the backboard during the emergency demonstration,” Tristain White, a freshman from Portsmouth West High School, said. “I’m interested in pursing nursing and after today, I think I like emergency nursing the best.”

Registered Nurse Julie Thornsberry also talked to the students about the responsibilities of a nurse during a surgery and allowed the teenagers to gain experience by trying on surgery gowns, gloves, hats and masks. The crew then worked together to staple wounds (made out of foam) and sew arteries to a heart (with rubber tubing).

“We try to make the activities as hands-on and as fun as possible,” Stephens added.

Cheryel Miller, a senior at Lewis County High School said she has been on the health and sciences track at school and had been debating on becoming a surgical RN or a maternity RN. After the camp she is sure she wants to work with babies and moms in a maternity unit.

“The 2010 Nursing Camp was very successful,” Stephens said. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of our SOMC employees and LIFE ambulance and I hope the students had a good time and learned helpful information about the nursing field.”

SOMC Nursing Units Identified as Best Practices by PRC

Multiple nursing units at Southern Ohio Medical Center were recently identified as best practices in one or more areas of the Professional Research Consultants’ (PRC) 2010 National Patient Benchmarking Database. PRC is a marketing research company that SOMC works with to conduct patient satisfaction surveys.

The units were chosen based on nationwide benchmarks above the 90th percentile ranking and include the Heart Care Unit (for overall room accommodations); Medical Surgical Care Unit (for cleanliness of the hospital and overall room accommodations); Surgical Vascular Care Unit (for cleanliness of the hospital and overall room accommodations); Maternity Services (for cleanliness of the hospital, overall quality of doctor’s care, and staff’s management of pain); and the Emergency Department on the South Campus (for overall level of safety and staff’s management of pain).

“As a best practice, these units will be listed as contacts that other PRC organizations can call and consult when they need help or advice to improve their current scores,” Valerie DeCamp, director of SOMC Inpatient Services and Accreditation, explained.

“This is truly an honor and shows that others recognize the excellence that goes on in our hospital. We’re very excited to share our processes and look forward to helping others achieve a higher standard of patient care.”

SOMC Hosted Picnic for Volunteers

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held an indoor picnic for the special volunteers who donate thousands of hours every year to help SOMC succeed. More than 50 SOMC volunteers attended the event. “We try to honor our volunteers through fun activities like picnics and luncheons,” Jenny Lavender, manager of Volunteer Services, said. “SOMC is so grateful for the work the volunteers do and of all the time they so graciously provide, this is just one way we can show our appreciation.”

Participants registered to win door prizes, played board games and ate their fill of picnic foods. Shown above displaying their paper plate portraits is (l to r) Joyce White, Bette Brown, Lucille LeMaster and Sandra Warren.

For more information or to become a volunteer at SOMC, please call Volunteer Services at 740-356-8234.

SOMC UCC Portsmouth Receives PRC Four-Star Award

The SOMC Urgent Care Center-Portsmouth recently received the Four-Star Award for Service Excellence, presented by Professional Research Consultants (PRC), the company that conducts the hospital’s patient satisfaction surveys.

The Four-Star designation is given annually to health care facilities and providers that score in the top 25 percent of the PRC national client database for the previous year and is based on the percentage of patients who rate the facility as “excellent” for their overall quality of care. The award was presented to the center for their service scores received in December 2009.

Shown above at the presentation are Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs (right), director of nursing for SOMC Emergency, Pediatric and Outpatient Services, Kathy Davis (third from right), nurse manger of the UCC-Portsmouth, and other members of UCC-Portsmouth staff.

SOMC Honored Local Pre-Med Students with Celebration

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held a Pre-Med Celebration July 8 at the SOMC Friends Community Center. Local students enrolled in medical school for the fall of 2010 and those applying to medical school in 2011 were invited to the special dinner. SOMC presented the students with a Stedman’s Medical Dictionary.

Shown above at the Pre-Med Celebration are (front row, l to r) Drew Gaydos, Herbie Otworth, Chelsea Anderson, Cody Horn and Stephen Snodgrass, back row (l to r) are Samantha Yelley, Carrie Dunham and Gerad Gray.

SOMC Held Grand Opening in Vanceburg

Southern Ohio Medical Center held a grand opening July 19 to celebrate the new SOMC Vanceburg Family Practice and Specialty Associates. Dr. Sarah Porter, the family physician for the practice, was on hand to greet attendees. Free health screenings, food, tours of the facility and activities for children made the day a success. Nearly 100 cholesterol, bone density and glucose screenings were completed. Shown above are Kathy Pyles (left) and Patty Delabar (right) providing cholesterol tests for participants.

SOMC Volunteer Gives a Warm Surprise to Cancer Patient

Joyce White, a volunteer at Southern Ohio Medical Center and an avid crocheter recently surprised Kristina Johnson, a SOMC breast cancer patient with a beautiful handmade pink scarf. White worked on the scarf for months during the SOMC Knit for Hope’s monthly meetings. She paid so much attention to detail that she even crocheted a ribbon pattern on the scarf to symbolize the breast cancer awareness ribbon.

Jenny Lavender, manager of SOMC Volunteer Services and Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center arranged the surprise. White opened the door and shocked Johnson with the beautiful gift from a stranger.

“Wow,” exclaimed Johnson as she hugged White and her eyes welled up with tears. “I’m so surprised, this scarf is gorgeous. Thank you so much.”

White, a former breast cancer survivor herself, was delighted to meet Johnson and happy that she loved the scarf. They talked about what it’s like to loose your hair when undergoing chemotherapy. Beverly Hunt, Johnson’s mother, was also at her appointment and she talked about how important it is to have a strong support system.

Friends were made, laughter and tears were exchanged and another spirit was lifted that day. Johnson added that the most important thing to remember while fighting cancer is to just keep laughing.

Shown above with the scarf is (l to r) Wendi Waugh, Joyce White, Kristina Johnson, Beverly Hunt and Jenny Lavender.

SOMC Hospice Sponsors Second Annual Memorial Bike Ride

The Hospice Center of Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its Second Annual Memorial Bike Ride Saturday, July 31. Registration for the event will begin at 12 p.m. on the SOMC East Campus, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth, with riders leaving from the Hospice Center at 1 p.m.

The ride will send participants on a 90-mile police-escorted drive through Southern Ohio and Adams County with all proceeds benefiting patients of SOMC Hospice Services.

“Last year was the first time we had held this particular event, which was created in memory of motorcycling enthusiast Ricky Bryan,” Sheila Riggs, claims coordinator of Hospice Services, said. “Bryan began planning the ride before his death because he wanted to give back to our program…our contributions touched him so much.”

Riggs said that the center decided to carry-on the tradition this year not only in memory of Bryan, but for all other bike riders and patients of SOMC Hospice Services.

“There are so many community members who are willing to give back to our program and we’re more than happy to provide different venues for them to do so,” she said. “Our last bike ride was truly a success, but we’re hoping that through better weather, and an even better turn out, we can exceed the funds raised last year and continue to provide much needed support for our patients and their families.”

Cost of the ride is $20 for a single rider or $25 for two people on one bike. Lunch will be provided. Music will be performed by local band Night Shift and prize drawings and giveaways will take place after the event. T-shirts also will be available for purchase.

Pre-registration is not required but can be made in the Gibson Building on the SOMC East Campus. The ride will proceed rain or shine.

For more information, please call SOMC Hospice Services at 356-2567.