SOMC Hosted 24th Annual Hike for Hospice

More than 475 supporters, volunteers and community members helped to collect $40,014.11 in funds during the 24th Annual Hike for Hospice at Southern Ohio Medical Center, held May 15, 2010.

Individuals and teams of five to 71 participants sported signs and T-shirts of various colors, names and slogans during the hike, which raises funds annually for the SOMC Hospice Caritas Fund and is held as a tribute to all hospice patients and their family members.

“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 and helped behind the scenes.”

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

Team Awards:

Largest Total Donation: Golden Bears Most Sponsors: Golden Bears Largest Team: OSCO Largest Business Affiliated Team: OSCO Largest Community Based Team: Scioto County Department of Disabilities Most Family Members: The Walker Family Most Original Team Costume: Heartland Youth Group with the Most Participants: OSWEGO

Individual Awards:

Largest Total Donation: 1st place- Dr. Bonzo; 2nd place- Thelma Shirey Most Sponsors: 1st place- Thelma Shirey; 2nd place- Dr. Bonzo

SOMC Nurses Donate to New Beginnings

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s nursing staff recently celebrated National Nurses Week by collecting items for New Beginnings Outreach Ministry of Southern Ohio—a non-profit corporation providing resident and non-resident rehabilitation treatment for those suffering from drug or alcohol dependency. Together the nursing units collected hundreds of items for the organization including toiletries, cleaning supplies, gas cards, Wal-Mart gift cards and monetary donations. Shown on the final day of the collection are SOMC employees (from l to r) Tanya Thoroughman, Lori Livingston, Lanita Warner, Willie Baldridge, Tonia Bivens, Holli Dunham and Tammy Charles.

Team Awards:

Largest Total Donation: Golden Bears Most Sponsors: Golden Bears Largest Team: OSCO Largest Business Affiliated Team: OSCO Largest Community Based Team: Scioto County Department of Disabilities Most Family Members: The Walker Family Most Original Team Costume: Heartland Youth Group with the Most Participants: OSWEGO

Greenup Baseball Team Donates to SOMC

The Greenup County High School Musketeers baseball team recently went “Pink” during their game against Lawrence County, May 6. In honor of Mother’s Day and in support of breast cancer awareness, the team wore pink jerseys and socks while the field was painted with pink breast cancer awareness ribbons. The Greenup County Baseball Boosters, Chris Ailster, athletic director and Greg Logan, varsity baseball coach arranged the evening and raised $500 which was donated to Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. Noel Pemberton, local cancer survivor, was invited to throw the first pitch of the game to her youngest son. She was also presented with a team-autographed baseball. Shown above are members of the Musketeers baseball team.

Smedley Family Presents Shadow box to SOMC

Shown above (from l to r) is Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, Jenny Lavender, interim manager of the Volunteer Services at SOMC and Kevin Smedley.

Kevin Smedley recently presented Southern Ohio Medical Center with a commemorative shadow box in honor of the Shanoah Guild and in memory of his mother, the late Stella Smedley; the donation was made on Stella’s birthday, May 5, 2010.

The guild began in the 1960’s and continued for more than thirty years with Stella as president in 1995. The guild sold flower bulbs in the spring, knitted clothes for stillborn babies and hosted an annual Christmas Bazaar. The proceeds were used for special needs and projects at SOMC, including an ice machine for the Maternity Unit.

The plaque in the shadow box reads, “In tribute to the members of the SHANOAH GUILD for their many talents, time and dedication in helping to make Southern Ohio Medical Center what it is today and in memory of Stella Smedley whose creative ideas were an inspiration for many of the items made by the Shanoah Guild. Presented by the Smedley family May 5, 2010.”

SOMC, Greenway Bring Electronic Health Records to Local Area

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently announced a partnership with Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc. to bring a fully integrated electronic health record (EHR), practice management and interoperability solution to the local area.

Known as PrimeSuite®, the completely paperless, office-based solution will provide an electronic patient charting system for all physician offices within the SOMC Medical Care Foundation. In addition to hospital-owned practices, the hospital will also be able to negotiate discounts for private physicians interested in deploying the new technology.

“Once deployed, the system will allow sharing of data and information among participating physician offices and healthcare facilities,” Ben Gill, director of Physician Services at SOMC, said. “Not only will it allow us to provide more efficient communication between our providers, but it will also lead to improved patient care by reducing the chance of documentation and medication errors.”

Gill said that Greenway was chosen as SOMC’s partner after a considerable amount of research.

“In the end, they stood out as a company with the vision and agility to keep up in this fast-paced industry. They have also built a stellar reputation among their current users, ranking best in the country in customer satisfaction scores.”

During the last 12 months, Greenway’s enterprise EHR and interoperability solutions have been selected by more than 30 healthcare systems across the nation, ranging from large medical centers and independent physician associations to medical groups with affiliated members in Texas, Colorado, Michigan, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Mississippi and Kansas.

“We are very proud to be partnering with Southern Ohio Medical Center,” Greenway President Tee Green, said. “The size of their patient population and the specialties they offer combine a unique quality in their region. We believe our usability and interoperability components can aid in improving patient outcomes and enhancing financial and administrative workflows as well.”

The selection process for the product began more than a year ago, with the intent to go live in select physician offices by October 2010. Gill hopes that remaining SOMC Medical Care Foundation offices will be completely paperless by February 2011.

“Our goal is to create an integrated healthcare system where participating providers can access the information they need to better treat patients and improve the overall health of our community,” Gill added. “We believe that offering Greenway’s solutions to providers in our service area will increase our organization’s ability to encourage the highest level of excellent patient care.”

Greenway Medical Technologies provides the latest in EHR, ambulatory healthcare and clinical research business solutions and services to more than 23,000 healthcare providers nationwide, in 30 specialties and subspecialties, by enhancing the delivery of patient care through innovative HIT software and on-demand services that allow physician practices to function at their highest level of efficiency. Greenway’s PrimeSuite is a comprehensive, interoperability component of the integrated physician’s infrastructure solution, which serves as the starting point of a long-term business plan for physician practices. PrimeSuite 2011 is a pre-market CCHIT Certified® 2011 Ambulatory EHR, additionally certified for Child Health and Cardiovascular Medicine, with optional Advanced Reporting. PrimeSuite integrates a practice’s clinical, financial and administrative processes, and allows practices to increase profitability, enhance patient satisfaction and facilitate adherence to compliance guidelines. Established in 1998, Carrollton, Ga.-based Greenway Medical Technologies is a privately held company with more than 300 employees.

For more information about the PrimeSuite program, please contact Ben Gill at (740)-356-8680.

SOMC Hosted 10th Annual Love Your Heart

Becky Cooper, RN of SOMC’s Emergency Department assists two kindergarten students in using Doppler to hear their heartbeat during SOMC’s 10th Annual Love Your Heart educational event.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently hosted the 10th Annual Love Your Heart event, April 20 and 21. Since 2000, the program has used a Wizard of Oz theme to educate more than 10,000 five and six-year-old children about healthy heart habits.

Debbie O’Dell, kindergarten teacher at Portsmouth West, has brought her classes to Love Your Heart since the program started ten years ago. She explained that it’s good for her students to take a field trip and learn outside of the classroom.

“My students love coming to SOMC to learn about their hearts,” O’Dell said. “A lot of people don’t take care of their hearts and I think it’s due to a lack of education. If you teach the students while they are young, then they are more likely to utilize this knowledge as adults.”

When the schools arrived at the SOMC Friends Community Center, they were greeted by the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, Dorothy and other characters from the Wizard of Oz. The children learned that the Tin Man received a new heart and that he needs to learn how to take care of it. After the opening program, small groups were led through five different interactive stations where they learned how to feed, see, hear, feel and exercise their hearts.

“By using a storybook theme to present the information, SOMC staff assisted children in developing their cognitive learning skills,” Christy Aeh, nurse manager of ICU and program director for Love Your Heart, said. “This approach to teaching has been so successful that in May 2001, the ICU staff received the Seabury and Smith, Inc., Community Service Award, for our efforts in teaching area children about heart health.”

“Love Your Heart stemmed from the education team of the Intensive Care Unit,” Tony Smith, assistant nurse manager of the ICU, said. “I portray Tin Man every year and I really enjoy teaching the students and creating a connection between Tin Man’s heart and theirs.”

Schools from Wheelersburg, Northwest, Stanton, Clay, Notre Dame, South Webster, Green, Valley Portsmouth City and Minford brought 1,150 children to this year’s event. SOMC nursing staff and nursing students from Shawnee State University, Collins Career Center, Pike County, Rio Grande and Ohio University nursing students volunteered their time to help the event run smoothly.

“I think Love Your Heart is a great program and good education for kids,” Sarah Fox, SSU student volunteer and nurse resident at SOMC, said. “My niece came last year and she kept talking about how much fun it was.”

“Love Your Heart has proven to be one of the most successful programs conducted for kindergarten-aged children in the Scioto County area,” Aeh added. “We are grateful that SOMC can provide such a wonderful program for our community and we look forward to planning Love Your Heart 2011.”

SOMC Magnet Status Attracts Excellent Nurses

Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. After obtaining Magnet in January 2008, SOMC has become a member of the elite six percent of hospitals in the U.S. that can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is an immense honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said.

“It serves as external recognition of the excellent care that we provide to our patients and their families. This achievement was the result of more than 30 months of preparation, 2,000 pages of submitted documentation, a four-day on-site inspection and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses – an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“I saw a SOMC billboard about Magnet and then I went online to find more information about the facility,” Carolyn White, a new nurse at SOMC, said. “I had previously worked for a Magnet hospital and when my husband and I were looking to relocate, I knew SOMC was the place for me.”

White chose to leave her friends and family to move five hours from her home in Glasgow, Kentucky to the Portsmouth area. She has been a RN in the SOMC Orthopedic and Family Care Unit since November 2009.

“Working at SOMC has made my move a lot easier,” she said. “I think I have my family and friends here now.”

Ruthie Sandala also had a similar situation. She searched and applied online for two years before landing a position in the Same Day Surgery department at SOMC. After previously working for a Magnet organization, Sandala moved from Indianapolis to Portsmouth just to work at SOMC because she knew what Magnet really stands for.

“I know that Magnet means the hospital values their nurses and treats them well,” Sandala said. “And they usually ask the nurses for their opinions before putting policies in place.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay, improved patient outcomes and higher satisfaction rates. According to the ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”

SOMC to Host Volunteer Recruitment Day

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host a volunteer recruitment day called “A Taste of SOMC Volunteering” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 11 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth, Ohio. Community members and students ages 15 and older that are interested in volunteering at SOMC are invited to attend.

SOMC volunteers provided more than 51,000 hours of volunteer time in 2009. They assisted in numerous departments throughout the hospital including: the Gift Gallery, Friends Center, administrative offices, nursing floors, the Print Shop, the Cancer Center, Hospice, the LIFE Center and many other areas.

“We have volunteers who do everything from delivering newspapers to tending to families who have just lost a loved one,” Shawn Jordan, administrative director of Community Relations, Friends Community Center and Volunteers, said. “SOMC is very grateful for the countless hours, dedication and smiles the volunteers provide to our patients and their families. They are the heart of our organization.”

The recruitment day will give those interested in volunteering an opportunity to speak with current SOMC volunteers, Guild members, various departments at SOMC and receive free health screenings, eat lunch and enter for a chance to win door prizes.

“If you have three or four hours a week of free time or even the ability to volunteer once or twice a month, volunteering at SOMC may be just what you are looking for,” Jordan added.

SOMC offers several benefits to their volunteers including: convenient work hours, complementary meals, free flu shots, annual award and recognition banquet, reduced rates at the Life Center and monthly activities such as bingo, shopping, etc.

Reservations to attend “A Taste of SOMC Volunteering” are preferred and can be made by calling the Volunteer Office at (740) 356-8234.