SOMC Opens Urgent Care Center in Portsmouth, June 20

Southern Ohio Medical Center has announced that the Health Care Center located at 1248 Kinneys Lane (SOMC’s south campus) in Portsmouth will convert to an Urgent Care Center beginning June 20, 2010.

“We recognize the community’s need for a more centralized Urgent Care Center,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett, said. “By evolving the Health Care Center into an urgent care facility, this will provide a new option for non-emergent care for the people in our area.”

“The Health Care Center has functioned as a very successful freestanding emergency department since 1998, though many people thought it was already an Urgent Care Center,” Claudia Burchett, chief nursing officer at SOMC, said. “With the recent expansion of our Main Campus Emergency Department, there no longer is a need for two emergency facilities in Portsmouth and the growing need for urgent care is more prevalent.”

Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, director of nursing for Emergency, Pediatrics and Outpatient Services at SOMC, explained that like the Urgent Care Center in Wheelersburg, the Urgent Care Center-Portsmouth will provide non-emergency treatment for minor medical complaints, including minor lacerations, urinary tract infections, earaches, migraine headaches, sprains, and fever. The center also will offer care to patients whose primary care physician is not available.

“Many local organizations are adopting insurance plans with much higher deductibles and co-pays for Emergency Department visits, whereas the cost of a visit to the Urgent Care Center is comparably less,” Dilts Skaggs said. “The decision to provide a second, more centralized urgent care center will be a cost savings opportunity for our local patients.”

The hours of operation will remain the same (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Saturday). Outpatient services, testing, (including lab and x-ray) as well as the Ambulatory Infusion Clinic will continue to be available at the Urgent Care Center-Portsmouth location from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Saturday.

“We truly feel that this decision is in the best interest of our organization and our community,” Arnett added. “We hope the community will work with us as we grow and continue to provide the excellent quality care for our patients and their families.”

To better meet the needs of the community, SOMC also offers an Urgent Care Center in Wheelersburg, located at 8770 Ohio River Rd. for the treatment of minor medical complaints. This facility has been open for 12 years and the hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday-Saturday. For more information please call, (740) 574-9090.

In addition to the opening of the Urgent Care Center-Portsmouth, SOMC has also started an Athletic Training Outreach Program. Student athletes who participate in the program will have priority access to a Saturday morning Sports Injury Clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. located inside the Urgent Care Center-Portsmouth building. For more information please call, (740) 356-7438.

SOMC Celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day

Southern Ohio Medical Center celebrated National Cancer Survivors Day with a 1950s themed party at the SOMC Friends Community Center, held June 6. More than 300 cancer survivors and their families attended. Life Ambulance provided the food and Doc Roc and the Remedies provided entertainment. The Minford High School cheerleaders volunteered their time to serve food and encouraged the participants to dance.

National Cancer Survivors Day is held annually in hundreds of communities throughout the world on the first Sunday in June. It is a symbolic and celebratory event to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.

Shown above at the SOMC National Cancer Survivors Day celebration is cancer survivor, Tom Beck of Portsmouth (center) and his sister, Regina Keller (left) and his mother, Vivian Beck (right).

SOMC Names New Manager of Volunteer Services

Jenny Lavender has been named manager of Volunteer Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Lavender, a native of Portsmouth, joined SOMC in 2008 where she served as the Friends Center Coordinator. She previously worked as the Publicity and Program Coordinator at the Portsmouth Public Library for 16 years. In Lavender’s new role she will be responsible for the coordination and supervision of the SOMC Volunteer program.

She currently resides in Lucasville with her family.

SOMC Hosted Alpha-1 Screening

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently hosted a free Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AAT) Screening. Alpha-1 is a genetic form of emphysema and the AAT test also detects if a person is a carrier for the disease. Early detection is very important.“We provided the AAT screening, total cholesterol, blood pressure, waist circumference, blood sugar and heart risk analysis for 87 participants,” Ashley Salyers, workforce and community health educator at SOMC, said.

Shown above is community member Hazel Andronas getting her AAT finger stick completed by Shawnee State University respiratory therapy students. Shown on the far left is Michelle Lyons, supervisor of Sleep Disorders at SOMC and on the far right is Pam Kayser, supervisor of the Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab at SOMC.

SOMC Names New Manager of Performance Improvement

David Richard, RN, BSN, has been named the Manager of Performance Improvement at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Richard, a native of Lucasville, joined SOMC in 2004 and has served as a RN, charge nurse and assistant nurse manager on the Orthopedic Care Unit. He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Kaplan University online. Richard will assume his new duties as manager on July 4.

SOMC Names New Nurse Manager of Critical Care

Paul Rase, RN, BSN, CCRN, has been named the Nurse Manager of Critical Care, including the Heart Care Unit and the Intensive Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Rase joined SOMC in 2007 and has previously served as nurse manager in the Heart Care Unit. He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and has been a nurse for 15 years.

SOMC Patient Safety Names New Director

Christy Aeh, RN, BSN, has been named Administrative Director of Patient Safety at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Aeh, a native of Columbus, Ohio, joined SOMC in 1990 and has served as a nurse tech, registered nurse, clinical educator and nurse manager for the Intensive Care Unit. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

She currently resides in South Shore, Ky. with her family.

SOMC Named 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently named 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review/Becker’s ASC Review.

The 2010 list was developed through nominations and research and the organizations were selected for their demonstrated excellence in providing a work environment that promotes teamwork, professional development and quality patient care.

“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction, as well as our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status, FORTUNE Best Places to Work and our number one Best Employer in Ohio distinction will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” said Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

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 2010 Nursing Camp at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 19 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.”

Pre-registration is required by June 30 and must be completed online at The program is open to 30 participants.

For more information, please call Katy Stephens at (740)-356-6499.