Crohn’s Disease Support Group to Meet

he local chapter of the Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis support group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Classroom 2 of the Gibson Building on the East Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth, Ohio. The group meets every third Tuesday of the month, weather permitting.

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. The meeting will focus on participants who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The group is supported by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. For more information, please call Angel at (740) 259-5080.

Carolers Bring Joy to Patients at SOMC

Members of the Minford Church of the Nazarene choir recently sang Christmas carols to patients at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The group brought teddy bears for pediatric patients and lifted spirits with beautiful songs in the lobby, Heart Care Unit and Rehab Unit. Pictured above are members of the choir.

Local Students Brighten Spirits at SOMC

Fourth grade students from Oak Intermediate School in New Boston recently visited Southern Ohio Medical Center in hopes of spreading joy and cheer to patients during the holiday season. The students made spirits brighter by caroling through the halls of the inpatient units and delivering homemade cards that will be given to patients Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Shown above with the students are Progressive Care Unit staff members (back row, l to r) Kathy Moore, Debbie Kamer, Connie Florek, Paula Reinhardt and Linda Horner.

SOMC Highlighted in Joint Commission Video

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently selected to participate in a Joint Commission Resources (JCR) satellite video special titled “Facing the Challenges of Joint Commission.” The program featured several hospitals nationwide and their approach and outcomes of pain management efforts.

“Pain management is more than assessing or administering medications to reduce the patient’s discomfort, it’s about listening to the patient and providing the most excellent care possible,” Jill Preston, manager of workforce development, said.

A Chicago representative from JCR and a film crew came to the hospital in November to shoot clips for the program. The satellite video special aired online Dec. 17 for JCR members.

“Being selected for this video special was an honor and a wonderful opportunity for others to see SOMC’s tools and processes for reducing pain,” Valerie DeCamp, director of inpatient services and accreditation, said. “We look forward to using the video for employee education and to improve our patient care efforts.”

Promise Guild Donates Robes to Cancer Center

Members of the Promise Guild, a part of the Friends of SOMC, recently donated 60 robes to the Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The guild raised money to purchase and monogram the robes through various fundraisers during the year. The idea for the robes came from a patient suggestion and will provide comfort and privacy for cancer patients during treatments.

Pictured above are: (back, l-r); Kelly Lawson, clinical manager of SOMC Oncology Services; Rose Havens, promise guild member; Joyce Payton, promise guild member; Kristie Meeker, assistant nurse manager of SOMC Oncology Services; (front, l-r); Sherrill Day, promise guild member; Marilyn Mercer, promise guild member.

SOMC LIFE Center to Host Top Zumba™ Instructor

New York native and world renown master Zumba™ instructor, Nathan Blake will return to the tri-state area to teach a two-hour master class from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 7 at the SOMC LIFE Center in the gymnasium, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth.

The event is open to the public at a cost of $15 per person if purchased in advance. Admission is $20 at the door. Tickets will be available for purchase at the front desk of the Portsmouth LIFE Center and through Debbie Kielmar.

“Blake has worked with Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba™, and he will teach us the routines to top songs,” Debbie Kielmar, lead group fitness instructor at the LIFE Center, said. “This is an incredible opportunity for Zumba™ followers to experience a master instructor’s teaching style and hopefully participants will learn new moves and have a great time.”

For more information, please call Debbie Kielmar at 356-7391 or the SOMC LIFE Center at 356-7650.

Pike County CTC Students Donate to SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund

As a fundraiser, high school students from the Pike County Career Technical Center recently paid money to wear pink clothing to school. The group raised $250 and made a donation to Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to local breast cancer patients. Pictured to the right of the students is Connie Tackett, instructor at Pike County CTC presenting a check to Kimberly Richendollar, breast health navigator at SOMC.

‘Cherry Tomato Lady’ Hosts Book Signing at SOMC

Joan Thomas Ungerleider, author of the cookbook, “Cooking with the Cherry Tomato Lady,” will host a very special “Memories and Traditions” get together and book signing from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 at the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth.

“Years ago, I dubbed my grandmother the ‘Cherry Tomato Lady’ because she grew copious amounts of the tiny tomatoes and delivered them to family and friends as healthful snacks,” Ungerleider explained. “After she was gone, I adopted the name for myself, continuing her practice and sending seeds to my grandchildren so they could grow their own crops.”

As the reigning “Cherry Tomato Lady,” Ungerleider’s goal is to bring families together in the kitchen. Her cookbook offers a grandmother’s mix of memories and recipes, dishing up more than 200 family-pleasing recipes along with nostalgic recollections spanning six generations.

“The book is a tribute to relationships kindled in the kitchen,” she said. “When I started looking back, all my memories of my grandmother and family revolved around food. And I thought, what better way to create a lasting memory than to put it in writing?”

Wife of the Cancer Center’s Dr. James Ungerleider, mother to five and grandmother of nine, Ungerleider said the concept of leaving something in writing, or the gift of memories, has always been important to her. She has worked to embed the tradition into her own family.

“When my grandmother passed away, the only thing I can remember wanting from her was something in her handwriting. From then on, I decided it would be my goal to use the written word to create a lasting bond with my family and teach them about love and health along the way,” she said.

She explained that the process could be simple, like writing a birthday letter every year, starting a memory jar or making a book of family recipes. The important thing to remember is to not put off what you can do today.

“At your next family reunion, ask those who will be attending to bring in a recipe. Have someone type them up and then send out a special family book. It doesn’t take much effort, but it will be something that your family will always cherish. And most importantly, it will be a gift that can be passed on for years to come.”

Copies of “Cooking with the Cherry Tomato Lady” can be purchased from the SOMC Cancer Center and proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. For more information or to purchase your copy, please call Lisa Morgan at 356-7496.

Girl Scouts Donate Scarves for Cancer Patients

Members of Girl Scout Troops Jackson Daisy 406 and Gallipolis Junior 515 worked together to make more than 500 head scarves for cancer patients in the Southeast Ohio area during the national Make A Difference Day campaign. The girls, ranging in age from kindergarten through eighth grade, worked on the project for eight months while learning to measure, iron and sew the scarves. The SOMC Cancer Center was one of five area hospitals to receive the handmade scarves.