SOMC Maternity and Pediatric Guild promote “Safe Sleep”

pediatric donation WebMembers of the Pediatric Guild of Southern Ohio Medical Center recently made a donation of HALO-brand sleep sacks to benefit patients of SOMC Maternity Services.

The sleep sacks will be given to mothers who are unable to purchase the product on their own, and will be used as part of SOMC’s “safe sleep” initiative to help improve the state of Ohio’s infant mortality rate.

“Ohio ranks 46th out of all 50 states for infant mortality,” Jone Stone, nurse manager of SOMC Maternity Services, said. “That’s why we encourage the use of ‘sleep sacks,’ or wearable blankets that replace loose covers during sleep.”

Sleep sacks ensure that a baby is safe throughout the night, eliminating the possibility of blanket entanglement, restricted breathing, and suffocation. Sleep sacks are also useful in keeping babies warm and comfortable because they can’t be kicked off during sleep.

“Sleep sacks can be used until a baby starts to pull itself up; at that time, blanket sleepers are recommended until 18 months,” Stone said. “After that, small blankets can be utilized.”

Parents who are unable to purchase sleep sacks have to utilize small blankets. To use blankets properly, parents should swaddle the baby slightly below the shoulders in a secure manner as to not cover the head or face.

Creating a safe sleep environment means more than just using a sleep sack, however. Babies should always be placed alone, on their back, in a crib. Parents also should not put bumper pads, extra blankets, pillows, toys or stuffed animals in the baby’s crib, and should not fall asleep with a baby in their arms or in their bed.

“Safe sleep environments for newborns save lives, and providing free sleep sacks to needy mothers sends a message about this initiative’s importance,” Stone added. “Anything we can do to educate and help a mom provide her baby with a safe-sleep environment is a priority, and we greatly appreciate the Pediatric Guild for their support in meeting the needs of our patients.”

For more information about SOMC Maternity Services, please visit

Glockner Enterprises donates $5,000 to Compassion Fund

Glockner DonationGlockner Enterprises recently donated $5,000 to the Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. The effort was spearheaded by Peggy Ruggles, a breast cancer survivor. Proceeds were raised through shirt and cookbook sales, as well as by having cook-outs, and then matched by Tim Glockner.

LIFE Center offering “KRAV MAGA” class on February 28

KRAV MAGA is coming to the SOMC LIFE Center.

Considered one of the most effective and battle-tested systems in the world, KRAV MAGA is a self-defense system developed and used by the Israeli Defense Forces. It will be taught at the SOMC LIFE Center on February 28 from 2 until 4 p.m.

The class will be taught by Scott King, who is a 1st dgree Black Belt in KRAV MAGA, as well as a level 1 & 2 KRAV MAGA instructor.

Classes are available to anyone ages 14 and up. Participants between the ages of 14 and 18 will need to have a consent form signed by a parent or guardian. For more information, call 740-356-7650.

Nagrani and El Bash pass endovascular boards

Two cardiologists at Southern Ohio Medical Center, Dr. Tarun Nagrani and Dr. Salah El-Bash, recently passed their endovascular boards. They are now certified under the American Board of Vascular Medicine (ABVM), an independent organization dedicated to developing and maintaining high standards in vascular medicine.

“It’s important to me that I am able to provide my patients with the best care possible,” Dr. El-Bash said. “That’s why this certification means so much to me.”

“Completing my endovascular boards required a significant investment of time, but I don’t look at it as an investment in myself,” Dr. Nagrani said. “It’s an investment in my patients and an investment in my community. That’s an investment that is always worth making.”

The ABVM’s mission statement is to “provide a high quality certification process to recognize expertise in the field of vascular medicine.”

For more information about heart and vascular services at SOMC, visit

Be heart-healthy this Heart Month

In the spirit of Heart Month, SOMC is encouraging you to try out these heart-healthy tips in the month of February.

Quit smoking! Smoking is one of the top, controllable risk factors for heart disease – so don’t do it. If you smoke, call 740-356-2720 and ask about SOMC’s free smoking cessation classes.

Knit a scarf or solve a jigsaw puzzle – anything that puts your hands to work and your mind to rest. It relieves stress and makes a huge difference for your heart.

Just dance. It doesn’t matter what music moves you, dancing raises your heart rate, burns calories and makes for a heart-healthy exercise.

Go fish! Studies have shown that including fish high in omega-3 fatty acids into your diet reduces the risk of heart disease by a third or more. If you worry about the risk of mercury content or other contaminants in fish, consider that the Mayo Clinic has stated that the healthy benefits of fish outweigh the possible risks of exposure to toxic elements.

Laugh out loud. Not on your keyboard or cell phone, but in real life! Laughing is good for your heart, so take some time for something that tickles your funny bone.

Get up and move. New studies show that sitting for long periods of time could shorten your life expectancy regardless of your weight. Being a couch potato has an unhealthy influence on blood fats and blood sugar. At the office, try to work in “get up” breaks and go for a stroll.

Eat some chocolate – you read that right. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that rich, dark chocolate can help stave off heart disease.

Consider pet therapy. Pets do more than give us unconditional love, they also offer numerous health benefits. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health show that owning a pet can lower the rate of dying from heart disease and possibly improve heart and lung function.

Brush up! Good dental hygiene does more than keep your smile bright and white, it also affects your overall health. Harvard researchers believe that several types of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, may be connected to oral health.

These tips, and others, can be found at For more information about how you can live a heart healthy lifestyle, visit

SOMC PCU recognized for making largest donation to toy drive

PCU Toy Drive Photo WEBLife Medical Response donated approximately 1,000 toys to needy children during the holiday season – 300 of which came from a single department at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The SOMC Progressive Care Unit provided more toys than any other single source and was honored for their contribution with a plaque and cake. While SOMC’s PCU led the way in donations, several other departments within SOMC also made meaningful contributions to the cause.

Free volleyball tournament begins February 1

The SOMC Portsmouth LIFE Center will hold a free volleyball tournament for interested participants at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 and Thursday, Feb. 4.

The tournament will be double elimination. Teams must have six people on the court at all times and can consist of up to eight members. Teams may practice from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 18, 21, 25 and 28 at the Portsmouth LIFE Center. The team seeding will take place Monday night before the first match.

The tournament is free and open to everyone; you do not need to be a current LIFE Center member to participate. Teams must register no later than 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Portsmouth LIFE Center.

Registration will require the names

of all players and a signed waiver for non-members of the LIFE Center.

The winning team will receive a prize pack from the LIFE Center. To learn more information, please call 740-356-7650.

SOMC Home Health Services ranked as “elite”

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Home Health Services was recently announced as one of America’s “Home Care Elite,” meaning it ranked in the top 25% of agencies in the United States. SOMC has achieved has received this honor in seven of the last ten years.

“This is a testimony to the caliber and caring of our Home Care staff,” Director of SOMC Home Health Services Karen Thompson said. “I am thrilled that they have once again received this recognition for their very important work.”

Agencies are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency and financial performance.

SOMC Home Health Services is the first hospital-based care agency in Ohio and received Medicare certification in 1966. SOMC Home Health Services are available in Ohio’s Scioto, Adams and Pike counties as well as Kentucky’s Lewis and Greenup counties. SOME Home Health Services also operates an office in Vanceburg, Kentucky.

For more information about SOMC, visit or

SOMC Receives Gold Level Healthy Worksite Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Healthy Ohio Business Council (HOBC) for their outstanding healthy worksite practices, receiving the Gold Level Healthy Worksite Award for 2015.

The Healthy Worksite Award recognizes Ohio employers who demonstrate a commitment to employee wellness through comprehensive worksite health promotion and wellness programs. All applicants are reviewed and evaluated by members of the HOBC, and winners are recognized at either the Gold, Silver, or Bronze level.

A total of 68 Ohio employers were named healthy worksites for 2015.

“Poor nutrition, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and alcohol and drug use limit our potential to be productive Ohioans. This is why a comprehensive approach to preventive health and wellness at worksites is an essential part of improving both the health of Ohioans and the overall success of our state,” Dr. Mary DiOrio, medical director of the ODH, said. “Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award winners are leading the way in this effort by creating healthy work environments for their employees.”
Applicants are scored on how well their wellness programs facilitate and encourage employee health, enhance productivity, and ensure a healthy work environment.

“In terms of health and wellness, SOMC strives to be the leading example not just to our employees, but for other employers and the community,” April Sanders, manager of SOMC Employee Health and Wellness said. “We work to encourage a healthy community that will result in our children and their families living long and happy lives. We’re glad to be making strides both in and outside our workforce.”

The Healthy Worksite awards are sponsored by Provant, a leader in population health management strategies and customized worksite wellness services that support employee well-being and productivity and healthcare cost containment. For more information about the Healthy Ohio Healthy Worksite Award program, please visit