SOMC physicians recognized as “Center of Excellence” providers

Dr. Johnny Bernard, Jr.

Dr. Vincent Scarpinato

Two SOMC physicians were recently recognized as having achieved a “Center of Excellence” level of care in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). The designation recognizes these physicians’ commitment to education, training and experience in state-of-the-art breast cancer treatment.

“We are very excited and proud of Drs. Johnny Bernard, Jr. and Vincent Scarpinato.  Each has achieved Center of Excellence recognition,” Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center, said. “We take pride in offering our patients excellent care and the most advanced treatments possible. Both physicians have really stepped up to ensure that their patients have access to the newest technologies in breast cancer care.”

The physicians received the designation for demonstrating proficiency in inserting the SAVI applicator into the lumpectomy cavity after surgery and, following insertion, delivery of radiation therapy.

“After a lumpectomy, patients will typically require radiation treatment to eliminate any remaining cancer cells,” Dr. Johnny Bernard, Jr. said. “With the SAVI applicator, we are able to deliver this treatment in a way that is more targeted, and thus minimizes radiation exposure of healthy tissue.”

The SAVI applicator is an advanced therapy for breast cancer as a part of breast conservation therapy.

“Traditional radiation treatment involves irradiating the entire breast,” Dr. Scarpinato said. “SAVI gives us the ability to isolate the area where the tumor has been removed from and target the area.”

For more information on SAVI, visit or call 740-356-7490.


Valley kindergarteners go caroling at SOMC Hospice

Kindergarten students from Valley Elementary School recently visited SOMC Hospice to sing Christmas carols to patients and staff. The group was made up of students from three separate classes. For more information about SOMC Hospice, please call 740-356-2567. To see more photos from this event, like SOMC on Facebook.

5k Race Cup Series coming in 2014

In 2014, there will be a new way for local runners to compete: the 5k Race Cup Series.

Several local organizations are partnering to start the 2014 5k Race Cup Series, which combines the results of six local 5ks to crown male and female grand prize winners.

The way it works is that, after each race in the series, the top 10 males and the top 10 females will be rewarded points – 100 for first place, 90 for second, 80 for third and so on. At the end of the series, each participant’s points will be totaled and the top male and female will each be awarded a grand prize.

The 5k Race Cup Series schedule includes a total of six races, scheduled as follows:

  • March 15 – CAO Shamrock Shuffle
  • April 16 – SSU Spring Bear Run
  • August 30 – SOMC Run For Your LIFE
  • September 17 – SSU Fall Bear Run
  • October 4 – Counseling Center Natural High
  • December 6 – Red Cross Jingle Bell Jog

It is not necessary to participate in every race to be eligible for the cash prize. For more information on this upcoming event, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7650.

SOMC offering Palliative Care House Call program

Patients suffering from a serious medical illness or chronic illness often require special care. Such care is now available in the comforts of your own home through the SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls program.

With the House Calls program, services are provided in your home by a nurse practitioner to help assist patients with their illness and medications. The nurse practitioner will assist a patient’s primary care provider to coordinate a specially designed plan of care. House Call providers will be the primary care provider’s “eyes and ears,” monitoring the patient’s environment and regimen.

“The SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls program allows us to bring outstanding care directly to the environment where our patients can feel the most comfortable,” SOMC Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Scott Hilbert said. “It’s an especially attractive option for patients who need frequent care but have difficulty getting out of the house, and patients who have a complex medical condition that is difficult to manage alone at home.”

SOMC Palliative Care: House Calls is also a good fit for patients who want more private, personalized attention or who often require same-day care but want to avoid urgent care clinics or the E.R.

“This program can be provided wherever the patient calls home, whether it’s a residence, a skilled nursing facility or an assisted living facility,” Hilbert said.

Palliative consulted patients discharged home will receive an outpatient follow-up visit within three to five days of hospital discharge. This visit can help with difficult to manage symptoms and coordination of care with patient’s new or established primary care physician.

For more information, visit or call 740-356-2567.

Dr. Jesse Houghton’s a star in Red Cross event

It’s official: Dr. Jesse Houghton is a star.

Just one year after moving to Portsmouth, the SOMC physician has been selected to compete in the Red Cross’ “Dancing With Our Stars” charity competition in April.

Houghton is paired with Cirque d’Art dancer and Dancing with Our Stars veteran, Autumn Thompson. They are so far keeping the details of their performance under wraps, but their practices have already begun… as has a new emphasis on fitness.

“It’s not the first thing that you think of, but this competition forces you to get in shape,” Houghton said. “It’s a two minute dance, but if you’re going full steam for the whole two minutes you’ve got to be in shape.”

Houghton’s routine also incorporates aspects that can be physically demanding, such as lifting his partner up over his head.

“I’m someone who always likes a challenge,” Houghton said.

Embedded in this particular challenge is the opportunity for Houghton and his supporters to build a winning streak for local physicians. Last year, Dr. John Turjoman captured the top prize while Dr. Nathan Bennington was named fan favorite.

This year, it falls on Houghton – as the only SOMC employee to be featured as a “star” – to notch a victory for the medical staff.

“I think there is a little pressure,” Dr. Houghton said, “but I think we have a good team between myself and Autumn.”

Dancing With Our Stars success isn’t based solely on their performance, however. Votes are already being accumulated through donations to the Red Cross, with each dollar given counting as one vote.
To vote for Dr. Jesse Houghton, simply make a donation of any amount to the Red Cross through the following link:

SOMC supports the Southern Ohio War Memorial

SOMC's Eric Kephas presents a check to the Southern Ohio War MemorialSouthern Ohio Medical Center recently donated to the Southern Ohio War Memorial Foundation during the organization’s 2013 Veterans Day Celebration. The $500 contribution supports efforts to construct a war memorial honoring southern Ohio’s veterans.

Seen here, Eric Kephas of SOMC Community Relations presents the check to (from left to right) committee co-chairman Gene Elliot, Ed Warren, Larry Merritt, Kathi Jo Zornes, Mike Chaffin, Ora Picklesimer and Jim Rockwell. Not pictured is co-chairman Ron Caldwell. For more information, visit or like SOMC on Facebook at

Patter Fam Sauces donates to Compassion Fund

Patter Fam Sauces recently donated $600 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. The Breast Cancer Compassion Fund is dedicated to the support of breast cancer patients, helping cover the costs of common necessities needed during cancer care such as utilities, medications and transportation. For more information, visit

SOMC hosting holiday depression in-service

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting an in-service on holiday depression on December 3. The in-service, which will take place in the Gibson Building conference room on SOMC’s East Campus, will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Susan Goins of SOMC Hospice will be the event’s presenter. CEUs will be offered for Ohio nursing and social work. Limited space is available.

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Mary Scott at 740-356-8719.

Portsmouth Ambulance donates to Breast Cancer Compassion Fund

Portsmouth Ambulance recently donated more than $800 to the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund. They raised the money through t-shirt sales and presented the donation to Kim Richendollar, breast health navigator at the SOMC Cancer Center. The SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund is dedicated to the support of breast cancer patients. To find out how you can make a donation, call 740-356-7490.