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.
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.
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.
For most nurses at Southern Ohio Medical Center, caring and compassion stretches beyond the walls of the hospital, touching the hands and hearts of everyone in our community who may be in need. But Nurse Resident Kendra Lloyd recently reached out farther than most—partnering with the faith-based, non-profit organization Sweet Sleep to send a helping hand more than halfway across the world.
“Sweet Sleep works with staff, churches and businesses to provide beds and bedding to orphaned and abandoned children of Third World countries,” Lloyd, a member of the SOMC Surgical Vascular Care Unit, explained. “Earlier this year, I found out that they were sending a group to Uganda, Africa and knew I had to go.”
After raising support to cover the cost of the trip and an extra $1,000 to buy beds, Lloyd set off with her roommate and 21 other Sweet Sleep teammates to make the 30-hour journey to Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Upon arrival, the team was immediately greeted by hundreds of children who were excited to meet the Americans responsible for their new beds.
“There are over two million orphans in Uganda and most of them sleep either on the floor or on soiled mattresses,” she said. “The situation was hard to handle and very heart wrenching, which made me even more anxious to begin building the beds.”
The team spent two days at different orphanages, working to install the newly purchased metal beds. They also provided mattresses, sheets, pillows and mosquito nets.
“If nothing else, the children were ecstatic just to be receiving the wonderful gift of a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night,” she said.
After a week’s worth of physical labor, Lloyd and her team had the opportunity to explore their location, doing a bit of sight-seeing, tasting the local cuisine, and even taking on the adventurous task of white water rafting down the Nile River. The team also took the time to throw a gigantic birthday celebration for the whole orphanage.
“Most of the children don’t know their birthdays, or at least the actual day that they were born, ” she said. “We figured there was no better way to celebrate than with a huge party for everyone.”
Lloyd’s team made gift boxes for each of the children, complete with toothbrushes, mirrors, crayons and other special trinkets. Everyone also sang Happy Birthday and finished off the day with birthday cake.
“The trip was very fulfilling and I would go back in a heartbeat,” Lloyd said. “I look forward to my next trip and hope to continuing using my skills as a nurse to help others.”
Nursing leaders at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently presented “The SOMC Dashboard—A Tool to Improve Patient Outcomes and Showcase Nursing Excellence” to a crowd of more than 300 people during the 2009 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference Oct. 1-3 in Louisville, Ky.
“With the introduction of the new Magnet Model last year, and an emphasis now heavily geared toward measuring and improving patient outcomes, our nursing dashboard is now of interest to many hospitals across the county,” Karen Thompson, director of Home Care Services and the Wound Healing Center at SOMC, said. “We were met with quite an enthusiastic response.”
ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). More than 5,000 nurses representing all 50 states and countries around the world annually attended the conference, which explores nursing excellence in clinical practice, leadership and research through educational sessions and poster presentations.
Those who presented included Claudia Burchett, RN, MBA, FACHE, NEA-BC, vice president of SOMC Patient Services and chief nursing officer; Valerie DeCamp, RN, MHA, NEA-BC, director of SOMC Inpatient Nursing Services; and Thompson, RN, MS, CNS.
“This is the second year we have presented and hope to do so again in the future,” Thompson said. “We look forward to attending next year’s event and continuing our organization’s journey toward excellence.”
Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Support Group will meet on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. at the SOMC Cancer Center, located on Kinneys Lane in Portsmouth.
Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Lisa Morgan at 356-7496 no later than noon on Friday, Nov. 13 to get an accurate count for lunch.
outhern Ohio Medical Center will host a five week support group to help heal the sadness of loss and enhance the enjoyment of the holiday season. Sessions will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 5 p.m., and will be held on the East Campus, in the Gibson Building Conference Room.
If you are struggling with the anxiety of holiday grief please join us for this five week session. Participants will have an opportunity to share holiday memories, make a keep sake ornament and holiday memory box with others who have experienced loss and who understand the stress and anxiety that comes with holiday grief. Space is limited, so registration is required. Please contact Susan Goins at 356-2676.
outhern Ohio Medical Center recently announced the appointment of Ronald E. Arrick, MD, to the SOMC Board of Directors.
Dr. Arrick received his medical degree from Ohio State University. He completed his residency training at Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University and Riverside Methodist Hospital of Columbus. He has served as Chief of Staff at Mercy Hospital and is board certified in internal medicine.
Dr. Arrick has practiced as an internal medicine physician in the Portsmouth area for almost 30 years and currently lives with his wife and two daughters in Lucasville. His office is located in the Fulton Building on the Main Campus of SOMC in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Southern Ohio Medical Center recently passed inspection by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on all SOMC medical imaging equipment.
“The success of passing this inspection ensures our community that we conduct services that are compliant with the Ohio administrative code,” said Missy Hutchens, education coordinator for Medical Imaging at SOMC.
The ODH surveyors conducted a three-day site visit to inspect all x-ray and medical imaging equipment in the cath lab, operating room and x-ray area. The surveyors also watched procedures and interviewed several staff members to make their assessments.
“The inspectors were very complimentary of our team and the preparation that occurred for this site visit,” said Hutchens. “They were impressed by the staff and their knowledge of polices and procedures.”
Cheryl Lytten, nurse manager of the Cath Lab at SOMC said the surveyors “were wowed by the quality of our equipment and state of the art technology.”
The inspection consisted of reviewing staff competencies, evaluating a safe work environment, evaluating physician training and ensuring all equipment is maintained properly. ODH will return once every two years to complete an inspection.
“Passing the ODH inspection proves we run a top-notch quality program at SOMC,” said Lytten. “This achievement is yet another way to measure our progress toward obtaining the highest quality of care available.”