SOMC Nurse Takes Caring to Third World Country

Kendra Lloyd, a nurse resident at Southern Ohio Medical Center (pictured above), took caring beyond Scioto County when she took a trip to Africa to build beds for orphaned children.

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.”

SOMC Nursing Leaders Present at Magnet Conference

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.”


Breast Cancer Support Group to meet

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.

Surviving the Holidays Grief Support Group Offered

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.

Arrick appointed to SOMC Board of Directors

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.

SOMC Medical Imaging Passes ODH Inspection

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.”

Moore Receives Prestigious Nursing Certification

hristina Moore, RN, BNH, CCRN, CSC, of the SOMC Heart Care Unit, recently earned the prestigious Cardiac Surgery Certification (CSC) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Moore is the second nurse at Southern Ohio Medical Center to obtain this credential.

“Obtaining CSC is a great honor and we are very proud of Tina,” Paul Rase, nurse manager of the SOMC Heart Care Unit, said. “She’s a leader. She first lead the way with her CCRN certification and now she’s setting an example for others to obtain CSC.”

To be awarded CSC, a nurse must pass a 90 question, two-hour certification exam and complete 1,750 hours of patient care, specifically with critically ill and cardiac surgery patients. Moore is required to earn continuing education credits to be eligible for recertification in three years.

“I decided to do this for personal advancement. It wasn’t about prestige or more letters after my name,” Moore, said. “It’s a matter of wanting to know my job better, to be more confident at what I do and to provide the best patient care possible.”

Moore earned her nursing certificate from the College of the Albemarle, her bachelor’s degree in Natural Health from Clayton College and is currently pursing a master’s degree. She has been a nurse for 22 years and has been an employee of SOMC for two years.

Irwin Director of SOMC Performance Improvement

Julie Irwin, RN, BSN, has been named the administrative director of Performance Improvement at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

In this position, Irwin will help develop, implement, monitor and direct the functions of organization-wide performance improvement activities. She also will monitor compliance standards with both The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Irwin has worked at SOMC for 15 years, previously holding titles as nurse manager of the 3 North A nursing unit and manager of the Performance Improvement Department. She received her associate degree and bachelor’s degree in nursing from Shawnee State University and has also obtained medical-surgical nursing certification.

She and her husband, Craig, reside in the Jackson area with their four children.

Four Battles Then: Four Victories Now

How Four SOMC Employees Are Spreading Stories Of Hope

Pictured then (left) are Noel Pemberton, Norma White, Wendi Waugh and Carolyn McKinnon; pictured now (right) are McKinnon, White, Pemberton and Waugh.

In 2006, four employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center embarked on what would be the hardest journey of their life: the battle against breast cancer.

Three years later, each woman is cancer free and sharing their stories to provide inspiration and encouragement for those following in their footsteps.

Norma’s Story:

Norma White

Norma White, a purchasing analyst at the SOMC Cancer Center, first discovered a lump in her breast while at work. She let it go for week before visiting a doctor. “At 32 years old, and with no previous history of breast cancer, I didn’t think it was possible for me to have the disease,” she said. “I kept denying it, but finally realized it wasn’t worth putting off any longer—I needed to help myself get better.”

Within seven months of a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and multiple radiation treatments, Norma was officially declared cancer free. She now uses her experience to relate to first-time chemo patients, explaining that it may not be an easy road, but that they will see their old self again.

“Many cancer patients feel like they have to put their lives on hold, but they don’t,” she said. “I still exercised, went shopping and spent time with my family. My biggest goal was to put the treatments behind me and move on with my life. Now I can show my patients that it’s possible.”

Carolyn’s Story:

Carolyn McKinnon

After a routine mammogram, 51-year-old Carolyn McKinnon was told that she had a lump in her breast. Four days later, she was undergoing surgery.

“It all happened so fast that I barely had time to think about it,” she said. “I was definitely scared, but I also always had hope.”

Within 10 months of a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Carolyn was cleared of cancer. She now uses her story to encourage others to not put off what they can do today.

“My experience made me realize that life is too short—you don’t get another time around,” she said. “I needed to accomplish all the things I said I wanted to do, but hadn’t; I have since gone back to school to become a nurse practitioner and I’m very happy with where I am in life.”

Wendi’s Story:

Wendi Waugh

Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center, was aware that there was a lump in her breast nearly five months before visiting her physician for an exam.

“I had an order for a mammogram, but held onto it because I hoped the lump would go away,” she said. “Unfortunately, I always knew in my heart that it wouldn’t disappear.”

A year and a half after her double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Wendi returned to her normal life without cancer. Her experience has helped her relate on a new level with her patients, creating a greater sense of compassion and understanding of their situations

“Breast cancer is a roller coaster ride: you don’t know where the loops are, but you can choose to experience the ride and learn from it,” she said. “I chose to learn and to take care of myself so that now I can take care of others.”

Noel’s Story:

Noel Pemberton

As a registered mammographer and advocate of the monthly self-breast exam, Noel Pemberton understood what avenues to take after finding a pea-sized lump in her breast.

“I immediately went to my doctor and scheduled a mammogram,” she said. “From the first image, we knew that it was cancer.”

A double mastectomy, eight chemo treatments, 38 radiation sessions and six months later, Noel was in the clear. She now sits with patients during their hour-long bone scans and encourages them by sharing her story.

“What better place can we be to touch patients?” she said. “I have bonded with so many people by sharing my experience and have made friends that I never would have met otherwise. Being able to inspire others through my own story is an amazing feeling and I’m truly blessed.”

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Join the SOMC Cancer Center in celebrating by receiving your annual mammogram today and learning about the many ways that you can fight the disease. For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call (740) 356-7490 or visit them online at