Human Resources Employment Office Relocating

he Human Resources Employment Office at Southern Ohio Medical Center will be relocating to Suite B02 in the basement of the Waller Building on the SOMC Main Campus, 1735 27th St., Portsmouth.

The previous employment office on the SOMC South Campus, 1825 Oakland Ave., will be closed Friday, Aug. 14 to prepare for this transition. The new office will open during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17.

Parking for the new location can be found on the fourth level of the Blue Garage adjacent to the Braunlin Building on the Main Campus. Those interested in applying for jobs online may continue to do so by visiting

The SOMC HR Employment Office can be reached by phone before Aug. 17 at 740-356-7231 or after at 740-356-6440.

Girl Scouts Donate Blankets to SOMC Cancer Center

Members of local Girl Scout troop 305 recently created and donated 16 blankets for the patients of the Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The troop’s service project will go toward their hours needed to receive the Girl Scout Silver Award later this year. Shown at the presentation with the troop members and leaders are SOMC Cancer Center staff members Traci Boland (left) and Eve Phipps (right).

SOMC Heart and Vascular Services Pass ODH Inspection

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently passed inspection from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) for Adult Cardiac Catheterization and Adult Open Heart Programs.

“The success of passing this inspection ensures our community that we conduct a compliant program that offers best practice heart care,” said Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services.

The ODH surveyors arrived at SOMC July 16 for a two-day site visit to review the entities of both programs in detail, tour the cath lab and open-heart facilities, as well as observe several surgical procedures.

“The surveyors were very complimentary of our team and the preparation that occurred for this site visit,” said Fraulini. “The surveyors travel all over the state reviewing health care facilities and they were wowed by our Heart and Vascular Center, the flow of patient care, how well our staff worked together, and our overall patient satisfaction.”

The five areas of the inspection included: physical building and equipment; patient care; staffing; administrative policies and procedures; and patient rights. The surveyors also interviewed open-heart patients and their families to gain a better understand of the care that was provided to them while at SOMC.

“This site visit was the first of many for SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Services and ODH will return once every three years, unannounced,” said Fraulini. “This achievement is yet another way to measure our progress toward obtaining the highest quality of heart and vascular care available.”

Emergency Physician Barhorst Welcomed At SOMC

Brian Barhorst, MD, a physician specializing in emergency medicine, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Barhorst received his medical degree from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine. He completed a residency in emergency medicine at Summa Health Systems in Akron, Ohio. He is board certified in emergency medicine.

Dr. Barhorst will see patients at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department. He can be reached by calling 356-5000.

Emergency Physician Mortensen Welcomed At SOMC

C. Dee Mortensen, DO, a physician specializing in emergency medicine, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Mortensen received his medical degree from University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency training in emergency medicine at St. John Westshore Hospital in Westlake, Ohio.

Dr. Mortensen will see patients at Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department. He can be reached by calling 356-5000.

SOMC Receives OHA’s Top Twenty Percent Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center has received the Ohio Hospital Association’s Top Twenty Percent Award for being one of the safest health care facilities in the state of Ohio.

The award is given through OHA’s Statewide Hospital Safety Campaign, which annually recognizes hospitals and health care systems that have secured the best workplace safety records.

“This honor recognizes that SOMC is not only working to provide a safe environment for our patients and visitors, but also our employees,” Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of SOMC Health and Safety, said.

Winners were chosen based on their organization’s submitted Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses data, which included the total recordable employee injury cases and days away from work for the past year.

“Safety is a priority in everything we do and this award shows our continuous dedication to go above and beyond,” Sammons said.

“Our leaders and front-line staff members have been working very hard over the past year to create and sustain a culture of safety and the safest working environment possible. This recognition is yet another way to measure our progress toward achieving safety excellence at SOMC.”

SOMC Named Second Among Best Employers in Ohio

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been ranked second among the Best Employers in Ohio for 2009, making an appearance on the list for the fourth consecutive year. Pictured are SOMC Emergency Department staff members (l to r) Jeanne Turpin, Tracy Scott, Jason Ross and Dr. Jason Cheatham.

The Society for Human Resource Management, Ohio State Council and Best Companies Group recently announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center has been ranked second among the Best Employers in Ohio.

“This is quite an honor for our organization and further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the nation,” SOMC CEO Randy Arnett said. “The selection is based largely on the survey of our own employees and their view of our organization and says a lot about us as a quality employer and a great place to work.”

The survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the Best Employers in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The distinction is given based on an evaluation of various attributes including hiring processes, celebration in the workplace, caring among team members and communication.

“We are very proud of the family atmosphere here at SOMC, which resonates in our relationships with one another and with our patients,” Vicki Noel, vice president of SOMC Human Resources, said.

“This recognition, along with our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status and FORTUNE Best Places to Work distinction, not only emanates pride to our community through employees, but also strengthens our recruitment and retention efforts.”

The 2009 Best Employers list is made up of 20 companies split into two categories: 10 small/medium-sized companies (15-249 employees) and 10 large-sized companies (250 and more employees). SOMC has been named among other large companies and is on the list for the fourth consecutive year.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill eligibility requirements which include being a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity; being a publicly or privately held business; having a facility in Ohio; having at least 25 employees in Ohio; and being in business for a minimum of one year.

Companies then were required to enter a two-part survey process to determine the Best Employers list.

The first section of the survey evaluated each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics; the second measured employee experience and satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking, which was managed by the Best Companies Group with assistance from ModernThink LLC.

For more information on the Best Employers in Ohio program, please visit

Surgeon Parker Welcomed At SOMC

Jeffery Parker, MD, a physician specializing in general surgery, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Parker received his medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is board certified in general surgery.

Dr. Parker will begin August 10 and can be reached at SOMC Surgical Associates, 1735 27th Street, Waller Building Suite 102, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 353-3562 for more information.

SOMC Says Preparations Made for Hospital Taxation

The Ohio Legislature recently passed the 2010–11 state budget bill that will affect Ohio’s hospitals. Gov. Ted Strickland signed the bill into law Friday, July 17.

The bill states that all Ohio hospitals will be assessed a 1.52 percent tax in 2010 and 1.61 percent in 2011. Southern Ohio Medical Center will be required to pay more than $4.9 million in taxes over the two-year span.

“We have been proactive in anticipation of this bill,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “We began, earlier this year, taking into consideration that we would need to make reductions in expenses to meet these state requirements. Because of this, our budget has allowed for this expense from the state.”

In addition to the taxation to Ohio hospitals, the bill also allows for a 5 percent increase in Medicaid reimbursement and supplemental Medicaid payments for inpatient and outpatient services. This will go into effect Oct. 1.

“We will receive an additional $1.8 million in reimbursement from Medicaid. However, we will still have a total cost of $4.2 million that we will pay to the state in total,” he said.

Arnett said the organization expected changes from the state, but the cuts are more than anticipated.

“SOMC will meet the budget set earlier last month. However, we will have to work diligently to overcome this additional lower reimbursement,” he said.

Arnett explained that this doesn’t mean that the economy won’t change and that SOMC is clear of any further loss, but that the organization is always looking ahead.

“We will continue to work hard to overcome this setback and put the needs of our patients and employees first,” he said.

To learn more about this new state budget bill, visit the Ohio Hospital Association online at