Hollydays Earns $30,000 For SOMC Equipment

Tami Davis, president of the Hollydays Committee and manager of Patient Accounting at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented SOMC President Randy Arnett a check for $30,000 earned from the 2007 SOMC Hollydays celebration. Hollydays takes place every November and is sponsored by the Friends of SOMC. All proceeds earned from last year’s celebration will go toward the purchase of telemetry monitors which will be used in patient rooms throughout the hospital.

SOMC named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”

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“Attaining this honor, along with our recent nursing Magnet recognition status, helps us recruit and retain the best medical professionals in the nation,” Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at SOMC, said.

“This award means that our employees are very happy to work here, care about the organization and are most likely to provide better patient care.”

Noel added that the award is based on a detailed review of an organization’s workplace, along with the opinions of the employees.

“As with our recent Magnet recognition status, it is uplifting for an organization in our community to receive such an honor,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in our nation.”

The judging was based largely on random survey of SOMC employees, along with an examination of certain SOMC workplace attributes such as camaraderie, fairness, credibility, pride and respect, Noel explained.

SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the United States including large corporations and other health care organizations, she said.

In the next few weeks, SOMC will receive a feedback report and the ranking of the organization based on data accumulated from the evaluation process. Noel said SOMC is always searching for methods of gathering information to make adjustments and improvements in work life.

“Listening to our employees is important” she said. “Based on feedback from our employees, through surveys and other methods such as this, we have made changes to make SOMC a great place to work. We continue to listen and learn from those who make the greatest impact – our SOMC team.”

SOMC recognized as a Magnet hospital

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Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. Only four percent of hospitals in the U.S. can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is a huge honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said. “It serves as external recognition of the exceptional care that we provide to our patients and their families. Magnet not only demonstrates excellence in nursing, but also recognizes the teamwork throughout the organization to support quality of care, shared decision-making, interdisciplinary working relationships and our commitment to putting patients first in everything we do. This achievement is the result of more than 30 months of preparation and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

The ANCC awarded SOMC the prestigious Magnet award after reviewing nearly 2,000 pages of submitted documentation demonstrating achievements in patient care, nurse satisfaction, quality improvement and nursing research. This was followed by a four-day on-site inspection by Magnet appraisers that included visits to all patient care areas and interviews with hundreds of nurses, employees, physicians, and community members.

“This has been a long and wonderful journey touching every discipline in our organization,” Valerie DeCamp, SOMC director of Inpatient Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “The result is a demonstration to our patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, community members, and current and future nurses of our commitment to quality.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses — an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“Nurses want to work in a place where they are supported to provide the best quality care,” Karen Thompson, SOMC director of Home Health Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “For the past two years, SOMC has been named one of the best places to work in the state of Ohio. We have also had nurse retention rates at 95 percent, the envy of most in the nation, and employee satisfaction scores that place us at the top 1 percent in the country. These are the types of things that make us a Magnet organization — and make us proud.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay and higher satisfaction rates. According to ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”

The Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the ANCC in 1994 to recognize health care facilities that provide the very best in professional nursing care. The 14 “Forces of Magnetism” that distinguish Magnet organizations include an environment that promotes excellence in interdisciplinary teamwork, research, education and patient care. SOMC demonstrated excellence in all 14 Forces to earn this award.

The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the U.S.

Surgeon Scarpinato Opening New Office

Vincent M. Scarpinato, MD, general and breast surgeon and senior medical director of Surgery at Southern Ohio Medical Center, will begin seeing patients in his new office, Suite 102, Waller Building, 1735 27th St. on the Main Campus of SOMC, effective Monday, Feb. 4, 2008.

Dr. Scarpinato came to the Portsmouth area in 2007 from St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan, New York.

Board-certified in General Surgery, Dr. Scarpinato received his medical degree from New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. He most recently has served as Program Director of the Department of Surgery as well as Chief of Surgical Education at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center. He has been practicing general and breast surgery for 15 years. Dr. Scarpinato has been featured in “New York Best Doctors” in New York Magazine in 2003, 2004 and 2006, and Castle Connolly guides “Top Doctors” and “Best Surgeons” 2002-2006.

Effective Monday, Jan. 21, Dr. Scarpinato’s office will be available for scheduling and inquiries at (740) 353-3562.

Jitendra Patel SOMC Chief of Staff

Jitendra Patel, MD, is the elected Chief of the Medical Staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center for 2008.

Dr. Patel has been in the practice of Family Medicine in the Portsmouth area for 12 years and is board-certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Patel received his medical education from Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Medical College, India, and training at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Other officers for 2008 include Harry Driedger, MD, chief of staff-elect; George Pettit, MD, secretary-treasurer; Jason Cheatham, DO, Rebecca Schoettle, MD, and Chris Woodard, MD, at-large Medical Executive Committee members; William Angelos, MD, Credentials Committee member.

Jacobs Certified

Norman Jacobs, MD, a radiologist on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received his renewal by exam for certification in Diagnostic Radiology with subspecialty certification in Neuroradiology from the American Board of Radiology. His board certification will be valid through 2017.

Dr. Jacobs received his medical degree from Temple University Medical School and completed his training at Duke University Medical Center and Georgetown University Medical Center. He has been in practice as a radiologist in the Portsmouth area for the past 20 years.

Hospitalist Nowak Welcomed


Kristie Nowak, MD, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center as a member of the hospitalist staff.

Dr. Nowak received a bachelor of arts in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from California State University, where she was a cum laude graduate. She received her medical education from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., completed her internship in Internal Medicine at Washington Hospital Center and her residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. She served as Chief Medical Resident at the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Washington.

Dr. Nowak came to SOMC after serving as an assistant professor of medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, Huntington, WV. She has previously practiced as a hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente, Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, MD, and Capital Internal Medicine at Holy Cross. She has also practiced geriatric medicine at Riderwood Village Medical Center and general internal medicine practice in Silver Spring.

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the medical care of the hospitalized patient.

SOMC Supports Notre Dame Art Program


Southern Ohio Medical Center recently presented a donation to the Notre Dame High School’s art program. Juniors and seniors from the school painted scenes from popular children’s movies and other scenery for SOMC Pediatrician Dr. Rebecca Schoettle’s office, which was moved in mid-2007 to Suite 201 of the Waller Building as part of the expansion and construction project under way on the Main Campus. Pictured, the art students show some of their work as SOMC President Randy Arnett presents art instructor Anissa Harr with the donation.

Cooper Nurse Manager


Ann Cooper has been named the Nurse Manager of the Cardiovascular Operating Room at Southern Ohio Medical Center. In this position, she will be responsible for the daily operation of the Cardiovascular OR, ensuring that policies, practices, procedures and standards are followed through the supervision of surgical staff members and individual patient care.

Cooper has been a registered nurse of the SOMC Surgery Department for more than six years. She is a 2001 graduate of Maysville Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree. In 2007, she graduated from Shawnee State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Cooper currently resides in Lewis County, Ky., with her husband, Adam.