SOMC Hospice Holds Life Celebration


About 400 people attended the annual SOMC Hospice Celebration of Life Dec. 2 at the SOMC Friends Center honoring those terminally ill patients who died in the past year who had been cared for in the program. Candles were lit on the stage of the Friends Center honoring the patients. SOMC Hospice is part of Southern Ohio Medical Center and provides services and support for the terminally ill and their loved ones.

Eagles Support Hospice


SOMC Hospice recently accepted the third installment of a donation from the Portsmouth Eagles Aerie 4285, who selected Hospice as their charity for the year. The installment of almost $7,000 was presented by Eagle Arnie Smith (left) to Sheila Riggs of Hospice and brings the total monetary support by the Eagles Aerie 4285 for the program to approximately $20,000. The SOMC Hospice Center is open on the East Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center, providing services and support for the terminally ill and their loved ones.

SOMC Cardiopulmonary Rehab Patients Honored

About 100 patients and family members attended a luncheon honoring graduates and patients of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program. The holiday lunch was presented Dec. 4 at the SOMC Friends Center, where staff members of the program and other SOMC officials served the guests lunch and presented gifts sponsored by area businesses. Shown above, heart patients Joe Scurlock and Beth Bullock, who are featured in SOMC’s public messages about heart health and their experiences as heart patients at SOMC, are joined by the rehab team at the event.

SOMC Diabetes Education Receives Renewed ADA Certification

The Diabetes Education Program at Southern Ohio Medical Center has received a new three-year Education Recognition Certification from the American Diabetes Association. This program offers high-quality education services to the patients it serves.

“The ADA recognition process gives professionals a national standard by which to measure the quality of the services they provide,” Stacey Stevens, RN, Diabetes Education Coordinator at SOMC said. “And, of course, it helps patients to identify these quality programs.”

Wasim Deeb, MD, an endocrinologist on staff at SOMC, says the renewed certification reflects the importance of teaching diabetes management through a high-quality process and sustaining world-class service.

“The medical professionals on staff here at SOMC have provided essential input into this complex process of creating a high-quality educational program for managing diabetes,” Dr. Deeb says. “Achieving this renewed certification demonstrates our capacity to benchmark against the best in the nation.”

Dr. Deeb says addressing the many issues of diabetes care in one program helps the patient better manage the disease and many of the related problems that can arise. He points out that knowing these issues can prevent complications and unnecessary hospital admissions as well.

For more information about the SOMC Diabetes Education Program, contact Stacey Stevens at (740) 356-8670.

Orthopedic Surgeon Marchyn Brings New Partial Knee Procedure To SOMC

Orthopedic surgeon Duane J. Marchyn, MD, of Scioto Valley Orthopedics, is bringing his patients a new knee implant procedure that spares bone and preserves ligaments.

Called the Journey Deuce, this new implant is designed to meet the needs of younger, more active individuals who suffer pain associated with arthritis. The procedure preserves more of the patient’s own bone, and saves the two stabilizing ligaments in the front and back of the knee.

According to Dr. Marchyn, who practices at Southern Ohio Medical Center, the Journey Deuce is appropriate for patients with arthritis in two areas of the knee as opposed to those who require a total knee replacement after arthritis has attacked all three areas of the knee.

The Journey Deuce resurfaces the two affected compartments with a curved metal implant that moves against a thin plastic and metal insert on the tibia, or shinbone.

“Before the Deuce came along, we would have to perform total knee replacement on patients who only had disease in two of the three areas,” Dr. Marchyn says. “Now, we can offer these patients a procedure that allows us to spare ligaments which, in turn, preserve a lot of athletic function.”

Since the Journey Deuce spares bone on both the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shinbone), younger, active patients now have an “early intervention” solution for their OA knee pain. Typically, surgeons try to delay total knee replacement for their younger patients, because a potential revision procedure later in life can take a toll on physicial activities before the patient is willing to give them up.

Dr. Marchyn trained to perform the procedure at the Medical Education Research Institute (MERI) in Memphis, Tenn. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, he was trained at the University of Kentucky and has practiced in Portsmouth for 23 years.

For more information on the Journey Deuce procedure, visit www.JourneyDeuce.com.

SOMC First Hospital Named To ‘America’s Safest Companies’

For the first time, Occupational Hazards has recognized a healthcare facility as one of America’s Safest Companies.

Southern Ohio Medical Center has earned the honor through the organization’s all-encompassing approach to create a safe and healthy workplace for its 2,300 employees.

“Safety is our first strategic value,” says Penny Cooper, director of Risk Management and Safety Services. “We’re very focused on safety.”

Occupational Hazards is a news organization that informs safety, health and industrial hygiene professionals in the manufacturing, construction, and service sectors about trends, management strategies, regulatory news and new products that help them provide safe and healthy work sites.

Every year, the 222-bed hospital in Portsmouth admits about 13,000 patients, performs 12,000 surgeries and handles almost 80,000 emergency cases. Through it all, SOMC is dedicated to not only taking care of patients’ needs, but ensuring that employees are kept safe and healthy, as well. Safety is listed first among SOMC’s strategic values, including the promise that the facility “will build and sustain an exceptionally safe organization.”

As part of SOMC’s determination to go above and beyond expected safety policies, the organization has implemented a random audit program, an ergonomics team, a safety leadership team, a safety hotline and a healthy partners program. It’s all part of SOMC’s commitment to build a safe environment for the facility’s workers.

SOMC created the Safety Champions program in 2005 to facilitate cultural change within the facility and highlight the importance of workplace safety. Continually trained, safety champions’ responsibilities include serving as liaisons for other employees, raising departmental safety concerns and assisting continual monitoring and readiness. SOMC has about 200 champions in the program.

Since the safety champions program has been in place, SOMC has reduced total recordable injuries by more than 30 percent, has reduced workers’ compensation costs by more than 9 percent, has improved compliance with external governing bodies and has won several safety awards.

As a current member of the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Mentor Program, SOMC is taking steps to gain VPP Star status. Management believes achieving this goal can help SOMC continue to save lives, avoid worker injuries, reduce insurance and litigation and raise worker morale.

SOMC even has partnered with VPP Star status site Turner Construction for the facility’s $110-million expansion. Cooper says SOMC didn’t want to just hire a construction company as an employee; they wanted a company with a proven safety record to act as a partner in this extensive project.

Employees are also rewarded and honored for creating new ideas on safety issues. When a nurse noticed that SOMC’s medication system placed the most-used drugs at the bottom, causing staff to repeatedly bend over, she submitted her concern to the Ideas program. This incentives program rewards employees who submit safety-related ideas or solutions that are approved by the safety leadership team. Thanks to the Ideas program and the nurse’s observation, the problem was solved. Now, the most commonly used drugs are located within easy reach.

“It changed the whole system,” Cooper says.

It also shows how encouraging employee input can affect an organization’s safety culture. By putting safety first, SOMC has become one of the few healthcare facilities to stand out as a safety star.

SOMC LIFE Center Supports Homeless Shelter

LIFE Center staff and members donated canned and dry goods to Operation Safety Net, The Scioto County Homeless Shelter, for the holiday season. Shown with the collection of donations are (from left) LIFE Center Director Gary Coovert; Homeless Shelter Director Maureen Cadogan; LIFE Center staff members Debbie Kielmar, Brandi Moore and Jerrod Campbell; Homeless Shelter supporter Gerald Cadogan.

Coleman Named SOMC Medical Library Specialist

Kristi Coleman has been named the Medical Library Specialist at Southern Ohio Medical Center. In this position she will oversee management of current and archived medical information resources for the SOMC medical staff, including print and online professional materials and communication.

Coleman has been an SOMC employee for three years and comes to the Medical Library from the SOMC Cancer Center, where she served as a financial counselor. A native of the area, she is a graduate of Shawnee State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. She and her husband, Jayson, live in the area and have two children.

Topping Off Ceremony Held At SOMC Construction Site

A “topping off” ceremony was held at Southern Ohio Medical Center Nov. 16, when construction crew members placed the final steel beam on top of the new patient care addition in front of the existing hospital on the Main Campus, 1805 27th St.

This tradition at major construction sites includes organization members signing the beam before it is placed, and a flag and potted tree are secured to the beam until final construction requires their removal.

Throughout the prior week SOMC employees signed the beam, which was painted white, with permanent marker, and all were invited to the brief ceremony where refreshments were served. When the patient care addition is completed in 2009, the four floors will include 102 private patient rooms.

The expansion is part of overall changes at SOMC coming with the arrival open heart surgery in mid-2008.