Promise Guild Presents $4,000 For SOMC Projects

The Promise Guild, which supports projects of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented $4,000 to SOMC from the guild’s fundraisers. Shown (from left) guild members Joan Romero, Marilyn Mercer, SOMC CEO Randy Arnett and guild member Joyce Payton.

SOMC Joins 5 Million Lives Campaign

Southern Ohio Medical Center is participating in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “5 Million Lives” campaign, a voluntary initiative among health care organizations to protect patients across the country from five million incidents of medical harm over the next two years. In launching the campaign locally, SOMC presented information to employees with statistics and facts about medical error prevention. Shown, Rory Phillips (center), director of SOMC Pharmacy, and Paul Rase (right), nurse manager of the SOMC Heart Care Unit, talk to Cathy Bailey, MSN, and nursing students from Shawnee State University about the campaign.

SOMC Welcomes Hospitalist King

Southern Ohio Medical Center has welcomed Gretzel King, MD, to the staff as a hospitalist.

Dr. King received her medical doctorate from the Universidad Mayor de San Simon, Bolivia, and completed her undergraduate work at the Universidad Boliviana Mayor de San Andres. She completed internships at the Japanese Hospital of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, Md., specializing in internal medicine. She completed her residencey in internal medicine at Kettering Medical Center, Kettering, Ohio. She comes to SOMC from Med One in Columbus where she served as an hospitalist.

Of interest for the area’s the Spanish-speaking population, Dr. King is fluent in both English and Spanish. A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the medical care of the hospitalized patient. Dr. King is residing in the Portsmouth area.

Khoury, Scarpinato Moving

The office practice of Drs. Thomas Khoury and Vincent Scarpinato, Southern Ohio Surgical Associates, will be relocated Monday, Oct. 22 to Suite 306 of the SOMC Braunlin Building (former Building K) on the main campus of SOMC, 1805 27th St.

The office will be closed Oct. 19-21 during the move, but appointments will not change and the phone number will remain the same, (740) 353-8661.

SOMC Supports United Way School Supply Project

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently supported the local United Way’s effort to provide notebooks and school supplies to 4,700 students in need among 24 area schools. SOMC also provided a distribution point in some unfinished office space in the Braunlin Building on the Main Campus of SOMC.

Shown during the distribution are (from left) Mary Ann Miars-Peercy, executive director of United Way of Scioto County; Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources and Organizational Development and a United Way board member; Tess Midkiff, library director at Shawnee State University and a United Way board member; and Marcia Tolliver, director of the SSU BASICS program and a United Way volunteer.

Eagles Donate To SOMC Hospice


The Portsmouth Fraternal Order of Eagles recently presented SOMC Hospice with a donation of $7,000 to help with patient needs. The donation was raised through variety of fundraisers. Shown, Arnie Smith, secretary-treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, presents the check to Sheila Riggs, SOMC Hospice claims and information systems coordinator, and Teresa Ruby, SOMC Hospice Director.

Program Helps Give Cancer Patients Confidence

Southern Ohio Medical Center and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are helping to make cancer patients feel more confident about their appearance through the Look Good…Feel Better program.

Look Good…Feel Better is a national public service program created by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), the National Cosmetology Association and the ACS, which targets patients who have recently completed or are currently undergoing cancer treatment. The localized version of the program is specifically for women.

“The program is designed to help women overcome the loss of self-esteem they may feel after experiencing the side-effects of cancer treatment and recovery,” Phyllis Duduit, program trainer, cosmetologist and facilitator, said. “We give patients a total makeover and teach them simple things they can do to enhance their appearance and feel better about themselves from day to day.”

During the two-hour, hands-on workshop, participants are taught a 12-step skin care and make-up application lesson, proper nail care techniques and how to wear and create head-scarves and turbans to mask hair loss. Each patient is given their own make-up kit and also has the opportunity to try on and learn more about receiving wigs through the ACS wig-bank.

Not only does the program provide a way for women to improve their self-image, but it also creates a support system for those suffering through the hardships related to cancer diagnosis.

“We started the program in the local area more than five years ago and it’s been beneficial to all of the patients who have been a part of it,” Ann Cardenas, volunteer coordinator of the ACS Cancer Resource Center at SOMC, said. “It really creates a common support group for women who are going through the same problems and helps build a camaraderie that they might not be able to find elsewhere.”

“When I see the patients smiling or hear their laughter during a session, I know I’m truly making a difference,” Duduit said. “I’m glad to provide a service that lets them get away from their troubles for even the smallest amount of time and I hope more people in the community can take advantage of such a wonderful program.”

Look Good…Feel Better meets at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. The sessions take place in the SOMC Cancer Center, 1121 Kinneys Lane, Portsmouth. Participation is free, but registration is required. Cosmetologists who would like to help support the program are welcome, but must be certified and complete special training before working with the patients.

To register or for more information about the program, contact Ann Cardenas at 356-7606. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, call Phyllis Duduit at 456-5787.

Hoke Joins Khoury Practice

Mandy Hoke, MS, PA-C, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Surgical Associates and the practice of Thomas L. Khoury, MD, a physician on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

A certified physician’s assistant, Hoke graduated from Alderson-Broaddus College, Philippi, W.Va. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and grew up in California. She resides in the Portsmouth area.

Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions. A certified PA has met the defined course of study and has undergone testing by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

Hoke can be reached at Southern Ohio Surgical Associates, 353-8661.

SOMC Rehab Technology Helping People Walk

Rehabilitation patients suffering from balance, posture, neurological and muscular problems will be able to receive quicker, safer and more efficient training through the use of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new Lite Gait system in the Acute Rehab Unit.

“The new Lite Gait system helps patients who have lost the ability to use their lower extremities regain a normal gait pattern, strength and endurance in a supported environment, ” Belinda Diles, program director of Inpatient Rehab at SOMC, said. “We are the first hospital in South Central Ohio to have this new equipment and our patients have already started seeing ambulatory improvements from its use.”

The Lite Gait system works by harnessing a patient over a treadmill or the ground, allowing them to practice walking in a secure, upright position. This helps in protecting unstable patients from falling and also allows therapists to use both of their hands when observing gait patterns.

“In the past, patients with severe debilitating conditions would require the assistance of two or three staff members to support their weight,” Diles said. “But the new system completely supports any patient weighing up to 500 pounds, allowing therapists to concentrate more on correcting the patient’s problem.”

The system can be custom-tailored to meet the needs and ability level of every patient. When used in conjunction with a treadmill, the system allows patients to work at their own pace, gradually increasing speed and decreasing support as their walking improves.

“This equipment will allow us to better serve a variety of patients including those affected by stroke, brain and spinal cord injuries, major multiple trauma and various neuropathies,” Dr. Jeffery Williams, medical director of Acute Inpatient Rehab at SOMC, said. “By providing patients with this level of treatment, it solidifies our position as the tri-state area leader in Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation.”