SOMC named to Best in Ohio list for fourth year in a row

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Ohio State Council and Best Companies Group recently announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) has again been selected as one of the Best Employers in Ohio. SOMC has been named a Best Employer in Ohio for the past four years.

“We are very proud of the family atmosphere here at SOMC. It resonates in our relationships with one another and with our patients,” said Vicki Noel, Vice President of Human Resources at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The distinction is given based on an evaluation of various workplace attributes including hiring processes, celebrating in the workplace, caring among team members and communication. A majority of the process is weighted by the thoughts and opinions of the employees of SOMC. SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the state including large corporations and other healthcare organizations.

“This is quite an honor for our organization,” said Randy Arnett, President and CEO of Southern Ohio Medical Center. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the nation.”

Arnett said the distinction will not only emanate pride to our community through employees, but will also help with recruitment and retention.

“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction, as well as our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status and our FORTUNE Best Places to Work distinction will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” he 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. The list will be revealed in a special publication produced by Journal Publications Inc., which will be distributed statewide in April 2009.

Coterie Guild’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt Set For April 6

The Coterie Guild will have its annual Easter Egg hunt April 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Friends Community Center. The event is a benefit for children’s health services at SOMC.

Admission is $2 per person. There is no charge for children age one year or younger.

Planned activities include games, crafts, a bake sale and drawings for gift baskets. The Easter bunny will be on hand for photos. Tickets for children’s activities are 25 cents each and pictures with the Easter bunny are $3 and include a frame. Chances on the gift baskets are $2 each or three for $5 and will be available at the event. Winners do not need to be present.

The Coterie Guild is part of the Friends of SOMC. For additional information about the Easter egg hunt, contact the SOMC Volunteer Office at (740) 356-8234. The Friends Center is located at 1202 18th St., Portsmouth.

SOMC Wound Healing Center Names New Program Director

Neva Moore has been named program director of the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Wound Healing Center.

Moore, a native of Flatwoods, Ky., joined the staff of the Wound Healing Center in July 2008 as the office coordinator. She assumed her new duties as program director on Jan. 1. Moore is responsible for promoting the center as well as overseeing its day-to-day operations.

She is a graduate of Russell (Ky.) High School and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Phoenix University.

The Wound Healing Center offers a comprehensive program that includes state-of-the-art treatment for non-healing wounds. A referral is not necessary for an appointment at the center, which is located in the Rardin Building at 1745 27th St. on SOMC’s Main Campus. The phone numbers are (740) 356-8775 or toll-free (888) 356-8775.

SOMC, OUCOM Host Dinner for Local Pre-med Students

SOMC and OU-COM partnered to provide a better understanding of the ins and outs of medical school during a sit-down dinner Feb. 10. Shown at the event are (front row, l-r) pre-med students Joshua Days, Travis Greim, Adams Evans, Nick Collins, Carrie Dunham, Jessica Reinhardt, Gerad Gray, Matt Watson and Julie Lewis; and (back row, l-r) Dr. Schriner; Dr. Johnson; Ben Gill, administrative director of SOMC Physician Services; Dr. Aaron Adams, director of SOMC Medical Education; Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC; Dr. Stewart; and Dr. John Kasper, director of the SOMC Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) and the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) hosted a dinner for local junior and senior pre-medical college students Feb. 10 at the Friends Community Center.

During the dinner, students were given the opportunity to learn more about the medical school application process by speaking with OU-COM staff members and current physicians, medical students and residents at SOMC.

“As a teaching hospital, SOMC partners with OU-COM to host medical students and residents in the fields of OB/Gyn, Family Practice and Emergency Medicine,” explained Dr. Terry Johnson, director of the SOMC Family Practice Residency and assistant dean of OU CORE. “We are very invested in our area’s youth and their aspirations to seek medical education and careers, which is why we wanted to provide them with a better perspective through this event.”

Presentations were made by Dr. Kendall L. Stewart, vice president of SOMC Medical Affairs and Dr. John Schriner, director of admissions at OU-COM. A question and answer series was also available at the end of the event.

“The best received portion of the evening was the panel session, which allowed pre-med students to ask those currently in the program about medical school and medicine as a career choice,” Dr. Johnson continued. “Overall, I was very pleased with this as a first effort. It demonstrated yet another aspect of SOMC’s ongoing commitment to serve the people of our area and I hope that we can make it an annual affair.”

SOMC named in Hospital of Choice Awards


Southern Ohio Medical Center is now among the top healthcare organizations in the country as a Hospital of Choice. R. Vincent Parr, President of the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers, announced the winners of the Hospital of the Choice Award for the winter quarter.

“This is quite an honor. This shows that we are working hard for our patients in full circle – providing quality health care and maintaining top notch customer service,” said Valerie DeCamp, director of inpatient services at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Each year AAHCP evaluates approximately 400 hospitals for consideration of this Award. One hundred hospitals each year are recognized for a period of one year and posted on the website The Hospital of Choice Award is designed to find America’s most customer-friendly hospitals based either on an extensive application process, or by a secret review of a facility’s public communication and staff interaction with customers.

The application process requires a review of six principal areas of consideration including Standards of Conduct, Performance Management and Improvement, Staff Development and Training, Systems of Communication, Good Citizenship, and Educational and Promotional Material available to consumers.

“We continually listen to our patients and visitors as well as our team members to ensure that we are providing the best in everything we do. This designation is very significant on showcasing our efforts toward world class customer service in our organization,” said Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs, director of nursing, emergency & outpatient services at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

AAHCP recognized the first hospitals with the Hospital of Choice Award in 2002. For further information, please contact Sara Suliman, Choice Awards Coordinator, or Ken Carson, Choice Awards Manager, at (703) 655-1381, or by email at The list of this year’s winter quarter are listed below.

Aultman Hospital
Canton OH

Cabell Huntington Hospital
Huntington WV

Concord Hospital
Concord NH

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital
Birmingham AL

Effingham Hosital
Springfield GA

Florida Hospital Waterman
Tavares FL

Fremont-Rideout Health Group
Yuba City CA

Gundersen Lutheran
La Crosse WI

Little Company of Mary Hospital
Torrance CA

Medical City Dallas Hospital
Dallas TX

Memorial Hospital
York PA

The Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha NE

Northwest Florida Community Hospital
Chipley FL

Parrish Medical Center
Titusville FL

Pikeville Medical Center
Pikeville KY

River Falls Area Hospital
River Falls WI

Southern Ohio Medical Center
Portsmouth OH

Southwest Health Center
Platteville WI

St. Mary Medical Center
Langhorne PA

Swedish Medical Center
Englewood CO

Union Hospital Health Group
Terre Haute IN

University of Kansas Hospital
Kansas City KS

Western Maryland Health System
Cumberland MD

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Yakima WA

SOMC Employee Receives MBA

Kara Miller, medical education coordinator for Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), has been awarded her master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University.

Miller received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Shawnee State University and has been employed at SOMC since June 2007.

She also serves as SOMC’s administrator for the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE).

SOMC To Offer Scrapbooking Grief Support Group

Hospice of Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer a special scrapbooking grief support group during March.

The sessions will give participants an opportunity to remember their loved ones while talking about their feelings of grief and loss.

“Memories are a way of holding on to things you love and things you never want to lose,” said Susan Goins, social worker with SOMC Hospice. “Scrapbooking can lead to healing after the loss of a loved one because it gives us a visual memory of special moments with them.”

The group will meet once a week for three weeks, beginning March 3. Sessions will begin at 5 p.m. in the conference room of the Gibson building on SOMC’s East Campus.

The sessions are free and materials for scrapbooking will be provided. Participants should bring pictures, cards, letters or other items to include in their scrapbook pages.

Space for this special grief support group is limited. Anyone wishing to participate should call Goins at (740) 356-2676 or call Hospice at (740) 356-2651 by March 3.

Promise Guild donates flat screen television to Cancer Center

The Promise Guild, a guild of the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center, donated a 42-inch, flat-screen television to the SOMC Cancer Center. The television was purchased through funds accumulated from various fundraising activities. From left, Promise Guild members, Anne Cardenas, Marilyn Mercer, Rose Havens, Joyce Payton and Sherill Day pose in front of the new television, located in the waiting area.

SOMC Leading the Way in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Dr. Henry Childers with Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is leading the way in minimally invasive procedures and currently is the only organization in the region performing these procedures in heart surgery.

“Minimally invasive heart surgery allows the patient to undergo a heart procedure without the extensive opening necessary to get to the areas that need repair. It also allows the patient a much faster recovery time,” said Henry Childers, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the SOMC Heart and Vascular Unit.

Minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through a small incision, no more than four inches, made in the patient’s chest cavity in order to conduct the procedure. By using this procedure, no bone or muscle is cut and the patient incurs a smaller incision area, which reduces pain and scaring. This process also reduces the risk of infection, causes less bleeding, pain and trauma to the chest cavity and decreases the length of stay in the hospital.

“We have been able to get patients back on their feet in as little as 24-hours after their surgery. Recovery time is also drastically reduced from the average recovery time of traditional heart surgery of up to eight weeks due to the fact that we do not have to cut bone. With this procedure, recovery time is as little as two weeks,” Childers explained.

“I feel 100% better,” said Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure. “I have a lot more energy. I can do my housework and can watch my grandson play ball. I couldn’t do that before the surgery.”

Childers explained that heart valve surgeries, including valve repairs and valve replacements are the most common types of minimally invasive procedures, however the process can also be used for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, epicardial lead placement and atrial fibrillation.

“We are continually staying ahead of the pack on techniques and technology at SOMC. This procedure eliminates the cutting of muscles and bone which lessons the amount of time patients are in the operating room and reduces the amount of time needed for recovery,” he said.

Ruby said her recovery time was extremely fast. “I had my surgery on Tuesday and was home by Saturday. I was up and moving around and already felt great. I’m now in rehab and walking on the treadmill.”

Childers specialized in minimally invasive procedures during training at Cornell Medical Center in New York and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued to perfect this technique over the years, leading the way in the region. For more information on this procedure contact SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Associates at 356-8772.