Air It Up Set for April 1Posted on 03/17/2023

Air It Up is back! Join SOMC and Shane Runion for a FREE family fun day at Dr. Singleton Park on April 1 from 1-4pm! Spend the day outdoors with amazing kites, music and food.

The event features:
Large kite display from PIGS Aloft Cincinnati
Windjammers Kite Team
Live entertainment from Shane Runion
Design your own kite
Food trucks
Lung health education
*sponsored by Dr. Jeremiah Martin

Feel free to bring a chair or blanket if you would like to sit and listen to the live music! Those in attendance will also have a chance to enter into a raffle.
Three electric powered lawn mowers (provided by Wal-Mart) and one Cincinnati Reds package (provided by iHeartMedia) will be raffled off at the event just in time for Spring!
Check out the raffle by visiting

Cincinnati Reds package details:
4 Cincinnati Reds vs White Sox tickets for the evening game on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at the Cincinnati Reds stadium
Seats 1-4, row U, section 136
Reds memorabilia

Raffle ticket prices:
$5 | one chance to win
$20 | five chances to win

SOMC Athletic Trainers and the Game They Won’t ForgetPosted on 03/09/2023

SOMC Athletic Trainers Leslie Mack and Amber Howell rode together to the Women’s Division IV District Semifinal Basketball Game at Southeastern High School against their respective teams, the Notre Dame Titans and the Valley Indians.

Little did they know that game would be a defining moment in their career and a game they will never forget.

This moment had no relation to the game.

After the Lady Titans secured a win over the Valley Indians, celebrations and interviews occurred as usual. Brock Netter of the Southern Ohio Sports Authority was interviewing Notre Dame’s coach JD Mckenzie.

Leslie, Notre Dame’s trainer, said she heard the coach begin to yell for her to come and help. She looked across the gymnasium to see Mckenzie holding Brock against the wall. Leslie jumped into action and raced across the floor.

She started asking Netter general health questions to try and gather a sense of what could be happening. He was a healthy guy in his early 30s. She recalled him saying he felt lightheaded, and his stomach was hurting. About that time, Amber returned to the court and saw her coaches motioning for her, and she ran to help.

As Amber arrived, Brock seemed to have a seizure and passed out. All around were able to help lower him to the ground.

“Instincts kicked in,” Leslie said. “We jumped into action, and we knew what to do.”

Amber immediately searched for a pulse on his neck. “Leslie, I don’t feel anything,” she recalled saying.

Leslie immediately began chest compressions. Another AT from OhioHealth jumped in and helped put the AED on him.

Amber checked for another pulse on his wrist. Nothing.

Leslie began the second set of chest compressions. The AED was in place, but thankfully he began responding before a shock was needed. The team continued to monitor him until the EMTs arrived to transport him to the hospital.

“Leslie had a huge hand in literally saving my life, as did everyone else who attended to me when I needed it,” Brock said. “She was the first person that (Notre Dame girls basketball coach J.D. McKenzie) called on, and she rushed right in as I was starting to fade, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I was surrounded by so many people who knew what to do and how to proceed in order to bring me back, and I’m so grateful to them.”
This was the first time in both Amber and Leslie’s careers that they had to administer CPR to someone, and it was someone that they helped revive.

Amber and Leslie left that game and attempted to reflect on what had just happened.

“Mentally, I just feel like you go into action and don’t even think about being scared,” Amber said.

“We teach (CPR) all the time, and you always say every time you teach a class, hopefully, you never have to do this, and most people won’t, but it’s always good for people to know,” Leslie said.

Brock said that he is doing great now. He spent two days in the hospital, and all the tests they ran came back completely normal.

“Levels were good, vitals with good, no issues anywhere and I’m super thankful for that. I passed out on a Thursday and went right back to work on Monday, and I’ve felt great ever since. I’m in great spirits and thankful I was able to get back to doing what I love the most,” he said. “I actually got the chance on Thursday to see Leslie before the Notre Dame girls’ victory over Fisher Catholic, talk to her, give her a hug and say thank you for saving my life. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

Brock said he received great care from the trainers, EMTS and doctors who cared for him.

“I’ve had a ton of people reaching out to check on me every day since, which was really overwhelming but super humbling as well to feel that much love from everyone. I’m forever grateful,” he said.

At SOMC, we are grateful to have team members like Leslie, Amber, and the rest of the athletic training team, who are trained and ready to jump in when needed, even to save a life.

SOMC Pharmacy Recognized as First Retail Pharmacy in Ohio to Utilize Automated Checking SystemPosted on 03/09/2023

The goal of the SOMC Pharmacy staff is to serve their patients’ medication needs effectively and safely.
To do this, they have had a medication pack process since the opening of the SOMC Outpatient Pharmacies. This was a manual process that required pharmacy staff to refill, recount and have a pharmacist check each pack; a tedious process, to say the least.
“We always wanted this to be an option for our patients,” said Jessica Dixon, SOMC Registered Pharmacist Supervisor. “We were getting so many requests that we wanted to make that process more efficient.”
This led them to purchase the Parata Packaging Machine and the Perl. The Parata dispensing robot releases the medication into pouches after a tech keys in all the medication. Then, the machine does the rest. This led to the creation of the new, updated MedPaks. These updated packages are customized for each patient’s medication needs.
The Perl will go back through and inspect each pouch to ensure they are correct. The team can then see if the machine flagged any errors.
To be able to utilize this method, the State Board of Pharmacy requires a site visit as well as a thorough review process. They were impressed with the process when they visited the SOMC Wheelersburg Pharmacy, where the machines are housed.
Still, the team had to complete the 45-day review, which included a pharmacist checking each pack that the Perl reviewed, which the team did for longer than this review process to ensure accuracy. This time period proved that the Perl catches 100% of errors.
“Having a true error with the machine is very rare,” Dixon said.
The State Board of Pharmacy approved the review at the beginning of February. SOMC was recognized as the first retail pharmacy in Ohio to receive approval for the automated checking system.
“Utilizing this system and being approved by the State Board means we are really leading the way, especially in the State of Ohio, with trying to improve patient outcomes by improving adherence rates to their medications.”
MedPaks are free and available to all patients who would like their medications customized. Patients can request one and be available at the SOMC Wheelersburg Pharmacy for pick-up, delivery, or delivery to the SOMC Pharmacy that a patient chooses.

SOMC Pediatric Guild Gives Back in Memory of Rees JusticePosted on 03/02/2023

On April 22, 2019, Rees Justice, an MRI staff technologist at SOMC, tragically passed away in a traffic accident at just 26 years old.

Nearly four years later, Rees’s legacy continues touching lives around the community. After his passing, his family asked in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the SOMC Pediatric Guild. Those donations poured in. Rees had such an impact on the lives of all around him, and he continues to today.

Rees loved kids and was also a gamer, so it is only fitting that the SOMC Pediatric Guild recently gave back in his memory to the Children’s Playroom at the SOMC Hospice Center. The room was originally and generously donated in memory of David B. Lodwick by David L. and Barbara Lodwick. The Pediatric Guild utilized the funds donated in Rees’s memory to update the room.

Rees’s family recently attended the unveiling of his plaque for his memory to be remembered in the new room at the hospice center. This donation is sure to impact many lives going through a trying time.

A sincere thank you to Rees’s family for deciding to touch other lives in his memory. Also, thank you to the Pediatric Guild for using these funds to enhance this room at the hospice center.

Home is Where the Heart isPosted on 02/27/2023

Rebecca Kalb, a southern Ohio native, is a nurse practitioner in the SOMC Cardiology Group, now serving the heart patients of her hometown.

Born and raised in Portsmouth, Kalb has spent most of her life in this community and loves the people here.

After earning her associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Shawnee State University, life took Kalb north as she completed her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the Ohio State University. After earning her BSN, she started her career as a nurse at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she spent five years.

“Although we enjoyed the hustle and excitement of big city life, we never felt a sense of community and closeness with our neighbors when we lived away,” she said. “We decided to return home and set our roots here because we have always loved this community and feel this is exactly where we want to bring our talents and services.”

Upon returning to Portsmouth, Kalb spent five years as a nurse in the SOMC Heart Care Unit (HCU) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU). During her time in the HCU, she was involved with the implementation of SOMC’s open heart program, which she is incredibly proud to have been involved with.

After ten years as a nurse, Kalb, who loves learning, decided to pursue her MSN. She began her career as a nurse practitioner specializing in internal medicine/general to broaden her knowledge as a provider. She eventually transitioned to a palliative care role.

During this time, she unexpectedly lost her father to a heart attack.

“Over time, as I processed this loss, I grew a stronger desire to return to cardiac care so I could help prevent others from suffering this same outcome with themselves or loved ones,” she said.

Not long after, a cardiology position became available at SOMC. She knew this was where she belonged.

“I truly love this specialty and population of patients,” she said. “The most rewarding part of working in cardiology is the opportunity to have impactful interactions with patients and families. Heart disease is the number one killer, and cardiologists have the unique
opportunity to have a big influence on patient outcomes. Caring for a patient’s heart is very rewarding.”

She also finds the field of cardiology fascinating as it is an ever-evolving field where data and knowledge expand daily. Being able to look into someone’s heart and tailor therapy specifically for them is fulfilling to her.

“I get the privilege every day to help the sick recover, provide valuable support to those with chronic illnesses, and ensure patients receive the treatment/care they need to lead healthy lives,” she said. “My goal in this role was to keep patients as well managed as possible for as long as possible.”

Now, she is helping cardiac patients live healthy and active lives as a nurse practitioner for the SOMC Heart & Vascular Associates. She is also accepting new patients at the Ironton Family Health Center and the SOMC Vanceburg Family Practice & Specialty Associates.

When she isn’t serving the patients of the community, she spends her free time being very active in the community with her children.

“We have five children and couldn’t imagine raising them anywhere else,” she said. “We love feeling connected with the community and the people around us.”

SOMC Urology Associates Designated as a Center of Excellence for GreenLight™ Laser Therapy, a Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or Enlarged ProstatePosted on 02/21/2023

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) announced that Stephen Woolums, MD of SOMC Urology Associates has been designated as a Center of Excellence for GreenLight™ Laser Therapy treatment – a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for men looking to treat their benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), not just the symptoms. GreenLight Therapy can help provide immediate relief from enlarged prostate symptoms such as frequent urination—especially at night, weak urine flow, urgency and incomplete bladder emptying. In addition, GreenLight Laser Therapy requires no incisions and typically has no overall deleterious impact on sexual function.1 The Center of Excellence designation recognizes Dr. Stephen Woolums’ high degree of experience with GreenLight Laser Therapy and commitment to delivering effective, long-lasting therapy to men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).1

BPH is a condition in which a man’s prostate enlarges and squeezes the urethra, causing frustrating symptoms such as frequent or urgent urination, a weak or interrupted urine stream, and the need to get up several times a night to urinate. It affects about 50% of men by age 60, and up to 90% of men by age 85.2

“Being designated as a GreenLight Center of Excellence is a meaningful recognition for us, as we strive to provide the best possible treatment of urological conditions for patients in our community and beyond,” said Dr. Stephen Woolums. “For years, the primary options for treating BPH were through behavior modifications, medications or invasive surgery. However, medications may not work for everyone and may have undesirable side effects such as dizziness, sexual dysfunction and lower sex drive.3 With GreenLight Therapy, we’re able to provide relief of BPH for men who do not want to take medication or want to avoid invasive surgery and implants.”

GreenLight Laser Therapy uses laser energy to vaporize the enlarged tissue, creating an open channel for urine to pass through the urethra. In addition to typically experiencing immediate improvements in urine flow, many patients are pleased to know that GreenLight typically has no overall deleterious impact on sexual function.1 GreenLight Laser therapy is a long-term solution without the need for BPH medication.1

GreenLight Therapy is currently being used in many leading urology practices throughout the United States. To date, more than 1 million patients around the world have been successfully treated with GreenLight Therapy.4

SOMC Urology Associates is located on the main SOMC campus in the Waller Building at 1735 27th Street, Suite 308. The office can be reached at 740-356-4URO (4876).
For more information, visit or


1. Bachmann A, Tubaro A, Barber N, et al. A European multicenter randomized noninferiority trial comparing 180 W GreenLight-XPS laser vaporization and transurethral resection of the prostate for the treatment of benign prostatic obstruction: 12-month results of the GOLIATH study. J Urol. 2015 Feb;193(2):570-8.
2. What is BPH? Urology Care Foundation website. hyperplasia-(bph).
3. Roger K, Gilling P. Fast Facts: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, 7th edition. Health Press. 2011.
4. Data on file with Boston Scientific.

* Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: These materials are intended to describe common clinical considerations and procedural steps for the use of referenced technologies but may not be appropriate for every patient or case. Decisions surrounding patient care depend on the physician’s professional judgment in consideration of all available information for the individual case.
Boston Scientific (BSC) does not promote or encourage the use of its devices outside their approved labeling. Case studies are not necessarily representative of clinical outcomes in all cases as individual results may vary. is a website sponsored by Boston Scientific.
Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
All images are the property of Boston Scientific. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
©2020 Boston Scientific Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved. URO-826605-AA JUL 2020

Keep Your Feet Safe at the Gym in the New YearPosted on 02/17/2023

In the New Year, don’t forget to keep your feet in tip-top shape while following through with your resolutions to get fit. Portsmouth foot and ankle surgeon Darby W. Wehrley, DPM, FACFAS, offers tips for foot safety while at the gym.

Start new workouts gradually — increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendon strains and sprains. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts also helps prevent these types of injuries. “If you do feel you’ve sprained your ankle, be sure to seek treatment right away,” Dr. Wehrley a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons explains. “Untreated or repeated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes persistent pain and a ‘giving way’ of the ankle.”

Wear the right shoe and sock — Wear well-fitting athletic shoes designed for the exercise or sport. According to Dr. Wehrley, shoes that don’t support the arch of the foot and provide cushion for the heel can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Shoes that are too small can also cause a neuroma or a thickening of the nerve tissue, in the foot and may require injections, medication or physical therapy. Wearing cotton or non-slip socks are also key to help avoid painful blisters, which can become infected and cause more serious issues.

Use good technique — Improper exercise techniques can result in injury to the tendons or ligaments in your feet and ankles. “Incorrect posture or misuse of exercise equipment can cause decreased stabilization in the foot and ankle, leading to joint sprains and muscle strains,” Dr. Wehrley says.

Gym Safety
Protect yourself from bacteria-Sweaty shoes, public showers, exercise equipment and the pool deck at the gym are breeding grounds for fungus, viruses and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which has become increasingly more common. Never go barefoot while in public areas; water shoes can provide a great barrier between your feet and the wet surfaces. “It’s also best to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails since these minor tears in the skin’s surface can act as entry points for bacteria. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, don’t hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination,” Dr. Wehrley says.

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. If you experience an injury or pain, call Dr. Wehrley’s office located on Southern Ohio Medical Center’s campus at 740-356-3668 for an evaluation.

– Dr. Darby Wehrley

Local Man Encourages Preventive Heart Checks After Finding 70% BlockagePosted on 02/17/2023

Douglas Parsley is feeling better these days, which is remarkable because he didn’t know he was ever feeling bad. That’s something he realized after he had a stent installed to relieve a 70% blockage in blood flow.

“If you had zero blockage and woke up with 70% blockage, you’d notice it,” he explained. “But when it happens over time, it’s like the old analogy about the frog in the water pan. If you gradually turn up the heat, the frog gets used to it and doesn’t know it’s in trouble. I guess I was the frog in this situation.”

He realized quickly after the stent was installed that he hadn’t been feeling as well as he could. The stent allowed for more oxygen to flow through his system, which he said changed how he felt almost immediately.

Parsley’s recovery came about because he decided to have his heart health checked preventively. He has a younger brother who suffered a heart attack, and says he knows someone else who lost a brother unexpectedly to one. Those experiences led him to surmise that, even if he felt okay, it might be a good idea to make sure there weren’t any issues hiding beneath the surface. He considers himself lucky he found out about his blockage the way that he did.

“I didn’t have a clue I had a blockage,” he said. “I just knew my younger brother had at least one heart attack, so I thought I should probably get checked out. I’m two years older and haven’t exactly been watching my intake of saturated fats.”

That decision led to other changes in his lifestyle. He said he goes to the LIFE Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays now, has lost weight and regularly has his blood pressure and vitals checked. After stumbling upon a blockage in the “widow-maker” range – a term he said emphasized how seriously he was at risk – he also encourages others to get checked, themselves.

“If you think there’s even a remote chance you may have a problem, it wouldn’t hurt.”

As Parsley’s story demonstrates, you may not actually know how much it’ll help until you do it.

SOMC Volunteer Recognized as Hometown HeroPosted on 02/16/2023

It was a very exciting and special day for one volunteer at Southern Ohio Medical Center, as turning 99+1 years old over the weekend, Monday morning, Goldie Griffith was recognized among her fellow volunteers and staff as the latest WSAZ Hometown Hero, during a surprise get-together to celebrate the occasion. Goldie has spent nearly 30 years as a volunteer at SOMC, and is the first active volunteer to achieve such a distinctive milestone while serving throughout the hospital’s history.

Goldie began volunteering at SOMC in 1985, after retiring from the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology as a State Board Inspector. Goldie is currently a member of the SOMC Hope Guild, where she continues to volunteer at all fundraising sales, attends monthly business meetings, and currently serves as the Guild’s Treasurer. For many years Goldie volunteered in the SOMC Gift Gallery where staff remember her most – always offering a helping hand, and a sweet smile to the many customers and staff that visited. “As long as I have known Goldie, she has NEVER wanted anyone to know her actual age – even her application does not reflect the correct year. With this, Goldie’s volunteer friends throughout the years remind me secretly of how close Goldie is getting to 100 years of age,” states Jenny Lavender, Manager of SOMC Volunteer Services.

On February 6, a special lunch meeting was hosted by the SOMC Hope Guild to solely wish Goldie the happiest of birthdays, which Goldie did not discover the actual purpose until her arrival, and it was at this moment that Lavender asked permission to share this amazing milestone with SOMC and to no longer keep it a secret. Yes, permission was granted with a genuine smile and appreciation. In Goldie’s words…”just tell everyone that I’m 99+1 years old – that way if they can’t do the math, well, then it’s their problem!”

Goldie is quite the entertaining and active individual, as not only does she continue to volunteer at SOMC, she continues to serve as a volunteer Usher at SSU’s VRCFA, among various other organizations throughout the Portsmouth community as well. “Yes, Goldie Griffith is pretty amazing, and is such an inspiration to so many. I am truly fortunate to have Goldie, as not only an inspiration and volunteer – but in my life as well,” adds Lavender.

SOMC Sports Motion Utilizing New Polar Care WavePosted on 02/06/2023

SOMC Athletic Trainers are dedicated to keeping their players healthy with the most up-to-date techniques and technology.
They are now utilizing the Polar Care Wave. This equipment is explained on their website as “combin[ing] motorized cooling therapy with active compression in a simple and compact system. Polar Care Wave is easily transported from the hospital, physical therapy clinic or athletic training room… extending the benefits of cold and compression.”
The machine is for patients to use after surgery or for acute injuries. The equipment will assist in the reduction of swelling and/or pain, according to the website.
With this new equipment, purchased by the SOMC Community Health and Wellness Fund, the SOMC athletic trainers will have another method to help keep their athletes and the community on a quick road to recovery!

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