SOMC finds innovative ways to secure PPE for staffPosted on 03/28/2020

Plastic laminate, seat cushions and double- sided tape.

Ordinarily, their uses are specific and limited. For the last few weeks, though, nothing has been ordinary.

As the worldwide coronavirus pandemic continues to spread within the state, Southern Ohio Medical Center has been working to prepare for the possibility a patient with COVID-19 presents at the hospital. Much of that preparation has centered around strategies to protect its employees and conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face shields.

“It’s very important to us that we provide the necessary PPE for those who are on the front- lines of this pandemic,” Director of Facilities Justin Clark said. “We’re always looking for ways to make sure our team has the equipment they need.”

That’s where the plastic laminate, seat cushions and double-sided tape come into play.

“Teresa Bryan came to my office after our daily COVID call,” Clark said. “She told me her daughter was working at a hospital in Cincinnati, and they were making their own face shields.”

After deciphering some YouTube tutorials, the team went to work on developing prototypes. Their first renditions used styrofoam as a foam headband, but replacing that with strips of replacement seat cushions made them more viable.

“The shields themselves are just the laminate we use to laminate signs,” Clark explained. “We attach the foam with double-sided tape, and the head strap is a piece of coflex banding.”

In three days, they were able to produce nearly 3,000 face shields from these recycled materials, all of which were in surplus at the warehouse or readily available at Wal-Mart.

“It’s an innovative solution, and a testament to the organization,” Clark said. “Creative thinking and problem solving are hallmarks of the culture at SOMC. This is a reminder of that, and another example of, how our team is doing everything possible to make it through this crisis.”

SOMC reminds public of simple steps to protect from coronavirusPosted on 03/14/2020

As concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to grow, Southern Ohio Medical Center is asking the community to help prevent the spread of the virus through simple and familiar techniques. 

“For many people, the coronavirus is unfamiliar – but the best way to protect yourself is very familiar: Cover your cough, and wash your hands regularly,” Dr. David Byers, the Senior Medical Director of Infectious Disease at SOMC, said. “We want to remind the public that, as of now, there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in our community. We ask those who are concerned not to panic, but rather to take simple steps to make sure they are avoiding unnecessary exposure to germs.” 

“SOMC has prepared for the possibility of receiving patients with COVID-19. Our first priority is, and always will be, the wellbeing of our patients, staff and community,” SOMC President and CEO Ben Gill said. “Anytime there is the potential that the health of our community could be impacted, SOMC and the local health departments monitor it closely. Our entire team has been stepping up and preparing for weeks, and we are ready to do whatever is necessary to help guide our community through this situation.” 

The novel coronavirus is characterized by respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Symptoms have ranged from mild to severe. There is currently no vaccine or treatment, so the CDC has recommended patients be isolated either in a hospital – if they need a higher level of care – or at home until they recover and no longer pose a risk of infecting others. 

For those who are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 and believe they need medical attention, it is recommended that they call their primary care provider to make arrangements before coming in to seek treatment. 

“It’s important that the public not overreact, but just to keep in mind that they need to be following standard techniques to help prevent the spread of illness,” Dr. Byers said. 

For the latest information about the COVID-19, regularly visit For additional resources, visit

OLBH facility in Ironton transitioning to SOMCPosted on 03/06/2020

As part of the closing of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, Bellefonte Ironton Urgent Care and Primary Care will be transitioning to Southern Ohio Medical Center. The shift to becoming SOMC’s Ironton Family Health Center is expected to occur by the end of April.

Providers transitioning to SOMC include: two urgent care providers, Dr. Roland Benton and Dr. Bryan Fuller, and two primary care providers, Dr. James Meadows and Kristie Johnson, NP.

“It’s important to us that we do what we can to help the employees and the community impacted by OLBH’s closing,” SOMC President and CEO Ben Gill said. “This ensures the patients in Lawrence County can continue to be treated in the same building, by the same providers and staff. We have been working with Bon Secours Mercy Health to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

The Ironton urgent care is located at 1015 E Ring Road in Ironton, Ohio. It will continue to see patients during the transition.

SOMC Named to FORTUNE’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ ListPosted on 02/18/2020

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE Magazine, placing 22ndon the magazine’s prestigious list for 2020!

This is the 13th consecutive year that SOMC has been recognized by FORTUNE.

“It is an honor to be named continually on the FORTUNE list,” SOMC President and CEO Ben Gill said. “As a hospital, we’re known for the outstanding care we provide to our patients, but we also care deeply about our employees. We work hard to be the best employer for our community and this incredible achievement validates our hard work.” 

SOMC was selected among companies all across the nation competing for a spot on the list. SOMC was ranked the highest organization in Ohio and the second-highest out of 10 healthcare institutions in the nation.

“Our culture at SOMC is built around mutual trust and employee engagement,” Vicki Noel, vice president of SOMC Human Resources and Organizational Development, said. “We are committed to encouraging our employees to feel comfortable sharing their opinions and growing within the organization. We have also worked to create a fun, team atmosphere to establish the foundation for our best-company work culture.” 

FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey to identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For. The ranking is based on anonymous feedback from more than 4 million employees at Great Place to Work–Certified companies. 

“We always strive to ensure our team is actively involved in the decision-making process,” Noel said. “At SOMC, we are a team of dedicated employees, medical staff and volunteers who focus on what is best for our patients and also one another. You just can’t match what our organization has anywhere else.” 

To view the complete FORTUNE 100 list for 2020, please visit or see the list on the next page.

SOMC Sports Motion Athletic Trainer and NDHS Earn Safe Sport School AwardPosted on 02/14/2020

Southern Ohio Medical Center Athletic Trainer Leslie Mack and Notre Dame High School were recently awarded 1st Team Safe Sport School status by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).

According to the NATA website, to achieve this status a school’s athletic program must meet the following requirements:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate per-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psycho-social consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

According to the NATA website, “1st is awarded to schools that act on all of the recommended and required elements.”

“This is the first time in Sports Motion history one of our schools has achieved this award,” Mack said. “This was made possible with collaboration between the Sports Motion Program and the Orthopedic Group.”

Brad Zieber, SOMC Manager of Performance Training, is also proud of this achievement.

“I am proud of Leslie and all of her hard work in achieving this award. This award proves that SOMC Sports Motion athletic trainers are dedicated to the safety of our athletes,” Zieber said. “We look forward to all of our SOMC Sports Motion schools receiving this achievement, as well.”

Mother and Daughter Embark on New Journey TogetherPosted on 01/27/2020

New employee orientation.

Three words that evoke nervousness, excitement, impatience, eagerness, etc. to all who walk through the doors of their new organization on that first day.

Some enter the doors not knowing a single person. Some enter and recognize some familiar faces around the room. Some enter and are surrounded by peers embarking on their new careers together.

At a recent SOMC New Employee Orientation, two new hires walked in knowing each other beforehand with a connection that isn’t listed above. A mother and daughter were able to attend together to launch their new positions.

Elaine and Kimberly Tieman, both in the nursing field, started off the new year with new jobs together.

“It was actually pretty neat to see my daughter follow in my footsteps and actually be in the same room,” said Elaine, “it was exciting.”

Elaine is a returning SOMC employee who now works in the Cath Lab. Her daughter, Kimberly, is a nurse intern starting out in the Orthopedic Care Unit (OCU).

Elaine also started her nursing career on the OCU, and said it was neat watching her daughter launch her career the same way.

Elaine started at SOMC in 2004 and left to gain experience in other fields, which included travel nursing, nursing in a correctional facility and a mental health facility.

“I have been through so many [orientations] and this orientation was full of energy and exciting,” she said.” “It made me feel like I was home again.”

Kimberly agreed about feeling that sense of “home” when she attended orientation.

“I was very nervous to start on the first day, but the nurses took me in with open arms,” Kimberly said.

Elaine said she felt like returning to SOMC was a “full circle moment.” This is also true of seeing her daughter follow in her footsteps and begin her journey as a nurse at SOMC.

Let SOMC Pamper Your HeartPosted on 01/24/2020

Grab your best gal pals and join us for a ladies’ night out!

We encourage you to join our Pamper Your Heart event at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Friends Community Center.

Gather your friends and enjoy the night out filled with shopping with local vendors, heavy hor d’oeuvres, mini workshops including calligraphy, hair and makeup touch-ups, professional photography and much more!

Tickets are on sale now and are $35 each. Please be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as reservations are limited.

To order, please visit

All proceeds will benefit the SOMC Heart & Vascular Fund.

SOMC hosting recruitment event to aid those affected by OLBH closurePosted on 01/22/2020

Southern Ohio Medical Center is planning a recruitment outreach event to help find employment for those affected by the impending closure of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, which recently announced plans to shut their doors in September of this year.

“We feel for our neighbors in eastern Kentucky, and all those who are impacted by OLBH’s closing,” President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “This is a difficult development for our community and our region, but we intend to help in any way we can.”

The recruitment event will take place from 9am until 8pm on Thursday, February 6 at the Bellefonte Centre Fifth Floor Banquet Facilities, located at 1000 Ashland Drive in Russell, Kentucky.

There are currently more than 150 employment opportunities available at SOMC.

“Our Human Resources team is prepared to talk with those impacted by this closure about the opportunities we have available at SOMC,” Arnett said.

Those looking for work can also find positions listed on SOMC’s website,

SOMC Maternity Celebrates First Baby Born in 2020Posted on 01/06/2020

SOMC would like to welcome the first baby born in our Maternity department in 2020! Cherokee RiverLee Merriman was born on Jan. 1, 2020 at 2:27 p.m. weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces and 18.5 inches long. Sharon and James Merriman are the proud parents of Cherokee.

Congratulations to the family!

LIFE Center to Host 2020 Fitness RallyPosted on 12/30/2019

On Tuesday, January 7, the Portsmouth LIFE Center will host the 2020 Fitness Rally!

The event is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. free and open to the public to all ages 14 and over. Join the team for a one-day special event. The rally will include:
>> Group X sampling demos every 15 minutes
>> Facility tours
>> 5-minute massages
>> SECA Demos – Body fat and body analysis
>> Protein drink and bar samples
>> WNXT 99.3 FM live remote with Steve Hayes
>> Door prizes and specials
>> Goal setting and meal planning

The SOMC LIFE Center is excited to share the new programming coming to the LIFE Center in the new year. This is your chance to start your new year’s resolution and get moving to a healthier you!

  • More information
  • (740) 356-5000