Gaining a New Life with New LungsPosted on 04/18/2019

If you have recently been to the Portsmouth SOMC LIFE Center on a Saturday morning, you might have seen Terry Dever on the pickleball court.

Looking at Terry now as he runs around the court, you might not realize what he went through just a few short months ago: a double lung transplant.

Nearing those few weeks before his surgery, Terry said he didn’t think he would have lived much longer.

Then a miracle happened. Just three days after being placed on the organ donation waiting list, Terry received the call that changed everything: he had been matched with a donor!

On Dec. 14, 2018, Terry’s life was changed forever as he underwent surgery to receive the gift of two new lungs.

Terry went through surgery like a champion. Just a few days after surgery, he was sitting up in a chair and taking laps around the floor in the hospital.

After originally being told he would be at the hospital and have to stay near the hospital upon release for 12 weeks, Terry was determined to get home sooner. His ambition led him to being in the hospital for just two weeks, and he only had to stay in Columbus for an additional two weeks after his hospital stay.

Today, Terry said he truly feels like a new man.

His family can attest to him living a new life, as well. His daughter, Megan Mckenzie, recalled the moment it truly dawned on her that her dad was now able to live the life he had dreamed of living. Before his surgery, he had to park at the top of Megan’s hill to be closer to the door, because walking up the hill was a difficult task for him. That first day he came over to her house after he returned home, he parked at the bottom of the hill. She asked him if he was able to walk up the hill.

“That was the moment it hit me. He parked and I just remember him sprinting up the hill, it was such a surreal and amazing experience that I will never forget,” Megan said.

Along with leading the life he wanted to live with his family, he remained diligent to gaining strength in rehab at SOMC, which he has already completed. He praises the team for helping him gain strength, strength he hasn’t felt for so long.

“I feel better than normal,” he said.

2019 has been a transformative year for Terry all because someone gave him the gift of life through organ donation. We celebrate him and all the other patients who have received these precious gifts during Donate Life Month. We also honor and cherish those who have given the gift of life.

SOMC Hike for Hospice set for May 11; shirts on sale next weekPosted on 04/17/2019

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host the 33rd annual Hike for Hospice on Saturday, May 11. The event, which raises funds for the SOMC Hospice Caritas Fund, will begin at 9:00 am outside of the SOMC Hospice Center. Registration will begin at 8:00 am.

Hike for Hospice is the program’s largest fundraiser and supports end-of-life care for patients faced with a terminal illness.

“Hospice touches a lot of lives in our community,” Coordinator of Hospice Relations Ann Luther said. “The hike gives the community a chance to give back. It allows them to honor the memories of their own loved ones while raising funds and support for current hospice patients and their families.”

Hike for Hospice t-shirts go on sale Monday, April 22 and can be purchased from the SOMC Main Campus. Shirts are $15 each.

For additional information, contact Ann Luther at 740-356-2653.

SOMC’s Warrick Honored by Lifeline of OhioPosted on 04/12/2019

April is known as National Organ Donor Awareness Month. 

SOMC works with Lifeline of Ohio to help give those in need the “gift of life” through organ donations. 

Malissa Warrick, SOMC Nurse Manager of the Orthopedic Care Unit, serves as the liaison between SOMC and Lifeline of Ohio. Recently, she earned the honor of being named Liaison of the Year from Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement (LOOP).

“This is a great honor,” Valerie Decamp, SOMC Director of Nursing Inpatient Services said. “She has been doing this for SOMC for 19 years and has been a silent hero.”

As the liaison, Malissa reviews records on a monthly basis to ensure SOMC is following the guidelines of reporting every patient death to Lifeline of Ohio. She also follows up with them whenever necessary.

Valerie Decamp said Malissa takes calls day and night concerning organ donations. Malissa also serves as the contact in the case where there is a patient in critical condition who is a registered organ donor. In these situations, Lifeline of Ohio makes a campus site visit and Malissa assists their team. 

In the past six months at SOMC, four registered organ donors gave the gift of life to numerous patients in need. 

“It is rewarding to know that our organization can be involved in helping someone who may be in their final hours of life,” she said.  

According to Lifeline of Ohio:

>> “The national waiting list for organ transplants is rising at an alarming rate, with nearly 115,000 individuals currently on the list.”

>> “Approximately 20 times each day a man, woman or child dies for lack of an available organ. Once every 48 hours, an Ohioan dies waiting.”

>> “In Ohio in 2017, 412 Ohioans shared the Gift of Life through organ donation at the time of their death. Through their unselfish generosity, 1,274 organs were transplanted.”

“[Registering to be an organ donor] is an amazing thing to do. There are many people dying each day that are waiting on an organ or tissues transplant,” Malissa said. “I feel like the last thing we could do would be to give the gift of life.”

According to Lifeline of Ohio statistics, “A single donor can potentially save the lives of eight people and heal more than 50 by donating vital organs (heart, two lungs, two kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel) and tissue (corneas, bone, fascia, skin, veins and heart valves).”

On April 17, Lifeline of Ohio will be honoring those gracious donors and their families by displaying a donor quilt in SOMC’s ED/Waller Corridor. These blocks were made by the donor families in memory of their loved ones. The beautiful memory quilt can be observed in the corridor through April 23. 

We honor the lives of those who have passed and kindly given the gift of life to those in need. We celebrate those who are thriving today from this gift. A special congratulations to Malissa on her well-deserved award! Thank you for your dedication towards this worthwhile project. 

SOMC Kardia Guild Donates to the Maternity DepartmentPosted on 04/10/2019

Recently, the SOMC Kardia Guild presented a donation of $5,000 to the SOMC Maternity Department to go towards the Maternity Bereavement Project.

The project will assist families the maternity staff serve who are experiencing a loss. With the assistance of the guild donation, they have purchased more resources for the families through an organization, Resolve Through Sharing, which specializes in perinatal loss and bereavement.

The guild members recently visited the department to speak with maternity staff and were able to see much of the project materials they assisted in purchasing.

We thank the maternity staff for their dedication to serving families with the highest quality of care and striving to make a difference.

A special thank you to the Kardia Guild for their immense support towards this worthwhile project!

SOMC presenting free kite festival, “Air It Up”Posted on 03/29/2019

Southern Ohio Medical Center is presenting a day of fun, sun and kites at Dr. Singleton Park in West Portsmouth, Ohio.

“Air It Up” is a free kite festival sponsored by the SOMC Community Health and Wellness Fund and thoracic surgeon Dr. Jeremiah Martin. It will take place on Saturday, April 6 from 1 to 4pm. The first 200 children will receive a free kite.

The event will feature a large kite display from PIGS Aloft Cincinnati, inflatables and food trucks. There will also be lung health information and live entertainment by Shane Runion.

Dr. Singleton Park is located at 22327 State Route 73, West Portsmouth OH 45663. For more information, visit

SOMC Breast Center Gets New State-of-the-Art TechnologyPosted on 03/01/2019

The SOMC Breast Center is now able to provide their patients state-of-the-art technology with their new Brevera breast biopsy machine. This purchase was made possible in-part through a $50,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ACR) Grant earned by Cathy Mullins, Grant Writer for the SOMC Development Foundation.

With the machine costing approximately $76,000, funds werestill needed to help purchase the machine. From there, the wonderful guildmembers of the SOMC Hope and Kardia Guilds graciously stepped in and donated the rest of the funds needed to purchase the advanced machine.

The machine can be described as a camera that takes more in-depth and sharper images of the area being biopsied. This equipment also results in a quicker scan time for the patient.

“[The Brevera] will reduce the number of samples taken (reduce the amount of tissue removed) and provides a good sample for the pathologist, reduce the amount of time the patient has to lay on the table in compression, reduce the amount of time it takes to perform a biopsy and allow us to perform more biopsies,” said Donna Corcoran, Manager of Mammography.

Recently, Donna was able to show the Hope and Kardia guild members the new machine in-person and speak with them about the benefits for the patients and staff.

“This piece of equipment allows us to provide the best care possible to every patient,” Donna said. “We truly enjoyed seeing and talking with the individuals who helped purchase this unit for the Breast Center.”

SOMC Named to FORTUNE’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ ListPosted on 02/22/2019

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been recognized as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by FORTUNE Magazine, placing 35th on the magazine’s prestigious list for 2019!

This is the 12th 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 Randy Arnett 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 grow within the organization. We have also worked to create a fun 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 4.3 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 2019, please copy and paste the following link:

SOMC Employees Get Surprise of a LifetimePosted on 02/21/2019

Many expect to come to work and have a normal day at the office, but sometimes fate has other plans.

Kayla Tuel and her husband, Aaron, were awaiting the arrival of their baby boy. They went into the hospital at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, but the baby decided he wasn’t ready to meet the world, so they were sent home.

A short six hours later, her and her husband raced to the hospital knowing their baby boy was coming soon.

They were greeted by registration staff and Kellie Zoellner and JoJo Cooper volunteered to take her to the Maternity Department, not knowing what was ahead.

By the time they got down the hall to the elevator, Kayla’s baby boy was ready to make his appearance!

Kellie knew she had to jump into action quick and immediately called for a nurse. Kellie’s nerves didn’t hold her back. She was determined to take care of the expectant mother and her baby.

“I need a nurse, and I need a nurse now!” she shouted out of the elevator.

Karen Walburn of Employee Health and Wellness happened to be in the area at the time and jumped on the elevator to comfort Kayla. While Karen comforted Kayla, Kellie was able to welcome her baby, Daniel, into the world, an opportunity she never expected at work!

After the excitement on the elevator, they finally reached the Maternity Department in a different fashion than most expectant mothers, with her baby in her arms. JoJo ran and got the maternity nurses and they quickly sprang into action.

“[Kellie] came and checked on us twice that day, telling me that I made her day, but really she made ours. She is my HERO,” Kayla said. “A day that we will never forget and a new friend we’ve made forever.”

Definitely a birth story to remember! We appreciate Kellie, Karen and JoJo for jumping in and going above and beyond. We also wish congratulations to the family!

Hoxworth Blood Center to Host 10th Annual Storm Bratchett Memorial Blood DrivePosted on 02/08/2019

Hoxworth Blood Center has announced that the Storm Bratchett Memorial Blood Drive will take place from 11am to 7pm, Mar. 7 and 8 at Christ’s Community Church (2433 25th St., Portsmouth).

This is the 10th memorial drive for Storm Bratchett, who was only 17 years old when he was accidentally shot in the chest with an arrow in 2008. He was rushed to Southern Ohio Medical Center where doctors worked for hours trying to save his life, using more than 40 pints of blood. He did not survive.

Join in honoring Storm by making a donation at the blood drive. All presenting donors will receive a T-shirt that says “Keep the Storm Going.” 

Appointments for the drive are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, please call 740-353-1633 or visit You can aslo schedule an appointment by calling Beverley Meadows at ext. 8670 or Kayla Groh at ext. 8223. 

Let SOMC Pamper Your HeartPosted on 02/08/2019

Get into the spirit of Heart Month by stepping into your red attire for a ladies night out. We encourage you to join our Pamper Your Heart event from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Friends Community Center. 

Gather your friends and enjoy the night out filled with shopping with local vendors, creating beautiful flower arrangements, heavy hor d’oeureves, wine and heart healthy education with Dr. Amy L. Heim D.D.S.!

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 

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