Yearly Archives: 2007

Hospitalist Nowak WelcomedPosted on December 21, 2007

Kristie Nowak, MD, has been welcomed to the staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center as a member of the hospitalist staff.

Dr. Nowak received a bachelor of arts in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from California State University, where she was a cum laude graduate. She received her medical education from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C., completed her internship in Internal Medicine at Washington Hospital Center and her residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine at The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. She served as Chief Medical Resident at the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Washington.

Dr. Nowak came to SOMC after serving as an assistant professor of medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, Huntington, WV. She has previously practiced as a hospitalist at Kaiser Permanente, Holy Cross Hospital, Silver Spring, MD, and Capital Internal Medicine at Holy Cross. She has also practiced geriatric medicine at Riderwood Village Medical Center and general internal medicine practice in Silver Spring.

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the medical care of the hospitalized patient.

SOMC Supports Notre Dame Art ProgramPosted on December 21, 2007

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently presented a donation to the Notre Dame High School’s art program. Juniors and seniors from the school painted scenes from popular children’s movies and other scenery for SOMC Pediatrician Dr. Rebecca Schoettle’s office, which was moved in mid-2007 to Suite 201 of the Waller Building as part of the expansion and construction project under way on the Main Campus. Pictured, the art students show some of their work as SOMC President Randy Arnett presents art instructor Anissa Harr with the donation.

Cooper Nurse ManagerPosted on December 21, 2007

Ann Cooper has been named the Nurse Manager of the Cardiovascular Operating Room at Southern Ohio Medical Center. In this position, she will be responsible for the daily operation of the Cardiovascular OR, ensuring that policies, practices, procedures and standards are followed through the supervision of surgical staff members and individual patient care.

Cooper has been a registered nurse of the SOMC Surgery Department for more than six years. She is a 2001 graduate of Maysville Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree. In 2007, she graduated from Shawnee State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Cooper currently resides in Lewis County, Ky., with her husband, Adam.

Riverview Activities Attracting Many InterestsPosted on December 21, 2007

There is a familiar face for many of residents at Riverview Retirement Center these days.

Kay Warner has been helping with the Variety Market grocery store for residents. A long-time employee of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Nutrition Services staff, Kay had to retire from her cafeteria duties at the hospital in mid-2005 due to health problems, but she is able to lend a hand for a few afternoon hours each day at Riverview.

“Kay is the newest SOMC employee to come and live at Riverview,” the community’s administrator, Tim Graham, says. “We accept anyone age 50 or older for residency in the 106 apartments in Biggs and Washington houses.” The two buildings are located on either side of Olde Market Square at Second and Market streets in the Boneyfiddle District of Portsmouth. For Kay, the work, as well as her new home, have been rewarding.

“It’s nice and safe here,” she says. “We have a lot of activities going on all the time, and in addition to the Variety Market we have a library, a new kitchen, chapel, and the new Buckey Room for playing pool.”

Kay is also close to family some of the time, as her mother volunteers at the adult day center located next door. And when she isn’t busy with some of more than 70 scheduled activities each month for residents, she is figuring out how use the computer in one of the activity rooms.

“I’ve learned how to do some of the puzzles, but I haven’t gotten to email yet,” she says.

The Variety Market keeps staples on hand including coffee, flour, canned vegetables, milk, butter, eggs, snacks, ice cream and lunchmeats. The coffee shop adjacent to the market is busy a lot of the day, as residents stop by and catch up the latest news. Kay is usually on hand, helping with the groceries and coffee.

Riverview is a Housing and Urban Development-subsidized facility.

“Riverview is very affordable,” Graham says. “You can have a retirement income and still live here. For a married couple, you can have as much as $33,150 in annual income and still qualify. A single person can have up to $29,000 annual income and qualify.”

He noted that all apartments are furnished with stove, refrigerator and air conditioner/heat and the units have a variety of floorplan layouts, with rental fees including utilities and a reduced rate for cable television. Kay highly recommends the facilities to friends and anyone considering a change of living environment.

“There is so much to do here, trips and outings and the things right here at Riverview Retirement Center,” she says. “It really is a great place to be.” For more information about Riverview, call Graham at (740) 353-1128.

Surgeon With Local Family Featured In National News From IraqPosted on December 20, 2007

A surgeon with family in the area was featured Nov. 23 on ABC TV’s Nightline broadcast.

Army Lt. Col. Richard C. Rooney, Jr., MD, is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal procedures. He is in the middle of a tour of duty in Iraq, serving as the senior orthopedic surgeon at the 28th Combat Support Hospital, the world’s busiest military trauma hospital, located in the Green Zone of Baghdad.

ABC reporter Martha Raddatz interviewed Dr. Rooney as part of a profile on the medical facility and the ongoing challenges the medical staff face. A West Point graduate, Dr. Rooney practices medicine stateside at William Beaumont Hospital in El Paso, Texas. He is a graduate of Chillicothe High School and his father, Richard Rooney, MD, is a surgeon on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

During the interview and in an article on ABC’s news website, Dr. Rooney Jr. explained how the focus has to be on stabilizing the patient to save his or her life, then salvage whatever is possible regarding the extremities. Asked how the physicians cope with the ongoing volumes of physically devastated patients, Dr. Rooney said exercise, sleep and other distractions are heavily embraced.

Back here in southern Ohio, his father and family were looking forward to the broadcast.

“They notified us on Monday that the broadcast would be on Friday,” Dr. Rooney Sr. says. “Martha Raddatz sought him out to discuss what it was like to be a surgeon in the world’s busiest trauma hospital. He shuns publicity but he showed up for a particular case and they wanted to talk to him. Usually he just wants to fade into the background. He says he just wanted his 15 minutes of anonymity.”

Dr. Rooney Jr.’s work was also featured in Associated Press reports, the New York Times and MSNBC websites regarding a boy critically injured by a bomb intended for US troops. The boy’s life was saved despite the loss of his arm and leg.

Father and son are able to communicate frequently by telephone, and the family is looking forward to his safe return in February.

Doctor Joins Many Volunteers On Habitat ProjectPosted on December 19, 2007

Normally residents in South Webster are used to seeing Dr. John Oehler wearing a stethoscope, not a toolbelt.

But that’s just what the physician at SOMC Family Practice has been wearing when helping out at Habitat for Humanity’s project site in the village. “I’m considered unskilled and I have a hammer, some safety glasses and gloves,” he said good-naturedly. “I told them the tool belt was just for show.”

Many volunteers from all over the area have been working since mid-October on the construction of a home for a deserving family in the community, spearheaded by the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. South Webster’s Christ United Methodist Church, of which Dr. Oehler is a member, has been working with Habitat on the project.

“I’ve nailed up some wall plates, run some electrical wiring, placed some insulation and done some floor stabilization,” he said. “I use a hammer because they didn’t trust me with the nail gun.” He has high praise for the group of volunteers and discounts his own participation as minimal and not worth mentioning.

“They are really a good group of volunteers,” he said. “All the labor is volunteer and a lot of the materials are donated. It’s humbling to see what it really takes to build a house.”

Dr. Oehler has volunteered on three occasions at the site, which is on Essman-Sugar Camp Road, less than two blocks from his office on Jackson Street in the village. Terese Jones, a nurse on Dr. Oehler’s staff, has fixed several huge meals for the crews of volunteers as well.

Receiving regular email updates from church pastor Tom Charles, Dr. Oehler says he’s amazed at how efficient and successful the project has been.

“When the carpenters’ union went out there I was really humbled,” he says.

“They worked almost non-stop and got so much work done in a single day it was amazing. The biggest thing is having skilled people out there who can tell people like me what to do, because you can have the will but without the know-how, it doesn’t help.”

Noticing that he was physically sore after working several hours on the site, Dr. Oehler has greater appreciation than ever for the hard work of carpenters and craftsmen on a job site.

“I’m trying to learn what I can so maybe someday I will be able to build a house myself,” he says. “But I really just like being here to help.” Local Habitat co-president Paul White says there have been 10-12 people on the site working every day, with tremendous support from area businesses, the village offices, and local craftsmen.

The medical community has been represented by several volunteers on the project. In addition to Dr. Oehler, retired physician Tom Swope and his wife, Esther, have been working with Vicki Heiskell for the project helping arrange meals through local restaurants. Rita Haider, wife of local retired physician Shabbir Haider, is co-president of the local Habitat for Humanity. The four-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home is expected to be completed by the end of the year or very early in 2008.

“If nothing else, we’re just trying to acknowledge there are needs in every community,” White says. “I’m thrilled with people like John, who are willing to come out and lay whatever professional perceptions they might have aside and do any task at hand.”

Anyone interested in helping with local Habitat for Humanity projects is encouraged to visit the local website sponsored by Dawgbyte Productions,

SOMC Inpatient Rehab Receives Renewed AccreditationPosted on December 18, 2007

The Inpatient Rehab Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again gained accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The in-depth review is conducted once every three years and SOMC has now achieved accreditation for five consecutive terms.

“We’re very pleased to maintain this recognition,” Regina Keller, nurse manager of the Inpatient Rehab Unit at SOMC, said. “The survey is a very tedious process and to learn that our department is able to meet the standards that are set by CARF year after year shows how high our dedication to quality patient care truly is.”

CARF is a nationwide program, created to help organizations develop and maintain standards that improve the value and responsiveness of programs and services delivered to rehabilitation patients.

To be accredited by CARF, an organization must satisfy each of the CARF Accreditation Conditions and demonstrate through a site survey that it clearly meets those established standards. The CARF review is a two-day process, featuring visits from both administrative and program surveyors.

“The surveyors review processes used throughout our unit, including the scope of services we provided, our interdisciplinary teams created for performance improvement and our safety measures and standards,” Belinda Diles, program director of the Inpatient Rehab Unit, said.

This year the surveyors identified eleven strengths of the unit, emphasizing the department’s dedication to creating and maintaining a safe environment for both staff members and their patients. Five opportunities for improvement also were listed to help the unit continue to improve for the future.

“New standards come out every year so we’re constantly trying to make our department the best it can be,” Keller said. “We have to be in compliance with the standards at all times, not just during survey years, and we hope our patients feel confident in knowing that we are providing them the best rehab care in our area.”

SOMC Launches Equipment Tracking SystemPosted on December 17, 2007

Did you ever misplace a set of keys or your TV remote? Imagine the challenge of tracking hundreds of pieces of equipment in a large organization, such as a hospital.

The Biomedical Engineering Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center has deployed a system to locate and track more than 1,600 pieces of medical equipment. The staff can instantly see them on a computer screen map, and track them as they move.

“Previously there were times when I had to send staff out for an hour or two to do preventitive maintenance,” Greg Malone, supervisor of Biomedical Engineering, says. “Now they can walk over to the computer. What once took hours takes seconds.”

With the system, known as Radianse, small tags on each item send a signal to 363 receivers throughout the hospital, which then give the information to the engineers. Malone says the Radianse system can determine which room a piece of equipment is in with great accuracy.

The system provides easier equipment management, improved recall management, and better use of limited supplies of critical equipment, Malone says.

SOMC Holds Glove and Mitten DrivePosted on December 17, 2007

Employees of Southern Ohio Medical Center, as well as visitors and patients, participated in a recent glove and mitten drive for the needy. More than 226 pairs of gloves and mittens, as well as $20 in anonymous donations, were collected. Members of the SOMC Heart Care Unit helped coordinate the drive and are shown (l-r): Tina Moore, RN, CCRN; Missy Carver, RN; Paul Rase, RN, CCRN; Robin Blackburn, MTCNA; Sarah Betten, RN, BSN.

SOMC Nurse On Keeping the Faith: Surviving Cancer in AppalachiaPosted on December 13, 2007

Delrita Gilliland, Registered Nurse at the Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented at The Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities in conjunction with the American Association for Cancer Research, this conference attracted more than 600 attendees including scientists, health professionals from academia, industry, government and the community. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the latest finding and to stimulate the development of new research in cancer health disparities.

At the plenary session on disparities in cancer survivorship, Gilliland shared insight about cancer survivorship issues in the Appalachian community through her “Keeping the Faith: Surviving Cancer in Appalachia” presentation.

Gilliland was asked to present because of her personal experience as a cancer survivor, along with her experience working with cancer survivors at SOMC and in the community. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, she has been a strong advocate for breast health as a Reach to Recovery volunteer, Special Touch instructor, Relay for Life committee member, and an American Cancer Society Board member.

In 1994, Ms. Gilliland became a charter member and has continuously served on the Fight Cancer, Save Lives Coalition, a community-based coalition formed by the Appalachia Leadership Initiative on Cancer.

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