Yearly Archives: 2008

SOMC Nurse: Get Screened, Don’t Ignore Your HealthPosted on February 18, 2008

As a nurse and director of Inpatient Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center, Valerie DeCamp always puts the patients first, taking care of their needs and stressing to them the importance of good health, proper health management and regular health screenings.

But last year DeCamp learned that sometimes it’s best to take your own advice before it’s too late.

“As a nurse, you tend to take better care of others than you do yourself,” she said. “I never took the time to stop and think that there could be something wrong with me, even when others noticed that there was.”

At age 48, DeCamp always assumed she was too young to develop a chronic illness. Though her family had a strong history of diabetes, stroke and other heart disease, they had always been older when they were diagnosed.

“I knew I hadn’t been feeling as normal as usual, but I was in denial. I have a high-stress job and figured it came with the territory,” she said. “Besides, I treat tons of patients all the time and I thought I would definitely know if something was wrong with me.”

But DeCamp was completely unaware of her declining health. In fact, it was almost a fluke that she realized she was sick at all.

“Last year I volunteered to help out at the SOMC Dance with Heart event, escorting people around the different screenings that were scheduled,” she said. “Toward the end of the evening I decided to go through a screening myself, just to see what I would find out.”

After completing a diabetes screening, DeCamp learned that her fasting glucose was 280 – more than 200 points above normal. She immediately knew that she was not okay and called the doctor to find out more.

“Once I met with my doctor, he started me on diabetes medication and within two days I began to feel better,” she said. “I really didn’t know how bad I had felt until I started feeling better.”

After a year of proper medication, exercise and healthier diet and life choices, DeCamp’s A1C is below six and her triglycerides are 34 – nearly ten times lower than they used to be. Best of all, she’s happier and healthier than she’s felt in years and takes every opportunity to encourage other nurses to take the advice they give to patients time and time again.

“Get tested, go to a screening, know your numbers. Don’t ignore your health,” she said. “I didn’t do the things we’re always telling our patients to do and it could have cost me my life. It’s a blessing to be healthy, so don’t take advantage of it. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.”

Free health screenings will be open to the public during this year’s SOMC Sing with Heart event from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday Feb. 28 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth. Screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and heart risk analysis will be available and attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy karaoke and music from local groups all evening long. Pre-registration is preferred, however walk-ins are welcome. To register or for more information, please call 740-356-7665.

SOMC Pulmonologist Marks Sleep CertifiedPosted on February 11, 2008

Kathy A. Marks, MD, a pulmonologist on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently received her certification in Sleep Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Marks is also certified in Pulmonary Disease, Internal Medicine and Critical Care.

Pulmonologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of lung disease.

Dr. Marks received her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology/Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Marks has been practicing in the Portsmouth area since 1998. She and her husband, SOMC Surgeon Dr. Philip Bates, reside in the McDermott area and have two children.

SOMC’s Trinidad Using New Hip Resurfacing ApproachPosted on February 4, 2008

A new surgical option is offering new hope to a broader range of adults who have osteoarthritis in the hip and want to return to their active lives.

Dr. Gerardo Trinidad of Southern Ohio Medical Center, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Trinidad Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Portsmouth, is the first surgeon in the area to provide his patients with the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) procedure that conserves bone, provides greater stability and increases range of motion.

“Hip resurfacing is the ideal solution for many younger, more active patients who suffer from hip pain,” Dr. Trinidad said. “Baby boomers are not only remaining more active longer than their parents, they are demanding the medical establishment keep them active. The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System now provides me with an alternative that meets the needs of my more active patients.”

The BHR procedure involves reshaping the head of the femur (thigh bone) and capping it with a smooth metal ball, similar to capping a tooth. It is a procedure that conserves bone much more than total hip replacement.

Total hip replacement involves the removal of the entire femoral head and neck. Dr. Trinidad explained that the Birmingham Hip resurfacing technique, however, preserves the head and neck, thereby preserving the natural length of the leg.

Dr. Trinidad said the Birmingham Hip implant is intended for younger, more active patients suffering from hip pain due to osteoarthritis and certain other conditions, and for whom total hip replacement may be being considered.

From a recovery standpoint, those who have had Birmingham Hip Resurfacing generally tend to have a quicker recovery than those having total hip replacement, Dr. Trinidad said.

For more information about hip resurfacing and Dr. Trinidad, call (740) 351-0980.

Daehler, Sheets Receive Society’s Outstanding Physician AwardPosted on February 4, 2008

William E. (“Bill”) Daehler, MD, and Jerome Sheets, MD, accepted the “Outstanding Physician Award” Jan. 8 from the Scioto County Medical Society for their medical support and service to the community. The honors were presented during a dinner and presentation at the Friends Community Center.

During his five decades of medical practice, Daehler was busy as a family doctor before turning to anesthesia in the latter part of his career. A son of J. Walter Daehler, MD, and a Portsmouth High School graduate of 1943, Bill Daehler served in the Navy in the last year of World War II. Later while in college Bill met his future wife, Catherine, a student from Lima majoring in zoology, at Michigan University. They married in June 1950. Bill graduated from Medical School in 1952, the same year he and Cathie had their first child, daughter Shelley.

In another repetition of history, Bill began his internship at Cincinnati General Hospital in 1952, followed by a residency at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. His father had also gone through medical training at those facilities more than 40 years earlier. Bill and Cathie’s second son, Bill, arrived in 1954.

In 1954 Bill returned to his home town with his family and opened an office adjacent to Dr. Paul McAfee. “He had a very busy obstetrical practice and was helpful in getting me started,” Bill says, “sending me patients and having me cover for him when he left town.”

After moving to Portsmouth, Bill and Cathie had three more children in the next few years, Marsha, Becky and Jim. In addition to general practice and helping deliver babies for Dr. McAfee, Bill discovered a need for anesthesia specialists. “I had had a few months of training in anesthesia in my residency and since there seemed to be a need for this service in Portsmouth, I devoted a lot of my time this,” he says. So much time, in fact, that Bill focused almost exclusively on anesthesiology in the last several years of his practice.

In addition to his medical practice, Bill and Cathie found time to travel and were busy with their five children (and later, 10 grandchildren). In later years, Cathie found time to become an RN at the age of 50 and performed private duty nursing. She was also an amateur naturalist, an active Red Cross volunteer and civic leader. She died in 1999 of a rare cerebral vascular condition.

Bill continues to stay active in the community and with his family. He has been able to travel, including several trips to visit relatives in Germany, and has also spent time with his family during his retirement. In August 2001 he married Anita Marie Morrison, a friend and co-worker from the former Mercy Hospital for 25 years, where she was director of surgery and emergency services. The Daehlers live in Portsmouth.

Jerome Sheets was born in 1923 in Scioto County. In 1929, at the age of six, he met the future Mrs. Jeanne Sheets while attending Wilson School. (“I went home and proclaimed ‘I like Jerome Sheeps!’” she recalls about mispronouncing his name.) The next year, however, Jerome moved to Grant and he would not encounter Jeanne again until high school. He graduated in 1941, a pivotal year for most Americans.

“I was in college at Miami Oxford when Pearl Harbor was attacked,” he recalls. “I was like everyone else and wanted to enlist immediately. I enlisted in the Army.”

After his military service and the end of the war, Jerome returned to pursue his college degree. He married his sweetheart, Jeanne, in 1948 and in 1949 he was accepted in Western Reserve’s medical school.

“Internships did not pay well enough to live on, so I joined the Army Medical Corps,” he says. “I was with the Second US Infantry and served during the Korean War.”

Following his second military service, Dr. Sheets opened his own practice in family medicine in the Portsmouth area in 1952, a practice he continued until 1993. After closing the office, he continued to practice for the Bureau of Workers Compensation until mid-2007.

During more than half a century of medical service, Dr. Sheets was a leader in the medical community, including serving as president of the Scioto County Medical Society, chief of staff at Mercy Hospital two years and chief of staff at Scioto Memorial Hospital for a year. The community had three hospitals in the early days and Dr. Sheets remembers everyone had their preferences.

“I remember the medical society used to meet in the auditorium of the old N&W Railroad Building and the Mercy physicians would be sitting on one side of the room and the Scioto physicians on the other.”

During his busy medical career, Dr. Sheets and Jeanne found time to raise seven children, and now have 13 grand- and great-grandchildren.

Of special interest in Dr. Sheets’ practice was diabetes, a disease with which he was all too personally acquainted. Both he and his son, Kevin, a pharmacist in practice at the Wheelersburg Kroger store, have had the disease for most of their lives.

“I attended a meeting of the American Diabetes Association, held in Toronto,” he recalls, “and was fortunate enough to have tea with Dr. Charles Best, who with Dr. Frederick Banting had discovered insulin.”

Over the years Dr. Sheets has seen refinements in the treatment of diabetes, most significantly the advent of the insulin pump, different kinds of insulin and the development of oral agents to help manage the disease.

Dr. Sheets, now retired, and Jeanne live in the Portsmouth area. Also at the dinner, Robert Knox, MD, local ophthalmologist, was honored for his service as president of the Medical Society.

SOMC Family Practice Program Receives Five-Year CertificationPosted on January 31, 2008

The Family Practice Residency Program at Southern Ohio Medical Center has received a five-year certification through the Program and Training Review Council (PTRC) of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Terry A. Johnson, DO, the program director for SOMC’s program, credits SOMC’s outstanding medical education team for this success.

“We have a great group of dedicated people who are committed to going the extra mile to make the Family Practice Residency a quality effort through and through,” says Johnson. “Our dedication to our patients and to the education of our residents is second to none.”

In 1999 Johnson opened the family practice residency in Lucasville. The Lucasville Family Practice Center is the residency’s continuity of care clinic and it is a vital part of the health care for many rural citizens who live in and around Lucasville.

Johnson, a clinical associate professor of Family Medicine at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUCOM), is also an assistant dean of that institution. On any given day his clinic is a beehive of activity as he supervises students, interns and residents in the delivery of quality family medical care in a rural environment.

Johnson’s family practice residents rotate through all of their required educational experiences within the SOMC system. “Our core faculty members are top flight—they are dedicated to helping us turn out the very best young physicians possible.”

Among the many specialties that the residents rotate through at SOMC are surgery, emergency medicine, OB/Gyn, internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, nephrology, urology, geriatrics and pediatrics.

“Quality is the key to everything we do,” he says. “I can’t tell you how much it means to have earned the recognition of a five year certification through the AOA. So long as we continue to keep our patients first in mind in everything we do, and so long as we stick to the central principle of providing a first rate educational experience for our trainees, good things will continue to come our way.”

The five-year certification is effective through Nov. 1, 2012.

SOMC’s Al-Nakeeb Sleep-certifiedPosted on January 28, 2008

Sadiq AL-Nakeeb, MD, FCCP, a pulmonologist on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received his board certification in Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Al-Nakeeb is also board-certified in Pulmonary Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Critical Care.

Dr. Al-Nakeeb received his medical degree from Baghdad University School of Medicine. He completed residency training in pulmonology at Marshall University School of Medicine and a fellowship in pulmonology and critical care at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Al-Nakeeb is available at Pulmonary Critical Care, Inc. (PCCI), Suite 108, Waller Building on the Main Campus of SOMC.

Hollydays Earns $30,000 For SOMC EquipmentPosted on January 28, 2008

Tami Davis, president of the Hollydays Committee and manager of Patient Accounting at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented SOMC President Randy Arnett a check for $30,000 earned from the 2007 SOMC Hollydays celebration. Hollydays takes place every November and is sponsored by the Friends of SOMC. All proceeds earned from last year’s celebration will go toward the purchase of telemetry monitors which will be used in patient rooms throughout the hospital.

SOMC named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”Posted on January 22, 2008


“Attaining this honor, along with our recent nursing Magnet recognition status, helps us recruit and retain the best medical professionals in the nation,” Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at SOMC, said.

“This award means that our employees are very happy to work here, care about the organization and are most likely to provide better patient care.”

Noel added that the award is based on a detailed review of an organization’s workplace, along with the opinions of the employees.

“As with our recent Magnet recognition status, it is uplifting for an organization in our community to receive such an honor,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in our nation.”

The judging was based largely on random survey of SOMC employees, along with an examination of certain SOMC workplace attributes such as camaraderie, fairness, credibility, pride and respect, Noel explained.

SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the United States including large corporations and other health care organizations, she 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. Noel said SOMC is always searching for methods of gathering information to make adjustments and improvements in work life.

“Listening to our employees is important” she said. “Based on feedback from our employees, through surveys and other methods such as this, we have made changes to make SOMC a great place to work. We continue to listen and learn from those who make the greatest impact – our SOMC team.”

SOMC recognized as a Magnet hospitalPosted on January 15, 2008

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Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. Only four percent of hospitals in the U.S. can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is a huge honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said. “It serves as external recognition of the exceptional care that we provide to our patients and their families. Magnet not only demonstrates excellence in nursing, but also recognizes the teamwork throughout the organization to support quality of care, shared decision-making, interdisciplinary working relationships and our commitment to putting patients first in everything we do. This achievement is the result of more than 30 months of preparation and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

The ANCC awarded SOMC the prestigious Magnet award after reviewing nearly 2,000 pages of submitted documentation demonstrating achievements in patient care, nurse satisfaction, quality improvement and nursing research. This was followed by a four-day on-site inspection by Magnet appraisers that included visits to all patient care areas and interviews with hundreds of nurses, employees, physicians, and community members.

“This has been a long and wonderful journey touching every discipline in our organization,” Valerie DeCamp, SOMC director of Inpatient Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “The result is a demonstration to our patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, community members, and current and future nurses of our commitment to quality.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses — an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“Nurses want to work in a place where they are supported to provide the best quality care,” Karen Thompson, SOMC director of Home Health Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “For the past two years, SOMC has been named one of the best places to work in the state of Ohio. We have also had nurse retention rates at 95 percent, the envy of most in the nation, and employee satisfaction scores that place us at the top 1 percent in the country. These are the types of things that make us a Magnet organization — and make us proud.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay and higher satisfaction rates. According to ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”

The Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the ANCC in 1994 to recognize health care facilities that provide the very best in professional nursing care. The 14 “Forces of Magnetism” that distinguish Magnet organizations include an environment that promotes excellence in interdisciplinary teamwork, research, education and patient care. SOMC demonstrated excellence in all 14 Forces to earn this award.

The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the U.S.

Surgeon Scarpinato Opening New OfficePosted on January 10, 2008

Vincent M. Scarpinato, MD, general and breast surgeon and senior medical director of Surgery at Southern Ohio Medical Center, will begin seeing patients in his new office, Suite 102, Waller Building, 1735 27th St. on the Main Campus of SOMC, effective Monday, Feb. 4, 2008.

Dr. Scarpinato came to the Portsmouth area in 2007 from St. Vincent’s Hospital, Manhattan, New York.

Board-certified in General Surgery, Dr. Scarpinato received his medical degree from New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. He most recently has served as Program Director of the Department of Surgery as well as Chief of Surgical Education at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center. He has been practicing general and breast surgery for 15 years. Dr. Scarpinato has been featured in “New York Best Doctors” in New York Magazine in 2003, 2004 and 2006, and Castle Connolly guides “Top Doctors” and “Best Surgeons” 2002-2006.

Effective Monday, Jan. 21, Dr. Scarpinato’s office will be available for scheduling and inquiries at (740) 353-3562.

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