Yearly Archives: 2009

Queen Receives Prestigious Navy RankingPosted on September 18, 2009

Mary Queen, medical technologist of the SOMC Microbiology Lab, was recently named one of eight individuals nationwide to receive a promotion as Master Chief Petty Officer, Hospital Corpsman, E9 for the United States Navy Reserve.

In her new role, Queen will gain national responsibility and oversee administration of all personnel assigned to one of the four Operational Health Support Units within the U.S. She also is eligible to become a member of the selection boards responsible for choosing future recipients.

Queen received the prestigious position based on a two-week review of eligible candidates. Only one percent of Navy Reserve members hold the rank of Master Chief Hospital Corpsman and very few are female.

A native of Jackson, Ohio, Queen obtained a Master¹s degree in Health Service Administration from St. Joseph¹s College of Maine. She currently serves as the senior enlisted leader of the Operational Health Support Unit Great Lakes, Detachment C, based in Columbus, Ohio, and the coordinator of the Hospital Corpsman Basic A-School for the Great Lakes, Illinois 22 detachments, which encompass five states.

Queen has served as a member of the Navy Reserves for 20 years and has been an employee of Southern Ohio Medical Center for more than 30 years.

SOMC Brings Wound-Healing Technology Close to HomePosted on September 16, 2009

The SOMC Wound Healing Center is bringing new technology and therapies to the patients of the tri-state area, helping to reverse the injuries caused by radiation treatment and aid in the prevention of chronic wounds. Pictured with the hyperbaric oxygen chamber are (l to r) Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, recent patient Charles Canter, and Respiratory Therapist Deanna Potter.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 64 percent of adults who are newly diagnosed with cancer will still be living in five years. Yet many patients who undergo radiation treatment may discover hidden complications years after beating the disease.

The Wound Healing Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center is offering advancements in cancer-related therapies to help patients reverse these effects.

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively new form of treatment that significantly increases the speed at which wounds and injuries heal,” Dr. Sonja Lichtenstein, medical director of the SOMC Wound Healing Center, said. “It is also the only known treatment that can retract delayed radiation damage, often showing improvement or complete resolution in 60 to 80 percent of patients.”

The process works through a pure oxygen chamber that has been pressurized at higher-than-normal atmospheric levels. Patients lie in the chamber for two hours at a time and are able to watch television and relax while the healing process occurs.

“The air pressure inside the chamber is two and a half times greater than normal air pressure, helping the blood carry oxygen to injured organs and tissues more quickly and efficiently,” she explained.

“This type of non-invasive therapy is extremely beneficial for most wounds, and has been particularly helpful to patients suffering from damage of the brain, chest wall, abdomen, pelvis, bladder, intestines or the muscle and soft tissues of the face and throat due to radiation treatment.”

Hyperbaric oxygen also has had some of its most dramatic successes in treating damage to the jaw bone, as was the case with recent Wound Healing Center patient, Charles Canter.

“The pain was awful and I thought it would never heal,” Canter said of his injury. “I had tried every known treatment and nothing had worked. Finally my physician suggested hyperbaric oxygen therapy and told me it could be done within 45-minutes of my home. I immediately jumped at the opportunity.”

Within four two-hour treatments at the center, Canter felt remarkably different, noticing an increase in energy and improvement in pain. By the time his four-weeks of therapy had concluded, Canter’s injury had completely healed.

“The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is close to home while offering superior technology and results,” he said. “Better yet, the staff always made me feel comfortable and did everything they could to help me along my path of recovery. I would recommend SOMC services to anyone in a heartbeat and I thank the staff members of the Wound Healing Center for repairing my life.”

To learn more about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy or other treatments offered at the SOMC Wound Healing Center, please call 356-8775.

HDR Procedure Available for Gynecological CancersPosted on September 15, 2009

Southern Ohio Medical Center now has the technology available to cut the treatment for gynecologic cancers down from days to hours. High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, currently being used at the SOMC Cancer Center in the treatment of some forms of breast and skin cancer, is now available to women with gynecological cancer and soon will be available for the treatment of lung cancer.

“In the past, women suffering from gynecological cancer would be subjected to at least three days stay in the hospital, lying flat on their back with no movement and no visitors due to the radiation emission in the room,” said Dr. Li-Fen Lien Chang, Senior Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Services. “This procedure will eliminate the lengthy, uncomfortable hospital stay and minimize the number of treatments.”

Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation treatment where radioactive sources are placed on or into cancer tissue. High dose rate (HDR) is a technically advanced form of brachytherapy. A high intensity radiation source is delivered with millimeter precision under computer guidance directly into the tumor killing it from the inside out while avoiding injury to surrounding normal healthy tissue. In gynecological treatments, a vaginal cylinder or a tandem and ovoids are comfortably inserted directly inside the woman’s anatomy and are used to administer the radiation.

“Our team takes a CT scan of the patient prior to the treatment to help create a specialized treatment plan specific to that patient’s needs. The treatment takes approximately 30-90 minutes depending upon the size and complexity of the implant and the activity of the source,” she explained.

Chang said the procedure is outpatient and is more accurate in delivering treatment because it is so focused and allows for a much higher, very localized dose of exposure that is designed to kill the remaining cancer cells at the site.

“Because of the success with this procedure, we will be looking toward the use of HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of lung cancer,” she said.

For more information on this new technology, visit Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Cancer Center on the web at

Interventional Cardiologist Jones Welcomed At SOMCPosted on September 11, 2009

Jennifer Jones, MD, a physician specializing in interventional cardiology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Jones received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in Heart Failure and Transplant at the University of California, San Francisco, CA., and a fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, MI. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology.

Dr. Jones can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for more information.

SOMC To Host Free Nurse Refresher CoursePosted on September 4, 2009

Retired, laid-off and career-changed nurses are invited to regain confidence in the nursing profession by attending Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Nurse Refresher Course from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 in the Gibson Building on SOMC’s East Campus, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth.

The two-day program will allow participants to review fundamentals while discovering new technology with hands-on training. Day one will consist of lectures on documentation, electronic medication records, fundamentals of nursing and an overview of equipment used throughout the hospital; day two will be held in the SSU/SOMC Simulation Lab, allowing participants to practice their renewed knowledge and skills in a simulated hospital setting.

Registration is required and can be made by calling the SOMC Workforce Development Department at 356-2733. Deadline to register is Sept. 22.

Local Student Names SOMC Wellness HoundPosted on September 2, 2009

Wellington the Wellness Hound, Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new mascot for children’s health was named by nine-year-old Hunter Armstrong. Armstrong was surprised by the announcement by Wellington and SOMC representatives in his fourth grade classroom at Rubyville Elementary. For giving SOMC’s wellness hound a name, Armstrong will ride alongside “Welly” as the Grand Marshall in this year’s River Days Parade. More than 225 children submitted names during the contest.

Longaberger Consultant Presents Donation to SOMCPosted on September 2, 2009

Local Longaberger Branch Leader Dolores Schuman (right) recently presented SOMC Cancer Center staff members Kelly Lawson (left) and Kimberly Richendollar with a donation of more than $800. The contribution was collected by area Longaberger consultants during their Horizon of Hope luncheon and will go toward the hospital’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to local breast cancer patients.

Bartsch Welcomed At SOMCPosted on August 28, 2009

John Bartsch, MD, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.

Dr. Bartsch received his medical degree from Medical College of Ohio. He completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Bartsch can be reached at SOMC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Associates, 613 Center Street, Wheelersburg, OH 45694. Call (740) 574-0846 for more information.

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