Every person is unique and no two patients have exactly the same cancer-which is why the SOMC Cancer Center individualizes the care and treatment for each patient based on their needs. Southern Ohio Medical Center is introducing a new technology called Cone Beam CT to visualize and target tumors more precisely than ever before. The equipment allows the Cancer Center team to see a 3-D picture of the patient’s tumor immediately before radiation treatment is delivered. This delivers a higher dose of radiation to the tumor, while sparing normal tissue from damage. “I’m really excited to bring the Cone Beam CT to Portsmouth, so we can continue to serve our community with state-of-the-art technology,” Dr. Li-Fen Chang, senior medical director of Radiation Oncology at SOMC, said. When a patient begins radiation treatment, the physicians use CT scans to determine the patient’s radiation treatment plan, however throughout the course of treatment patients can lose weight, lose or gain fluid and the tumors may shrink or continue to grow. As a result, the radiation target sites may change. “A lot of cancer in our body is not stationary,” Dr. Chang explained. “It moves depending on how full our stomach, rectum and bladder are and during treatment we may have uncertainty of where the target really is.” Cone Beam CT allows for instant CT scans immediately before administering radiation, allowing the physician to change the radiation treatment plan according to the patient’s body changes. Utilizing the Cone Beam CT ensures the highest precision and accuracy resulting in much higher confidence when treating the tumor. This new technology will also allow the SOMC Cancer Center to utilize Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), sometimes referred to as a Photon Knife. SBRT precisely destroys tumors through minimal treatments, holding the potential to decrease the length of therapy, while improving the chance for cure. “More and more data is proving SBRT to be successful, especially among lung cancer patients,” Dr. Chang added. “In Portsmouth we have a high rate of lung cancer. When we begin using SBRT, we can treat lung cancer patients if they are not surgical candidates. It is an excellent alternative to surgery for those in the early stages of lung cancer.” As always, SOMC is on the cutting edge of technology and looking for new and innovative ways to treat all types of cancer. To learn more about the excellent services provided at the SOMC Cancer Center, please visit www.somc.org/cancer or call 740-356-7490.
Thomas L. Khoury, M.D., FACS, FICS, recently received notification that he has been selected as Master Faculty for 2010 for the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM). Every four years, this honor is bestowed on physicians in the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) System for their outstanding contributions to OU-COM. Khoury joins an elite group of 119 other clinical faculty members awarded the title of “Master Faculty.” Dr. Terry Johnson, CORE Assistant Dean at SOMC, nominated Dr. Khoury for the award. Dr. Khoury received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He completed training at the University of Miami, Harvard University/Beth Israel Hospital, Tufts University/Baystate Medical Center and Boston University. He is board certified in Nutrition, Surgery and Vascular Technology. Dr. Khoury is in practice with the Southern Ohio Surgical Associates, Inc., located at 1711 27th St., Braunlin Building, Suite 306 in Portsmouth. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 740-353-8661.
Southern Ohio Medical Center held a Zumbathon on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 4. The event raised nearly $1,000 for the Mended Hearts Support group-a program offered to SOMC patients and their families battling heart disease. More than 100 people attended and exercised their way to a healthier heart. Amy Fraulini, director of Heart and Critical Care Services at SOMC, began the evening with heart health education.
Southern Ohio Medical Center celebrated National Go Red Day, Feb. 4 with a T-shirt fundraiser. SOMC employees purchased red T-shirts and sported them around the hospital in hopes to raise more than $3,000 for the Mended Hearts Support group-a program offered to SOMC patients and families battling heart disease. Shown above are employees from the SOMC main campus.
The McGraw’s are not only coworkers, but family. As employees at Southern Ohio Medical Center, they have all have been fortunate to receive excellent heart services at SOMC. Because of quality care and cardiac rehab, they are all on their way to long, healthy lives. Shown above is (from l to r) Randy, his wife Bobbi, Jake and Tim McGraw.
Imagine for a moment that you just finished assisting heart surgeons as they put a pacemaker into a patient. After the surgery, you grab some breakfast, sit down to eat and you begin to have a heart attack. Sheer panic…and terror. You yell for help from a co-worker. Luckily for Jake McGraw, he was working in a hospital when this happened to him, only three months ago.
Needless to say, Jake, a CVOR tech at Southern Ohio Medical Center, was grateful to be working at SOMC and only steps away from some of the best heart surgeons in the region. They rushed him to the emergency room and had him in the heart catheterization lab within six minutes. Jake had two stents inserted in his heart and a week later, had a pacemaker put in. Jake is only 46 years old.
Twenty-seven years ago, Jake’s father, Jacob McGraw, Sr. died of a sudden heart attack at the ironic age of 46. He too worked at SOMC, as the Maintenance Supervisor. Jake Jr. was overweight and had never felt any symptoms or warning signs. “I thought because of my father, that I might be more susceptible to heart issues and I was a little worried but I never thought something like this would happen.”
Jake’s frightening ordeal was enough to motivate his brothers, Randy McGraw and Tim McGraw, both employees of the SOMC Maintenance department, to have heart caths done to check their hearts for potential problems. According to the American Heart Association’s 2011 statistics, a premature parental history of a heart attack has been shown to approximately double the risk of a heart attack in men by 70 percent.
Tim had his heart cath done at SOMC only a week after Jake’s heart attack and luckily everything looked clear. Randy, the eldest brother, wasn’t so fortunate. His heart cath revealed significant blockage in his left main coronary artery, also known as the “widow maker.” Randy’s wife, Bobbi, also an employee at SOMC, wept when the physicians told her. Bobbi had just lost a close friend and coworker to a heart attack and she was scared for husband. The physicians at SOMC assured her that everything would be fine and they would take excellent care of Randy.
Randy had a stent put in his heart, stayed in the hospital overnight and went home the next day. “I’m so grateful that I had the heart cath done and that they found the blockage early,” he said. “I’m now in cardiac rehabilitation at SOMC and it’s excellent. I really think it’s helping.”
Since Jake’s heart attack, his other brother, two sisters, an aunt and his sister-in-law Bobbi have also had heart caths, tests and have talked with their family physicians about the severity of heart disease in the McGraw family.
February is American Heart Month and if you have a family history of heart disease, please schedule an appointment with your family physician to see if there is a need for cardiology follow-up. Also, SOMC offers a heart disease support group that meets monthly. For more information about the Mended Hearts group, please call 740-356-7663.
Southern Ohio Medical Center has choreographed a heart awareness music video featuring heart and cardiac rehab patients, members of the Mended Hearts group and employees who have had heart services at SOMC. The video also highlights the McGraw family. To watch the video, click here.
Laugh With Heart
Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its sixth annual heart awareness program, “Laugh with Heart,” from 2 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. in Portsmouth. “Each year we try to incorporate a heart-healthy theme to our community awareness program so we can focus not only on taking care of the heart, but also on creating an overall healthy lifestyle.” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said. Laughing for just 15 minutes a day can reduce stress, pain and conflict. This year’s event will feature live comedians Mark Wood and Jimmy Davis beginning at 3 p.m. “Laugh with Heart” is free and open to the public. “In order to have a healthy heart, you must have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to prevent heart disease and a fun way to do that is by laughing.” Fraulini added. While enjoying a comedian, participants will also be able to take part in free health screenings beginning at 2 p.m. The screenings include total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and a heart risk analysis. Pre-registration is required. For more information about Laugh with Heart or to schedule an appointment for your free health screening call 740-356-7665.
The Down By The River Guild recently donated a handmade quilt to Landon Thompson, the first baby to be born in 2011 at Southern Ohio Medical Center. Members of the guild, Teresa Clifford and Alice Gardner constructed the quilt. The guild has nearly 60 members and meets monthly at the First Presbyterian Church to work on quilts and other projects that are donated throughout the community. Shown above is Alice Gardner (left) presenting the quilt to Landon and his parents, Jessica Ferguson and Clay Thompson of Pike County.