Yearly Archives: 2012

‘Burg cheerleaders donate to Breast Cancer Compassion FundPosted on December 17, 2012

Cheerleaders from Wheelersburg High School recently made a donation of $1,325 to the Breast Cancer Compassion Fund at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The funds were raised after the cheerleaders sold 661 t-shirts emblazoned with the words “Team Wheelersburg: Charged Up and Ready for a Cure!”

SOMC’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund helps patients pay for utilities, medications, transportation and common necessities needed during cancer care. For more information or to find out how you can donate, call (740) 356-7490 or “like” SOMC on Facebook at


SOMC Awarded an “A” for Outstanding Patient SafetyPosted on December 10, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors.

Through the collected data, U.S. hospitals are assigned an A, B, C, D, or F.

“To earn an ‘A’ for our Hospital Safety Score is quite an accomplishment and a true testament to the exceptionally safe environment we have created at SOMC,” Leeann L. Sammons, chief safety officer and vice president of SOMC Safety, Risk Management and Insurance, said. “It’s through the dedication of many employees that we are able to sustain this excellent safety culture and I’m grateful for all that has been done to help us provide the safest patient-care possible.”

The Leapfrog Group is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of healthcare to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of healthcare for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals.

“Hospitals like this that earn an ‘A’ have demonstrated their commitment to their patients and their community,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said. “I congratulate SOMC for its safety excellence, and look forward to the day when all hospitals will match this standard.”

To see SOMC’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, or to find information on how you can protect yourself and your and loved one during a hospital stay, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at

SOMC, Portsmouth Ambulance using new technology to improve heart attack response timesPosted on December 4, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center and Portsmouth Emergency Ambulance Services are utilizing new technology to increase the survival rate of local heart attack patients.

When an individual suffers a heart attack, Portsmouth Ambulance is now able to get key information to the Emergency Room at SOMC long before the patient even arrives by transmitting 12-lead EKGs. Portsmouth Ambulance is the first privately owned ambulance service in Scioto County to possess that capability.

“The faster we can get information about a heart attack patient, the better the odds are of achieving a positive outcome,” SOMC’s Administrative Director of Nursing Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs said.

“We’re dedicated to offering excellent care to heart attack patients at SOMC,” Amy Fraulini, director of Critical Care and Heart and Vascular Services at SOMC, said. “We are an accredited chest pain center designated from the Society of Chest Pain Centers, and this technology should help us to offer even greater care in the future.”

The information sent to SOMC is analyzed while the patient is still in the ambulance, which means that the Emergency Room and Cardiac Catheterization Lab can begin preparing to treat a heart attack patient long before they arrive at the hospital.

“Our goal is to help patients receive the best treatment possible,” Mike Adkins, CEO of Portsmouth Ambulance, said. “Using 12-lead EKGs helps us do just that through early detection. The sooner we are able to get heart attack patients the treatment they need, the more heart muscle we are able to save.”

Portsmouth Ambulance can be reached at 740-354-3122. For more news and information regarding Southern Ohio Medical Center, “like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC Life Center announces December 18 Open HousePosted on December 1, 2012

The Southern Ohio Medical Center Portsmouth Life Center will be hosting a free Open House from 5-7pm on December 18.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the programs offered at the Life Center,” Community Health and Wellness Director Wendi Waugh said. “Not only is it free of charge, but it’s open to the public regardless of LIFE Center membership.”

Several group fitness classes both new and traditional will be showcased during the open house, and there will also be a preview of upcoming youth fitness opportunities. In the New Year, children ages 10 to 14 can attend some of the group classes when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For children between the ages of 6 and 14, there is also a new “Fit > Fat” class that introduces fun fitness with a set up similar to that of an obstacle course. Youth can also take advantage of many Aquatics programs and individualized swim lessons.  All of this will be previewed at the Open House.

“We will also have personal trainers on hand to explain the benefits of the programs we offer. Plus, the SOMC Community Health Team will be providing free A1C and Cholesterol screenings,” Waugh said. “They can also measure your body fat and BMI.”

In addition to the December 18 Open House, all Life Center locations are featuring a special on memberships during the holiday season.

“If you purchase a Life Center membership during the month of December, we will waive the enrollment fee,” Waugh said.

For more information, call the Life Center at 740-356-7650 or “like” SOMC on Facebook at


SOMC to hold free event on holiday depression on December 5Posted on November 29, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center is hosting a free event where health professionals and community members can discuss holiday depression on December 5.

“Our ‘Holiday Tea’ event is free of charge and open to the public,” Erica Kegley, the community education manager at SOMC’s Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit, said. “Susan Goins will be speaking to those in attendance about holiday depression and light refreshments will be provided.”

There will also be CEUs (Continuing Education Units) available for nurses and social workers.

The event will take place at 1pm on December 5 in the Conference Room of the Gibson Building, located on SOMC’s East Campus. There is limited space available. In order to RSVP, contact Erica Kegley at 740-357-6508.

Kevin Johnson donates yarn to Knit for HopePosted on November 26, 2012

For more than 25 years, Beatrice Johnson and her husband Joe were heavily involved in arts and crafts. They were accomplished in making and selling crafts, and their creations could be found anywhere from southern Ohio to northern California.

When Joe passed away, Beatrice largely stopped crafting, but she continued to collect yarn. Today, she is a resident at Hempstead Manor and no longer crafts. Still, her son, Kevin Johnson, has made sure her collection will go to good use.

He donated the yarn – 489 skeins in total – to Southern Ohio Medical Center to support the ‘Knit for Hope’ program. The program provides patients with handmade hats, scarves, blankets and more.

“We looked around to see who could use the materials, and we decided to give it to SOMC,” Kevin Johnson said.

SOMC Volunteer Services manager Jenny Lavender said the yarn is going to be made into hats, scarves and blankets for cancer and hospice patients.

“I’m thrilled to receive such a generous donation,” Lavender said. “It will be put to good use. Through the ‘Knit for Hope’ program, we can show our compassion for our patients while also helping Beatrice continue to make a difference through her passion for arts and crafts.”

Kevin said his mom is glad to see her yarn support a cause like ‘Knit for Hope.’

“I know my mom is very, very pleased,” Kevin said.

To find out how you can support the ‘Knit for Hope’ program, contact the SOMC Volunteer Office at 740-356-8236. For more information, you can also “like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC wins Press Ganey award for employee satisfactionPosted on November 25, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named a 2012 Press Ganey Distinctive Workplace Award winner by Press Ganey Associates.

SOMC is one of only 13 Press Ganey clients in the nation to receive this prestigious honor, which is given to organizations that have reached and sustained the 95th percentile in employee satisfaction scores for two consecutive reporting periods. SOMC currently stands at the 99th percentile for employee satisfaction.

“This is a great honor for our organization and recognizes our employees for their partnership and true commitment to outstanding quality service,” Ken Applegate, director of SOMC Human Resources, said. “This award acknowledges that our employees love what they do and take pride in providing their talents right here at SOMC.”

Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 healthcare facilities (including more than 50 percent of U.S. hospitals) to measure and improve the quality of care delivered to patients. The company’s databases are the largest in the industry and allow facilities nationwide to benchmark their results against peer organizations.

SOMC has been recognized nationally and statewide for employee satisfaction, not only receiving the Distinctive Workplace Award four years in a row, but also earning distinctions as one of FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, a Best Employer in Ohio, and one of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Best Places to Work.

“Without the dedication and high-level of quality our staff provide every day, we would not be considered for such designations,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “We are proud of our team of experts at SOMC and are extremely proud to offer the best quality care to the people of our community.

Dr. George Pettit named professor at Ohio StatePosted on November 22, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Dr. George Pettit has been made a professor at Ohio State University, after serving for 30 years as an OSU Faculty Member.

“I went to Ohio State, so it’s a special thing for me to become a professor at my alma mater,” Dr. Pettit said.

Becoming a full professor at Ohio State is not something that can be easily accomplished, Dr. Pettit said, but his case was helped by his extensive overseas experiences.

He has performed medical missions in countries such as the Philippines and Rwanda, once removing a 33-pound tumor.

Additionally, Dr. Pettit had to have letters of support from other academic institutions in which he holds academic appointments.  He is a full professor at Marshall, Ohio University, and Pikeville.

He also had the advantage of having an established relationship with Ohio State. Dr. Pettit has taught OSU students for 30 years beginning as an instructor and advancing through the ranks as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor prior to earning the title of Professor. He mentored students and resident physicians in obstetrics and gynecology, and even allowed them to assist him in delivering children. In addition to helping train medical students at OSU, he also provides a scholarship for those who hope to become health care professionals in the future.

“I sponsor a scholarship for students from Pike and Scioto County called the George P. Pettit MD Scholarship,” Dr. Pettit said. “It’s for students from Pike or Scioto County that are studying a health related field, such as nursing or medicine.”

He also has a son, David, who currently attends Ohio State and is the assistant drum major for the band.

Dr. George Pettit specializes and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pettit, call 740-354-1434.

For more information, “like” SOMC on Facebook at

SOMC Winter Wonderland events begin November 24Posted on November 19, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center is welcoming the holiday season with its fourth annual Winter Wonderland fundraiser at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

“Winter Wonderland is our way of starting off the holiday season,” Jennifer Schackart, manager of the SOMC Friends Center, said. “It also raises valuable funds for the SOMC Endowment Fund, which allows us to provide substantial healthcare contributions for future generations.”

The festivities will begin on November 24 with the Winter Wonderland Train Show, which will last from 10am to 6pm. The Train Show will continue on November 25 from noon to 4pm. Admission to the Winter Wonderland Train Show is $2 per person, but children under of the age of three get in free.

The Polar Express Pajama Party, which also costs $2 per person and includes free admission for children under the age of three, will be held on November 26 from 6pm to 8pm.

“The Polar Express Pajama Party is a chance for local children to meet Santa Claus, watch the Polar Express, make crafts and play games like ‘Dunk The Elf,’” Schackart said.

There are also limited tickets available for the November 30 Winter Wonderland Ball, a formal, black-tie affair that features dinner, mingling and live entertainment. Tickets for the ball are $125 each.

The event concludes on December 2 with the Winter Wonderland Tea. Admission to the Winter Wonderland Tea is $20 per person. The event is a luncheon includes entertainment as well as a ‘Split The Tea Pot’ and various door prizes.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact the SOMC Friends Center at 740-356-6160.

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