Monthly Archives: February 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center Receives Chest Pain Center Accreditation with PCIPosted on February 29, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has received full accreditation with PCI from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC). “This accreditation means a lot to all of us at SOMC,” Director of Critical Care and Heart & Vascular Services Amy Fraulini said. “We are committed to providing excellent care for our patients and are proud to have this accreditation as a testament to that commitment.” Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the United States, with 600,000 people dying annually of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC’s goal is to significantly reduce the mortality rate of these patients by teaching the public to recognize and react to the early symptoms of a possible heart attack, reduce the time that it takes to receive treatment, and increase the accuracy and effectiveness of treatment. The Accredited Chest Pain Center’s protocol-driven and systematic approach to patient management allows physicians to reduce time to treatment during the critical early stages of a heart attack, when treatments are most effective, and to better monitor patients when it is not clear whether or not they are having a coronary event. Such observations help ensure that patients are neither sent home too early nor needlessly admitted. With the increase in chest pain centers came the need to establish standards designed to improve the consistency and quality of care provided to patients. SCPC’s accreditation process ensures that centers meet or exceed quality-of-care measures in acute cardiac medicine. The Accredited Chest Pain Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center has demonstrated its expertise and commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and undergoing an onsite review by a team of SPCP’s accreditation review specialists. Key areas in which an Accredited Chest Pain Center must demonstrate expertise include the following:
  • Integrating the emergency department with the local emergency medical system
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients quickly
  • Effectively treating patients with low risk for acute coronary syndrome and no assignable cause for their symptoms
  • Continually seeking to improve processes and procedures
  • Ensuring the competence and training of Accredited Chest Pain Center personnel
  • Maintaining organizational structure and commitment
  • Having a functional design that promotes optimal patient care
  • Supporting community outreach programs that educate the public to promptly seek medical care if they display symptoms of a possible heart attack
About the Society of Chest Pain Centers The Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) is an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. As the only cross-specialty organization, SCPC provides the support needed for individual hospitals and hospital systems to effectively bridge existing gaps in treatment by providing the tools, education and support necessary to successfully navigate the changing face of healthcare. For more information on SCPC, accreditation and certification opportunities,, or call toll free 1-877-271-4176.

SOMC’s Healing Hearts camp to be held on February 11Posted on February 27, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center is helping children who have experienced the loss of a loved one through the grieving process with Healing Hearts, an SOMC Hospice kids grief camp. The camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 11 at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street, Portsmouth. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required. “The objective of Healing Hearts is to provide children the opportunity to meet in a safe, accepting environment where they can share experiences with other children who have lost a loved one,” Hospice Social Worker Jennifer Estep said. On the day of the camp, children will be assigned a ‘Big Buddy’ to participate alongside them in activities and provide individual support. Big Buddies are paired with specific children based on shared interests and experiences, as well as their ability to provide the special support and guidance the child needs. “We will provide the children with valuable information about grief and teach them appropriate and inappropriate ways to deal with their feelings, but we’re also have fun,” Estep said. “There will be crafts, gift bags and numerous activities designed to educate the children while helping them heal.” Anyone who knows of a child that could benefit from Healing Hearts, or anyone interested in volunteering for the camp, should contact SOMC Hospice at 740-356-2567.

Scioto Guild donates $10,000 to Breast Cancer Compassion FundPosted on February 24, 2012

The Scioto Guild recently donated $10,000 to Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund during a meeting in the SOMC Friends Center. The Breast Cancer Compassion Fund is one of two funds developed by the SOMC Cancer Center to provide support for patients undergoing active cancer care. Funds are used for patient assistance needs such as utilities, medications, transportation and common necessities. Sherry Roffe of the SOMC Cancer Center was on hand to accept the donation. To learn more about the compassion fund, or to find out how to make a donation, please call 740-356-7490.s

SOMC’s Pettit, Bennington remove 33-pound tumor during medical missionPosted on February 24, 2012

Dr. George Pettit and Dr. Nathan Bennington returned from their medical mission trip to the Philippines with more than just photographs and memories. They returned with the gratitude of their patients overseas; patients who otherwise may not have received help at all. Dr. Pettit and Dr. Bennington, both physicians at Southern Ohio Medical Center, were members of a team that brought much needed medical care to a part of the world where it is sorely lacking. “We ended up using exam tables for operating tables because they didn’t have enough, and we put two in each operating room so we could do four cases at a time,” Dr. Pettit said. “While we were there, we completed 237 cases.” On a previous mission trip, Dr. Pettit’s work included removing a ten-pound tumor. This time, he and Dr. Bennington removed one even larger. “We removed a 33 pound tumor from a woman who weighed 110 pounds,” Dr. Pettit said. “She had this tumor for a long time.” “Removing that tumor was pretty amazing,” Dr. Bennington said. “We had previously taken out an 11 pound tumor and we were pretty impressed with that, so a 33 pound tumor was incredible. We had more than 50 years combined experience in the operating room, and none of us had ever seen one that big.” In addition to his work alongside Dr. Pettit, Dr. Bennington also volunteered with the non-profit organization Across Borders. There he saw firsthand the non-medical hardships Filipinos face on a daily basis. He was impressed by the fact that, although their lives can be very difficult, the people he met were very friendly and welcoming. “Before I went, I talked to a lot of people who warned me that the Philippines is not a safe place,” Dr. Bennington said. “However, the people were very friendly and extremely grateful to have us there.” Dr. Bennington was especially touched by the young people he encountered at a local children’s shelter. “The kids were so precious and innocent, and so happy with the little that they had,” Dr. Bennington said. “Their shelter is self-sustained and they all worked together to grow the crops and raise the livestock.” Having experienced the work Across Borders does firsthand, Dr. Bennington said it’s the type of organization he would like to support in the future. “I’m happy to support Across Borders because I know the money donated goes to the right people,” Dr. Bennington said. “It’s an organization I’d be happy to contribute to or raise money for in the future.”

SOMC Hospice welcomes new addition to their familyPosted on February 23, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has welcomed a new member to their Hospice family – a one-year-old yellow lab named Marley. Marley is very playful and can follow commands, but is most known for the love and affection she provides patients and staff alike. “She is a great companion and we have patients that absolutely love her,” Nurse Manager Donna Holcomb said. “She gives them comfort. Even their families enjoy being able to pet her or take her for walks.” Marley is not the first Hospice dog SOMC has had. In 2007, a German Shepherd mix named Swann was welcomed to the Hospice Center. After nearly five years of faithful service, however, Swann is now enjoying retirement. She currently resides with an SOMC social worker. Dogs like Marley and Swann are typically trained to work with the blind or hearing-impaired owners, but their friendly dispositions also make them perfect companions in a Hospice setting. “Our employees just love having her around,” Holcomb said. “It brightens their day to see her. They can’t wait to see her when they get here. Our housekeepers will even take her for walks on their breaks.” As the latest addition to the SOMC Hospice Center, Marley will visit patients and families upon request. SOMC Hospice can be reached at 740-353-2567.

SOMC’s Learn with Heart free health screening scheduled for Feb. 21Posted on February 13, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be holding a free health screening at their Feb. 21st Learn with Heart event in the Friends Community Center. The screening will include a total cholesterol screening and a heart risk analysis. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC’S Heart and Vascular Services, said. “We’re offering the community an opportunity to learn more about heart disease and the signs of a heart attack. We want our friends and neighbors to reduce their risk so they can live a long, healthy life.” Most heart attacks start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Signs of a heart attack include:
  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, such as one or both arms, the back, neck jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting, cold sweats or dizziness
There are also less recognizable signs of a heart attack, such as fatigue or a feeling of impending doom. The health screening is free, but pre-registration is required. To schedule an appointment, call 740-356-7665.

SOMC receives grant from Susan G. Komen for the CurePosted on February 12, 2012

For the fifth year in a row, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded the Southern Ohio Medical Center Cancer Center with funding to support the Hands of Hope grant program. The grant is for $64,165. “We are pleased and honored to receive this support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Their continued support is making a difference in the lives of so many people,” Wendi Waugh, SOMC’s Administrative Director of Cancer Services, said. “With this grant, we will be able to offer invaluable care and support to our patients here in southern Ohio.” The Susan G. Komen grant provides a Breast Health Navigator, who guides patients through breast diagnostic testing and oncology treatment, while also providing general breast health education. Through the grant, SOMC also provides screening mammograms to eligible uninsured or underinsured women. Eligibility of an uninsured woman is determined by income level, as well as whether or not the individual currently has health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. Income can be no greater than 200 percent above Federal Poverty Guidelines to qualify. “Mammography and biopsy services are provided only for as long as funding remains,” Waugh said. “For that reason, we ask our patients to coordinate services with our Breast Health Navigator before they are performed.” The SOMC Cancer Center is located at 1121 Kinney’s Lane in Portsmouth. For more information, contact Breast Health Navigator Kimberlee Richendollar at 740-356-7465.

Able Ambulance donates to SOMC Cancer CenterPosted on February 8, 2012

Able Ambulance recently donated a portrait honoring breast cancer survivors to the SOMC Cancer Center. The portrait, which depicts a woman wearing a pink and red dress, was hand painted and features the word “survivor” in the lower left-hand corner. It will be displayed in the Cancer Center. On hand for the presentation, from left to right, were Brian Jenkins, Fred Barney, SOMC Administrative Director of Cancer Services Wendi Waugh, Traci Boland, Michael White, Vic Justice and Joe Wood.

Friends of SOMC Scholarships now availablePosted on February 2, 2012

Applications for the Friends of Southern Ohio Medical Center scholarship are now available for full-time students pursuing a course of study in a health-related field. Application forms can be picked up from the Friends of SOMC office in the Friends Community Center at 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth, the Volunteer Office of the SOMC Main Campus at 1805 27th Street or online at The scholarship may be renewed each school year, not to exceed four years. It is not necessary for recipients to reapply each year as long as the requirements are being met. Completed forms, along with a transcript of credits and class standing, must be returned by April 1, 2012 to be considered for the fall school term. The Friends of SOMC Financial Aid Committee will process all applications and name the recipients, giving preference to SOMC employees, their offspring or their spouses. The number of awards will be determined by the funds on hand and available from Friends of SOMC. Recipients of the awards will receive their checks issued by Friends of SOMC for a proportionate part of the yearly award at the beginning of each semester of the school year. Successful applicants will be notified on or before June 1, 2012. For more information, please contact Jennifer Schackart at 740-356-6160 or

  • More information
  • (740) 356-2627