Monthly Archives: May 2012

Children ages 7 to 13 encouraged to join SOMC’s Camp LIFE, June 25-29Posted on May 31, 2012

 Kids looking for something to keep themselves occupied, or parents looking for a way to get their children active and healthy this summer, are encouraged to sign up for Camp LIFE at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

 “Camp LIFE lasts from June 25 to June 29 and is meant for ages 7 to 13,” Dietician Kim McCray said. “It’s a great opportunity for kids to make new friends and learn new skills to help them stay active and healthy long after the camp is over.”

 Activities last from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, with most activities taking place in the SOMC Life Center. During the camp, children are taught the basic principles of nutrition and exercise, as well as cooking techniques, and provided numerous physical activities to keep them active and entertained. Activities include swimming, yoga, basketball and Zumba®. SOMC will also provide participants with a healthy lunch.

Camp LIFE was developed as way to combat occurrences of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in children, but has attracted a wide variety of participants because of the enjoyable and educational activities it provides.

 “We design our Camp LIFE activities in such a way that they can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical condition or ability,” McCray said. “Our goal is to lay the foundation for healthy living in a fun, supportive environment.”

 Anyone interested in joining Camp LIFE is asked to sign up prior to June 11 by calling the SOMC Life Center. Registration for Camp LIFE is $75 per child and $50 for each additional family member.  The Life Center can be reached at 740-356-7650.


Wendi Waugh named SOMC’s Administrative Director of Cancer Services/Community Health and WellnessPosted on May 29, 2012

Wendi Waugh has been named the Administrative Director of Cancer Services/Community Health and Wellness at Southern Ohio Medical Center. In this position, Waugh will assume leadership of the SOMC Life Center as well as SOMC’s Community Health Department. She will also continue in her leadership role at the SOMC Cancer Center.

 SOMC’s Community Health Department routinely organizes community health screenings, while the SOMC Life Center works with individuals to help them improve their overall health through exercise and events such as the August 12 ‘Tri For Your LIFE’ triathlon.

 “I’m excited about this opportunity,” Waugh said. “The Life Center and the Community Health Department each play important roles in improving the overall health of our community. I think it makes sense to align the two, and I’m looking forward to making sure our community is able to get the most of the opportunities SOMC provides.”

 Waugh began working at SOMC in 1986 and has been the Administrative Director of Cancer Services since 2001.

 She currently resides in Oak Hill and has two children, one daughter who is entering her senior year Ohio State University and a son who is beginning his junior year at Oak Hill High School.

 To learn about the SOMC Life Center, call 740-356-7650. The SOMC Cancer Center can be reached at 740-356-7490.

SOMC Cancer Center now offering clinical trialsPosted on May 15, 2012

The SOMC Cancer Center is now offering National CancerInstitute sponsored clinical trials, meaning patients will have access to the latest options in cancer treatment in addition to the excellent care they already enjoy.

“Those who take part in clinical trials at SOMC will receive the same excellent, proven care that all patients receive, but in addition they also may receive new novel therapies,” says Clinical Research Nurse Jamie Arnett. “Clinical trials play an important role in the development of new treatments. In fact, many of the treatments that our patients are receiving today first began in clinical trials.”

SOMC is offering clinical trials Sponsored by the National Cancer Institute through their Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP).

“This is very exciting because it offers us the opportunity to bring new promising therapies to our patients right here in Portsmouth,” says Dr. Thomas Summers. “Our patients are now able to participate in National Cancer Institute sponsored trials, which helps excel the field and potentially allows a patient access to promising therapies sometimes years before they are available to the general public.”

In addition to active treatment trials, this also brings trials aimed at cancer prevention and control, which is important for our primary care colleagues to know.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like to schedule a consultation with one of our medical oncologists for a second opinion or to determine your eligibility for a clinical trial, contact our clinical trials nurse at 740-356-7594. Additional information on the SOMC Cancer Center’s clinical trials can be found at

SOMC observing National Cancer Survivors Day with free luncheonPosted on May 14, 2012

National Cancer Survivors Day

National Cancer Survivors Day

 In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day on June 3, Southern Ohio Medical Center is honoring cancer survivors and their caregivers with a free luncheon at the SOMC Friends Center. The event will last from 1-3 p.m. and will include live music from Doc Roc and the Remedies.

“National Cancer Survivors Day is a reminder that, no matter how devastating a cancer diagnosis may be, it is not a death sentence,” Wendi Waugh, director of the SOMC Cancer Center, said. “Our local survivors are a true source of inspiration, and I’m thrilled that we have this opportunity to celebrate their courage.”

All cancer survivors and their caregivers are invited to attend and show the community that being diagnosed with cancer does not mean the end to a meaningful and productive life. Participating survivors will be honored during the luncheon, and will also receive a free Survivor’s Day t-shirt and will be entered into drawings for door prizes to be given away at the event. Door prizes have been generously donated by local businesses.

National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual event held on the first Sunday in June. It began in the United States in 1987, but is now celebrated across the globe.

Cancer patients face many challenges, whether they are physical, emotional or financial. The SOMC Cancer Center works to lessen the burden of those challenges by offering state-of-the-art cancer care with a patient-centered approach, as well as providing numerous support groups and programs.

For more information, or to RSVP for the cancer survivor’s luncheon, please contact the SOMC Cancer Center at 740-356-7490. To attend the June 3 luncheon, please RSVP no later than May 28.

SOMC Rehab Department to host free hearing screening on May 25Posted on May 11, 2012

In honor of May being Better Hearing and Speech Month,Southern Ohio Medical Center is hosting a free hearing screening on May 25 in the Rehab Department of the SOMC LIFE Center.

SOMC Audiologist Kristie Thacker is encouraging the public to attend even if they don’t think they have a hearing problem. Screenings can help uncover problems before they become obvious.

“Whether you think you’re experience hearing loss or not, it’s a good idea to come to screenings like this,” Thacker said. “A lot of people have hearing loss and really don’t do anything about it. It happens gradually, so they may not even notice it right away.”

It is also a good idea to have children tested, especially if parents are concerned that their child isn’t talking. SOMC will also have speech therapists at the event.

An estimated 28 million Americans live with hearing loss that can be treated. Audiologists can prescribe hearing aids and assistancelistening devices. They can also teach people with hearing loss how to concentrate on hearing all sounds.

“Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life,” Rehabilitation Center Director Kevin Stimpert said. “Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life.”

In addition to services for those with difficulty hearing the SOMC Speech and Hearing Center offers a wide range of Speech-Language therapy services.

“Our Speech-Language Pathologists offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders,” Stimpert said. “Services are provided to children and adults for communication problems due to stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, radiation treatments or neurological diseases, delayed speech and language development, difficulty saying particular sounds, stuttering, voice problems and swallowing difficulty.”

For more information, or to schedule an appointment for the free hearing screening, contact the SOMC LIFE Center’s Rehab Department at 740-356-7554.

Khoury, Barber and Wakefield continue perfecting their craftPosted on May 10, 2012

When it comes to peripheral stenting at Southern Ohio Medical Center, as is the case with most things, there have been plenty of changes over the years. Technology has changed and the list of offered procedures has grown.  The size of the staff has expanded as well.

Peripheral stenting is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter with a balloon tip is inserted into a peripheral artery (arteries in the lower abdomen, kidneys, neck, arms, legs or feet) and inflated to compress plaque buildup.  A stent is then placed in the vessel to keep the vessel open to maintain necessary blood flow. This procedure is performed in a state-of-the-art cardiovascular catheterization laboratory.

In its infancy, back in the 1980’s, the SOMC Cath Lab operated with a three person staff.  Radiologic Technologist, Andy Barber and nurse Mary Ann Wakefield were two of the lab’s original members, but Barber credits the arrival of its third member with truly advancing the art of stenting.

“Things really started progressing in 1993 when Dr. Thomas Khoury came,” Barber said. “He pushed the envelope and we started doing a lot more than what we were doing at that time. As the procedures have evolved, he’s stayed current and up to date on everything.”

Together, the trio of Khoury, Barber and Wakefield became peripheral endovascular pioneers. They were among the area’s first to offer these services by a dedicated team and Wakefield became the county’s first nurse certified in radiology.

“For our patients, our experience is very important,” Dr. Khoury said. “We’ve done over 4,000 procedures.  That experience, our state of the art technology, and the harmonious work of the staff lowers the risk of complications and ensures excellent outcomes for our patients.”

SOMC Hike for Hospice to take place on May 19Posted on May 10, 2012

The 26th annual Hike for Hospice will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 19 at the SOMC Hospice Center. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m.

“Hike for Hospice provides our community with a wonderful opportunity to honor their loved ones while making a difference in the lives of current hospice patients,” Teresa Ruby, director of SOMC Hospice, said.

Hike for Hospice also helps raise valuable funds for SOMC Hospice. Participants of the hike raise funds by asking friends to sponsor an amount per kilometer walked or by giving an outright donation.

“The money we generate goes into a fund that helps cover things that might not be covered by a patient’s insurance, if they have insurance at all. For chronically ill patients, for example, the funds can go towards things like electric bills, gas bills and handicap ramps,” Ruby said. “We also celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and accommodate special wishes for our patients.”

Participants can join in groups of three or more, presenting banners, shirts or other forms of team-promotion. Each team willreceive one complimentary 8×10 photo and all hikers and supporters will be eligible for various prizes, which will be presented at the end of the hike.

Hike for Hospice shirts are available and can be purchased in the Hospice Office of the Gibson Building on SOMC’s East Campus. Cost per shirt is $12 for sizes S—XL or $13 for sizes XXL—XXXL in white, orange or teal. Cash, check and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Early registration is encouraged for the event but hikers can also register the day of. For more info, please call 740-356-2643 or 740-356-2653.

SOMC nurses driven by a passion to help othersPosted on May 9, 2012

Nursing is a field unlike any other. It is physically and emotionally demanding and requires those who accept its challenges to be driven by more than monetary gain.

Lisa McGowan, Amy Montgomery and Nicholas Erlenwein are all nurses at Southern Ohio Medical Center. McGowan is an RN Case Manager, Montgomery a HomeCare Clinical Coordinator and Erlenwein a circulating nurse in surgery.

Their jobs may be different, but their motivations are the same: They are driven by a desire to make a difference.

“I think it’s just something that’s inside of you,” Montgomery said. “Health care is just something that felt like a calling for me.”

SOMC, and other healthcare facilities nationwide, honored those who hear that calling during National Nurses Week. Nurses Week beginsevery year on May 6 and concludes May 12, which is also the birthday of Florence Nightengale. Nightengale is known as the founder of modern nursing.

“National Nurses Week is an important event for our hospital because it gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the individuals who dedicate themselves to bettering the lives of others,” Claudia Burchett, chief nursing office and vice president of SOMC Patient Services, said.

Montgomery and McGowan joined SOMC in 1990s, but have worked in health care for longer than that. They believe there is a dedication forexcellent care at SOMC that sets the hospital apart.

“SOMC is full of caring people. They care deeply for the patients, and they care deeply for their employees,” McGowan said.

Erlenwein has been at SOMC for six years and has already developed close relationships with his co-workers, as well as with his patients.

“This surgery’s like a big family to me,” Erlenwein. “We work so closely together that you form bonds and friendships. There are also relationships you form with the patients. They’re trusting their lives with you, and you want to do everything you can to take care of them.”

For SOMC nurses, the knowledge that they make such a meaningful difference in the lives of their patients is perhaps the most fulfilling part of the job. For those who answer its call, Montgomery believes that nursing can be one of the most rewarding professions there is.

“You get fulfillment out of every day that you go to work,” Montgomery said.

SOMC to host ‘Tri For Your LIFE’ sprint triathlon on August 12Posted on May 7, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has announced a new challenge for local athletes and fitness enthusiasts – the ‘Tri For Your LIFE’ sprint triathlon.

The triathlon is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. on August 12 at the SOMC LIFE Center. Prior to the actual event, prospective participants are invited to take advantage of a 12-week training program, which begins May 29, to prepare them for the challenges ahead.

The triathlon was the idea of SOMC’s Dr. Marion Hochstetler, who will also be participating.

“Any triathlon is always a challenge, but it’s also very rewarding,” Dr. Hochstetler said. “SOMC’s sprint triathlon is designed to be short enough for beginners, but it’s still challenging enough to test seasoned athletes.”

‘Tri For Your LIFE’ is a new program for SOMC and includes a 200m swim, a 20K bike ride and a 5K run. In addition to individual competitions, there is also a relay offered for three person teams.

In previous years, SOMC’s ‘Run For Your LIFE,’ which also seeks to improve health and wellness in southern Ohio, has received excellent community support. Approximately 250 individuals show up each year for thatevent.

“I’m personally very excited for this event, and I’m looking forward to seeing the community participate as well,” Dr. Hochstetler said. “It’s a great way for people to get together and have a good time. It’s also a great way to begin making a serious commitment to improving your health andquality of life.”

For additional information on the sprint triathlon or available training, contact the SOMC LIFE Center at 740-356-7650. Participants can also register online at SOMC is offering a special $45 discounted rate for individuals who registerprior to July 29. After July 29, registration is $55.

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