Monthly Archives: November 2012

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.

SOMC’s Dr. Khoury gaining national recognitionPosted on November 14, 2012

After years of research, Dr. Thomas Khoury’s findings on busting blood clots are being recognized by the Society of Clinical Vascular Surgery. He will give a presentation on the topic at the group’s national meeting, which is held annually.

Dr. Khoury believes the acknowledgment is more than a personal accomplishment; he believes it is also a testament to the hospital in which his work was conducted: Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“When you go to conferences, the majority of the research is usually generated by university hospitals and teaching centers,” Dr. Khoury said. “It is simply not a common thing to have a community hospital generate results of this magnitude and be able to present them at such a conference. It is quite an honor for us to be recognized in that respect.”

Dr. Khoury put together an abstract on busting blood clots with the help of medical students. The abstract details an approach that gained national application in 2008, but has been practiced at SOMC since 1993.

“Although our center’s experience goes back to 1993 with 325 patients, we are presenting our last ten year’s experience,” Dr. Khoury said. “This procedure gained national widespread application since 2008, yet our local population has benefited from it since 1993.

“We knew all along that this approach was the correct one. It has helped save many limbs from long term sequelae of clots and helped prevent disability from swelling and ulceration.”

Now that the abstract has been accepted, he has begun developing a larger article on the topic, which could be published in a peer review journal.

“We are demonstrating that SOMC is not only a community hospital, but also a regional center for research,” Dr. Khoury said. “This is very exciting, not only for our staff and our community but also for medical students. At SOMC, we are able to give them opportunities they wouldn’t have at other local hospitals.”

Dr. Khoury graduated in 1982 from The American University of Beirut.

He began his training in 1982 at the University of Miami then moved to Harvard University Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and completed his surgical training in 1993 after several fellowships, including a dedicated year in vascular surgery at Tufts University Baystate Medical Center.

He joined the staff at SOMC in 1993 and currently is Master Faculty and Professor of Surgery at OUCOM.

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Khoury, call 740-353-8661.

For more information, “like” SOMC on Facebook at

New SOMC physicians generating excitementPosted on November 13, 2012

In the past year alone, Southern Ohio Medical Center has added 23 new physicians. This growth of the medical staff is generating excitement among local physicians and community leaders, many of who were on hand for the 2012 New Physician Family Welcome at Dick’s Pizza in Sciotoville.

“This is an exciting time at SOMC,” Dr. Tom Carter, program director for the emergency medicine residency, said. “We’re all excited about the growth of the medical staff. It’s nice to have so many enthusiastic physicians on board, and it’s great to be able to serve the area with a wider array of medical specialties.”

After meeting with new staff members, SOMC Board Member Gary Duzan also expressed excitement about the future of the hospital.

“Our goal is to provide local patients with the very best care possible, and having spoken with many of our physicians personally I know that we are building the right team to do just that,” Duzan said.

Incoming physicians, such as Dr. Johnny Ray Bernard and Dr. Jesse Houghton, echoed those sentiments.

“SOMC is a very special place,” Dr. Houghton said. “I’ve had the opportunity to train and work in several different hospital systems, and I would place SOMC at the top of the list in terms of their commitment to excellence and their pursuit of perfection in patient care.”

“SOMC is really unique in that it gives us the resources you’d expect to find in a much larger city without asking you to sacrifice the comfort and sense of community that can only be found in smaller towns,” Dr. Bernard added. “It really is the best of both worlds.”

For more information about Southern Ohio Medical Center, like SOMC on Facebook at

Glocker GM donates to SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion FundPosted on November 13, 2012


Mike Glockner of the Glockner GM Superstore recently presented SOMC Cancer Center Director Wendi Waugh and Dr. Vincent Scarpinato with a check for $4,540. The money will benefit the SOMC Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which helps provide basic necessities for cancer patients. In all, SOMC’s “Paint It Pink” events – combined with the October showing of “The World Goes Round” – have raised more than $50,000 for the fund.


West Middle School donates $1,500 to SOMC Cancer CenterPosted on November 11, 2012


After holding a ‘Dance-a-Thon’ to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness, students from Portsmouth West Middle School recently donated $1,500 to the SOMC Cancer Center. An additional $1,500 was donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The students raised the money by selling water and refreshments during the two-day ‘Dance-a-Thon.’ Each student participating in the event also donated $2 for each period in which they took part in the Dance-a-Thon. Health and Physical Education teacher, Amy Kayser, helped organize the activities.

Pictured here, from left to right, is Breast Health Navigator Kim Richendollar, Cancer Center Director Wendi Waugh, Gracie Evans, Caitlin Russell, Lindsey Howard and West Health and PE Teacher Amy Kayser.

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