Monthly Archives: May 2013

Camp LIFE registration is now openPosted on May 30, 2013

Parents looking for a unique way to keep their children active, healthy and occupied this summer are encouraged to sign up for Camp LIFE at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

“Camp LIFE is a fun opportunity for kids to make new friends, get fit, and learn skills that will help them stay healthy long after camp is over,” Brad Zieber, supervisor of PT, PEC and Special Projects at the SOMC LIFE Center, said. “The program is open to children ages 7 to 13 and parents can register for one or both of the week-long sessions we plan to offer this year.”

Camp sessions will take place June 10-14 and July 29-Aug. 2, with activities lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the SOMC Life Center. Off-site educational opportunities are also scheduled throughout the week.

“During camp, we teach children the basic principles of nutrition and exercise through cooking and physical activities that keep them entertained,” Zieber said. “We prepare lunch and snacks together, play healthy games, and stress the importance of fitness through daily walks, yoga, swimming and other sports.”

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’ve designed Camp LIFE in a way that they can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical condition or ability,” Zieber said. “Our goal is to lay the foundation for healthy living in a fun, supportive environment.”

Cost to participate in Camp LIFE is $75 per child and $50 for each additional family member. For more information or to register now, please visit the Portsmouth LIFE Center or call 740-356-7650.

SOMC celebrates Critical Care Awareness MonthPosted on May 30, 2013

Critical Care Awareness MonthThe Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses were created to recognize and salute the dedicated nursing professionals who care for critically ill patients. To further honor these efforts, May is designated as National Critical Care Awareness and Recognition Month.

Southern Ohio Medical Center is proudly joining in this annual observation to applaud the members of its critical care team who work to provide the highest quality patient care each and every day.

“There is tremendous teamwork among our critical care employees,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Critical Care and Heart & Vascular Services, said. “Every day is challenging, but the collaboration, camaraderie, and communication between our disciplines helps us create optimal patient- and family-centered results.”

Many staff members make up the SOMC critical care team, including physicians, medical residents and students, nurses, respiratory therapists, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and pastoral care. Together, these employees care for an array of complex medical conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, respiratory failure, multisystem organ failure, overdoses, major surgeries, and many other types of trauma.

“Every member of our team is extremely important, but the expertise of our intensivists really enhances the quality of care we’re able to provide to our patients,” Fraulini said. “These physicians are specially trained to care for critical patients and we are fortunate to have the talents of Dr. Michael Metry and Dr. Abdul-Karim Haffar on our staff.”

Michael Metry, MD, is the senior medical director of SOMC Critical Care and has been a physician at SOMC for almost a year. He received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School in Chicago, Illinois and completed a residency in internal medicine at the Jackson Memorial Hospital/Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Miami, Florida. He completed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Critical Care.

Abdul-Karim Haffar, MD, FCCP, joined the SOMC team in April 2013. He received his medical degree at North East Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio and completed a residency in internal medicine Residency at the Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio. He completed a pulmonary fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Penn., and a critical care fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care.

“Both of these physicians are amazing clinicians, and we are so pleased with the results and positive outcomes they are helping to achieve at SOMC,” Fraulini said. “Our critical care team continues to grow stronger every year and we are proud to have so many physicians who are dedicated to making our program excellent. We would be nothing without their continued support.”

“Our staff members are incredible team players who work so well together during intense, critical situations,” Paul Rase, nurse manager of SOMC Critical Care, added. “I am very proud of my employees and I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated staff. I thank them all for their commitment to critical care.”

SOMC hosting golf tournament on June 14Posted on May 26, 2013

Southern Ohio Medical Center is inviting the public to participate in the 28th Annual LIFE Center Invitational Golf Tournament, which will be held at the Elks Country Club on June 14.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to the SOMC Foundation to enhance services provided by SOMC.

The tournament will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of June 14, with a barbecue lunch planned for 1:00-3:00 pm. Door and raffle prizes will be awarded.

For those registering prior to June 1, cost is $150 per person or $525 per four-person team. After June 1, costs are $200 per person, or $550 per four-person team. There is a limit of 32 teams. For more information, please contact Kim Castle at 740-356-6355 or at

12-Lead EKGs help SOMC beat national benchmark for heart attack carePosted on May 23, 2013

Carlos Morris fits the profile of someone who is serious about maintaining good health.

He is not overweight. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t smoke. He exercises almost every day. That’s why he was just as surprised as anyone when, while working out at the Wheelersburg Life Center, Carlos had a heart attack.

“I was just working out on one of the machines,” Carlos said. “Once I finish, I usually take a couple of laps to cool off, but this time I couldn’t. I was sweating unbelievably, then my chest started hurting and I became nauseated.”

An ambulance was called to take Carlos to Southern Ohio Medical Center, but his treatment actually began long before he arrived at the hospital. That’s because the ambulance was equipped with a 12-lead EKG system that helped emergency staff in Portsmouth evaluate Carlos’ condition while he was still in Wheelersburg.

Using the EKGs, Carlos was diagnosed with an acute heart attack and the results were sent to SOMC’s Emergency Room via cell phone technology before he ever arrived at the hospital. Because of this, the cardiologist and cath lab team were able to prepare to treat him as soon as he arrived.  This allowed him to completely bypass the Emergency Department and go straight to the Cath lab.

Within 46 minutes of the squad’s arrival at the Life Center, and within 23 minutes of their arrival at SOMC, Carlos made it to the Cath lab, had a balloon inserted and the affected artery was re-opened.

“The national benchmark for getting heart attack patients to the cath lab is 90 minutes, but we were able to cut that by more than half thanks to the use of the 12-lead EKG system in the field by Porter Township EMS ,” SOMC Director of Critical Care and Heart and Vascular Services Amy Fraulini said.

When a heart attack occurs, the faster a patient can be assessed and treated the better their odds of survival. Carlos’ story demonstrates how 12-lead EKGs used by ambulances can increase those odds, and that is why SOMC has made it a goal to ensure that all local ambulances carry the technology. The process of equipping these squads has already begun, thanks to funds raised through community donations. The proceeds from SOMC’s 2012 Ohio River Cruise also went towards purchasing the equipment.

Thanks to the quick care Carlos received, he has already returned to the Life Center and is looking forward to resuming his normal routines.

“I’m very grateful for everything that was done for me,” Carlos said. “I’d like to personally thank everyone who made it possible.”

Sports Motion to host All Sports CombinePosted on May 20, 2013

Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Sports Motion “All Sport Combine” will take place on June 1 at Valley High School. The event, which begins at 9:00 a.m., is free to watch and open to the public.

The All Sport Combine features local athletes, from incoming high school freshmen to incoming college freshman, and lets them compete in a variety of drills designed to measure their strength, speed and agility. It will also help them be able to compete at the next level.

“It’s an opportunity for athletes in the area to come and get objective measurements for certain athletic abilities,” SOMC Sports Motion Athletic Trainer Matt Wilson said. “They’ll be able to send their results to college recruiters as official times and measurements.”

Events in which combine participants will compete include a 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump, bench pressing and – new to this year’s event – the power ball throw.

In addition to giving athletes an objective measure of their talents, the All Sport Combine will also bestow bragging rights to the school that boasts the best overall impressive performance.

“We offer a team-event atmosphere at our combine,” Wilson said. “When it’s all over, we’re going to name an overall school winner as well as an overall individual winner.”

For additional information, please contact Brad Zieber at 740-356-7572 or Matt Wilson at 740-356-7650.  To learn more about Sports Motion, “like” SOMC Sports Motion on Facebook at

SOMC occupational therapists address unique needs with customized plansPosted on May 12, 2013

Debra Page was walking out her front door in November when she suddenly fell, landing on her hand and breaking her elbow. When she arrived at the hospital, she got more bad news: the fall had also severed an artery.

“Having injuries to both my hand and my elbow have made this a unique situation,” Page said. “If I had one injury or the other, it wouldn’t have been nearly as hard to take care of.”

Page knew she needed help recovering from the injuries, and she placed her trust in Southern Ohio Medical Center. She began going through occupational therapy in Wheelersburg and, though it was a struggle early on, she has been thrilled with the results.

“Starting out, my hand was a mess. I couldn’t even hold a ball, let alone do anything with it,” Page said. “But the staff pushed me. They’ve been great, and everything along this experience has been very positive.”

Page has had five operations to help correct her injuries and continues to go through therapy.

SOMC’s occupational therapists pride themselves on their ability to deal with the unique needs of various patients. Their first objective in any situation is to understand the degree of an injury, disease or developmental anomaly and how it has impacted a patient’s everyday life. They then create creative, individualized plans to help the patient get back to their normal routine.

In Page’s case, she was also pleased with how well SOMC was able to work her therapy around her other appointments and obligations.

“I’ve had no problems,” Page said. “If I can’t be there a certain day or I need to work around doctor’s appointments, they’re able to accommodate me.”

To learn more about SOMC Rehabilitation, call 740-356-7438 or visit

May recognized as Asthma Awareness MonthPosted on May 10, 2013

The month of May is recognized as Asthma Awareness Month, drawing attention to the more than 25 million people in the United States– including more than 7 million children – who suffer from asthma.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that can be worsened by factors such as allergies, respiratory infections and exposure to environmental toxins. Although asthma can start at any age, it is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and a leading cause of school absences, according to the American Lung Association.

“Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed,” Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Dr. Elie Saab said. “It is important to raise awareness of the disease and help people with asthma get access to the information and resources they need to continue living happy, healthy lives.”

Local asthma patients may benefit from the recent relocation of the SOMC Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab, which is now in Suite 107 of the Waller Building on the hospital’s main campus.  Southern Ohio Medical recently added an allergist to the staff, Mid-West Allergy, whose office will be opening soon. The Interventional Pulmonary Diagnostic Lab is also offering the option of thermoplasty for refractory adult asthma. For more information, call (740) 356-8485.

Pleasure Guild donates $10,000 to SOMCPosted on May 5, 2013

Pleasure Guild donates to SOMCSouthern Ohio Medical Center recently held a banquet to thank its volunteers for their hours of service to the hospital and its patients. During the banquet, the Pleasure Guild showed its gratitude for SOMC by donating $10,000 to be used for the purchase of patient equipment. Seen here, President and CEO Randy Arnett accepts the donation while surrounded by members of the Pleasure Guild.

Scioto Guild donates to Cancer Compassion FundPosted on May 1, 2013


SOMC Scioto Guild

The Scioto Guild recently donated $7,000 to the SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund during a banquet held to honor and thank the many volunteers at Southern Ohio Medical Center. The SOMC Cancer Compassion Fund helps provide support for patients undergoing active cancer care. The funds are used for patient assistance needs such as utilities, medications, transportation and other common necessities. In this photo, SOMC Cancer Center Director Wendi Waugh is seen accepting the donation while surrounded by members of the Scioto Guild.


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