First Year Update on the Transcending Lives Campaign for the SOMC Hospice ExpansionPosted on January 8, 2018

The SOMC Transcending Lives Campaign is making great progress towards its goal of expanding the hospice facility. To date, the campaign has already raised two-thirds of its $3,000,000 goal and is only $400,000 away from breaking ground on the hospice expansion. Many community leaders and businesses like Edward Jones, are to thank for their generous donations towards making the campaign so successful thus far. The SOMC family has also been extremely supportive and giving towards the campaign. From guilds, employees, board members, events and earnings from the SOMC endowment fund, the SOMC family has contributed almost one-third of the funds to date.

“I am more than grateful for all those who made such generous donation to the Transcending Lives Campaign,” said SOMC Planned Giving and Major Events Officer, Mary Arnzen. “We would not be where we are today on this wonderful project without our amazing community and SOMC family.”

SOMC Hospice impacts so many families and we hope you will consider donating to the campaign to help many more. The goal of the campaign has been, and will always be to provide the best hospice care to our patients and families as they journey through a tough chapter of their lives.

If you would like more information on the campaign, please visit On the website, you can view a virtual tour of the completed facility or make an online donation. There are naming opportunities available for larger donations, and if you make a gift of $1,000 or more, your name will be added to the donor wall. If you would like to send a donation for the project, you can make a check payable to the Transcending Lives Campaign and mail it to 2201 25th Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662.

Please contact Mary Arnzen at 740-356-2504 or by email at, for more information on available naming rights, a planned gift or a pledged gift for the remaining two years of the campaign. We appreciate your time and consideration of donating towards this campaign that will have an immeasurable impact on the community. Every gift, no matter what size, is meaningful and important to the competition of this project.

Amanda Williams: Taking the Reins of LifePosted on December 13, 2017

Life is a lot like riding a horse.

Taking that first step up to place a foot in a horse saddle is not always an easy task. When one finally makes it onto the saddle, the work isn’t over. The ride is just beginning. Learning to ride a horse requires time, diligence and patience. Being a successful rider also requires steering outside of a comfort zone and taking the reins.

Amanda Williams treats making the decisions of her life a lot like how she learned to ride a horse. In her life, she had to make many decisions that required patience and diligence to reach where she is today.

“I kind of took the long way around,” Williams said.

Williams life teaches that taking the long path is sometimes required to reach the intended location.

“My husband was in the navy for a long time and we got transferred to Georgia,” Williams said, “So, I was a housewife for a while.”

She said she originally saw herself becoming a veterinarian or practicing medicine. With those intentions, she went to college planning for either one of those paths by studying biology and chemistry as a double major.

During that time, she had to reroute her plans and take a break from school for a while to follow her husband to Georgia as he served our country.

“If you really want something, don’t give up,” Williams said.

Sometimes tightening up the reins of life is required to push forward outside of a comfort zone. That is exactly what Amanda Williams did when she moved back to Peebles from Georgia with her husband and two children. She mounted up and trotted back to her path of following her dreams of practicing medicine.

Life might not always be a short, easy ride, but Williams showed perseverance to take control of the reign of her own life.

Having patience and following her path led Williams to Southern Ohio Medical Center, where she is now a nurse practitioner specializing in cardiology.

The first step isn’t always easy and the ride isn’t always smooth. It takes determination and grit like Amanda Williams to get back on the intended path, no matter how long it takes to get to the destination. Her path teaches that no matter the conditions, all it takes is that first step and a tight grip on life.

Heggestad’s childhood passion gives birth to a medical careerPosted on December 1, 2017

When Krystal Heggestad was a child, long before she considered becoming a midwife, she began playing a key role in the miracle of birth.

Sometimes, Krystal said all she had to do was stand back and let it happen. Other times, she would actively coax the reluctant baby out of the womb. Even as a child, though, Krystal was willing to do whatever it took to facilitate the birth of a beautiful baby pig.

That’s right. Pig.

“I lived on a farm,” Krystal explained, “so I actually delivered pigs to start with. That got me interested in caring for people, and that lead me into medicine.”

There aren’t many similarities between caring for a pregnant pig and caring for a pregnant human, but Krystal’s childhood experiences developed into the lifelong passion that drives her career to this day. She has demonstrated a willingness to expand her skillset, even studying traditional Chinese medicine as a student, and considers more than just a patient’s medical condition when providing treatment.

“I think medicine’s going that way now, with the more holistic approach to caring,” Krystal said. “It’s something that really helps me in my midwifery… Just taking all aspects of what’s going on in a person’s life and pulling that into the decision-making.”

Krystal is excited to bring her abilities to Southern Ohio Medical Center in part because of the positive comments she’d heard about the facility while working at Ohio State.

“We would get patients from SOMC, and they would always have very positive things to say about the hospital,” she said.

Since arriving in Portsmouth, she’s also been impressed by the area’s sense of community.

“It’s been amazing. Everybody’s been so helpful, and that’s nice, especially coming from larger institutions where you had to navigate on your own and try to figure things out,” Krystal said.

Living in southern Ohio also makes it possible for her to return to her roots, a bit. She expressed an interest in having a hobby farm at some point. “With goats and horses,” she added.

And maybe, if she’s still up to it, a baby pig or two.

Individual Awards:Posted on September 19, 2017

Largest Total Donation: 1st place- Dr. Bonzo; 2nd place- Thelma Shirey Most Sponsors: 1st place- Thelma Shirey; 2nd place- Dr. Bonzo

SOMC’s Summer Soiree is more than just a night outPosted on July 21, 2017

On August 5, SOMC will host a major fundraiser for its Transcending Lives campaign known as the Summer Soiree. Those who participate will not only enjoy an evening of classic summertime activities, dinner and more – they will be helping renovate and expand SOMC Hospice.

The expansion will allow for additional patient rooms, as well as a new family gathering room, a meditation room, upgraded restrooms, updated kitchen and also more support staff areas.

Mary Arnzen, planned giving and major events officer, has seen this campaign and SOMC Hospice evolve into what it is today. She recently shared why this is more than a campaign to her and why it is so important to give back to the hospice facility.

“When I was going to visit my mother in a hospice facility in a larger city, I was very surprised,” Arnzen said. “I quickly realized that even though I was in a larger city and at a larger hospital, their hospice facility didn’t compare to ours. We are truly blessed with an amazing impatient hospice center here at SOMC.”

SOMC Hospice has supported more than 5,000 patients in the 10 years it has offered services to the community. SOMC believes it is time for to expand and touch the lives of more patients and their families.

The Summer Soiree will take place at Ron LeMaster’s farm, located at 80 LeMaster Lane in Garrison, Kentucky. LeMaster recently shared his story of why hospice and the Transcending Lives Campaign is important to him.

He said he didn’t realize what they were going to do at hospice when the new facility was getting ready to open. He went to the open house to see what it was like and how it planned to serve the community. He saw how he could make a positive impact on the community through giving to SOMC Hospice.

During the first campaign, LeMaster said he realized there was one patient room left that hadn’t been named. He decided that was the way he wanted to make an impact, so he and his wife decided they would donate enough to name a patient room during the first campaign for the new Hospice.

LeMaster recalled how he received a card from a family who had a loved one who spent their last days in hospice. The family thanked LeMaster and his wife for donating and naming the room they stayed in.

“That was worth it all to me,” LeMaster said upon receiving the card from the thankful family.

The Transcending Lives Campaign’s purpose is to impact lives of families such as the family that thanked Ron LeMaster and his wife.

If you wish to attend SOMC’s Summer Soiree or just make a donation to the Transcending Lives Campaign, you can do so by visiting or by texting “Hospice” to 20731.

The campaign has raised over $1,700,000 towards the $3,000,000 goal. A total of $700,000 more is needed to break ground.

If you have any questions about the naming rights that are still available or you would like to talk about donating stock, a life insurance policy or planned gift, please contact Mary Arnzen at 740-356-2504 or

SOMC Development Foundation’s Summer Soirée set for August 5Posted on July 4, 2017

Looking for a fun evening in a beautiful setting? Then the SOMC Development Foundation planned the perfect event for you – the Summer Soirée

The festivities will take place at The Ron and Connie LeMaster Farm at 80 LeMaster Lane in Garrison, Kentucky 41141.

The event will begin with the social hour starting at 6pm and dinner starting at 7pm on Saturday, August 5.

The Summer Soirée will not only be a beautiful and enjoyable night, but it will also be a night that will benefit a great cause – the Transcending Lives Campaign to renovate and expand the SOMC Hospice Center.

“We are so excited for this year’s Summer Soirée,” Donor Relations Coordinator Hayley Burchett said. “We cannot wait for everyone to come and enjoy the beautiful LeMaster farm. It’s an opportunity to have a great time while giving back to such a great cause.”

There will be an open bar, dancing and summertime activities to enjoy throughout the evening. If you are looking for more reasons to come, there will also be a sangria bar, a caricature artist, mimes and jugglers as well!

If you are interested in attending, ticket price per person is $125, which includes dinner and the open bar. To purchase seats and sponsorships please visit or make a check payable to SOMC Development Foundation / ATTN: Shaye Coburn 2201 25th Street Portsmouth OH 45662.

For more information please call 740-356-2794.

Get stroke savvy in MayPosted on May 1, 2017

With more than 795,000 strokes occurring every year in the United States across the age spectrum, it is critical that all Americans adopt preventive lifestyle habits, know the warning signs and understand the treatment options available to themselves and their loved ones should a stroke occur.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month – a time for Portsmouth residents to become stroke savvy.

Although it’s more common in older adults, stroke can affect anyone. In fact, stroke is trending upward in younger Americans. A recent study showed that the state of stroke increased by 147% in people ages 35-39, 101% in people ages 40-45, 68% in people ages 45-49 and 23% in people ages 50-54.

Although not all strokes are preventable, certain lifestyle habits can reduce a person’s risk of having a stroke. Factors that work in a person’s favor include maintaining a healthy diet and low cholesterol, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption and refraining from smoking.

SOMC receives $34,984 from Susan G. KomenPosted on April 18, 2017

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been awarded $34,984 from Susan G. Komen Columbus to support patient navigation services through the Hands of Hope program.

The services provided by Hands of Hope assist women by educating them about risk and how to access care through their insurance, as well as how to navigate the healthcare system to get screenings.

“The support we receive from Susan G. Komen Columbus has been tremendous for our community,” SOMC’s Breast Health Navigator Kim Richendollar said. “We are honored to receive funding from Komen Columbus. Without their support, far too many women in our community would find themselves without the care they need.”

For more information about SOMC’s Hands of Hope, visit

SOMC offers non-surgical procedures to combat aging and double chinsPosted on April 15, 2017

Dr. Jessica Suber, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Southern Ohio Medical Center, is offering two new products that provide non-surgical solutions for common cosmetic needs: Kybella and Voluma XC.

“Kybella and Voluma XC are great options for patients who want to enhance their appearance without undergoing an invasive surgical procedure,” Dr. Suber said.

Kybella is an FDA-approved injectable treatment that destroys fat cells under the chin, reducing submental fat (commonly referred to as a “double chin”). The injection process only takes 20 to 30 minutes, with the exact number of treatments depending on the amount of fat and the desired result.

Voluma XC is the only FDA-approved hyaluronic acid filler to instantly add volume to the cheek area and promote a fuller, more youthful appearance.  Patients who receive Voluma XC injections report that they look five years younger and the results can last up to two years with optimal treatment.

To learn more about how Kybella and Voluma XC can help you reduce the amount of fat under your chin and fight the signs of aging, call 740-356-3562 to schedule a consultation.

Please visit our website, for additional information about SOMC Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Kemmely Hochstetler ready to put on a show at Dancing With Our StarsPosted on March 23, 2017

As a physician, Dr. Kemmely Hochstetler is no stranger to making a difference. Still, she’s never done it quite the way she’ll be doing it for the Red Cross.

That’s because Dr. Hochstetler is being featured as a star in the organization’s annual “Dancing With Our Stars” fundraiser. She is partnered with Dr. John Turjoman.

The twin pillars of the event are dancing and fundraising. Prior to becoming a contestant, those were two areas in which she had limited experience.

“I have never done anything like this, not from a fundraising standpoint or a dancing standpoint,” Dr. Hochstetler said. “It’s daunting to think about dancing on stage in front of 500 people, but at the send of the day, this is for the Red Cross. I’m going to put my best foot forward and have fun with it.”

Dr. Hochstetler said she has already learned a lot from the competition, both about the Red Cross and about herself. For example, she learned that she experiences notable vertigo and that some of the more acrobatic moves she had envisioned incorporating into her routine would not work.

Nonetheless, she is optimistic the audience will enjoy her performance, the specifics of which are a closely guarded secret.

Of course, putting on a good show is only one of her goals for the competition.

“I’m pretty competitive,” Dr. Hochstetler said. “I can’t deny it’d be great to represent SOMC well and win the trophy.”

For more information about Dr. Kemmely Hochstetler’s involvement in Dancing With Our Stars, visit her crowdfunding page at

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