SOMC

Category Archives: Nurses News

SOMC’s Burchett at ConferencePosted on August 15, 2008

Claudia Burchett, RN, BSN, MBA, FACHE, NEA-BC, Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently spoke at the Health Care Financial Management Association 2008 Health Care Finance Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Burchett’s topic was “Service Line Competition: Southern Ohio Medical Center Process for Implementing Quality Improvement and Performance Initiatives.”

Burchett has been employed at SOMC for 30 years. She received her nursing degree from Shawnee State University, bachelor of science in Nursing and her master of business administration from Ohio University. She is also a board-certified Nurse Executive Advanced. She was appointed vice president of Patient Services in 1992.

She and her husband, Jeff, live in Lucasville and have three children.


SOMC’s Burchett ACHE FellowPosted on July 19, 2008

Claudia Burchett, RN, BSN, MBA, FACHE, NEA-BC, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer of Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently became a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders.

Only 7,500 healthcare executives hold this distinction. To obtain fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional/community involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.

Burchett has been employed at SOMC for 30 years. She received her nursing degree from Shawnee State University, bachelor of arts in Nursing and her master of business administration from Ohio University. She is also a board-certified Nurse Executive Advanced. She was appointed vice president of Patient Services in 1992. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Lucasville and have three children.


SOMC’s Skaggs Speaks At National ConferencePosted on May 15, 2008

Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, CNA-BC, Director of Nursing for Emergency and Outpatient Services, recently spoke at ACI’s Fourth National Conference on Improving and Expanding Emergency Department Services in Washington D.C., April 30-May2, 2008.

Skagg’s discussed “10 Years and 10 Winning Service Strategies for Your Emergency Department – All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.” She has been an employee of Southern Ohio Medical Center for more than 25 years, and the Director of Nursing for Emergency & Outpatients Services at SOMC for the past 14 years.


SOMC Nurses Receive ScholarshipsPosted on April 21, 2008

Kelly Lawson RN, OCN and Kristie Meeker RN, BSN, OCN, nurses of the Cancer Center at Southern Ohio Medical Center, have each been named recipients of a 2008 Congress Scholarship for $1,000 from the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS).

To receive the award, participants were asked to create an essay based on how they respond to patient- and family-care challenges within their clinical profession. The scholarship will be used to cover registration fees and travel to and from the ONS 33rd Annual Congress, which will take place May 15 – 18 in Philadelphia, Penn.

A Portsmouth native, Lawson is a graduate of Shawnee State University. She has been a part of the nursing staff at SOMC since 1990 and is currently Breast Health Navigator and Clinical Manager of Radiation Oncology at the Cancer Center.

Meeker is a graduate of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Shawnee State University and started working at SOMC in 1999. She currently resides in the Minford area.


SOMC Ranked Among Top 25 Percent of Home Health Providers in NationPosted on March 5, 2008

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been named to the 2007 HomeCare Elite, a compilation of the most successful Medicare-certified home health care providers in the United States.

“SOMC has made a commitment to bringing medical care to those patients in the home with the level of quality that puts their care among the best anywhere,” SOMC Home Care Director Karen Thompson said.

“This annual review identifies the top 25 percent of agencies, ranked by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, quality improvement and financial performance.”

The 2007 HomeCare Elite also indicates those providers who are included in the Top 100 and Top 500 of providers nationwide. The data used for this analysis was compiled from publicly available information.

SOMC has maintained one of Ohio’s most well-established and experienced home care programs in the state. This is the second time SOMC Home Care has been named to the list.

“We applaud the success of all the providers named to the 2007 HomeCare Elite,” said Bill Bassett, Senior Director of Market Strategy at OCS, Inc. “Being noted as one of the top performers in the nation in this very competitive environment shows that SOMC is dedicated to quality and performance.”

The 2007 HomeCare Elite is the only performance recognition of its kind in the home health industry. The 2007 HomeCare Elite is brought to the industry by OCS, Inc., the leading provider of healthcare informatics and DecisionHealth, publisher of home care’s most respected independent newsletter Home Health Line. The entire list of the 2007 HomeCare Elite agencies can be viewed by visiting the OCS web site at www.ocsys.com.


SOMC Nurse: Get Screened, Don’t Ignore Your HealthPosted on February 18, 2008


As a nurse and director of Inpatient Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center, Valerie DeCamp always puts the patients first, taking care of their needs and stressing to them the importance of good health, proper health management and regular health screenings.

But last year DeCamp learned that sometimes it’s best to take your own advice before it’s too late.

“As a nurse, you tend to take better care of others than you do yourself,” she said. “I never took the time to stop and think that there could be something wrong with me, even when others noticed that there was.”

At age 48, DeCamp always assumed she was too young to develop a chronic illness. Though her family had a strong history of diabetes, stroke and other heart disease, they had always been older when they were diagnosed.

“I knew I hadn’t been feeling as normal as usual, but I was in denial. I have a high-stress job and figured it came with the territory,” she said. “Besides, I treat tons of patients all the time and I thought I would definitely know if something was wrong with me.”

But DeCamp was completely unaware of her declining health. In fact, it was almost a fluke that she realized she was sick at all.

“Last year I volunteered to help out at the SOMC Dance with Heart event, escorting people around the different screenings that were scheduled,” she said. “Toward the end of the evening I decided to go through a screening myself, just to see what I would find out.”

After completing a diabetes screening, DeCamp learned that her fasting glucose was 280 – more than 200 points above normal. She immediately knew that she was not okay and called the doctor to find out more.

“Once I met with my doctor, he started me on diabetes medication and within two days I began to feel better,” she said. “I really didn’t know how bad I had felt until I started feeling better.”

After a year of proper medication, exercise and healthier diet and life choices, DeCamp’s A1C is below six and her triglycerides are 34 – nearly ten times lower than they used to be. Best of all, she’s happier and healthier than she’s felt in years and takes every opportunity to encourage other nurses to take the advice they give to patients time and time again.

“Get tested, go to a screening, know your numbers. Don’t ignore your health,” she said. “I didn’t do the things we’re always telling our patients to do and it could have cost me my life. It’s a blessing to be healthy, so don’t take advantage of it. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.”

Free health screenings will be open to the public during this year’s SOMC Sing with Heart event from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday Feb. 28 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth. Screenings for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and heart risk analysis will be available and attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy karaoke and music from local groups all evening long. Pre-registration is preferred, however walk-ins are welcome. To register or for more information, please call 740-356-7665.


SOMC named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”Posted on January 22, 2008

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“Attaining this honor, along with our recent nursing Magnet recognition status, helps us recruit and retain the best medical professionals in the nation,” Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at SOMC, said.

“This award means that our employees are very happy to work here, care about the organization and are most likely to provide better patient care.”

Noel added that the award is based on a detailed review of an organization’s workplace, along with the opinions of the employees.

“As with our recent Magnet recognition status, it is uplifting for an organization in our community to receive such an honor,” Randy Arnett, president and CEO of SOMC, said. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in our nation.”

The judging was based largely on random survey of SOMC employees, along with an examination of certain SOMC workplace attributes such as camaraderie, fairness, credibility, pride and respect, Noel explained.

SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the United States including large corporations and other health care organizations, she said.

In the next few weeks, SOMC will receive a feedback report and the ranking of the organization based on data accumulated from the evaluation process. Noel said SOMC is always searching for methods of gathering information to make adjustments and improvements in work life.

“Listening to our employees is important” she said. “Based on feedback from our employees, through surveys and other methods such as this, we have made changes to make SOMC a great place to work. We continue to listen and learn from those who make the greatest impact – our SOMC team.”


SOMC recognized as a Magnet hospitalPosted on January 15, 2008

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Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. Only four percent of hospitals in the U.S. can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is a huge honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said. “It serves as external recognition of the exceptional care that we provide to our patients and their families. Magnet not only demonstrates excellence in nursing, but also recognizes the teamwork throughout the organization to support quality of care, shared decision-making, interdisciplinary working relationships and our commitment to putting patients first in everything we do. This achievement is the result of more than 30 months of preparation and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

The ANCC awarded SOMC the prestigious Magnet award after reviewing nearly 2,000 pages of submitted documentation demonstrating achievements in patient care, nurse satisfaction, quality improvement and nursing research. This was followed by a four-day on-site inspection by Magnet appraisers that included visits to all patient care areas and interviews with hundreds of nurses, employees, physicians, and community members.

“This has been a long and wonderful journey touching every discipline in our organization,” Valerie DeCamp, SOMC director of Inpatient Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “The result is a demonstration to our patients, employees, physicians, volunteers, community members, and current and future nurses of our commitment to quality.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses — an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“Nurses want to work in a place where they are supported to provide the best quality care,” Karen Thompson, SOMC director of Home Health Services and co-leader of the SOMC Magnet journey, said. “For the past two years, SOMC has been named one of the best places to work in the state of Ohio. We have also had nurse retention rates at 95 percent, the envy of most in the nation, and employee satisfaction scores that place us at the top 1 percent in the country. These are the types of things that make us a Magnet organization — and make us proud.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay and higher satisfaction rates. According to ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”

The Magnet Recognition Program was developed by the ANCC in 1994 to recognize health care facilities that provide the very best in professional nursing care. The 14 “Forces of Magnetism” that distinguish Magnet organizations include an environment that promotes excellence in interdisciplinary teamwork, research, education and patient care. SOMC demonstrated excellence in all 14 Forces to earn this award.

The ANCC is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association and is the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the U.S.


SOMC Nurse On Keeping the Faith: Surviving Cancer in AppalachiaPosted on December 13, 2007


Delrita Gilliland, Registered Nurse at the Southern Ohio Medical Center, recently presented at The Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Co-sponsored by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities in conjunction with the American Association for Cancer Research, this conference attracted more than 600 attendees including scientists, health professionals from academia, industry, government and the community. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the latest finding and to stimulate the development of new research in cancer health disparities.

At the plenary session on disparities in cancer survivorship, Gilliland shared insight about cancer survivorship issues in the Appalachian community through her “Keeping the Faith: Surviving Cancer in Appalachia” presentation.

Gilliland was asked to present because of her personal experience as a cancer survivor, along with her experience working with cancer survivors at SOMC and in the community. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989, she has been a strong advocate for breast health as a Reach to Recovery volunteer, Special Touch instructor, Relay for Life committee member, and an American Cancer Society Board member.

In 1994, Ms. Gilliland became a charter member and has continuously served on the Fight Cancer, Save Lives Coalition, a community-based coalition formed by the Appalachia Leadership Initiative on Cancer.


SOMC Nurses Gain Assault Examiner CertificationPosted on December 5, 2007


Registered nurses Betsy Marsh, BSN, CEN, EMT-P, Luann Webb, EMT-B and Cathy Clark, CEN, EMT-P (pictured l to r), all of the Southern Ohio Medical Center Emergency Department, recently gained certification after successfully completing the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners adult/adolescent (SANE-A) certification exam. The SANE program, created by the International Association of Forensic Nurses, provides individualized, professional and forensic care to sexual assault survivors. Nurses with SANE-A certification may also serve as expert consultants and witnesses in support of those who may have been sexually assaulted. Nurses of Emergency Services at SOMC have been a part of the program since 2001.


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