Family Presents Baskets To SOMC In Honor Of SonPosted on March 28, 2008

The family of Joshua McClaskey (inset), a Lucasville area youth who died of a brain tumor in 2007, recently presented Easter baskets in his name to the Pediatrics Department of Southern Ohio Medical Center. Joshua’s mother, Amy, said the presentation of the baskets fulfilled a wish he expressed while fighting his illness that other sick children in hospitals receive some holiday cheer at Easter in the form of the baskets. Area businesses supported the effort with donations of items, including Minford Pharmacy, Minford Quick Stop, Muletown Minimart, Minford Family Dollar and the Salvation Army, who donated bibles for each basket. Shown at the presentation are Pediatrics Department Nurse Andrew Ruggles, RN, accepting the baskets from Tiffany and Cassandra McClaskey.

OU Class Gives Stuffed Toys To SOMC PediatricsPosted on March 13, 2008

Representatives of instructor Shannon Brogan’s Interpersonal Communication Class of Ohio University in Chillicothe recently visited the Pediatrics Unit of Southern Ohio Medical Center as part of a service project to support an area agency. Class members collected teddy bears from friends, family and classmates and delivered the stuffed toys to the pediatrics units of a Chillicothe hospital as well as SOMC in Portsmouth. Shown at the presentation are (from left) class members Caleb Penn and Judy Ward with SOMC Pediatrics staff members Amber Coriell and Kara Penley.

SOMC’s McKinnon PublishedPosted on March 13, 2008

Joseph McKinnon, manager of the Security Services at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has written an article published in the Winter 2008 issue of the “Journal of Healthcare Protection Management,” a nationally-recognized publication of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS).

McKinnon is the author of “Infant Abduction: Taking A New Look at ‘False’ Alarms.” The article discusses complacent responses and negative attitudes toward “false” infant protection situations and the need to see these alarms as an opportunity to test total response systems, rather than as a nuisance.

McKinnon earned his associate’s degree in Corrections Technology from Shawnee State University in 1978 and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1996.

McKinnon previously worked in the Portsmouth City Municipal Court, as investigator for Scioto County Children’s Services and as probation officer for the Common Pleas Court of Scioto County. He was an officer with the Portsmouth Police Department for 21 years. McKinnon joined the staff of SOMC in March of 2006.

SOMC Fitness Instructor Presents at Regional ConferencePosted on March 10, 2008

Debbie Kielmar, fitness program lead of the SOMC LIFE Center, recently presented at the 2008 Midwest Fitfest conference, which took place Feb. 23 and 24 in Dayton.

More than 300 students and professionals from around the region attended the event, which was created to provide learning and leadership opportunities in the field of fitness. Presenters were chosen based on education, experience and certification and were given the opportunity to share programs they had designed and/or implemented within their fitness communities.

Kielmar presented Drums Alive and Functional Fusion, two routines that have been used as part of the group fitness schedule at the LIFE Center. Functional Fusion, created by Kielmar, is a total body workout that combines traditional toning with functional training exercises in a low repetition, constant progression. The program is currently featured at 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the LIFE Center in Portsmouth.

Kielmar is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified and has been a member of the LIFE Center staff for more than 10 years. For more information about either of the fitness routines, or about becoming a member of the SOMC LIFE Center, please call 740-356-7650.

Community Gets SOMC Check-up While ‘Singing With Heart’Posted on March 5, 2008

Community members lined up to test their health and their singing ability during the Sing with Heart event at Southern Ohio Medical Center, which took place Thursday, Feb. 28 at the SOMC Friends Community Center.

Throughout the evening, members of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, as well as other employees, helped to screen more than 200 people on various healthy-heart indicators including blood pressure, pulse oximetry, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index. Staff members also provided health counseling on topics such as diabetes, smoking, asthma and lab results and prescriptions.

Performances from local talent including Clay High School, West High School and the cast of Portsmouth Little Theatre’s perfomance of “Little Shop of Horrors” kept the mood (and heart rates) up all night long and karaoke was open for the public in between performances.

Sing with Heart is another community event of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, a program which is expanding in preparation for the arrival of open-heart surgery at the end of this year. In conjunction, 170,000 square feet of new facilities will be opening at the hospital in the summer and fall, including new emergency, surgical, patient care and cardiac testing and care areas, as well as new a new registration department and lobby.

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

SOMC’s Barnett Certified Critical Care NursePosted on March 5, 2008

Teresa Barnett, registered nurse of the Heart Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received certification as a Critical Care Nurse (CCRN).

Barnett earned her associate’s degree in Nursing from Southern State Community College in Hillsboro. She began working at SOMC in 1999 and has served various roles at the hospital, including positions in the Intensive Care Unit and the Cath Lab.

Barnett has been a member of the Heart Care Unit since it opened in August 2007.

‘Little Shop’ Bringing Man-eatingPosted on March 3, 2008

Alien man-eating plants take center stage in Portsmouth Little Theatre’s upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” a stage musical directed by Eric Armstrong with musical direction by Linda Tieman. The dark comedy tells the quirky story of Seymour Krelborn and his carnivorous plant and features popular songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken.

“This story is well-known and loved by a lot of people,” Armstrong said. “We’re very excited to be able to produce it in a community theatre setting, where everyone can affordably enjoy the performances up close, and get a chance to see some of our remarkable local talent in an fairly complex production that’s truly entertaining.”

The production features a dozen local performers, with Vincent Scarpinato starring as Seymour and Dani Gillstrap as his leading lady, Audrey. The pair are supported by actors Nicholas Erlenwein, Jacqueline Hines, John Kasper, Mason Parker, Chelsey Phillips, Micah Roberts, Hannah Shope and Clark Tieman.

The huge plant, Audrey II, is voiced by Michael Raies with puppeteering and mechanical performance by Noah Fannin. Radio personality Steve Hayes guest stars as a disc jockey promoting the plant on a local talk show. A crew of volunteers is also helping behind the scenes.

“We’re very lucky to have the support of so many people in producing this show,” Armstrong said. “We have sponsorship by Debbie Gambill Century 21 Empire Realty, Fifth Third Bank and Southern Ohio Medical Center, and help from other area businesses as well.”

The production is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. March 7,8, 14 and 15 and matinee performances at 2 p.m. March 8 and 15 at the theatre, 1117 Lawson St. Advanced tickets are $10 evenings ($12 at door) and $5 matinees ($7 at door). Tickets are available at Hatti Beasley’s and Market Street Cafe.

Wright Presents Quilt For Hospice CenterPosted on February 22, 2008

Kathy Wright (right) of Portsmouth recently presented Susan Goins, social worker at Southern Ohio Medical Center, with a handmade quilt she created for the SOMC Hospice Center. This is the second quilt that Wright has donated to the Hospice program. The quilt will be given to one of the center’s current patients. The 12-bed inpatient Hospice Center opened in early 2007, largely through the support of community donations, to provide care and services for the terminally ill and their loved ones. For more information about SOMC Hospice call (740) 353-2567.

Red Cross Thanks Community, Plans FundraisersPosted on February 22, 2008

While planning for three upcoming fundraisers for National Red Cross Month in March, the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross is thanking the community partners who have been supportive of the chapter’s efforts.

At the same time, community members are acknowledging the critical work the chapter accomplishes, and reminding the public that sooner or later nearly everyone is touched by the Red Cross.

“We now know more than ever how necessary it is for the average person to have first aid and CPR training,” Mary Arnzen, the local chapter’s executive director, said.

“The recent emergency at Notre Dame Elementary reminds us of the vital role of first aid for an injured person before professional help arrives. First aid training can mean the difference between life or death.”

Since last July the chapter has trained more than 800 people in health and safety courses. Arnzen said the chapter hopes to offer different types of classes and continuing education credits for professionals.

“We also hope to expand the number of basic first aid and CPR classes,” Arnzen added. The chapter is using Scioto Area Foundation grant support for a pilot project teaching first aid to students in grades 9-12 at Portsmouth City, Portsmouth East and Notre Dame schools.

“If the project is successful we will apply again for support from the Scioto Foundation to include more schools in the county,” Arnzen said. “This training enables the student to have a three-year Red Cross certification in first aid which could be used for a future job requirement.”

In addition to first aid and other health and safety courses, the local chapter supports the community during both widespread and individual catastrophic events. Since last July the chapter has served 156 people in single- and multi-family fires, providing more than $31,000 in support services. The chapter has collected more than 2,000 units of blood for area emergency needs, and has served important roles in other community emergencies, such as the recent emergency at Notre Dame Elementary School, where Principal Kay Kern said the Red Cross provided important support.

“We thank the (local Red Cross) for their quick response to coordinating counseling and for providing food and drink to all parties concerned,” Kern said. “The Red Cross was there for us day and night. We could not have even thought about the services that were provided by the Red Cross. We really appreciate them!”

Arnzen said the chapter’s services would not be possible without the help of community supporters. Recently, Southern Ohio Medical Center President Randy Arnett presented a pledge of support to the chapter.

“It is great to have such helpful community partners like SOMC!” Arnzen said. “They provide monetary support, along with conducting blood drives, and then they offer volunteers to us.”

In March the chapter will hold three important fundraising events. A community rummage sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 1 at the CAY Building, 2310 Sunrise Ave. The annual Celebrity Server night will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 at the Golden Corral restaurant in New Boston, with local law enforcement and area clergy participating. All server tips raised will benefit the local Red Cross.

The annual Red Cross Disaster Blaster will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 14 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. This major fundraiser for disaster services will include a grand prize trip to Las Vegas, plus cash prizes, karaoke and a chance at the “Suitcase Game,” a popular game show. Tickets are $50 per couple and available from the Chapter, 614 Glover St., or any Red Cross Board member. Call (740) 354-3293

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