SOMC Urology Associates Designated as a Center of Excellence for GreenLight™ Laser Therapy, a Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or Enlarged ProstatePosted on 02/21/2023

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) announced that Stephen Woolums, MD of SOMC Urology Associates has been designated as a Center of Excellence for GreenLight™ Laser Therapy treatment – a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for men looking to treat their benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), not just the symptoms. GreenLight Therapy can help provide immediate relief from enlarged prostate symptoms such as frequent urination—especially at night, weak urine flow, urgency and incomplete bladder emptying. In addition, GreenLight Laser Therapy requires no incisions and typically has no overall deleterious impact on sexual function.1 The Center of Excellence designation recognizes Dr. Stephen Woolums’ high degree of experience with GreenLight Laser Therapy and commitment to delivering effective, long-lasting therapy to men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).1

BPH is a condition in which a man’s prostate enlarges and squeezes the urethra, causing frustrating symptoms such as frequent or urgent urination, a weak or interrupted urine stream, and the need to get up several times a night to urinate. It affects about 50% of men by age 60, and up to 90% of men by age 85.2

“Being designated as a GreenLight Center of Excellence is a meaningful recognition for us, as we strive to provide the best possible treatment of urological conditions for patients in our community and beyond,” said Dr. Stephen Woolums. “For years, the primary options for treating BPH were through behavior modifications, medications or invasive surgery. However, medications may not work for everyone and may have undesirable side effects such as dizziness, sexual dysfunction and lower sex drive.3 With GreenLight Therapy, we’re able to provide relief of BPH for men who do not want to take medication or want to avoid invasive surgery and implants.”

GreenLight Laser Therapy uses laser energy to vaporize the enlarged tissue, creating an open channel for urine to pass through the urethra. In addition to typically experiencing immediate improvements in urine flow, many patients are pleased to know that GreenLight typically has no overall deleterious impact on sexual function.1 GreenLight Laser therapy is a long-term solution without the need for BPH medication.1

GreenLight Therapy is currently being used in many leading urology practices throughout the United States. To date, more than 1 million patients around the world have been successfully treated with GreenLight Therapy.4

SOMC Urology Associates is located on the main SOMC campus in the Waller Building at 1735 27th Street, Suite 308. The office can be reached at 740-356-4URO (4876).
For more information, visit or


1. Bachmann A, Tubaro A, Barber N, et al. A European multicenter randomized noninferiority trial comparing 180 W GreenLight-XPS laser vaporization and transurethral resection of the prostate for the treatment of benign prostatic obstruction: 12-month results of the GOLIATH study. J Urol. 2015 Feb;193(2):570-8.
2. What is BPH? Urology Care Foundation website. hyperplasia-(bph).
3. Roger K, Gilling P. Fast Facts: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, 7th edition. Health Press. 2011.
4. Data on file with Boston Scientific.

* Results from case studies are not necessarily predictive of results in other cases. Results in other cases may vary.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: These materials are intended to describe common clinical considerations and procedural steps for the use of referenced technologies but may not be appropriate for every patient or case. Decisions surrounding patient care depend on the physician’s professional judgment in consideration of all available information for the individual case.
Boston Scientific (BSC) does not promote or encourage the use of its devices outside their approved labeling. Case studies are not necessarily representative of clinical outcomes in all cases as individual results may vary. is a website sponsored by Boston Scientific.
Caution: U.S. Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.
All images are the property of Boston Scientific. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
©2020 Boston Scientific Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved. URO-826605-AA JUL 2020

Keep Your Feet Safe at the Gym in the New YearPosted on 02/17/2023

In the New Year, don’t forget to keep your feet in tip-top shape while following through with your resolutions to get fit. Portsmouth foot and ankle surgeon Darby W. Wehrley, DPM, FACFAS, offers tips for foot safety while at the gym.

Start new workouts gradually — increase your stamina and the length of your workouts gradually to avoid overuse injuries such as stress fractures or tendon strains and sprains. Stretching your muscles before and after workouts also helps prevent these types of injuries. “If you do feel you’ve sprained your ankle, be sure to seek treatment right away,” Dr. Wehrley a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons explains. “Untreated or repeated ankle sprains may lead to chronic ankle instability, a condition that causes persistent pain and a ‘giving way’ of the ankle.”

Wear the right shoe and sock — Wear well-fitting athletic shoes designed for the exercise or sport. According to Dr. Wehrley, shoes that don’t support the arch of the foot and provide cushion for the heel can cause heel pain (plantar fasciitis). Shoes that are too small can also cause a neuroma or a thickening of the nerve tissue, in the foot and may require injections, medication or physical therapy. Wearing cotton or non-slip socks are also key to help avoid painful blisters, which can become infected and cause more serious issues.

Use good technique — Improper exercise techniques can result in injury to the tendons or ligaments in your feet and ankles. “Incorrect posture or misuse of exercise equipment can cause decreased stabilization in the foot and ankle, leading to joint sprains and muscle strains,” Dr. Wehrley says.

Gym Safety
Protect yourself from bacteria-Sweaty shoes, public showers, exercise equipment and the pool deck at the gym are breeding grounds for fungus, viruses and bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which has become increasingly more common. Never go barefoot while in public areas; water shoes can provide a great barrier between your feet and the wet surfaces. “It’s also best to cover cuts and cracks in the skin or ingrown toenails since these minor tears in the skin’s surface can act as entry points for bacteria. If you have a cut or scrape that becomes red or swollen and is not healing in a timely manner, don’t hesitate to see a foot and ankle surgeon for an examination,” Dr. Wehrley says.

Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. If you experience an injury or pain, call Dr. Wehrley’s office located on Southern Ohio Medical Center’s campus at 740-356-3668 for an evaluation.

– Dr. Darby Wehrley

Local Man Encourages Preventive Heart Checks After Finding 70% BlockagePosted on 02/17/2023

Douglas Parsley is feeling better these days, which is remarkable because he didn’t know he was ever feeling bad. That’s something he realized after he had a stent installed to relieve a 70% blockage in blood flow.

“If you had zero blockage and woke up with 70% blockage, you’d notice it,” he explained. “But when it happens over time, it’s like the old analogy about the frog in the water pan. If you gradually turn up the heat, the frog gets used to it and doesn’t know it’s in trouble. I guess I was the frog in this situation.”

He realized quickly after the stent was installed that he hadn’t been feeling as well as he could. The stent allowed for more oxygen to flow through his system, which he said changed how he felt almost immediately.

Parsley’s recovery came about because he decided to have his heart health checked preventively. He has a younger brother who suffered a heart attack, and says he knows someone else who lost a brother unexpectedly to one. Those experiences led him to surmise that, even if he felt okay, it might be a good idea to make sure there weren’t any issues hiding beneath the surface. He considers himself lucky he found out about his blockage the way that he did.

“I didn’t have a clue I had a blockage,” he said. “I just knew my younger brother had at least one heart attack, so I thought I should probably get checked out. I’m two years older and haven’t exactly been watching my intake of saturated fats.”

That decision led to other changes in his lifestyle. He said he goes to the LIFE Center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays now, has lost weight and regularly has his blood pressure and vitals checked. After stumbling upon a blockage in the “widow-maker” range – a term he said emphasized how seriously he was at risk – he also encourages others to get checked, themselves.

“If you think there’s even a remote chance you may have a problem, it wouldn’t hurt.”

As Parsley’s story demonstrates, you may not actually know how much it’ll help until you do it.

SOMC Volunteer Recognized as Hometown HeroPosted on 02/16/2023

It was a very exciting and special day for one volunteer at Southern Ohio Medical Center, as turning 99+1 years old over the weekend, Monday morning, Goldie Griffith was recognized among her fellow volunteers and staff as the latest WSAZ Hometown Hero, during a surprise get-together to celebrate the occasion. Goldie has spent nearly 30 years as a volunteer at SOMC, and is the first active volunteer to achieve such a distinctive milestone while serving throughout the hospital’s history.

Goldie began volunteering at SOMC in 1985, after retiring from the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology as a State Board Inspector. Goldie is currently a member of the SOMC Hope Guild, where she continues to volunteer at all fundraising sales, attends monthly business meetings, and currently serves as the Guild’s Treasurer. For many years Goldie volunteered in the SOMC Gift Gallery where staff remember her most – always offering a helping hand, and a sweet smile to the many customers and staff that visited. “As long as I have known Goldie, she has NEVER wanted anyone to know her actual age – even her application does not reflect the correct year. With this, Goldie’s volunteer friends throughout the years remind me secretly of how close Goldie is getting to 100 years of age,” states Jenny Lavender, Manager of SOMC Volunteer Services.

On February 6, a special lunch meeting was hosted by the SOMC Hope Guild to solely wish Goldie the happiest of birthdays, which Goldie did not discover the actual purpose until her arrival, and it was at this moment that Lavender asked permission to share this amazing milestone with SOMC and to no longer keep it a secret. Yes, permission was granted with a genuine smile and appreciation. In Goldie’s words…”just tell everyone that I’m 99+1 years old – that way if they can’t do the math, well, then it’s their problem!”

Goldie is quite the entertaining and active individual, as not only does she continue to volunteer at SOMC, she continues to serve as a volunteer Usher at SSU’s VRCFA, among various other organizations throughout the Portsmouth community as well. “Yes, Goldie Griffith is pretty amazing, and is such an inspiration to so many. I am truly fortunate to have Goldie, as not only an inspiration and volunteer – but in my life as well,” adds Lavender.

SOMC Sports Motion Utilizing New Polar Care WavePosted on 02/06/2023

SOMC Athletic Trainers are dedicated to keeping their players healthy with the most up-to-date techniques and technology.
They are now utilizing the Polar Care Wave. This equipment is explained on their website as “combin[ing] motorized cooling therapy with active compression in a simple and compact system. Polar Care Wave is easily transported from the hospital, physical therapy clinic or athletic training room… extending the benefits of cold and compression.”
The machine is for patients to use after surgery or for acute injuries. The equipment will assist in the reduction of swelling and/or pain, according to the website.
With this new equipment, purchased by the SOMC Community Health and Wellness Fund, the SOMC athletic trainers will have another method to help keep their athletes and the community on a quick road to recovery!

Free Community CPR Classes Coming SoonPosted on 01/27/2023

SOMC will soon host FREE community CPR classes! The classes will be offered in multiple locations for the convenience of those in attendance. Please see the schedule below if you are interested in participating. Supplies for each class are provided by the SOMC Heart & Vascular Fund.

Vanceburg (Licking Valley Community Center)
February 13 | 10- noon

Braunlin Conference Center (SOMC Main Campus, Portsmouth)
February 15 | 1- 3 pm
February 22 | 5 – 7 pm

Wheelersburg Family Health Center
February 17 | 4-6 pm

Ironton Family Practice & Specialty Associates
February 18 | 10am-noon

Waverly Family Health Center
February 23 | 1 – 3 pm

Russell Family Practice & Specialty Associates
February 24 | 1 – 3 pm

To register, call SOMC Community Health & Wellness at 740-356-8070. Registration is required.

The American Heart Association Family & Friends CPR course teaches the lifesaving skills of Hands-Only CPR/AED use for adults, children, and infants. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides learners with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible. Family & Friends CPR course attendees will learn the basics of hands-

Southern Ohio Medical Center Celebrates Major MilestonePosted on 01/18/2023

Southern Ohio Medical Center is proud to announce its 100th placenta donation through Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation Program! With this milestone, mothers who have donated their placentas through our system have the potential to create approximately 2,500 healing grafts.

Healing grafts made from a placenta donation are used for a wide range of procedures involving eye, oral and spine surgery, and for the treatment of difficult-to-heal wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, pressure ulcers and burns.

This unique and life-enhancing program is a collaborative effort among the SOMC Maternity Unit and SOMC OBGYN Associates and Jennifer D. Roberts, D.O., LLC.

“Reaching the milestone of 100 placenta donations was super exciting for our team, which is comprised of our patients, OB physicians, CNMs, their office staff, maternity nurses, surgical scrub techs, our lab phlebotomists and pathology department!” said Theresa Ruby, SOMC Nurse Manager of Maternity. “Each member of this team is driven to provide excellent care in every way possible for each of their patients. Becoming partners with Lifeline has allowed us to deliver excellent care and fulfill our mission of making a difference in our community!”

Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation program allows expectant mothers with scheduled C-section deliveries to donate the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic membrane. Each donated placenta, which would typically be discarded, has the potential to heal approximately 25 people.

“I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Southern Ohio Medical Center for their ongoing commitment to the Placenta Donation Program,” said Andrew Mullins, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio. “It demonstrates the advocacy they have for donation and their dedication to providing hope and healing to patients in need.”

Program Highlights
• Any expectant mother, of any age, with a planned C-section can be a potential donor.
• Placenta donation does not change any part of the delivery.
•. There is no cost associated with placenta donation.
•. Placenta donation is not related to cord blood donation.

To learn more about Lifeline of Ohio’s Placenta Donation program, visit

SOMC Maternity Department Welcomes 2023 New Year’s BabyPosted on 01/03/2023

SOMC would like to welcome the first baby born in our Maternity department in 2023! Loriah Jayne Miller was born on Jan. 1, 2023, at 6:55 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Isaac and Victoria Miller are the proud parents of Loriah.

Join us in welcoming Loriah and wishing her family congratulations!

Funds Donated to SOMC Hospice in Memory of Dr. Suzann BonzoPosted on 12/27/2022

In honor of the first anniversary of Dr. Suzann Bonzo’s passing, her family and work family, which was more like family, donated funds in her memory.
Dr. Bonzo practiced medicine in Portsmouth for an incredible 40 years. Due to her commitment to medicine, hospice and palliative care, countless patients and families have been touched throughout her years of service and beyond.
Sandy Bonzo, a niece of Dr. Bonzo and Keri Kuhn, CNP, who used to practice with Dr. Bonzo, recently made donations in her honor.
These funds will help staff earn certification or recertification as a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (CHNP) or Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse Assistant (CHNPA). These learning opportunities are optional, and in the past, if an employee wanted to apply for this certification, they would have to pay for it out of their pocket. This will be an ongoing educational opportunity for staff, so donations will continue to be accepted to allow even more staff to become certified.
A special thank you to them for their support. Their donations will continue Dr. Bonzo’s legacy as she dedicated her life’s work to growing the hospice program in southern Ohio.

SOMC Introduces Aquablation Therapy for Enlarged ProstatesPosted on 12/07/2022

Southern Ohio Medical Center announced that Aquablation therapy for the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – also known as an enlarged prostate – is now available.


BPH is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate has grown to be larger than normal. 1 in 2 men ages 51 to 60 have BPH, and the incidence increases every decade of life. If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.


Aquablation therapy is a different type of treatment for BPH. It’s an advanced, minimally invasive treatment that uses the power of water delivered with robotic precision to provide best-in-class and long-lasting symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications, regardless of prostate size or shape.2,3


“We are proud to offer men with BPH a solution that provides relief without compromise,” said Stephen Woolums, MD, SOMC Urologist. “Aquablation therapy is the next step to furthering our commitment to enhancing men’s health services at SOMC.”


Aquablation therapy is performed by the AquaBeam Robotic System, the first FDA-cleared, surgical robot utilizing automated tissue resection or the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH. It combines real-time, multi-dimensional imaging, automated robotic technology, and heat-free waterjet ablation technology for targeted, controlled, and immediate removal of prostate tissue. Aquablation therapy offers predictable and reproducible outcomes,     independent of prostate anatomy, prostate size, or surgeon experience.


Aquablation therapy has proven results. In clinical studies, Aquablation therapy has shown to provide both best-in- class and durable symptom relief with low rates of irreversible complications.


A study within the Journal of Sexual Medicine, which surveyed 300 men living with BPH, revealed 92% of respondents expressed an interest in learning more about Aquablation therapy. This data demonstrates the need within the patient population to find relief without the trade off between symptoms and relief side effects.


For more information or to schedule an appointment, call SOMC Urology Associates at 740-356-4URO.

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