SOMC Receives OHA’s Top 20 Percent AwardPosted on July 10, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again received the Ohio Hospital Association’s (OHA) Top 20 Percent Award for being one of the safest healthcare facilities in the state.

 The award is given through OHA’s Statewide Hospital Safety Campaign, which annually recognizes hospitals and healthcare systems that have secured the most successful safety programs and superior employee safety records. The safety awards were created in 1953 by the OHA and the Industrial Commission of Ohio to promote workplace safety.

 “This honor shows that SOMC is not only working to provide a safe environment for our patients and visitors, but also our employees,” Christy Aeh, director of SOMC Safety Services, said. “It’s a true accomplishment and is yet another way to measure our progress toward achieving excellence at SOMC.”

 Twenty Percent winners were chosen based on their organization’s submitted Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses data, which included the total recordable employee injury cases and days away from work for the past year. SOMC was recognized among 14 other healthcare facilities.

 “Safety is a priority in everything we do and this award proves our dedication to go above and beyond,” Chief Safety Officer Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of SOMC Health and Safety, said. “Our employees have been working to create and sustain a culture of safety and an exceptionally safe work environment and it’s wonderful to see the collaboration that has been made to produce these outcomes. We thank our leaders and staff members for their teamwork and congratulate them on their success.”

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SOMC Hospice Memorial Ride scheduled for July 28Posted on July 9, 2012

The Fourth Annual SOMC Hospice Memorial Ride will take place on July 28. Registration will begin at 11am at the SOMC Hospice building on the East Campus, and riders will depart at noon.

The Memorial Ride was created by hospice patient Ricky Bryan, who began planning the ride prior to his death as a way to give back to the program. Since his passing, SOMC has carried on the Memorial Ride as a way to honor not only Ricky, but all bike riders and hospice patients.

 “Even though this event is relatively new, it has already received tremendous support from the community,” Sheila Riggs, claims coordinator of Hospice Services, said. “Last year’s Memorial Ride brought out more than 200 motorcycle enthusiasts. We’d like to do just as well, if not better, this year.”

 The ride itself sends participants on a 90-mile, police-escorted ride through southern Ohio. All proceeds benefit patients of SOMC Hospice Services.

 “We’re always humbled by the outpouring of support SOMC’s hospice program receives from the community. Their generosity is amazing, and the Hospice Memorial Ride is an excellent example of that,” Riggs said.

 This year’s ride will feature music from The Don’s, as well as a 50/50 drawing with all proceeds going to hospice. 50/50 tickets are $1 each or $5 for an arm’s length.

 Cost of the ride is $20 for a single rider and $25 for a rider and passenger. Participants will also receive a free lunch when the ride returns. Anyone not riding may purchase lunch for $5. There will also be t-shirts on sale for $15.

 For more information, SOMC Hospice can be reached at 740-356-2651.

Ohio River Cruise lets community have a good time for a good causePosted on July 6, 2012

The Southern Ohio Medical Center Foundation Board is offering community members the opportunity to kick back, relax and support a good cause all from aboard the beautiful Belle of Cincinnati. The 2012 Ohio River Cruise is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, and proceeds from the dinner cruise will help the SOMC/Emergency Medical Services Team improve local heart attack response times. Funding will be used for 12 Lead EKG systems, software, and cell phone plans to transmit patients’ EKSs to the emergency department from the ambulance in the field. Faster care leads to better outcomes, and studies have shown that the use of pre-hospital EKGs and field transmission capabilities can give heart attack patients quicker access to the care they need. “By joining us on the Ohio River Cruise, the community has a chance to enjoy an evening of fun while providing funding to a much-needed cause,” SOMC President and CEO Randy Arnett said. “This is an important tool that will allow us to provide a higher quality of care to heart attack patients in our community.” Anyone who purchases a ticket to the Ohio River Cruise will also have a chance to win up to $10,000 in a sweepstakes drawing ($5,000 cash prize, $5,000 in prizes). The cruise will begin at 6:30 pm on July 26, with boarding taking place at the Court Street Landing in Portsmouth. The Belle of Cincinnati will dock at the same location at 9:30 pm. Sponsorship tickets cost $500 and include premier, river view seating, champagne, dinner for four and four entries in the sweepstakes drawing. Individual tickets cost $125 and include dinner and one entry in the sweepstakes drawing. Sponsorships and tickets are limited so call 740-356-6160 to reserve your tickets soon.

SOMC programs offer local athletes a leg up on the competitionPosted on July 5, 2012

Through the Life Center and Sports Motion, Southern Ohio Medical Center has long been committed to helping individuals improve theiroverall health and athleticism. They recently took that commitment to the field at the Gerald Cadogan Football Camp.

 SOMC Life Center and Sports Motion representatives provided athletic training services at the camp. They helped participants warm up, stay hydrated and avoid injuries. Cadogan, a former Portsmouth Trojan and Penn State Nittany Lion, said he reached out to SOMC for help soon after deciding to host the camp and was thrilled to have their support.

 “It’s just an amazing contribution from the Life Center and SOMC,” Cadogan said. “If it wasn’t for the help we received from the community, this camp would have been a lot harder to put together.”

Brad Zieber, a certified performance enhancement specialist, served as a representative for SOMC’s Performance Enhancement Program – a program Cadogan was already familiar with, having gone through it prior to joining the Penn State football team.

 “PEC is a program offered through the SOMC Life Center that utilizes the same training tools and techniques used by professional athletes,” Zieber said. “PEC can be used to improve the performance of athletes in any sport.”

 The PEC program helps athletes improve strength, power, endurance and speed. It also features athletic assessments to test progress and ongoing evaluations to make sure the athlete stays on track to achieve the results they want.

 “Much like Gerald’s camp, PEC is an excellent way for athletes to better fulfill their potential, no matter what sport they may choose to play,” Zieber said.

 In addition to representatives from SOMC, the Gerald Cadogan Football Camp also featured guest coaches such as Oakland Raiders guard Stephen Wisniewski and Tennesee Titans linebacker Tim Shaw. Buoyed by the success of this year’s event, Cadogan said he would like to host additional camps in the future.

 “I’ve always wanted to do a camp like this in Portsmouth,” Cadogan said. “I had the opportunity to do it for the first time this year, and I hope to be able to do it every year.”

 In the meantime, however, Zieber encourages anyone interested in improving their performance to take advantage of the tools and techniques available through the SOMC Life Center and Sports Motion.

 For more information about SOMC’s Performance Enhancement Center, call 740-356-7572 or send an email to The Life Center can be reached at 740-356-7650, and questions about Sports Motion should be directed to 740-356-7438.

SOMC Hospice, Cancer Center win National Excellence in Healthcare AwardsPosted on July 5, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center has three new awards to hang on the walls. SOMC Hospice was honored with two PRC National Excellence in Healthcare Awards. The Medical Oncology Department of the SOMC Cancer Center also received an award in the Cancer Center’s first year of participation with PRC. This is the second consecutive year that SOMC Hospice has received a PRC award. They were given the PRC’s highest honor, the Overall Top Performer Award, as well as the 5-Star Award. “Receiving the PRC’s highest possible honor means so much to all of us at SOMC Hospice,” Hospice director Teresa Ruby said. “We’re very proud of the care we provide our patients, and it’s very exciting to see our care earn this kind of recognition.” The 5-Star Award is given to healthcare providers that score in the top ten percent for excellent patient responses, a feat that the SOMC Cancer Center was also able to achieve. “We’re thrilled to win this award in our very first year of PRC participation,” Director of Cancer Services Wendi Waugh said. “All of us at the SOMC Cancer Center work tirelessly to bring the best possible care to southern Ohio, and this award is further validation that our hard work is paying off.” Southern Ohio Medical Center was also one of just 62 hospital facilities recognized for excellence in overall quality of care at the PRC National Excellence in Healthcare Annual Conference. For more information, contact SOMC Hospice at 740-356-2651 or the SOMC Cancer Center at 740-356-7490.

Local kids get active, learn healthy habits with SOMC’s Camp LIFEPosted on July 2, 2012


Participants and volunteers at SOMC’s Camp LIFE posed for a photograph during the final day of the camp. Camp LIFE was developed as a way to combat occurrences of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in children by teaching them basic principles of nutrition and exercise, as well as cooking techniques, and by providing numerous physical activities to keep them active and entertained. Activities included swimming, yoga, basketball and Zumba®. For additional information on how to improve your overall health, contact the SOMC Life Center at 740-356-7650.

SOMC Nursing Leaders Present at Annual PRC ConferencePosted on June 28, 2012

Nursing leaders at Southern Ohio Medical Center were recently selected to present during the 13th Annual PRC Excellence in Healthcare conference, held June 3-6 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

More than 300 clients and distinguished guests attended the event, which aimed to further educate healthcare professionals interested in achieving service excellence.

Those who presented included Claudia Burchett, RN, BSN, MBA, FACHE, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and vice president of Nursing at SOMC; Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, BSN, MSN, NE-BC, director of SOMC Emergency, Outpatient and Pediatric Services; and Valerie DeCamp, RN, BSN, MHA, NE-BC, director of SOMC Inpatient Nursing Services.

Dilts Skaggs and DeCamp presented, “From Very Good to Excellent, Service Tools, Strategies and Action Plans to Achieve Results,” while Burchett was chosen to sit among a panel that discussed “Creative Ways to Reward and Recognize Staff.”

“This is the second year we have been chosen to present at the annual PRC conference and we hope to do so again,” Burchett said. “It was a great opportunity for our organization and the sessions helped us gain invaluable knowledge that can be used to better continue SOMC’s journey toward excellence and perfection. We look forward to returning.”

Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit will keep continuum of care localPosted on June 26, 2012

Local nursing home officials are excited for the opening of Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit (SBMCU), saying it will satisfy a real need in the community.

SOMC’s new unit provides care for seniors experiencing symptoms such as dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s or psychosis. The fact these services will be available in Portsmouth will make care available and convenient to more seniors.

“Sometimes, nursing homes have patients that might need the kind of care you would receive from a Behavioral Medicine unit,” Scott Powell, administrator of Concord Nursing and Rehab, said. “Right now we’re sending a lot of those patients to Cincinnati, and it’s just not good to send patients that far out of the community. SOMC’s unit will help keep the continuum of care local.”

Lori Head of Best Care Nursing and Rehab agrees.

“The travel can be taxing on patients and their families,” Head said. “The SBMCU is going to make it very convenient for them, and it’s going to be a great asset to the nursing home community because it’s a trusted facility that we all know and greatly appreciate.

“We all appreciate having SOMC in our community and to have the Behavioral Unit along with it is going to work out great.”

Heartland of Portsmouth’s Belinda Lesley said that, because the unit will be providing care so close to home, it will make behavioral medicine available to patients who otherwise may have declined it to avoid the travel.

“We’ve sent seven patients out of the area so far this year,” Lesley said. “A local resource like SOMC’s SBMCU will allow us to not only keep those patients near their families, but to refer more patients for care in the future.”

The Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit is located on the second floor of SOMC’s Main Campus and features 15 private rooms. For more information, or to refer a patient, contact the SBMCU at 740-356-2200.

SOMC opens new Senior Behavioral Medicine Care UnitPosted on June 25, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center is expanding the care it provides with the opening of the brand new Senior Behavioral Medicine Care Unit (SBMCU). This secure, acute care service is for seniors experiencing symptoms such as dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s or psychosis.

“Our new unit provides a warm and supportive environment in which seniors can receive treatment for the conditions that may be causing discomfort in their lives,” SOMC Director of Nursing Valerie DeCamp said.

The unit, which is located on the second floor of SOMC’s Main Campus, features 15 private rooms as well as a lounge room, and a dining room.

Patients also have access to psychiatric evaluations, group and individual psychotherapy, medication education and follow-up care that helps ensure health improvements are long lasting.

“Not only do we have a caring and experienced staff in the unit, but we also have the resources to provide seniors with the support they need even after they leave the hospital,” DeCamp said. “All of us at SOMC are committed to making a meaningful and long-term difference in the lives of our patients.”

Treatment plans are designed with specific goals and objectives for each patient. They can include individual, group and activity therapies as well as special focus groups.

For more information, or to refer a patient, contact the SBMCU at 740-356-2200.

SOMC hosting blood drive July 10Posted on June 18, 2012

Southern Ohio Medical Center will be hosting a blood drive on July 10 from 7:30 am until 3:30 pm in Suite 207 of the Waller Building, located on SOMC’s Main Campus.

SOMC lab technician Beth King knows firsthand the importance of having blood available for those who need it. Beth was diagnosed with colon cancer in May of 2010 and, during an 11-month period, underwent three major surgeries and six months of chemotherapy.

“I received blood during surgery, and then again during Chemotherapy when I developed kidney stones”, Beth said.

Prior to her diagnosis, Beth considered herself to be a healthy person. She rarely used sick days and never expected that she may need to be in the hospital as a patient rather than as a care giver. She had no reason to suspect she may soon be in need of donated blood, but then again, nobody really knows that they’ll need it until they do.

That’s why Beth thinks it’s so important for people to donate at blood drives like SOMC’s.

“You never know who is going to need blood next,” Beth said. “It could be a family member or even yourself.”

According to the American Red Cross, currently only 3 out of every 100 people in the country donate blood. Having been on the receiving end of the process, Beth says she has a deeper appreciation for how important it is to become a donor.

For more information, please call 740-356-8670 or 740-356-8687.

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