Kara Miller, medical education coordinator for Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), has been awarded her master’s degree in business administration from Tiffin University.
Miller received her undergraduate degree in business administration from Shawnee State University and has been employed at SOMC since June 2007.
She also serves as SOMC’s administrator for the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE).
Dr. Henry Childers with Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure.
Southern Ohio Medical Center is leading the way in minimally invasive procedures and currently is the only organization in the region performing these procedures in heart surgery.
“Minimally invasive heart surgery allows the patient to undergo a heart procedure without the extensive opening necessary to get to the areas that need repair. It also allows the patient a much faster recovery time,” said Henry Childers, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the SOMC Heart and Vascular Unit.
Minimally invasive heart surgery is performed through a small incision, no more than four inches, made in the patient’s chest cavity in order to conduct the procedure. By using this procedure, no bone or muscle is cut and the patient incurs a smaller incision area, which reduces pain and scaring. This process also reduces the risk of infection, causes less bleeding, pain and trauma to the chest cavity and decreases the length of stay in the hospital.
“We have been able to get patients back on their feet in as little as 24-hours after their surgery. Recovery time is also drastically reduced from the average recovery time of traditional heart surgery of up to eight weeks due to the fact that we do not have to cut bone. With this procedure, recovery time is as little as two weeks,” Childers explained.
“I feel 100% better,” said Maxine Ruby, a recent recipient of the minimally invasive procedure. “I have a lot more energy. I can do my housework and can watch my grandson play ball. I couldn’t do that before the surgery.”
Childers explained that heart valve surgeries, including valve repairs and valve replacements are the most common types of minimally invasive procedures, however the process can also be used for coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, epicardial lead placement and atrial fibrillation.
“We are continually staying ahead of the pack on techniques and technology at SOMC. This procedure eliminates the cutting of muscles and bone which lessons the amount of time patients are in the operating room and reduces the amount of time needed for recovery,” he said.
Ruby said her recovery time was extremely fast. “I had my surgery on Tuesday and was home by Saturday. I was up and moving around and already felt great. I’m now in rehab and walking on the treadmill.”
Childers specialized in minimally invasive procedures during training at Cornell Medical Center in New York and at the University of Pennsylvania. He has continued to perfect this technique over the years, leading the way in the region. For more information on this procedure contact SOMC’s Heart and Vascular Associates at 356-8772.
Lisa Carmichael, medical technician at Southern Ohio Medical Center, preps a community member for a glucose reading at last year’s heart event, Sing with Heart. This year’s event, Cook with Heart, will take place at the SOMC Friends Community Center, on Feb. 24, from 2 to 7 p.m. and will provide free health screenings on various healthy-heart indicators including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and heart risk analysis.
Southern Ohio Medical Center will host its fourth annual heart awareness program, “Cook with Heart,” from 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth.
“Each year we try to incorporate a heart-healthy theme to our community awareness program so we can focus not only on taking care of the heart, but also on creating an overall healthy lifestyle,” Amy Fraulini, director of SOMC Heart and Vascular Services, said.
This year’s event will feature cooking demonstrations of various recipes that promote healthy eating. Demonstrations will begin at 4 p.m. with free samples to be offered by SOMC Dietary Services.
“In order to have a healthy heart, you have to have a healthy lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is learning how to prepare quick and easy meals that are good for you and maintain great taste,” Fraulini said.
While learning healthy cooking tips, participants also will be able to take part in free health screenings which will begin at 2 p.m. and include total cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and a heart risk analysis. Pre-registration is required.
For more information about Cook with Heart, or to schedule your free heath screening, please call 740-356-7665.
The Anticoagulation Clinic is located on Oakland Avenue on the South Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center.
Patients who have had heart valve replacements, had complicated surgeries, blood clots, or heart beat irregularities may be asked to take Coumadin to help slow the blood clotting process. These medications, known as anticoagulants, are used to prevent major complications, such as vessel or valve obstruction, or strokes. In order to properly administer and monitor patients using these medications, Southern Ohio Medical Center houses a specialized department called the SOMC Anticoagulation Clinic.
“Our facility is always dedicated to nationally recognized best practices and having an anticoagulation clinic, on-site. Providing this service along with our other heart and vascular areas is best practice,” said Rory Phillips, RPh, Director of Pharmacy at Southern Ohio Medical Center.
SOMC’s Anticoagulation Clinic opened its doors in 2002 in order to bring state of the art treatment methods to patients in our area. Now, part of the overall heart and vascular process, Phillips said SOMC services encompass all aspects of total heart and vascular care.
“Our pharmacists have more than 45 years of combined experience in caring for Coumadin patients in the outpatient setting. Five hospital pharmacists rotate through the clinic, most of which are Doctor of Pharmacy graduates, but all have national certification in anticoagulation” he explained.
Phillips said the clinic results exceed national patient safety and quality standards with a proven track record that has been shared across the United States at other healthcare organizations and national conferences.
“We have exceeded the Joint Commissions quality standards and patient satisfaction expectations in our clinic and have shared our practices to help other organizations make improvements. Like with everything we do at Southern Ohio Medical Center, we set the bar high so that we are continually focused on providing the highest quality care,” he shared.
SOMC’s Anticoagulation Clinic is located on Oakland Avenue on the South Campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center and cares for more than 825 patients currently. For more information on anticoagulation and other related services, contact the clinic at 356-7539.