SOMC Welcomes Junior VolunteersPosted on June 16, 2008

The 2008 Class of Junior Volunteers for Southern Ohio Medical Center participated in orientation the week of June 16. About 40 participants ages 15-18 representing all area schools will provide support for the services and programs of SOMC on all campuses and in most departments throughout the summer. For more information about SOMC’s Volunteer Program, call 356-8234.

SOMC Friends Scholars NamedPosted on June 16, 2008

The Friends of SOMC, a fundraising and supportive organization for programs and services of Southern Ohio Medical Center, has announced the recipients of the 2008 Friends of SOMC Scholarships. Each year the Friends award scholarships to qualified applicants pursuing studies in a health-related field. Applicants qualify with a connection to SOMC through themselves or a parent, guardian or spouse. This year’s recipients are Sara Pasquinelli, Jami Lyon and Peggie Reinhardt. Sara Pasquinelli is a Notre Dame High School graduate pursuing a nursing degree at the University of Cincinnati. She is a daughter of Ronald and Patricia Pasquinelli of Minford. Her mother, Patricia, works in SOMC’s Same Day Surgery. Jami Lyon is pursuing a medical degree at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is a daughter of Frank Lott, employed in SOMC Telecommunications, and Mary Lott, employed in SOMC Medical Imaging. Peggie Reinhardt is pursing a nursing degree from Wright State University. She is employed in the SOMC Employee Health Dept. Her son, Eric, is a patient sitter at SOMC, and her daughter, Jessie, is employed in SOMC’s 1-West unit. The Friends Scholarship is $1,000 per school year for each applicant, divided into $500 payments for fall and winter semesters.

Disaster Life Support Course HeldPosted on June 16, 2008

The Ohio Dept. of Health sponsored an Advanced Disaster Life Support Course for the local Medical Reserve Corps at Southern Ohio Medical Center June 9-11, welcoming representatives from area agencies to train for administering life support in all kinds of disasters.

Representatives from Wright State University presented two days of instruction followed by a day of drills at the Friends Community Center, with life support practice mannequins, a decontamination tent and other equipment. Part of the exercises included a simulated explosion and fire, with area high school students volunteering as “victims” needing rescued.

Among agencies and groups participating were the local Medical Reserve Corps, the Portsmouth City and Scioto County health departments, Vinton County Health Department, Grant Medical Center, local Emergency Medical Services, SOMC’s medical students, and Dr. Wayne Wheeler, medical director of Life Ambulance; Dr. Jason Cheatham, SOMC Emergency Medicine physician, and Dr. Aaron Adams, Scioto County Health Commissioner.

“You can plan and prepare, but this (exercise) opens our eyes as to what we can do as a community, as a team, as a bunch of trained individuals to work as a group and function with limited resources,” Dr. Adams said.

The Medical Reserve Corps is a group of trained medical professionals who volunteer their expertise to support the community in emergency and disaster preparedness.

SOMC Adds New Lab Service For Blood TestsPosted on June 16, 2008

Patients needing a blood test or other lab work have a convenient new location at Southern Ohio Medical Center. SOMC Outpatient Lab Services has opened a seven-station facility in Suite 303 of the Braunlin Building on the hospital’s Main Campus.

“Patients coming from doctors’ offices in the Waller, Braunlin and Fulton buildings will find this new facility very convenient,” Lab Services Director Andrea Zaph said. “Visitors leaving their doctor’s office can reach the facility easily because it’s either right next door or in the same building as their doctor’s office.”

The new facility is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and can provide blood draws and perform electrocardiograms (EKGs), as well as accept any kind of specimen from the patient as ordered by his or her physician. Located on the third floor of the Braunlin Building, the facility is easily accessed from both the ground floor via elevators or by walking across the overstreet enclosed walkway from the Waller Building. The larger facility replaces a smaller station previously located on the first floor of the Waller Building.

“We now have blood draw stations in the Fulton and Braunlin buildings on SOMC’s Main Campus, a facility adjacent to the Health Care Center on the South Campus, and outpatient laboratory services at the Wheelersburg Urgent Care in Wheelersburg,” Zaph said. “This is in addition to outpatient laboratory services available in the main hospital building.” For more information about the new facilty, call (740) 356-8741.

SOMC Observes ‘Year of Fitness’Posted on June 5, 2008

The SOMC LIFE Center is observing the “Year of Fitness” by encouraging residents in the community to observe a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise. As part of encouraging exercise programs and a healthy lifestyle, the facility will offer 13-month memberships for the price of 12 months until July 31, with access all three facilities (Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, Lucasville) and more than 40 hours of fitness classes each week, an indoor walking track, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a four-lane lap pool at the Portsmouth facility, and free personal consultations and programs. For more information call the SOMC LIFE Center, (740) 356-7650.

Beulah Baptist Presents Atkins Memorial Gift To SOMC Cancer ServicesPosted on June 4, 2008

Maria Atkins, wife of the late Phillip Atkins, recently presented a $1,000 gift in Phillip’s name from Beulah Baptist Church to Southern Ohio Medical Center Cancer Services on the first anniversary of her husband’s death. Phillip had been a patient of the SOMC Cancer Center. Shown at the presentation are (from left) Heather Ashley and Wendi Waugh of SOMC; Maria Atkins; Amory Novoselac, MD, of SOMC; Jeanette Langford and Pastor Adrian Jones of Beulah Baptist Church.

Musical Fun Has ‘No Name’ At Cancer EventPosted on June 2, 2008

When attendees of SOMC’s National Cancer Survivors Day celebration June 8 hear the event’s musical entertainment, they will find it memorable but may not be able to put a name to it. “We’re the No Name Band,” lead singer Vincent Scarpinato, MD, says. “We have no name. We’re a collection of diverse musical interests and we have no repertoire in common.” A surgeon, an oncologist, an optometrist and a recent high school graduate will entertain the cancer survivor event guests. The group of four musicians range in age from 17 to 48, and are mixing up their love of contemporary, classic rock, hard rock and Broadway standards for the audience. Each year the SOMC Cancer Center welcomes current and former cancer patients and their loved ones for an afternoon of fun, refreshments and fellowship in conjunction with National Cancer Survivors Day. The local event’s theme this year is “A Day Picnic In Central Park,” and the No Name Band will present a collection of songs centered around New York and Central Park. “It’s fun, it’s unusual and it’s for a good cause,” Scarpinato, a local surgeon on staff at Southern Ohio Medical Center, says. In addition to general surgery, he specializes in breast surgery and has cared for many cancer patients. “We will have New York artists, songs about New York and a few surprises,” he says. Joining Scarpinato will be the Cancer Center’s very own Amory Novoselac, MD, on guitar. Having played since he was a boy, the medical oncologist favors hard rock but is enjoying the chance to try songs he’s never heard. “It’s exciting to learn new songs, like (Harry Chapin’s) ‘Mr. Tanner,’” he says. “It will be a new experience because we are performing quite a few I’ve never played until now.” Dr. Novoselac has treated many area cancer patients in the past three years and looks forward to providing them a gift of music. Lending bass and backup vocals is local optometrist Mike Raies, who has been loving and playing music since he was learning the violin at 6 years of age. No stranger to concert performances, Raies has been playing about eight performances a year for more than 20 years with a band of optometrists, “Bad Habits,” who have been together since winning a talent show while still students in optometry school. “With ‘Bad Habits’ we’ve known each other so long and played together so much it’s like telepathy,” he says. “With this band and this performance the challenge will be working with different styles of music.” For recent Portsmouth West graduate Scott Ewing, the performance will be a chance to practice in a different environment than his lead singing in another local band. He is bound for Ohio University this fall, with a duel major in voice and piano. The other members are quick to point out that Ewing’s talent is moving toward a professional level, while they are simply enthusiasts. Scarpinato, who has been singing since grade school in church choirs and has performed extensively in community theater musicals, the concert will be a fun diversion. He will appear as “The Count” in Southern Ohio Light Opera’s upcoming performance, “A Little Night Music,” by Stephen Sondheim at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The Cancer Survivors Day annual celebration will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at the Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St. Survivors will have the chance to win special treats and door prizes. All cancer survivors and family members are welcome.

SOMC’s Sammons Receives DegreePosted on May 23, 2008

Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of Health and Safety at Southern Ohio Medical Center, has received a Master’s of Science Degree in Safety, Security and Emergency Management with a concentration in Occupational Safety from Eastern Kentucky University.

A native of Gallipolis and daughter of Ron and Jean Ann Lemon, Sammons is a 1988 graduate of Gallia Academy High School, received her Associate in Applied Science degree in Legal Assisting in 1990 and her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies in 1992 from Marshall University.

Sammons has been employed at SOMC for almost 11 years and resides in South Shore, Kentucky, with her husband, Mike, and their two children, Raigan, 13, and Carson, 4.

SOMC Rehab Helps Break Communication BarriersPosted on May 22, 2008

Imagine you need to yell for help, but the words won’t come out of your mouth. Communication barriers may result from conditions such as stroke, brain injury, or disease. Patients may have trouble expressing thoughts or cannot find the right words to say. They may not be able to understand verbal or written language, reason and judge, or solve problems. “About 10 percent of the American population has a communication disorder,” Kevin Stimpert, executive director of Rehabilitation Services, said. “In addition to medicine and surgery, the effects of communication disorders on individuals can be minimized through rehabilitation and education. Speech and hearing specialists help individuals untangle the twisted messages that limit their ability to comprehend or express thoughts. We also help them learn new ways to produce speech, and regain the ability to put words together.” In May, SOMC observes Better Hearing and Speech Month and acknowledges speech pathologists, audiologists and other professionals who work with people with communication challenges. Therapists at SOMC include Jody Cooper, SLP; LuAnn Lashley, SLP; Stephanie Willis, SLP; Ginger Wright, SLP, and Kristie Thacker, AUD. “Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), in particular, have the challenging job of helping people recover competence in communication,” Stimpert explained. “SLPs assess and treat all types of communication disorders, as well as swallowing disorders, and give patients and families the tools to overcome these difficulties.” Stimpert said SLPs help patients use remaining skills and, when necessary, learn alternative communication. “We often forget that we not only communicate by speaking, but also by gesturing, writing, drawing, reading, and our facial expressions. Speech therapists also evaluate a patient’s ability to solve problems he or she might encounter after returning home.” Many patients with conditions such as stroke, brain injury, or Parkinson’s disease have swallowing disorders. The speech therapist evaluates the patient’s feeding and swallowing to provide effective treatment, which may be as simple as altering a person’s head or body position during swallowing or coughing or eliminating certain food textures. Other individuals may need to learn new ways to swallow. For additional information on services at SOMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, call Brett Lacey at (740) 356-7438.

Grief Support Focuses On Living AlonePosted on May 20, 2008

SOMC Hospice is offering a four-week grief support group that is focused on cooking for one, staying healthy, socialization and will give participants the opportunity share in educational discussions about the grieving process. Participants will be encouraged to share memories, questions and concerns with others that have experienced the same loss and are struggling with the reality of learning to live alone. Meetings will be held every Tuesday in June beginning at 5 p.m. June 3 in the Hospice Conference Room of the Gibson Building on the SOMC East Campus, 2201 25th St. Space is limited, so registration is necessary. Call Susan Goins at 356-2676.

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