Cambridge, Ohio – While undergoing cancer treatment at Southeastern Med, lifelong Byesville resident Jeff Milton was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm – an enlarged, weakened area in the lower part of the aorta. This condition is referred to as a “silent killer” because there are often no symptoms until it’s too late, and a rupture of this major artery can cause fatal bleeding.

Jeff hadn’t experienced any symptoms, but his aneurysm was large enough to concern his oncologist, Dr. Alkhouri, who referred Jeff to local vascular surgeon Dr. Jackson Flanigan for treatment. Dr. Flanigan is the only local surgeon trained to perform endovascular aneurysm repair, in addition to most minimally invasive vascular procedures for peripheral artery disease (PAD). 


Southeastern Med Celebrates Physical Therapy Month, Promotes #ChoosePT Campaign

Cambridge, Ohio – Physical therapy can play an important role in improving functional strength, mobility, pain management, and overall quality of life for people of all ages and functional levels. Southeastern Med invites you to join us in celebrating National Physical Therapy Month during the month of October.

National Physical Therapy Month is recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as an annual opportunity to recognize the power of physical therapy to transform lives. The APTA is a professional organization that represents physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy.

Dr. E KumlerSoutheastern Med’s newest pediatrician, Dr. Ellen Kumler, comes to the hospital with more than 15 years of experience working with children.

Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Dr. Kumler spent 20 years living in various parts of the world, including Kentucky, Washington, D.C., and Japan. She was most recently the Public Health Clinician and Medical Director at the Mason County Health Department in Maysville, Kentucky.

Earlier in her career she was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy before becoming a pediatrician.

“I really missed being a clinical pediatrician,” said Dr. Kumler. “Being a pediatrician is a great opportunity to build a partnership with each family and optimize the health of each child.”

Southeastern Med has welcomed a new orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Vanessa Falk, M.D.

Dr. Falk comes to Southeastern Med after graduating from Northeastern Ohio Medical University and completing her residency at Summa Health System in Akron. She will join the practice of Dr. Joseph Davis.

“Dr. Falk is a great addition to our staff and will have a big impact right away,” said Dr. Davis. “The timing couldn’t be better, especially with high school sports starting up. This will ensure that both students and adults in the Cambridge area will receive the orthopedic surgery care they need quickly, so they can get back to living their life to the fullest.”

During her residency and schooling, Dr. Falk focused on multiple areas of orthopedic care. Those main areas of focus included providing services and performing procedures in the areas dealing with:

- Joints
- Fracture Care
- Carpal Tunnel Release
- Sports Medicine
- Pediatrics

Dr. Falk’s office is located at 316 Clark Street in Cambridge.

To schedule an appointment, please call 740-435-2340.

capThe Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded accreditation to Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center Laboratory. This accreditation follows a recent on-site inspection of the lab facilities and evaluation of its methodology.

“Laboratory services are a fundamental part of the medical care and treatment process,” said Dr. Robert Chess, the laboratory’s Medical Director.

Director of Laboratory Services Debra Conrad added, “The tests we perform help guide clinical decision making. This accreditation means that the patients and care providers in our community can be confident in the quality of our practices and the veracity of the results.”

leapfrogCambridge, Ohio – The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health care system, today released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide. Southeastern Med was one of 823 hospitals to receive an “A” for its commitment to reducing errors, infections, and accidents that can harm patients.

Southeastern Med CEO, Ray Chorey remarked, “As part of our Mission to provide high quality care to our patients, their safety while in our Medical Center and our affiliated services is our first priority. We expect no harm to come to our patients while they are under our care. This award is national recognition that the efforts of our staff, physicians and Board to continuously improve our processes to make them as safe, effective and patient-centered has been successful.”

“Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, have achieved the highest safety standards in the country,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an ‘A’ Safety Grade.”

HG Outstanding Patient Experience Award Image 2017Cambridge, OH – Southeastern Med recently received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades.

This award is given to the top 15% of hospitals nationwide, based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient survey, which evaluates a hospital’s performance across 10 measurements related to communication, cleanliness and noise levels, and medication and post-discharge care instructions.

While the award recognizes the top 15%, Southeastern Med actually performed among the top 5% of hospitals in the United States, according to patient survey feedback.

Southeastern Med is the only hospital in Southeastern Ohio to earn the award this year and one of only 450 (out of 5,000) hospitals recognized nationwide.

NCRA2Cambridge, Ohio - Staff from Southeastern Med recently attended a conference hosted by the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) in Washington, D.C. from April 5-8.

During the 4-day conference, multiple staff members from Southeastern Med presented information about cancer research. Dr. Michael Sarap spoke about teambuilding and how highly functional teams operate in a successful cancer program. Some of the highlights from his presentation included the role of emotional intelligence in the workplace and the value of creativity and innovation when driving success.

bue star recognitionThe Ohio Partners for Cancer Control and the American Cancer Society honored Southeastern Med with the Blue Star Recognition for its increased colorectal cancer screening rates. The recognition is given to hospital systems making efforts to perform more colorectal cancer screenings.

The goal of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable – established by the American Cancer Society – is to have 80 percent of adults 50 and older screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Rick D2Cambridge, Ohio - Richard Degenhart describes himself as an “old, country social worker” who “just does his job.” His colleagues, however, paint him as someone with a deep compassion for the fragility of the human spirit and an ardent belief in its resilience. That compassion and belief is, perhaps, what led him to spend the entirety of his career in patient care and advocacy, and definitely what prompted his peers to nominate him for Ohio Hospital Association’s Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award.
Great leaders help those they encounter recognize their full potential and take the actions needed to achieve it. Richard Degenhart is a great leader.

His voice doesn’t boom with authority; his words echo with quiet reflection. He doesn’t issue directives or write the letter of new procedures; he develops the confidence of those around him.

Richard’s unique leadership style revolves around asking questions and listening to the answers, which gives his peers and patients the freedom to explore their own ideas and determine how to implement them effectively – turning them into leaders in their own right.

Of course, like any supportive mentor, Richard is happy to offer insight and provide connections to necessary resources. Under his guidance, Richard’s colleagues have developed their professional skills, his patients have found their voices and taken an active role in their care plans, and our hospital has expanded the services we’re able to provide.

He doesn’t regard his actions as such, but Richard often goes above and beyond the call of duty in service to his patients and his colleagues. As Director of Case Management in the Quality Care Management department, Richard is responsible for discharge planning. He assesses patient needs for outside services and makes arrangements for patients before they leave the hospital, including liaising with insurance carriers and coordinating additional financial resources, so there’s no gap in the continuum of care.

One area where Southeastern Med had a care gap was mental health services. If a patient presented in crisis, we could treat immediate conditions but had no way to evaluate a need for or facilitate referral to outside services. Richard fostered a partnership with Allwell Behavioral Health that allows our patients to receive free mental health assessments. He also assigned a dedicated case worker to the Cancer Center who helps with resource acquisition, referrals and emotional support.

Richard uses his experience in patient care and advocacy to help with personal matters, too. He’s connected colleagues with programs and resources for aging parents struggling with dementia, teenagers battling depression and many other private circumstances.

Richard truly embodies the hospital’s mission of providing high-quality, comprehensive, affordable, patient-centered health care that addresses community needs. As Case Manager Director of the Quality Management Department, his primary focus is always what’s best for the patient. Richards works closely with our physicians, nurses and medical staff to maintain the highest standards of patient care during treatment and after discharge. He speaks for the patients, giving a voice to those who are often voiceless, and provides families with all the information and resources they need to act as advocates on behalf of their loved ones.

Richard also goes out of his way to serve the often neglected and misunderstood populations of those with mental health disorders and substance abuse problems by participating in local community programs focused on expanded specific services in our community.

Currently, he’s a member of CHOICES, a multi-disciplinary community-action coalition fighting systemic drug and alcohol addiction in the region. He also serves on the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board’s Guernsey County Criminal Justice Collaborative, which is developing a mechanism for a specialized court docket for individuals with mental illness and/or addiction disorders who may benefit from intensive court‐monitored behavioral health treatment.

Richard also spent several years as a volunteer for the Red Cross and served as a sworn officer in the Police Auxiliary.

For all these reasons, and innumerable others, Southeastern Med is proud to nominate Richard Degenhart, Case Manager Director of the Quality Care Management Team, for the Ohio Hospital Association, Albert E. Dyckes Health Care Worker of the Year Award.