Butler Justice enjoys a morning workout while Pulmonary Rehabilitation staff members at Southeastern Med (l to r) Kim Orr, RRT, and Michelle Carter, EP, stop to monitor his progress.
Pictured above – Butler Justice enjoys a morning workout while Pulmonary Rehabilitation staff members at Southeastern Med (l to r) Kim Orr, RRT, and Michelle Carter, EP, stop to monitor his progress.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, March 7, 2011 – The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Southeastern Med aspires to improve the health and functional status of patients who live with chronic respiratory disorders. In recognition of National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week March 13-19, Southeastern Med’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation staff encourages those with a chronic lung disease to crossover from inactivity to activity, and become an active participant in life again.

Butler Justice, of Senecaville Lake, began pulmonary rehabilitation at Southeastern Med in February of 2009 with the goal to feel better and become more active. While hospitalized after heart surgery in September of 2008, Butler was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed.

“I was constantly out of breath and could barely do 5 minutes on any exercise machine when I first started rehab,” Butler said. “But now, I am able to do between 50-60 minutes on any machine.”

Phyllis Knight Bachtel with her son, Ben.
During her breast cancer treatments in 2009, Phyllis Knight Bachtel wrote and illustrated a book to help her 5-year-old son, Ben, cope and understand how cancer was affecting his mommy. Pictured above is Phyllis with her son, Ben, during her treatments in 2009.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Feb. 11, 2011 – Cancer treatments are a scary experience, especially for a mother witnessing the traumatic effects her cancer has on her young children. Phyllis Knight Bachtel, a patient care tech at Southeastern Med and breast cancer survivor, knows that feeling firsthand.  During her breast cancer treatments in 2009, she wrote and illustrated a book to help her son, Ben, cope and understand how cancer was affecting his mommy.

The nonfiction children’s book, Mommy’s Hair, was written from Phyllis son’s perspective. He was 5 when Phyllis was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. The idea for the book came about when Phyllis couldn’t find a suitable children’s book that could help explain to kids what happens when a parent is battling cancer. “Right then the seed was planted to write this book,” Phyllis said. “Together, I knew our story would help not only Ben, but other families going through similar situations.”

After months of treatment summoned all of her physical strength and hair, it didn’t take her long to realize there was no keeping anything from her young son. “After each surgery, he saw the bandages and soon understood the seriousness of it all,” she said, “but the reality of didn’t hit until he saw my bald head. Suddenly, this experience wasn’t just about me – it was about the whole family. I knew my husband, Kevin, and oldest son, Corey, who was 25 at the time, could deal with the morality issues. I just couldn’t wrap myself around the thought of leaving a 5-year-old boy without his mommy. This book became not only therapy for him, but also for me.”

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Jan. 6, 2011 - Southeastern Med has again earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission. In receiving this distinction, Southeastern Med has demonstrated compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for healthcare quality and safety.

“The Joint Commission survey results were our best ever,” said Ray Chorey, President and CEO of Southeastern Med. “We seek accreditation for our organization because we aspire to be the best, and the commitment from our staff, physicians and Board to provide high quality care in a safe environment is evident from the survey results. Obtaining Joint Commission accreditation is symbolic of our ongoing quest for excellence. Everyone at Southeastern Med plays a valuable role in working to meet the quality and safety standards established by the Joint Commission. Accreditation gives us a feeling of pride and ownership. The community should take comfort in knowing that affordable, quality healthcare provided by dedicated workers exists here locally.”

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is dedicated to continuously improving the safety and quality of the nation’s health care through voluntary accreditation. To maintain and earn accreditation, hospitals must undergo an extensive on-site review by a select team of Joint Commission professionals, including administrators, physicians, and nurses at least once every three years. The Joint Commission’s unannounced, on-site survey to evaluate Southeastern Med’s performance in areas that affect patient care occurred Oct. 13-15.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Jan. 6, 2011 – In September 2009, Southeastern Med began collecting a standard financial deposit of $35 before a patient’s time of service. In an effort to better educate patients of their healthcare costs and their financial responsibility, the medical center will begin using a new computer system to estimate patients’ up front, out-of-pocket expenses. Through the new system, patients’ initial financial deposit will be more than $35 and each patient’s deposit amount will vary depending on his or her insurance plan.

What does this mean for Southeastern Med patients? For scheduled services, the medical center will contact the patient in advance to verify insurance coverage and explain their out of pocket expenses. Prior to service, patients will be responsible for the amount not covered by their insurance company, including co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles, and any other charge not covered by the insurance company.

There will be something missing from Southeastern Med’s holiday lights display this year – the rooftop star. “Due to damage caused during the wind storms, the star typically shining on the roof during the holiday season will not be in operation this year,” said James Dykes, director of Maintenance.

When preparing the star’s annual lighting prior to Thanksgiving, the Maintenance Department at the medical center discovered the light streamers to the star were damaged. The only way to repair the star would be to climb the tower and lower it to the roof.

Before allowing anyone to climb the tower, Southeastern Med contacted a tower service contractor to perform an inspection. “The contractor recommended the guy wires be replaced and any unnecessary equipment be removed before anyone climbs the tower to replace the streamers,” Dykes said. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to replace the wires until the spring. There is no immediate danger or failure as long as there are no additional unnatural stresses placed on the tower.”

Southeastern Med will contract a tower service provider in the spring to replace the necessary wires. When it is deemed safe to climb, the Maintenance Department at the medical center will repair the streamers and install the star for the next holiday season.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Nov. 22, 2010 – While the holidays are a time of celebration and happy memories, for parents who have lost a child, the stress of the holidays takes on an entirely different meaning.

To help these families cope during this season, Southeastern Med’s Parents’ Grief Support Group will host its annual Tree of Angels program on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 in Southeastern Med’s cafeteria. Parents and family members who have lost a child of any age are invited to attend.

The evening will begin with the families gathering to socialize for a covered-dish dinner. Meat, potatoes, and cheese tray will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share. A short program and candlelight service will follow the dinner. Parents are encouraged to bring a poem, story, pictures or CD of music that hold special memories to share.

Parents will then decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments to remember each child. Parents are asked to bring their own ornament. Parents will also have the opportunity to donate a toy in memory of their child to the Guernsey County Secret Santa program. Those interested in donating will need to bring their own toy.

Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP by Nov. 29 by calling Wendi Miller, RN, at 740-439-8868.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Oct. 13, 2010 – The bright lights outside the Cambridge Court House will glow pink for a very special Breast Cancer Awareness Month ceremony from Southeastern Med on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. with the lighting ceremony beginning at 6:30. The pink lights will remain lit for the remainder of October.

Along with the pink lights, the ceremony will feature Michael Sarap, M.D., surgeon with Southeastern Ohio Physicians, Inc., and a speech from breast cancer survivor, Tina Strauff. Information about breast cancer and Southeastern Med’s Power Me Pink program will also be available. The community is asked to participate in the event by wearing pink.

Southeastern Med’s Power Me Pink program provides women who are uninsured and underinsured with breast health education, clinical breast exams, mammograms and additional testing if necessary. The program reaches women 35 years and older who earn between 250-300 percent of the poverty level. The program also reaches women younger than 35 years of age with a family history of breast cancer.

For more information about the ceremony, please call Becky Wheeler, Cancer Registrar at Southeastern Med, at 740-439-8156. To learn more about Southeastern Med’s Screening Mammogram Program or to learn if you qualify for a screening mammogram, call 740-435-2500.

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Oct. 6, 2010 – The Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) has granted a three-year Accreditation with Commendation to the Cancer Program at Southeastern Med.

Southeastern Med received the three-year Accreditation with Commendation following an onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the medical center demonstrated a commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program. The evaluation involved cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement.

“This Accreditation is a huge honor for the medical center and an excellent asset for local cancer patients and their families,” said Michael Sarap, M.D., surgeon with Southeastern Ohio Physicians, Inc. and Southeastern Med medical staff member. ”This award was attained only because of the dedication and teamwork of Southeastern Med physicians and associates caring for cancer patients. CoC Accreditation is the national standard by which the quality of cancer care is measured. Receiving a Commendation implies that the staff at Southeastern Med has gone above and beyond the usual requirements for Accreditation.”

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio, Oct. 6, 2010 – The Buckeye Trail 2009-2010 Fast Pitch Softball Team recently donated nearly $834 to Southeastern Med for its continued efforts in the fight against breast cancer. The donation will be used toward Southeastern Med’s 4th Annual Breast Cancer Tea and Style Show on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 1:45-5 p.m. at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center, 7033 Glenn Highway, in Cambridge.