It’s not too late to donate

SOMC hospice fund nears goal

By Nikki Blankenship

Scioto County Candor


Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) Inpatient Hospice Center first operated in 2007 with the idea that end-of-life care should be handled in a way that offered comfort and respect to both patients and patient families.

In working towards that goal, the SOMC Hospice already offers a variety of unique services and comforts, including a therapy dog, patient rooms with attached family rooms and a variety of spaces where families can gather and spend time bonding in those final moments with a loved-one. From the game/entertainment rooms to the piano room or outdoor patio, which includes a grill, fire pit and pond full of large, vibrant fish, the hospice center works to make patients and their families feel like they are home. The facility even has a library and a kitchen where families can make their favorite meals.

To date, more than 5,000 patients have made use of this end-of-life care, patients who have reached a point in their lives when hope for a cure is no longer possible. Currently, the center is operating at capacity with 16 beds, meaning that patients occasionally have to be admitted to the main campus of the hospital until rooms become available.

In addition to inpatient care, the SOMC Hospice also offers respite care, allowing out-patient hospice patients to come into the center for five days a month in order to allow caregivers a bit of a break. However, limited space makes it difficult to continue the services the community has come to expect and appreciate.

In order to be able to expand care to all patients in need of hospice services, SOMC Lead Donor Relations Coordinator Mary Arnzen explained that SOMC’s Transcending Lives campaign is currently working towards a $3 million goal that will provide for facility renovations, four new patient rooms, another large shared space, a meditation room, new restroom facilities with showers for families to use, an upgraded kitchen, an outside playground for children, additional storage and other support areas.

Arnzen explained that SOMC is two-thirds of the way towards that goal. They have raised $2 million in one year.

“Normally, a project this size takes three years,” Arnzen commented. “Our little community is so generous.”


To honor donors, the new hospice additions will include naming rights to spaces, recognition on the donor’s wall or personalized engraved bricks. Recognition will be based upon donation size.

Arnzen explained that SOMC will break ground on this project just as soon as funds are raised. Thus far, more than 1,121 donors have made contributions.

To make a contribution to the SOMC Hospice expansion and renovation project, make an online donation at or mail donations payable to Transcending Lives Campaign at SOMC Development Foundation, 2201 25th Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. For more information contact, Arnzen at (740) 356-2504 or by email at