Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Levine Cancer Institute adds nationally known doctors

Levine Cancer Institute, created in 2010 by Carolinas HealthCare System, has announced the hiring of six cancer specialists to play key roles in expanding research and treatment offerings to cancer patients across the Southeast.

They are:

Dr. Edward S. Kim from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a national leader in molecular prognostication for lung cancer and specializes in thoracic oncology and head and neck cancers. He will start July 2 and serve as chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University and completed residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and medical oncology fellowship at M.D. Anderson.

Dr. Edward A. Copelan from the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute. He will begin work in September and serve as chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology and Blood Disorders. His clinical specialties include bone marrow transplantation, leukemia, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. He received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston and completed residency at Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus, fellowships in hematology and oncology at Ohio State University Hospitals and bone marrow transplantation at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Dr. Belinda Avalos from Ohio State University Hospital’s James Comprehensive Cancer Center. She will begin in September and serve as vice chair of the Department of Hematologic Oncology. She specializes in hematology and bone marrow transplantation and will lead the institute’s efforts to develop collaborative research initiatives and to understand the stem cell biology of blood disorders. She received her medical degree from Ohio State University and completed residency at Ohio State University Hospital, a hematology fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Ohio State University Hospital and the University of California-Los Angeles.

James Symanowski, formerly director of the Biostatistics Core and of the Clinical Trials Office at the Nevada Cancer Institute. He will begin in September as chair of the Department of Biostatistics. He has spent his career in laboratory, translational clinical, and population sciences areas of cancer research and consults internationally in the field. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from The College of William and Mary, and both his master’s and doctorate degrees in statistics from Iowa State University.

Ram Ganapathi and Marukh Ganapathi, both from the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center. They will join the institute’s pharmacology lab team in July, helping to increase understanding of the science of oncology drug interactions and effectiveness. Ram Ganapathi got a doctorate at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and served fellowships at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics. Mahrukh Ganapathi got a doctorate at the University of Miami and served a fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Institute president Dr. Derek Raghavan, who came to Carolinas HealthCare from the Cleveland Clinic, said: “We are building a world-class team of clinicians and researchers...and look forward to collaborating with them to benefit our teams and our research efforts, and ultimately, the care of our patients.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mobile mammography in Charlotte

To increase access to screening mammograms, two new mobile units will be bringing mammography to Charlotte women where they live and work.

On Thursday, Presbyterian Healthcare unveiled a new 38-foot mobile Presbyterian Breast Center Mammography Unit. The coach, purchased with donations from Agnes and Ed Weisiger, Goodrich Foundation and Mecklenburg Radiology Associates, offers digital screening mammography, a private changing room and clinical exam room. Special initiatives will be planned to reach women in underserved areas around Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte Radiology announced this week it is adding a second mobile mammography unit in August to serve more women – both insured and uninsured – in Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union and York counties. Since February 2011, Charlotte Radiology's current 38-foot mobile center has screened almost 7,500 patients.

“Our experience is that convenience and access play a major role in whether or not women ages 40 and above comply with the American Cancer Society’s annual screening guidelines,” said Dr. Matthew Gromet.

Women age 40 and older should have screening mammograms annually, according to the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology.

About 38 percent of women age 40 and over in Mecklenburg County have not had an annual mammogram, according to the 2010 Community Profile Report of the Charlotte Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, the report says Mecklenburg County has the highest percentage of women diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the top reasons that women don't get recommended mammograms is that they're too busy, forget to make or keep appointments, can't afford it or don't realize they should get one.

“Our goal is that the Presbyterian Breast Center Mammography Unit will eliminate these barriers for women,” said Paula Vincent, interim president of Presbyterian Healthcare and a senior vice president with Novant Health.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eat good food

Like First Lady Michelle Obama, Elaine Jones (second from left in photo) has started a community garden to teach others about the benefits of fresh, locally grown produce.

Jones, a dietitian at Carolinas Medical Center-University, was joined by other hospital officials Wednesday at the groundbreaking of a 500-square-foot garden that will feature raised vegetable beds, fruit trees and a composting area.

(In the photo, Dr. Michael Zgoda, a specialist in critical care, pulmonary and sleep medicine, is at the left and Bill Leonard, president of CMC-University is at right.)

Local businesses are assisting hospital staff and volunteers in building the garden, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of June. It will also have a large cedar pergola, benches and dining tables for use by patients, visitors and staff. The garden is the first of its kind for a Carolinas HealthCare System hospital.

“We see the garden as an extension of our outreach to the community and a way to teach healthy habits to both children and adults,” Jones said.

Funding was provided by Morrison Healthcare Food Service, Carolinas HealthCare Foundation, LiveWELL Carolinas!

Cole Jenest & Stone, Metrolina Landscapes, Blue Max Materials, Carmichael Fence and King’s Greenhouse donated labor and materials.