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Volume 4 No. 4 December 2, 2011

Friday FLASH Angela Perrotti-Sousis Named NYOH Employee of the Quarter

Season’s Greetings!

From Dr. Nini Wu & the NYOH Board

The holiday season is fast approaching and with it, our hopes and dreams for the coming year. On the top of my wish list and probably yours… more peace and fewer hardships for people everywhere. I’m sure we’d all love to hear about a better economy, more jobs and less strife among our nation’s decision makers. Wouldn’t an abundance of good news stories in our morning papers be a wonderful way to start each day? Of course, I wish for the good health of my family – and yours – and eagerly await the day when cures of every description are commonplace. Until then, I pray that our patients find continued strength, hope and comfort in our care. In the festive weeks ahead, as you and your loved ones gather to celebrate the season, please know my best wishes and those of the NYOH Board of Directors are with you all.

Just in time for her 10th anniversary with New York Oncology Hematology, Angela Perrotti-Sousis has been named NYOH Employee of the Quarter. Angela, a Senior Receptionist at the NYOH Latham Cancer Center, has welcomed countless thousands of patients and their family members, visitors and vendors during her long tenure. Angela’s warmth, friendliness and professional demeanor have been captured in the written nomination submitted by her fellow staff members including Jamie Bolton, Gina Boilard, Kris Morelli, Joan Britton, Melinda Frazer, Dawn Vyvial, and Gabriele Flannery. The following is an excerpt: “Angela has been at the front desk at NYOH in Latham for five years and with the company for 10. She is always pleasant on the phone and patients love her. She is quick to fix mistakes and if she made one, be the first to admit it. Many times, despite being overwhelmed with mail, phones ringing off the hook and patients trying to check in, she always maintains her composure and professionalism and takes care of it all. The flow of our office starts with the front desk which is an essential point of how our patients see us as a whole. Their experience with Angela always begins with her smile and pleasant demeanor.”

Extending their congratulations to Angela Perrotti-Sousis are Patrician Ramnes, Scheduling Supervisor, and Dr. Michael Willen of the NYOH Latham Cancer Center. (Photo by Lori Washburn)

Committed to Quality Care and Safety National Radiologic Technology Week is celebrated each November to commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of x-ray’s by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen on Nov. 8, 1895. The annual celebration promotes the important role medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in providing quality patient care and a safe health care environment.

Each year, US Oncology recognizes this staff by distributing a poster with all the network’s radiation and radiology professionals’ names; this year NYOH supplemented this recognition with a poster showing the faces of radiation and imaging professionals at NYOH! To view poster, click here.


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Volume 4 No. 4 December 2, 2011

A Talent for Teaching An assortment of lovely cards and letters arrive at NYOH practices on a regular basis. Most often, they’re written by patients or their family members as expressions of affection and appreciation for the care they’ve received. One recent note was sent by a radiation therapy student who did a clinical rotation at the NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center. In it, she praised Joy Gardner-Zilles for being “an excellent therapist and great teacher” and added, “I am sure thousands of patients are being treated by competent therapists because of you.” Joy’s expertise as both a therapist and instructor, notes Barbara Blanchard, NYOH Director of Radiation and Imaging Services, “has contributed to a longstanding relationship with SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and FultonMontgomery Community College.” Over the years, she continues, “Numerous radiation therapy students have trained at NYOH facilities,” including those in Rexford and Albany under the guidance of clinical instructors Sandy Gibson and Ashley Gardner, respectively. “In fact,” she adds, “One of our former students is now a per diem employee with us, hoping for a full-time job to open up.”

Radiation Therapist Joy Gardner-Zilles, right, and Dr. Arsyl De Jesus provide clinical instruction for students from SUNY Upstate and Fulton-Montgomery Community College at the NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center. (Photo by Sonya Briggs)

NYOH also serves as a training ground for future pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses providing not only an environment in which to develop their skills but role models that help shape the future of patient care delivery.

A WAY WITH WORDS

IN STEP WITH NYOH

Members of the NYOH Research Department – decked out in Scrabble letters – took center stage this Halloween! Showing off their game-winning word, from left to right, Theresa Maneen, Jennifer Carroll, Sharon Krause, RN, Research Director; Ambri Cicchinelli, GerryAnn Currier, RN; Michele Butler, RN; and Mary Beth Biette.

That’s Rachel Garbo in an NYOH T-shirt, at left, during practice with the University of Wisconsin’s Marching Badger Band. Rachel is the daughter of Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Chairman of the NYOH Research Committee. (Photo courtesy of Gary Smith)

In the News… YNN Health Reporter Marcie Fraser visited the NYOH Rexford Cancer Center for the first of several interviews featuring physicians, patients and staff. Joining Marcie and her cameraman, Carl Brewer, for a photo-op, from the left, Beth Ann Kowalski, RN, OCN; Amanda Hershey, RN, OCN and Diane Fisher, RN, OCN. Dr. Howard Schlossberg’s interviews are archived at capitalregion.ynn.com. Watch the YNN site for upcoming interviews with Dr. Tia Olds.


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Volume 4 No. 4 December 2, 2011

Experts Offer Insight and Answers at HopeClub Event

A capacity crowd gathered at HopeClub for a discussion on hereditary cancer syndromes co-sponsored by New York Oncology Hematology and the American Cancer Society. Featured participants included, top photo, from the left, Nora Yip, MD, colorectal surgeon; Patricia Fox, MD, plastic surgeon and Kimberly Grace, MS, genetic counselor with Myriad Genetics..

Attending the panel discussion on hereditary cancer syndromes were Mike Wanerka, Myriad Genetics and Carrie Kreitner, ANP, a member of the NYOH Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment staff.

Dr. Janet Gargiulo, left, Director of the NYOH Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program, was joined by her colleagues Donna Pietrocola, MD, and Valerie Brutus, MD, at October’s Ask-the-Expert program at HopeClub. Both are breast surgeons at Albany Medical Center. Additional panel participants included Ellen Bressler Wakesburg, LCSWR; Charlene Schulz, MS and Patrick Timmins, MD.

Finding the Clues – The Role of Cancer Registry In 1939, New York became one of the first states in the nation to pass legislation that required the reporting of cancer cases. Today, cancer is recognized as a “reportable disease” throughout the country and a vast network of cancer registries collects, analyzes and shares information at the local, state and national level. Feeding into that constant pipeline of information is laborious and exacting work, “like being a detective looking for clues,” says Sapientia Lanoue, Cancer Registrar at New York Oncology Hematology. With experience in medical records and chart preparation, Sapientia (Spent, Sapientia Lanoue, as she’s also known) spends her days Cancer Registrar poring over key data elements in iKnowMed and Medical Manager. From the basics such as age, gender, birthplace and race to the complexities of tumor types, staging and treatment, the information she gathers contributes to the collective knowledge of public health officials, researchers and caregivers. “This process,” explains Dr. Lawrence Garbo, NYOH Research Committee Chairman, “allows us to monitor existing trends in cancer incidence as well as emerging patterns that may be the result of environmental, geographical or behavioral factors. It also allows us to measure our responses to the disease, the effectiveness of screening programs and the impact of new treatments on prevention, early intervention and survival rates.”

In recent years, early abstracting software gave way to more sophisticated programs. “When we upgraded to our new software, we didn’t want to lose the years of important data previously collected,” says Barbara Blanchard, NYOH Director of Radiation and Imaging Services, “so we worked with the New York State Department of Health to obtain the files previously submitted to their database. What we received was raw data, and after merging the old data into new software, we found ourselves challenged by thousands of duplicate records, creating a monumental project that not just anyone could fix.” “Sapientia, with help from Marie Bocchino in our Hudson office, did the arduous task of calling up duplicate and triplicate records, manually taking the best data from each and creating accurate, updated patient files. In all,” Barbara continues, “they reviewed over 3000 patient cases. This attention to detailed accuracy has resulted in our registry not only assisting external agencies with cancer and hematology data collection, but now allows Spent to run reports related to our own NYOH patient population.” “We’ve got a great group of people working on this,” Sapientia says of her coworkers who contribute to the cancer registry process. There are health department reporting requirements and regulations that must be followed and, yes, the work can sometimes be dry. But then you think about how the information will be used, the research that will be done and the people that will be helped as a result – I just love it!”


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Volume 4 No. 4 December 2, 2011

IN GOOD COMPANY

PROMOTING HEALTH – NURTURING THE COMMUNITY

More than 15,000 walkers gathered in Albany’s Washington Park for the annual Making Strides event. Among them were members of the NYOH Cares team, standing left to right, Meg Weaver, team chair; Dawn Vyvial, Mary Bowen, RN; Carrie Kreitner, ANP; Donna D’Agostino, Brenda Dillon, Mary Beth Biette, Monique Lettrick, Amy Deal, Kathy Deal, Nancy Egerton, PharmD, with Molly; Karen Jurcsak, GerryAnn Currier, RN, and her daughters Casey and Rachel. Front row, kneeling, Sarafina Lengua, and Lisa Wolf, PA.

Amsterdam’s Centro Civico recently hosted an educational forum, “Breast Cancer and Hispanic Women,” for health care professionals. Featured speaker Dr. Arsyl De Jesus, left, was welcomed by Leanna Gavin, Director of Education at To Life; and Ladan Alomar, Executive Director of Centro Civico.

In the Spotlight Dr. Howard Schlossberg was among the guest panelists at the 18th annual Women’s Night Out to benefit Bellevue Woman’s Center. Sharing the dais were Drs. J. Dirk Iglehart and Ursula Matulonis, both of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, photo at left. Representing NYOH at Woman’s Night Out was Dr. Karen Tedesco, at right with Dr. Schlossberg. The sold-out event also featured Hoda Kotb of NBC’s Today Show.

Good News is Always in Season

As the holiday season gets into full swing, there will be numerous colorful happenings throughout the NYOH practice network. Photos and news items are gratefully accepted for possible use in the Flash, or in the photo album section of the NYOH website. These could include but are not limited to holiday parties, staff luncheons, holiday decorators at work, appreciative patients and other good news activities. When submitting photos, include a brief description of the event, the names, practice locations and titles of individuals in each photo from left to right and, signed release forms for

patients and staff. Blank forms are available on the P-drive, under the file name Photo Release Forms. Photos should be taken and sent as high resolution files (don’t reduce the image size when sending via email). In general, small group photos are always best; if large groups are photographed, think “football huddle” when arranging the participants. Please contact Ceil Mack in the Marketing Dept., 489-3612, ext. 1202, with any questions, or via email at celia.mack@usoncology.com


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