Volume 4 No. 1 February 3, 2011
Points of Pride – A Visit with Karen Jurcsak
ive Karen Jurcsak a challenge and she’ll turn it into something positive. She’s been doing that since she came to NYOH more than 25 years ago. Karen began her NYOH career as a laboratory technologist at the Amsterdam office, back when it first opened. Despite having worked previously as a medical technologist generalist, she says, “Working solo was a challenge. I made mistakes, but learned a lot from them.” That knowledge, she continues, “has served me well over the years.” As manager of laboratory services at NYOH, a role she’s held for the past 15 years, Karen says she’s “constantly drawing upon her experience” to help facilitate changes and adapt to the ever-changing healthcare environment. Karen has one of those never-a-dull-moment jobs. She oversees eight NYOH labs and is responsible for ensuring that quality standards are consistently being met in compliance with COLA (Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation) and CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) regulations. She maintains the schedules for about 30 staff members, and is responsible for researching new instrumentation for purchase. She also serves on the Compliance Committee and
the Practice Quality Efficiency Group Initiative. “It’s a full plate,” Karen acknowledges, “but I love the challenges that come with the job. And,” she adds, “I love using the experience that I’ve gained over the years to make decisions.” “Karen demonstrates a commitment to setting the highest standards in lab services and lab professional practice,” says Linda Pulver, RN, Director ~ Karen Jurcsak ~ of Clinical Services. “She is a true expert in her field, and uses that expertise to create and maintain true excellence in laboratory services for NYOH.” Karen points to the laboratory’s “excellent staff” in allowing her to take the demands of her job in stride. “They’re just a wonderful team,” she says with appreciation. “They are willing to go wherever they are needed. They all have a spirit of teamwork. I just can’t say enough about them.” Points of Pride …continued on page 2
Gina Boilard Named Employee of the Month – November, 2010 Gina Boilard, Financial Counselor II, has been named the NYOH Employee of the Month for November, 2010. Gina is a graduate of Mont Pleasant High School and the Spencer Business School’s Medical Office Specialist Program. She joined the NYOH staff as a receptionist in 1998 and subsequently, served as a front office coordinator. She was promoted to Financial Counselor II in March, 2010. Gina’s dedication and positive work ethic have earned her the widespread admiration and affection of staff throughout the NYOH Latham Cancer Center. “Gina goes above and beyond her duties… to patients and staff,” notes Dacia Littlejohn in her nomination form. “She’s loved by all in Latham.” Gwen Sislowski writes, “Gina has such a positive attitude. She told me she feels really good about what she does when everything works out for the patient.” Employee of the Month …continued on page 2
S! ON TI A L TU RA G N CO
Dr. Dudek Honored see page 4 »
~ Gina Boilard ~
Happy Valentine’s Day!
of Great Things Going On at NYOH see page 3 »
A Way With Words Meg Meakin, Data Research Coordinator at the NYOH Latham Cancer Center, has been putting pen to paper for years, writing poems and other little ditties – usually for her own amusement. But, since being published in the December, 2010 edition of the Oncology Nursing Society’s special interest group newsletter “Spiritual Care,” Meg now has a legion of fans. ~ Meg Meakin ~ Kudos to newsletter co-editor Diane Fisher, RN, OCN, for a great publication. To check out Meg’s poem, “Ode to a Colonoscopy,” go to http:// onsopcontent.ons.org/Publications/SIGNewsletters/spirit/ spirit21.3.html and click on “Poems.”
Dr. Nancy Egerton Honored at National Meeting Nancy Egerton, PharmD, was recognized with US Oncology’s Excellence in Pathways Award during the annual Pharmacy and Therapeutics meeting in Dallas, this past November. Nancy, who was unable to attend the event, was honored for her exceptional devotion to the pathways process and evidence based medicine. Dr. Michael Kolodziej who accepted the award on her behalf noted, “Nancy has been a driving force behind NYOH’s recognized national leadership in clinical and operational pharmacy initiatives. She is the heart and soul of NYOH’s P and T Committee.” (Reported by Mary Beth Sharkey)
Research in the News US Oncology Researchers Charles Weissman, M.D., (NYOH Latham Cancer Center), Craig Reynolds, M.D., Marcus Neubauer, M.D., Sharon Pritchard, Lina Asmar, Ph.D., coauthored the manuscript, “A Phase III Randomized Trial of Gemcitabine-Oxaliplatin versus Carboplatin-Paclitaxel as First-Line Therapy in Patients with Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer,” which is scheduled to be published in the Feb. 6 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. The study concluded that the progression-free survival, overall survival and objective response rates with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin were similar to paclitaxel and carboplatin. (reprinted from US Oncology News)
Volume 4 No. 1 February 3, 2011
NYOH After Hours FEBRUARY Edward S. Dick, LCSW, will be the guest speaker at the Feb. 9, NYOH After Hours Clinical Series. His presentation, “Caregiver Issues and Support” will begin at 5:30pm., at the NYOH Albany Cancer Center. All staff members are welcome to attend. Light fare will be served. RSVP no later than Feb. 7, using the registration sign-up in the folder titled “2011 Clinical Educational Programs” on the P drive, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Points of Pride …continued from the cover Karen says she’s “happy to lend a hand to draw patients’ blood or work on the bench,” if they’re short-staffed. “I love my interaction with patients and the opportunity to work with the staff.” In 2004, Karen says she was handed one of the biggest challenges of her life: a diagnosis of cancer. “I tried to keep a good attitude, to stay positive and to keep my life as normal as I could with the few limitations that I did have,” she explains. She worked at the Amsterdam office throughout her treatment. From the perspective of patients, she recalls, “It certainly was an interesting experience for them to see me working there one day, and then receiving treatment another. But it allowed me to interact with patients in the most wonderful, sharing ways.” As a cancer survivor herself, Karen says she welcomes the chance to provide comfort and encouragement to others facing their own battles with the disease. She has served as a chairperson for the NYOH-sponsored Adirondack Attitude Retreat Weekend for cancer patients and has spoken at several Cancer Survivors Day celebrations. “It’s neat,” she says, “when patients realize that someone that works here also had cancer. I think it gives them hope. I hope it does.”
Employee of the Month …continued from the cover In the words of Vanessa Gleason, “Gina is the most positive, non-complaining person I have ever worked with. Compassionate, considerate…‘We’ll get through it’ she says, at least three times a week.” Offering similar sentiments are Connie Gaetano, Patricia Stott, RN, and Angela Perrott-Sousis who acknowledge Gina’s helpful, kind and respectful attitude toward everyone. “Gina provides an indispensable service to our patients,” writes Dr. John Ferraro. She carries out her responsibilities “as if each patient was a member of her family.”
Volume 4 No. 1 February 3, 2011
of Great Things Going On at NYOH
ats-off to everyone throughout the NYOH network – from Amsterdam to Hudson and everywhere in between – for the extraordinary care given to our patients and for the individual achievements and contributions of each staff member in support of the NYOH mission of excellence. Our second annual Top Ten List highlights some of the great things going on right now at NYOH. This is good news; pass it along!
Nurse Navigator Program – Under the leadership of Clinical Services Director Linda Pulver, RN, the new NYOH Nurse Navigator Program is already generating positive feedback from patients. With an initial focus on newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, the program’s purpose is to streamline and coordinate services and enhance the patient care experience.
Community Outreach – Planning for the third
Spotlight on Research – Bringing together
Strengthening Ties with ACS – NYOH nurses
Spreading the Word – NYOH Oncology Liaisons Teresa Jung and Joe Magliocca are in the field daily – visiting the practices of nearly 2,000 physicians throughout the Mohawk-Hudson Region and promoting services, programs and quality of care.
One of the Kind Program – The NYOH Stem Cell Transplant Program, the only program of its type in the region, provides innovative treatment options to a growing number of patients – 226 since its inception 13 years ago!
New Docs – Successful recruitment efforts by
NYOH have resulted in the anticipated arrival of two new physicians this summer! Watch for details in coming months.
Cancer Prevention & Early Intervention –
Under the direction of Dr. Janet Gargiulo, NYOH has launched its Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program. Its purpose: to increase awareness of genetic testing and education for patients who may be at higher risk for developing certain types of cancer.
Just for Women – NYOH, in cooperation with
MVP Health Care, is promoting awareness of NYOH as an essential provider of medical and radiation oncology for women diagnosed with gynecologic cancers including ovarian, uterine, cervical and endometrial. Attractive new brochures now available!
annual Community Cancer Resource Fair hosted by NYOH is now underway. This interactive event brings together a wide array of health care providers, social services agencies and patient advocates all working together to enhance the delivery of care.
the best and brightest researchers and cancer care practitioners, the 5th annual Translational Research Symposium will again be hosted by NYOH and Albany Medical Center with support from Oncology Today, the medical education division of US Oncology. from each practice site are serving as voluntary liaisons between cancer patients and American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator Program to help increase awareness of and access to supportive services.
Service Development in Amsterdam –
NYOH and St. Mary’s Hospital are working collaboratively to provide brachytherapy as a treatment option for men with prostate cancer.
Volume 4 No. 1 February 3, 2011
Dr. Joseph Dudek, seated center, was honored at Northeast Health Foundation’s annual gala Jan. 15, at the Albany Marriott. Dr. Dudek, who serves as Chief of Hematology Oncology at Albany Memorial Hospital, was presented with the Founders Award for his contributions to patient care excellence. Taking part in the celebration, are, standing, left to right: Ellen McGrann, Carrie Kreitner, Dr. Peter Lamparello, Dr. Michael Willen, Mrs. Sharon Willen, Charlene Feldman, Diane Guillerm, Dr. Karen Tedesco, Mrs. Beth Garbo, Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Kathleen Hale and Dr. Ira Zackon. Seated: Dr. Michael Kolodziej, Dr. Regina Resta, Dr. Joseph Dudek, Linda Pulver and Dr. Nini Wu.
ACS and NYOH Working Together to Enhance Patient Care Members of NYOH clinical and administrative staff were recent guests at a luncheon meeting hosted by the American Cancer Society at HopeClub (formerly Gilda’s Club). Bringing its vast network of resources into an easilyaccessed point of entry, the American Cancer Society is promoting awareness of its Patient Navigator Program and the important role NYOH plays in helping patients access the wide array of services available. “The purpose of this relationship,” explains Maureen Baxter, RN, NYOH Nursing Services Manager, “is to reach out to any patient who would benefit from the services of an ACS Navigator and help address the challenges and ease the burdens associated with a diagnosis of cancer.” NYOH nurses at each practice location have voluntarily agreed to serve as liaisons between their respective sites and the American Cancer Society. These individuals include Judy Menetti, RN and Gerry Ann Currier, RN, NYOH Albany Cancer Center; Christine Oathout, RN, NYOH at Albany Medical Center; Kelly Diamond, RN and Connie Ziskin, RN, NYOH Amsterdam Cancer Center; Val Flemming, LPN, Latham Cancer Center; Lorie Bull RN and Jayne Theilemann, RN, NYOH Rexford Cancer Center; Sherry Laramie, LPN and Anne Marie Kenyon, LPN, Saratoga Medical Office; Nancy Sullivan, LPN, Troy Medical Office; Melissa Heartquist, LPN, NYOH Hudson Cancer Center; and Betty George, LPN, Float. NYOH liaisons will inform patients – and fellow staff members – about the wide range of resources available
Shared Commitment - Working together to enhance access to supportive care services are, standing, left to right: Linda Pulver, RN, NYOH Director, Clinical Services; Maureen Baxter, RN, NYOH Manager, Nursing Services; Rebecca Parker, ACS Director, Patient and Family Services; GerryAnn Currier, RN, Clinical Research Coordinator; and Judy Menetti, RN, NYOH Albany Cancer Center. Seated: Diana Martin, ACS Regional Vice President; Tracy Pitcher, ACS Hope Club Director; and Sarah Lutsy, ACS Manager, Patient and Family Services.
such as transportation, child care, wigs and prepared meals and, with written consent from patients, facilitate referrals to the ACS. In those NYOH locations where an ACS onsite navigator currently exists, the liaison will serve to compliment and streamline the process. “Moving forward,” notes Maureen, “please recognize the NYOH liaisons and utilize our shared commitment with the ACS to help enhance the quality of life for our patients.”