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HealthyU M AG AZ I N E

Jan-Mar JAN2010 09

> University has the only nationally accredited Breast Center in the region > W.G. Watson, M.D., turns 100 > Patients benefit from University Hospital’s da Vinci Surgical System

Health News

University Honors One of Nation’s Oldest Practicing Physicians One hundred years is a long time. It’s generations come and gone; it’s technological advances and miracles of science. It’s a century of history; especially for W.G. Watson, M.D. Dr. Watson, the namesake of University Hospital’s W.G. Watson, M.D., Women’s Center, celebrates his 100th birthday on Feb. 25, and while he has slowed down some with time, he has by no means turned in his stethoscope. Dr. Watson remains a driving force within the Women’s Center, where he is the chairman of the hospital’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also still sees patients at his practice, Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates of Augusta. But more than that, Dr. Watson is a testament to the miracle of childbirth, having delivered more than 15,000 babies during his tenure at the hospital. “I just saw a patient the other day, and I delivered her, her mother and her grandmother,” Dr. Watson said recently. “I don’t go anywhere without meeting one of my patients.” Liz Price, director of women’s services at University Hospital, said Dr. Watson holds high standards for the physicians in University’s OB/GYN department. “He says that it’s not just a job, or a practice, but that we’re the physicians and this is our hospital, our patients and our staff, and we need to work together to make things better,” she said. “He really sets the tone for professionalism, respect and the patientfocused care for the whole women’s center.” Dr. Watson’s routine has changed little for the bulk of his career in medicine. He still gets up before the crack of dawn and is at the hospital seeing patients first thing in the morning. “I love medicine,” he said of his career, which

> To send Dr. Watson a

birthday greeting, log on to watson100. We will compile these messages into a special gift for Dr. Watson.

Dr. Watson celebrates his 100th birthday on Feb. 25 began in Augusta in 1947. His humble beginnings in Trenton, S.C., fueled a thirst for knowledge that took “Curly” Watson from The Citadel in 1931 and eventually landed him at the Medical College of Georgia – by way of a yearlong stint on the family farm and seven years coaching high school football. Dr. Watson, who is recognized as the oldest graduate of The Citadel, still maintains his love affair with football; attending high school games whenever he can. “I don’t think he’s missed a game this season,” Audrey Watson, his wife of nearly 65 years, said with a laugh. Dr. Watson has seen innumerable changes, in both medicine and the world at large, but ultimately this hands-on physician made himself a part of history and we at University Hospital want to help celebrate his amazing accomplishment on this amazing birthday. v

Health News


University’s Breast Health Center – Here for all aspects of care Hospital’s center the only nationally accredited program in the region

A breast cancer diagnosis starts a person down what might seem an unending road of physician visits, treatments, therapies, questions and anxieties. University Hospital’s Breast Health Center staff members have made it their mission to help patients navigate the maze and fear of cancer – whether it be through education or just a supportive shoulder. That’s why it was no surprise when University Hospital’s Breast Health Center was recently granted a three-year full accreditation designation

Members of University’s Breast Cancer Team work together across disciplines to make the best treatment decisions for patients. by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. University has the only nationally accredited breast health center in the region and is the second one in the state to be honored with this recognition. Randy Cooper, M.D., a surgeon who practices at University Hospital, said the accreditation is the culmination of years of work by physicians, clinicians and University employees. “We made a commitment to try and provide highquality patient care as fast as possible – within 24-36 hours at the maximum,” he said. “This accreditation just confirms that our breast health center is based on national standards and evidence-based treatments.” Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. “The standards include proficiency in the areas of center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement,” explained Pamela Anderson, University’s Cancer Services Program Coordinator. “A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease. This is something our team works hard to accomplish every day. To receive this accreditation affirms that our efforts are directed appropriately.” The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there would be 184,450 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2008. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options. v For more information about University’s Breast Health Center, call 706/774-4141 or toll free 866/774-4141.

Health News

Early Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives Colorectal Risk Factors and Screening Guidelines

Education has come a long way in helping people understand more about colorectal cancer. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some misconceptions about the disease. “People are certainly more aware of the risk factors than they have been in the past,” said Matthew Cranford, M.D., a gastroenterologist who practices at University Hospital. “But the biggest misconception that persists is that people have to have a family history to get colorectal cancer.” Only a small percentage of colorectal cancer patients have a family history of the disease, with 80 percent having no connection to the risk factor. “Those people who have a family history are at greater risk, but age is actually the greatest risk factor,” Dr. Cranford said. “Your risk for colorectal cancer increases at age 50, and goes up significantly after that point.” “The biggest misconception that persists is that people have to have a family history to get colorectal cancer.” - Matthew Cranford, M.D., Gastroenterology That doesn’t mean the cancer doesn’t show up in younger patients, but Dr. Cranford noted an increased awareness of screening guidelines that stresses the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer. “The number of patients being screened is still insufficient, but it’s much greater than we use to see just 15 to 20 years ago,” he said.

risk factors • Age: While younger adults can develop colorectal cancer, the chances of developing colorectal cancer increase markedly after age 50. More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are older than 50. • Personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease • Family history of colorectal cancer • Racial and ethnic background: African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reason for this is not yet understood. Screening Guidelines (men and women age 50+) One of these five testing schedules should be followed. Your physician can help you decide which is best for you: • Colonoscopy every 10 years • Yearly fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years • Yearly FOBT or FIT, plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years • Double-contrast barium enema every five years

Early screening is very important because it is the best way to find and remove polyps in their benign stage, before they become a problem later on. “The earlier you find colorectal cancer, the better your chances are of successfully treating the disease,” Dr. Cranford said. Since colorectal cancer can appear before age 50, Dr. Cranford remarked that everyone should be aware of possible changes in their bowel habits as well as note any signs of rectal or gastrointestinal bleeding, and see a physician for an evaluation if they have any questions or concerns. v For more information about colorectal cancer, call University Hospital’s ASK-A-NURSE at 706/7378423 or toll free at 800/476-7378.

Health News

da Vinci Hysterectomy Offers Remarkable Benefits to Patients

University Hospital’s surgical option can shorten hospital stay, reduce recovery time Traditional hysterectomy surgery often involves a large abdominal incision and a significant recovery period. But a new surgical option available at University Hospital is changing the way women experience this life-altering procedure. The da Vinci Surgical System, which has been used at University for prostate cancer surgery, is now being used for hysterectomies and other gynecological procedures. This robotic system offers patients many benefits over traditional surgery, including: • Significantly less pain • Less blood loss • Less risk of infection • Shorter hospital stay • Quicker recovery • Small incisions for minimal scarring John Paul McDonough, M.D., an obstetrics and gynecology physician who practices at University Hospital, said the da Vinci system has been a remarkable step forward in surgical technology. “With traditional laparoscopic surgery, you operate through small incisions using rigid instruments that have limited maneuverability,” Dr. McDonough said. “However, with the da Vinci system, the instruments are articulated, which means they have multiple joints and can mimic the movement of the human hand. So it’s truly like having an extension of your hand in the abdomen but through tiny incisions. “It’s truly amazing.” Patients who have had a hysterectomy using the da Vinci system noted its many benefits to traditional surgery. Chasity Rabun, a 31-year-old Augusta resident, said Miche McDonough, M.D., an obstetrics and gynecology physician who practices at University Hospital, performed a da Vinci hysterectomy on her in August after trying various treatments for a uterine cyst and vaginal bleeding. “I have three little girls, and this cut my down time in half,” she said. “The healing process is just so much faster; I was sitting

“With the da Vinci system, the instruments have multiple joints and can mimic the movement of the human hand. It’s truly like having an extension of your hand in the abdomen but through tiny incisions.” - John Paul McDonough, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology up the very next day.” Dr. John Paul McDonough said that ultimately the da Vinci system hysterectomy helps ease some of the pain and discomfort, helping patients recover faster and with fewer complications. “Patients are going home within a day of the surgery as opposed to three days with traditional surgery,” he said. “The patients I’ve seen after using the da Vinci have all reported less pain than they expected, which is a great thing to hear.” v For more information about University Hospital’s da Vinci Surgical System, log on to

Special Events

University Health Care Foundation Invites You to ‘A Heartfelt Affair’ This special event, benefiting University Health Care System’s Heart & Vascular Institute, will feature a Trunk Show, a Fashion Show and much more! One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit University’s Heart & Vascular Institute and help raise awareness of women’s heart disease in the CSRA. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in our community.

University Hospital’s Smart Heart Expo Saturday, Feb. 27 • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. North Augusta Community Center 495 Brookside Ave. Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Fortunately, lifestyle changes and early detection can reduce your risk, and the University Smart Heart Expo is the perfect place to begin. We’ll provide the education, encouragement and support to help you embark on a healthier lifestyle – and all of it is absolutely free. Presented in partnership with The Augusta Chronicle. Free activities include: • Blood sugar testing • Blood pressure screening • Total cholesterol • Body fat and BMI testing • Heart-healthy cooking demonstration • Healthy heart information • One-on-one heart counseling • Special gifts and door prizes Educational breakout sessions: • Understanding Your Lipids • Benefits of Exercise • Reading Food Labels and Eating Out • Stress Management v

Nicole Miller Trunk Show Friday, Feb. 5 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 4 Orleans Place, Augusta There is no charge for the Trunk Show although you must register for this event, and different items will be available for purchase at each show. Nicole Miller Fashion Show Friday Feb. 5 7 p.m. Saint Paul’s Church River Room, Augusta Tickets are $125 per person and $225 per couple This black tie event will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, music from The Dr. Rock Band, great raffle prizes and an auction of unique items donated from area businesses. Katherine Mullen, owner of the Nicole Miller boutique in Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall, will be presenting the Spring 2010 collection straight from New York City. Nicole Miller will be offering a 20 percent discount on all purchases made at the Fashion and Trunk shows. v For more information or to register, contact University Health Care Foundation at 706/ 667-0030.

FYI University Health Care Chosen Hospital of Choice for 11th Year The National Research Corporation (NRC) has named University Health Care System the Consumer Choice Award winner for best overall quality and image in the region for the 11th consecutive year. The Consumer Choice Award is based on an independent survey of consumers conducted by National

Research Corporation (NRC) to recognize the most preferred hospitals in metropolitan areas across the country. University is one of an elite group of hospitals nationwide, and the only one in the region, to win the award each year since 1999. v For more information, visit

Physician Finder

These University Physicians are accepting new patients for same- or next-day appointments: Vanessa Dixon, MD, Internal Medicine Havon Knight, MD, Internal Medicine Luke Dolan, MD, Internal Medicine Professional Center 4 1303 D’Antignac St., Suite 1200 Augusta, Ga. 30901 706/774-7760 Charles Shaefer, MD, Internal Medicine Donald McAlexander, MD, Internal Medicine Andrew Sanders, MD, Internal Medicine Amber Morris, PA, Internal Medicine Professional Center 1 820 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 4C Augusta, Ga. 30901 706/774-5995 Jimmy Lemke, MD, Internal Medicine Robert Rychly, MD, Internal Medicine Ian Herskowitz, MD, Endocrinology Leyla El-Choufi, MD, Endocrinology Professional Center 1 820 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 7A Augusta, Ga. 30901 706/722-0463 Robert Mendes, MD, Vascular Surgery Houman Tamaddon, MD, Vascular Surgery Professional Center 2 818 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 408 Augusta, Ga 30901 706/774-7022

Healthy U Jan.-March 2010  

University has the only nationally accredited Breast Center in the region. W.G. Watson, M.D., turns 100. Patients benefit from University Ho...

Healthy U Jan.-March 2010  

University has the only nationally accredited Breast Center in the region. W.G. Watson, M.D., turns 100. Patients benefit from University Ho...