By Stephen Cattaneo, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology
In recent years, e-cigarettes have increased in popularity. They are often advertised as a “healthier” and cheaper alternative to cigarette smoking. While this may be true, without large scale research studies it is difficult to determine the real impact of e-cigarettes both now and in the future. Furthermore, by targeting teenagers and young adults, there is the concern that e-cigarettes will reverse the progress made in smoking prevention as well as normalize smoking behaviors. >>More
By Stephen Cattaneo, MD, Medical Director, Thoracic Oncology
Too often, family members are left to make difficult decisions about care for a loved one who is at the end of his or her life. Emotions are running high and, without clear instructions from the patient, the family may make decisions about their care that goes against the patient’s wishes. It can be difficult to think about, but making decisions about care at the end of life before someone is seriously ill or incapacitated is important. The Conversation Project helps patients, families and healthcare providers discuss end-of-life care. The project provides a toolkit to help start these conversations and consolidate the patient’s wishes in one central location. It lays out medical terminology in easy-to-understand language and answers frequently asked questions about what end-of-life care options may be available. Click here to download the toolkit and share with patients.
Attracting 52 boats, 220 anglers and more than 500 total participants, the 6th Annual Fish for a Cure Tournament proved to be the most successful event to date, raising $220,000 to support cancer programs at AAMC. Cyrus Lashgari, MD, of Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center, took first place catching a 37-inch rockfish. Dr. Lashgari was part of a crew of physicians who chartered a boat for the fishing and caught half dozen stripers. Several teams of physicians raised thousands on behalf of Fish for
the Cure, with Team DESPA coming in third place with $15,000.
The DeCesaris Cancer Institute and Rehabilitation Medicine are excited to announce the development of a comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program. Carol Tweed, MD, will serve as medical advisor.
Twenty-five clinicians from across the rehabilitation and cancer institute departments have been selected to receive training in the first session. Our goal is to have the program fully developed and “STAR”-certified by March 2014. STAR stands for Survivorship Training and Rehab Program.
What does it mean to be a “ STAR” certified program? The “STAR” certification program operating under the name of Oncology Rehabilitation Partners was developed by Dr. Julie Silver at Harvard Medical School. It has been implemented by more than 75 hospitals and cancer centers nationwide including Johns Hopkins Hospital. This program aims to provide healthcare professionals with new or enhanced knowledge that can be implemented in the evaluation and management of cancer and treatment-related impairments, ultimately ensuring the safe and effective restoration of cancer survivor’s function and quality of life. Emphasis will be placed on evidence based practice, understanding rationales for therapeutic interventions, as well as identifying areas where future research is needed in the field of cancer rehabilitation. “STAR” certification includes online educational training, expert-directed webinars, on-site self-directed in-service instructions, implementation support, outcomes measurements and support, marketing materials and continuing education.
The development of the comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program will involve a considerable combined effort among the professionals in the Cancer Institute, Outpatient Rehabilitation, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services. The complexity of developing an oncology rehab program requires provider expertise, consistent standards of education and treatment, and adherence to guidelines to achieve outcomes. Above all, it takes a commitment from all departments where these services are offered to come together as one team and achieve the standards we set. In addition, six patient and family advisers have been selected to work with of us providing valuable insight as we go along.
We are confident that we will achieve success together and make a difference for our cancer patients. Contact your director for more information or contact Cathy Copertino, executive director of the DeCesaris Cancer Institute, at 443-481-1336 or ccopertino@AAHS.org.
Medical staff member Paul W. Davies, MD, was sworn in on September 18 as Maryland’s first Chairman of the Medical Marijuana Commission. This marks a historic development in Maryland’s journey toward legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Gov. Martin O’Malley named 11 people, including health professionals, lawyers, a police chief, and a prosecutor to a commission to oversee Maryland’s new law legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons.
The law limits distribution of cannabis to a small number of academic medical centers. The commission has the authority to permit the centers to design and implement programs that make marijuana available to defined groups of patients. The marijuana commission is scheduled to have its first meeting in Baltimore on September 24.
Dr. Davies is the founder and CEO of Kure Pain Management, is board-certified in both anesthesia and pain management. Dr. Davies was a post-doctoral fellow in pain management at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of Manchester, England. He has trained at the University of Pittsburgh, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore.
From Stephen Cattaneo, MD, medical director of thoracic oncology, DeCesaris Cancer Institute
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a draft recommendation that older, longtime smokers ages 55 to 80 with 30 pack-year smoking history be screened annually for lung cancer by low-dose chest CT scan based on evidence from the National Lung Screening Trial. The final recommendation is expected to be made in the next few months.
From Lorraine Tafra, MD, FACS, medical director of the AAMC Breast Center
The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers has approved AAMC’s program for another three-year full accreditation. The site surveyor rated all 27 areas reviewed as compliant. Final surveyor remarks include: “An outstanding program providing excellent patient focused care. There are many best practices within this program and the leaders and team members are exceptional.”
Congratulations to Shelley Perkins, MD, who recently completed a surgical oncology breast fellowship under Lorraine Tafra, MD, medical director of the AAMC Breast Center. The fellowship is through the Society of Surgical Oncology Breast Fellowship. Dr. Perkins focused on the multidisciplinary treatment of breast cancer and rotated through all areas that treat the disease including radiology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, lymphedema, genetics, research, plastic surgery, and more. Dr. Perkins’ next position is at the Naval Hospital in San Diego. The Breast Center will welcome incoming fellow, Erica Giblin, MD, later this year. See photos from Dr. Perkins’ graduation party here.