Vital Signs - November 2003

March 2004

Wilmot Cancer Center Links with Interlakes Oncology Group

Affiliation Launches James P. Wilmot Community Oncology Network

interlakes oncologyThe James P. Wilmot Cancer Center has formed an affiliation with Interlakes Oncology and Hematology, P.C., to improve cancer care in Rochester and throughout the Finger Lakes region. This is the first alliance of the new James P. Wilmot Community Oncology Network, designed to expand cancer research and cancer care.

Merging Rochester’s largest cancer center with the largest independent oncology practice will broaden access to the newest therapies and cutting-edge treatments for people with cancer. Together, the specialists in both programs provide cancer care to the majority of people in the Rochester area.

james p. wilmot cancer center"This is an excellent opportunity for both Wilmot and Interlakes to work together to provide high quality cancer care to people in the Rochester area," says Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong. "We have a history of cooperation and collaboration and this solidifies that relationship."

Fisher added that this agreement is the first of many to come as the Wilmot Community Oncology Network grows to include oncology practices throughout Central and Western New York in an effort to expand research efforts and provide cutting-edge care to people with cancer.

The Interlakes practice includes five oncologists, five physician assistants and a nurse practitioner, with offices in Geneva, Lakeside Hospital in Brockport, Brighton, Park Ridge Hospital in Greece, and F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua. Interlakes and Wilmot Cancer Center have worked together several years at F.F. Thompson.

As part of the agreement, Interlakes’ patients will be able to join Wilmot Cancer Center’s clinical trials and those available through the Southwest Oncology Group, the nation’s largest cooperative research organization. Interlakes’ oncologists can also join the University of Rochester faculty and participate in educational and training programs at the Wilmot Cancer Center.


New ENT Department Expands with One-Stop-Care Site for Outpatients

Arthur S. Hengerer, M.D., examines patient in new ENT facility.

Physicians and staff who care for patients with ear, nose and throat ailments are celebrating their new status and their new surroundings.

Otolaryngology – or ear, nose and throat (ENT) as it is commonly called – has expanded and relocated its outpatient services to state-of-the-art facilities, complemented by comprehensive audiology and speech pathology services. And, it is in the process of becoming an official department within the Medical Center.

Previously a division of the Department of Surgery, the shift to department status for otolaryngology coincides with the specialty's continued growth at Strong, notes Arthur S. Hengerer, M.D., professor and chair of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and acting chair of the Department of Surgery.

Otolaryngology as a department of its own – similar to the transitions made in the past for urology and neurosurgery – conforms to a national trend. Across the country about 70 percent of academic otolaryngology units of similar scope and size are freestanding departments.

"It's a very important step in recognition of the growth and change within our unit and specialty over the last 20 years," Hengerer says. "It affords us greater control over our destiny in terms of our success delivering care in this new outpatient facility."

Convenient Access to Comprehensive Services

In December, University Otolaryngology Associates and Genesee Valley Otolaryngology merged and relocated, with Strong Health Audiology and Speech Pathology, to a new building at 2365 South Clinton Avenue. The new office provides comprehensive care in one convenient, easily accessible setting. Eleven physicians, two nurse practitioners, 10 audiologists and two speech pathologists provide the full range of ear, nose and throat services at the new office. With 22 exam rooms, three procedure rooms and four audiology booths, it offers three times the space of the ENT offices previously in the Medical Center.

"The new state-of-the-art facility, with its dramatic increase in space, has allowed for the addition of four new fellowship-trained subspecialists in pediatric otolaryngology, allergy and sinus, and laryngology, as well as new technology to meet all patients' needs," says Hengerer.

Each physician on the staff provides general ENT care and supports a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment. All are fellowship-trained in the full range of ENT subspecialties, including:

  • ENT-related allergies, sinus and ear problems – James A. Hadley, M.D., and Chase H. Miller, M.D.
  • Facial plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery – Timothy D. Doerr, M.D.
  • Head and neck surgery – Saurin R. Popat, M.D., and John D. Norante, M.D.
  • Laryngology/voice – C. Michael Haben, M.D.
  • Neurotology – Paul O. Dutcher, Jr., M.D., and John W. Wayman, M.D.
  • Pediatric otolaryngology – Arthur S. Hengerer, M.D., and Kenneth R. Whittemore, Jr., M.D.

In addition, Ronald S. Pulli, M.D., who maintains a busy general otolaryngology practice in Greece, is also seeing patients at the new location.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

New technology complements the range of subspecialty care offered. Upgraded otology equipment includes video imaging so patients can see what their doctor views during an inner-ear exam or procedure. A new voice lab boasts high-tech tools used to diagnose and treat voice, speech and swallowing problems, eliminating the need for surgical procedures in many cases. Cosmetic surgery facilities include a procedure room where minor outpatient treatments can be performed without admission to a hospital or surgery center.

All outpatient audiology and speech pathology care is delivered at the new site, which is able to accommodate growing numbers of patients who need hearing testing, evaluation and treatment, as well as therapy for speech, language, voice and swallowing ailments. The new office is easily accessible and offers free parking and spacious common and patient areas. To reach University Otolaryngology Associates or Strong Health Audiology and Speech Pathology, call (585) 758-5700.


New MRI Center Opens at Strong

New MRI opens at StrongMore comfortable surroundings, a new scanner and overall improvement in imaging are what patients and physicians can expect from Strong’s newly renovated MRI Center. Opened in March, the new center is six times larger than the old area, and was constructed to provide optimal patient comfort and privacy for the increasing volume of scans being completed at Strong each year.

The new GE 1.5T scanner has faster scan times, and expands imaging capabilities in neurology, cardiovascular and orthopedic applications. Strong expects to upgrade its two existing scanners by this summer so that all scanners will be running at the highest levels of productivity and quality. The MRI Center will continue to operate 24 hours a day to meet the volume demands. Since 2000, Strong’s MRI volume has increased 24%, with current annual volume at 11,000 scans. With the new scanner, Strong expects the number to grow to 14,000 scans by 2005.

New amenities within the MRI Center include an expanded waiting area for patients and their families, as well as four changing rooms, with a private area for gowned patients. In addition, two new consultation rooms allow for private meetings with physicians. Restaurant-style pagers now provide to family members so they can leave the Center yet be in constant contact with staff while waiting for scans to be completed.

The expansion also includes a new patient prep and recovery area. With six generously sized beds and two nurse’s stations, patients enjoy greater comfort while staff work with greater efficiency in serving those patients who require sedation for their exams.


Thierer Takes on Medical Director and CQO Roles for Dentistry

Associate Professor Todd Thierer, D.D.S., M.P.H.
Associate Professor Todd Thierer, D.D.S., M.P.H.

Associate Professor Todd Thierer, D.D.S., M.P.H., was recently named chief quality officer for Dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and medical director for Eastman Dental Center (EDC).

In addition to his new appointments, Thierer will maintain his various positions throughout the Medical Center including director of the School of Medicine and Dentistry's General Practice Residency Program in General Dentistry, co-chief of Eastman Department of Dentistry's (EDD) Division of General Dentistry, director of Ambulatory Dental Services at Strong Memorial Hospital, and director of the University of Rochester Dental Faculty Group.

Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S., professor and chair of EDD and director of EDC, said that Thierer's appointment is another positive step in helping Dentistry to achieve its vision as a service/education system that serves as a national model for the integration of dentistry with medicine and the health care system overall.

"Todd's experience at Strong Memorial will be very beneficial as he steps into this new role at EDC," said Meyerowitz. "He brings years of experience from the hospital side of oral health care and his strength is in dental decision-making, treatment of medically compromised patients, and dentist-patient communication."

Thierer received his D.D.S. degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his M.P.H. degree from the University of Rochester. He is active at the leadership level of several state and national dental associations, and maintains memberships in the American Dental Association, the International/American Association of Dental Research, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the Society for Medical Decision Making.


Campbell to Head Family Medicine

Thomas L. Campbell, M.D.

A physician nationally recognized for his work on the family in medical practice and the influence of the family on health has been appointed chair of the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, pending the approval of the University Trustees. Thomas L. Campbell, M.D., a 25-year veteran of the University of Rochester, assumed the new post March 1.

For the past 13 months, Campbell has served as the interim chair of the Department, which was recently recognized by US News and World Report as one of the top 15 in the country. In this role, he strengthened the educational program, recruited excellent faculty, enhanced research, redesigned clinical operations in anticipation of a move to a new practice facility, and improved the overall financial performance of the Department.

A gifted teacher and mentor, Campbell was voted Faculty Teacher of the Year by graduating residents in 1987. In 1988, he was awarded the Patient Care Award for Innovation in Family Medicine Education from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, a 5,000-member organization affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Campbell has authored or co-authored more than 100 books, chapters, and journal articles.

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Campbell received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He first joined the Department of Family Medicine as a resident in 1979. After completing his residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship with George Engel, M.D., Campbell joined the faculty of the Department of Family Medicine and rose through the academic ranks, achieving full professor in 1998.


Become an Everyday Hero

become an everyday heroThe Medical Center's annual "Everyday Heroes" campaign is currently underway, encouraging faculty and staff to make a donation to support our mission as we continue on the path to become a leading academic medical center.

From research to education to patient care, we are experiencing great successes. Funding for research from the National Institutes of Health has increased dramatically—to more than $130 million. Our advances in treatment attracted more than 45,000 patients from outside our six-county service area to Strong Health hospitals in 2003—10 percent more than three years ago. The School of Medicine & Dentistry continues to attract top caliber students, and is recognized for its innovative educational approach and results.

To continue this momentum, we need large infusions of cash to pay for capital improvements in both facilities and equipment. In the last year alone, we have pledged $65 million to pay for various expansions throughout the Medical Center including a new PICU/ICU build-out over the ED, a new observation unit for ED patients, a new MRI Center, and the renovation of clinical space on the ground floor into labs and testing units. These are just a few of the expansion activities underway at the Medical Center to ensure our ability to deliver the best patient care available.

Luckily, the community is supporting our efforts, and in 2003, gifts from local and national corporations and foundations, friends, patients and alumni reached $34 million. The active support of faculty and staff in our fundraising efforts sends a strong signal that our 10,000+ doctors, nurses, technicians, researchers, faculty and other staff are committed to our institution and goals.

"Everyday Heroes" gives all employees the flexibility to direct a donation to any area or program within the Medical Center. The goal for this year's campaign is $200,000, and pledges can be automatically deducted from paycheck for added convenience. For more information, call 273-2663, or visit

Melnyk Wins National Award

Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N.
Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N.

In recognition for her significant contribution to the health and well-being of children globally, Bernadette Melnyk, Ph.D., R.N., CPNP/NPP, FAAN, associate dean for research at the School of Nursing, was recently honored by the Honor Society of Nursing with the 2003 Audrey Hepburn Award. Melnyk was cited for two programs she designed and implemented: Keep your children/yourself Safe and Secure (KySS) and Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE), both nationally recognized for their commitment to children, from newborns to adolescents. The Audrey Hepburn Award is the Honor Society's highest honor, given biennially to a nurse who has dedicated his or her career to improving the care of children.





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Last updated: 06/23/2009 9:54 PM