LifeNotes
E-Newsletter for the Medical Community

LifeNotes | Fall 2022

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LCI Increases Lung Cancer Screening in Underserved Communities, Plans to Launch New Lung Nodule Management Program

Lung cancer accounts for about 25 percent of all cancer deaths. In 2010, results from the National Lung Screening Trial showed that screening could decrease the risk of lung cancer deaths by 20 percent. Early diagnosis of lung cancer allows for treatment options such as surgery and focused radiation, which offer the best chance for cure. 

Hina Khan, MD, is a thoracic oncologist at the Lifespan Cancer Institute. Khan said, "Lung cancer screening is recommended for a unique high-risk population: individuals between ages 50 and 80 who have at least a 20-pack year history of smoking (a pack a day for 20 years or more) and are either current smokers or have quit within the past 15 years. The screening itself is a very low dose CT scan of the chest, which collects multiple images to create a three-dimensional view of the entire lung," explained Khan.

“The goal is to identify lung cancer in its earliest stages when the chance of cure can be as high as 90 percent. When caught early, treatment can be easier and minimally invasive with surgery or radiation therapy alone,” said Khan. “While it is covered by nearly all insurance carriers, the current uptake of lung cancer screening is universally low across the United States, with less than 10 percent of those eligible actually getting screened.

Dr. Khan has successfully partnered with the Blackstone Valley Community Health Centers to help identify barriers to lung cancer screening and increase the number of individuals being screened. With funding from a Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity Grant, she has hired a nurse navigator at the center to support ongoing efforts to increase awareness and access to lung cancer screening. “This is an exciting collaboration and in just a few months, we are seeing an increase in the numbers,” said Dr. Khan.

For patients who are identified with nodules in the lungs, the Lifespan Cancer Institute will open The Miriam Hospital Lung Nodule Management Program in the first quarter of 2023. This multidisciplinary program consists of an expert team of pulmonologists, radiologists, and thoracic surgeons who will work with patients to better understand what the lung nodule is and how best to monitor and treat it. A patient navigator will coordinate appointments for patients all in one location.

“The bottom line is that lung cancer screening is quick and easy, and most importantly saves lives. That’s why identifying and breaking down barriers to lung cancer screening is so important,” said Khan.

Learn more about lung cancer screenings on our website or call us at 844-401-5864/844-401-LUNG.

Minimally Invasive Urology Institute Now Offering Transperineal Prostate Biopsy

Elias Hyams, MD

Elias Hyams, MD, a board-certified urologist at the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at The Miriam Hospital and Director of the Prostate Cancer Program at Brown Urology is now performing transperineal prostate biopsy in the office setting.

This is a novel approach for detecting prostate cancer that has significant clinical benefits. Traditionally, the prostate biopsy procedure is performed across the rectal wall with ultrasound guidance. This transrectal approach introduces risk of infection even with antibiotic prophylaxis, and can limit access to certain regions of the prostate.

“The transperineal approach has been used more commonly in Europe and is gaining popularity in the United States. We are excited to bring this approach to our patients,” said Dr. Hyams. “With the transperineal approach, the biopsy needle traverses the perineal skin, the area between the scrotum and anus, rather than the rectal wall,” added Dr. Hyams. “This lowers the risk of infection significantly, and in most cases, antibiotics are not necessary. Furthermore, we can access portions of the prostate that may be difficult to reach transrectally.”

“We are commonly performing MRI prior to biopsy to identify areas in the prostate at greatest risk, and then having a discussion of different biopsy techniques including targeted transrectal or transperineal biopsy,” Dr. Hyams noted.

Transperineal biopsy may be appropriate for men with persistently elevated or rising PSA, or other risk factors for significant prostate cancer. This procedure is done in the office rather than the operating room, generally with a mild sedation.

For more information on prostate biopsy or to refer a patient, visit our website or call us at 401-793-5400.

Hasbro Children’s Hospital Offering Two New Pedi GI Services: Intestinal Rehabilitation and Aerodigestive Programs

Two boys laying on floor

Hasbro Children’s Hospital is expanding its services in pediatric gastroenterology to offer two new programs.

First, the new Intestinal Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive program for children who require rehabilitation for intestinal failure and other conditions that prevent the body from absorbing necessary nutrients and digesting food properly. It will be one of only a few in the country.

The program is a collaboration between pediatric GI and pediatric surgery. Carolina Cerezo, MD, FAAP, is a pediatric gastroenterologist and division director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases. She and Allison Behrle Yardley, MD, FAAP, co-direct the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program.

Most children with “short gut” suffered severe intestinal trauma in infancy, such as malrotation with midgut volvulus, severe necrotizing enterocolitis, or complications of gastroschisis. These patients have always received intensive care by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, neonatologists, gastroenterologists, nutritionists, and many others. They often spend months in the hospital and when they are ready to be discharged home, they require different sets of skills and services. This enhanced, multidisciplinary Intestinal Rehabilitation Program is now able to provide all these services in a seamless way.

Dr. Cerezo said, “The Intestinal Rehabilitation Program will provide care for children with very complex cases who require comprehensive care to address malabsorption and growth issues.” The program’s multidisciplinary team will include a pediatric surgeon, nurse practitioner, pediatric gastroenterologist, a dietician, nurse, social worker, and administrative support. It will also offer an inpatient consultation service for any child with complex enteral and parenteral feeding and nutritional needs.

The program’s complex patients are frequently admitted to the hospital or brought to the emergency room. Close monitoring in a family-centered care environment is a key focus for the program.

Dr. Cerezo said, “Many of our patients come to us as infants and are seen regularly every two to four weeks. Many have had significant resection of their intestine and are unable to sustain nutrition and life without enteral and parenteral nutrition support.” She added, “Other patients may have experienced damage to the GI tract, in the form of trauma, surgery or infection that impacted digestion and absorption.”

“We are so excited to present this program that will address the needs of complex patients with congenital and acquired disorders. The services needed are streamlined in a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and family-centered approach,” added Dr. Cerezo.

In addition, the new Aerodigestive Program is being launched to treat children who have swallowing, feeding, or breathing issues or those who have co-occurring gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms due to a congenital or developmental abnormality or injury.

The care for these children is costly and complex due to multiple procedures, frequent hospitalizations, and the need for multispecialty care. The new Aerodigestive Program brings together a team of experts in gastroenterology, otolaryngology, and pulmonology.

“When the families go to multiple appointments it can be challenging, costly and stressful,” said Dr. Cerezo. “Our up-and-coming Aerodigestive Program offers a one-stop shop – multispecialty care that allows sharing of knowledge, information and a care plan that makes it more consistent for the family and child.”

The aerodigestive team will offer evaluation and care for patients with:

  • aspiration, feeding, and swallowing disorders
  • chronic cough
  • craniofacial anomalies
  • failure to thrive, gastrostomy feeds dependency
  • laryngotracheal stenosis
  • noisy breathing
  • TEF and/or esophageal atresia
  • tracheostomy dependence
  • stridor and recurrent cough/croup
  • vocal cord paralysis
  • recurrent wheezing
  • chronic GERD, eosinophilic esophagitis; esophageal dysmotility

Dr. Cerezo noted, “The creation of the Aerodigestive Program will provide the most comprehensive way of caring for these children and their families and provide support to their primary care providers.”

For more information on the intestinal rehabilitation program and the forthcoming aerodigestive clinic, visit our website or call us at 401-444-8306.

Lifespan Stroke Centers Earn American Heart Association Awards for Stroke and Diabetes Care

Rhode Island Hospital stroke services awards 2022 badges

Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, and Newport Hospital have received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke GOLD PLUS Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes a commitment to improving quality care for cardiovascular patients and reducing barriers to prompt treatment for cardiovascular events.

To be eligible, hospitals must meet quality improvement measures aimed at ensuring cardiovascular patients receive efficient and coordinated care that saves lives, achieves shorter recovery times, and reduces the need to return to the hospital.

Rhode Island Hospital received the additional designation of Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite with Advanced Therapy, while The Miriam Hospital received the additional designation of Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite.

All three hospitals also received the additional designation of Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll Award. To earn the award, hospitals must exhibit more than 90% compliance with quality measures over a one-year period for the “Overall Diabetes Cardiovascular Initiative Composite Score.”

According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all adults in the United States have experienced some form of cardiovascular disease – including heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. For patients with conditions severe enough to require hospitalization, time is critical. As a participant in Get With The Guidelines® programs, Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, and Newport Hospital are recognized for being able to demonstrate how their hospital has committed to improving quality patient care.

“We are honored that the American Heart Association has bestowed these awards to the Lifespan stroke centers,” said Melissa Harmon, MSN, RN, Manager, Comprehensive Stroke Program at Rhode Island Hospital. “It is a great accomplishment for all three centers to have achieved these awards for so many years. This is a testament to the dedication of staff across affiliates to provide top quality stroke care that produces the best possible outcome for our patients.”

“It is exciting for all three hospitals to earn the Get With The Guidelines® stroke recognition. These awards are a tribute to our commitment to exceptional care for our stroke patients across the Lifespan system,” said Karen Schaefer, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, ASC-BC, stroke program manager for The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital.

Learn more about stroke services at Lifespan on our website.

Lifespan Center for Bariatric Surgery Celebrates Tenth Anniversary, Expands Robotic Surgery Offerings, and Receives Six-Time Optum Accreditation

Lifespan bariatric surgery team

The Lifespan Center for Bariatric Surgery (CBS) at The Miriam Hospital reached a milestone this year as it marked its tenth anniversary of transforming the lives of its patients. While not a cure for obesity, bariatric surgery has proven to be the most effective and long-lasting treatment for the chronic condition.

Beth Ryder, MD, is the director of the Center for Bariatric Surgery. Since opening in 2012, the center has performed thousands of surgeries, helping patients regain their health and lives. Dr. Ryder said, “Over the past 10 years, I am proud of the care we have provided to our patients with excellent clinical outcomes, exceeding national averages in prevention of perioperative complications. Being able to jointly care for patients alongside our obesity medicine colleagues has also broadened the care we can offer our patients.”

This year, the center also expanded its options for patients by now offering the Roux-en-Y method of gastric bypass through robotic surgery. Roux-en-Y is considered the gold standard of bariatric surgery. “Having surgeons who do robotic operations gives our patients access to the full range of procedures offered in contemporary bariatric practice,” said Dr. Ryder.

Lifespan’s Center for Bariatric Surgery (CBS), a program of Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, has once again received Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Earlier this year, the center’s adult, adolescent, and obesity medicine programs all received certification, a distinction held by only a few other centers in New England. This is the CBS’s first accreditation in obesity medicine, making it the only accredited program in southeastern New England.

Dr. Ryder also noted, “Our clinical excellence has earned accreditation as a Blue Distinction Center-Plus for bariatric surgery and as an Optum Center of Excellence for the sixth time in 2022. For patients, this means we have excellent outcomes and carefully use available resources to best serve our patients.”

The center is committed to transforming the lives of patients for decades to come. “In the next 10 years, the Center for Bariatric Surgery will provide a continued focus on excellent care by our doctors, nurses, dietitians, and all our staff,” added Dr. Ryder.

Learn more about the Lifespan Center for Bariatric Surgery here, call us at 401-793-3922, or refer patients to our online orientation information here.

Lifespan’s First Open-Sided MRI Now Available at Portsmouth Imaging Center

Lifespan Medical Imaging has acquired the strongest high field open sided MRI scanner at its Portsmouth Imaging Center. It is the first open-sided MRI for the system and the only one available in the greater Newport County area.

Open MRI is effective for a variety of procedures including orthopedic, neurologic, and vascular imaging, as well as imaging for the abdomen, pelvis, face, and neck. The new 1.2 Tesla Fuji Open Oasis MRI is designed for maximum patient comfort, reduced noise levels, and the option for quick scans.

“We are delighted to add this new technology to our diagnostic and interventional imaging procedures,” said Christopher Monteiro, director of imaging cardiology operations and radiology administration and support, Newport Hospital. “Its extra space offers greater comfort for our patients, alleviating the feeling of claustrophobia, which can make these scans difficult for some individuals. In addition, it delivers high performance along with a design that allows for easier communication between patient, radiologists, and technologists.”

The new Oasis 1.2T is the final addition to a complete suite of new medical imaging equipment available at Newport Hospital and the Portsmouth Imaging Center. In addition to open MRI, the center offers:

  • a 64-slice CT scanner for general head and body imaging
  • tomosynthesis mammography for high clarity images to increase early detection, decrease false positives, and help pinpoint the size and location of any abnormality
  • digital X-ray using digital X-ray sensors instead of traditional photographic film
  • diagnostic ultrasound examinations including abdominal, pelvis, OB, and vascular

To refer a patient or learn more about the procedures offered through Lifespan Medical Imaging, visit our website or call 401-444-7770.

New Locations

Bradley Hospital expands partial hospital program with new location in East Greenwich

Bradley Hospital expanded its partial hospital program, adding a new location in East Greenwich in October.

The primary goal of the partial hospital program is to help children safely live at home while offering the opportunity to address emotional, social, and behavioral difficulties. The program provides treatment for patients with significant mood, anxiety, and behavioral disorders.

Mandy Witkin, LICSW, MEd, is currently the clinical director for the SafeQuest program at Bradley Hospital and has assumed the role of clinical director for the partial hospital program in East Greenwich.

Witkin said, “The Bradley Hospital Children’s Partial Hospital Program (CPHP) provides comprehensive evaluation and intensive treatment for children ages seven to twelve and their families for a variety of conditions. Unfortunately, we have a very lengthy wait list, at times up to six months. We have also seen the need for mental health services for children in the state continue to grow, especially since the pandemic.”

By opening another location, Bradley Hospital can offer its unique services to even more children and families in the region. The program operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children and their families generally participate for four to six weeks; the length of stay is determined mutually by the family and the CPHP team.

“After spending the last 10 years with the partial hospital program at Bradley Hospital, I’ve seen firsthand the impact the program has on our patients and their families, and how transformative it can be,” said Witkin. “We all look forward to expanding these unique services to collaborate with and support more children and families.”

Physicians can refer patients to the Children’s Partial Hospital Program by calling 1-855-543-5454 (KIDLINK). For more information on the program please visit the website.

Lifespan Urgent Care to Open Fourth Location in Johnston

Physician in Urgent care

Lifespan Urgent Care is slated to open a new location in Johnston, RI this winter. The new location is the fourth for the practice, joining sites in Middletown, Providence, and Warwick, RI.

Olivier Gherardi, DO, is the medical director for the practice, which offers urgent medical treatment to adults and children 18 months and older. “Lifespan Urgent Care is designed to be patient-focused and to deliver exceptional healthcare,” Gherardi said.

The center offers treatment for common illnesses and injuries, including:

  • ear infections, strep throats, other upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis, colds and flu; and pneumonia
  • rashes, skin infections
  • insect or animal bites
  • physical injuries such as fractures, sprains or strains, or non-major lacerations

“We are proud of the level of care and our patient-centric focus at Lifespan Urgent Care. Our sites offer both walk-in appointments and online scheduling, along with X-rays, quick testing and convenient hours, to provide our patients with the best experience,” said Dr. Gherardi.

Learn more about Lifespan Urgent Care here.

Electroencephalogram (EEG) Laboratory Opens Second Location in East Greenwich; Relocates Lab at Rhode Island Hospital

1407 South County Trail, East Greenwich

Rhode Island Hospital has expanded its electroencephalogram (EEG) capabilities by adding a second EEG lab in East Greenwich. In addition, its original lab previously located at Rhode Island Hospital on the sixth floor of the Ambulatory Patient Center, has moved to the fourth floor of the Medical Office Complex at 2 Dudley Street. The move and expansion come at a time of increased demand for and utilization of EEG resources.

Neurologist Andrew Blum, MD, PhD, is the Director of Adult Epilepsy, EEG Lab, and Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. He said, “The new East Greenwich lab is another way we are increasing our ability to serve the community and help meet the growing demand while giving patients options that might be more convenient than the hospital campus. It is all patient driven.”

The lab offers routine and diagnostic EEG for adults and pediatric patients and sleep-deprived exams. The test, designed to measure the electrical activity in the brain, is often recommended for evaluating brain dysfunction associated with certain conditions, including:

  • seizure disorders such as epilepsy
  • head injury
  • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • brain tumor
  • encephalopathy, a disease that causes brain dysfunction
  • stroke
  • dementia

“Lab volume for EEG has more than doubled and the complexity of the cases we see in both outpatient and inpatient has also increased,” said Dr. Blum.

Blum added, “One of most critical reasons for the expansion is increased use of prolonged bedside monitoring in ICUs, which has prompted the need for added space to accommodate our additional equipment and staff. That is a key reason why many patients are now sent to Rhode Island Hospital from other hospitals in our catchment area – because we provide long-term video EEG monitoring, and that resource is not available elsewhere in the region.”

Dr. Blum notes that this is a decade-long expansion. He commented, “The growth of new, exciting surgical options for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy has also driven the volume and complexity of our surgical epilepsy program. It’s a happy coincidence that we’re moving the RIH lab to its new location, and we’ve opened this East Greenwich annex to keep pace with growth while providing patients with the latest available technology.”

For more information on the EEG lab, call 401-444-5381 or visit our website.

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Vanzetta James, DNP, MBA appointed Senior Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer at The Miriam Hospital

Vanzetta V. James, DNP, MBA

In July, Vanzetta James, DNP, MBA, was appointed Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at The Miriam Hospital. She brings to the role more than 20 years of nursing leadership experience in magnet, teaching, and academic medical centers.

Dr. James most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing officer at University of Maryland Capital Region Health. In this role she was responsible for the overall nursing practice in the inpatient, emergency and trauma, perioperative, procedural, and ambulatory settings. Her major accomplishments included the implementation of a shared governance structure, a quarterly nursing publication and a successful transition into a new hospital.

Dr. James’ numerous roles also include Director of Acute Care at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she improved patient throughput, implemented a virtual sitter program, and instituted successful strategies to decrease patient falls. She also served as Nurse Manager at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, where she oversaw the creation of a critical care unit for patients requiring lung rescue/ECMO and was instrumental in the center receiving its American Association of Critical Care Nurses Beacon Award for Excellence.

Dr. James earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in leadership from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore, a Master of Science in Health Services Leadership and Management from the University of Maryland School of Nursing in Baltimore, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Delaware, and an Associate of Science in Nursing from the College of the Virgin Islands.

Dr. James is certified in critical care nursing and nursing executive practice. She is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Jose Bernardo Quintos, MD, Appointed National Pediatrics Board Chair

Jose Bernardo Quintos, MD

Jose Bernardo Quintos, MD, director of the Diabetes Outpatient Education Center and division chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, was recently named chair of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Pediatric Endocrinology subboard.

Dr. Quintos was selected for his extensive work in the field, which includes creating test questions for pediatric endocrinology certification across the U.S. He will serve a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2023.

“The responsibilities of the chair include both administrative and test development tasks,” Dr. Quintos said. “I will participate in the orientation and mentorship of new subboard appointees, conduct the annual business meeting, and participate in the evaluation of all new members.”

Dr. Quintos is a professor of pediatrics and clinician educator at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, where he joined the faculty in 2007. He is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology, and specializes in growth disorders, puberty, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, thyroid disorders, and diabetes. His clinical and research interests include congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), pubertal disorders, growth hormone deficiency, thyroid disorders, and diabetes mellitus in children.

“I have served on the subboard since 2018 and I am honored to be of service and continue the work and mission of the American Board of Pediatrics,” said Dr. Quintos.

Christine Greenia, MD, Named Newport Psychiatry Chair

Christine Greenia, MD

Christine Greenia, MD, was recently named the new chair of psychiatry at Newport Hospital. The department chair handles clinical oversight of Newport Hospital psychiatry’s three major service lines—inpatient, the partial hospital program, and the outpatient division.

Dr. Greenia plans to expand capacity by hiring a second psychiatrist for the outpatient group and is also considering adding a third “track” to Newport’s successful partial hospital program, which currently features an adult track and a dual diagnosis track for patients with co-occurring substance use and mental health challenges. She also looks forward to a higher level of teaching and education following Newport Psychiatry’s recent merger with Lifespan Physician Group Psychiatry.

Dr. Greenia has been with Lifespan for almost four years. In addition to her new role, she plans to continue caring for patients in the inpatient program and stay on in her current role as medical director of the Newport Hospital’s inpatient psychiatry program.

Philip C. Russell, MD, Named Medical Director of the Lifespan Recovery Center

Philip Russell, MD

Philip C. Russell, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and internal medicine physician, has been named medical director of the Lifespan Recovery Center.

The Lifespan Recovery Center (LRC) helps people who struggle with substance use, sometimes in combination with a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.

“I am honored to assume the role of medical director for the Lifespan Recovery Center,” said Dr. Russell. “The work we do is life changing for our patients and their families, and I look forward to collaborating with our outstanding team of experts to help individuals in our community who struggle with addiction.”

The LRC program offers access to treatment and support to overcome a substance use disorder. The team works collaboratively to evaluate patients and provide the comprehensive, evidence-based treatment they need. Patients in the program might be new to treatment, may have recently completed inpatient detoxification, or want to transition from a methadone program.

Dr. Russell added, “What makes the Lifespan Recovery Center unique is that it is a program of Rhode Island Hospital. This provides our patients with seamless and timely access to specialized medical, behavioral, and mental health services that can help them conquer their addiction and lead a healthier life.”

Dr. Russell is also an assistant clinical professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is also board certified in internal medicine and received his medical degree from MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia. He completed his residency in general internal medicine at Alpert Medical School, and Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. He also completed the Brown Medical School Adult Psychiatric Residency Program at Butler Hospital. Dr. Russell is a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, and American College of Physicians.

David Booy, MD Headshot

David Booy, MD

Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologist David Booy, MD, has joined Lifespan Physician Group Ophthalmology.

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Rachel M. Depner, PhD

Psychologist

Psychologist Rachel Depner, PhD, has joined the Rhode Island Hospital Partial Hospital Program.

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Leticia Dwomor, MD

Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Leticia Dwomor, MD, is an OB-GYN, joining the Lifespan Physician Group-OB/GYN practice and the Women’s Medicine Collaborative.

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Jessica L. Guidi, MD Headshot

Jessica L. Guidi, MD

Cardiologist

Jessia Guidi, MD, has joined the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute as a consultative/diagnostic cardiologist and a heart failure specialist.

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Alexandra I. Gundersen, MD Headshot

Alexandra I. Gundersen, MD

Director, Cancer Rehabilitation Program, Lifespan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Alexandra Gundersen, MD, a physician specializing in cancer rehabilitation, has joined Lifespan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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Emily Hallowell, PhD Headshot

Emily Hallowell, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Emily Hallowell, PhD, is a psychologist now practicing with Lifespan Physician Group Neuropsychology.

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Dylan Hershkowitz, MD

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist Dylan Hershkowitz, MD, has joined the inpatient psychiatry team at Rhode Island Hospital.

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Emily Hsu, MD Headshot

Emily Hsu, MD

Oncologist

Board-certified oncologist Emily Hsu, MD, has joined the Lifespan Cancer Institute specializing in breast and gynecologic cancers.

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Rachna Kataria, MD Headshot

Rachna Kataria, MD

Cardiologist

Rachna Kataria, MD, is now practicing at the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute as a consultative/diagnostic cardiologist and a heart failure specialist.

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Matthew A. Kluge, MD Headshot

Matthew A. Kluge, MD

Cardiologist

Matthew Kluge, MD, has joined the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute as a consultative/diagnostic cardiologist.

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Denise LaBelle, PhD Headshot

Denise LaBelle, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Psychologist Denise LaBelle, PhD, has joined Newport Hospital and will see inpatient rehabilitation and primary care patients.

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Roberta Lui, MD Headshot

Roberta Lui, MD

Physiatrist

Roberta Lui, MD, a physiatrist, has joined Lifespan Physician Group Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

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Athar Naveed Malik, MD, PhD

Neurosurgeon

Athar Malik, MD, PhD, a functional neurosurgeon, has joined the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute.

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May Min, MD Headshot

May Min, MD

Gastroenterologist May Min, MD, has joined Lifespan Physician Group Gastroenterology.

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Fahd Nadeem, MD Headshot

Fahd Nadeem, MD

Electrophysiologist/Cardiologist

Cardiac electrophysiologist Fahd Nadeem, MD, has joined the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute.

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Amanda Phillips, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Amanda Phillips, PhD, a clinical psychologist, is now practicing with Lifespan Physician Group Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

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Bethany Rallis, PhD, LCP Headshot

Bethany Rallis, PhD, LCP

Director, Adult Partial Hospital Program, Newport Hospital

Bethany Rallis, PhD, a practicing psychologist with Newport Psychiatry, has been named director of the Newport Hospital Adult Partial Hospital Program.

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Verity Ramirez, MD Headshot

Verity Ramirez, MD

Cardiologist

Consultative/diagnostic cardiologist Verity Ramirez, MD, has joined the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute.

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Von Marie Rodriguez-Guzman, PhD Headshot

Von Marie Rodriguez-Guzman, PhD

Psychologist

Von Marie Rodriguez-Guzman, PhD, is a psychologist who has joined Lifespan Physician Group Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

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Lauren Roussel, MD Headshot

Lauren Roussel, MD

Plastic surgeon Lauren Roussel, MD, has joined Lifespan Physician Group Plastic Surgery and the Lifespan Laser and Aesthetic Surgery Center.

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Sohaib Siddiqui, MD Headshot

Sohaib Siddiqui, MD

Sohaib Siddiqui, MD, is a family medicine physician now practicing with Lifespan Physician Group Primary Care.

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Jayne L. Shadlyn, MD Headshot

Jayne L. Shadlyn, MD

Psychiatrist Jayne Shadlyn, MD is now practicing at Newport Psychiatry.

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Jeffrey E. Thode, MD Headshot

Jeffrey E. Thode, MD

Obstetrician/Gynecologist

Obstetrician-gynecologist Jeffrey Thode, MD, has joined the Lifespan Physician Group-OB/GYN practice and the Women’s Medicine Collaborative.

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Jeremy Lyle Warner, MD, MS, FAMIA, FASCO Headshot

Jeremy Lyle Warner, MD, MS, FAMIA, FASCO

Oncologist

Board-certified oncologist Jeremy Lyle Warner, MD, MS, FAMIA, FASCO, has joined the Lifespan Cancer Institute in the Hematologic Malignancies Center.

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New Innovation Center for Urologic Research and Education (iCURE) Committed to Scientific Advancement

The Innovation Center for Urologic Research and Education (iCURE) is a new urologic research center located at The Miriam Hospital. Under the direction of Gyan Pareek, MD, FACS, interim Chief of Urology, the center is the first of its kind in the region.

Dr. Pareek said, “iCURE will fulfill its goal of generating innovative and influential data with far-reaching impact. Through collaboration with a variety of research institutes, industry partners, and academic departments, we will hypothesize, design, and test novel devices and services to support urologic care worldwide.” Pareek noted that the center will also serve as a testbed to create better services for patients with urologic needs.

The goals of iCURE are to:

  • Attract clinical trials and cutting-edge innovation
  • Evaluate research hypotheses
  • Innovate and develop new devices
  • Nurture research collaborations between clinicians, academia, industry, and patients and families
  • Increase participation in the clinical trial research space
  • Serve as a hub for pioneering urologic research in the Northeast

Dr. Pareek added, “In addition to nurturing research, iCURE is also committed to promoting educational opportunities. We will host national conferences and invite world-class medical experts to Lifespan as guest lecturers.”

The center will also enhance the educational experience of Brown University urology residents, fellows, and medical students. Finally, it will develop a multidisciplinary model to enhance the education of interdisciplinary educational programs.

The foundational domains of iCURE are:

  • Translational research: Basic science and animal, cellular, genetic, and translational research studies
  • Clinical and health outcomes research: Clinical, health outcomes, and epidemiological research studies
  • Patient-centered research: Patient-centered research studies, including qualitative and mixed-method studies
  • Innovation: Innovation in partnership with internal and external industry partners
  • Education: Development and delivery of training and education initiatives
  • Strategy: Nurturing innovation in all program areas and driving culture change across the institute
  • Development and outreach: Dissemination of key findings, outcomes, and accomplishments among the lay and medical communities responsible for philanthropy and donations

“We believe that iCURE will improve the lives of patients and we look forward to the impactful results of this new collaboration for the field of urology.”

To learn more about iCURE, contact Christopher Tucci, MS, RN-BC, CURN, NE-BC, FAUNA, operations manager for the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at ctucci@lifespan.org or 401-793-5400.

Stephanie L. Graff, MD, FACP, Brings New Breast Cancer Research to Rhode Island and is Named “Woman Disruptor of the Year” at ASCO Annual Meeting

Since joining the Lifespan Cancer Institute in 2021, Stephanie L. Graff, MD, FACP, director of breast oncology, has brought a whirlwind of activity in breast cancer research to Rhode Island. Now, Dr. Graff is leading new clinical trials in Rhode Island for a drug that targets breast cancer growth, and is giving oncologists reason to be hopeful about future treatment options for patients.

Results from the DESTINY-Breast04 Phase III trial, recently presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, showed the intravenous drug Enhertu, also known as trastuzumab deruxtecan, demonstrated “superior and clinically meaningful” progression-free and overall survival in previously treated patients with certain forms of breast cancer.

In the clinical trial, researchers found the drug improved survival rates for patients with metastatic breast cancer by nearly 40%. Enhertu only has FDA-approval for use in HER2-positive breast cancer patients. The trial, however, has resulted in a new category called HER2-low.

Breast cancer has been categorized as either HER2-positive — cancer cells that have more protein than normal — or HER2-negative. As Dr. Graff explained, “Only about 15% of breast cancer is HER2-positive, but as much as 60 to 65% of breast cancer is HER2-low. By expanding the definition of breast cancer to include HER2-low, it has the potential to help many more individuals diagnosed with the disease.”

Under the direction of Dr. Graff, additional studies of Enhertu, DESTINY Breast-06 and DESTINY Breast-07 trials, are underway at the Lifespan Cancer Institute. “Lots of innovation happening here in Rhode Island using this very exciting drug. We hope our results from these new phases will be as promising as earlier trials for Ehertu,” she added.

You can learn more about the trial here.

Woman Disruptor of the Year

While in attendance at the ASCO meeting in Chicago, Dr. Graff received the Woman Disruptor of the Year award for her positive advancements in the oncology community. Presented by Healio, the award is for a woman in the oncology field who has made a positive impact within the specialty and has also emerged as a leader and a role model for younger women in the field.

Dr. Graff was recognized for notable achievements in her career that has included many highlights, such as:

  • serving as principal investigator on trials leading to new FDA approvals, including Impassion130, which led to the first FDA approval of a targeted therapy for breast cancer
  • developing an immunotherapy for breast cancer
  • being part of the ASCO Leadership Development Program and working with a team to develop a professionalism initiative.
  • publishing work on sexual harassment in the oncology workplace

She was also recognized for her commitment to a culture of inclusion and equity in medicine, designing clinical research that better represents the individuals at risk or diagnosed with cancer, and improved access to care.

“I was so honored to receive the Woman Disruptor of the Year award. I believe women in general may sell themselves short and think opportunities are out of their reach,” Dr. Graff said. “I would encourage them to think bigger and look for ways to challenge themselves while offering an opportunity for growth.” For women in oncology who may be considering career moves, she said, “doors are always open.”

Research from the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute and Innovation Center for Urologic Research and Education Accepted for Presentation at International and Regional conferences

Scholarly work from the team at the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute at The Miriam Hospital and Innovation Center for Urologic Research and Education were accepted for presentation at the 39th World Congress of Endourology and Uro-Technology and the 91st Annual Meeting of the New England Section of American Urological Association (NEAUA).

Gyan Pareek MD, FACS, interim Chief of Urology said, “The acceptance of this scholarly work is further evidence of the innovation and brilliant research being performed by our team of surgeon-scientists.”

The following abstracts have been accepted for presentation:

  • Antibiotic prophylaxis practice patterns in patients undergoing transurethral resection or vaporization of the prostate with preoperative catheterization
  • Provider level and regional variation in robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy volume
  • Risky Business: The Use of Unregulated Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors in Healthcare Supplements
  • Distressed communities with high-risk stone formers may benefit more from multidisciplinary kidney stone clinic model
  • Female surgeon involvement in robotic/laparoscopic surgery across specialties: How does urology fare?
  • Lack of Diversity in BPH Procedures Among Urologists in the United States

Contact Chris Tucci for more information at ctucci@lifespan.org or 401-793-5400.