For a third year, Teresa Bradley of Braintree and Krista Warner of Randolph have organized a bowling tournament at Valley Bowl to support Gifford Medical Center’s Woman to Woman fund.
Held each year on the fourth Sunday in October, the Ruth Brown Memorial Breast Cancer Awareness Tournament raised $1,485 and attracted 32 bowlers. The winning bowler was Shawn Corbett of Rochester. The top fund-raiser was Barre’s Diana Flood. Also recognized were Bob’s M&M, Patrick’s Place and Valley Bowl, all of Randolph, for donating the top three prizes at each annual tournament.
The tournament, which started in 2010 as Warner’s high school senior project, is named in memory of Bradley’s mother and Warner’s grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 following a mammogram. She beat the disease but later developed lung cancer, passing away in Gifford’s Garden Room last year. For Warner and Bradley, the tournament is a way to keep her memory alive and support a cause about which they feel strongly.
Gifford’s Woman to Woman fund helps provide mammograms to low-income women and funds soft pads placed on the mammography machine to make essential mammograms more comfortable for all.
Here Bradley, left, and Warner, middle, present the money they raised to Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes in the Randolph hospital’s stereotactic breast biopsy room.
Here Bradley and Warner stand with Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes by the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography machine.
Here Bradley, Warner and Gifford Breast Care Coordinator Cheryl Jewkes, standing in the Randolph hospital’s digital mammography room, feign surprise at the thick stack of money raised.
RANDOLPH – Experts from Gifford Medical Center will lead a free breast cancer awareness talk on Oct. 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. in concert with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Ob/gyn Dr. Anne Galante and radiologist Dr. Scott Smith will discuss screening and prevention of breast cancer among women of all ages. Specific topics include breast exams, clinical breast exams, the importance and limitations of various methods of breast imaging, and genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.
Time will be provided for one-on-one questions with these local experts.
Michele Packard, Health Connections specialist, will also be on hand to enroll qualifying women ages 21 and up in Ladies First as well as explore other insurance options.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States and in Vermont. It’s also the nation’s leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
According to the Vermont Department of Health, about 473 breast cancer cases are diagnosed among Vermont women each year. About 92 people each year die from the disease. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes.
While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment.
“We hope to increase awareness of breast cancer risks, prevention, screening and insurance opportunities available to Vermont women,” Dr. Galante said. “Early diagnosis offers the best chance of surviving breast cancer, but if we don’t know about the disease, we can’t treat it.
“This is an opportunity for women of all ages, and whoever they want to bring with them, to learn more about breast health.”
The talk, titled “The Importance of Breast Cancer Screening,” will be held in the Gifford Conference Center at the medical center at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12) in Randolph.
The event is free and open to all. No registration is required.
RANDOLPH – The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons has granted accreditation with commendation to the cancer program at Gifford Medical Center through 2013.
A facility receives accreditation with commendation following an onsite evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition, a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.
Through its oncology department, Gifford in Randolph offers area patients access to an experienced oncologist, Dr. John Valentine; care from a specially certified oncology nurse; and treatment planning and options, including outpatient chemotherapy and hormone therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Cancer patients and their families additionally benefit from Gifford’s specialists and surgeons and the hospital’s robust palliative care program. Gifford also has a Cancer Committee, a patient care navigator program for women undergoing breast biopsies, and data management and quality oversight. It promotes cancer prevention, screenings, and treatment to the public through patient education and outreach efforts.
“We’re honored to be accredited once again by the Commission on Cancer,” Gifford Vice President of Surgery Rebecca O’Berry said. “This accreditation is a quality indicator for patients choosing cancer care, and an indicator that quality cancer care can be found close to home at Gifford.”
Established in 1922 by the American College of Surgeons, the Commission on Cancer is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care. Its membership includes fellows of the American College of Surgeons and 49 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care.
Gifford’s program has been accredited by the Commission on Cancer since 1965.
The core functions of the Commission on Cancer include setting standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care; surveying facilities to evaluate compliance with the 36 Commission on Cancer standards; collecting standardized and quality data from accredited facilities; and using the data to develop effective educational interventions to improve cancer care outcomes at the national, state, and local level.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 1.6 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2012. There are currently more than 1,500 Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer programs in the United States and Puerto Rico, representing close to 30 percent of all hospitals. This 30 percent of hospitals diagnose and/or treat 80 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. In addition, a national network of more than 1,650 volunteer cancer liaison physicians, including internal medicine physician Jim Currie of Gifford, provides leadership and support for the Commission on Cancer Accreditation Program and other activities at local facilities.
The Accreditation Program, a component of the Commission on Cancer, sets quality-of-care standards for cancer programs and reviews the programs to ensure they conform to those standards. Accreditation is given only to those facilities that have voluntarily committed to providing the highest level of quality cancer care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. To maintain accreditation, facilities with Commission on Cancer accredited cancer programs must undergo an on-site review every three years.
Gifford Medical Center general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli
RANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center general surgeon Dr. Ovleto Ciccarelli and urologist Dr. Richard Graham will lead a free men’s health talk on June 6 on colorectal health, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
The talk will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Randolph hospital’s Conference Center with free pizza and refreshments served at 5:30 p.m.
The talk aims to raise awareness of men’s health issues and preventable conditions, such as colon cancer, in a comfortable atmosphere, says Rebecca O’Berry, Gifford vice president of surgery.
“Both of our physicians are very approachable and personable and are able to find the humorous side of these topics,” O’Berry said. “I’m thrilled that we have two surgeons who are gifted, passionate, and so easy to talk to.”
Dr. Ciccarelli has been a general surgeon for more than 20 years, providing surgical care and colonoscopies at Gifford since 2007.
Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in both men and women in the United States and Vermont.
Colorectal cancer develops from polyps that grow – silently, unseen and unfelt – on the inside wall of the colon. Many polyps will never become cancer, but some will over the years.
A colonoscopy can both detect and prevent colorectal cancer. This is because during a colonoscopy, these polyps are removed in their precancerous state or before disease can be felt, preventing the onset or the spread of the disease. And when found early, colorectal cancer is highly curable.
Without colonoscopies, it is not until polyps become cancerous, grow large, and block the colon or break through the colon wall that colon cancer symptoms are evident.
“This is one area of medicine where we can actually prevent disease, extend lives, and improve quality of life,” says Dr. Ciccarelli, who will also discuss other common colorectal health issues, such as diverticulosis, anal fissures, and hemorrhoids.
Gifford’s new urologist, Dr. Richard Graham
A renowned urologist, Dr. Graham has been practicing urology for 28 years and has performed surgeries around the world. He joined Gifford’s urology practices in Randolph and at the Twin River Health Center in White River Junction last year, bringing new procedures to the hospital.
An urologist specializes in diseases of the male and female urinary tract as well as male reproductive organs. Dr. Graham will consequently talk about common male reproductive ailments, including prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
In Vermont, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Nationally, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. The average age of diagnosis is 67.
Treatment for prostate cancer can sometimes cause erectile dysfunction, a condition that affects millions of men in the United States and can be a sign of more serious disease.
Dr. Graham will address how prostate cancer is diagnosed and treatment options, and what works for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. He’ll also discuss the controversy over PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood tests for men, when they should be performed, what they mean, and why doctors order the screening.
“It’s a serious subject,” Dr. Graham says of the talk that he has given around the world, “but it’s also interactive.”
The event is open to men of all ages and to couples. There is no cost to attend but registration is encouraged. Call 728-2104 by May 30 to sign-up.
Gifford is an American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer nationally accredited cancer program. The hospital is located at 44 S. Main St. (Route 12 south of the village) in Randolph. The Conference Center is on the first floor of the hospital and marked by a green awning. Learn more online at www.giffordmed.org.
RANDOLPH – Gynecologist and certified menopause practitioner Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara is leading a free women’s health talk on April 10 from 6-7 p.m. in the Porter Community Room at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich.
Dr. Russo-DeMara, who provides women’s health care in White River Junction at the Twin River Health Center and at the Bethel Health Center, will address menopause, genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and more.
The talk is free. Participants, however, are encouraged to register by calling the Twin River Health Center at 296-7370 by April 3.
The Twin River and Bethel health centers are part of Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. Dr. Russo-DeMara has been providing women’s care for more than two decades. Learn more online at www.giffordmed.org.