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Archive for February, 2012

Annual GEM Eye Meeting

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

February 18, 2012, The Westin Buckhead, Atlanta. For more information, visit Georgia Society of Ophthalmologists.


MAA Family Outing — Racing at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

February 18, 2012, Roswell. For more information, visit MAA Family Outing


Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Winter CME Meeting

Friday, February 17th, 2012

February 17-18, 2012, The St. Regis, Atlanta. For more information, visit Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association


Piedmont Physicians Surgical Specialists to Administer New Acute Care Program

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A new acute care surgical program designed and administered by surgeons is now providing both emergency room and inpatient care to patients at Piedmont Hospital. The program’s objective is to expedite the surgical evaluation of patients in the hospital setting. A team of acute care surgeons from Piedmont Physicians Surgical Specialists group is now available in house at all times to take referrals from any physician.

“For patients with no primary care physician, or those who do not have a general surgeon, this program provides faster access to surgical care with improved safety and quality ” explains Bryant Wilson, M.D., medical director of Piedmont Acute Care Surgery program. “This team is dedicated to providing surgical care 24 hours a day. Patients and physicians now have an immediate referral option to surgeons with a vested interest in maintaining the highest standard of care at our hospital.”

The program provides an added benefit to surgical specialists on staff at Piedmont Hospital as they may choose to concentrate on their specialty practices while leaving on call evaluations to the new acute care surgical team.


Atlanta Medical Group Management Association Meeting

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

February 16, Atlanta. For more information, visit AMGMA.


Grady Neurology Specialists Featured at Stroke Conference

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Three key members of Grady Memorial Hospital’s Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center team made presentations at the recent 2012 International Stroke Conference to be held in New Orleans, La. Emory University School of Medicine faculty at Grady Interventional Neurologists Dr. Raul Nogueira and Dr. Rishi Gupta and Vascular Neurologist Dr. Aaron Anderson discussed their latest research findings. In addition, Dr. Gupta’s abstract on diagnosis of stroke patients was deemed one of the best research papers at the conference.

Organized by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA), the conference provides a forum to spotlight recent scientific work related to cerebrovascular disease.

Drs. Nogueira and Gupta, with specialties in Endovascular Neurosurgery, Neurocritical Care and Interventional Neuroradiology, led several abstract presentations during the conference.

Dr. Nogueira presented:
Poster: Temporal Distribution of Stroke Volumes and Clinical-Diffusion Mismatch in Patients with Proximal Arterial Occlusions
Poster: Infarct Volume Thresholds for Prediction of Independent Outcome after Acute Ischemic Stroke
Poster: Favorable Vascular Profile in an Independent Predictor of Outcome: A Post Ad hoc analysis of the SENTIS Tria

Vascular neurology specialist Aaron Anderson joined his co-authors for a discussion of the REGARDS study: Use of Stroke Prevention Medications in Self-Reported Stroke/TIA. Karen Seagraves and Kerrin Connelly also joined their co-authors for the presentation of their abstract, Tracking Inter-hospital Transfer Process to Reduce Time from Initial Presentation to Neurovascular Intervention in Acute Stroke.

Dr. Gupta’s paper, “CT Perfusion Increases Time to Reperfusion and May Not Enhance Patient Selection for Endovascular Reperfusion Therapies in Acute Ischemic Stroke,” was recognized by the ASA as one of the best abstracts at the conference. The abstract summarized research focused on finding the most efficient method for determining the level of irreversible brain damage in stroke patients — either no-contrast CT scan or CT perfusion (CTP) – prior to performing any endovascular procedures.

Dr. Gupta served as the principal investigator of the research study. He had one of the three highest rated abstracts among 1,500 abstracts presented at the conference.


AMGMA Meeting

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

February 16, 2012, Atlanta. For more information, visit Atlanta Medical Group Management Association


Drs. Susan Reines and James Toth Honored for Community Service

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Each year, Kaiser Permanente recognizes individuals and groups, from within its own ranks, who have made extraordinary efforts to improve the health of communities. Two physicians from The Southeast Permanente Medical Group are among 15 recipients of the 2011 David Lawrence Community Service Award (DLCSA). Each will receive a $10,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente to support their community service initiatives.

Susan Reines, M.D., a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Panola, Stonecrest and Conyers medical centers, is being honored for her work with one of metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable populations—child refugees. Reines is the driving force behind the Refugee Pediatric Clinic at the DeKalb County Board of Health clinic, which she helped establish after a local clinic serving child refugees closed its doors.

Many of Reines’ patients were deprived of health care in their native countries and, as a result, have neglected serious medical conditions. The Pediatric Refugee Clinic’s staff reflects the diversity of its patients and translators are available on-site. From providing transportation to and from appointments to delivering prescriptions to patients’ homes, Reines and her team go above and beyond the call of duty to care for their patients. In addition to meeting their health care needs, Reines is promoting literacy among young refugees by donating new books to her patients through the Reach Out and Read program.

James Toth, M.D., who specializes in ambulatory medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Sugar Hill-Buford Medical Center, is being honored for more than a decade of community service abroad. Long before the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Toth was making medical mission trips to the poverty-stricken country. After realizing that many people in the rural town of Hinche could not receive health care due to the local hospital’s pre-pay policy, Toth helped establish the Whitney Clinic with his church.

Toth serves as the medical director of the year-round clinic, which provides free or low-cost primary, pediatric and dental care to thousands of Haitians. He travels to the clinic 2-3 times a year, often accompanied by other physicians he has encouraged to volunteer. From teaching parents how to feed babies born with cleft palates to treating malnourished, diabetic and hypertensive patients, Toth is committed to improving the health of the Haitian population. The clinic has established programs to address malnutrition, cholera, contaminated drinking water and homelessness.

Toth and Reines were selected from 180 DLSCA nominees in Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions. “This distinction reflects the exemplary work of Drs. Susan Reines and James Toth in the community, “ said Rob Schreiner, M.D., executive medical director of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group. “Their dedication to serving not only Kaiser Permanente members, but also underserved populations in metro Atlanta and beyond is an inspiration to us all.”


Dr. Iqbal Garcha Performs Georgia’s First Single-Incision Robotic Surgery

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Dr. Iqbal Garcha recently performed the state’s first-ever Single-Site™ surgery, using the da Vinci® Surgical System. The procedure, a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), was performed Feb. 2 by  at Northside Hospital in Atlanta.

In a traditional laparoscopic and robotic surgery, surgeons make several small incisions for the instruments and camera needed to perform the procedure.  However, in Single-Site (single-incision) surgery, surgeons use a single 2-to-2.5-centimeter incision, often at the bellybutton, to reduce the appearance of scarring.  Performing single incision surgery via robotic-assisted technology allows surgeons to provide patients with procedures equivalent to traditional single-incision surgery, but with the advantage of 3D high-definition visualization of the surgical site, and the precision and versatility afforded by robotic instrumentation.

“The da Vinci software automatically detects and re-associates the surgeon’s hands with the instruments’ tips to create an intuitive movement,” said Dr. Garcha.  “And the new flexible design of the instruments allows me to better reach and see the surgical field through the single port, without interference and without causing additional trauma at the port site.”
Single-Site technology allows surgeons to eliminate the multiple incisions, traditionally used for cholecystectomy, by giving them the ability to place all the instruments through a single incision at the bellybutton, without compromising visualization and dexterity.  In addition to providing a superior cosmetic result, surgeons expect this to translate into less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a fast recovery, similar to the multi-incision alternative.

In the Feb. 2 case, the patient went home within three hours after her surgery was complete.  Dr. Garcha performed a second Single-Site robotic cholecystectomy on Feb. 3, with similar success.

Although Single-Site robotic surgery is currently only approved for cholecystectomy, surgeons are actively using robotic technology to perform procedures across a wide range of specialties.  Many of the surgeons on staff at Northside are pioneers in laparoscopic surgery and are nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in minimally invasive techniques, like robotic surgery and single incision.

Dr. Garcha graduated from the Medical College of Georgia and completed his general surgery residency at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta. He has been in private practice at Northside Hospital and Saint Joseph Medical Center since 1997. 


Alexander Justicz and David Langford Perform Cardiac Surgeries at New Heart Center

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Cardiac and thoracic surgeons Alexander G. Justicz, MD, and David A. Langford, MD, recently completed four successful cardiact surgeries over a period of less than 48 hours at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Strickland Heart Center. With over 35 years of experienced combined, Justicz and Langford are the lead surgeons at the new heart center.

Dr. Justicz, an employee of the newly-formed Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeons – Gwinnett Medical Group, is board certified in thoracic surgery.

Dr. Langford is board certified in thoracic surgery. An affiliate with the hospital system for nearly two years, Dr. Langford served GMC in an administrative capacity as the medical director for cardiovascular surgery. He was highly involved in the development of GMC’s open heart surgery program.

Three of the four recent cases involved coronary bypass surgery. The fourth case was unexpected.  As the patient was arriving at GMC, she went into cardiac arrest.

“We quickly stabilized the patient, who is now due for follow-up cardiac procedures,” said Dr. Justicz.  “However, if the open heart surgery program were not here, the results could have been less favorable.”




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