eNewsletter - News and Notes

Screening and awareness contribute to fewer prostate cancer deathsJay Raman, M.D.

Fewer men are being diagnosed with and dying from prostate cancer these days. While that is due in part to widespread awareness and better treatment, it is also the result of more judicious screening. Learn more here from urologist Jay Raman, M.D.






Cooper Joins Liver, Pancreas, Foregut ProgramAmanda Cooper, M.D.

Amanda Cooper, M.D., joined the Liver, Pancreas, and Foregut (LPF) team of the Division of General Surgery Specialties and Surgical Oncology on August 18, 2014. She is Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Cooper comes to Penn State Hershey from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, where she completed fellowships in complex surgical oncology and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery. Dr. Cooper completed her general surgery residency at Indiana University, Indianapolis. During a post-doctoral research fellowship at Indiana University, she completed a Master's degree in clinical investigation. A native of Tennessee, Dr. Cooper is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, having completed both her undergraduate education and medical school there.

Dr. Cooper is board certified in general surgery and board-eligible in complex surgical oncology. Her clinical interests include upper gastrointestinal (GI), pancreas, liver, and bile duct surgery. Dr. Cooper's research interest is in quality of life and outcomes for patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancers. She will work with the multidisciplinary LPF team to diagnose and surgically treat patients with GI tract, abdominal, and retroperitoneal malignancies.

Construction begins on expansion of chemotherapy unit at St. Joseph Medical Center

Note: written by Jason Brudereck and published in the Reading Eagle August 2014

Construction of a nearly $1 million expansion of a chemotherapy program at St. Joseph Medical Center began this week.

The chemotherapy area opened about 18 months ago in the medical office building at the hospital's Bern Township campus.

Demand is already high enough that the chemotherapy treatment area is being almost doubled in size, hospital spokesman Michael B. Jupina said Friday.

The number of patients being seen at any one time will increase from about a dozen to about 20, he said.

The construction is inside an existing building, so no additional external structure is being added to the building.

The project should be completed this fall.

The hospital's cancer program has grown significantly since it began its affiliation with Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute nearly five years ago, said Karen Wagner, director of oncology services.

The expansion was necessary because hours for infusion services have been running late into weekday evenings and on Saturdays to meet patients' needs, she said.

The cancer center also is adding another nurse practitioner later this year, said Dr. Marc Rovito, St. Joseph's chief of oncology.

"The fact that we need to expand is an illustration of the referring physicians' belief in us," Rovito said. "We have worked hard to establish good relationships by providing comprehensive care, as well as communicating quickly and regularly on each patient's progress."

As an affiliate of the institute, St. Joseph cancer patients have access to 30 clinical trials that offer new treatments, said Rovito, who also is on staff at Penn State Hershey and is a faculty member of the Penn State Hershey School of Medicine.

The hospital also expedites patients' access to cancer specialists in Hershey who then return patients to St. Joe's for treatment, he said.

"This partnership is working," Rovito said. "Patients typically prefer to receive their care close to home, but when all of the care cannot be provided for in their community, helping them access it elsewhere and then return home to finish treatment is a viable alternative."