Last updated: August 16. 2014 12:01AM - 1815 Views
Beth Sergent bsergent@civitasmedia.com



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POINT PLEASANT — Comprehensive cancer care’s physical presence in Mason County has finally arrived.


Pleasant Valley Hospital and Edwards Comprehensive Care Center have teamed up to make cancer care even more accessible by offering oncology and hematology services at PVH.


Dr. Mohamed Khasawneh and Dr. Toni Pacioles, fellowship-trained medical oncology and hematology specialists at the ECCC, have added weekly visits at PVH to extend the care that is offered by ECCC at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington. This decision is hoped to enhance cancer care for patients in Point Pleasant and surrounding communities.


Patients cannot only see an oncologist at PVH, but can receive chemotherapy, infusion services, diagnostic testing and patient education — and all under the guidance of the ECCC. In addition, patients will have access to clinical trials.


“We are thrilled to offer ECCC-caliber services to the Point Pleasant community,” said Glen Washington, Pleasant Valley Hospital’s chief executive officer. “This is an example of the types of opportunities for new and enhanced health care services that we envisioned last year when we announced the partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health physicians.”


Both Dr. Khasawneh and Dr. Pacioles provide care for patients with all types of cancers, as well as blood and bleeding disorders. Their regular presence at PVH offers cancer patients in the Point Pleasant area quicker and more direct access to ECCC’s highly specialized care, state-of-the-art therapies and leading-edge clinical trials.


Dr. Khasawneh said he’s already had patients who were traveling to Cabell Huntington Hospital transfer their cancer care to PVH because it’s physically closer for them to receive that treatment.


“Patients are thrilled we’re here and it saves them time,” Khasawneh said.


Washington said patients in Point Pleasant and surrounding areas will now have a seamless comprehensive cancer care plan at their disposal. He added the ECCC’s growing cancer treatment program at PVH is one the two hospitals hope to grow together.


In addition to comprehensive cancer services, Washington talked about other enhancements to PVH since the affiliation with Cabell Huntington Hospital late last year. These include a new OBGYN starting in September and a plan to add a midwife and offer midwifery services.


Urological services have also been expanded to include the purchase of the VersaPulse PowerSuite 100w, which is the most powerful holium laser available to be used in the treatment of kidney stones. Dr. Shrikant Vaidya, urologist at PVH, has recently undergone special training to operate the machine that offers a non-surgical alternative to the treatment of kidney stones.


Also, Washington said the cardiology program, with Dr. Timothy Damron, cardiologist, as well as the orthopedic program, have both seen “great results.” He added there are also plans to expand general surgery options and Marshall Health is working on a residency program for medical residents to work at PVH.


There is also a push for physician recruitment and retention. In May, PVH and Cabell Huntington approved the incorporation of a new PVH Medical Group. This is a joint venture between PVH and Cabell Huntington with 11 physicians who are currently employed by PVH being a part of the group. The goal is to grow the group to 25 physicians over the next three years.


Washington said there are even more plans in the works for PVH and that a “wish list” of enhanced medical services, specialized treatment options and equipment is never ending and always on the horizon.


“We’re doing exciting things here that are having an impact on the community,” Washington said.


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