Southtowns Radiology Announces Paul F. Pizzella, MD as Newly Appointed President

Southtowns Radiology, one of Western New York’s leading imaging centers, is pleased to announce that Paul F. Pizzella, MD, has been appointed to President of the radiology practice.

Dr. Pizzella, a board-certified radiologist who has been consistently recognized as an outstanding professional in the field, assumes the role of president from Gerald Joyce, MD, who will continue to serve on the executive team, in the role of vice president.

“Paul has shown himself to be a hard-working and caring physician during his tenure at Southtowns Radiology,” commented Gerald Joyce, MD, who served as the group’s most recent president through the beginning of 2021. “He has shown himself to be an insightful and creative thinker. However, it is his integrity and his honesty which sets him apart. He understands our philosophy of caring for people first and foremost, and is he well suited to enhance the relationships our practice has built over the last 60 years.”

As president, Dr. Pizzella will oversee the strategic direction of Southtowns Radiology, which interpreted nearly 500,000 medical imaging studies in 2019. Southtowns Radiology operates three outpatient imaging centers in Hamburg, Orchard Park, and West Seneca, and employs over 120 physicians, technologists and administrative staff. As a partner of Catholic Health Services, the practice also serves as radiology physicians for seven CHS facilities across Western New York including Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Sisters Saint Joseph’s Campus.

“As a friend and a colleague, I have every confidence in Paul,” continued Dr. Joyce. “I have no doubt that he will succeed as a leader for our practice and throughout the community as we continue to build upon the strong foundation that is Southtowns Radiology.”

Raised in Western New York, Dr. Pizzella attended the University at Buffalo and went on to graduate from the Chicago Medical School. After completing his surgical internship at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA, he completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the National Capitol Region Health Care Consortium (National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md./Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC). He is board certified in radiology and has experience as a radiologist in the armed forces.

Dr. Pizzella resides in Amherst with his wife, Marta, and two sons, Marc and Nico, with his eldest son Kevin a resident of Washington D.C. Dr. Pizzella is the past Chair of Radiology for Sisters of Charity Hospital and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, please visit the Our Physicians section of our website.

Southtowns Radiology Welcomes Esada Kucevic, PA-C, RT (R)

Medical imaging leader, Southtowns Radiology, continues the growth of their advanced practice provider team with the addition of Esada Kucevic, PA-C, RT (R). In concert with her colleagues, Ms. Kucevic will support the work of the Interventional Radiology physicians at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital, and Kenmore Mercy Hospital, all facilities within the Catholic Health System.

“We are fortunate to have Esada join us in this capacity,” remarked Dan Strauch, Chief Operating Officer at Southtowns Radiology. “Esada’s unique skillset as both a radiologic technologist as well as a physician assistant marries the technical perspectives of interventional radiology along with the patient-focused perspectives that we pride ourselves on.  She is an asset to our practice, and will be providing care to patients treated by our physicians at Catholic Health hospitals throughout the region.”

Ms. Kucevic earned her associate’s degree in applied sciences from the County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ. After serving as a radiologic technologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in Hackettstown, NJ, she went on to earn both her bachelor of science and master of science in physician assistant studies from D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. She is currently a radiologic technologist for the Buffalo Bills and a clinical instructor of Radiologic Technology for Niagara County Community College.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Ms. Kucevic now calls Western New York home. She enjoys the diversity the city has to offer, as well as exploring the various restaurants and hidden “foodie” gems across the region.

Learn more about Esada Kucevic, PA-C, RT (R) and our full team of Board-Certified radiologists here https://southtownsradiology.com/about-us/our-physicians/.

Screening Mammography & The COVID-19 Vaccine

Many providers and patients are aware of newly published medical reports around unilateral lymphadenopathy found during screening mammograms in patients who recently received the COVID-19 vaccine. This subject has been showcased in the US & The Buffalo News as of late, with the suggestion that screening mammograms be put off for 4-6 weeks if patients have been administered the vaccine.

It is important to remember that at this time, this abnormality has been identified in only a very small percentage of patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their mammogram.

Based on guidance from the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and our women’s imaging radiology experts, Southtowns Radiology offers the following recommendations to referring providers and screening mammography patients at this time:

We recommend NOT to delay screening mammograms

Many patients are already late in their annual screening cycle due to the pandemic. Further delay may not be in their best interest. At this time, we do NOT suggest a patient put off a screening mammogram due to a COVID-19 vaccine.

We have added additional patient questions prior to imaging

Patients seen at Southtowns Radiology will be asked if they have recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, when they received it and what arm it was administered in. In most cases, if unilateral lymphadenopathy is indicated, it is on the side that the vaccine was administered in. Notes will be added to patient records to inform the radiologist as they interpret results.

We will educate patients on the role COVID-19 may play in results

If a patient who recently received the COVID-19 vaccine shows indication of an abnormality during their mammogram, we will take extra time to talk with that patient about their results. Additional follow up mammograms and breast imaging recommendations by our radiologists will be made on a case-by-case basis.

As a designated Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, we will continue to monitor guidance from the ACR and the SBI. Should recommendations change drastically, we will update our guidance so that providers and patients can make informed decisions for their care.

Patients and referring providers who have questions regarding screening mammography appointments and the COVID-19 vaccine can contact Diana Iglewski, Women’s Imaging Manager, at 716-649-9000 ext. 244 at antime. 

Southtowns Radiology reminding patients to check vehicle exhaust while waiting for appointments

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB)– Southtowns Radiology is reminding patients to make sure their car’s tailpipe is free from snow while waiting for appointments in their vehicles.

The medical provider says COVID-19 has resulted in many patients having to wait in their cars instead of a waiting room for appointments. When snow piles up, car exhausts may become blocked and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Be mindful of where you’re parking if you need to stay in the car – please double check that your exhaust is not backed up tight to a snowbank while you wait.”

“Now is a good time to have your exhaust system checked, to be extra aware of where you park and of how long you are in your car, especially if you are routinely driving a family member, neighbor or friend to and from medical appointments.”

CATHY FITZGERALD, R.N., PRACTICE ADMINISTRATOR, SOUTHTOWNS RADIOLOGY’S ORCHARD PARK OFFICE

Southtowns says the average wait time for an appointment is 18 minutes and appointment times average 22 minutes for patients. They say it’s important tailpipes are clear as loved ones accompanying patients may be waiting in the car for 40 to 60 minutes.

They recommend you send a text message to those waiting in the car to check if the vehicle exhaust is clear and to set a timer if you’re waiting in the car to get fresh air.

For more information, click here.

This feature appeared on WIVB-TV Ch. 4 on January 20, 2021 (https://www.wivb.com/news/local-news/southtowns-radiology-reminding-patients-to-check-vehicle-exhaust-while-waiting-for-appointment/)

Preventive Care and the Pandemic – Schedule your Screenings Now!

Medical Imaging Helping You And Your Docs Find Answers QuicklyProcrastination is not typically considered a good thing. But as the world spent much of 2020 confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, putting certain things on hold became part of the new normal.

In an effort to reduce infection rates, public health officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization urged people to limit their in-person interactions with people outside of their own households. As a result, many of the things people do on a regular basis, including seeing their physicians for wellness visits, were rescheduled.

Many people postponed preventive care and wellness visits during the pandemic, but the doctors at Southtowns Radiology say that doing so is potentially dangerous. For example, researchers say that childhood vaccinations declined by roughly 60 percent in mid-April 2020 compared with 2019. Other screenings and preventive exams, including mammograms, pap smears, and colonoscopies, also declined by significant percentages during the pandemic, compared to the previous year.

Dr. Travis Mastroanni, of Southtowns Radiology, says, “Physicians rely on medical tests that help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Using CT imaging, we can produce multiple cross-sectional images or pictures of the inside the body that provide great clarity when studying internal organs, bone, soft tissue, and blood vessels, revealing more details than regular X-ray exams. Radiologists can therefore more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, vascular disorders, infectious disease, trauma, and musculoskeletal disorders. Our multi-slice CT technologies offer effective and patient-friendly exams with shorter scan times.”

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDHP) says the benefit of preventive care is undeniable. The NCCDPHP points out that, while chronic diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems, they’re also among the most preventable. Annual wellness visits and early detection efforts like routine screenings for at-risk populations can uncover problems before they escalate into something more serious. In addition, annual physicals, which are provided free of charge through many health insurance policies, provide great opportunities for doctors to advise patients on their overall health, and how to improve it if exams and blood work turn up any red flags.

As vital as preventive care can be, it’s understandable that people are hesitant to visit their doctors during the pandemic. But patients can take certain steps to calm their nerves about booking preventive care appointments during the pandemic including scheduling telemedicine appointments; inquiring about office procedures; and not hesitating to make requests such as paying copays over the phone and asking to be called when the doctor is ready, rather than sitting in the waiting room.

Preventive care is an important component of health care, even during a pandemic.

This article appeared on 1/1/2021 in Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine Online (https://buffalohealthyliving.com/preventive-care-and-the-pandemic-schedule-your-screenings-now/).

 

 

Southtowns Radiology Releases a Branding Refresh

As we start 2021, we are excited about our newly released branding refresh! This is not a full rebrand, but rather, an update to freshen up our Southtowns Radiology logo and website.

We remain true to our core belief that Our experience matters. And so does yours. Making sure you have an exception experience starts with helping you feel prepared from the very start, before you even become a patient. On our website, you can:

You can also visit Choosing an Imaging Center to help you know what to look for when deciding where you will go for medical imaging. 

Questions or comments? Please visit our Contact Us page to share your thoughts or any ways we can improve our services.

Welcome Christopher T. Nutty, MSN, FNP-BC, RN

Screening and diagnostic medical imaging leader, Southtowns Radiology, announced today the hiring of Christopher T. Nutty, BSN, RN. Mr. Nutty will support the work of the interventional radiology team at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Sisters of Charity Hospital and Kenmore Mercy Hospital, all facilities within the Catholic Health System.

“We are looking forward to adding Chris to our growing team of providers,” said Dan Strauch, Chief Operating Officer with Southtowns Radiology. “Chris has experience in hospital-based settings and understands the unique role interventional radiology teams play in patient care. He is focused making sure patient questions are addressed and individual needs are attended to. We are fortunate to have him join our practice.”

Christopher T. Nutty, MSN, FNP-BC, RN earned his associate’s degree in nursing from Erie Community College, followed by his bachelors in nursing from the State University of New York at Delhi. He also received his master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from D’Youville College. He holds certifications in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) as well as conscious sedation.

Mr. Nutty is a native of Buffalo, NY, where he currently resides with his wife and two sons.

Learn more about Christopher T. Nutty, MSN, FNP-BC, RN and our full team of Board-Certified radiologists here https://southtownsradiology.com/about-us/our-physicians/.

Our Offices Remain Open During COVID-19 Orange Zone Designation

While our outpatient offices in Hamburg and Orchard Park are in the New York State designated Orange Zones for COVID-19 in Erie County, we remain OPEN. We continue taking extra precautions to keep you safe at this time. As an essential healthcare service, we do not anticipate any disruption to screening or diagnostic imaging services scheduled with us. We encourage you to keep your appointment, and to call us to schedule routine screenings.
In order to keep you safe, during the coming weeks the following guidelines will be in effect.
  • All appointments must be scheduled in advance – please call us at 716.649.9000 to make your appointment (we will accommodate same day appointments as we are able).
  • Patients who have been exposed to Coronavirus, have a fever over 100.4°, a cough, or shortness of breath, should not enter the building. Our receptionist will take your temperature and ask you a few questions – if you do have a fever, you’ll be asked to reschedule.
  • We ask that ONLY the person scheduled for the test enter our building.
  • We ask that all who enter our building wear a mask covering their mouth and nose during at all times.
  • Our waiting rooms are rearranged for social distancing with chairs spaced 6 feet apart and and cleaned regularly.
  • The exchange of forms and co-payments are kept to a minimum – hand sanitizer is available throughout the building.
  • Disinfecting per CDC guidelines happens between each appointment – we sanitize equipment between each patient study
Review our full outline of updated procedures here: https://southtownsradiology.com/southtowns-radiology…/
Patients or healthcare providers who have additional questions about medical imaging services during COVID-19 are encouraged to call us at 716.649.9000.

Lung Cancer Awareness: A 10-Min Screen Could Save Your Life – Dr. Travis Mastroianni with Buffalo Healthy Living

Nearly everyone knows the word mammogram, and the importance for women at an average risk of developing breast cancer to begin getting screened at age 40. But it may be shocking to learn that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among both men and women. In fact, each year more people die from lung cancer than prostate, breast, and colon cancers combined.

“Usually people hear lung cancer and immediately think that it comes from smoking,” said Travis Mastroianni, D.O., a board-certified radiologist at Southtowns Radiology. “And while that is often true, even people who have never touched a cigarette are diagnosed daily with lung cancer.”

However, a low dose 10-minute CT scan to screen for lung cancer is available, and could save approximately 20,000 lives each year. With November being lung cancer awareness month, here are some things you can do to be proactive with your health:

Talk to your doctor about a lung cancer screening. Conversations about preventive screening start with your primary care provider. “As a patient, you are your own best advocate. You know your family history and lifestyle. If you have a family history, you can always call your provider to ask for the test. It’s better to ask than assume they will come to you with this information,” said Dr. Mastroianni.

Know who is at risk. Over the course of their lifetime, about one in 15 men and one in 17 women will develop lung cancer. Current smokers, those who have quit within the last 15 years, or those who have a history of 30 pack years of smoking (see www.lung.org to calculate), should be especially mindful of changes in their lung health, such as a cough that doesn’t go away, persistent wheezing, or shortness of breath. “About 20 percent of patients who die from lung cancer are non-smokers,” said Dr. Mastroianni. “Having a history of smoking is certainly a major risk factor, but it is not the only consideration. Exposure to radon, asbestos, or even repeated exposure to diesel exhaust should also be part of the conversation.”

Seek out a designated lung cancer screening center near you. Early detection always provides the best chance for positive outcomes. “There have been several advancements in treatment of lung cancer in the last few years,” said Dr. Mastroianni. “Video-assisted robotics for minimally invasive thoracic surgeries and very targeted drug therapies are on the horizon. However, the key is finding suspicious tissue early, and an annual screening is the best first step.”

Southtowns Radiology is designated as a lung cancer screening center  by the American College of Radiology. They offer low-dose chest CT scans (often covered by insurance) at both their Hamburg and Orchard Park offices. Early morning, evening, and Saturday appointments are also available.

Travis Mastroianni, D.O., is a board-certified radiologist with special interests in abdominopelvic and musculoskeletal imaging. 

For more information and to schedule a low dose chest CT for lung cancer screening, visit www.southtownsradiology.com or call 716-649-9000

This article appeared on 11/1/2020 in Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine Online (https://buffalohealthyliving.com/lung-cancer-awareness/).