Southtowns Radiology Welcomes Qadus Awan, MD to Board-Certified Radiology Staff

BUFFALO, NY July 27, 2021 – Screening and diagnostic medical imaging leader, Southtowns Radiology, announced today the hiring of board-certified radiologist Qadus Awan, MD. Dr. Awan joins the Southtowns Radiology team of physicians interpreting patient images for the practice’s outpatient offices in Hamburg and Orchard Park, and will also work within the Catholic Health System to support radiology services offered at hospitals and community-based imaging centers. 

“We are very pleased that Dr. Awan has decided to bring his expertise to our practice and his family to our Western New York community,” said Dan Strauch, Chief Operating Officer with Southtowns Radiology. “Following his neuroradiology training at Mt. Sinai, we are fortunate that he is joining our team of expert radiologists. His commitment to advancing diagnostic radiology services, as well as his dedication to unparalleled patient care, is exactly what we are looking for.”

Qadus Awan earned his bachelors of arts in Economics from Binghamton University and his doctor of medicine degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Miramar, Florida. Following his preliminary year studying internal medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York, he went on to complete his residency in diagnostic radiology at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut, where he served as Chief Resident.

Dr. Awan also trained as a neuroradiology fellow at Mt. Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. His research includes the effectiveness of contrast reaction simulation training, intraventricular neurocysticercosis, and pancreatic necrosis. 

Dr. Awan is a native of Queens, NY.  

Learn more about Qadus Awan, MD and our full team of board-certified radiologists and providers on our website https://southtownsradiology.com/about-us/our-physicians/

Knowing the Answer Could Prevent a Heart Attack!

Each year, approximately 655,000, or one in four Americans die from heart disease, including coronary artery disease (CAD), which is the main cause of heart attacks. Heart attacks are the primary cause of death amongst men and women in the United States. While heart disease cannot be cured, people reduce their risk of CAD, heart attack, and stroke by adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes regular exercise, stress management, and smoking cessation. Educational campaigns conducted by the American Heart Association and other advocacy groups have focused on the importance of adopting a healthier lifestyle.

In an effort to focus on prevention of heart disease, physicians are now focusing on ways to determine a person’s risk of developing CAD before it leads to debilitating outcomes. A screening procedure gaining significant attention for this purpose known as Low Dose Computed Tomography (CT) Cardiac Calcium Score (CCS), known as a Heart Scan. Heart Scan is a 10-minute, non-invasive test that scans the heart to determine the location and extent of calcified plaque in in the coronary arteries. This special type of imaging takes very detailed, 3D pictures of the main arteries that supply oxygen to the heart.

“A CCS helps primary care providers and cardiology specialists determine a patient’s risk for developing coronary artery disease,” said Paul Pizzella, MD, president of Southtowns Radiology, and a board-certified radiologist for Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. “The study allows providers to see the bigger picture. It can justify a lifestyle adjustment or determine a treatment plan based on amounts of calcified plaque seen in the arteries.” Heart Scan scores range from zero (very little to no risk of developing CAD), to over 400 (very high risk for CAD). “When patients and providers are on the same page, they can work as a team to take corrective action early,” noted Dr. Pizzella, adding, “CCS screening is most commonly ordered for men age 40+ and women age 50+ who have a family history of heart disease, or increased risk levels of CAD based on lifestyle.”

Because this test is relatively new, it is not part of standard guidelines for heart screenings and not all insurance plans cover it. But it is likely to be used more frequently in the future, as several studies comparing it with other tests have shown its effectiveness in determining the risk of cardiac events. The cost of the test can range from $100 to $200, but Dr. Pizzella encourages patients and providers to consider the personal direct and indirect costs of a heart attack.

“Preventive screenings like this are aimed at saving lives and reducing costs associated with treatment and care post-diagnosis,” said Dr. Pizzella. “We hope that with increased knowledge, patients will talk with their providers about whether this test is a viable option for their overall health plan.”

This article appeared on 4/26/2021 in Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine Online (https://buffalohealthyliving.com/whats-your-cardiac-calcium-score/).

Southtowns Radiology Hosts ConnectLife Blood Drive in Orchard Park

This July Southtowns Radiology was proud to host a community blood drive in Orchard Park. Collaborating with ConnectLife, Western New York’s only community blood center, over 30 pints of blood were donated for local hospitals and patients in need.

“One of our employees actually approached us about hosting a drive,” said Andrea Moran, Director of Marketing for Southtowns Radiology. “We are happy to get behind the passions of our employees, especially when they have such a meaningful impact on others in our community. Knowing that the blood supply in Western New York is critically low this summer, we were all on board to host the mobile donation bus and to do what we could to help.”

All blood collected by ConnectLife stays local, and helps nearly every hospital within the eight counties of Western New York.

For more information on donating blood via ConnectLife, please visit their website: www.connectlife.org.

For a list of upcoming blood drives, please click here.

Southtowns Radiology Doubles the Impact for CHS Sisters of Charity Hospital

This year Southtowns Radiology was a proud sponsor of Sisters of Charity Hospital Foundation’s Brunch in Bloom event, which raised funds for renovations of the Mother/Baby Unit at the hospital, which is part of the Catholic Health System.  ⁠

We recently presented hospital president, Aaron Chang, and nurse manager Traci Linn Tracey, with $5,000 – a match to the generous community contributions gifted to the Sisters of Charity Hospital Foundation during the brunch in May. ⁠

“We are thrilled to support the amazing work at Sisters of Charity Hospital, helping the thousands of babies born in this unit each year,” said Dan Strauch, Chief Operating Officer with Southtowns Radiology.

The Sisters of Charity Hospital Brunch in Bloom event was held on May 8, 2021. All funds raised support the renovations project for the Mother/Baby Unit at the hospital. For more information, please visit https://www.chsbuffalo.org/services/sisters-charity-hospital-labor-delivery.

Pictured left to right: Dan Strauch, COO at Southtowns Radiology; Traci Linn Tracey, Nurse Manager, Labor & Delivery at CHS Sisters of Charity Hospital; Aaron Chang, President at CHS Sisters of Charity Hospital; Andrea Moran, Director of Marketing at Southtowns Radiology ⁠

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.