Patients and Drivers Reminded to Be Save While Waiting in Running Vehicles

HAMBURG, NY January 20, 2021 – Many drivers know the deadly consequences that can result from sitting in a car too long while it’s running in an enclosed space, such as a garage. However, now that the snow is flying and snow piles are popping up in parking lots all across Western New York, Southtowns Radiology wants to remind drivers to also be mindful of ensuring that tail pipes are free and clear while waiting in a running car – especially while a loved one is being seen for a medical appointment.

Because of COVID-19, many times loved ones are not able to accompany patients into their appointment, even to wait in the reception area, like they used to. In fact, the majority of hospitals, urgent care centers, and doctor’s offices across Western New York have instituted a no visitor policy to limit personal contact during the pandemic.

“At Southtowns Radiology, we recommend, for safety and social distancing, that only patients come into the building, and that others wait in their vehicles,” said Cathy Fitzgerald, R.N., practice administrator at Southtowns Radiology’s Orchard Park Office. “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.”

With the average wait time of 18 minutes, and the average appointment time of 22 minutes for medical appointments throughout the U.S., a loved one could be left waiting in a vehicle for upwards of 40-60 minutes in some cases. Given that January is the coldest month in Western New York, most caregivers will find themselves waiting in a running vehicle at some point over the next few weeks.

“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,” added Fitzgerald. “While it’s a small detail, it can have deadly consequences if overlooked. Any reminders we can give to ensure the health and safety of patients – as well as their caregivers – we’ll take it.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning from vehicle exhaust claims approximately 400 lives across the United States each year. Because there is no distinct odor, color or other indicative factors, victims of the poisoning are often unaware. Symptoms to watch for include headache, nausea, disorientation, and dizziness.

Medical practices are encouraged to tell patients when they register to remind those waiting in the vehicle to be safe during the frigid months where we see a lot of snow. Southtowns Radiology has a printable poster, available to any office to print for no cost, on their website at


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 (



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

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:…/
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 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 or call 716-649-9000

This article appeared on 11/1/2020 in Buffalo Healthy Living Magazine Online (