Conemaugh Cancer Center

Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center officials (front row, from left) Pat Serotkin, Ali Tunio, Susan Williams and William Caldwell react after cutting the ribbon Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, for Conemaugh’s cancer center.

The new $6 million radiation oncology department at Conemaugh Cancer Center has expanded Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center’s robust breast cancer program.

When the department opened in January, Memorial CEO Bill Caldwell called it a “key milestone” in Conemaugh parent company Duke-LifePoint Healthcare’s mission to continue strengthening Conemaugh as a regional health care leader.

“Bringing all our cancer care under one roof in this building is special,” Caldwell said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Located on the ground floor of Memorial’s Good Samaritan building, the radiation center is directly below the hospital’s respected medical oncology suite.

That program is led by medical oncologists Dr. Ibriham Sbeitan and Dr. Sheetal Higbee, who take pride in tailoring chemotherapy and targeted therapies to provide individualized cancer treatment for breast cancer.

The radiation oncology program is especially important for breast cancer patients. Most women who choose the less-invasive lumpectomy surgery are recommended for a course of radiation therapy to catch any cancer cells that were able to sneak out of the tumor, Johnstown breast surgeon Dr. Patti Stefanick said.

Stefanick and Dr. Renée Arlow specialize in breast cancer surgery at Conemaugh.

Arlow’s office is in Conemaugh East Hills outpatient center, two floors above Conemaugh Advanced Imaging, which includes an women’s imaging center with breast imaging radiologist Dr. Kristy Wolfel.

Arlow said patients appreciate the convenience of a one-stop shop for cancer diagnostics and surgery appointments, and the quick turnaround on test results the two offices are able to achieve.

“You could get everything done on the first floor, and then come up and see me on the third floor,” Arlow said.

The women’s imaging center also offers a nurse navigator program.

The nurses guide breast cancer patients through the labyrinth of tests, follow-ups and treatments.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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