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Health Briefs



LUZERNE COUNTY – The Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross hosts community blood drives throughout the month.

Donors who are 16 years of age or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in relatively good health may give blood every 56 days.

There is currently a pressing need for O-negative blood. To find out how to donate O-negative blood or to schedule a summer blood donation, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

A list of area blood donation sites includes:

• Today, 1:30-6:30 p.m., Davis Manor, 185 S. Mountain Boulevard, Mountain Top.

• Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Kingston Township Municipal Building, 108 E. Center St., Shavertown.

• Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Jude’s Church, 420 S. Main Boulevard, Mountain Top.

• Monday, 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., Thomas P. Saxton Pavilion, 468 Northampton St., Edwardsville; 1-6 p.m., The Woodland’s Inn & Resort, 1073 Highway 315, Plains Township.

PLAINS TWP. — Partners for a Healthy Luzerne County and the new Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change Initiative (ACHIEVE) will host a free breakfast meeting on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the East Mountain Inn. The meeting will focus on improving community health by improving nutrition, increasing access and opportunities for active living and eliminating tobacco in order to reduce the burden of chronic disease.

The meeting will feature a keynote address, “Creating Healthy Communities: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice thru People, Planning and Policy” by Bruce Hathaway, HealthyCommunities Program Technical Advisor with the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Community Chronic Disease Prevention, and an update on the development of the Partners for a Healthy Luzerne County coalition.

Today is the deadline for reservations. For more information or to make reservations, call Steps to a HealthierPA Luzerne County at 408-1630 or email info@stepspalc.org.

KINGSTON – Core Chiropractic will host a seminar on the NAET Allergy Elimination Technique on Wednesday at the center, 180 United Penn Plaza. The technique is a drug-free, natural solution to eliminate allergies.

The seminar will be led by Debbie Smith, who will talk about NAET and perform a demonstration of the non-invasive technique. Fee for the seminar is $5 and reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 852-3674.

HEALTH PEOPLE Dr. Thanjavur S. Ravikumar , director of the Center for Surgical Innovation and chief quality officer for Surgery and Interventional Procedures for Geisinger Health System Oncology, will launch a Phase III trial of the potentially lifesaving HEAT Study, an international clinical trial for those with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer. HCC is the third leading cause of cancer deaths globally and is one of the fastest rising cancers in the United States. Phase III will study 600 patients at eight sites nationwide.

A nationally renowned surgical oncologist, Ravikumar is the principal investigator for the HEAT Study in North America. The study, which is sponsored by Celsion Corp, will determine the effectiveness of using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in combination with ThermoDox®, a heat-sensitive drug that releases an anti-cancer agent when exposed to the heat of (RFA). RFA is a tumor-targeting technique involving the insertion of a hollow needle directly into the tumor, through which electrical energy is delivered to heat and destroy cancer cells.

Dr. Wade R. Smith, FACS, orthopedic trauma surgeon, recently joined Geisinger Health System as vice chairman of orthopedics. He will be responsible for the system-wide orthopedic trauma program, with his primary practice at Geisinger Medical Center.

Smith has significant teaching and research experience, including numerous peer-reviewed publications, and national and international research presentations. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also completed additional fellowship training at the Lecco Ilizarov Institute, Italy, and the Ilizarov Institute of Restorative Traumatology, Russia.

Smith is a diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and National Board of Medical Examiners; a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; and a member of the AO Alumni Association, American Orthopaedic Association, Association for the Study and Advancement of the Methods of Ilizarov, Colorado Orthopaedic Society and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association, among others.

Joseph Boscarino, Ph.D., Geisinger Health System senior investigator and U.S. Army veteran, recently completed a joint study on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and memory repression with Tulane University investigator Charles Figley, Ph.D. The study, in which the researchers found that having PTSD along with a repressive personality trait does not necessarily lead to premature death, appears in the June issue of the research publication Journal of Nervous & Mental Diseases.

Kimberly Stephensson, of Wilkes-Barre, was recently awarded the prestigious McLean Scholarship for physician assistant and nursing majors by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP). The Misericordia University nursing student was one of only seven students from 84 AICUP institutions in Pennsylvania to receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Stephensson is working to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing and plans to pursue a master’s degree in the same field. She is preparing for a career as a nurse practitioner in women’s health.

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