Radiology Receives Prestigious Accreditation


Radiology Receives Prestigious Accreditation

August 18, 2004

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Earlier this year, the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Brooklyn Hospital Center applied for a renewal of our accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR). In Radiation Oncology, we have always tried to provide excellent care to our patients. We sought to obtain this accreditation because we believe that this is the most prestigious accreditation in Radiation Oncology.

In September, our department received a renewal of ACR accreditation for three more years, the maximum time of accreditation for any institution. This prestigious accreditation proves that nationally accepted standards are met and the personnel involved in treating our patients are well qualified, through certification and continuing education. The accreditation also shows the equipment is appropriate for the delivered treatment, and the quality assurance and safety guidelines are met or exceeded by the Department. As of this time we are the only Radiation Oncology department in Brooklyn with ACR accreditation. We plan on continuing to uphold the high standards of practice we have proven to provide.

The goal of the Radiation Oncology department at The Brooklyn Hospital Center is to provide a high level of quality services to the patients in our community and to our referring physicians. Through compassionate delivery of an excellent standard of care, the Department aims to meet the needs of the communities served. Radiation Oncology strives to maintain the best medical practice with technology, education, and a collaborative team approach to healthcare delivery.

We have integrated nutritional support, social work and have access to psychological counseling for our patients in order to provide total support for the cancer patient at the Brooklyn Hospital.

Through Pediatric Oncology we provide access to randomized trials for our pediatric patients through the Children's Oncology Group and be hope to be participating in randomized trials for adults in the future. As a department we are actively involved in community outreach with activities as I Can Cope, Man to Man and Look Good Feel Better. We participate in the Surgical and Gynecologic Oncology tumor boards.

The objective of radiation therapy is to provide local and regional control of a tumor via ionizing radiation. Treatment planning requires determination of the tumor site and extent in relation to normal tissues. The attending radiation oncologists, Sun H. Huh, MD and John P. Vakios, MD, specify the dose desired to adequately cover the tumor volume as well as set limits to the doses which will encompass critical structures. These specifications are important so that the tumor is treated while trying to limit side effects to normal tissues. The radiation physicist (Thomas Lowinger), and dosimetrist, Miriam Weinstock, then design potential treatment deliveries, which satisfy these requirements, and a final plan is then selected by the radiation oncologist. Actual treatment delivery is carried out by the licensed radiation therapists, John Bohnik, Ahmad Hamid, Deborah Maharaj, and Judy Nikosey, lead by our chief radiation therapist, Suhail Mubeen. In addition to the regular staff, students from New York Methodist School of Radiation Therapy train at our department during various clinical rotations. Some of this school's best graduates have sought to Under the supervision of the attending radiation oncologist, the patients daily care needs are assessed and carried out by the radiation oncology nurse, Carol Oliver. The plan of care includes assessment, treatment planning, treatment, patient and family education, and follow-up after completion of treatment. The secretary, Nuvia Mejia-Idrees, and the medical clerk, Marjorie Andrade, are responsible for initiating and maintaining proper patient flow; they are the first point of contact with both referring physicians and patients and do an excellent job.

We are also involved in educating Medical Physics students from Columbia University Medical Center train under the tutelage of Thomas Lowinger, PhD, the Chief Medical Physicist.

For external beam therapy, the radiation therapists operate a GE Oldelft simulator in order to obtain the original parameters for setting up patients on a daily basis. We also have a high-energy linear accelerator and a Varian 2100c linear accelerator, equipped with a Multi-Leaf Collimator for the practical conformation to the treatment field, for daily patient treatments. CT scans obtained from the GE Lightspeed CT scanner are used for the planning of conformal radiation therapy treatments.

A variety of external beam radiation therapy treatments, including total body irradiation and total skin electron irradiation, can be performed for our patients. On average, 35 to 45 patients are treated per day in our department, both for cure and/or palliation. In addition to our external radiation treatments, we perform over 100 radioactive Iodine prostate seed implants annually at the Hospital, the most of any single institution in Brooklyn and a variety of radioactive gynecological implants. We are involved in the treatment of benign diseases such as keloids, heterotopic ossification, and pterygium.

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