New Physician Announcement: Vincenzo De Masi, MD at 21st Century Oncology

By | New Physicians, Recognition

21st Century Oncology is excited to welcome Vincenzo De Masi to the Las Vegas team. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Radiation Therapy including IMRT, IGRT and Stereotactic Radiosurgery. He has been personally involved in the Radiation Treatment of more than 15,000 patients. He is the author of several publications and has a special interest and expertise in breast, prostate, lung, lymphomas, CNS and gynecological malignancies. He was the recipient of the 2009 Terra del Sole Award for his achievements in Medicine. He is also a member of the AMA, ASTRO, ASCO and the American Brachytherapy Society. Dr. De Masi will work from all of the 21st Century Oncology locations in Las Vegas and is available for new patients.

 

New Face: Edwin Oh

By | New Physicians, Press Release

This neuroscientist joined UNLV to discover how DNA contributes to disease development or prevention.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by…” When it comes to Edwin Oh, associate professor in UNLV’s School of Medicine and the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine (NIPM), the lines from the famous Robert Frost poem “The Road Not Taken” could just as easily evoke the path he chose in life as they do the subject he studies: those two winding backbones of DNA, tentatively held together by microscopic base pairs. Oh joined UNLV to help us understand how divergence in our DNA gives rise to disease or, conversely, a resistance to particular illnesses.

Why UNLV?

I was interviewing at several universities, and what got my attention at UNLV was the development of the School of Medicine and the push toward understanding how personalized medicine could help diagnose and treat various disorders. I want to better understand how changes in DNA and certain DNA sequences might give rise to disease conditions or, conversely, to a more beneficial, stronger, protective environment in human beings. I wanted to be in a position and at a university that put me, as a researcher, at the forefront of this field. I believe UNLV is that place.

What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you’ve worked?

Here at UNLV, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with medical students as well as undergraduate students. UNLV has a significant advantage when it comes to conducting research because of its undergraduates. The experience of working with them has helped me better understand what research might be more relevant to people today.

For instance, we know that stress can cause certain modifications to DNA, and there are certain individuals in more stressful situations who have more modifications as a result. Wouldn’t it be fascinating, as an example, if students provided DNA at the beginning of their studies and provided DNA again before graduation so we could get a better sense of how stress — in this case, educationally and culturally induced during adolescence — can influence success rates? Certain stressors during this time period can lead to neuropsychiatric conditions, so if we could better understand how some of these modifications are occurring, we could also obtain better predictors for those conditions.

What inspired you to get into your field?

For me, it was like a sport. You end up in basketball because you enjoy it or you’re good at it. Over time, I discovered I really enjoyed genomics and medicine, and I also felt a strong connection to the field. It was a profession that I didn’t wake up and dread doing every day, so it felt natural to push forward with this work.

What’s the biggest misconception about your field?

The biggest misconception we all had for the longest time was that none of this could be done. Getting DNA sequences from every living human being was thought to be infeasible. But within the next 10 years or so, all of us are going to have the coding regions of our genes sequenced, which will open the doors to a ton of information about our individual selves, though we might not know what some of it means. This sequencing is starting to happen whether we like it or not, which now makes it a question of, “What are we going to do with this information?”

Ethically, it’s a rich area of discussion that nobody has the answers for at this point. If you know I’m going to have Alzheimer’s by the time I’m 45, chances are you’re not going to want to hire me. Only by sequencing more and more people are we in a better position to say precisely that if you have this genetic change, you’ll probably get condition X by age X. We’re nowhere close to that right now, but we should keep advancing this research and start these important discussions now.

Finish this sentence: “If I couldn’t work in my current field, I’d like to…”

I’d like to work at UNICEF and grow some of its vaccination programs in third-world countries. I went to Nepal a year ago and participated in these vaccination efforts. A lot of the time, the money that goes to these countries doesn’t go to health care, unfortunately. I’d like to be involved in making better health care in these countries a reality.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up all over the world. My parents worked in foreign affairs, so I started off in the UK, then the USSR. Then I moved to New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and then the U.S. For the last 20 years or so, I’ve been moving to a progressively warmer climate — from Michigan to Baltimore to North Carolina to Las Vegas.

Tell us about a time in your life when you have been daring.

I was in the (Singaporean) Army for a few years, and during that time it was important to learn how to follow instructions. It was also important to know how to be a good soldier and challenge authority when it was the right thing to do. Saying “no” to someone of higher rank than me was not always conventional, but doing so in the appropriate circumstance made me a better person.

What is the proudest moment in your life?

My proudest moment was being in the position to accept this role at UNLV. This job is a privilege and has given me the opportunity to do things that I really want to do with my life — that is, the genomic diagnosis of people with neurological disorders.

What can’t you work without?

I wouldn’t be able to work without the collaborative faculty and research staff here at UNLV. The folks in the lab drive so much research. Without them, nothing would move forward. Without them, there is no research — only ideas.

Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you and why.

I have a small painting in my office that depicts trees with a road going through them. It’s based off of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” I feel that some of my choices in life have led me down that road less traveled. I chose to pursue the road to academia despite the odds and have never regretted it.

New Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute Welcomes Timothy Hamilton, MD

By | New Physicians, Press Release, Recognition

Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center welcomes Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Timothy Hamilton back to Nevada. Dr. Hamilton is joining the Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

Dr. Hamilton grew up in Las Vegas and graduated from UNLV and the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Trained in both General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Dr. Hamilton trained residents while on the academic faculty at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio and returns to Las Vegas after most recently practicing Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery in Houston. 

Pleased to be affiliated with one of the most advanced cardiac care and cardiovascular surgery programs in the state, Dr. Hamilton lives by the creed to always do the right thing for patients and feels privileged to return to Las Vegas.

About Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute

The Nevada Cardiovascular and Thoracic Institute (NCVTI) is centrally located on the campus of Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. At the forefront of cardiac and thoracic surgical care, NCVTI comprises a care team committed to providing comprehensive treatment. Services include coronary bypass surgery, valve repair and replacement, endovascular and open peripheral and major vascular surgery, as well as structural heart procedures. The practice also specializes in chest wall reconstruction, surgery for thoracic malignancies and inflammatory diseases of the chest.

About the Heart Center at Sunrise Hospital

Known for its distinction of being the largest acute care hospital in Nevada, Sunrise Hospital is home to the Heart Center offering advanced cardiac care to Southern Nevada and the surrounding region. The Heart Center features the largest open heart surgery program in the state as well as advanced cardiothoracic procedures. The Heart Center includes an expansive Cath Lab service including six suites – one dedicated to pediatric care; and a hybrid Cath/OR room for structural and endovascular heart repair. In addition, the Cath Lab is equipped for congenital care when required. The service includes surgical suites featuring four dedicated ORs, 24/7 cardiovascular anesthesia, perfusion and the only pediatric cardiovascular/thoracic program in Nevada. The Heart Center is supported by a dedicated 24-bed cardiovascular/thoracic ICU.

Find a Physician

To locate a physician on staff at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center or to get answers to health questions, call 702-233-5454.

Crovetti Orthopaedics Welcomes Tomas J. Kucera, M.D., M.S., Interventional Pain Medicine Specialist

By | New Physicians, Press Release

Tomas J. Kucera, M.D., M.S. has brought his specialized service of Interventional Pain Medicine to the professional team at Crovetti Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. This medical discipline is the most recent addition to this Las Vegas valley practice, and Dr. Kucera’s arrival now provides a new dimension of non-narcotic, non-surgical solutions for patients experiencing pain.

“Being invited to join the Crovetti Ortho team is both an honor and an exciting opportunity,” reveals Dr. Kucera. “To me, the most important part of practicing medicine is creating that trusted relationship between patient and doctor. I’ve always believed clear, honest and direct communication is necessary – in both directions, not only from doctor-to-patient – so that we can work together toward achieving the most successful outcome. And the truth is, that’s an atmosphere that isn’t common in many medical practices. I met Dr. Crovetti while caring for his dad during a surgery, and in the months that followed through other patient consultations and referrals, I witnessed first-hand that Dr. Crovetti and I share that same patient philosophy – as well as many others.”

Originally from Czechoslovakia and raised in South Florida, Dr. Tomas J. Kucera completed his undergraduate studies with honors at the University of South Florida, followed by a Master of Science in Pharmacy. He then returned to his native country (now the Czech Republic) to pursue his medical degree, with rotations at the Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kucera completed his anesthesiology residency at the University of Florida College of Medicine – followed by a Fellowship at New York University College of Medicine.

In addition to his medical training in Europe, Dr. Kucera’s passion for his specialty has taken him around the world as both teacher and volunteer for medical missions in Ethiopia, East Africa, and the Honduras in Central America. He has participated in research projects at Scripps, MIT, and the University of South Florida, presented at a number of medical symposiums nationwide, and has been published in numerous medical journals. He currently holds medical licenses in Nevada, Arizona, Wisconsin, New York, and Florida.

Double Board Certified in both Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Dr. Kucera’s education and professional background make him well suited to assist patients seeking an alternative to ‘suffering silently’ – something many do out of fear that the only solutions for them are either narcotic medications or surgery.

“To be fair, patients have a good reason for those fears, as historically, that’s often been the case. But not today,” he explains. “Now, there are many interventional treatments that have proven very successful in alleviating and managing pain levels – ones that allow people to avoid those often-feared solutions. These treatments can include Physical Therapy, intervention with nerve blocks, steroid injections, spine manipulation, and other methods.”

Dr. Kucera is the first to admit that he’s no ‘miracle worker,’ acknowledging that pain intervention is an imperfect science. “I’ll be straight with patients right up front, often explaining to them that “I may have to turn you into a pin cushion to figure this out, and completely pain-free may not be an option – but I’ll get you as close as I can.””

“The key is that they know I’m searching for the cause of their pain. I recommend the best treatment program tailored to address that pain, and we work together to assess their progress and keep moving forward. There are times, of course, when the best option may turn out to be surgical. But if that point is reached, it’s with the knowledge that all other paths have been explored.”

With his addition to the team at Crovetti Ortho, not only does Dr. Kucera bring a new medical specialty to patients, but Dr. Mike Crovetti believes that he’s chosen a like-minded professional in putting patient care above all else.

“There is no doubt that Dr. Kucera’s skills and experience add a whole new layer of patient care to Crovetti Orthopaedics, and we’re all very happy to welcome him on board,” states Dr. Crovetti. “But as anyone who has ever been a patient of any doctor can attest, knowing that your voice and issues are truly being heard by your doctor isn’t necessarily a ‘given.’ It is at Crovetti Ortho – always has been, and always will be. On that score, and many others, it’s clear that Dr. Tomas Kucera will fit right in.”

Urology Specialists of Nevada Welcomes Scott Slavis, MD

By | New Physicians, Press Release

Urology Specialists of Nevada announces the arrival of Scott Slavis, M.D. as its newest urologist.

Scott Slavis, M.D. is a board-certified urologist who has been practicing in Las Vegas for nearly thirty years, most recently with Cleveland Clinic. “Dr. Slavis’ dedication to health care in Southern Nevada makes him a great addition to our practice,” said Dr. Robert McBeath, founder of Urology Specialists of Nevada.

After attaining his medical degree at University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida, Dr. Slavis completed residencies at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California, the University of California at Irvine (Chief Urology Resident) and was honored as Renal Transplantation and Renovascular Surgery Fellow at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Dr. Slavis is certified by the American Board of Urology and has given numerous presentations on urological issues.

Raji Venkat, M.D., Internal Medicine Physician, To Provide Care For Dignity Health Medical Group Patients

By | Acute Care Facilities/Hospitals, Advancements, Advancements/New Physicians/Management, Management, New Physicians

LAS VEGAS, NV –  – Dignity Health Medical Group (DHMG), affiliated with the Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospital system, welcomes Dr. Raji Venkat, internal medicine physician, to practice at its Henderson location.  The primary care clinic is located at 10001 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 101 and is currently accepting new and returning patients, with most insurance accepted.

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Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Announces Relationship With Sound Physicians

By | Acute Care Facilities/Hospitals, Advancements, Advancements/New Physicians/Management, Healthcare Innovation OPM, Management, New Physicians, Recent Releases

Henderson, NV – Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican announces it will centralize its hospitalist program through an agreement with Sound Physicians, beginning in spring 2015.  Sound Physicians, a leading hospitalist organization focused on driving improvements in quality, satisfaction and financial performance of inpatient healthcare delivery, will provide hospitalist services at all three of St. Rose’s southern Nevada campuses.

Sometimes called an ‘inpatient physician,’ a hospitalist is a physician who focuses exclusively on the care of hospitalized patients. This coverage is provided to patients who do not have a regular primary care physician or when a physician elects to have a hospitalist provide inpatient services.

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