Medical Bag

Susquehanna Health selects 3 women

as 4th-quarter DAISY Award recipients

Three Susquehanna Health nurses recently were recognized as recipients of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Lisa Hauser, nurse with Susquehanna Health Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit, was selected after receiving two nominations, one from fellow staff member Tony Phillips, as well as another from the family of a patient.

“Lisa is a wonderful person to be around and be cared for by,” Phillips said. “She is always going out of her way to provide exceptional care to her patients and help not only them but their families understand and treat their conditions.”

The health care system did not release the names of the patient or her family members, but reported that woman’s daughter said: “We always looked forward to seeing Lisa in the unit. With her there, we always knew she (the patient) was in good hands and would get the best care possible.”

Donna Henry, nurse with Susquehanna Health Progressive Care Unit, was selected after being nominated by fellow staff member Beth Dibble, who praised Henry for her ability to consistently offer extraordinary care to patients in need.

In one case, a patient who was withdrawing from alcohol abuse had been diagnosed with end-stage liver disease. Henry helped the patient maintain her dignity in her final moments by offering a caring hand.

Martha Laird, nurse with Susquehanna Health Muncy Valley Hospital Medical-Surgical Unit, was selected after being nominated by a patient.

“Martha meant a lot to me while being cared for,” the patient said. “She was there for me when I was scared and helped talk me through all of my treatment. With her, I felt special, like I had a name and mattered to her. I know I am being taken care of at an exceptional level when she is around. All the nurses I have dealt with have been great, but she stands out as one of the best.”

A nurse from each Susquehanna Health campus is selected each quarter. Anyone may nominate a nurse for a DAISY award – a coworker, patient, patient’s family or physician. Nomination forms are available at nursing stations and at

DAISY Awards are presented in more than 900 hospitals, both nationwide and international. Supported by both AONE and The American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program, the DAISY award program is part of the not-for-profit DAISY Foundation based in Glen Ellen, Calif. All winners are highlighted on the DAISY Foundation’s website.

Geisinger exec named honorary chair for Susquehanna Valley March for Babies

DANVILLE – Lynn Miller, executive vice president of clinical operations for Geisinger Health System, has been named honorary chair of the Susquehanna Valley March for Babies. This year’s event will be held May 5 on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center.

March for Babies is the largest annual fundraising event for the March of Dimes, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013. More than 4 million babies are born in the United States each year and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one of them through research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs.

As the March for Babies Honorary Chair, Miller will play an integral role in raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of the March of Dimes efforts to prevent preterm birth and birth defects.

“My work with the March of Dimes is a real honor especially during the Foundation’s milestone 75th anniversary year. March for Babies gives everyone in our community the chance to work together for stronger, healthier babies and to make a difference in the lives of millions of families,” said Miller. “Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death. In Pennsylvania alone, one in eight babies is born premature, and that’s just not acceptable. It takes leaders in our community working together to ensure moms have healthy pregnancies.”

Last year, the Susquehanna Valley March for Babies raised $83,000 through awareness and community support and the commitment this year is to reach $86,000.

“We are very pleased to have Lynn Miller serve as Honorary Chair,” said Deborah Pollock, Executive Director for the East Central Division of the Pennsylvania Chapter March of Dimes. “Lynn will bring the same drive, dedication and passion that made her a well-respected member of the community to her efforts on behalf of March for Babies. I know her contribution will go a long way to making this year’s event an unqualified success.”

Susquehanna Valley residents can sign up today at and start a team with co-workers, family and friends. Last year, more than 900 people attended the event.

The March for Babies is sponsored nationally by Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Macy’s, Cigna, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response and United Airlines. In the Susquehanna Valley, March for Babies is sponsored by Service 1st Credit Union, Backyard Broadcasting, 94KX and Lamar Advertising. Geisinger Health System is the March of Dimes Pennsylvania Prematurity Partner.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Medical Bag

Clinical trials offer options, hope for cancer patients

WILKES-BARRE – When fighting cancer, it is important to have a full treatment arsenal at your disposal. For some, radiation, chemotherapy or surgery may be the solution, but for a segment of cancer patients, clinical trials can offer new treatment options that, more than anything else, provide hope during the battle against cancer.

“Many people think that clinical trials are only offered as a last resort effort and are typically only available in an urban setting, but this really isn’t the case,” said Heather Albertson, oncology clinical research manager, Geisinger Health System. “Clinical trials are treatments that have already passed rigorous testing, and at Geisinger we offer clinical trials for several different types of cancer. Most of the cancer trials we offer are funded by the National Cancer Institute and also offered at select medical centers across the country.”

Geisinger Health System currently has 125 open trials for adults and 14 open trials for children. These include, but are not limited to, trials for leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, sarcoma and breast, bladder, prostate, pancreatic, colon, renal and gynecological cancers.

In 2012, 84 patients were enrolled in clinical trials, including nearly 60 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, 10 at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, 10 at Geisinger-Scenery Park in State College and five at the Geisinger Medical Center-Hazleton Cancer Center.

“It is important to note that clinical trials are not for everyone, but for those who qualify, cancer clinical trials provide access to cutting edge therapies that may not only help their cancer but lead to new standard treatments in the future,” Albertson said. “Trials may include an investigation agent in addition to standard therapies already being used. It could also involve already approved therapies that are being tested in a different type of cancer to see if it is as effective or better than the standard therapy.

If you would like to see what clinical trials are available at Geisinger locations, visit Geisinger’s “Find a study” application online at If you are interested in knowing if there is a clinical trial available for you or your family member, call 877-204-6081.

“It is important for people to understand that all standard therapies used today were once clinical trials,” Albertson said. “Clinical trials are the key to fighting cancer and finding a cure. Participating in a clinical trial can give you an opportunity to not only possibly improve your own outcome but help substantiate new standard therapies for all future cancer patients.”

Geisinger hospitals honored for organ, tissue donation efforts

DANVILLE – Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) both recently earned the state Department of Health and Human Services’ Medal of Honor for Organ Donation Hospital Award.

GWV and GMC were silver medal winners in the program that honors hospitals and organ procurement organizations that sustain national goals for organ and tissue donation.

A total of 404 hospitals and 38 organ procurement organizations were honored nationwide. GMC and GWV are two of 237 hospitals in the country to earn the silver medal and two of 17 in Pennsylvania.

To qualify for a silver medal, a facility must achieve a donation rate of 75 percent or greater of eligible donors and a donation rate of 10 percent or greater of eligible donors suffering cardiac death.

“The HHS silver medal is a great source of pride for our organization and the patients we serve because out of a traumatic situation, we are saving the lives of countless people down the road,” said Dr. John Skiendzielewski, Geisinger Clinic emergency medicine service line director. “It is our hope that more and more people come to learn of the lives saved from organ donation and our facilities continue to serve as the facilitators of this process.”

Laurel Home Health/Hospice now part of Susquehanna Health

As part of the former Laurel Health System’s affiliation with Susquehanna Health, Laurel Home Health/Hospice in Wellsboro was renamed Susquehanna Health Home Care & Hospice on Feb. 1.

Staff from both home care and hospice organizations will remain the same. Types of services offered through both organizations also remain the same, but with additional services to be offered in Tioga County.

The additional services include palliative care and telehealth, a daily home monitoring equipment program for patients’ homes that collects vital signs such as weight, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, heart rate and temperature.

The offices are at 1100 Grampian Blvd., Williamsport, and 24 Walnut St., Wellsboro. For more information, call 320-7690 or 723-0760.

Medical Bag

DANVILLE – Dr. Mark D. Brayford recently joined Geisinger Health System as a non-operative orthopedic-sports medicine specialist. He will treat patients at Geisinger-Woodbine, 115 Woodbine Lane.

Brayford comes to Geisinger from OAA Orthopaedic Specialists in Allentown, where he also treated patients at Lehigh Valley Health System and St. Luke’s Hospital and Health System, both in Allentown, and Coordinated Health System Surgical Specialty Hospital in Bethlehem.

Since 2008, Brayford has served as a team physician for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Class AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2007, he was team physician for the Philadelphia Force women’s professional softball team. And, he also has worked with eight high schools and three colleges and universities in the state.

A 2003 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Brayford completed osteopathic and surgical internships at GMC in 2004 and 2005 respectively. He earned a bachelor’s degree in health science from Lock Haven University in 1998.

He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, National Athletic Trainers Association, American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, Eastern Athletic Trainers Association, Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Society.

A certified athletic trainer, he also is a certified consultant for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) and a Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Medical Professional.

Gastroenterologists receive

board certification

Susquehanna Health Digestive Disease Center recently announced that Drs. Vivek Kumar and Puneet Basi have received their board certifications for gastroenterology.

Kumar completed his residency program at Johns Hopkins University Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Md., and a gastroenterology fellowship at Norwalk Hospital/Yale University in Norwalk, Conn.

Basi completed his fellowship at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, N.Y.-Presbyterian Healthcare System and a gastroenterology fellowship at The Brooklyn Hospital Center.

The Susquehanna Health Digestive Disease Center is accepting new patients. It is on the fifth floor of Williamsport Regional Medical Center. To make an appointment, call 321-3454.

Haven Healthcare for Women

welcomes additional doctor

LOCK HAVEN – Lock Haven Hospital and Haven Healthcare for Women has announced the addition of obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Pankaj G. Mehta to the practice on the third floor of Lock Haven Hospital, 24 Cree Drive.

Mehta spent 10 years with Women’s Healthcare Associates and the Susquehanna Health Medical Group in Williamsport. Prior to joining Susquehanna Health, she worked 22 years as a solo practitioner.

Mehta is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She earned a medical degree from the BJ Medical College, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India. She served a residency in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Maryland General Hospital and Lutheran Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

Haven Healthcare for Women is accepting new patients. For appointments, call 893-5043.

Eye Center supports charity

The Eye Center of Central PA recently announced its partnership with the Sophrona Giving Program.

The Eye Center has selected to further ORBIS International’s nonprofit humanitarian work in developing countries worldwide. Since 1982, ORBIS has enhanced the skills of more than 300,000 eye care professionals and provided treatment for more than 18.8 million blind and visually impaired people.

“The Sophrona Giving Program and its collaboration with ORBIS has given us a unique opportunity to sponsor eye care and public health education for those in need, on behalf of our patients in central Pennsylvania,” said Robert Lamont, CEO of The Eye Center of Central PA. “Whenever our patients use our patient portal to register online, pay a bill, send a secure message or order contact lenses, The Eye Center makes a small donation to ORBIS.”