Vol. 16, No. 2
Winthrop Neurosurgeon Offers Patients Relief From Severe Chronic Pain With Neurostimulation
Bug Bite & Once Controversial Treatment Saves Father of Six
Winthrop's New Arthritis & Rheumatic Disease Center Offers State-Of-The-Art Treatment
Winthrop First NY Metro Hospital to Receive the ASA's Initial Performance Achievement Award
Fitness Program Gets Young Cancer Patients Back in the Game
Hagedorns' Extraordinary Gift Helps Make Miracles Grow Everyday
The Miracle Foundation Gives $50,000 in Support of Cancer Center for Kids
First Annual Mardi Gras Gala Benefits Cancer Education, Research and Support Services
Retired Bank Chairman's Exceptional Generosity Benefits Winthrop's Pediatric Facilities
A Smart Way to Give
Winthrop Attracts Newest Medical Talent To Residency Program
Gifts of Love for Winthrop's Littlest Patients
Cardiac Surgeon and Family Donate in Support of Heart Surgery Center Construction
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Martha Seril, 77, looks content
sitting in a beige recliner. The
now retired professional entertainer
was diagnosed with
rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in
1995 and receives therapy in the
new, state-of-the-art Infusion
Center at Winthrop's Arthritis
and Rheumatic Disease Center.
Lois Bonetti, RN, RA Center, consults with Martha Seril
during a recent therapy session at Winthrop's new, stateof-
the-art Infusion Center.
Each of its six infusion stations
is equipped with a recliner,
television and DVD player so
that patients can comfortably
pass the time during their
appointments. This facility is
also used for patient instruction
on administering self-injections.
The Center's medical staff is devoted
to providing comprehensive arthritis
care to its patients. The proximity of
the new facility to Winthrop's outpatient
Radiology Department allows the
Center's physicians to enjoy a close
collaboration with musculoskeletal
radiologist, Jonathan Luchs, MD,
enhancing their multidisciplinary
approach to patient care.
"Musculoskeletal imaging is a
vital tool that we use regularly for
patient diagnosis, as well as for our
determination of disease severity and
progression," said Steven Carsons,
MD, Chief, Rheumatology, Allergy and
Immunology, and Director of the
Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease
Center. "Having the Radiology
Department nearby is much more
convenient for our many patients
with limited mobility."
A chronic autoimmune disease,
RA is one of the most common forms
of arthritis, affecting many different
joints in the body. Over time, RA can
lead to long-term joint damage,
resulting in chronic pain, loss of function
and disability. Approximately one
percent of the U.S. population (about
2.1 million people) has RA.
"After walking for just 10 minutes,
I would have to sit down because
it was too painful," said Mrs. Seril.
"My fingers, wrists and ankles were all
swollen. It was a very difficult time."
One of thousands of patients who
develop RA and related forms of
arthritis in their elder years, Mrs.
Seril struggled to find effective treatment
that would alleviate her pain.
She was finally referred to Dr.
Carsons, who began treating her with
infliximab (Remicade(R)), a biologic
agent that helps control inflammation
and subsequent damage to the joints.
"I am now able to walk distances,
and I don't have the pain, swelling and
redness that I had before," said Mrs.
Seril. "The treatment is administered by
my nurse Lois, who is terrific. "
Elise Belilos, MD, Rheumatology
Section Head, and Dr. Carsons have
been investigating potential
new uses of infliximab in related
such as polymyalgia rheumatica
(PMR), an inflammatory disorder
that causes severe stiffness
involving the neck, shoulders
and hips in elder patients.
"We have been studying
other new antibody therapies,
including abatacept (Orencia)
and Rituximab, for patients
with RA," explained Dr. Belilos.
Drs. Carsons and Belilos,
along with their colleagues, Gary
Rosenblum, DO, and Kristina
Belostocki, MD, are seeking answers
to clinical questions aimed at expanding
the understanding and improving the
treatment of several rheumatic diseases.
Several Winthrop faculty
members have been awarded New York
State Empire Clinical Investigator
Grants that fund research exploring
how age and gender bear on the medications
physicians choose to prescribe.
"Through the combined missions
of patient care, research and teaching,
the Rheumatology faculty plans to
continue evaluating and validating
new medicines and treatment
approaches that will help patients
achieve the greatest degree of function
and maintain their ability to
participate in activities they enjoy,"
said Dr. Carsons.
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