2014 Healthcare Guide

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Innovations in Healthcare

By Marianne Reid Anderson

Western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas are known for leading the way in innovative healthcare. Treatments, surgeries, procedure, medications and much more continue to improve the lives of the people in our community to a vastly greater extent than you will find elsewhere in the nation and in the world. The following list highlights a few of the advancements in various specialties that are now available:

Audiology – The newest developments in the technology of hearing aids are making it easier and easier for people to get the hearing assistance they need. The higher the technology, the less a person needs to do to maintain their hearing aids. For example, there are now “extended-wear” hearing aids that are inserted at the office into the ear canal and placed only 4 millimeters from the eardrum. They can be worn 24 hours a day, even in the shower or in the pool, for up to 4 months, when you come into the office to have them exchanged for new and you never even need to change the battery. If for some reason a patient can’t wear the extended-wear hearing aids, there are also nano-hearing aids also known as “invisible in the canal” or IIC hearing aids that are very small but do not go quite as far in the canal so are removed at night by the patient and cannot get wet. And for the techy-patient, there are even hearing aids that can be connected to their devices such as iPhones and iPads via Bluetooth technology and can monitor and program the efficiency of their hearing aids in different environments. For more information, contact Francis Audiology Associates at (724) 933-3440 or through their website at http://francisaudiology.com.

Cardiology – Atrial Fibrillation is a conduction disorder which causes the heart to beat irregularly. People with atrial fibrillation can be at an increased risk of stroke. There are many new drug options utilized to protect patients from having a stroke. For an evaluation of your atrial fibrillation and /or discussion of new drugs for protecting stroke, contact Wexford Cardiology (724) 940-6000.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab – Addiction to opiates such as Oxycontin and Heroin are reaching epidemic levels, particularly in young people. These opiates are so strong and addictive that new treatments in overcoming a disease that effects the mind, body and spirit include medication-assisted treatments that treat the physical symptoms in conjunction with intense therapy to change the lifestyle of the patient. Medicated-assisted treatments are available and found to be successful in all types of addiction, including alcohol, where the medications act as a deterrent. However, in the case of these intense opiates, two new medications that have been developed that act as “blockers” i.e. they completely block the effects of the opiates so that the patient feels no effect or “high” should they take an opiate. These blocker medications last 30 days and are used to augment therapy. For more information or to get help for yourself or a loved one, contact Gateway Rehab at 1-800-472-1177 or through their website at www.gatewayrehab.org.

General Surgeries – These surgeries are used to treat a large range of medical conditions including, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, gallbladder removal, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and many more acute and elective surgeries. Today, advanced ad innovative technologies, including laparoscopy and robotic laparoscopy surgeries, enable the surgeons to perform surgeries and procedures with intense precision and accuracy. For more information, contact the Innovative Surgical Group at Weirton Medical Center, only 35 minutes from the Wexford/Cranberry area at (304) 914-4250.

Hospital and Operating Room Safety – The newest technology for patient care in hospitals and operating rooms is a portable room disinfection system. The system, which looks like a robot, uses pulsed Xenon ultraviolet light to penetrate cell walls for a quick kill of all major classes of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores on high-touch surfaces. Organisms are no longer infectious and can no longer replicate. The light does not replace traditional cleaning but can reach where cleaning by hand cannot. The robot, which has been nicknamed Violet due to its ultraviolet light, is a green technology. The light kills the microorganisms that cause hospital-acquired infections including C-diff, MERSA and MERS to name a few. Locally, “Violet” has been purchased by the Passavant Hospital Foundation for use in UPMC Passavant’s operating theater and isolation rooms.

Medical Scheduling Practices and Software – recognized by Earnst & Young Entrepreneur Awards, among other notables, this new paradigm enables practices to receive walk-ins, all-day long for established patients at a practice. This innovative methodology has been piloted in Cranberry for the past year and will now be rolling out to other locations. For more information, contact Kids Plus Pediatrics at http://kidspluspgh.com/ for office nearest you and be sure to follow them on Facebook as the innovators in providing information via social media at https://www.facebook.com/KidsPlusPediatrics

Ophthalmology – Having an annual eye exam can detect early signs of many conditions that cause the loss of vision before symptoms occur or become extreme. For example, in the case of Glaucoma, which is a disease that will eventually damage the optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness, early detection and treatment is possible before the optic nerve is damaged. Unfortunately with Glaucoma, there are no early detection symptoms, but it can be tested for during your annual exam. Likewise, in many cases of macular degeneration, which causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision, can be treated before the vision loss becomes too acute. There are also many advances in the development of prescription lenses, specifically, thinner lenses (for those of us with strong prescriptions), progressives for bifocals and transitionals that become sunglasses when you step outside to protect your eyes from UV rays from the sun. For more information or to schedule your annual eye exam, contact Daniel J. Nadler M.D. and Associates at (412) 741-5577.

Patient Centered Medical Home – a new concept in providing primary care from your “medical home” or practice that focuses on single-access to quality care, access to information through electronic medical records and a patient “portal” that provides information, sends reminders and manages immunization records, care status and much more all while reducing the cost of care. For more information and a location nearest you, contact Pediatric Alliance at http://www.pediatricalliance.com/

Peripheral Neuropathy – Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages to the muscles, skin and other parts of the body. Peripheral nerves go from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet. When damage to the nerves takes place, numbness and pain in these areas may occur. Many patients are suffering from symptoms of painful cramping, burning and tingling, difficulty walking, numbness and even interruption of sleep. However there is now an innovative, specialized treatment protocol that includes 9 specific combination of treatments that are designed to heal rather than just deal with the symptoms. Locally, this innovative treatment protocol is offered at the Chiropractic Family Health Center. For a FREE Consultation contact Dr. Shawn Richey at (724) 940-9000 or through the website at www.backnline.com.

Rectal and Gastroenterology – Innovations in rectal and gastroenterology are seeing an incredible reduction in colon cancer and other colon disorders. Today, the scope used during a colonoscopy is so advanced that it can detect and remove a polyp as small as only one millimeter in diameter. Just as incredible, that patients will be happy to know, is that there are new advances in the preparatory procedure that are quicker, easier and better, specifically in one new development, you only need to drink the equivalent of four glasses instead of an entire jug of preparatory fluid. For more information on these and other rectal treatments, many of which are minimally invasive and can take place in the office, such as the treatment of internal hemorrhoids, contact Brad Levinson M.D. at (724) 741-6020.

Varicose and Spider Veins – Extraordinary advances have occurred in the treatments of varicose and spider veins. In the case of spider veins, there are now two new FDA-approved injectable medications (as opposed to the former saline or unapproved compounds of a few years ago. In the case of varicose veins, there are now a minimally invasive procedure using a new high-tech laser. The procedure is so quick and easy, patients are able to resume daily activities, including going back to work on the same day as the procedure. After the procedure, you will need to wear compression socks and even in the area of compression socks there have been remarkable advancements in thinness and appearance where you can get ones that resemble socks, stockings or nylons. For more information, contact the Vein Institute at (724) 934-8346 http://veininstituteofpittsburgh.com.

Weight Loss – There is an innovative, customized six-week program guaranteed to enable you to lose at least 15 pounds and 5 inches. This program uses a combination of technologies known as ZERONA and ChiroTHIN. Zerona is a new body-sculpting procedure designed to remove fat and contour the body without invasive surgery.  Zerona works by utilizing the FDA approved Erchonia LipoLASER to emulsify adipose tissue which then releases into the interstitial space.  The excess fat is passed through the body during its normal course of detoxification. Zerona is used in conjunction with ChiroTHIN, also known as ChiroHCG Homeopathic formula which has been specially blended to include homeopathic HCG and 3 other homeopathic compounds that aid in boosting your metabolism, suppressing cravings and to help detoxify your body. This innovative weight-loss treatment is offered at the Chiropractic Family Health Center. For a FREE Consultation contact Dr. Shawn Richey at (724) 940-9000 or through the website at www.backnline.com.

Wound Care – If you or someone you love has a wound that has not healed in 30 days (1 month) then it is considered a chronic wound that could get horribly infected and possibly lead to amputation. Fortunately, there are several major advances in the treatments of chronic wounds such as a whole array of biological tissues that can actively stimulate the healing process, advances in improving circulation if that is what is causing the delayed healing, the use of oxygen-infused hyperbolic chambers in case low-levels of oxygen in the blood stream is the cause, the use of Cellu Tome® Harvesting System that uses the patient’s own skin cells, and many, many other advances. For more information contact the Wound Care Center at Pittsburgh’s Ohio Valley General Hospital, where wounds and their causes have been treated for over 22 years, at (412) 847-7500.

In conclusion, there are a tremendous amount of innovations happening every day in healthcare. No matter what your ailment, there is hope in the miracle of modern-day medicine.


Health + Wellness Pavilion
AHNWEXFORD.orgAlways at Home
Care Unlimited Inc

 Chiropractic Family Health Center
Dr. Shawn Richey
2591 Wexford-Bayne Road, Suite 207
Sewickley, Pa. 15143



Colon and Rectal WellnessCenter
Brad Levinson, M.D.
Cranberry Twp, Pa.

Compression Management Services
The Lymphedema Centers


Daniel J. Nadler MD and Associates
Sewickley, Pa.                   Beaver, Pa

412-741-5577                  724-774-5920

Francis Audiology

Gateway Rehab


Hope Hospice


Kids Plus Pediatrics
Seven Fields, Pa. 16046
(724) 761-2020Ohio Valley Hospital

412-250-2600Passavant Hospital Foundation

Pediatric Alliance

Seven Fields Veterinary Hospital

St. Barnabas Health System


UPMC Senior Communities


Dr. Michael Vactor, DC

Vein Institute of Pittsburgh
Dr. Terrance R. Krysinski


Vincentian Collaborative System

Weirton Health Center

Wexford Cardiology