The metro New York region is experiencing a higher rate of liver diseases, like viral hepatitis and liver cancer, than the rest of the country, according to Tom McGinn, MD, Northwell's senior vice president and executive director of medicine.
"Most people with liver disease may not know their health is in danger," Dr. McGinn said, "and those who receive a diagnosis have few places where they can receive assessment, treatment and counsel. That's why we have established the Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases."
A free-standing building on the Manhasset campus of North Shore University Hospital (NSUH), the Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases opened in September.
"Concentrating care in this one place improves access, outcomes and patient satisfaction," Dr. McGinn said. "People with liver disease need specialized care in a comfortable, secure environment. This center serves as that destination for patients and their families."
Also on the rise are diseases of the pancreas, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Patients find multidisciplinary care at the Center of Diseases of the Pancreas at NSUH and Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center.
"Liver and pancreatic surgeries are the most complex abdominal operations, and our patients' need for them has increased dramatically," said Gene Coppa, MD, the health system's senior vice president and executive director of surgery. "Northwell surgeons perform more than 300 resections of the liver and pancreas each year, and our programs that manage care for these patients continue to grow."
Improvements in diagnostic and screening methods for cancer of the liver and pancreas have led to earlier interventions and better rates of survival for patients, Dr. Coppa added.
Patients find prominent authorities in liver and pancreas diseases at Northwell Health, including two doctors who recently joined:
- Lewis Teperman, MD, joined the health system earlier this year as vice chair of liver transplant surgery. A pioneer in organ transplantation, he has an extensive background in living donor liver transplantation, immunosuppression and organ preservation. Dr. Teperman is developing the health system's Liver Transplant Program, which he will lead from the NSUH campus.
- Horacio Rilo MD, director of the Center of Diseases of the Pancreas and head of Northwell's new Auto Islet Transplantation (AIT) Program. Few of these programs exist, but Dr. Rilo has built several of the world's most active and successful ones.