Huntington Hospital Adds ‘Pathway’ for Cancer Patients

Huntington Hospital has created a program to move cancer patients who arrive at the Emergency Department more quickly to  other units of the hospital where they can get specialized care.

Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of the hospital, said that cancer patients often have setbacks, or side effects from treatments and end up in the Emergency Department. “We wanted to set up a pathway, in times of Covid and flu, to whisk them out and get them to the specialized treatment” they need in the new unit devoted to their care, he said.

Fitterman said the hospital had begun working on the special unit when Caroline Monti Saladino arranged for a $100,000 donation from the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation.

Drs. Tetyana Divinskiy and Sandhya Kadiyam, both hospitalists, and a nurse practitioner are working with the program, which got underway Dec.1.

Fitterman also said that, earlier this week, the  number of patients with Covid-19 patients had risen to 40, many of them younger than earlier in the epidemic.

“We’re seeing lots of young people in the ICU, in their 30s and 40s,” he said. “The sickest of the sick are unvaccinated but there are many who are vaccinated but haven’t gotten the booster.”

He said that the message about Covid-19 vaccinations should be that the booster shot should be considered the third in a three-shot series to combat the virus.

“We got the messaging wrong,” he said. “Vaccines protect you from dying, from severe disease. Anyone who got two shots should get the third in six months to complete the series.”
When the vaccine first arrived, people were encouraged to get their shots three or four weeks apart. But most vaccine specialists “said we were destined to require a third shot,” Fitterman said.


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