Medical director named

Medical director named


A native of Poland, Dr. Gregory Benson has been named medical director of Akron Children’s Hospital’s new Outpatient Surgical Center, which will open in May.

Previously, Dr. Benson was medical director of the Dental Surgery Center and codirector of the Pediatric Ambulatory Anesthesia Services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where he was also an attending anesthesiologist.

Partners accreditation


Partners for Urology Health, 6262 Mahoning Ave., has received accreditation from the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) effective through Jan. 31, 2017.

Practice accreditation is a voluntary process in which professional peers identify standards indicative of a quality practice and conduct an audit to ensure these standards are met, said Margaret Baker, regional director of oncology services at Mercy Health Youngstown.

Valve clinic opens


Mercy Health Youngstown recently opened a heart valve clinic at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital. The valve clinic provides a multidisciplinary team approach for diagnosing and treating patients with valvular heart disease.

The multidisciplinary team brings together cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons to evaluate each patient and collaboratively develop individual treatment plans best suited to meet the needs and provide the best outcomes for every patient,” said Mariann Pacak, director of Heart & Vascular Services at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital.

The heart valve clinic was developed after a review of echocardiograms suggested that a high percentage of patients in the tri-county region have severe valvular heart disease.

Grant awarded


The Autism Society of Ohio (ASO), Mahoning Valley has presented the inaugural Mike Hull Memorial Family Mini Grant. The $500 award, in the form of an Ipad Air 3G and Otter Box case, was presented to 26-year-old Scott Lewis of Youngstown.

Scott is non-verbal, and his family hopes to use the unit as an aide to help him communicate with them more easily.

The family worked with ASO to create the Mini Grant with proceeds from the second annual Mike Hull Memorial Poker Run for Autism last August.

Ohio cats and deer infected by parasite


A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal “EcoHealth” found that a large percentage of Northeast Ohio’s white-tailed deer, a species widely hunted and harvested by thousands of sportsmen throughout Ohio and the United States, is infected with a parasite associated with feral domestic cats.

The study highlights the need for consumers of venison to make certain that any deer meat planned for consumption is thoroughly and properly cooked, said Gregory Ballash of The Ohio State University’s Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine and lead author of the study.

In Ohio, 200 free-roaming cats and 444 white-tailed deer were tested for the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis. Almost 60 percent (261) of the deer showed evidence of infection and more than 65 percent (164) of the studied cats tested positive.

Domestic cats often are infected at less than one year. Once infected, they can contaminate the environment by shedding hundreds of millions of infectious eggs (called “oocysts”) via their feces.

Free-roaming cats, those that are allowed free access to the outdoors, are more likely to be exposed and infected, Ballash said.

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