Medical Beat March 9, 2012


Mercy Medical Center has acquired the TrueBeam system for radiation therapy, Dr. Maria Jacobs, Director of Radiation Oncology has announced.

“TrueBeam represents a huge leap forward in terms of precision, pinpoint accuracy and fast delivery of radiation. We will be able to treat patients with conventional techniques of radiotherapy, three-dimensional conformal and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Most importantly, we will use all capabilities of TrueBeam to implement stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiosurgery (SBRT),” Dr. Jacobs explained.

According to Dr. Jacobs, the field of radiation oncology is going through “an amazing period of rapid technological development and change. With stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiosurgery,” she said.

True Beam helps to implement more aggressive treatments with higher doses of radiation delivered at a faster dose rate than most conventional equipment.

“This means that patients will be treated in a shorter period of time. For example, a patient with prostatic cancer treated with IMRT usually lies in the treatment table for at least 30 minutes. With TrueBeam, such treatment may be delivered in 15 minutes; a treatment course of eight weeks may be reduced to just a few days. Our goal is to maximize local control with limited toxicity,” said radiation oncologist Dr. Marlana Ottinger.

TrueBeam also has a respiratory-gating tool for the treatment of patients with lung cancer.  A small lung cancer can potentially be “a moving target” while breathing in and out. Using a respiratory gating tool, we are able to control that motion during treatment, allowing us for precision and pinpoint accuracy during the respiratory cycle.

Hospice Of The Chesapeake Welcomes New Board Members

Thomas B. Howell, of Severna Park, was appointed in January 2012 to the Hospice of the Chesapeake, Inc. Board of Directors.  Mr. Howell, an entrepreneur and successful business leader, founded consulting and staffing firm TECH USA in January 1998, with offices in numerous states and operations across the country and overseas.

Mark L. Powell, of Severna Park, was appointed in November 2011 to the Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation Board of Directors.  Mr. Powell, co-founder and CEO of ARGO Systems, LLC, has been a business and civic leader in the Baltimore Washington area for more than twenty years.

Marc Dorman, of West, River, was appointed in February 2012 to the Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation Board of Directors.  Mr. Dorman, an experienced business operations executive, is currently the President of Moran Insurance which has provided personal and business insurance to its clients since 1977.

Meri G. Gibbs, of Annapolis, was appointed in February 2012 to the Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation Board of Directors.  Ms. Gibbs, a dedicated community volunteer, began her career in the intelligence and legal communities.  She currently is a dedicated stay-at-home mother to her four children.

JCR, IHI release “Fundamentals of Health Care Improvement: A Guide to Improving Your Patients’ Care,” Second Edition

Joint Commission Resources (JCR) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) announce the publication of Fundamentals of Health Care Improvement: A Guide to Improving Your Patients’ Care, Second Edition. JCR is a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission.

Research shows that quality improvement (QI) initiatives are more successful when implemented through an interprofessional approach. Authored by a team of physicians and nurses, the second edition of Fundamentals of Health Care Improvement is grounded in this principle. Charting a course for future health care professionals, the book provides nursing students, medical students and resident physicians with information and practice guidelines related to the basics of QI. Fundamentals of Health Care Improvement: A Guide to Improving Your Patients’ Care, Second Edition contains the QI features:

  • Methods for identifying and closing the quality gap and improving patient safety
  • Instruction on how to find, evaluate, and apply scientific evidence for improving care
  • Discussion of communication, teamwork, and an interprofessional approach
  • Description of process literacy and a variety of process modeling/mapping procedures
  • Comparisons between and practical applications of  various measurement tools
  • Three-step approach for planning, developing, and sustaining a “spread” effort
  • Educator’s guide chapter with activities for medical and nursing students

For more information, visit

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