The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

February 9, 2013

Memorial picked for ‘prestigious’ study

JOHNSTOWN — Memorial Medical Center’s selection to participate in a worldwide heart study demonstrates the  Conemaugh Health System’s reputation in comprehensive cardiac care.

Led by Drs. Robert Stenberg and Roshankumar B. Patel, interventional cardiologists, the study looks at treatment options for the primary type of coronary artery disease.

The study looks at the value of angioplasty and stenting for patients with stable cardiac ischemia, defined as insufficient oxygen reaching the heart muscle through its blood supply. Ischemia is usually the result of coronary heart disease, in which arteries narrow due to a buildup of cholesterol plaque, Patel said.

“It is basically a demand and supply mismatch,” Patel said. “There is more demand for oxygen than supply.”

Coronary heart disease with ischemia is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Ischemic heart disease affects 17.6 million Americans, resulting in about 450,000 deaths each year.

Memorial is one of 500 medical facilities around the world participating in the International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches. New York University Langone Medical Center is leading the study and expects to involve more than about 8,000 patients.

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the study will provide a purely scientific assessment, Patel said.

“It is not biased or sponsored by a drug company,” he said.

Conemaugh is one of the few community-based organizations participating in the study, joining renown medical programs  such as Harvard University, Emory University and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

“This will be a very important, high impact study in the world of cardiovascular medicine,” Stenberg said. “It’s an honor for Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center to be included as a participating center in such a prestigious trial.”

Patients who have had stress tests showing moderate to severe ischemia after experiencing some symptoms of heart disease will be able to voluntarily participate in the study at Memorial if their disease is stable, Patel said.

Participants will be randomly divided into two groups. Half will receive interventional heart catheterizations with angioplasty and stents.

The other half will be treated medically with blood thinners and other drugs. Both will be prescribed lifestyle modifications to reduce their risk of heart attack.

If a participant in the medical-management group has a heart attack or if the treatment does not control the symptoms, the patient will be treated by catheterization, Patel stressed.

Most patients currently receive the catheterizations, Patel said. But several other studies have called into question the value of the invasive treatments.

“This study will answer what is the difference?” he said. “Does the stent change anything? The hypothesis is that the stent will improve the outcome.

“The information obtained from this study will be very important to guide treatment decisions for our cardiovascular patients.”

Being selected for the national study is a tribute to Conemaugh’s program, as well as the expertise of Stenberg and Patel, vascular surgeon Dr. James Tretter said.

“We have always had a very successful interventional cardiology practice in town,” Tretter said. “Dr. Stenberg and Dr. Patel are interventional cardiologists. They have always been at the top of the game with respect to the cardiac catheterizations.”

The interventional cardiologists and heart surgeon Dr. Savas Mavridis provide life-saving care in the case of heart attacks and other cardiac events, but they also improve the quality of life for heart patients with procedures that improve heart function.

For patients with conditions affecting heart rhythm or electrical function, Dr. Genevieve Brumberg has brought her expertise in cardiac electrophysiology to the Conemaugh Physicians Group.

“She is the first electrophysiologist that we have had in Johns-

town,” Tretter said. “It is a huge step forward in the treatment of electrical and rhythm problems in the heart.”

Brumberg sees patients in the cardiology suite at the newly renamed Conemaugh Medical Park on Franklin Street near downtown Johnstown. With seven doctors, support staff and state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, the former Tech Park has become a one-stop shop for heart care in the region.

At Memorial Medical Center’s main campus, a new electrophysiology lab complements the cardiac catheterization lab and surgical suites, providing the latest in heart care.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads