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Advanced Technologies Available at UVMC Imaging

3/11 Imaging AdvancesImaging Department changes such as adding radiologists with subspecialties and revamping protocols are allowing Upper Valley Medical Center to offer services to more people closer to home, said UVMC Radiologist Michael Gelbart, M.D.

“With changes over the past year, everything we are doing is very high end, cutting edge, similar to what would be done at some of the best academic centers in the country,” he noted.

A former assistant professor of radiology with fellowship training in musculoskeletal imaging, Dr. Gelbart came to this area from St. Louis around a year and a half ago to be closer to his hometown of Cincinnati. While he brings the subspecialty in musculoskeletal imaging to UVMC, other fellowship-trained radiologists who have come to UVMC in recent years bring subspecialties in body imaging/breast procedures and neuroradiology.

“UVMC had predominately a strong general radiology practice before we came. We now have all the MR subspecialties covered with fellowship-trained radiologists, which is a big deal,” Dr. Gelbart said.

Among the radiologists with subspecialties who have joined department leaders James Frost, M.D., and Yagnesh Raval, M.D., are Dr. Gelbart; Wincha Chong, M.D., with a fellowship in body MRI imaging at Washington University, St. Louis; and Jared Griffith, D.O., with a fellowship in neuroradiology at Yale University.

Among new procedures offered at UVMC are arthrography of joints (shoulders, knees, hips, ankle, and elbows); bone biopsies; spinal biopsies; and breast MRI. There also are an increased number of radiologists trained in soft tissue biopsies, breast biopsies and drainage procedures. Breast biopsies can be performed by ultrasound, stereotactic or MRI guidance.

“For the patient, this means they can come to one place and have everything done at one facility, and not necessarily feel like they need to go to a bigger hospital in Dayton or The Ohio State University,” Dr. Gelbart said. “Patients can get an entire work-up done at one place, and they are getting very accurate interpretations.”

In addition to adding subspecialty radiologists, the protocols for imaging procedures were examined and now are all state-of-the-art, Dr. Gelbart said.

The radiologists make a conscious effort through protocols and safety devices to reduce the radiation dose to all patients, he said.

The UVMC radiologists work well together and stress communication, he said.

“We know our referring doctors. We call them; they call us, which is the best way for patients to get good care,” he said.

A voice recognition system for radiologists’ dictation was implemented in 2010, allowing for faster turnaround time for test results, Dr. Gelbart added.

He hopes to help people understand that radiologists are not all the same whether the patient is receiving an X-Ray, a CAT scan or MRI.

“There are so many varying levels of expertise as well as how you do the study. It is like taking a photograph,” he said. “Anyone can point a camera and take a picture, but to take a beautiful Ansel Adams… to see the details and catch all of the subtleties, sometimes that can make the difference between getting the right treatment or getting the right treatment early enough.”

Another selling point for UVMC Imaging services is the ease of obtaining services in a community hospital, where registration and testing can be done and results obtained without a long wait, Dr. Gelbart said.

“We have all the top equipment here, the same type of equipment I had at Washington University (in St. Louis) with the biggest radiology department in the world,” he said.

The result, Dr. Gelbart said, is “We are pretty much practicing academic radiology, but in a small community setting, which is very unusual.”

A graduate of The Ohio State University and its medical school, Dr. Gelbart journeyed west where he completed an internship at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver and a radiology residency at the University of California at San Francisco. That was followed by a fellowship at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, St. Louis, where he completed a musculoskeletal fellowship followed by five years on the staff as an assistant professor.

To learn more about UVMC Imaging Services, visit us online.