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RUMC Connections Podcast

Home » Media » RUMC Connections Podcast

Through RUMC Connections, you will meet the fantastic doctors, nurses, medical professionals and partners that make our hospital thrive. RUMC Connections will also provide you with useful information about maintaining your own health and provide answers to some of your own medical questions.

NEW! Episode 31: Conquering Cancer: Family Care and Support

The month of June is often cause for celebration, bringing warm weather, longer days, and summer vacations. June is also a special celebration for national cancer survivors month. This month we celebrate the resilient spirit of the more than 18 million cancer survivors in the United States and honor the tireless efforts of the doctors, clinicians, researchers and scientists who have made survivorship possible. We also celebrate the families, friends and communities who have provided steadfast care and support during their loved one’s battle with cancer. At RUMC, we acknowledge a deep understanding that has evolved over the years and recognize the importance of psychosocial support in the journey toward recovery and survivorship. Host, Meredith Gaskins, is joined by Marty Phillipps who is RUMC’s Director of the Family Care and Support Program of Oncology, and cancer survivors, Rosaria Kassis and Kelly Morris-Caceres to discuss how RUMC’s services have helped to empower cancer survivors.

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NEW! Episode 30: IBS: What You Should Know

The Ambulatory Center & G.I./Endoscopy Suites at Richmond University Medical Center provide full-service ambulatory services for children and adults. Each year, thousands of procedures are performed by our experienced physicians, nurses and technicians. Our six state-of-the-art procedure rooms contain the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment equipment available, including sophisticated monitoring equipment for your safety. On this episode, host, Meredith Gaskins, is joined once again by Gastroenterologist, Dr. Vahe Shahnazarian to discuss irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and how people can seek relief.

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Episode 29: The Importance of a Colonoscopy

The Ambulatory Center & G.I./Endoscopy Suites at Richmond University Medical Center provide full-service ambulatory services for children and adults. Each year, thousands of procedures are performed by our experienced physicians, nurses and technicians. Our six state-of-the-art procedure rooms contain the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment equipment available, including sophisticated monitoring equipment for your safety. Today we’ll be discussing the importance of a colonoscopy, one of the most widely recognized screening procedures in the U.S., which is used for screening, surveillance, and treatment in the fight against colon cancer, the third most diagnosed cancer in America. The American Cancer Society recommends that people who are at average risk of colorectal cancer begin screening colonoscopies at age 45. Unfortunately, fear of the procedure leads many individuals to get screened years later, delaying the process of spotting cancerous polyps and tissue and reducing the effectiveness of treatment. Through the years, we’ve heard numerous misconceptions regarding the process of having a colonoscopy. Host, Meredith Gaskins, is joined by Gastroenterologist, Vahe Shahnazarian, to discuss the most common myths – and what you can really expect from the procedure.

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NEW! Episode 28: Interventional Radiology for Women’s Health

Women experience unique medical concerns throughout their lifetime, such as pregnancy, gynecologic conditions, pelvic floor disorders and menopause that may require specialized imaging and diagnostic testing. Host, Meredith Gaskins, is joined once again by Dr. Sujoy Menon, Chair of the Department of Radiology at RUMC to discuss how interventional radiology has impacted women’s health issues and the various interventional radiology services that are available for women at RUMC.

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Episode 27: Interventional & Diagnostic Radiology

At RUMC, the Vascular Interventional Radiology Department performs approximately 2,000 procedures a year. Our board-certified and board-qualified radiologists offer various imaging modalities with advanced subspecialty fellowship training in their areas of expertise. As the recipient of the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for quality and patient safety, we utilize only state-of-the-art equipment. We offer several different types of imaging modalities to diagnose and treat many disease. These procedures give us a visual representation of what is going on inside the body in order to make a proper diagnosis and set up a treatment plan. On this episode, host Meredith Gaskins is joined by Richmond University Medical Center’s Chair of Radiology, Dr. Sujoy Menon to discuss Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology procedures performed at RUMC.

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Episode 26: Big Prostate, Big Problems

In this episode, host Meredith Gaskins, is joined again by Dr. Richard Maggio and Dr. Michael Wilson, Urology Chair, from Richmond University Medical Center to discuss minimally invasive urological procedures, UroLift System and Aquablation therapy. The UroLift System is a minimally invasive procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. It is a proven option for patients looking for an alternative to medications or major surgery. It is the only leading enlarged prostate procedure that does not require healing, cutting, or destruction of prostate tissue. Aquablation therapy is a new type of surgical treatment for benign prostatic hyperblasia (BPH). The Richmond Health Network is proud to be among the first in New York City to offer this advanced, minimally invasive treatment.

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Episode 25: Urology: The Inside Tract

Located in the heart of Staten Island, the Urology Services center, located at 1200 South Ave., provides advanced treatments and procedures for adult male and female patients. From kidney stones to urologic cancers, including prostate cancer, RUMC’s team of experienced specialists offers comprehensive surgical and nonsurgical care. The Urological Services Center treats a wide range of urological conditions to help relieve symptoms, enhance comfort, and restore function. Host Meredith Gaskins is joined by Dr. Richard Maggio and Dr. Michael Wilson, Urology Chair, to discuss some of the most common urological issues.

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Episode 24: Debunking the Myths of Heart Health

It’s a man’s disease.” “But I’m too young.” “Breast cancer is the real threat.” If you’ve heard or said any of this before, you’re not alone. The real fact is, relying on these false assumptions can cost you your life. It’s time to set the record straight and start thinking of heart disease as a disease that doesn’t spare women and children. Your health is non-negotiable; we need to separate fact from fiction so that together, we can stop this killer once and for all. February is “American Heart Month” and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, with one person dying every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease. We’re joined today by Richmond University Medical Center’s Chief of the Cardiovascular Department, Dr. Francesco Rotatori to debunk some of the myths about cardiovascular health.

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Episode 23: Heart Health

When you or a loved one are suffering from a cardiac condition, you want to know you can trust your physicians. That’s why Richmond University Medical Center employs highly skilled, board-certified, knowledgeable cardiology specialists. They provide every aspect of patient care from prevention to treatment to monitoring with a personalized touch to address each patient’s unique needs and concerns. Non-invasive tests for cardiac conditions provide physicians valuable information about some of the risks that typically accompany more invasive cardiac procedures. RUMC offers a full range of non-invasive diagnostic cardiology test procedures which host, Meredith Gaskins will discuss some of today with RUMC’s Assistant Director of Cardiology, Dr. Sean Galligan.

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Episode 22: The Gamblers Treatment Program

The Gamblers Treatment Program, located at 1130 South Ave. in Staten Island, NY has been providing outpatient treatment to New Yorkers struggling with problem gambling since 1982. RUMC has the longest standing outpatient gambling treatment program in New York State. The program offers clients comprehensive therapeutic services to gamblers 16-years of age and older (in-person and via Telehealth) including psychiatric assessment, individual, marital and family therapy, medication management, and crisis intervention. In this episode, Meredith is joined by Ileana Acosta, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), who is the Program Manager of the Adult and Adolescent substance abuse programs at RUMC, and William Bellach, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), clinician from the Gamblers Treatment Program.

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Episode 21: Addiction Services

Drug addiction is a complex disease; it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. However, with the right treatment and support, positive change is always possible regardless of the circumstance. In this episode, Meredith is joined by Ileana Acosta, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC), who is the Program Manager of the Adult and Adolescent substance abuse programs at RUMC, and Anthony Arpaia, RN who works for the addiction programs to discuss the variety of comprehensive addiction treatment programs and services at the Center for Integrative Behavioral Medicine.

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Episode 20: Thyroid

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that play a key role in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, metabolism, and the reaction of the body to other hormones. In this episode, Meredith and Alex continue their conversation with Dr. Otterbeck, RUMC’s Chair of Medicine and Chief of the Endocrinology Department, to discuss conditions that cause thyroid problems and the link with obesity.

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Episode 19: Diabetes

Your endocrine system involves glands within your body and the hormones they produce. A disorder or imbalance anywhere in this system can impact your entire body. On today’s episode, Meredith and Alex are joined by Dr. Philip Otterbeck, Richmond University Medical Center’s Chair of Medicine and Chief of Endocrinology, to focus on one of, if not, the most common condition affecting this system: diabetes.

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Episode 18: Rehabilitation

In this episode, Meredith, Alex and Dan continue their discussion with Kristine Delgado, Administrative Director of Rehabilitation at Richmond University Medical Center. The department of rehabilitation medicine features a team of dedicated practitioners who specialize in improving the abilities and livelihoods of patients. The array of various adult rehabilitation services offered at RUMC are highlighted in this engaging conversation.

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Episode 17: Pediatric Rehabilitation

As a parent, you want to see your child grow, learn, become independent and thrive. When it comes to Pediatric Rehabilitation, ideally parents want a program that treats their child’s physical, emotional, academic, and social challenges. On this episode, Meredith, Alex & Dan are joined by Kristine Delgado, RUMC’s Administrative Director of Rehabilitation, to discuss the comprehensive pediatric rehabilitation services available at RUMC from birth through 3 years old.

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Episode 16: Nephrology

In this episode, Meredith, Alex, and Dan are joined by Dr. Sayed Mahdi Ayat to discuss all things Nephrology. Kidney issues are on the rise around the world, with millions of people each year undergoing treatments for kidney injury or chronic kidney disease. About 1 in 2 people with very low kidney function don’t know they have kidney disease and approximately 1 in 3 adults with diabetes and 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may have kidney disease.

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Episode 15: Rheumatology

In this episode, Meredith, Alex & Dan are joined by RUMC’s new Rheumatologist, Dr. DeMizio, to discuss all things rheumatology. This podcast covers everything from patient diagnosis, various rheumatic issues, treatment methods, pain management, the changing landscape of the rheumatology field and much more.

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Episode 14: Pediatric Surgery: Part 2

Meredith, Alex and Dan continue their conversation with RUMC’s pediatric surgeon, Dr. Brian Gilchrist to discuss what life is like as a pediatric surgeon, along with various surgeries that he’s performed.

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Episode 13: Pediatric Surgery

When a family is faced with emergency or elective surgery for their child, they may be confronted with mixed emotions, fear and apprehension. In this episode, Meredith, Alex & Dan are joined by RUMC’s pediatric surgeon, Dr. Brian Gilchrist. Pediatric surgery is performed on all age groups from newborns to adolescents and there are less than 500 pediatric surgeons across the United States. Dr. Gilchrist walks us through what it’s like to be a pediatric surgeon who performs more than 700 procedures a year.

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Episode 12: Glaucoma – The Silent Thief of Sight

In this episode, we continue our conversation with RUMC’s Optometrist, Dr. Joseph Muscente. Last episode we discussed traumas and emergencies that can affect our eyes. In this episode, we’ll discuss glaucoma and the importance of having your eyes checked regularly to detect any issues early on. Glaucoma is a very common eye disease affecting more than 70 million people worldwide and it’s the leading cause of blindness, accounting for over 12% of blindness around the world.

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Episode 11: Eye of the Storm: Ocular Trauma and Emergencies

In this episode, Meredith, Alex & Dan are joined by Optometrist Dr. Joseph Muscente to discuss ocular emergencies. Eye emergencies include cuts, scratches, objects in the eye, burns, chemical exposure and blunt injuries to the eye or eyelid. These injuries may cause visual change, pain or discomfort, and changes to the appearance of the eye itself. Dr. Muscente will share some of the more common injuries people experience, how to treat them, and when it’s time to seek medical care.

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Episode 10: EMS Life, Tales From The Streets

In this episode, Meredith, Alex & Dan continue their conversation with lead Paramedic, Angela Ciocia, and lead EMT, James Donnelly to discuss personal encounters and what it takes to work in the EMS field.

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Episode 9: Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

In this episode, Meredith, Alex and Dan are joined by two of Richmond University Medical Center’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) leaders, Angela Ciocia and James Donnelly to learn more about life on an ambulance as well as what it takes to be an EMT or Paramedic.

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Episode 8: Bariatrics: Surgical Weight-Loss Options: What to Expect

In this episode, Meredith, Alex and Dan continue their conversation with Dr. Alex Barkan, Chief of Bariatric Surgery, Vice Chair of Department of Surgery at Richmond University Medical Center, and founder of the hospital’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. Last episode the various bariatric services that are performed at RUMC were covered. In this episode, we’ll discuss the total bariatric journey – from who qualifies to what the process is like before and after, and life post-surgery.

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Episode 7: Bariatric Services

On this episode Meredith, Alex and Dan are joined by the founder of RUMC’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Dr. Alex Barkan, M.D., M.B.A, F.A.C.S., F.A.S.M.B.S., who has performed thousands of bariatric surgery procedures since entering the field in 2006. He is the Chief of Bariatric surgery and Vice Chair for the Department of Surgery at RUMC.  Dr. Barkan discusses the various weight loss procedures that are available at RUMC, who qualifies , and the benefits of weight loss surgery.

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Episode 6: Surgical Services

Continuing the conversation with Dr. Loren Harris, Chair of the Department of Surgery at Richmond University Medical Center. Last episode, we talked about robotic surgical services that are performed at RUMC. In this episode, we’ll shift our focus to talk more about RUMC’s Surgical Department and the various procedures its surgeons are performing each day from outpatient to some of the most complex, advanced surgeries. Dr. Harris will also share some behind the scenes news on RUMC’s new operating suites, coming later this year.

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Episode 5: Robotic Surgery

In this episode, our hosts are joined by Loren Harris, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery at Richmond University Medical Center. Listen as Dr. Harris discusses what makes the yearly 10,000+ surgical procedures at RUMC a “cut” above the rest. Hear how RUMC’s Department of Surgery is equipped with the latest technology, including the Da Vinci robotic surgical system, which allows surgeons to treat patients more effectively and accurately. Join us for this deep dive into all things surgery as Dr. Harris shares key insights on this ever growing medical field.

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Episode 4: Emergency Care

Continuing the conversation with Johnathan LeBaron, DO, Chair, Emergency Medicine; and Assistant Vice President of Emergency Department Nursing, Jean Gordon, Rn in discussing how RUMC’s new ED offers some of the best emergency care in NYC. In this episode, we take a deep dive into understanding the level of care RUMC’s new ED provides and how its amazing staff is able to stay on top of their patients needs.

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Episode 3: State-of-the-Art Emergency Care: NEW ED

In this episode, we are joined by Jonathon LeBaron, DO, Chair, Emergency Medicine; and Assistant Vice President of Emergency Department Nursing, Jean Gordon, RN, to discuss the hospital’s new, state-of-the-art 35,000 square-foot Emergency Department that opened in January 2023! The new department features larger trauma and urgent care areas as well as dedicated units for pediatrics, cardiac and stroke emergencies, sexual assault victims and much more. Learn more about the new features and the high quality care the department’s medical professionals provide every day, including during urgent life-threatening situations.

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Episode 2: Heart To Heart, Part 2

Have you ever wondered when it’s the right time to see a cardiologist? In this episode, Dr. Rotatori provides guidance on when it is suggested that you make an appointment with a cardiologist. Learn about some immediate things that you can do to protect and maintain your heart health. Information is power and RUMC’s own Alex Lutz, Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing, shares his personal, life-saving experience with Dr. Rotatori and Mount Sinai Health System. Get to know the personal side of Dr. Rotatori and learn about how he made his way to New York from Italy, along with being an accomplished marathon runner.

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Episode 1: Heart To Heart, Part 1

In this podcast episode, we are joined by the Chief of Richmond University Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Department, Francesco Rotatori, MD. Dr. Rotatori discusses heart health, heart disease, how lifestyle choices have a major impact on your heart health, and provides examples of small steps that you can take to start living a healthier lifestyle. Early detection and intervention are the best ways to combat heart disease. When it comes to treating complex heart issues, collaboration and knowledge are key. Dr. Rotatori explains how doctors from RUMC and Mount Sinai Health System work together to ensure all patients receive the best care possible.

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