💉 Helpful Doctors: New York

Robert Heller, M.D., has joined Albany Med’s Department of Neurosurgery and has been named assistant professor of neurosurgery at Albany Medical College. He specializes in the surgical treatment of pituitary tumors, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas and gliomas. He is also skilled in stereotactic radiosurgery, a precisely targeted form of radiation therapy to treat tumors.

As a cranial and skull base surgeon, Dr. Heller will work with a team comprised of neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and ear, nose and throat surgeons who make up Albany Med’s Pituitary and Minimally Invasive Cranial Base Surgery Program.

Dr. Heller completed a complex cranial and skull base neurosurgery fellowship at Tampa General Hospital and University of South Florida in Tampa. He completed his residency training at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he also received his medical degree. His research interests include clinical outcomes in minimally invasive approaches to skull base surgery, and he has authored or co-authored nearly two dozen journal articles and book chapters. His professional society memberships include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the North American Skull Base Society.

He resides in Delmar.

Dr. Heller is seeing patients at Albany Med’s Department of Neurosurgery at 43 New Scotland Ave. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Department of Neurosurgery at (518) 262-5088.

 

 

Media Inquiries:

Sue  Ford Rajchel

fords@amc.edu

(518) 262 – 3421

💉 Dr. Friedman: COVID-19 Vaccine Third Shots vs Booster Shots

Dr. Friedman is getting a lot of emails on booster shots versus third shots. Third shots are for immuno-compromised patients that the FDA is recommending for a small group of patients The FDA also has the intention to soon make booster doses widely available to all healthy individuals. I am writing to clarify the difference between booster shots and third doses.

Third Doses for Immuno-Compromised Patients
The purpose of a third dose of mRNA vaccine is to give immuno-compromised patients the same level of protection that two doses provide someone who has a normal immune system.
It is recommended that the following people get a third dose

  • Been receiving cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Been diagnosed with moderate or severe immunodeficiency conditions (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • An advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Been under active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (> 20 mg of prednisone or 100 mg of hydrocortisone) or other drugs that may suppress immune response

Dr. Friedman thinks it is unlikely that any of his patients have these conditions.
Patients with Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s, diabetes or thyroid disorders do not qualify.

In contrast, a Booster Dose is for Patients With Healthy Immune Systems
A booster dose—which is different from a third dose for immuno-compromised patients—is for healthy patients and is meant to enhance immunity and may protect against new variants of the virus. The Biden administration has announced that it intends to make booster doses available for people with healthy immune systems in September 2021, after they are authorized or approved by the FDA. This has not happened yet, but when it happens, Dr. Friedman would encourage his patients to get it.

Dr. Friedman is expecting a booster shot against the Delta variant to be released in the fall of 2021 and would recommend that for his patients.
Dr. Friedman wishes everyone to stay healthy.

💉 Dr. Oyesiku to Receive Distinguished Service Award from Society of University Neurosurgeons

The award will presented to Dr. Oyesiku at the Society’s 2021 Annual Meeting August 8-11.


Nelson M. Oyesiku, MD, PhD, FACS, Chair Chair of the UNC School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery, will receive the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of University Neurosurgeons at their 2021 Annual Meeting in Whitefish, Montana, August 8-11.

Prior to joining the UNC faculty on April 1, 2021, Dr. Oyesiku was Professor of Neurological Surgery and Medicine (Endocrinology) at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia and the Inaugural Daniel Louis Barrow Chair in Neurosurgery, Vice-Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and Director of the Neurosurgical Residency Program. Dr. Oyesiku’s clinical expertise is pituitary medicine and surgery. Dr. Oyesiku was co-director of the Emory Pituitary Center and has developed one of the largest practices entirely devoted to the care of patients with pituitary tumors in the country and has performed over 3,700 pituitary tumor operations. Dr. Oyesiku obtained his MD from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He obtained an MSc in Occupational Medicine from the University of London, UK and completed a PhD in Neuroscience at Emory University. He completed his Surgery Internship at the University of Connecticut-Hartford Hospital and obtained his neurosurgical training at Emory University, Atlanta. He is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He received an NIH K08 Award and Faculty Development Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was a recipient of an NIH R01 award and PI of the NIH/NINDS R25 Research Education Program for Residents and Fellows in Neurosurgery. Dr. Oyesiku has served on several NIH Study Sections. Dr. Oyesiku’s research is focused on the molecular pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas, and tumor receptor imaging and targeting for therapy.

Dr. Oyesiku has served on various state, regional, national and international committees for all the major neurosurgical organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He was on the ACGME-Residency Review Committee of Neurosurgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has served on its Board of Governors. Dr. Oyesiku has been President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He has served as Secretary/Treasurer and President of the Georgia Neurosurgical Society, President of the Society of University Neurosurgeons, and Vice-President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. He is President of the International Society of Pituitary Surgeons. He is President-Elect of the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Oyesiku is Editor-in-Chief of NEUROSURGERY, OPERATIVE NEUROSURGERY and NEUROSURGERY OPEN – leading journals in neurosurgery. He is author of over 180 scientific articles and book chapters.

He has been selected by his peers as one of The Best Doctors in America and was selected by the Consumer Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Surgeons. He is named in Marquis Who’s Who in America. He is a member of the Honor Medical Society – Alpha Omega Alpha. He was awarded the “Gentle Giant Award” by the Pituitary Network Association for his services to Pituitary Surgery and Medicine. He is on the Medical Advisory Board of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation. He has been visiting professor and invited faculty at several departments of neurosurgery in the United States and abroad.

From https://news.unchealthcare.org/2021/08/oyesiku-to-receive-distinguished-service-award-from-society-of-university-neurosurgeons/

💉 In Manchester? New Endocrinology Unit

Stockport, NHS FT, has opened a new specialist endocrinology investigation unit, making it one of only two clinics of its type in Greater Manchester. One of the main benefits is, it will ensure patients with potential endocrinology conditions are treated faster, with more accurate assessments carried out. The specialist unit will also allow patients to receive their diagnosis as outpatients, without the need for an inpatient stay.

Endocrinology is the study and management of hormone related disorders which are often complex, and include some rare conditions. If hormones become unbalanced, they can lead to various conditions known as endocrine disorders. These are the conditions which are diagnosed and treated by the clinic’s consultants. Some of the examples include thyroid problems, adrenal nodules, which may lead to Cushing’s syndrome with hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis; or pituitary nodules, which may lead to pituitary deficiency or cause blindness.

Some of these conditions are difficult to diagnose, and simple blood tests are not enough. In these cases, ‘dynamic tests’ are needed, which require significant expertise in how they are performed and how the results are interpreted. Previously these specialised tests required an inpatient stay, where patients would often have to wait for over few months.

Dr Daniela Aflorei, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology for Stockport FT, who runs the clinic, said “I am delighted we are now able to provide a specialist Endocrinology service at our hospital which can provide quicker and more convenient care for our patients.

“With these conditions, swift diagnosis is very important for effective treatment, so this is going to have real benefit for people’s lives. I’d like to thank the many members of staff who helped us set up the new clinic and made it possible.”

The clinic has reduced the typical waiting time significantly, due to the clinic being run by endocrinology specialists. Patients have the opportunity to meet the endocrinology specialist nurses, helping understand the reasons for the tests to be discussed, keeping them informed in all aspects of their treatment.

The specialist clinic is run on one day each week, and is expected to benefit around 300 patients a year.

From https://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/articles/specialist-unit-improve-endocrinology-care

📞 Webinar: Updates on Treating Hypothyroidism

 

Updates on Treating Hypothyroidism

Dr. Theodore Friedman will be giving a webinar on Updates on Treating Hypothyroidism.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • New articles showing patients prefer desiccated thyroid
  • New thyroid hormone preparations
  • Update on desiccated thyroid recalls
  • New article on why TSH is less important than thyroid hormone measurements
  • What is the difference between desiccated thyroid and synthetic thyroid hormones?
  • Is rT3 important?

Sunday • April 25• 6 PM PDT

Via Zoom Click here to join the meeting or
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4209687343?pwd=amw4UzJLRDhBRXk1cS9ITU02V1pEQT09
OR
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Slides will be available before the webinar and recording after the meeting at slides

      Meeting ID: 420 968 7343 Passcode: 111116
Your phone/computer will be muted on entry. There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button.
For more information, email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com

 

📞 Celebrate 20 Years-Pituitary Patient Support Group

Please Join Us to Celebrate 20 Years-Pituitary Patient Support Group. Saturday April 10, 2021: 9:00am-11:00am (PST) (Scroll below for Zoom meeting links)
We invite you to join the conversation with our experts: Pejman Cohan, neuro-endocrinologist & Daniel Kelly, neurosurgery. Email me or leave your questions in the chat below. We will answer as many questions as time allows.
We can’t wait to see you on Zoom!
Thank you, Sharmyn McGraw, patient advocate, community outreach. pituitarybuddy@hotmail.com
Meeting ID: 849 6356 9824
Passcode: 596170
Zoom: https:/zoom.us/join
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Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdgrvRLBP7

💉 Helpful Neurosurgeon: Pennsylvania

Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
March 03, 2021

Walter Jean, MD, has joined Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and will serve as Chief of Neurosurgery.

Jean is a board-certified neurosurgeon with expertise in complex intracranial surgery. He is known world-wide for his expertise in complex brain surgery. With nearly 20 years’ experience in both open and endoscopic skull base surgery, Jean has several clinical interests including acoustic neuromas, pituitary adenomas, skull base meningioma, intraventricular tumors, and trigeminal neuralgia. His acclaimed textbook, “Skull Base Surgery: Strategies,” is used by neurosurgeons across the globe to learn about open and endoscopic skull base surgery.

“I’m excited to join LVHN and continue to build on their solid foundation,” Jean says. “I hope to take LVHN Neurosurgery to the next level with robust clinical activity, research and innovation as well as education.”

As a pioneer, Jean utilizes virtual reality in neurosurgery.

“Virtual reality allows everyday people to fly to new lands in video games, augmented reality takes fighter pilots through scenarios training them for the unexpected,” Jean says. “Now brain surgeons and patients can also use these technologies to fly through the brain.”

Why is this so important? Jean says for those who find themselves in need of complex brain surgery, not only can they better visualize their upcoming procedure, their surgeon also gains additional insight. Jean is the only physician in the area using this groundbreaking technology.

“We meet hundreds of patients and explain to them our surgical plan,” Jean says. “That communication can be difficult at times. Once we have a patient’s brain scans loaded into the augmented reality software, they have the ability to see their own anatomy to gain a better understanding. When patients place the headset over their eyes, they are transported to a virtual replica of their own brain.”

The experience offers a visual explanation which is often easier to understand than medical terminology.

Another benefit of this leading-edge technology is that it allows brain surgeons create a surgery plan by simulating different scenarios to find the best approach. “The genesis of the technology is from air fighter pilots. The founders of the company discovered they could use the same technology in the medical field,” Jean says. “Just like fighter pilots, brain surgeons are able to practice unique scenarios to be fully prepared for their mission.”

Jean comes to LVHN from George Washington University Hospital, where he was a professor of neurological surgery. A native of Hong Kong, Jean attended Princeton University, where he graduated summa cum laude, and Cornell University Medical College, where he graduated at the top of his class and was elected Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical honor society. He completed neurosurgical training at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship in Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cincinnati.

Jean’s academic credentials includes being Program Director at Georgetown University for 7 years. He has authored numerous scholarly publications and has an international reputation as an energetic lecturer and passionate teacher of neurosurgery. Jean serves as reviewer for many high-impact journals such as the Journal of Neuro-Oncology, World Neurosurgery, Operative Neurosurgery, and Journal of Neurological Surgery, Part B. He is an active member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the North American Skull Base Society and serves frequently as faculty at their national meetings.

📞 Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccines for Endocrine Patient

 

Dr. Theodore Friedman will host a webinar on COVID-19 Vaccines for Endocrine Patients

Dr. Friedman will discuss topics including:

  • How do the vaccines work?
  • What did the New England Journal of Medicine article say about the Pfizer vaccine?
  • What are the different vaccine options?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Who should and shouldn’t get a vaccine?
  • What about Dr. Friedman’s vaccine studies?

Sunday • December 27 • 6 PM PST
Click here on start your meeting or
https://axisconciergemeetings.webex.com/axisconciergemeetings/j.php?MTID=m5085619c25d8a2417d9316b56fe7830b

OR
Join by phone: (855) 797-9485

      Meeting Number (Access Code): 177 542 2496 Your phone/computer will be muted on entry.
Slides will be available on the day of the talk here 
There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button. Meeting Password: pcos
For more information, email us at mail@goodhormonehealth.com

💉 Helpful Doctors: California

Dr. Daniel Kelly, a board certified neurosurgeon, is Director of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute and Professor of Neurosurgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Considered to be one of the best neurosurgeons in the US and a multiple recipient of the Patients’ Choice Award, Dr. Kelly is internationally recognized in the field of minimally invasive keyhole surgery for brain, pituitary and skull base tumors.

He has one of the world’s largest series in endonasal surgery with over 2000 procedures performed including over 800 endonasal endoscopic surgeries, and over 2000 craniotomies for brain and skull base tumors. His current surgical practice encompasses the full spectrum of brain and skull base tumors, both benign and malignant, treated with minimally invasive and conventional approaches.

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💉 Dr. Friedman: COVID-19 November 2020 update

 

Update November 22, 2020

I have not updated my patients on the COVID-19 pandemic since March. Since the last update and as of today’s date, 12.2 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and 256,000 Americans have died. Several of Dr. Friedman’s patients have been infected with COVID-19. Many businesses have closed and there have been major economic loses. The response to the pandemic has unfortunately been politicized and I say unfortunately because the virus doesn’t distinguish based on victim’s political party. Please see Dr. Friedman’s Letter in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/letters_to_the_editor/316110/letters-lockdown-vs-no-lockdown/.

Dr. Friedman completely supports efforts to limit the spread of the virus, including wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing and staying at home. Listening to government officials including the CDC is crucial. Dr. Friedman agrees with data showing gatherings are much safer outside and encourages his patients to err on the side of safety and caution. Dr. Friedman is spearheading efforts at Charles R. Drew University to be a site for a vaccine study and after some delays, it looks like his University will be a site for the Sanofi vaccine in December 2020. Dr. Friedman is very excited about the promising results from the Moderna and Pfizer trials and thinks vaccines along with mask-wearing and social distancing will curtail the pandemic, hopefully in the latter half of 2021. He does think that COVID-19 will be with us for a long time. Dr. Friedman anticipates that changes due to COVID-19, including telemedicine and working from home will remain with us after the pandemic subsides.

As mentioned in the March update, patients with endocrine problems such as Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s Disease, hypopituitarism and diabetes have slightly impaired immune systems, making them potentially susceptible for a more severe infection by COVID-19. He would recommend those patients to be especially vigilant about mask-wearing/social distancing and to get a vaccine when it comes out.

He advises his patients the following:

  • Wear masks, social distancing, handwashing and staying at home as much as possible
  • Use delivery services for groceries, food and medications.
  • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and/or use hand sanitizer several times a day
  • Avoid air travel, public gatherings and other public places as guided by local officials
  • Quarantine if sick or exposed.
  • Labcorp and Quest both introduced testing for COVID-19 using nasal swabs. Several other laboratories are also performing tests. Dr. Friedman recommends PCR testing and not rapid antigen testing. For those with symptoms of Coronavirus, he recommends seeing your primary care doctor for testing. Dr. Friedman is unable to provide requisitions or swabs for this testing that should be done by their primary doctor.
  • While Dr. Friedman was initially enthusiastic about antibody testing, he is concerned about the quality of the tests and no longer recommends it.
  • Labcorp and Quest are both still open and Quest has a new Peace of Mind program for lab services not related to COVID-19 and for patients who are 60 years of age or older, or have other conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19, in which patients can come to their nearby Quest location during the first hour of each day for VIP care.
  • Dr. Friedman encourages people to get their hormone testing done and make their followup appointments.
  • Many patients have requested extra supply of their medications. However, most insurances do not allow this and carefully monitor medication use. Dr. Friedman recommends patients to use a mail-order pharmacy and sign up for auto-refills so that they get a consistent supply of their medications.
  • Except for patients sick with COVID-19, patients should not up-dose hydrocortisone
  • Dr. Friedman has restarted in person visits on the last Tuesday of each month and continues to see patients via telemedicine on the other Tuesday nights. Please visit goodhormonehealth.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.
  • Dr. Friedman’s staff will still be doing in person growth hormone stimulation tests on Tuesday night in an isolated and sanitized clinic setting.
  • Dr. Friedman especially encourages patients to eat healthy and exercise (especially being outside) including walking, hiking, biking, aerobic videos yoga or pilates at home, during this stressful period.
  • Dr. Friedman encourages patients to get their flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine when available.
  • Everyone should pray that the pandemic ends soon.

Dr. Friedman wishes everyone to stay healthy