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May 24, 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Joyce Brennan
Public Information Officer
Southcoast Health System
Phone: 508-961-5270
Fax: 508-961-5876
Pager: 508-387-9605
[email protected]
Southcoast Hospitals Group announces partnership with University
Pathologists LLC
Specialty pathology group provides Southcoast Hospitals with an academically aligned
level of service
NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Hospitals Group has teamed up with University
Pathologists LLC allowing access to pathology services that were previously only offered by
outside referral. The partnership offers patients academic level expertise with a quicker
turnaround time for results.
“Pathologists are a critical link to the three Southcoast Hospitals, Southcoast Centers
for Cancer Care and the Southcoast physician practices,” said Ralph Ito, PhD, MCLS,
Administrative Director of Laboratory & Pathology at Southcoast. “The presence of this
specialized pathology group at Southcoast Hospitals offers patients efficient pathology results
with a fast turnaround time that reduces anxiety for the patient.”
University Pathologists provides a competitive turnaround time of 24 to 72 hours.
Complex cases that require additional ancillary studies may take longer.
“Our partnership with Southcoast provides physicians with the highest level of service
and expertise by standardizing all polices and procedures for laboratory and pathology
practices,” said Jila Khorsand, MD, Co-Chair of the Department of Pathology & Laboratory
Medicine for Southcoast Hospitals.
A critical “behind-the-scenes” link
Pathology is generally a “hidden” field of medicine as pathologists do not have direct
contact with patients and they tend to work behind the scenes. However, pathologists are the
critical link between doctors and their patients and can enhance the quality of care patients
Pathology is the study of disease and diagnosis by looking at tissue, blood, urine and
other bodily fluids that may be diseased or in question. When a physician takes a biopsy or
receives a specimen, it is then sent to a lab where it is analyzed by a pathologist, a physician
who specializes in this field. The pathologist is the one who makes the final diagnosis and, if
necessary, consults with the patient’s physician to discuss the optimal method of treatment for
the patient.
“Working together we can cover the whole range of pathology while focusing on our
own areas of expertise,” said Mirela Stancu, MD, a gastrointestinal pathologist with the group.
“Having this level of expertise available in the labs at Southcoast Hospitals is a great benefit to
our communities and our physicians. It also avoids additional expense, delay and possibly
another anesthesia because many specimens will be processed at Southcoast Hospitals.”
The group also has a physician liaison to work closely with all area physicians.
“The availability of this level of pathology subspecialty at the community hospital level
is a very unique concept. We can offer a community hospital the same level of pathology
service that you would find at an academic institution,” said Erin O’Leary, MD, a pathologist
with University Pathologists.
University Pathologist LLC is a full-service pathology group operating out of 11
hospitals in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to provide a more specialized and
academically aligned level of pathology service to the South Coast region. The group covers six
subspecialties and employs more than 30 pathologists who have been trained in both general
and specialized areas of pathology. With a staff of pathologists who are board certified in
anatomical and clinical pathology, University Pathologists offers Southcoast Hospitals access
to pathology service that were previously only been offered by outside referral.
This year, University Pathologists will handle more than 100,000 surgical cases and
50,000 cytology specimens. All pathology departments associated with University Pathologists
are accredited by the College of American Pathologists and The Joint Commission. More
information about University Pathologists is available at
About Southcoast Health System & Southcoast Hospitals Group
Southcoast Health System is a community based health delivery system with multiple
access points, offering an integrated continuum of health services throughout Southeastern
Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes the three hospitals that make up
Southcoast Hospitals Group — Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in
New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham.
Southcoast provides advanced clinical services, such as open heart surgery, angioplasty
and heart rhythm services, comprehensive cancer care, neurosurgery, weight loss surgery,
orthopedic surgery and advanced imaging services and is the only provider of maternity services
in the region. Southcoast is a not-for-profit charitable organization that depends on the support of
the community to provide services.
More information is available online at
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