Rush Docs Sport Mustaches for Cancer Awareness

(Top row, from left) John Meyer, Preston Smith, Neal Khurana, Chris Wickman. (Middle) Dan Jeong, Kumar Madassery, Jack Laney, Paul Lewis. (Bottom) Nabeel Anwar, Christian Malalis, Mehmet Kocak, Ankur Patel. Photos by Lauren Anderson, Rush Photo Group.

Noticed a few more mustachioed medical staff members roaming the Rush corridors? It’s not your imagination. It’s Movember. On behalf of his fellow radiology residents (and a few attending physicians), Kumar Madassery, MD, explains:

All those men out there who have always had a mustache, and may feel slighted by us making mockery of a mustache, let me say we honor and are in awe of you fellow sirs. I don’t think anyone of us can go more than five minutes without feeling the itch or prickly spines of the lip grasses that we have been nurturing. Our hats go off to all of those who wear them all day, every day as part of their natural rugged good looks.

The reason for growing mustaches is that we need something to display our support and awareness of men’s cancers, specifically prostate and testicular cancer. In a sense, prostate cancer is the male version of breast cancer. Statistics from the National Cancer Institute show that between 2005 through 2009, approximately 155 out of every 100,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. To put that in perspective, the same institution reports in the same period about 124 per 100,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Men have a 16 percent lifetime risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately 28,170 men will die in 2012 from it.

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Employee Honored for Compassion, Professionalism

Christine Poe-Vasquez
Gail L. Warden Employee of the Year

When the Department of Radiology began distributing comment cards to patients more than a year ago, the department received more than 50 patient comments praising Christine Poe-Vasquez, a radiological technologist, for her compassion, kindness and professionalism.

“She motivates and inspires everyone she comes in contact with,” says Bryan Latham, supervisor of the 2011 Gail L. Warden Employee of the Year.

Poe-Vasquez is responsible for performing diagnostic X-rays and bone density scans, but for her, the job involves much more than performing tests for patients. It’s also about focusing on patients to understand and respond to their needs.

“When I approach patients, I observe their body language and ask how they’re feeling,” she says. “If they’re in a hurry for another appointment, I try to expedite the test. If they’re nervous, I try to slow down and explain every step of the process. I also keep the family members informed and involved.” Continue reading