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Dwight Heron, M.D.

Dwight Heron, M.D.

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center And Conemaugh Health System Collaborate To Provide State-Of-The-Art Cancer Care

PITTSBURGH, October 27, 2005 — Leaders from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and Conemaugh Health System today announced plans to collaborate to provide state-of-the-art radiation oncology care to patients in Johnstown and throughout Cambria and Somerset counties. The partnership, collectively named the John P. Murtha Regional Cancer Center, will offer outpatient radiation oncology services at the John P. Murtha Cancer Pavilion located at 337 Somerset St. in downtown Johnstown.

The partnership is part of a network of 43 UPMC Cancer Centers that serves more than 36,000 cancer patients each year across the tri-state region. As an affiliated program of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients also have access to the latest clinical trials and support services.

“This partnership serves as a unique model for the community-based delivery of cancer care and will work in tandem with the nearly 2,100 physicians, scientists, administrative staff and health care professionals dedicated to advancing cancer care at UPCI and the UPMC Cancer Centers,” said Dwight Heron, M.D., director of radiation oncology, UPMC Cancer Centers.

“Conemaugh is very excited about this new collaboration,” said Scott Becker, president and CEO of Conemaugh Health System. “This partnership will allow us to provide the most comprehensive cancer care available right in the communities we serve, enhancing our unique connection to patients, families and the community at large.”

Radiation services provided as part of the partnership include an advanced form of radiation therapy called intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT. IMRT precisely targets radiation to the shape and thickness of a tumor to treat cancer cells while minimizing the dose of radiation received by healthy tissues that surround the tumor. This results in fewer adverse side effects for patients undergoing treatment and can significantly improve quality of life for patients receiving IMRT compared to those receiving standard radiation therapy.

The Conemaugh Health System is the third largest health care provider in southwestern Pennsylvania with more than 4,000 employees serving about 500,000 patients each year. Through its member hospitals, the Conemaugh Health System offers a continuum of care and highly specialized services with an emphasis on nationally recognized clinical excellence and patient satisfaction.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is the leading integrated delivery system for health care in Pennsylvania. UPMC is dedicated to providing exemplary patient care, educating the next generation of health care professionals and advancing biomedical research. UPMC includes primary care and specialist physician practices, rehabilitation services, in-home services, retirement living options, a mail-order pharmacy, occupational medicine services, durable medical devices, technology transfer ventures and international health care initiatives.

For more information about the UPMC Cancer Centers, call the Cancer Information and Referral Service at 412-647-2811 or visit the Web site at .

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