As the retired CEO of West Pharmaceutical Services, Don Morel is keenly aware of the importance of investing in strong infrastructure and cutting-edge diagnostic technology. With a leadership gift to ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health, his generous support will strengthen Doylestown Hospital’s ability to continue to offer the very latest in medical imaging technology. Doylestown Health Foundation recently spoke with Don about his philanthropic interests.
Q. How did you first become acquainted with Doylestown Health?
A few years ago, I was an orthopedic patient and had multiple joint replacement surgeries and rehab at Doylestown Hospital. When I gauge hospital quality, I always look at nursing staff. The team involved in my care had the right level of attentiveness and took a unique approach to every patient and their needs. My wife also had a very positive patient experience as well.
Q. What interests you about the Radiology program? Why did you choose to support it?
Great medicine begins with great diagnostics. If we can help with that on the front end, then it is a benefit to every patient, no matter what the disease. My father was a radiologist and chief of nuclear medicine in Allentown, so I learned the importance of diagnostics early on. As an engineer, I appreciate the incredible innovation taking place in medical imaging.
I was also extremely impressed with Dr. Bill Corse and his team. Their skill and expertise are on par with academic medical centers. The expertise of team members and physicians at Doylestown Health is a tribute to the way the medical staff recruits.
Q. What do you hope is achieved through your gift?
I chose to make a gift that will support the acquisition of the next generation 1.5T MRI scanner and help outfit the facility for this new equipment and technology. This equipment will make a big impact for every patient, especially those who have trouble tolerating long studies.
Radiology supports orthopedics, women’s health, general surgery—every facet of patient care. Accurate medical imaging is one of the inputs that has an astounding impact on the quality of a patient’s outcome. Doylestown is unique for a hospital in a community setting, and the diagnostics here are proof you can get high-quality care not just at an academic medical center but close to home, too. I am fortunate to be in a position to support something that will benefit a broad range of patients in the community.
Widely considered as one of the greatest advances of the last century, medical imaging is essential to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions. With state-of-the-art technology, radiologists today explore the human body with lifesaving accuracy. At Doylestown Health, philanthropic gifts support the acquisition of the latest technology and image-guided treatments, improving outcomes for patients every day.
Both the origins of Doylestown Health and modern radiology date back to 1895. That same year, two innovators launched their groundbreaking ideas. German physics professor Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered the X-ray, a breakthrough innovation (for which the first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded). Within a few months, fourteen women sat in Mrs. Richard Watson’s parlor in Doylestown to discuss a simple, yet groundbreaking concept to address community health concerns. This meeting launched the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown (VIA), founders of Doylestown Hospital. While worlds apart, both Roentgen and Watson’s visionary ideas continue to transform healthcare delivery today.
Radiology is the “hands of medicine,” said William Corse, DO, of Doylestown Radiology Associates. “Not long ago, many conditions that are now diagnosed with medical imaging would have required exploratory surgery or a physician would have had to make an educated guess,” he continued. Now, the current tools and technology “allow us to manipulate the algorithms and data with such precision that when we perform scans of the abdomen for patients with a chronic illness like Crohn’s disease, we can determine within 2 millimeters which sections are inflamed and also distinguish acute versus chronic damage. This allows us to determine the least invasive pathway to treat the patient,” notes Dr. Corse. “With our diagnostic capabilities, our patients benefit because we can offer the most personalized and least invasive treatment options.”
Doylestown Health provides a comprehensive range of advanced imaging services and a level of expertise more often found in academic medical centers. Common types of imaging include X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission topography (PET) scans, mammography, and ultrasound. Since he arrived at Doylestown Health twenty years ago, Dr. Corse and his colleagues have championed advancements that established Doylestown Health as a leader in medical imaging in the community setting and among institutions much larger.
Physicians and surgeons across Doylestown Health rely “heavily on diagnostic imaging,” says James McClurken, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon. “Dr. Corse and his entire team—from interventional radiologists to technicians—are truly passionate about our patients and achieving the best outcomes through their imaging studies,” he says. “They have significant experience and are at the forefront of the most current technologies,” he continues. “The quality of the medical imaging elevates and enhances patient care for my department and every department across Doylestown Health.”
According to Dr. McClurken, “we have a uniquely collaborative team at Doylestown Health. Our multidisciplinary cardiac conferences are essential to great outcomes for patients.” Sharing that view is Craig Kesack, MD, of Doylestown Radiology Associates, who performs CT imaging examinations as part of the planning process for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedures. “The CT exam is the most accurate way of determining the size needed for placement of the aortic valve and is also valuable for imaging the patient’s leg artery, ensuring that the catheter can advance through the arteries and into the aorta,” says Dr. Kesack. “Through CT, we can anticipate potential complications so that the interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons can plan strategies to minimize the risk of complications,” he shared.
Having the right technology in place is “another essential tool,” notes Dr. Kesack. “Our-state-of-the-art CT scanner provides us with excellent images prior to TAVR. In fact, we have performed CT scans for another local healthcare institution as part of their program, because of the excellent quality of our images,” he continued.
The acquisition of a new stereotactic breast biopsy unit is another way Doylestown Health “demonstrates a deep commitment to women’s health,” shares Michele Kopach, MD, Director, Women’s Diagnostics Center. With the highest patient volume per square foot in the hospital, Women’s Diagnostics performs more than 24,000 mammography scans per year. “Our digital mammography capabilities allow us to screen more patients with greater accuracy,” says Dr. Kopach. “With a 3-D mammogram (breast tomosynthesis), we use X-rays to collect multiple images of the breast to form a 3-D image. This is particularly important for women with dense breast tissue, as it is more challenging to see abnormalities. With breast tomosynthesis we can see more detail, almost like flipping through the pages of a book rather than seeing the book as a whole,” she continues. “We are giving women accurate results faster which helps alleviate anxiety and gets treatment started sooner.”
One morning two years ago, Angie Whitlock could barely lift her arm over her head. The pain in her shoulder had steadily increased until it became debilitating. The pain “was impacting my daily life and making it difficult to lift my grandchildren and do my job,” she recalls. As an ultrasound technologist at Doylestown Hospital for the last fourteen years, “solving this issue was critical to getting back to performing ultrasounds,” she shared. Working alongside Kevin Fillmore, MD, of Doylestown Radiology Associates on a daily basis, “I was keenly aware of the caliber of physician right here in Doylestown,” Angie noted. “I would not have gone anywhere else for my care. Dr. Fillmore quickly identified the issue as calcified tendinitis, which was a large calcium deposit in my rotator cuff. He used guided ultrasound to inject steroids which completely solved the problem.”
Dr. Fillmore utilizes an array of diagnostic imaging for musculoskeletal disorders, including X-ray, arthography, ultrasound, CT, MRI, and nuclear medicine. “Ultrasound imaging allows us to both make a diagnosis and treat the patient using ultrasound guided therapeutic injections for a variety of disorders, such as tendinitis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and others,” says Dr. Fillmore.
Angie credits her colleague with her complete recovery. “Because of Dr. Fillmore, I’m pain-free and able to continue working in this incredible department and also help other patients facing similar diagnoses,” she shared. “I am so grateful to be here.”
“Every time I enter the MRI suite and see their names on the plaque I smile,” says Dr. Corse of Al and Marie Brown, who, along with others, made generous philanthropic investments that secured the acquisition of the state-of-the-art 3T MRI at Doylestown Health. “The 3T MRI has had a major impact for our patients. Because of the innovative ambient lighting and sound features, patients have more control over the testing environment. When patients feel more in control, it makes them more relaxed and less likely to move. Since motion is the enemy of a good scan,” he notes, “this has made an incredible difference.”
“We are about to see the release of a ‘third wave’ of imaging technology” shares Dr. Corse. “Because of the generosity of local philanthropists Don and Lauren Morel, we will be able to acquire the next generation technology as soon as it is available.” The new 1.5T MRI will be quieter, have better control for motion and increase scan speeds by 50 percent. “For patients who are extremely sick or have challenges tolerating or remaining still for scans due to dementia, for example, we can get clearer scans with a higher quality image in less time, making it a better experience for patients,” he said.
“We are deeply grateful to Don and Lauren for their investment in the One Vision campaign that will ensure our patients have access to the most innovative technology,” acknowledges Jim Brexler, President and CEO. “Gifts like these will impact every patient in this hospital and are truly extraordinary” he said.
As the philanthropic arm of Doylestown Health, the Doylestown Health Foundation raises funds to safeguard the future of excellence in patient care and improves the quality of life for all members of our Central Bucks County community and beyond.
Continuous advancement in medical imaging has established Doylestown Health’s program as a leader in diagnostics and treatment. Doylestown Health holds distinctions as an Accredited Facility by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in Computed Tomography (CT), MRI and Ultrasound. The ACR also designated Doylestown Health as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Doylestown Health Radiology is proud of its many firsts. Highlights include:
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