Health Care

Russian Physicians Visit Joanie Abdu Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A delegation of Russian physicians visited the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center to tour the facility and learn how health care is delivered in the United States.

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Boardman, the delegation was accompanied by Dr. Howard Mettee, professor emeritus at Youngstown State University. It included three oncologists, a radiologist and officials from two Russian medical universities.

The itinerary for the group’s Oct. 17 visit included sitting in on the breast cancer conference, a weekly meeting where surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and radiologists discuss breast cancer cases diagnosed the past week and determine an individualized course of treatment for each patient.

Following the discussion, the American physicians invited the Russian physicians to explain how they would treat each patient, fostering an open exchange of ideas, reported Juli Dulay, manager of the Abdu Breast Care Center.

Dr. Carl Peterson, a radiation oncologist with Mercy Health, Dr. David J. Gemmel, director of medical education, and Dr. Jawad Francis, medical oncologist, also met with the visiting physicians to discuss various cancer treatments, research and immunotherapies.

The Russians “were very interested in how we deliver care, standards and regulations, and in how care is paid for – either by insurance or self-pay,” Dulay said. “They were also very interested in the technology. Some of it they were familiar with but some things, like molecular breast imaging, were completely foreign to them.”

They were most impressed with “the time our physicians were willing to spend with them explaining how we deliver care and sharing ideas,” she added.

“The visiting physicians were very curious,” Dr. Rashid Abdu, who founded the center and accompanied the delegation on its tour, said.

“They were taking pictures of everything and were very interested in seeing everything, hearing everything and learning as much as they could so they can apply it in their own country,” he continued. “That would be the greatest thing that could happen as a result of this visit, that we can share what we have here with women who are so far away. Women in Russia deserve no less than what we have right here.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.