Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center recently launched a Cardio-Oncology Program providing cancer patients and survivors access to cardiology and oncology specialists and advanced imaging services. L. Steven Zukerman, M.D., FACC, serves as medical director of the program, designed to minimize the impact of cancer treatments on patients’ hearts and provide continuing cardiac care to cancer survivors. The program was funded in part through a gift of $500,000 from one of Dr. Zukerman’s grateful patients, given to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation.
“As cancer treatments have evolved over the years, cancer survival has improved, which is of course a good thing, but the new forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause lasting damage to the heart,” said Dr. Zukerman. “Our multidisciplinary program provides patients with seamless and expert care as we monitor and protect their hearts before, during, and after cancer treatment.”
A range of patients can be treated and monitored through the cardio-oncology program. They include patients who will begin chemotherapy or radiation therapy and have risk factors for heart disease or are being treated for heart disease. Patients who are experiencing cardiac symptoms or complications during cancer therapy are also candidates for the program, this includes high-blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and heart arrhythmias. Screening for radiation-induced coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and pericardial disease is also provided.
“This comprehensive and integrated program is one of only a few available in New Jersey,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “I’m grateful we are able to provide our community this specialized care for patients receiving cancer treatment as well as cancer survivors.”
Cancer patients currently receiving treatment receive regular heart function assessments. Patients who are cancer survivors, including those who received cancer treatment as children, are monitored for heart disease risk and if needed, receive continuing medical care to maintain heart function.
Dr. Zukerman is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and completed his internal medicine internship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. He completed his internal medicine residency, cardiology fellowship, and his clinical cardiac electrophysiology trainings at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.
“As an accomplished physician and pioneer in cardio-oncology research and education, Dr. Zukerman is the ideal specialist to lead our academic medical center’s new program,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, Hackensack Meridian Health regional president, southern market.
To make an appointment at the program’s office in the HOPE Tower, 1st Floor, on the Jersey Shore University Medical Center campus, 19 Davis Ave., Neptune, NJ, or for more information about the program, call 732-776-4519.
From left, is Lance Berger, M.D., director of echocardiography; Brian Walch, MS, PT, MBA, vice president, Clinical Services/Operations; Dr. Zukerman, and Mahim Kapoor, M.D., assistant director, Cardio-Oncology Program.