Skip to main content

IUP, IRMC Continuing Rural Health Pulse Podcast with Dr. Dan Clark Discussing Breast Cancer Care

Community news | Friday, April 28, 2023

Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC)’s podcast, “Rural Health Pulse,” continues with an episode with Dr. Dan Clark, director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery and director of IRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center, presenting an overview of breast cancer medical education and care from IRMC.

The Rural Health Pulse podcast is available for free on Spotify and from the IRMC website. Monthly episodes will be released through August 2023.

The podcasts include professionals from IRMC and from IUP and is recorded by students in the IUP Department of Communications Media under the direction of communications faculty member Dr. Mark Piwinsky and produced by IUP Director of Strategic Partnerships Christina Koren. Dr. Jim Kinneer, IRMC Chief Human Resources Officer, serves as the host for the shows.

The podcasts are part of a continued collaboration between IUP and IRMC on the topic of rural health care, focusing on issues and stories impacting the health of the region and programs and initiatives designed to improve healthcare and wellness.

Dr. Clark, director of IRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center (CBC), has more than 25 years of breast cancer experience and more than 12 years of experience with genetic counseling. In this role, Dr. Clark serves as a breast surgeon as well as a genetic counselor.

The CBC provides patients comprehensive and compassionate care needed for total breast health. IRMC’s breast health team, including Dr. Clark, and his partner, breast surgeon Dr. Nazneen Billimoria, are among the most experienced in the region.

IRMC, in partnership with UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, is at the forefront of breast cancer diagnosis and cares for our patients every step of the way from prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), has granted three-year accreditation to IRMC; it was the first breast center in all of western Pennsylvania to obtain this national certification.

Dr. Clark’s wife, Dr. Margaret Clark, is also a board certified breast radiologist with more than 25 years of experience. She joined IRMC a little over a year ago and is the lead radiologist for the Women’s Imaging Center at IRMC.

The podcast launched in November in celebration of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17, 2022. Dr. Amanda Vaglia, family medicine physician and director of the IRMC Residency Program, was featured on the first episode of the series, discussing the residency program.

Episode two of the podcast features Dr. Narayanaswamy Bharathan, chair, IUP Department of Biology, and Jackie Sansig, IRMC director of Laboratory and Respiratory Services, discussing the evolution of the same-day COVID-19 testing process at IRMC by Dr. Bharathan, and the difference it made in patient care.

Episode three features Dr. Rick Adkins, professor of mathematics in the IUP Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, discussing the community wastewater surveillance system. Indiana Borough has had a sewer surveillance program with Biobot Analytics, Inc., since April 2020. Weekly flow samples are collected over a 24-hour period at the headwaters of the wastewater plant and sent to BioBot Analytics.

Episode four features Dr. Clark discussing robotics in surgery. Since coming to IRMC, Dr. Clark has been integral in IRMC’s successfully obtaining a second da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system. In summer 2022, IRMC’s robotic surgery team surpassed a milestone of 2,200 robotic surgeries performed in the hospital’s state-of-the-art operating rooms. IRMC offers robotic surgery in the areas of general surgery, bariatrics, gynecology, orthopedics, thoracic and (coming soon) urology. Dr. Clark serves as a national proctor for robotic surgery and plays an important role in certifying robotic skills competency.

IRMC’s five family medicine residents -- Dr. Nawar Al Janabi, of Baghdad, Iraq; Dr. Tanvi Bharathan, of Indiana; Dr. Mohit Chhatpar, of New York; Dr. Robin Rodriguez, of Corpus Christi, Texas; and Dr. Narinder Sangha, of California. – are featured on episode five of the podcast.

Upcoming episodes, all available on the last day of the month that they are scheduled to be released, are:

  • Steve Hovan, dean, IUP John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, discussing IUP’s Kopchick Hall, future home to the Kopchick College (May 2023, episode seven)
  • Wendy Haislip, IRMC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Pennsylvania rural health model and workforce challenges (June 2023, episode eight)
  • Erin Clark, clinic director at IUP’s Speech and Hearing Clinic and assistant professor in the IUP Department of Communication Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services, discussing the clinic’s community outreach (July 2023, episode nine)
  • Katie Donald, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Punxsutawey Area Hospital, discussing rural healthcare models and challenges (August 2023, episode 10)