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Rural Health Pulse Podcast by IUP and IRMC Continues with Episode on IRMC Medical Residents, Available March 31

Community news | Thursday, March 30, 2023

Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Indiana Regional Medical Center (IRMC)’s podcast, “Rural Health Pulse,” continues with an episode introducing IRMC’s medical residents and featuring interviews with them about their experience as a medical resident.

IRMC’s Rural Family Medicine Residency Program officially started July 1, 2022. IRMC’s resident physicians were chosen from a pool of roughly 600 applicants.

The resident physicians are Dr. Nawar Al Janabi, of Baghdad, Iraq; Dr. Tanvi Bharathan, of Indiana, PA; Dr. Mohit Chhatpar, of New York; Dr. Robin Rodriguez, of Corpus Christi, Texas; and Dr. Narinder Sangha, of California.

The resident physicians will work with and report to an attending physician as they learn and practice family medicine over the next three years. This will benefit patients, who will get access to two physicians for the price of one, according to IRMC Residency Program Director and Family Medicine Physician Dr. Amanda Vaglia.

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

IRMC’s Family Medicine Residents -- Dr. Al Janabi, Dr. Bharathan, Dr. Chhatpar, Dr. Rodriguez, and Dr. Sangha -- are featured on this episode.

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 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.

The podcast launched in November in celebration of National Rural Health Day on Nov. 17, 2022. Dr. Vaglia 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. Dan Clark, director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery and director of IRMC’s Comprehensive Breast Center, discussing robotics in surgery.

Dr. Clark joined IRMC’s medical staff in 2018. Since that time, he 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.

Dr. Clark will also be a guest on episode six of the podcast (available April 30), discussing breast cancer.

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)
  • Wendy Haislip, IRMC Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Pennsylvania rural health model and workforce challenges (June 2023)
  • 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)
  • Katie Donald, Marketing and Public Relations Specialist at Punxsutawney Area Hospital, discussing rural healthcare models and challenges (August 2023)