World Pediatric Project Advances Neonatal Care in St. Vincent

Dr. Laurie Cuttino, an experienced radiation oncologist, treats patients at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and serves as an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Along with this work, Dr. Laurie Cuttino actively supports the World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit organization that provides medical aid to children and families around the world.

Among its numerous programs, the World Pediatric Project (WPP) has maintained a neonatal unit capacity-building program in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. The program has worked to advance neonatal care in St. Vincent’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since 2006, and initiated an on-site nursing consultancy in 2013. For eight months, a WWP volunteer and neonatal nurse provided daily input to physicians and nurses in St. Vincent’s NICU, which helped the unit implement sustainable solutions to its most pressing challenges.

The NICU is now prepared to diagnose and treat serious cases of jaundice, track newborns’ nutritional condition to determine action in the event of sickness, and effectively use a charting system to foster nurse-physician collaboration during clinical processes. Since concluding the nursing consultancy in 2014, the WPP has sustained ongoing communication with the NICU and regularly visits the unit to provide short-term assistance.

A Brief Introduction to Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

Dr. Laurie Cuttino, an associate professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Radiation Oncology, has several years of radiology experience. The author of numerous book chapters and papers for peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Laurie Cuttino is one of the nation’s experts in accelerated partial breast irradiation.

Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is a type of therapy for breast cancer that delivers a localized dose of radiation to a specific region surrounding the tumor. The procedure involves the insertion of a radioactive seed to the tumor site through a catheter. A high dose of radiation is then delivered twice a day for approximately one week. Treatments typically last around 10 minutes, with the seed being withdrawn upon completion of each treatment.

APBI is best for women who are at least 50 years old, and who have small tumors localized in the breast. They must also have clear margins and no lymph node involvement. The procedure confines radiation to the tumor cavity, which prevents it from affecting the rest of the body. It also improves patients’ quality of life and chances of breast preservation. APBI does have some side effects, including fatigue, scar tissue, radiation-related pain, and skin changes.

Cancer Treatments: Brachytherapy

A radiation oncologist and expert in brachytherapy, Dr. Laurie Cuttino treats patients with cancer through Henrico Doctor’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia. Brachytherapy works by placing radioactive material strategically in the body to shrink or eliminate cancerous tumors. When professionals like Dr. Laurie Cuttino carry out the procedure, they may rely on CT scanners or other imaging technologies to ensure that the material is inserted in the proper location.

Brachytherapy comes in several different types, including high-dose and low-dose options. The former is usually administered as an outpatient procedure and involves inserting radioactive materials into a patient for time periods of up to 20 minutes. The low-dose option takes longer to administer, because patients receive small amounts of radiation over hours and days; low-dose brachytherapy patients stay at the hospital over the course of their treatment.

Some patients may benefit from a third option, permanent brachytherapy, which entails permanently implanting material that emits low-dose radiation into the body. The amount of radiation given off by the material decreases over time.

Recent Impact 100 Richmond Grant Winners

An associate professor of radiation oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Laurie Cuttino also performs as a radiation oncologist who treats patients with various types of malignancies. Involved in her community, Dr. Laurie Cuttino supports Impact 100 Richmond.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Impact 100 Richmond operates as a woman-centered nonprofit organization dedicated to improving its community. Administrated by the Community Foundation, this entity makes grants to different organizations annually. Every year, 100 women donate $1,000 to put toward a mutually chosen nonprofit group in the realm of sustainability, arts and culture, health, or education.

Since 2009, Impact 100 Richmond has distributed $100,000 grants to multiple recipients. Its 2012 recipient, ART180, received 20 percent of its annual budget through the endeavor. The influx of funds allowed the group to create Atlas, a teen art center in the city’s Arts District, and the construction of Atlas further enabled ART180 to improve a historic community and provide youth in need with opportunities for skill and leadership development. The following year, Impact 100 Richmond provided money to the YWCA of Richmond for its programs to aid women who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. To learn how to apply during upcoming grant cycles, visit www.impact100rva.org.

World Pediatric Project – Three Ways to Get Involved

Radiation oncologist Dr. Laurie Cuttino is supporter of the World Pediatric Project, a global organization devoted to improving the quality of life of at-risk children, their families, and their communities. Members such as Dr. Laurie Cuttino help the organization in a number of ways.

Here are three ways to get involved with the World Pediatric Project:

1. Volunteer. One of the best ways to help the project, volunteering covers a broad spectrum of services. Volunteers can help with anything from providing emotional support for children and their families to sorting goods donated for those families.

2. Host a party. This is a fun way to help the World Pediatric Project. Party hosts can choose a theme, and the organization will provide the materials. To learn more about hosting a party for the World Pediatric Project, contact Marcia Collier at mcollier@worldpediatricproject.org.

3. Become a sponsor. Individuals and businesses can build partnerships with the World Pediatric Project by becoming sponsors.