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Mel Pohl, MD of Las Vegas Recovery Center Named one of Nation's Best Doctors!

Mel Pohl, MD of Las Vegas Recovery Center Named one of Nation's Best Doctors!

Congratulations are in order for Mel Pohl, MD, who has been named to the 2011-2012 Best Doctors in America List! The list is the result of polling of 45,000 US physicians. Only 5% of physicians earn a spot on this list, and in this case it is Dr. Pohl's second inclusion! Dr. Pohl is a addiction medicine physician at the Las Vegas Recovery Center.

Cancer Treatment Comes Back to UMC

LAS VEGAS -- The Nevada Cancer Institute and University Medical Center have joined forces to open up brand new state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility.

The 13,000 square foot facility will resume the cancer treatments that were suspended in 2008 due to budget cuts. That's mostly outpatient chemotherapy.

But with the new facility, new services such as radiation therapy are slated to begin in 2011. The facility will also serve as a training ground for residents in doing their oncology rotations.

When it comes to the patients, the director of the Nevada Cancer Institute, Dr. Jack Ruckdeschel, says the facility is now totally integrated.

"Patients, when they come here, again, totally transparent to them they go from our facility and our physicians. They go to UMC for x-rays and blood tests and they go back over here and back and forth and to the patient, they're just in one facility," he said.

MountainView Hospital Announces $34 Million Expansion

LAS VEGAS -- MountainView Hospital has announced a $34 million expansion and renovation. The project will begin in early 2011.

The expansion will expand the emergency room to add 20 more beds, a brand new triage area to help patients be quickly assessed, a new ambulance entrance, and new equipment. A renovation will be also made to the 72-bed surgical unit.

"Despite difficult economic times and increased competition, we are committed to meeting the needs of our community and will continue to innovate and grow. Through this expansion we will be able to provide additional space, services and technology to care for our patients," said CEO Will Wagnon, MountainView Hospital.

Hep C Victims Watched Court Case Closely

LAS VEGAS -- Michael Washington watched last week's hepatitis C jury verdict with great interest. In 2007, he was the first hepatitis patient genetically linked to Doctor Dipak Desai's endoscopy clinic.

For three years in a row, Washington's court date to hold somebody liable for the virus he contracted has been pushed back. He's glad Henry Chanin has justice, but wonders if he'll still be around to ever have justice of his own.

Washington's retirement years are one long struggle with the seemingly unstoppable health decline of hepatitis C. Washington was one of several patients who contracted hepatitis C from the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada in 2007. Investigators say syringes were re-used by Doctor Desai's staff.

A jury awarded hepatitis C patient Henry Chanin $500 million from drug companies Teva and Baxter Pharmaceuticals, a verdict Washington's attorney Ed Bernstein followed closely.

Allergy Sufferers Find Relief in Shot Therapy

LAS VEGAS -- The windy weather is making allergy sufferers miserable as it blows pollen around the valley. Instead of enjoying the warm weather, allergy sufferers are sneezing, itching their eyes and battling fatigue.

There's relief and not just in form of pills. More people are opting for allergy shots. One local specialist says allergy shots are becoming more popular. Life is much different for Shawn Vogann than it was just a few years ago. His asthma and allergies were so bad he'd wind up in the hospital five or six times a year.

"You can't breathe. You can't get enough air in and flu like symptoms sometimes," said Vogann.

A windy day would force Vogann to stay indoors hiding from the pollen in the air. That misery continued until he started getting allergy shots. He then began to notice a difference in a matter of weeks.

Trial of Former UMC Director Begins

LAS VEGAS -- The trial is underway in the felony theft and misconduct trial of the former director of UMC.

Lacy Thomas is accused of steering contracts to friends and associates after he was hired in 2004. Prosecutors say Thomas' activities cost the county millions of dollars at the financially-troubled county-run hospital

Thomas was fired in 2007 and charged afterwards. The jury started hearing testimony Tuesday.

During their opening statement, the prosecution outlined five contracts they say Thomas gave to his Chicago business buddies. The DA says Thomas paid his friends companies taxpayer dollars to do work that county employees could have done for no extra charge. Thomas allegedly lied to detectives when they confronted him about these allegations.

I-Team: Consensus Met on UMC

LAS VEGAS -- Recent bickering over the current and future operations of university Medical Center ended with a consensus late Thursday.

Clark County Commissioners voted unanimously to take the first step toward transforming UMC into an academic medical center.

In recent weeks, commissioners have clashed publicly over the proposal. But it seems at least some reservations dissolved in the back room. The commission voted unanimously to move forward with the proposal.

The vote formalizes a partnership between UMC and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Going forward, the trustees plan to hire consultants to examine UMC's operations and to explore exactly how to evolve from a financially strapped county hospital into a world class medical center.

Former Chancellor Jim Rogers, tapped by the commission to examine the possibilities, told commissioners it will be at a minimum a 10 year process.