Ghanaian Doctor appointed Medical Director in the US
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The new medical director of Presbyterian Healthcare Services Cancer Care is overseeing a program that is expanding to meet patient needs.
Oncology and hematology specialist Dr. Bernard Agbemadzo brings an array of international experience to the role he took over in January from his mentor, the former medical director Dr. Mitchell Binder.
“Our goal,” said Agbemadzo, “Is to provide the best cancer care in New Mexico.”
Born and raised in Ghana, a West African country of about 25 million between Ivory Coast and Togo, Agbemadzo earned a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery at University of Science and technology School of Medical Sciences in Kumasi, one of the country’s largest cities. He completed internships in pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology at a major teaching hospital in Kumasi.
He then landed a scholarship to study microbiology for two years in Germany at the prestigious Robert Koch Institute, a medical research institution in Berlin. He returned to his home country and practiced there for a short period. In 1995, he came to the U.S. at the urging of his brother, also a physician, who was already working in this country.
Agbemadzo did a three-year internship followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County (formerly Cook County Hospital), Ill.
After completing this training he landed a position with Lovelace Health System working with Binder.
He and Binder came to Presbyterian Healthcare Services in 2007, shortly after Presbyterian teamed up with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center of Houston to provide oncology services at Presbyterian’s Kaseman Hospital in the Northeast Heights.
Binder, a board certified medical oncologist and hematologist, was the medical director of Presbyterian’s cancer care program until December and he is still helping Agbemadzo with the transition.
“So he’s been my mentor since I graduated from fellowship,” Agbemadzo said.
Agbemadzo is excited about the new facilities at the Ted and Margaret Jorgensen Cancer Center at Presbyterian Medical Center in Rio Rancho which opened in late February. The new facility gives residents of Rio Rancho and the West Side access to services that have been available for many years at Kaseman hospital and Presbyterian Hospital downtown, which he also oversees.
Treatment services at these locations include radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. The design of the new cancer center incorporates input from a patient advisory council, giving patients more privacy when they undergo the lengthy chemotherapy infusion sessions. Agbemadzo said Presbyterian wants to expand surgical services available for cancer patients.
Agbemadzo is particularly proud of the Nurse Navigator services that Presbyterian offers.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they are overwhelmed, they are confused, they don’t know where to access services,” Agbemadzo said, “We have nurses dedicated to the various disease types, such as breast cancer, liver cancer. Once a patient is diagnosed the navigator helps them set up appointments and guides them through treatment stage by stage.”
By Rosalie Rayburn / Journal Staff Writer/https://www.abqjournal.com