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My name is Dr. Louis Avvento and I am an oncologist affiliated with Dr. Zuhoski and Dr. Sharma of Eastern Long Island Hematology/Oncology. Our practice has been taking care of “east enders” for the past 27 years. Dr. Zuhoski’s family is generations-deep on the North Fork. Dr. Sharma comes to us from Nassau County and has become part of this great community.

We have brought cutting-edge care and state-of-the-art oncology treatment to all the patients of the East End. We have been delivering and continue to deliver quality cancer care close to home. We provide all aspects of care including palliative care and In my opinion badgehospice services, which were developed and pioneered by local physicians and grass-roots services with board-certified specialists (like myself) paving the way since 1990. A local community hospital, Southampton Hospital, has developed a Comprehensive Breast Center with diagnostics and a dedicated breast surgeon, with plastic and reconstruction services as well as state-of-the-art radiation facilities (two in this area.) It is an all-inclusive cancer treatment program right here on the East End.

The hospitals have recruited thoracic and colorectal surgeons subspecializing in their respective fields for cancer and non-cancer surgeries. We also have a dedicated gynecologic oncologist for all gyn related cancers.

We have accomplished so much in 27 years and have brought the level of cancer care to a standard found in academic centers all across the country, right here in Riverhead. To say we lack cancer services and lack the ability to take care of our patients “close to home” is an insult and disingenuous to all of us who care for our patients.

The merger certainly was not because of the lack of these services, let that be perfectly clear.

I also must defend my colleagues in other specialties (cardiology, GI, endocrine, infectious disease, neurology, rheumatology, internal medicine/family, and my surgical colleagues, who perform their jobs to the highest standards of any academic institution.

To “trash” the local physicians who have provided years of dedicated service to all of us here is disrespectful and I must take issue with that. Call the merger  what it really is: a financial decision, plain and simple.

Louis J. Avvento, MD
Eastern Long Island Hematology/Oncology

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