Nanticoke Physician Network expands

September 29, 2011

Having enough physicians in different specialties available to provide access to health care can be challenging for rural communities such as Western Sussex County.  Nanticoke Health Services has made a commitment to make access to health care a high priority.   The goal, to provide residents access to health information and preventative medicine to keep them healthy longer and to allow Sussex County patients to stay closer to home, and to their families, when they are ill.

In fact, just this year, the Nanticoke Physician Network has expanded to include a number of new physicians.  Dr. Madan Joshi and Dr. Ever Luizaga joined the practice of Dr. Muhammad Athar to expand Critical Care and Pulmonary services, which includes caring for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorders (COPD), Asthma, Pulmonary Vascular Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension, and Lung Disease.  Dr. Luizaga also provides services in Sleep Medicine including diagnosis and treatment of Sleep Apnea and Insomnia.  Dr. Ziyad Wadi, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, joined Dr. Ronald Concha-Parra to provide services to diagnosis and treat abdominal pain, gastric ulcers, and GERD.  Dr. Wadi will also be performing capsule endoscopy.  

Nanticoke has also set a goal to provide increased access to care for women’s health needs.  This includes the addition of Dr. Christine Hannaway, General Surgery, Dr. Francisco Padilla, Endocrinology, and Dr. Elizabeth Kornfield, Urology.  The Nanticoke Physician Network is more equipped than ever to handle a wide variety of women’s health issues.    Following are a few health issues our physicians have identified that are common among women.


Menopause – “the life change” - is a normal part of aging.  

Perimenopause occurs when the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and usually occurs in women during their 40’s.  During perimenopause women may experience hot flashes, breast tenderness, fatigue, decreased sex drive, irregular periods, urinary incontinence, mood swings, or difficultly sleeping.    




Perimenopause can last a few months or several years, but averages about four years.   Once a woman has stopped having her menstrual period for a year, she is considered to be in menopause.  Her body no longer releases eggs or produces estrogen.  She can experience continued or increased symptoms during menopause.

Every woman is different, and may experience symptoms differently.  A blood test to check your hormones can help determine if you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause.  Your gynecologist can help you develop ways to manage your symptoms.  Managing your symptoms may include a multi-pronged approach to your diet, exercise or medication.





The thyroid is a gland located in the front of your neck that produces hormones that regulate your metabolism.  Several diseases can affect the thyroid and make it produce too much or too little of the thyroid hormones.  These hormones affect every organ in your body including your heart rate and your body temperature.   Too much or too little affects your energy level and your mood.  This happens more often in women and causes a wide range of symptoms.  Other very common problems of the thyroid include thyroid nodules; in fact is the most common endocrine problem in the US.   These are abnormal growth of thyroid cell into lumps.


  • Hypothyroidism occurs when too little of the thyroid hormones are produced.  Symptoms experienced often include being tired, sluggish or depressed.  You may also experience unexplained weight gain or chills that are out of the ordinary.  Hypothyroidism is more common than hyperthyroidism and is more common in older women.

  • Hyperthyroidism occurs when too much of the thyroid hormones are produced.  Symptoms experienced often include being “revved-up”, having unexplained weight loss, or being overly anxious or irritable.

  • Thyroid nodules are very common, they can be single or multiple, and some can produce excess of hormones. Most of them are benign but up to 5 % can be cancerous. Having family history of thyroid cancer, older age, history of radiation to head or neck can increase that risk. Most can be diagnosed by routine physical examination but some can only be diagnosed by ultrasound. Most of the nodules do not cause symptoms but if there are big enough they can produce hoarseness, difficulty swallowing or breathing. In order to determine if a nodule is cancer or not some nodules will need to undergo a fine needle aspiration biopsy.


Your physician can usually diagnose a thyroid disorder with a simple blood test.  An endocrinology physician specializes in the endocrine system which manages the body’s hormones and metabolism.   







Urinary Incontinence is a loss of bladder control.  Millions of Americans have urinary incontinence but it occurs twice as often in women and about one half of older women have some form of incontinence.  Some common conditions include:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence: unplanned release of urine often occurring when you cough, sneeze, lift, run or laugh; caused by muscles and tissues that support the urethra (the tube that carries urine) that have become weak.

  • Urge Incontinence:  sudden urgent need to urinate even when your bladder is almost empty; this, like an overactive bladder, is usually caused by spasms of the bladder muscle.

While not a life threatening condition, incontinence can be disruptive to your work, your exercise plan and your social life.  The good news is that you don’t have to live with it.  There are treatments available that range from managing your incontinence through diet and exercise changes to medications and surgery depending on your condition.  But the first step is to get diagnosed.






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