Prestigious award for NEPA oncologist

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – When physicians obtain their medical license they vow to make the health and well-being of their patients their first consideration. But some doctors take that pledge to a greater level. Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller tells us about one such doctor who was honored Tuesday with a prestigious award.

During a ceremony at Geisinger Wyoming Valley on Tuesday, Pennsylvania Medical Society Membership Liaison Janet Thompson said, “Thank you very much for your service. Thank you very much for your dedication.” She directed her praise to Geisinger Oncologist Raghava Reddy Levaka Veera, MD. He received the ‘Everyday Hero’ award from the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

“I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my team,” said Dr. Levaka Veera to a room filled with his peers. One patient who’s particularly proud of him is Carol Ferrell of Dushore. “It’s the whole thing and the way he’s acted with me from day one.”

After she was diagnosed in 2016 with lung cancer, Ms. Ferrell says Dr. Levaka Veera investigated alternative treatments besides standard methods which have proven effective. “What suits the patient best is what makes him so special and the kindness that he shows but his knowledge is unbelievable,” she said.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society is used to hospital administrators nominating doctors for the ‘Everyday Hero’ award. But having a patient be the one behind it really stood out according to Ms. Thompson. “To stop and take the time to nominate a physician who was doing his job and then some is pretty incredible.”

Dr. Levaka Veera believes Ms. Ferrell is also worthy of some accolades. “I’m honored to be a part of her care to be honest with you and she has an incredible attitude to fight and to get through this.”

Saying he would never give her false hope, Dr. Levaka Veera said using medicine and his manner helped arm Ms. Ferrell with the will to keep the fight in her alive. Ms. Ferrell said, “When he comes over and puts his hand on your back and says, ‘Hey, you know, it’s going to be okay.’ ” Dr. Levaka Veera added, “I’m happy I’m here as an oncologist and taking care of these patients and Carol is one special one.”

The Pennsylvania Medical Society launched the Everyday Hero award last year. Dr. Levaka Veera says he will keep his award in his office at Geisinger Wyoming Valley for a little inspiration.

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