Columns for The Lufkin News

Giving Thanks!

Posted Nov 05, 2013 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but why wait! I want to send a big thank you to Debbie Jackson, my hardworking co-chair for local enrollment for the American Cancer Society’s CPS-3 study, and to all of the CPS-3 Champions who helped get 423 people enrolled in this amazing cancer prevention study. Our enrollment sites – Memorial Health System of East Texas, Power of Pink!, Lufkin Industries, First Assembly, and the C.L.SimonRecreationCenterin Nacogdoches– were fantastic.

Thank you to Becca Chance (along with her powerhouse committee), whose leadership and grace under pressure – and under thunder and lightning! – resulted in another successful Cattle Barons Gala. Thank you to Yana Ogletreeand Lindsey Mott with Memorial Health System of East Texas, who hosted an amazing 21st annual Power of Pink! luncheon. Since 1990, breast cancer deaths in the U.S.have decreased by 27%. Much of that is due to education about mammograms and the importance of screening and early detection.

Today is Election Day. I’m thankful for the right to vote! The most important issue on the ballot today is a constitutional amendment on funding the state's water plan. Voter turnout is expected to be light — below 10 percent of all registered voters — because we just don’t get too excited when actual people aren’t on the ballot. But you need to go vote for Proposition 6. The proposed amendment would authorize the Legislature to withdraw $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to begin funding the state’s 50-year water plan. The benefits from a long range planning and economic prosperity standpoint far outweigh and possible downside. And frankly, I think it is poetically appropriate to use a rainy day fund for water planning anyway. Be thankful you can vote, and vote YES on Prop 6.

Thursday is Salute to Healthcare, the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce’s awards banquet to recognize and thank outstanding leaders throughout the healthcare sector for making Lufkin and AngelinaCountya better place to live and work. As a physician, I have considered it my highest honor to serve as Chairman of the Chamber board this year. The healthcare sector is now one-fifth of our local economy and drives more jobs and more shopping, retail, and dining dollars than any other industry. Our community can show their support for the healthcare sector not only by coming to the banquet Thursday night, but also by “voting with your feet” when you choose where to go for healthcare. The reimbursement changes that are being implemented at a national level could easily kill what we have here locally if you don’t make the conscious decision to stay here for your healthcare needs. Like anything else, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I applaud the Chamber for starting this event several years ago and for thanking our physicians, nurses, and so many others who help care for us.

Finally, as a cancer doctor, I deal daily with the highs and lows of cancer – celebration and victory for many, but bad news and eventual death for others. I’m thankful I can “be there” for my patients, walking alongside them, no matter which path they are on. You can, too. Comfort is one of my favorite words. Its Latin roots paint a picture of coming along side with strength. Each of us needs to be a source of strength during the holiday season for those around us who are hurting, needy, and hungry. Join in helping others with Community Food Drive, Angel Tree, or other efforts with your church or in the community. And be thankful!

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Meet Our Team

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology Nurse

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Lead Radiation Therapist

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Radiation Therapist

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Radiation Therapist

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Dosimetrist

Linda Miller, MS

Linda Miller, MS

Medical Radiation Physicist

Evelyn Leach

Evelyn Leach

Receptionist