Wellmont Cancer Institute Opens Treatment Office In Johnson City Led By Drs. Maatouk, Abu-Shahin

The Wellmont Cancer Institute is expanding its high-quality care in Johnson City, providing a breadth of additional services in a convenient location for patients who live and work in the community.

On Thursday, Jan. 3, the cancer institute will open an office at 302 Wesley St., Suite 3. Among the services delivered there will be oncology, hematology, genetic counseling, clinical trials and infusions, including chemotherapy, hydrations and injections.

“Johnson City has been so gracious in its reception of Wellmont Health System, and we are grateful for the opportunity to continue responding to requests for our compassionate care,” said Sue Lindenbusch, the cancer institute’s vice president. “We look forward to providing strength for today and hope for tomorrow to patients in Johnson City who entrust their care to us.”

The cancer institute is moving into one of the former offices of McLeod Cancer & Blood Center, but Lindenbusch emphasized Wellmont has no connection to that recently closed business. She said the Johnson City office will operate under the stringent policies and procedures of the cancer institute, Wellmont Medical Associates and Wellmont Health System.

The new office will be led by a team of medical professionals committed to delivering expert care. Among them are Dr. Jamal Maatouk and Dr. Fadi Abu-Shahin, who joined the cancer institute and Wellmont Medical Associates Oncology & Hematology in 2012.

Dr. Maatouk completed an internal medicine residency and an oncology fellowship at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University.

Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Dr. Maatouk has made multiple professional presentations on cancer. She was also the founder, director and a writer for a monthly journal that was provided free to patients diagnosed with cancer and other chronic diseases. The publication included stories from patients about their feelings and needs as well as medical information from physicians.

“I care about my patients,” Dr. Maatouk said. “I want to be part of their life. If they cry, I want to wipe their tears. If they want a hug, I want to give them one. I pray each day before I come to work that God will give me the wisdom to choose the right course of treatment for them.”

Dr. Abu-Shahin also completed his residency and an oncology fellowship at the Quillen medical school. He served as chief resident of internal medicine and received the school’s Thomas Ronald Award for Excellence in the care of cancer patients. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

“A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence anymore,” Dr. Abu-Shahin said. “But doctors must be honest with patients about their illness and let them know what they need to do to overcome it so they can live the rest of their lives with fulfillment. My patients should know that I will be fighting on their side throughout their journey.”

Another caregiver at the cancer institute’s Johnson City office is Debbie Pencarinha, the only board-certified and licensed genetic counselor in Northeast Tennessee. Patients will also have an opportunity to participate in the cancer institute’s robust and innovative clinical trial program coordinated by Teresa Bailey.

To schedule an appointment at the new Johnson City office, please call 423-928-3020.

Patients who receive care in Johnson City will also have access to other cancer institute facilities should they need additional elements of care. These include the accredited Wellmont Breast Center at 316 Marketplace Blvd, Suite 20, Johnson City. The cancer institute also has accredited breast centers at Holston Valley Medical Center and Bristol Regional Medical Center.

All forms of cancer can also be treated at the Christine LaGuardia Phillips Cancer Center at Holston Valley, the J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder Cancer Center at Bristol Regional and the Southwest Virginia Cancer Center in Norton, Va.

“The breadth, depth and diversity of our oncology services are outstanding and result in superior outcomes for our patients,” said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont’s president and CEO. “Our cancer institute has the largest number of medical oncologists in the region, and the expertise they bring to patients is comforting to them and their loved ones at such a major time in their lives.”

In addition to the breast center and the new oncology office, Wellmont provides multiple services in Johnson City. They are the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, Wellmont Urgent Care, the family medicine practices of Drs. Bob Connell and Rita Plemmons and the pulmonology and sleep services practice of Dr. Mark Emery.

“We are grateful so many patients are confident in our care, and we welcome this latest opportunity for Wellmont to meet a need for services in Johnson City,” DeNarvaez said. “We are always focused on delivering the best care anywhere as we grow a culture of wellness in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.”