New Diabetes and Endocrinology Center now open at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford

The new center will also address the field of Endocrinology, which deals with hormone-related conditions and diseases, thyroid diseases and metabolic bone diseases like osteoporosis.

This spring the new center will also host community forums on diabetes where physicians and nurses will discuss how to best manage and treat these serious medical problems.

The new Diabetes and Endocrinology Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford will be led by Tara Hamilton, MD, Sunita Schurgin, MD and Rena LaVasseur, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator.

Dr. Schurgin, chief of endocrinology at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, has been with Hallmark Health since 2005. She is board certified in endocrinology and has completed endocrinology fellowships at Tufts Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital Neuroendocrine Unit.

Dr. Hamilton joined Hallmark Health in 2007. She is board certified in endocrinology and completed her endocrinology fellowship at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Hamilton completed her Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Deaconess medical Center.

LaVasseur recently joined Hallmark Health from Massachusetts General Hospital and brings more than a decade of experience to the center.

"The new diabetes and endocrinology center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford offers patients a program that is comprehensive and close to home," said LaVasseur. "Being in a hospital-setting allows for easy access to the full depth of services offered at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and throughout the Hallmark Health system. Our dedicated team will work with patients, their families and primary care physicians to develop a treatment plan that addresses their needs and best controls their condition."

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Education is key to curbing this dangerous trend and ensuring patients don't develop some of the major complications that can result if diabetes is not managed properly. These include heart and kidney conditions as well as blindness and loss of limbs.

While some people with Type 2 diabetes experience symptoms, others may go seven to 10 years without showing any signs or symptoms. It is critical patients contact their primary care doctor and get tested if they experience any of the following: frequent urination, unquenchable thirst, weight loss, weakness or fatigue, tingling or numbness in hands, legs or feet. A simple blood test can determine whether or not a patient is diabetic.

For more information about the new Diabetes and Endocrinology Center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, call 781-306-6370 or visit www.hallmarkhealth.org.

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Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose, Hallmark Health Cancer Center, Stoneham, The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham, Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading, Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice, Malden, Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford, and Ell Pond Medical Associates. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.

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