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Radiation Medicine

Radiation Medicine

As an integral part of the only comprehensive academic medical center in the Hudson Valley, the Department of Radiation Medicine provides a wide range of therapies for adults and children. We seamlessly provide coordinated complex multidisciplinary care with our surgical, medical, neuro, urologic, gynecologic and pediatric oncology colleagues. Additionally, our services include the only pediatric radiation oncology program in the region through Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. Our renowned faculty have subspecialty expertise in specific types of cancer. Patients are treated with advanced technology and leading edge treatments with access to clinical trials.

We recognize the importance of caring for the whole person and their loved ones. We strive to provide comprehensive support to our patients and their families over the course of their own unique cancer journeys. Members of our department embrace a "family approach" to the care of our patients. Our recommendations and services reflect what we would want done, or not done, for our very own family members in a similar situation. Our team in the Department of Radiation Medicine at Westchester Medical Center is humbled by the trust placed in us by our patients. It is truly an honor as Director of the Department to work with our dedicated staff and remarkable patients in the fight against cancer. We know cancer therapy is anything but routine for those faced with a cancer diagnosis and we seek every opportunity to ease each and every individual back to well-being.

Mark Hurwitz, MD, FASTRO, FACRO
Chair and Director of Radiation Medicine

Radiation Services

  • External Beam Radiation
    This painless radiation treatment destroys cancer cells and is the most common type of radiation therapy associated with cancer treatment. Advanced forms of external beam radiation include 3D conformal radiation, intensity modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy.
  • 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy
    This type of radiation therapy minimizes normal tissue damage by shaping radiation beams to the tumor.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
    Using highly advanced computer treatment planning and delivery, radiation is “painted” into precisely defined target regions to eradicate tumors while sparing surrounding normal tissues and organs. IMRT allows for dose escalation to improve outcomes for many types of cancers.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery
    This "knifeless" surgery is used specifically for brain tumors and involves focusing ultra-thin beams of high-dose radiation directly at the tumor. This technique reduces the amount of damage done to surrounding brain tissue.
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
    SBRT applies precise delivery of radiation using stereotactic techniques developed for brain tumors to other parts of the body such as lung, prostate and digestive tract tumors. High doses of radiation are administered over a short period of time to maximize treatment outcomes and patient convenience.
  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
    IGRT is used in conjunction with a variety of advanced radiation delivery techniques to ensure the precise position of the tumor is confirmed just prior to treatment. IGRT can also be applied in real time for tumors that may move while the patient breathes, as is sometimes seen in lung and breast cancers.
  • Brachytherapy/Internal Radiation
    Brachytherapy works by putting radiation as close to cancer tumors as possible, sometimes even directly into tumors via wires, rods, or seeds composed of iridium or iodine.
  • GammaTile
    This is a new type of brachytherapy in which radioactive seeds are placed immediately into the tumor bed after surgical resection. This treatment results in a high dose of radiation to the area at greatest risk for tumor recurrence while minimizing effects on uninvolved parts of the brain.
  • Radionuclide Therapy
    This type of treatment uses injectable radioactive medicines targeted to certain types of tumors in the body such as prostate, liver and neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Hyperthermia
    Hyperthermia is heat treatment which exposes cancer tumors to elevated temperatures. Hyperthermia can enhance the effects of radiation and chemotherapy improving treatment outcomes for certain types of tumors while minimizing side effects.
  • Chemoradiation
    Combining chemotherapy and radiation together can be an effective approach to treating and possibly destroying a wide variety of cancers. Our radiation and medical oncologists work closely with our surgeons to determine a customized plan of action for each patient who is prescribed chemoradiation.

As a major teaching institution affiliated with New York Medical College, our department is staffed by highly qualified physicians with expertise in various areas of oncology. Patients are cared for personally by one of the department's board certified physicians, all of whom work together as a unified team so patients may benefit from their collective experience and knowledge. Our personalized expert care is enhanced with a highly trained health team comprised of oncology nurses, medical physicists, radiation technologists (radiation therapists), social workers, nutritionists, and clinical dieticians.

  • Radiation Oncologists
    Overseeing the care of each cancer patient, highly trained radiation oncologists develop and prescribe individual treatment plans, monitor radiation treatments and side effects, and ensure that each patient receives the course of treatment deemed most effective for their particular condition.

    Radiation oncologists are doctors who have completed four years or more of college, four years or more of medical school, one year of general medical or surgical training, and then three to four years of residency (specialty) training in radiation oncology and additional specialty training. They have extensive training in the safe use of radiation to treat disease.

  • Medical Radiation Physicists
    Medical physicists work directly with the doctor in treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrists and are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures and for making sure the equipment works properly.

    Medical physicists have doctorates or master's degrees. Qualified physicists have completed four years of college. They also have had two to four years of graduate school and typically one to two years of clinical physics training. They may be certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics.

  • Radiation Therapists/Radiation Therapy
    Working directly with the radiation oncologists, radiation therapists help develop and implement individualized patient treatment plans. They implement and supervise prescribed treatments for each patient, maintain daily records and regularly check the treatment machines to make sure they are working properly.

    Radiation therapists go through a two-to-four year educational program following high school. They take a special examination, and can be certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. In addition, many states require that radiation therapy technologists be licensed.

  • Dosimetrists
    Dosimetrists carefully calculate the dose of radiation to make sure the tumor gets enough radiation. They develop a number of treatment plans that can best destroy the tumor while sparing the normal tissues, and work with the doctor and the medical physicist to choose the treatment plan that is just right for each patient.

    Many dosimetrists start as radiation therapists then, with on-the-job training, become dosimetrists. Others are graduates of a one to-two-year dosimetry program following high school. The Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board certifies dosimetrists.

  • Radiation Oncology Nurses
    Radiation therapy nurses help doctors educate patient and their families about cancer and radiation treatment, and provide resources for emotional support.  Nurses assist with patient examinations by taking the blood pressure readings, weighing patients,  assessing nutrition needs, etc.

    Radiation therapy nurses have completed a registered nursing program, have passed a written examination and are licensed to practice professional nursing.

For additional information please call 914.493.8561.

Our Address

Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Office: 914.493.8561
Fax: 914.493.8352


By Car

By Train

Westchester Medical Center is served by Metro North's Harlem line via two stations:

  • White Plains - Bus transfer options available
  • Hawthorne - Taxi service available

For train fare and schedule information, call 1-800-METRO-INFO or go to www.mta.info/mnr .

By Bus

There are three bus lines (Westchester Bee Line) you can take to our campus. Please call 914.813.7777 for bus routes and fares.

Campus Map

The Westchester Medical Center campus includes the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center.

Berkowitz, Aviva C., MD
Aviva Berkowitz, MD
Attending Physician, Radiation Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
Halperin, Edward C., MD
Edward Halperin, MD
Chancellor, Chief Executive Officer New York Medical College,
Department of Radiation Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
Hurwitz, Mark D., MD
Mark Hurwitz, MD
Chair and Director of Radiation Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
Meritz, Keith A., MD
Keith Meritz, MD
Attending Physician, Radiation Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology