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Slaughter tours Buffalo VA labs

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photos by Joyce Kryszak
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U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter and Buffalo VA Hospital Chief of Pathology Dr. Rana Samuel

By Joyce Kryszak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-966154.mp3

Buffalo, NY –

The Buffalo VA Hospital showed off its laboratories to United States Congresswoman Louise Slaughter Thursday. Slaughter was there to recognize the Hospital for National Lab Technologists Week.

Dr. Rana Samuel the Chief of Pathology at the Buffalo VA Hospital. She and other hospital officials showed the Congresswoman some the cutting edge technologies that are being used at the V-A. Among them a a pap smear that screens for pre-cancerous cells in the colon. Samuel explained to the Congresswoman how the test is catching colon cancer in the very earliest stage.

"So, we get to them before they will kill the patient," said Samuel. "That's a new initiative that was started by our lab and we've already caught some displasias."

The technical medical information was not over Slaughter's head. She is a former microbiologist, as well as a staunch legislative advocate for healthcare.

Standing outside the hospital after the tour, Slaughter talked about the recent robo calls she has been making to her constituents. The calls warn them that Republican plans to alter Medicaid and Medicare. Slaughter said changes to Medicare alone would be devastating to seniors.

"If it goes through, it could add as much as $6,650 a year to the senior citizens healthcare because of money they'd have to pay out of pocket," said Slaughter.

That plan has passed in the House but not yet in the Senate. President Obama also has vowed not to sign the bill.