Q: What led you to work in health care?
Answer: My mother says that I've always wanted to be a doctor, but honestly, I don't remember actively thinking about it until I went to college.
When I was doing general surgery, I saw that many women weren't getting the overall attention they needed to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis. A lot of breast cancer care nowadays is genetically based, which was part of my undergraduate studies and a big draw for me.
I saw this as an opportunity to help. Every breast patient is different. They all have different needs and different life experiences so you have to tailor treatment to each person.
That keeps it all very interesting. I'm very passionate about women being treated as a whole person and not as a disease that needs cured.
Q: What drew you to begin practicing in the Franklin County area?
Answer: I have practiced in the area before, so my husband and I knew we missed Pennsylvania and that we wanted to be closer to our grandchildren. Several years ago, I passed up the chance to work with Summit Health, so I was very excited when the opportunity presented itself again.
Q: What would you say is a common misconception about breast surgery?
Answer: One of the biggest misconceptions is that breast cancer leads to disfigurement, which isn't true. It doesn't have to be disfiguring. With each case, I always look at the potential for reconstruction and an overall cosmetic improvement, if warranted, by combining forces with the plastic surgeon often.
Secondly, sometimes patients assume that they'll see me a few times, have the surgery, and then never see me again. But I choose to follow my patients through their survivorship.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about working in your new position?
Answer: There is a wonderful team around me that is already at Summit Health that includes imaging, a patient navigator, oncologists, radiation specialists, and all of those people who are interested in helping the patient on the road to survivorship.
Q: What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of your career?
Answer: I enjoy gardening, hunting, and cross-stitch. I'm currently learning how to restore the body of my 1954 Chevy truck.