Choosing Genesis: a doctor’s choice for treatment
Friday, November 3, 2023
- Surgical Services, Cancer Care
In September 2023, Brandice Alexander, D.O., began her 13th year as a Fellowship-trained, Board-certified Trauma Surgeon at Genesis HealthCare System.
Only because she followed recommended colon cancer screening guidelines when prompted by her family physician. Two days after her colonoscopy, she received a call with the biopsy results that one of the two polyps found was cancerous.
Dr. Alexander’s mentor and colleague Stuart D. Chow, D.O., Fellowship-trained and Board-certified Trauma Surgeon at the Genesis Center for Surgical Excellence, performed her surgery. Shyamal R. Bastola, M.D., Fellowship-trained and Board-certified Hematologist/Oncologist at the Genesis Cancer Care Center, coordinated with her treatment. “I’d rather be treated close to home by people I know and trust,” she said. “If I thought for one second that my chance for recovery was better somewhere else, I would have gone there.”
Another factor in choosing Genesis was that Dr. Chow would perform her surgery robotically. “He was instrumental in getting our robotic program going,” she said. “We are far ahead of most hospitals.”
After her surgery, Dr. Alexander created a Facebook post. “I rarely post. However, I wanted all my friends and colleagues to see and share the message that cancer is treatable if you catch it early.”
There was one more call containing bad news. One of her lymph nodes was positive for cancer, and she needed chemo. “My Genesis family was phenomenal,” she said. “I received cards from Genesis President and CEO Matt Perry, and letters of encouragement from the entire hospital community.” She said that whoever designed the Cancer Care Center infusion suite, where rows of comfortable recliners overlook the Genesis Fitness Trail, is a genius. “Watching colleagues and people come and go was great therapy,” she said.
Eleven years ago, Dr. Alexander and her husband purchased a foreclosed property on an acre of land less than a mile from Genesis Hospital. They have a pair of St. Bernard littermates, Sophie and Finn, who endlessly entertain them with sibling squabbles.
When she gets home from work, Dr. Alexander does a walkabout of the yard and gardens with the dogs. “This year, I’ve been into propagating plants,” she said. “We love our backyard. It’s a good place to recharge.” A guitarist at her church, Dr. Alexander often plays in her gazebo or one of several seating areas.
Dr. Alexander says she is a glass-is-half-full kind of person. Now she uses her experience as a patient to reassure her patients. “I tell them, ‘I know you’re scared, but you need to know that there are six people in this surgery suite, and you are our only focus.’ I’ve been on the receiving end of that focus. The right people are in those positions.”
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