Patient finds medical expertise nearby

To receive much of her cancer treatment, Melissa Wingert didn’t have to leave the Lawrence area.

The primary team of physicians involved in her care have private practices in Lawrence and serve on the staff of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, cutting down on her and her family’s need to travel long distances to find medical expertise.

Wingert received several rounds of chemotherapy at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and would return to LMH to recuperate from the complications of her treatment.

Her Lawrence doctors all know one another and adopted a collaborative approach to her care.

Dr. Robert Dinsdale, an otolaryngologist and ear, nose and throat surgeon, removed Wingert’s cheekbone tumor and performed reconstructive surgery on her face.

Dr. Mark Praeger, a general surgeon, did the lumpectomy on Wingert’s right breast and removed seven lymph nodes during the same procedure.

Praeger’s partner, Dr. Marilee McGinness, also a general surgeon, performed Wingert’s double mastectomy in early May.

Wingert’s oncologist, and the coordinator of her care, is Dr. Matt Stein.

All of Wingert’s surgeries  including her facial operation, which required very specialized skills  took place at LMH.

That’s a striking accomplishment for a community hospital serving a town of Lawrence’s size, according to Dinsdale.

“We accessed the expertise available at the (KU) Med Center, part of her care was delivered through KU Med, and we brought her back here for the rest,” Dinsdale said. “I think Melissa got world-class medicine in a very comfortable, loving and compassionate environment (at LMH).”