Renée Bisnaire lost her mom to breast cancer, so when she was diagnosed with invasive ductile carcinoma, she wasn’t entirely surprised but was still deeply concerned.
“It isn’t just about getting the cancer out of me, it’s about being able to navigate this experience so that I feel confident, empowered and cared for,” she says.
Renée turned to Oregon Surgical Wellness in Springfield to learn more about her surgical options for treating her cancer, as well as complimentary therapies that could aid in her healing.
A new patient experience
Doctors Christine Kollmorgen and Winnie Henderson opened Oregon Surgical Wellness in January, combining their 35 years of surgical experience to create a center that’s focused on overall patient wellness.
“Adding areas that patients may want to think about to improve their overall health, not just their surgical problem, was extremely important to us,” Dr. Kollmorgen says.
Recognizing that patients often feel anxious and rushed in a traditional medical setting, the surgeons designed their clinic to be a warm, calming environment—from the aesthetic feel of the lobby to creating higher quality experiences for patients, along with timely one-on-one care.
“We have what we term a Wellness Promise,” says Dr. Henderson. “We have a promise to our community to reach out to patients within 48 to 72 hours after their referral arrives at our office.”
Treating the whole patient
Oregon Surgical Wellness is also co-located with a satellite office for doctors Michelle Niesley and Stacy Dunn of Pacific Integrative Oncology. Drs. Niesley and Dunn are naturopathic physicians who specialize in oncology and help patients ease side effects from treatment and improve their physical and emotional health through diet, supplements, acupuncture and botanical medicine.
Dr. Kollmorgen says, “So many of our patients are seeking complementary care to their cancer diagnosis, so why not make it easy for them? It’s not traditional medicine or complementary medicine. These are integrative treatments best done together.”
Renée chose to have a bilateral mastectomy to remove her cancer and significantly reduce her chances for recurrence. She wanted to do everything she could to stay healthy before and after her surgery, including undergoing acupuncture and focusing on nutrition, and she says having her surgeon and her naturopathic physician under the same roof and on the same page with her treatment plan was invaluable.
“We’ve talked a lot about nutritional supplementation through vitamins and minerals,” she says. “A big piece of going into surgery was making sure that my immune system was supported and had all the nutrients it was going to need to recover and recover well.”
Dr. Kollmorgen says treating the whole patient is key and can impact the surgical outcome. “Traditionally, surgeons focus on removing the problem and then the patient is all better. But the fact of the matter is, if we don’t address what caused the problem to begin with, that patient is just going to end up with another surgical problem down the road.”
Oregon Surgical Wellness specializes in breast, hernia, robotic and endocrine surgery, as well as general surgery—all done with a focus on the patient’s overall wellness.
“It really fits into what we are trying to achieve for our patients,” says Dr. Henderson. “To prepare them for their treatment and help them after surgery, so they can feel well and be a whole person again.”
Collaborative patient care
Oregon Surgical Wellness and Pacific Integrative Oncology are members of the Oregon Cancer Alliance, where specialists from a network of more than a dozen specialty clinics in Eugene-Springfield meet regularly to discuss individual cancer cases and collaborate on the appropriate treatment plan for each patient.
The Oregon Cancer Alliance has care teams focused on patients with different types of cancer, including breast, endocrine, gynecological and gastrointestinal. To schedule an appointment to be seen by an OCA physician, complete this form.