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Oncologist advances women's health care

August 04, 2000

Oncologist advances women's health care



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


Dr. Neil B. Rosenshein's passion for his work fuels his tireless efforts in surgical treatment of women's cancer and cutting-edge cancer research and education.

"I love what I do," said the director of The Gynecologic Oncology Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "It's my occupation and my hobby."

Rosenshein researches new cancer drug treatments, teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, gives lectures to colleagues across the country, and sees patients from all over the world.

His "Manual of Gynecologic Oncology" is considered a definitive text on the subject, said Dr. William G. Plavcan, vice president of Washington County Health System Inc.

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But it's the world-renowned gynecologic oncologist's overriding concern for his patients' well-being- "that she gets the best possible care"- that makes Rosenshein shine as a doctor, he said.

Women's health care in Washington County takes a giant step forward with Rosenshein's appointment as director of The Gynecologic Oncology Center of Western Maryland in Hagerstown, patients and staff members at the center said Friday.

The new center is in the John R. Marsh Cancer Center at the Robinwood Medical Center campus.

"I think (Rosenshein's appointment) is very important because it adds a level of continuity of care that we didn't have before," said Dr. Dan Cornell, director of radiation oncology at the Marsh Cancer Center.

There are no other gynecologic oncologists in Washington County, said Patty Hanson, administrative director at the Marsh Cancer Center.

The Tumor Registry, which maintains records of all cancer cases treated through the Washington County Health System, indicated a need for such female services here, Hanson said.

In the past, many area gynecologic oncology patients were referred to Rosenshein's Baltimore office, she said.

These women faced the stress of travel, paperwork had to be shuffled back and forth, and contact among doctors was more difficult, said Rosenshein, 56, of Baltimore.

Now, the expert in the field of female cancer treatment makes a pilgrimage to Hagerstown each Friday to conduct office visits in the morning and perform surgery at Washington County Hospital in the afternoon, Hanson said.

His patients are thrilled.

"I love it that you're here in Hagerstown," one woman accustomed to making the hour-plus trek told Rosenshein prior to an examination. "As soon as I heard, I made my appointment right away."

Rosenshein said the "strong, long-term relationships" he's built with such patients and with Washington County doctors played a large role in luring him to Hagerstown.

The partnership between the Washington County Health System and Mercy Medical Center, which Rosenshein called "two great institutions," cemented the opening of his satellite office in Hagerstown, he said.

"We had a good collaboration and a commitment to really deliver a service to women," Rosenshein said.

The Gynecologic Oncology Center of Western Maryland is a "great resource" for the community, he said.

So is Rosenshein, whose admiration for the strength of woman faced with gynecological cancer prompted him to pursue that field of study.

He said he revels in his patients' successes, and stands by those woman losing their struggles against cancer.

"You walk that last mile with them. That, to me, is as important as doing surgery."

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