Collaborative Care: A conversation with Dr. Fiona Denham

Collaborative Care: A conversation with Dr. Fiona Denham

TREATING PATIENTS LIKE FAMILY

When Dr. Fiona Denham, breast surgical oncologist at the Goshen Retreat Women’s Health Center, cares for a patient, she always asks herself the same question: “If this patient were my mom or my sister, what kind of care would I want them to have?” 

“I try to treat all my patients as if they were family members,” says Dr. Denham. “I want them to feel that they’re not just another number or just another patient; they’re an individual and I respect what makes them an individual and I want to try to do whatever I can to help them through whatever process they may be going through at that time.”

This philosophy of care, for Dr. Denham, is deeply rooted in personal experience. When she was in high school, her mother was diagnosed with breast disease. While the disease was benign, Dr. Denham directly experienced the fear that arises when a loved one receives a breast disease diagnosis –– and coupled with it, the desire for the best care available. 

“IT’S NOT THE EXCEPTION, IT’S THE RULE”

Her mother’s diagnosis was one of the factors that drew her to the study and practice of breast oncology –– and the empathy she gained from that experience is what drew her to the collaborative and integrative approach at Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

“One of the things that drew me to the treatment of breast disease in particular was a desire for a more personal and more intimate and more long-term relationship with patients,” says Dr. Denham. “My goal is to try to give patient-centered, individualized care plans that utilize the integrated services that we have available here at the Retreat and at the Cancer Center.”

Dr. Denham appreciates that at Goshen Center for Cancer Care, the focus on collaborative, patient-centered care runs deep. When a patient visits Dr. Denham for a diagnosis, an hour later can have a follow-up visit scheduled along with appointments set up with medical oncology, radiation oncology, mind-body counseling, naturopathic medicine, and financial counseling –– all before they walk out the door. 

“This happens on such a routine basis,” says Dr. Denham “That’s the routine here. It’s not the exception, it’s the rule.

COLLABORATION COMES NATURALLY

Dr. Denham has worked in other larger health care institutions, each with an emphasis on collaborative care too. But, she says, Goshen Center for Cancer Care is different. With breast imaging services and radiologists on-site and with a vast network of highly connected providers only a short drive away, integrative care is woven into the fabric of its DNA.

“Collaboration comes naturally here,” says Dr. Denham. “Colleagues make it a point to make themselves very readily available to each other. It’s much easier, it’s more accessible, and that translates into an ease of patient care.”

After all, high-level and compassionate patient care is at the heart of both Dr. Denham’s practice and Goshen Center for Cancer Care as a whole.

“We have our integrative care team which is a very unique,” says Dr. Denham. “We have all these resources available to the patient in one place; It’s a one-stop shop where patients are not being passed around to multiple different providers. That makes a big difference to patients.”

Learn more about the life-changing care offered at Goshen Center for Cancer Care by visiting our website or call (888) 492-HOPE to learn how we treat cancer and take care of you.

Posted: 6/20/2018 by Goshen Health

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