Most Meaningful and Rewarding Experiences Occur While Interacting With Patients in the Midst of Difficult Situations: Melanie Skelton, M.D., Joins Stormont Vail Health Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care
Thursday July 28, 2016
It takes a tender combination of special qualities including compassion, kindness, communication, listening and understanding to practice palliative medicine. Stormont Vail Health’s newest palliative medicine and support care physician, Melanie Skelton, M.D., possess all those qualities, in addition to that of empathy. Having personally experienced the loss of a loved one after a long battle with cancer, Dr. Skelton is particularly passionate about helping patients and families navigate the struggles of terminal illness. She said many of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences of her medical career occurred while interacting with patients in the midst of difficult situations.
Dr. Skelton originally pursued a career in medicine because of a fascination with health and healing, but she chose her area of focus because it afforded her the greatest opportunity to positively impact other people’s lives. Dr. Skelton said she is humbled by the trust patients bestow upon their physicians during difficult, life-threatening and or life-limiting illnesses.
Stormont Vail Health is proud to announce that Dr. Skelton has joined our medical team and will practice as a palliative physician. She will see patients within the hospital as well as outpatient patients at Cotton O’Neil Mulvane, 823 S.W. Mulvane, and Cotton O’Neil Cancer Center, 1414 S.W. Eight Ave., both in Topeka.
Dr. Skelton received her medical degree at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, in 2011. She completed an internship in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 2014. She completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at Vanderbilt University in 2015.
“I believe I have always been an empathetic person, and consequently became an empathetic physician,” said Dr. Skelton. “However, having sat at the bedside both as a physician and as a daughter during end-of-life care, I came to realize how hard it is to truly understand what patients and families are going through. Each person’s experience is very individual. I am focused on finding out what is most important to each individual patient and then helping them achieve their personal goals within the framework of their illness.”
Dr. Skelton enjoys running, cooking and reading. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and family, traveling whenever the opportunity presents itself, and hiking with her two Rhodesian ridgeback puppies.
Dr. Skelton is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to Palliative Medicine & Support Care for symptom management in patients with life threatening and or life-limiting illnesses.
Advocating and Building Supportive Partnerships With Patients is Key Focus For New Dermatologist: Grant Ghahramani, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil Dermatology
Thursday July 28, 2016
Grant Ghahramani, M.D., strives to serve as an advocate and guide, as well as dedicatehimself to building supportive partnerships with each of his patients, empowering them to take an active role in their health care.
“Skin impairments can dramatically affect a patient’s quality of life,” said Dr. Ghahramani. “They can be stigmatizing. I’d like my patients to feel confident about their skin, and I take pride in helping them achieve this goal.”
Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. Ghahramani has joined our medical team and will practice as a dermatologist. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Dermatology, 6650 S.W. Mission Valley Drive in Topeka.
Dr. Ghahramani received his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, in 2012. He completed a transitional year residency at Mercy Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, in 2013. He completed a residency in dermatology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, in 2016.
“I became a physician because I enjoy solving difficult problems,” said Dr. Ghahramani. “I advocate for my patients and their families, and I believe in life-long learning.”
Dr. Ghahramani’s patients describe him as having a calm manner, being straightforward and caring, and he tries to have patients’ best interests in mind at all times. He says his goal during clinic visits is to be 100 percent patient-focused while utilizing his medical team to be more computer-focused.
Dr. Ghahramani has a heart for serving the community. He has volunteered at numerous skin cancer screening events over the years, as well as volunteered as an instructor for Saint Louis University’s SPOTS program, which stands for Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students.
He married his college sweetheart, and they have a two-year-old daughter and a yellow Labrador retriever. He enjoys hiking, fly fishing, cooking and traveling.
Dr. Ghahramani is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this specialty physician.
New Advanced Practice Provider Melynda Swoyer Uses Patient Education to Empower Patients to Be Active in Their Health Goals; Cotton O’Neil Meriden Now Accepting New Patients
Wednesday July 27, 2016
Patient education is something that Melynda Swoyer, APRN, is passionate about. She tries to help her patients understand health issues whether they are being seen for acute care or chronic illnesses. She believes education is the key to empowerment, and she encourages her patients to take an active role in setting and achieving their health care goals.
Swoyer joined Cotton O’Neil Meriden in June 2016. The clinic is located at 407 E. Wyandotte, in Meriden.
Swoyer received her bachelor of science in nursing degree at the University of Kansas School of Nursing in 2007. She received her master of science in nursing/family nurse practitioner degree at the University of Kansas School of Nursing in 2010. Swoyer worked previously as a mid-level provider at the Cotton O’Neil Heart Center in 2011. She also worked as a mid-level provider at F.W. Huston Medical Center, Winchester, from 2010 to 2012 in both the family practice and emergency/urgent care areas, and at the University of Kansas Watkins Student Health Clinic in 2013. Swoyer worked as a mid-level at St. Luke’s Medical Group, Lansing, from 2013 to 2016 before joining Cotton O’Neil Meriden.
“I became a nurse practitioner so I could take my nursing practice to a different level,” said Swoyer. “I enjoy direct patient care and my role as an advanced practice provider lets me interact one-on-one with patients. Together we work toward achieving their health care goals.”
Patients have described Swoyer as a good listener, compassionate and someone who treats each patient as she would a family member. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and a certified DOT medical examiner.
Swoyer has lived in Jefferson County for more than 30 years. She and her husband raised four children, and they have three grandchildren. She enjoys bicycle riding, caring for her horses and sewing.
Cotton O’Neil Meriden is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call Health Connections at (785) 354-5225.
A Life-Long Love of Teaching and Thirst for Knowledge Takes One Orthopedic Surgeon On a Journey That Prepares Him to Fix Broken Bones: Jake Deister, M.D. MBA, Joins Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Monday July 25, 2016
Jake Deister, M.D., MBA, loves teaching and has a thirst for knowledge. He grew up in Topeka in a family of five boys and has always been active, physical and energetic. Watching one of his brothers go through a very challenging health condition was the spark that ignited a 12-year journey to become an orthopedic surgeon. This journey included many educational stops along the way, some halfway around the world, which would prepare him to be well rounded. After benefitting from all of his schooling, Dr. Deister felt ready to pursue the occupation that would allow him to come back to his hometown community to practice medicine by linking his educational passion with the practical use of tools to alleviate pain in the patients who come to him for help.
Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. Deister has joined our medical team and will practice as an orthopedic surgeon. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, 2660 S.W. Third St. in Topeka.
Dr. Deister received his medical degree at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, in 2011 and he completed a surgical residency at Wright State University in 2016. He also has an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, and a bachelor of science degree in philosophy from Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio.
He spent two years in Moscow, Russia, after high school where he taught English. Dr. Deister then came back to the United States and continued his education studying both philosophy and political theory. Next, he obtained his master in business administration degree and worked a few years as a business strategy consultant before moving over to the public sector, spending two years as the assistant to the Board of County Commissioners in Ohio.
“It was in Moscow that I discovered that I loved to teach,” said Dr. Deister. “I have found that patients usually know more than they think they do, and often all it takes is some creative teaching to help alleviate some of the fears of being in the surgeon’s office. I have found that the best treatment plans are developed when both the patient and I fully understand each other. Patients leave my office feeling that they’ve been heard and that they know a bit more about orthopedic surgery as well as have a firm grasp on what our treatment plan will be.”
Dr. Deister specializes in the replacement of worn-out and painful knees, hips and shoulders and says he enjoys seeing his patients return to an active lifestyle after living for a long time with pain. He also enjoys fixing broken bones in both children and adults and working through the challenges faced by patients with a traumatic injury.
He and his wife, Brooke, have seven children, and they enjoy running, staying fit and being active, and supporting their children in all of their activities. Dr. Deister enjoys snow skiing and fishing, and he has a fondness for watching University of Kansas basketball.
Dr. Deister is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this orthopedic surgeon.
Practicing Innovative Evidence Based Medicine While Delivering Personalized Care: Justin Halbe, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil as Cardiologist
Friday July 22, 2016
Justin Halbe, M.D., strives to practice evidence based medicine and stays as current as possible with new treatment and prevention options as they become available. He became a physician because he wanted to be constantly challenged and wanted to have a direct, positive impact on other people’s lives on a daily basis. Dr. Halbe enjoys spending time with his patients and cares about them by investing himself in their care, heath and well-being.
Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. Halbe has joined our medical team and will practice as a cardiologist. His practice will be located at Cotton O’Neil Heart Center, 929 S.W. Mulvane in Topeka.
Dr. Halbe received his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, in 2010. He completed a residency program in internal medicine at University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, Wisconsin, in 2013. He completed a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2016.
“I dedicate myself to my patients,” said Dr. Halbe. “I do my best to listen to their concerns, be empathetic to their illness, yet be direct and honest with them in their state of health and treatment options.”
When not in the office, Dr. Halbe enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, and he enjoys photography, hiking and outdoor activities.
Dr. Halbe is board certified in internal medicine and is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this cardiology specialty physician.
Cotton O’Neil Family Medicine North and Cotton O’Neil Express Care North Open and Ready to See Patients
Wednesday July 20, 2016
The story of exceptional wellness care and ready and reliable urgent care for the community north of Topeka starts with the new Cotton O’Neil Family Medicine North and Cotton O’Neil Express Care North. A community open house event was held from 1-3 p.m. on July 17, at the new facility.
About the Cotton O’Neil North Building:
The top level of the building houses Cotton O’Neil Family Medicine North. Drs. Patrick Raney, Melissa Herrman and Timothy Borchers began seeing patients at this new location May 16, 2016.
The main level is 19,785 square feet with 36 exam rooms and two procedure rooms. The building has been designed using a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) concept that facilitates relationship-based care. Staff will greet patients in an open and inviting waiting area, and check-in kiosks allow for shorter wait times. As patients move to treatment areas, color-coded pods create an open, collaborative clinic. This concept allows for a team-based approach to an individual’s treatment with a constant flow of information between providers all working together to deliver care. Flexible ancillary rooms are available for group visits to engage patients in the process of wellness learning.
The lower level of the building houses Cotton O’Neil Express Care North. Physicians and mid-levels at this urgent care clinic treat minor illnesses or injuries that can’t be immediately treated by a primary care physician. Cotton O’Neil Express Care North will start seeing patients on July 20. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
The lower level is 19,958 square feet with seven exam rooms and two procedure rooms. A lab is available in the building for blood draws, as well as an X-ray room with an all-digital unit.
Parking on the south side of the building is for Cotton O’Neil Family Medicine North and offers 66 spaces. Parking for Cotton O’Neil Express Care North is on the north side of the building and has 103 spaces.
Surgeon Takes Thoughtful Approach in Treating Neurological Diseases By Actively Listening and Forming Personal Relationships With Each Patient: Ben Boudreaux, M.D., Joins Cotton O’Neil as Neurological Surgeon
Monday July 18, 2016
Ben Boudreaux, M.D., treats neurological diseases by striving to actively listen, be physically present and take a thoughtful and unified approach with each patient and their family to find a winning treatment plan.
Cotton O’Neil is proud to announce that Dr. Boudreaux has joined our medical team and will practice as a neurological surgeon. His practice will be located at 823 S.W. Mulvane in Topeka.
Dr. Boudreaux received his medical degree at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La., in 2009. He completed a surgical internship at University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas, in 2010. He completed a residency program in neurosurgery at University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas, in 2016.
“It is a great responsibility to treat neurosurgical diseases,” said Dr. Boudreaux. “When a treatment decision is reached, the patient and their family form a personal relationship with their surgeon. There is no better feeling than to ‘win’ with the patient. I hope to do the best for my patients by educating them about treatment options and providing technically excellent surgical care.”
He and his wife, Barbara, have two young daughters, Lucy and Ellerie, and they are expecting twin boys in October of this year.
Dr. Boudreaux is now accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to this neurological surgeon.