When it comes to medical oncology and cancer care, utilizing the best medical science has to offer is key, as is the ability to deliver the best care as close to home as possible, says Kimberly Wyn Schlesinger, M.D.

"Being able to connect with people one on one and allowing patients to receive their care close to home allows for less travel time, which creates less fatigue and opens patients up to being able to spend more time doing the things they want to do and healing," Schlesinger said.Dr. Kimberly Schlesinger

Today, at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, Schlesinger is helping build that very type of cancer care program that promotes healing close to home.

Riverside is pleased to announce that Schlesinger has joined the team as the Tappahannock hospital's new, full-time oncologist.

"Having a full time oncologist in our community is what people diagnosed with cancer need and deserve. We—not just Riverside but the community--are so fortunate that someone with her reputation is joining us," said Esther Desimini, Vice President and Administrator of Riverside Tappahannock Hospital, who's background includes serving as an oncologist nursing specialist.

Schlesinger comes to Riverside from Hematology Oncology Associates of Fredericksburg.

However, she's no stranger to the Riverside Health System. From 2005 to 2014 Schlesinger practiced with the Riverside Medical Group / Peninsula Cancer Institute and served as the Medical Director of the Breast Cancer Program, the interim Oncology Service Line Director and the Co-Director of the Neuro-Oncology and Combined Surgical/Medical Oncology Pilot Program Clinics. 

"I believe Riverside is committed to local care and I was very intrigued about the opportunity to develop a program here," Schlesinger said about why she chose to return to the health system. "The opportunity to create something for a community in need really attracted me."

Schlesinger attended medical school at the University of Pittsburgh and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia's Health Sciences Center before returning to Pittsburgh for her oncology fellowship, where her areas of emphasis included breast cancer and coagulation. She is board certified in hematology, medical oncology and internal medicine.  

She chose oncology because she "felt called to it," she said. "In oncology, you have the opportunity to meld the best of science and molecular biology with the human aspect and human experience." 

In Tappahannock, Schlesinger said, "my vision is to help create a program that offers the best care locally, in people's back yards."

In a small community the importance of building relationships is key to healing and it will remain a key focus of her work with patients in Tappahannock and the surrounding areas.

"The idea of relationships is so important," she said, explaining that "it's not just the relationship between the doctor and the patient, but also between the patient and nurses and the staff, and the staff and the nurses."

After all, the physician is really just the front man for the band, she said, "and it's the band that carries the team –from the nurses at the bedside delivering the chemotherapy to the staff. There is so much more to the healing process than what the physician brings to the table. It truly is about the team and I'm delighted to be here and part of it." 

To make an appointment with Dr. Shlesinger, please call 804-443-6137.

Published: January 20, 2017