Tom Hegarty, M.D., has been caring for patients at Heartland Cancer Center for only a short time but he is already eager to share with the community his enthusiasm about the facility and its services.
Two upcoming special events will give him the opportunity to do so.
An open house at Heartland, 204 Cleveland St., is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. A Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours gathering will follow from 5 to 7 p.m. the same day.
“The level of care and treatment, as well as the expertise of the medical staff cannot be exceeded anywhere,” said Dr. Hegarty, a radiation oncologist. “People can choose to leave the area for cancer care but they don’t need to.
“We have worked with people who have gone other places for opinions and/or treatment,” Dr. Hegarty continued. “But they oftentimes discover they should stay close to home. Traveling for treatment rips at the very fabric of your life; you don’t have stability or crucial family support.”
Dr. Hegarty represents Central Care Cancer Center, a Salina-based venture that has 11 locations in Kansas and Missouri, including Heartland. He is especially gratified about his new position because it has allowed him to become re-acquainted with a former academic colleague.
He worked with Claudia Perez-Tamayo, M.D., Heartland radiation oncologist and Central Care president, at the University of Michigan from 1987-89.
“We went our separate ways after that,” Dr. Hegarty recalled. “And now, 25 years later, we are together again. Dr. Perez-Tamayo understands the needs of cancer patients and Central Care provides all the support they need – whether it be personnel, equipment or services.”
The Central Care medical oncologists who also treat Heartland patients are Mark Fesen, M.D., and Greg Nanney, M.D.
“Heartland is the full package,” Dr. Hegarty said, noting Central Care is growing and will continue to offer state-of-the-art services as it has for 20 years.
Dr. Hegarty’s background is extensive. He spent the last three years in the locum tenens field, which means he filled in at cancer centers where needed. The most common cancers he treats include breast, prostate, lung, gastro-intestinal and lymphomas.
“Up until three years ago, I spent most of my career serving radiation centers in rural and under-served areas,” he said. “This is so important to all of us at Central Care and Heartland. Those who live in smaller towns deserve the same high-quality treatment as people in other areas.”
Dr. Hegarty earned his medical degree in 1982 at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif. His internship and residency were performed at the University of Utah School of Medicine from 1982 to 1987.
The radiation oncologist has served at many facilities throughout the United States. In addition, he has held academic positions, including instructor at the University of Michigan.
He is a member of the American Society of Radiation Oncology; has served on many institutional committees; published a number of articles; and made many professional presentations.
Dr. Hegarty currently lives in Garden City; his wife is still in Minnesota but will join him when their daughter graduates from high school next year.
Marcia Stephenson, Central Care director of public relations, joined Dr. Hegarty in encouraging the community to attend the open house and Chamber event.
“Central Care Cancer Center is active in the central Kansas community and we want to become even more so,” Stephenson said. “We are pleased we can host these events that will give everyone the opportunity to drop by and meet the staff at Heartland.
“Many people already know Heartland is a real jewel in this community,” Stephenson added. “It will be great to demonstrate to others that this is a wonderful facility with a caring staff.”
Heartland is part of the St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center family.