Born at Hardin Memorial Hospital, oncologist Dr. Donald Goodin has come home to practice medicine.

The 49-year-old Elizabethtown High School graduate has practiced oncology since 2001, but has only been back home to practice with HMH since August.

In town for a funeral, a chance connection led to him applying for a job here.

Goodin did his undergrad work at Eliza­beth­town Community and Technical College and Western Kentucky University, where he received a degree in biology and chemistry. From there, he went to the University of Kentucky for medical school and his fellowship.

Oncology was an academic and personal interest after undergrad work in molecular biology.

“That’s the meat and taters of oncology,” he said.

Molecular biology deals with cell cycles and cell mutations, he said.

“I also have a lot of cancer in (my) family, so there’s also a personal component to it,” Goodin said.

His grandfather had colon cancer, his grandmother and an aunt dealt with breast cancer and he had a young cousin who suffered with brain cancer.

He likes that he’s able to help cancer patients.

“We’re getting better, so more and more we are able to offer either a cure or long-term survival,” Goodin said.

For those who can’t be cured, doctors can help with quality of life and maximizing their day-to-day activities, he said.

“Even the people we can’t cure, we can often make their lives better, which is a very rewarding part of the job,” Goodin said.

He said HMH is progressive in its outlook in cancer care, but the challenges are great in his home state.

“Unfortunately, Kentucky is No. 1 in lung cancer, so there are a lot of things to work on and hopefully we can help,” he said.

Nancy Bowles, the assistant vice president of cancer care at HMH, has known Goodin for many years.

“Dr. Goodin has always been great to work with. He’s a consummate professional, is very experienced and a talented medical oncologist,” she said. “I’m so happy to be working with him again and we are thrilled that he is here at HMH caring for our oncology patients at the HMH Cancer Care Center.”

Being home and seeing people he grew up with now as adults has been a different experience for Goodin.

“Honestly, it’s a little bit weird,” he joked.

But home is where he wants to be. He spends a lot of time with family and his nephews, when he’s not with his two rescue dogs.

“Dr. Goodin is a skilled physician with a great reputation and track record,” colleague Dr. John Godfrey said. “What’s even better is that he is an Elizabethtown native coming home to care for his friends and neighbors.”

Goodin also tries to get to the gym more. He said he works out for his own fitness, but he also knows when he tells others about their health, it’s good for him to have a healthy outlook on life as well.

He’s moved around the country a lot in medicine, but hopes Elizabethtown is his final stop.

“Your home calls you back,” he said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.