HMH Cancer Care adds board-certified specialist


Hardin Memorial Health’s Cancer Care team has taken on a new member.

Dr. Ste­phen Tooth­aker, a Dartmouth College physician board certified in oncology, hematology and internal medicine, is seeing patients at the Elizabethtown HMH Cancer Care Center, the hospital announced in a news release.

Following his Ivy League education, Toothaker completed his residency at the Maine Medical Center for Internal Medicine and a hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital, according to the release. He went on to practice medicine in Wisconsin, Indiana and, most recently, Missouri.

Toothaker’s addition to the team is the latest in a series of investments HMH is making to ensure quality cancer treatment is available locally, the release says.

HMH Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Tom Carrico called the addition of Toothaker a big win for patients.

“Dr. Toothaker brings eight years of experience to the team and will also serve on HMH’s Multidisciplinary Breast and Lung Cancer Care teams,” Carrico said in the release.

A unique offering for a system of its size, the health group’s two multidisciplinary teams’ approach includes physicians representing a variety of specialties, working together to determine personalized treatment plans that minimize the number of visits necessary while maximizing outcomes, the release says.

“That includes oncologists, radiologists, general surgeons, plastics surgeons and several other experts working together to treat the patient quickly and with a cohesive approach,” Carrico said.

He said the HMH Cancer Care team cared for more than 900 patients last year and that number continues to grow.

Describing his reasons for coming to HMH, the release quoted Toothaker as saying the health group is committed to integrated cancer care that includes supportive care and survivorship clinics, financial counseling and psychosocial services. He also noted patients have access to clinical trials because HMH is a member of the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center Research Network, which is the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated center.

“But even more importantly,” he said, “the entire HMH team puts patients first and exhibits compassion at every turn. It is an honor to join HMH.”

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