Years ago, one had to travel downtown to find quality health care but that is no longer the case. Fantastic doctors in a variety of specialties can be found throughout the Tristate, including north of Ronald Reagan Highway. We spoke with four doctors who practice predominately in the northern suburbs to introduce readers to the quality physicians they can find close to home.

Dr. Todd Kelley

Orthopedic Surgeon
UC Health Physicians Office North

For Dr. Todd Kelley, an orthopedic surgeon with UC Health, a bad disk in his back during college was all the inspiration he needed when he decided on his specialty.

“I was struggling to stay in school, I was struggling to stay in residency, and here’s a surgeon who actually fixed the problem and got me back to doing what I needed to do and what I wanted to do. And I found that joint replacements during residency did that same thing for people,” says Kelley.

Kelley specializes in hip and knee replacements, which can help patients get back to the lives they were living before extreme chronic pain or dysfunction slowed them down. “It gets them back to being active and not only physically and physically getting them back to what they want to do but emotionally … the most exciting thing that I see is when patients come back to me and they say, ‘Thank you for giving me my life back,’” says Kelley.

In previous years, a joint replacement surgery could take quite a bit of time to recover from, with three to four days spent in the hospital and much more additional time spent in rehab. Today, “It’s not your grandma’s hip replacement anymore,” says Kelley. Improved protocols, like having patients quit smoking or helping them maintain a healthy weight, improved pain management techniques and personalized care have allowed patients to leave the hospital the next day, if not the day of. “We really try to get people up and moving quickly, and the quicker and the more we can get them up and moving early on, the better they do,” adds Kelley.

- Corinne Minard

Dr. Hilary Shapiro-Wright
Breast Surgeon
Fort Hamilton Hospital

Dr. Hilary Shapiro-Wright initially wanted to be a pediatrician, but medical school and her residency awakened her desire to become a breast surgeon who could follow and help her patients through their lives.

“You really become a part of their life and vice versa,” she explains, “and I liked that aspect of the practice, I liked the type of medicine that was.”

She arrived in Cincinnati in December 2012 and joined Kettering Health Network a little over a year ago, finding a great fit with Kettering Health Network. As a breast surgeon at Fort Hamilton Hospital, Shapiro-Wright feels it’s one of the best health care career opportunities she’s been afforded because of the care the hospital system has for its patients above all else.

“They’ve been able to allow me to offer patients the same things that they would have in a larger institution or an academic setting,” she says, pointing out that it’s all the more impressive because of Hamilton being a long-underserved area. “It’s allowing those patients to have the same access to the same quality of care they would get in Cincinnati or in Dayton.”

Her surgical specialty was one that was long absent from the area. As such, the community of Hamilton has embraced her work helping men and women diagnosed with breast cancer or those dealing with pain or other issues.

With the new breast center at Fort Hamilton Hospital open, Shapiro-Wright’s office has moved within its imaging center, allowing her patients easy access to mammograms and ultrasounds immediately after a consultation with her. With these resources, her practice and the care she provides Hamilton will continue to grow.

-Kevin Michell

Dr. Alaba Devonne Robinson
Primary Care, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine
Mercy Health – Forest Park Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

As a physician who is trained in both internal medicine and pediatrics, Dr. Alaba Devonne Robinson is able to take care of entire families, from birth to age 100.

“I love that I don’t have to decide,” she says. “I have a patient who I started seeing when he was 6 years old and now he’s a college student at Ohio University. And he comes in and we get to have all those conversations about making good choices as a college student. I’ve taken care of families from the beginning to throughout life, so I see their growth and development.”

With the other doctors at Forest Park Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Robinson is able to help patients in a variety for ways. The practice offers an Academic Success Program for students with ADHD—”Parents and children come in and they have a psychologist who talks about how to organize backpacks and they try methods to help children with ADHD,” says Robinson—as well as a diabetes education program that helps patients take control of their disease through proper nutrition.

A program close to Robinson’s heart is the practice’s Breast Birthday Ever event. During the event, a mammography van parks in the practice parking lot. Those who stop by for a free mammogram also get to enjoy a marching band, cake and plenty of activities. This year, “it rained all day but we got 85 mammograms and I just danced in the rain,” says Robinson.

The event is just one of the many ways she works to connect with patients of any age.

- Corinne Minard

Dr. Manish S. Bhandari
Medical Oncologist
The Christ Hospital Outpatient Center - Montgomery

Dr. Manish Bhandari, a medical oncologist with The Christ Hospital Network, says that people seeking cancer treatment often come to him with certain misconceptions in mind.

“People come with the fear of the side effects of treatment. ‘I’m going to get chemotherapy, lose my hair, be nauseous, lose weight, get sick, get infections,” he says. “People clearly do come with perceptions of how maybe cancer treatments are betrayed in the movies or TV shows where people get sick or how even two, three decades ago how their parent may have had cancer treatment.”

However, much has changed. Bhandari says that not all cancers are fatal and that some forms aren’t even treated immediately.

And treatments have also changed. While surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are still treatments, they are used with much more precision and often have fewer side effects. There are also newer treatments, like targeted therapy, which uses chemotherapy drugs to specifically target genetic abnormalities like cancer, and immune therapy, which awakens the immune system to help fight the cancer.

Just as important to Bhandari, though, is helping people understand what is happening to them and giving them hope and comfort.

“How do you take all that information, see what’s meaningful [and] what can make their life better, give them hope, give them help, give their family piece of mind? Oftentimes we’re not able to cure people, we may not even be able to change the biology of the disease and make people live longer but how do we take their pain away, how do we give them hope, how do we give them dignity?” he says. “That’s just as critical as giving the right treatment or giving the right drug.”

- Corinne Minard

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