Story by Megan Whitehead | Aug 31, 2016

Jefferson City medical care creates local access to cutting edge treatment.

For twenty years, Shannon Schmidt had been going for annual mammograms. For twenty years, the spot on her breast had been negative. Last summer, the scans came up positive. It was cancer.

Women in the United States carry a one in eight lifetime risk of getting breast cancer; it’s also the type of cancer most commonly diagnosed in this country. With the prevalence of the disease, it’s important to know where to get the best treatment possible. “It’s a rough thing to go through,” Schmidt says. “When I was first diagnosed, it was very shocking. You are just devastated.”

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(L to R) Dr. Haddadin, Dr. Bechtel, Shannon Schmidt, Terri Stone

As a Jefferson City Medical Group employee, Shannon knew the quality of care here in Jefferson City. She decided to keep her treatments local. “You get just as good of care here as you do at other clinics in the country,” says Schmidt. “I have trust in the physicians.” At JCMG, Schmidt found her support team in Dr. Jonathan Roberts (surgeon), Dr. John Bechtel (radiation oncologist), and Dr. Shadi Haddadin (oncologist).

JCMG partners with SSM Health – St. Mary’s to provide quality, up-to-date care for every patient. Their goal, according to their website, is to “develop an individualized treatment plan, for our patients and their families, so that we may maximize treatment goals while providing the highest quality of care,” and they accomplish that every day.

“Shannon is a great example of the importance of having a multi-disciplinary approach for the management of breast cancer,” says Dr. Haddadin. “Her plan of care was tailored to her specific needs after a review by our expert treatment team – pathologist, radiologist, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology. She benefited from the latest advances in cancer care.”

“Dr. Haddadin is very current,” Schmidt says. “He is always researching different strategies, different chemotherapies. He is always on top of the new and the latest-and-greatest procedures and techniques. JCMG’s advancements in health care are just as good as the top clinics in the country.”

Dr. Roberts was recognized as the first surgeon in Missouri to use MarginProbe. This new technology allows surgeons to detect cancerous tissue that is not visible to the eye, preventing multiple operations. Not only does this new procedure limit the amount of surgeries needed, it saves patients up to $400,000 in medical expenses.

Having experience as an employee and patient of Jefferson City health services, Schmidt wholeheartedly recommends staying in JCMO for your health care needs. Building relationships locally and being comfortable and familiar with her providers made all the difference in Schmidt’s treatment and recovery.

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(L to R) Rhonda Cummings, Cristina Klinkner, Shannon Schmidt, Sylvia Sabala

“When you go into Dr. Haddadin’s office, where they do the chemotherapy, there are other patients there. You get to talk with them, and Terri Stone [a DNP who works with Haddadin] has started a support group that meets once a month. It brings the caregivers and patients together. The physicians are always there for you. You can call them any time. They even gave me their personal cell phone numbers. They truly care about their patients.”

A little over a year after her diagnosis, Schmidt is able to cheer on her daughter, Brynn, who has Down syndrome, at her first ever Special Olympics. Shannon and her husband adopted Brynn from China four years ago.

Shannon Schmidt has reached the point in her care that she was able to ring the survivor’s bell. This is a significant moment for cancer patients and their health care team. Ringing the bell means that the patient is able to stop active treatment and begin their life free of cancer. With the help of her care team, Schmidt is about as close to remission as you can get. She, her husband, and her three children can again enjoy life, thanks to the knowledgeable treatment and support of her local physicians.

  Shannon Smith

 

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