Park Ridge Health Cancer Services Welcomes New Medical Director

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Hendersonville, NC(November 5, 2018)Park Ridge Health welcomes Velmalia Matthews-Smith, M.D. as the new Medical Director of Cancer Services. Dr. Vel, as she prefers to be called, is a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center physician who is part of a collaborative care effort with Park Ridge Health. She will spearhead the Park Ridge Health Cancer Program which integrates the clinical expertise and scientific research of Wake Forest Baptists internationally recognized oncologists with the needs of patients throughout Western North Carolina.

Dr. Vel completed her fellowship in hematology-oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN where she received National Cancer Institute funding to research EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) mutations in lung cancer and was awarded the Most Outstanding Clinician honor by the faculty within the Division of Hematology and Oncology. She is a board-certified medical oncologist with interests in women's health and genomic epidemiology.

I have focused my medical career on bridging the gap and closing the miles to provide access to the leading innovations in cancer care, like those being developed at Wake Forest Baptist, said Dr. Vel, and now, I am excited to blend that care with the wholistic approach to health, the lifestyle of health that is at the heart of the Park Ridge Health whole-person care model-mind, body and spirit.

Park Ridge Health is excited to collaborate with the team at Wake Forest Baptist to bring the expertise and compassionate care of Dr. Velto our cancer care team. This relationship expands our commitment to offering a wholistic approach to care for our patients close to home, said Jimm Bunch, Park Ridge Health President and CEO. Dr. Vels uncommon compassion for people shines through as she delivers innovative cancer care options to her patients and helps develop treatment possibilities through vital cancer research.

Wake Forest Baptist was recently ranked the highest in North Carolina for cancer care and 19thin the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

We are pleased to be able to extend the expertise of our academic medical center to even more patients in Western North Carolina, said Boris C. Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology and Director of Wake Forest Baptists Comprehensive Cancer Center. Many of our patients come from this area of the state, so this partnership will allow more people to conveniently receive world-class cancer services close to where they live.

This oncology clinical affiliation with Wake Forest Baptist provides our patients access to the most advanced scientific research along with the personalized Whole-person care right here in our local communities, said Linda Richards, Park Ridge Health Cancer Services Administrative Director. Park Ridge Health Cancer Services patients will have greater access to cancer subspecialties, clinical research trials and quality management.

Dr. Vel has two daughters and they are thrilled to now call Western North Carolina home. When she is not caring for patients, Dr. Vel is caring for her daughters who are active in swimming and gymnastics.

Park Ridge Health Cancer Services is accredited by The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. Our multidisciplinary team of Medical and Radiation Oncologists, board-certified surgeons and hospital-based specialists/subspecialists provide high-quality, personalized care to the people of Western North Carolina. This specialized teams focus on prevention and early detection continues to increase survival rates and improve quality of life for our patients.

Park Ridge Health Cancer Services provides care at four infusion centers conveniently located in Asheville, Clyde, Hendersonville and Weaverville.

Dr. Matthews-Smith is welcoming new patients at the Park Ridge Health Cancer Services office on our Main Campus in Hendersonville. For more information, visit parkridgehealth.org or call Call855-774-LIFE (5433).

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