For Farmington resident and retired elementary school teacher, Anna Simpson, 86, getting around these days is a bit challenging. After breaking her hip a few years ago, she no longer drives, and therefore, relies on a medical transportation service to get her to and from any health check-ups. She regularly visits Parkland Health Center to see her primary care doctor, oncologist, and allergist, and really values having these quality medical providers so close to home.
“In the past, I’ve had to travel to St. Louis for many of my medical needs,” said Simpson. “With Parkland Health Center in Farmington, many of these specialists are now coming here to offer their services, which is wonderful for people like me who can no longer manage to travel over an hour to get the care they need.”
As part of BJC HealthCare, Parkland offers a unique combination of world-class medicine along with the comfort and familiarity of its deep local roots. The hospital provides quality primary and secondary level inpatient and outpatient services from obstetrics, surgery and 24/7 emergency services to cancer, cardiac and pulmonary rehab care. Parkland also has a number of medical specialists who regularly travel to the area to see patients.
Melissa Rooney, MD, a board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist at the Cancer Center at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis (also part of BJC HealthCare), is one of the specialists who sees patients at Parkland Health Center’s Cancer Center. She’s been overseeing Simpson’s treatment for lymphoma since January 2019.
“Dr. Rooney is an excellent doctor, who always takes the time to explain things to me,” said Simpson. “I never feel rushed when I’m meeting with her, and I know I’m in good hands.”
At an appointment in the fall of 2020, Dr. Rooney recommended that Simpson schedule her annual screening mammogram.
“Screening is such a critical tool in the fight against cancer. It had been 18 months since Anna’s last mammogram, so I encouraged her to schedule one,” said Dr. Rooney. “Better yet, she didn’t need an order for the test – it was a convenient walk-in test.”
On the advice of Dr. Rooney, Simpson went to Parkland Health Center – which offers diagnostic and screening mammograms, including full-field digital mammography – to get her annual mammogram.
“My mammogram technician, Sarah, was absolutely wonderful,” said Simpson. “I was in a wheelchair and couldn’t stand, so Sarah adjusted the machine, which allowed me to stay seated during the mammogram. She also helped me get me dressed. It was such a simple gesture, but I was really grateful to have that type of support.”
Fortunately, there were no concerning findings on Simpson’s mammogram. She has regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Rooney, who continues to monitor Simpson’s lymphoma and health needs.
“It’s wonderful that patients, like Anna, are able to have all of their cancer screening tests performed close to home,” said Dr. Rooney. “This allows them to enjoy the comfort and reassurance of receiving excellent care without having to travel great distances.”
In addition to Parkland Health Center’s quality services, Simpson also appreciates the compassion the medical staff has always shown her, including Dr. Rooney and the mammogram screening staff. It’s comforting for her to know she has that type of support, especially when she’s traveling to these appointments by herself.
“All of my kids live outside the area, so the staff at Parkland are like an extended family for me,” said Simpson. “I’m just really thankful to know they’re close by whenever I need them.”
Schedule your mammogram today at Parkland Health Center. In many cases, we can provide same-day and next-day appointments. Call 573-760-8460 or click here for more information.
For more information about Parkland Health Center’s Parkland Cancer Center, please call 573-701-7250.