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Minnesota Oncology News                                                                                   February 2017
In This Issue
Upcoming Events & Support Groups


Minnesota Oncology and  Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd.  recently announced a partnership to facilitate development of a Melanoma Center of Excellence in the Twin Cities. As of March 1st, Plastic Surgery Consultants LTD in Edina, led by Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon  Sam Economou, MD , will become a division of Minnesota Oncology. Dr. Economou is a leading melanoma surgeon in the Twin Cities and is the only Plastic Surgeon in the metropolitan area performing sentinal node biopsy for melanoma.

Sam Economou_ MD
Sam Economou, MD
"The physicians at Minnesota Oncology have worked closely with me for many years to provide patients with what amounts to a virtual melanoma program," said Dr. Economou. "With the advent of immunotherapy, our melanoma patients have more options than ever in the treatment of metastatic disease. This requires an even closer working relationship between providers caring for these patients. This merger will take that program a step further to unify care under one entity."

"This partnership will provide more efficiency and lead to an increased ability to further our efforts to provide patients with the option to participate in clinical trials and positively impact our ability to conduct research in melanoma," said  Dean Gesme, MD, president of Minnesota Oncology. "More importantly, we hope this will lead to the future development of a formal Melanoma Center of Excellence in partnership with Allina Health. This all will provide an even higher level of care for our mutual patients."

In many ways, this change will be relatively seamless and virtually invisible to patients. Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. staff will remain unchanged and the daily routine in their office will operate as usual. Dr. Economou will continue to see patients in his present Edina office space at Edinborough Corporate Center East and will continue to operate at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Dr. Economou trained at Mayo Clinic and has been annually named a Top Doctor and Top Doctor for Women by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine & Minnesota Monthly Magazine. He will continue to provide a full spectrum of Aesthetic/Reconstructive Surgery options for patients, including cosmetic & breast surgery.

About Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Sam Economou, plastic surgeon and president of  Plastic Surgery Consultants, has provided his patients with state-of-the-art care in Plastic Surgery. He has been selected as a Top Doctor and Top Doctor for Women multiple times. Trained at Mayo Clinic and Board Certified in Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, he performs a broad range of cosmetic procedures. These include Breast Lift, Breast Augmentation, Liposuction, Tummy Tuck, and Facial Cosmetic Surgery. He is the only Plastic Surgeon in Minnesota offering Liposonix, a non-surgical, non-invasive method of fat reduction. Plastic Surgery Consultants provides highly skilled, personal care placing patients needs first. For information, visit
PJFlynnP.J. Flynn, M.D. Named East Metro GI Cancer Lead

P.J. Flynn, MD
Minnesota Oncology announced that oncologist P.J. Flynn, M.D., will be leading the practice's GI (gastrointestinal) Cancer program in the East Metro.

Dr. P.J. Flynn has been a leader in cancer care in the Twin Cities for decades, said Dean Gesme, MD. "He is an excellent and compassionate physician, an outstanding teacher, and a leader in cutting-edge research."
Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer is a term for the group of cancers that affect the digestive system. This includes cancers of the esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel (large intestine or colon and rectum), and anus. Because GI cancer is the most common form of cancer, Minnesota Oncology believes that this leadership role is important.

As Minnesota Oncology's GI Oncology lead physician in the East Metro, Dr. Flynn will be participating in multidisciplinary efforts with gastroenterologists, colon and rectal surgeons, and other specialists in the East Metro and will work closely with Allina Health, including Virginia Piper Cancer Institute.

"I look forward to continuing my close work with other area specialists to provide the best collaborative care possible for patients diagnosed with GI cancers," said Dr. Flynn, who practices out of Minnesota Oncology's Woodbury clinic location.

Dr. Flynn is widely recognized for his clinical research achievements - particularly serving for 30 years as the principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute Grant Funded Metro Clinical Community Oncology Project (CCOP). He has received numerous honors and accolades over the years, most recently being recognized with the 2016 Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award which is given annually to an outstanding physician by the Twin Cities Medical Society Foundation.

Dr. P.J. Flynn can be reached by contacting Minnesota Oncology's Woodbury Clinic at 651-735-7414.
HopeHealing Begins with Hope: MNO Patient's inspiring story featured on KARE-11 News
Minnesota Oncology patient Hans Johnson was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in August 2015. Hans has beat the odds and was able to "ring the bell" afert he completed his last chemotherapy at the Minneapolis Clinic earlier this month. Watch his inspiring story of hope, laughter, and healing here:
BlanketsMcKinley Elementary School Students Donate Handmade Blankets to Minnesota Oncology Patients

A group of 4th graders at Ham Lake's McKinley Elementary School are doing their part to give back.  Together they made more than 100 blankets for Minnesota Oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy, and last month they got a special "shout-out" from Alexia Hansen, our Fridley Clinic manager, for their thoughtfulness.

UnglaubMNOncology Welcomes Brian Unglaub, APRN, CNP, to Edina Clinic

Brian Unglaub, APRN, CNP
Earlier this month, Minnesota Oncology recently welcomed Advanced Practice Provider Brian Unglaub, APRN, CNP, to the care team at our Edina Clinic.

Brian has Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn. He earned a  Master of Nursing with an Adult and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner specialty from Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Brian has more than 13 years of clinical experience, including four years in oncology as a Nurse Practitioner at CentraCare, as well as experience in clinical, hospital, and veteran's care settings.

"My approach to care is simple," Brian explains. "It centers around being present with patients and family. I strive to present treatment options that align with patient and family goals of care."

Brian lives in Minnetonka with his wife and two daughters. "I enjoy spending free time with my family, being outdoors, grilling, brewing beer and listening to live music," he says.
MOCAFBLiveMinnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance Discusses Support Offerings

Stefanie Gliniany (left) from Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) stopped by our Edina Clinic last week to share information and updates about MOCA's program offerings and support groups. Watch the video here.
Jessica Deutsch
Left to right: Melissa Furch, Jim Taglia, Jeanne Morris and Jessica Deutsch - Lymphoma survivors and members of The Knockouts, Minnesota Lymphoma Walk Team

Five years ago, Jessica Deutsch, a healthy swim instructor, celebrated her 21st birthday with friends in Las Vegas. The happy celebration ended when she returned home and woke up not feeling well. "I was having trouble swallowing, and it quickly progressed to a cough," she explained.

Deutsch was diagnosed with bronchitis, but gradually she began to have trouble breathing, and swallowing was becoming more difficult. She went to a different doctor who ordered a chest x-ray and found a mass in her chest. A biopsy of the mass revealed that it was lymphoma, a blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system.

After her diagnosis, Deutsch was referred to  Dr. Timothy Toonen at Minnesota Oncology's  Saint Paul Cancer Center. She underwent six rounds of chemotherapy there followed by 25 radiation treatments at our  Maplewood Cancer Center. Treatment was followed by speech therapy to regain closure of her voice box.

Deutsch said that her treatment went well with very minimal side effects. The experience, although traumatic, was also life-changing for her. She decided she wanted to pursue a medical career and ended up doing her externship at the Minnesota Oncology clinic where she had received her treatment. When she completed a Medical Assistant program, she was hired by Minnesota Oncology about a year and half ago.

"I can really understand and relate to our patients," Deutsch said. "I know what it's like to go through chemotherapy and to have to manage all of those medications." She said her experience makes it easier for her to talk to patients about their treatment and explain things better.

Deutsch kept a positive attitude throughout her cancer diagnosis and treatment. Her participation in the  Lymphoma Research Foundation Lymphoma Walk played a large role in that, she said. Deutsch formed a walking team with family and friends the year she was diagnosed. Five years later, her team, "The Knockouts," is the one of the largest and top fundraising teams participating in the annual fundraising event. And on February 9, Deutsch was presented with the 2017 Inspiration Award by Lymphoma Research Foundation at the  10th Annual Love to Find a Cure Event.

The award was presented to Deutsch along with her teammates Melissa Furch, Jeanne Morris, and Jim Taglia, all of whom are lymphoma survivors. Since starting their team in 2011, The Knockouts have raised nearly $50,000 in support of LRF, and they have already signed up their team for the 2017 Minnesota Lymphoma Walk in June. For more information about the Walk, please visit: .

Minnesota Oncology is proud to sponsor Angel After Hours. Join us on March 7th at Tattersall Distilling for the first Angel After Hours event of 2017. You won't want to miss this evening of locally-crafted spirits and liqueurs, food truck goodies, and fundraising games.
  • Locally-crafted spirits and liqueurs
  • Food truck goodies by New Bohemia
  • Games, games and more games!
  • All proceeds benefit Angel Foundation!
Tickets: $20
Includes a souvenir rocks glass  and drink ticket

When: Tuesday, March 7, 5-8 p.m.
6:00 p.m. - Reception and Silent Auction
7:00 p.m. - Dinner, Live Auction, Program, and Fund-A-Need
9:30 p.m. - After Party Dancing to Boogie Wonderland

Where: Tattersall Distilling, 1620 Central Ave NE Ste 150, Minneapolis
Get your tickets  here.