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Saving More Lives; Renown Expands Breast Cancer Care, Adding Two Best-In-Class Breast Surgeons

October 04, 2023

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Renown Medical Group is thrilled to welcome two distinguished breast surgical oncologists, Colleen O'Kelly-Priddy, MD and Michelle K. Chu, MD to the team. These highly skilled breast surgeons will solely focus on providing breast care and therefore play a pivotal role in Renown Health’s William N. Pennington Cancer Institute’s commitment to provide subspecialized care to the people living in our community and beyond.

Dr. Colleen O'Kelly-Priddy is a fellowship-trained, board-certified breast surgical oncologist with an impressive background in breast cancer surgery. Dr. Priddy was born at Washoe Medical Center (which later became Renown Regional Medical Center) and grew up in Susanville, CA before attending Stanford University for her undergraduate studies. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

"I am thrilled to return to Reno to help increase access to world-class surgical breast cancer care,” said Dr. Priddy. “My focus is to provide exceptional care, particularly for young people with breast cancer. I am excited to continue my mission here in northern Nevada."

Dr. Michelle K. Chu, a board-certified general surgeon, brings her extensive experience in advanced breast cancer treatment to the Renown team. Dr. Chu received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical degree from Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Chu specializes in oncoplastic breast conserving surgery and nipple sparing mastectomies.

"I believe in tailoring treatment options to each patient's unique needs,” Dr. Chu said. “Whether it's preserving the natural shape of the breast or supporting the 'Going Flat' movement, our team strives to provide the best possible outcome for every patient."

The newest addition to the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute, Renown Breast Surgery Care provides comprehensive breast surgery care at 1500 E. 2nd Street in Reno, adjacent to the Renown Regional Medical Center campus.

"Breast cancer accounts for approximately 20% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Washoe County, with roughly 520 new cases annually, establishing it as the most prevalent cancer type within our community,” says Brian Erling, MD, MBA, President & CEO, Renown Health. “We are proud, as the community’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system, to invest in cancer prevention and early diagnoses, including mammography screening and genetic research. For those diagnosed with breast cancer, Renown now offers two superb breast surgeons specializing in breast preservation surgery, and a breast surgery center providing comprehensive, compassionate care. Our goal is to save women’s lives, save families and ensure better care and better outcomes. This is a major step forward for women’s healthcare and our community.”

As part of this expansion, Renown is assuming operations of Reno Surgical Advocates, a respected private practice in Reno. "Access to expert breast cancer care close to home is crucial, and our dedicated team at Renown Breast Surgery Care will work tirelessly to provide the highest level of care to patients while working closely with our other cancer specialists," said Max Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA, Director, William N. Pennington Institute for Cancer. “With the exceptional expertise of Dr. Colleen O'Kelly-Priddy and Dr. Michelle K. Chu, coupled with our state-of-the-art facility; Renown Health is a true partner in the fight against breast cancer in northern Nevada.”

"People are increasingly relocating to northern Nevada, and in fact, Washoe County experienced a 2.1% population growth from April 2020 to July 2022. Consequently, although northern Nevada does not exhibit an above-average cancer rate, we are observing a rise in cases at our facilities," said Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Section Chief of Medical Oncology at the William N. Pennington Cancer Institute. "Renown Health is positioned to meet this growing demand, and we take pride in consistently adding nationally renowned healthcare providers to our team to save the lives of women in northern Nevada.



About Renown Health

Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination, and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health.

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