Skin Deep Wisdom

Story by Ann E. Butenas

University Health Expanding Dermatology  Services to Meet Growing Market Demand

In the realm of healthcare, dermatology stands out as a vital branch of medicine dedicated to diagnosing and treating skin-related issues. The human skin, the body’s largest organ, serves as the first line of defense against external factors, reflecting overall well-being. From commonplace conditions like acne and eczema to the more formidable challenges posed by skin cancer, dermatologists assume a pivotal role in preserving and enhancing health. University Health acknowledges the profound significance of dermatology in the pursuit of comprehensive healthcare and is committed to addressing the burgeoning demand for dermatological care.

University Health’s dedication to exceptional patient care extends to the field of dermatology. This academic medical center recognizes that skin-related concerns can impact not only physical health but also overall quality of life. In response to the rising need for specialized dermatological services, University Health has embarked on a strategic initiative to establish itself as a prominent destination in this field. This endeavor includes the strategic recruitment of three distinguished general dermatologists and two accomplished Mohs surgeons, all of whom bring their extensive experience and unwavering dedication to meet the ever-growing demand for dermatological care.

University Health boasts a fully equipped program capable of delivering a comprehensive range of dermatological services, encompassing general dermatology and specialized treatments. These involve skin cancer screening and treatments employing advanced techniques such as Mohs micrographic surgery, traditional skin cancer removal, electrodessication curettage, surgical dermatology, and cutting-edge light and laser therapy. Additionally, they offer patch testing for chemical sensitivity, ensuring a holistic approach to dermatological care. Join University Health on its journey to promote skin health, enhance well-being, and provide unparalleled dermatological care in our community

Meet the Dermatology Experts at University Health

The dermatology team at University Health is truly elite, characterized by their exceptional expertise, unwavering commitment to service, and dedication to timely access to care; they are not only poised for growth but also for cultivating new providers to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the future patient base.

In the ever-evolving field of dermatology, expertise and accessibility are paramount. University Health proudly presents three exceptional dermatologists who have joined the team to expand its dermatology service line and meet the increasing demand for top-tier skincare. Leading the charge is Anand Rajpara, MD, Chairman of the department, and the driving force behind the hospital’s current expansion of services. Matthew Fink, MD FAAD in practice at Independence, brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to patient care. Allison Swanson, MD with her unique specialization and qualities, adds a distinctive dimension by seeing both adults and children. Each of these esteemed dermatologists bring their own unique motivations and goals, further enhancing skin healthcare at University Health.

Matthew Fink, MD

Matthew Fink, MD, FAAD

Dr. Matthew Fink, MD, FAAD, shared his experiences since joining the dermatology department at University Health. He recognized an appealing opportunity to provide services for a growing eastern Jackson County population and has been practicing at the Independence location since July-2023.In fact his wife Kristin has joined him in relocating his practice and serves alongside him as a Physician’s Assistant (PA). Dr. Fink expressed his satisfaction with the opportunities that have unfolded during his time at University Health, stating,

“The gratifying work here at University Health has invigorated my practice, and my life at large, in all the ways I hoped it might,” he noted.

One remarkable aspect that Dr. Fink observed at University Health is the carefully curated ethos of service that permeates the organization. He noted that this commitment to service is actively sustained and absent in other organizations he has been a part of. He commented on the challenges faced by healthcare organizations in maintaining a focus on patient care as they grow but emphasized that at University Health, there is a genuine and staunch commitment to making the right choices to prioritize care delivery.

Anand Rajpara, MD

Anand Rajpara, MD

Dr. Anand Rajpara’s journey to University Health has been driven by a unique blend of passions. With a background that has taken him to various highly regarded health systems, he found in University Health the perfect opportunity to merge his love for academic medicine with his dedication to serving a diverse demographic of patients. Having previously served as a residency program director, Dr. Rajpara’s most fulfilling experiences revolved around teaching and mentoring residents and medical students. University Health provides the ideal platform for  Dr. Rajpara’s to pursue his passions in both academic medicine and caring for patients..

What has left a lasting impression on Dr. Rajpara during his time at University Health is the remarkable sense of kindness, support, and diversity among the staff and faculty.

“In stark contrast to some other academic institutions, everyone at University Health shares a genuine happiness in contributing to the institution’s mission,” he reflected. This shared belief in providing healthcare for all, regardless of financial means, fosters a sense of purpose and dedication that permeates the organization. It’s a culture that not only aligns with Dr. Rajpara’s values but also empowers him to make a meaningful difference in the lives of his patients.

Allison Swanson, MD

Allison Swanson, MD -Pediatric Dermatology Specialist 

Dr. Allison Swanson is a dedicated dermatologist who has recently joined the newly established Department of Dermatology at University Health. She began her medical journey at the University of MO-Columbia School of Medicine, followed by residency in Dermatology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a fellowship in Pediatric Dermatology at the University of CA-San Diego, earning double board certification in Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology.

As a native of Kansas City, Dr. Swanson has strong ties to the community, having worked at Children’s Mercy Hospital and in private practice. Her career goals have always included teaching and training new physicians, and she’s excited to be part of University Health’s mission. Her expertise spans various skin conditions in children, including severe atopic dermatitis, vascular tumors, birthmarks, and genetic skin diseases, as well as common issues like acne, warts, and viral rashes. Dr. Swanson’s commitment to accessible care for patients of all ages aligns with the department’s mission, as she brings a wealth of expertise to provide excellent care to pediatric and adult patients at University Health.

Unveiling the Power of Mohs Micrographic Surgery in Skin Cancer Treatment

Prevalence of skin cancers in the metro area has been on the rise, underscoring the importance of advanced treatments. Mohs surgery, renowned for its precision and effectiveness, plays a pivotal role in addressing these skin cancer cases. In that vein, University Health provides state-of-the-art technology and techniques, ensuring patients receive the highest quality care, reinforcing their dedication to the overall health and well-being of everyone for whom they care.

University Health offers dedicated Mohs surgery services to patients, with initial availability at its mid-town location, and plans for expansion to the Independence site.

Michael Siscos, MD

Two Mohs surgeons have joined the practice. Thomas Hocker, MD and Michael Siscos, MD both bring significant expertise in treating skin cancer. Dr. Michael Siscos, a dual board-certified Mohs Micrographic Surgeon and Dermatologist, embarked on a career in dermatology driven by a passion for intricate surgical procedures His journey into dermatologic surgery has evolved into a specialization in Mohs and skin cancer surgery, reconstructive plastic surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. After completing his surgical fellowship training in Los Angeles, Dr. Siscos found his calling in the complexity and detail of dermatologic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Dr. Siscos indicated that what distinguishes UH Dermatology is its commitment to providing optimal healthcare to all patients, through a collaborative team of skilled dermatologists, nurses, and staff. As an academic medical center, UH Dermatology tackles a wide range of skin diseases and manages complex cases. Dr. Siscos and his team stay abreast of the latest advancements in dermatology through active participation in local, national, and international dermatology meetings, ensuring they remain at the forefront of the field.

“At UH Dermatology, we are pleased to offer full-service dermatology and dermatologic surgery to our patients,” expressed Dr. Siscos. “My surgical subspecialty includes Mohs micrographic surgery which is a unique type of skin cancer surgery that combines surgery and microscopic margin analysis and offers the highest (up to 99%) potential for cure for most skin cancers. Mohs surgery achieves this high cure rate because the cancer is removed with the highest precision while sparing healthy skin and normal tissue. Reconstructive plastic surgery techniques are subsequently performed to restore natural appearance and function to the area. I also specialize in dermatologic oncology and enjoy seeing patients who’ve had skin cancer previously and/or have a lesion they’re concerned about. Mohs surgery is the leading standard of care for most skin cancers and I’m very excited to offer this treatment.”

At University Health dermatology clinics, patients benefit from a comprehensive range of services, including Mohs micrographic surgery. Dr. Sisco approaches patient care with a focus on establishing trust and understanding individual needs. Whether performing surgery for skin cancer or cosmetic procedures, he prioritizes patient comfort, results, and satisfaction, ensuring each patient receives personalized and compassionate care.

Addressing Market Demand

In today’s healthcare landscape, access to dermatological care has become a pressing concern. The current shortage of dermatologists in the market has led to prolonged wait times for new patient appointments. University Health understands the urgency of these issues and remains committed to bridging the gap in access to care. Their unwavering commitment extends to all patients, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to receive quality dermatological care quickly. Moreover, there are plans to initiate a Dermatology residency training program in 2025 to address the regional shortage of dermatologists.

Kristin Fink, PA

Expansion Locations

University Health has also made substantial investments to expand its dermatology practice and facilities in Eastern Jackson County, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to meet the evolving needs of the community’s growing families.

To support the hospital’s regional growth, and expand staffing to better serve its patients, University Health has strategically established two key locations. The first is at its campus in mid-town Kansas City, where patients can access dermatology services from Dr. Rajpara and Dr. Swanson. The second location, in Independence, provides state-of-the-art facilities for Dr. Matthew Fink and Kristin Fink, PA-C.   Renovations in progress in Independence will offer expanded space for dedicated Mohs surgery rooms, a specialized waiting area, and a dermatopathology lab, ensuring patients receive the highest level of care and convenience. The Independence Mohs surgery space will open in mid-June 2024.

Academic Connection

University Health takes pride in its academic setting, where the fusion of patient care and education forms the cornerstone of the hospital’s mission. The dermatology services seamlessly align with the institution’s academic objectives, emphasizing not only the delivery of exceptional patient care but also the advancement of knowledge and expertise in the field. The commitment of University Health to both patients and the academic community ensures that dermatology stands as a testament to excellence in healthcare and education.

Your Path to Comprehensive Dermatological Excellence and Accessibility

University Health’s response to the growing market demand for dermatological care is marked by proactive measures, including the recruitment of highly experienced dermatologists.  Furthermore, their dedication to academic excellence underscores its mission to advance dermatological knowledge while providing top-tier care through advanced training programs.

University Health’s dermatology department embodies the essence of balanced healthcare, going beyond the extremes often associated with dermatology. They address the vital and ever-growing demand for dermatological care, recognizing that skincare isn’t just about aesthetics, but also about maintaining overall health and addressing various skin concerns. With a commitment to providing comprehensive, accessible, and evidence-based care, University Health’s dermatology team focuses on the real-world needs of patients, ensuring that everyone receives the attention and treatment they require for healthy, radiant skin.