Breast Care Services at Henry Ford Health System Gains New Director, Three New Surgeons

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Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH

Jessica Bensenhaver, MD

Monique Swain, MD

Dunya Atisha, MD

Internationally renowned breast cancer surgeon Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, has joined Henry Ford Health System to lead its metro Detroit breast cancer program and new international breast cancer research center. She begins work in December as the Director of the Breast Cancer Program at Henry Ford.

Dr. Newman comes to Henry Ford from the University of Michigan (U-M) Health System, bringing with her two colleagues from U-M, Jessica Bensenhaver, MD, and Monique Swain, MD, and one from Moffitt Cancer Center, Dunya ­Atisha, MD, to join Henry Ford’s nationally recognized breast cancer team.

Dr. Bensenhaver is a breast cancer surgeon specializing in benign and malignant breast diseases. Her research focuses on socioeconomic, geographic, and ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer, and features an outreach breast health program in Haiti. She received her medical degree from Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and completed a fellowship in breast oncology at U-M. Dr. Bensenhaver will begin seeing patients at Henry Ford in January 2016.

Dr. Swain is an obstetrics and gynecology surgeon who specializes in women at high risk for breast cancer due to abnormal genetics, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, and benign breast cancer patients. She manages gynecologic side effects of breast cancer treatment, including menopausal symptoms and sexual dysfunction; she also provides fertility-preservation counseling for premenopausal breast cancer patients. Dr. Swain received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed her postgraduate training at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC) and U-M. She sees patients at Henry Ford Medical Center–New Center One in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Dr. Atisha is a microvascular plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a special interest in restorative breast surgery. At Henry Ford, Dr. Atisha will offer flap reconstruction and surgical repair for lymphedema. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University, and completed a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery at DUMC. Dr. Attisha will begin seeing patients at Henry Ford in February 2016.

This team brings more than 40 years of combined experience in breast cancer care, allowing Henry Ford to expand its breast care services. They will join current Henry Ford surgical breast oncologists David Nathanson, MD, and Erica Proctor, MD.

Dr. Newman’s Role and Research

Dr. Newman will perform breast cancer surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield. She will oversee a multidisciplinary breast cancer conference and clinic each week at Henry Ford Medical Center-New Center One in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

She’ll also serve as Director of the Breast Cancer Global Health Research Program and Founding Medical Director of the International Center for the Study of Breast Cancer Subtypes at Henry Ford.

Leading the new international program will allow Dr. Newman to continue and grow her research on ethnicity-related variation in breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that disproportionately affects African American women and young patients.

Triple-negative breast cancer has been a focus of Dr. Newman’s ongoing work in Ghana, where the majority of cases are triple-negative. This research seeks to advance knowledge regarding the biologic and genetic origins of this disease. The international breast cancer program will include research partners at several hospitals in Ghana and Ethiopia, as well as Dr. Bensenhaver’s program in Haiti. She currently serves as Chief National Medical Advisor for the Sisters Network, Inc., a national African American breast cancer survivors organization.

She has held leadership roles with several other prominent academic and advocacy organizations such as ASCO, the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society, and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Newman obtained her Masters of Public Health degree from Harvard University. She attended medical school and completed her general surgery residency training at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and completed her fellowship in surgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to joining Henry Ford, Dr. Newman was Professor of Surgery and Director of the Breast Care Center at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. ■