National Doctors’ Day: Meet The Doctors of Provision CARES Proton Therapy Centers

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In honor of National Doctors’ Day this Saturday, March 30, Provision would like to take a moment to honor and celebrate the excellent care that our physicians provide. This annual event was first recognized in 1933 on the anniversary of the first time general anesthesia was used in surgery and became an official national holiday in 1990.

In Knoxville, we celebrate three doctors providing advance cancer treatment to our patients.

Dr. Ben Wilkinson, MD is a Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville.  Dr. Wilkinson joined Provision from Willis-Knighton Cancer and Proton Therapy Center in Louisiana.  During his time in Louisiana, he served as an assistant professor of radiation oncology for LSU School of Medicine where he taught medical students, residents and fellows. He has also authored or co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts, review articles, and book chapters. Dr. Wilkinson is committed to community outreach and was named a More Than Pink Hero by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  He is a board member for Radiating Hope, a non-profit that provides radiation treatment equipment to developing countries including Panama, Senegal, and Nepal.

Dr. Allen Meek, MD is also a Radiation Oncologist as well as Medical Director of Provision Medical Group.  Dr. Allen Meek comes to Knoxville from Long Island, New York where he was the Founding Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook University Medical School and a Professor for over 28 years.  While in New York, Dr. Meek received numerous awards, including Top Doctors in New York and Best Doctors in the USA, along with awards for Humanitarianism and Environmental Stewardship. Also, he was just recently recognized as a 2012 U.S. News and World Report Top Doctor and one of the Best Doctors in America® for 2014.

Dr. Robert Lavey, MD, M.P.H is a Radiation Oncologist for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville.  Dr. Lavey has been board-certified in Radiation Oncology since 1988.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned his Doctorate in Medicine from Stanford University. He completed his residency in radiation oncology at Duke University and was awarded National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Stanford University Department of Medicine and the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.  Dr. Lavey has advanced the treatment of cancer as the Principal Investigator or Radiation Oncology Coordinator of 15 internationally conducted clinical trials sponsored by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI).  He held leadership roles in three NCI-funded international cooperative clinical trial groups.  He has written 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles in medical journals and 24 chapters in oncology textbooks.

In Nashville, we celebrate our two doctors providing proton therapy cancer treatment to our patients.

Dr James R. Gray, MD, FACRO is the Medical Director for Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville.  Dr. Gray studied biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, graduating with highest honors. He then studied medicine at Vanderbilt University on a scholarship with the US Navy. After discovering his fascination with oncology and radiation therapy, he trained in radiation oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and was the recipient of a Clinical Oncology Fellowship from the American Cancer Society. He has also initiated and been involved in local and multi-institutional clinical trials, and has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts, including presentations at national meetings. He has been active in the American Cancer Society at the regional level and has been recognized with the local John C. Tune Award and the St. George National Award.

Dr. James Zhu, MD PhD is a Radiation Oncologist at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Nashville.  Dr. Zhu majored in electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, and then finished his PhD in biomedical engineering. Dr. Zhu received his medical education at the University of California in San Diego. During his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Florida, Dr. Zhu went through rigorous training to use proton therapy as an integral part of the residency curriculum. As an established researcher, his work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed medical and engineering journals and presented at many national and international conferences. He was a chief resident and honored with the Radiological Society of North America (RNSA) Roentgen Resident Research Award.

Proton Therapy can treat multiple types of cancers including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, head and neck cancer and many other solid-tumor based cancers.  Our physicians not only offer high quality diagnostic and treatment services, they are advancing cancer care through commitment to research, multidisciplinary collaboration, and community outreach.  To all our doctors, thank you for all you do for our patients and our community!

 

Provision offers more than proton therapy

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Neither Ryan Unger nor Chris Bowlin intended to become physicians, but life has a way of changing plans.

Unger, who grew up in South Knoxville, started out selling college meal packages and then lab supplies before deciding he wanted to challenge himself with medical school. He is now a family practice physician.

Bowlin, who spent much of his childhood in West Knoxville, intended to follow his father on an engineering career path then switched to pre-med, ultimately pursuing podiatry thanks to the influence of a family friend.

Both came back home to launch their practices, found each other and have recently opened Faculty Physicians, a new medical office affiliated with Healthstar Physicians, on the Provision campus.

“What both of us offer is a good approach to medicine and a good understanding of patients,” says Unger. “Chris and I both agreed, we want to build an old-fashioned medical practice here in Knoxville. We want this to be our first practice and our last practice.”

Bowlin offers comprehensive foot and ankle care and specializes in surgery that can range from orthopedics to reconstruction for adult and pediatric patients. He also treats any other issues associated with foot health. Unger practices family medicine for patients of all ages. Both are certified wound care specialists.

The doctors say their practices complement each other, as foot and ankle problems are often symptomatic of chronic diseases that require the management of a primary care physician and vice versa. Their styles of practice are compatible as well, as they share the common goal of providing patient-centric, innovative, lifestyle-oriented health care.

“We both want to be able to take time talking with and listening to our patients.” Bowlin says. “In addition to treating patients’ immediate medical needs, we want to teach them to be good stewards of their health.”

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