After nearly 20 years of being an independent provider affiliated with Blanchard Valley Health System (BVHS), Stephen Lutz, MD, a physician who specializes in radiation oncology, has officially become an employed member of the medical staff.
A Detroit native, Dr. Lutz graduated from the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Ann Arbor, Michigan). He is an active participant in research, an international guest lecturer on quality-of-life issues in cancer care and has had manuscripts published by CANCER, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Lutz holds a second board certification in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Lutz first began practicing at Blanchard Valley Health System in 2003.
“As the landscape has changed for private practice specialists, I had the wonderful opportunity to join with Blanchard Valley Health System, as they continue to expand oncology services,” Dr. Lutz said.
What Dr. Lutz appreciates most about BVHS, in addition to the quality and collegiality of his fellow physicians, is the commitment the organization has shown and made to specialty care such as radiation oncology.
“The capabilities and the continuity of the staff in the radiation oncology department is something that is the envy of everyone I know that does this for living around the country,” Dr. Lutz said. “I talk to dozens of people, and all of them would like to have the skill we have with our team, and they say there is no micropolitan that has a center of this quality. The health system’s ability to maintain up-to-to-date, excellent radiation oncology given our geographical location is an organizational home run.”
The efforts toward radiation oncology at BVHS continued to be enhanced. This includes the recent addition of Ankit Modh, MD, who is also a radiation oncology physician.
“The ability to get someone as skilled as Dr. Modh is a remarkable blessing for me and for the community. Now there will be two radiation oncology doctors dedicated to the community to meet the increasing need of the patient numbers and complexity,” Dr. Lutz said.
Dr. Lutz noted that over the years, the amount of time and requirements have increased exponentially within the practice of oncology. Adding another physician will allow Dr. Lutz more time to devote himself to his specialty and continue to grow along with the ever-growing needs seen inside the field.
“The depth of the relationships that are built with patients is extremely rewarding. What I do for a living allows me to be intimately involved in people’s lives at the most critical junction of their lives, and that makes this job incredibly worthwhile.”
Among many personal interests, Dr. Lutz enjoys running, hiking, biking, baseball, writing and singing. He also serves as a local high-school track and cross-country coach. While it may sound like an odd correlation, at first, Dr. Lutz noted an observable similarity between his coaching and professional experiences.
There are so many times when you can see someone’s entire life turn based on one set of interactions or one season of goal-making,” Dr. Lutz explained. “There are a number of similarities in coaching high school athletes and helping people take cancer therapy. Much of it has to do with the depth of the relationship, how much you care and the consistency, front to back, in working with someone. That’s the work that’s incredibly inspiring, it really is.”