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Area losing longtime oncologist but gaining a new one

ryan thomasALTON – Dr. Thomas Ryan, top left, will be retiring at the end of this summer after a long career in medical oncology in the Alton area. But the transition will be seamless as Dr. Nisarg Desai comes on board at Hematology Oncology Consultants, located in Suite 132 of Medical Office Building B on the Alton Memorial Hospital campus.

Desai, below left, who earned his medical degree in 2007, is coming to Alton after a hematology-oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (University of Buffalo) in western New York. He also completed a research fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 and an internal medicine residency at Staten Island (N.Y.) University Hospital in 2011.

“I am very impressed with Alton and Alton Memorial Hospital,” said Desai. “I really like the patient-centered and knowledge-driven approach to medicine. The diagnosis of cancer is life-changing to patients as well as their family members. With the resources available at Alton Memorial, I can help navigate those challenges while providing cutting-edge treatment.”

nisarg desaiDesai and his wife, Priyal, have one daughter. Priyal Desai is also finishing her residency in Buffalo and will be a primary care physician at Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

“My wife has family in St. Louis and also Chicago, so it will be very nice to move to the area,” Desai said.

At Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Desai worked with many well-known oncologists, authored several scientific papers and presented multiple abstracts at international meetings. He brings experience working at university hospitals, county hospitals as well as veterans hospitals.

“My philosophy is to provide not only comprehensive but personalized care to my patients,” he said. “Since the early part of my residency, I wanted to become an oncologist to make a positive difference in the lives of cancer patients. At Alton Memorial, my aim is to provide the highest standard of care to our patients.”

The phone number at Hematology Oncology Consultants is (618) 463-7323.

Ryan has been practicing in Alton since 1985. A St. Louis native, he earned his medical degree at Northwestern University in 1974.

“With oncology, I saw a field with room for rapid improvement when I started,” he said. “I will always treasure my time in Alton. I thank the people for their trust. Now it will be time to clear my head, get some rest and visit my 1-year-old granddaughter in San Francisco.”


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