Mary Pronovost, MD, is a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. “I started my career in this community,” says Dr. Pronovost, who operated a solo practice in Fairfield for three years and practiced as a surgeon at Bridgeport Hospital for more than a decade before joining Yale Medicine.
“I tell my patients that this disease is not a death sentence,” says Dr. Pronovost, who says a lifelong interest in women’s health made being a breast surgeon a natural fit for her. “I tell them it’s usually very treatable and manageable. Our support staff is warm and compassionate, and they do everything they can to help our patients get through their journey with as little pain and disruption as possible.”
Dr. Pronovost works closely with other specialists at Yale New Haven Health’s Park Avenue Medical Center in Trumbull to provide the full range of breast services, including lumpectomies, mastectomies and reconstructive surgeries, as well as high risk assessments and screenings.
She says options for women with breast cancer have changed dramatically since she began working in the Bridgeport area 20 years ago. They used to go from one location to another to see their breast surgeon, their oncologist and their radiation therapist, she says. Now everything is provided onsite at the Park Avenue Center, including outpatient surgeries, laboratory services, genetics counseling, support groups, nutritional therapy—even Reiki therapy and a healing garden. Patient navigators guide patients through their care and help them manage the emotional and mental challenges that come up.
“The message is that people don’t have to search too far from home to get the best care in the country. We provide that right here,” she says.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Pronovost is medical director of the Park Avenue center and director of breast services, and an assistant professor of surgery (oncology) at Yale School of Medicine.