Kate Gowans, M.D., is the new Section Head of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Beaumont Children’s Hospital. Learn a little more about her specialty and join us in welcoming her to Beaumont.
What drew you to Beaumont and the pediatric hematology/oncology department?
My husband and I grew up in central and western Michigan, so coming here from Cleveland with our family is like coming back home. Attending medical school in Detroit, I have always known that Beaumont is a terrific health system, and its reputation certainly extends beyond state lines as well. I was brought to Beaumont Children’s Hospital for an exciting leadership opportunity within the division and look forward to some impressive growth that is on the horizon.
What are the unique aspects of the Beaumont’s pediatric cancer program?
I think Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer program exemplifies the fact that you don’t have to take your child or adolescent to a giant medical center, sometimes many miles from home, to receive cutting edge, thorough, compassionate care that is supported by all of the finest nurses and other top-notch sub-specialists required to care for these delicate and often very ill patients. This is a department where you feel like you’re part of our family. Your child receives the comprehensive care that they need, in an academic yet community setting, often closer to your own home.
What clinical areas are of most interest to you?
I enjoy caring for patients of all ages with any type of cancer diagnosis. I do have a strong interest in benign blood disorders as well, such as clotting or bleeding problems and anemia. In Cleveland I was very involved in blood and blood product conservation, working closely with many other team members to decrease blood product use and waste. I hope to create a program at Beaumont which will embrace these same ideas and help to decrease the need for blood transfusion for patients whose surgical procedures often require transfusion support.
What do you enjoy about working with pediatric patients?
They lift my spirits. Their bravery, their laughter, their resilience, their gratitude, the fact that they, by no choice of their own, let me into their lives to help them navigate what is even in the smoothest of times, a treacherous course. Even if a patient does not have a life-threatening or life-limiting disease, the interactions with the kids are always fun and it’s gratifying to provide parents with education and reassurance about why their child has come to see us.
What is your patient care philosophy?
Anything that you need to do – anything – you find a way to get it done to put the patient and family first. If you can’t do it, know who to call to help you get it done. Whether they show it or not, these families are in crisis, and you do what you have to do to make their journey a little bit easier.
Can you tell us one fun fact about you that you’d like patients and your new colleagues to know?
I’m a huge Spartan fan and also love the Tigers! My favorite foods are shrimp and peanut butter (just not together!), and my least favorite has to be beets. I make a great pumpkin cheesecake and my kids tell me that I make the best omelets! I’m an Iron Chef America junkie. I have seen Phantom of the Opera and Wicked probably 10 times, and know all of the words to both. It would be so hard to pick a favorite animated movie, but I probably laughed the most at Shrek and Megamind.