Gynecologic oncologist Marisa Moroney, MD, is no stranger to rural locales. After growing up in a town of 3,000 in Nevada, she was in familiar territory when she first came to Regional West last October.

“I’m from a rural area, so I felt right at home when I arrived in Scottsbluff,” she said.

Based out of University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) in Aurora, Colorado, Dr. Moroney travels to Regional West Physicians Clinic-Women’s Center monthly to provide gynecologic cancer care. She splits her time between the Women’s Center clinic and the operating room, performing surgical procedures on the da Vinci robotic surgery system as well as seeing patients through clinic visits.

Dr. Moroney says she enjoys the comprehensive nature of gynecologic oncology.

“I love surgery, but I’m also passionate about forming long-term relationships with patients and advocating for women’s health,” she said. “Being able to perform surgery and care for women is exactly where I need and want to be.”

The geography of the rural Rocky Mountain west area can present challenges to healthcare accessibility. While patients living on Colorado’s front range have UCHealth facilities nearby, those residing hours away may not have easy access to specialty care. This is where Dr. Moroney believes the gynecologic oncology program at the Women’s Center shines.

“If a woman is being treated for cancer, it involves more than just a trip every three weeks for treatments,” she said. “Having a home base here allows patients to manage their care without traveling, and that’s a blessing.”

Dr. Moroney works in tandem with Women’s Center physicians and providers to give patients a seamless experience. She believes the partnership allows patients to receive great care at every step.

“The team at the Women’s Center is incredible. If I have a patient who needs to be seen after surgery and I’m not available, the Women’s Center’s providers see her and make sure she has the support that she needs.”

Gynecologic cancer symptoms can be non-specific. Women may experience bloating, pelvic pain or pressure, frequent urination, or unusual vaginal bleeding – all of which can be explained away. However, if symptoms persist, women should prioritize their health and seek further evaluation.

“Our patients are often taking care of their families, so they write off their symptoms and don’t take the time to care for themselves,” said Dr. Moroney. “But it’s important that both patients and providers talk about these things so we can reach a diagnosis if needed.”

Coming from a family of strong women, Dr. Moroney said she takes pride in meeting and caring for the women of Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming. She encourages them to take control of their health and reach out to their healthcare provider if problems arise.

“We’re busy at the Women’s Center, but we’re happy to be busier. If a woman needs to be seen, we’re here so she doesn’t have to travel far from home to get the care she needs.”