Long-Time Abben Cancer Center Oncologist Retires; New Physician Welcomed

posted on Monday, November 19, 2018 in General

Long-time radiation oncologist Dr. Donald Nordstrom has announced his plans to retire at the end of 2018, concluding 20 years of caring for patients at Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital.

In addition to his direct patient care activities covering two decades, Dr. Nordstrom was instrumental in initial planning activities when Abben Cancer Center services were initiated in 1997.

“My work at the Abben Cancer Center has been some of the happiest of my life and retirement was not an easy decision to reach,” said Dr. Nordstrom. “I’ll miss my patients, who I’ve always considered my friends.  Yet, my wife Cindy and I have numerous hobbies and are looking forward to traveling and spending more time with family.”

Bill Bumgarner, Spencer Hospital president, praised Nordstrom for his service. “Patients in our region have been fortunate to benefit from both the skills and compassion that was at the core of Dr. Nordstrom’s work.  In addition, Don has been an excellent partner in assisting the hospital to acquire the technology needed to serve our patients.  We’re very grateful for all Dr. Nordstrom has contributed to our medical community.”

Bumgarner announced that Dr. Michael Marks has been recruited by the hospital, who will initiate his practice in January.

“Radiation oncologists are in high demand, so we were fortunate to recruit a physician of Dr. Marks’ standing in a relatively short time frame,” he said. “Dr. Marks will continue Abben Cancer Center’s long tradition of offering exceptionally trained and highly experienced oncologists to meet the care needs of our patients.”

Dr. Marks earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine and has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, also from the University of Alabama.  He completed his residency training in radiation oncology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  In addition, Dr. Marks has served as an assistant professor for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina.  He most recently practiced at Mercy Cancer Center in Mason City.

“I’m looking forward to joining the Spencer medical community,” said Dr. Marks.  “During my visits to Spencer it was apparent there’s a strong level of collegiality among the medical staff and with the hospital.  It’s my objective to join together with the Spencer healthcare team to ensure the best in cancer care for the people of northwest Iowa.”  

While based at Spencer Hospital’s Abben Cancer Center, Dr. Marks will join a team of oncology specialists through Avera Medical Group Oncology & Hematology in Sioux Falls, which includes local medical oncologist Dr. Glenn Preston.  Through this relationship, he’ll be a partner with a team of professionals with expertise in oncology, hematology, bone marrow transplant, gynecologic oncology and radiation oncology.

“We highly value the collaborative relationship we’ve established with the professionals at Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls,” said Bumgarner.  “Avera Medical Group and Abben Cancer Center have formed a dynamic partnership to further enhance cancer care in our region.”

Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital provides comprehensive cancer treatment, including radiation, chemotherapy, surgical services, nutrition counseling and support, for patient throughout northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota.