LIBERTY, Mo. -- As one of the nation’s leading breast imaging specialists, you might not expect Dr. Amy Patel at Liberty Hospital to be a fan of WWE wrestling.
But you’d be wrong.
“I grew up watching it because my brother was such a huge fan,” Patel said. “So I actually watched it, so I know a lot of the wrestlers.”
And now, it’s fair to say the WWE knows all about the work of Patel.
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, the WWE is teaming up with Susan G. Komen to celebrate “Champions of Hope" -- patients, doctors and breast cancer advocates all over the nation who have gone above and beyond in the search for a cure.
Patel was a top five finalist in the contest because of her unique backstory.
Born and raised in Chillicothe, Missouri, Patel earned advanced medical degrees in both Missouri and Kansas before accepting a prestigious position at Harvard University in Boston.
But last year, Patel put Beantown behind her after realizing she could have a bigger impact in the fight against breast cancer back home in Missouri.
“I was actually walking through Walmart in Chillicothe with my mom and I saw a couple that we’ve known forever,” Patel said. “And the wife said, ‘Why are you out in Boston helping those patients? Why aren’t you here taking care of us? Were you’re family.’ Then I felt really guilty, like gosh why am I not home?”
Patel joined the staff at Liberty Hospital last summer and now serves as medical director at Liberty Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center.
In addition to her clinical work, Patel lobbied for big changes in state insurance law in Jefferson City. With her help, many private insurers now cover 3-D mammography.
It's a major change for thousands of women in Missouri and beyond.
“Kansas quickly followed,” Patel said. “Not even going through the Kansas legislature, they deemed that all private insurers in Kansas had to cover 3-D mammography.”