Dermatology Health Specialists ‘Wants to See People with Skin Concerns Before They Become Issues’


(Providers at Derm Health include Jill Conway, PA-C, shown with a young patient and his mother | Photos courtesy of Dermatology Health Specialists)

“La Pine has a special place in my heart,” said Tammy Wisco, taking time away from overseeing remodeling efforts at the former dental office on Third St. that will soon become the newest location of Dermatology Health Specialists (Derm Health).

A civil engineer and land-use planner who has worked as a consultant to the City of La Pine in the past, Wisco explained that she and her husband, Dr. Oliver Wisco (who founded Derm Health to provide advanced and personalized dermatologic care in medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment and prevention, Mohs surgery and aesthetics), chose the town “to expand the reach of our services to underserved communities.”

As she elaborated: “Similar to outlying areas such as Lakeview, Burns and John Day — where the drive into our offices in Bend or Redmond can deter patients from seeking the comprehensive services we offer — we go to them. Dermatology Health Specialists wants to see people with skin concerns before they become issues.”

Specifically, “Central Oregon has a very high rate of skin cancer,” said Wisco. “Several factors are suspected to contribute to this, such as the great number of sunny days in Central Oregon, its high elevation and our ‘outdoorsy’ lifestyle. We’re finding so much skin cancer here — it’s shocking.”

On the plus side, however, Wisco emphasized that “when detected early, skin cancer is highly treatable. For this reason, Derm Health providers offer a full skin exam to all patients, as well as personalized preventative treatments. To us, health is number one in importance, for both adults and children.”

Wisco, who “grew up as a farm kid, and spent a lot of time in the sun,” knows first-hand the importance of skin exams. “Five years ago, my husband discovered an early melanoma growth on my arm that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.”

Another factor is that historically, she noted, “skin cancer hasn’t been talked about as much as some other cancers — it hasn’t been as high on the priority list. But that is changing for the better.”

And, she said, “As the focus of our practice is on prevention, life balance and overall health, we also see value in certain treatments such as chemical peels — which can provide long-term health benefits for those suffering from acne, for instance. Another example is Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), or blue light treatment, which uses a photosensitive agent and a blue light to destroy pre-cancerous cells — while also typically resulting in aesthetic improvements such as reducing fine lines and minor
skin discolorization.”

Derm Health’s goal is to open the 1,800-square-foot La Pine location on December 1 — “before the snow is really flying,” described Wisco, “and initially see patients two to three days a week. We already have a presence here at La Pine Community Health Center, which has been a wonderful partner and assured us we can rent space there while we renovate our building.”

Speaking on behalf of Derm Health, Wisco emphasized that “everyone is welcome in our practice — all ages and all insurances, including Medicaid and Medicare. No one is turned away.”


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