Dr. Paula Lee recently joined the Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group as its newest gynecologic oncologist. In addition to her appointment with HPH, Lee will serve as professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Lee holds board certification in three areas: obstetrics and gynecology, gynecologic oncology and palliative medicine. This enables Lee to work with the patient and patient’s family throughout the entire cancer care experience.
“I have the privilege of caring for my patients from the first diagnosis to performing their surgery, to providing chemotherapy and following after-treatment. I also have the privilege in the unfortunate cases to care for my patients with dignity at the end of their lives,” Lee said. “Having this additional training has helped me to be more empathetic and a stronger advocate for my patients.”
Lee’s professional interests include improving patient outcomes through novel technologies and surgical techniques. She also is passionate about global health. In 2014, she helped build a sustainable gynecologic oncology training program at the Uganda Cancer Institute and Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. She continues to collaborate with staff there.
Most recently, Lee served as director of the Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at Duke University. She received her medical degree from Tulane University, where she also earned her graduate degree in maternal and child health. She completed her residency and fellowship training in obstetrics and gynecology as well as gynecologic oncology at Duke.
Lee joins the gynecologic oncology division of the Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group’s OB-GYN Department. She will work alongside fellow gynecologic oncologist Dr. Michael Carney and Joanna Agena, an oncology nurse practitioner certified in oncology. Agena returns to Hawaii Pacific Health after working at Stanford Medical Center and the Swedish Cancer Institute, which is part of the Swedish Hospital in Seattle. Together, they will further advance gynecologic oncology services within HPH and across Hawaii providing state-of-the-art care closer to patients’ homes.
“Working closely with my team, I truly feel we can provide the best quality care for women with gynecologic malignancies and need for complex pelvic surgeries on Oahu and neighbor islands,” said Lee, who will travel to the neighbor islands with Carney to care for patients in rural communities.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the Hawaii Pacific Health Medical Group and the communities we serve. My family and I are excited to begin our new adventures here in Hawaii,” she said.