FALLON — Long commutes to doctor appointments can be an inconvenience, but when it comes to a serious medical issue — such as skin cancer — it’s troublesome.
That’s why Certified Physician Assistant Tamara VanDyke opened Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute in Fallon, in addition to offices located in Carson City and Reno.
“I’ve had a few clients walk in with concerning conditions and they let it go,” she said. “The challenge of opening a new location is behind us and we want the community to know healthcare is available without having to drive far out of town.”
The institute originated in Reno and has been serving Northern Nevada for 22 years. Fallon’s location opened in April 2017 at 607 S. Maine St., with new equipment, tools, and computer systems for the services the institute offers.
Among those services include skin cancer screening, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, general dermatology, and cosmetic procedures. Depending on the patient’s needs, services extend to Carson and Reno offices for specific doctors.
VanDyke said the institute in Fallon serves about 30 to 40 patients on an average, including active military and veterans on a regular basis since opening last year.
“Some of the most common services for clients are related to skin cancer or acne,” she said.
Growing up in Fallon, VanDyke noticed a lack of healthcare options were available to the community. After she completed her master’s in science in physician’s assistant at Western University of Health Science in Pomona, Calif., she returned to Fallon as a way to give back.
Before the facility opened in town, doctors of the institute assisted patients at Banner Churchill Community Hospital.
“With this new office, we get clients of all ages from Elko, Lovelock and Winnemucca,” VanDkye said. “It’s easier for them to get to Fallon. We want to continue reaching out to smaller communities to make it more convenient for clients.”
Now that the institute will surpass one year in April at its new location, VanDyke said the next step to endeavor is to bring a surgeon to Fallon’s location and expand permanent services to Elko.
But in the meantime, the goal for the location is to support the community.
“We have a country theme atmosphere in the office for comfort,” VanDyke said. “We display some work by local photographers and artists to keep things local. This is my way of giving back to a place I grew up in and I couldn’t thank the local community enough for its support.”