UT MD Anderson Regional Care Center in the Bay Area Now Offers Surgery

Surgical Oncologist Returns to Area, Bringing Specialized Skills, Experience

MD Anderson News Release 2/06/12

Long-time Bay Area resident and surgeon Richard A. Ehlers, M.D., returns to the community, joining the team at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Regional Care Center in the Bay Area.

Ehlers, a surgical oncologist who specializes in breast, colorectal and endocrine cancers and melanoma, is also the medical director for the center. With the addition of Ehlers, the Bay Area Regional Care Center now offers surgery in addition to medical oncology, radiation oncology, chemotherapy infusion and support services in a convenient location on the campus of CHRISTUS St. John Hospital.

Trained at MD Anderson in the Texas Medical Center, Ehlers brings advanced and specialized knowledge in cancer surgery to the Bay Area. As the only fellowship-trained surgical oncologist in the Bay Area, he specializes in the surgical diagnosis and management of a variety of cancers.

Ehlers and his family have lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, the last five in Friendswood. Prior to re-joining MD Anderson, he was a surgical oncologist who chiefly operated on patients diagnosed with cancer, but also saw patients with a wide array of diagnoses. While he sometimes doubled as a general surgeon, Ehlers said he always knew that cancer would be his primary focus and that he would return to the specialty for which he trained and most enjoys. He has spent the past year seeing patients at MD Anderson’s regional care centers in Katy and Sugar Land but now, he said he is pleased to be “back home” in the Bay Area.

“I’m in my dream job at the Bay Area Regional Care Center,” said Ehlers. “All my training and years of experience have led me to this great MD Anderson team who shares my commitment of providing patients the best possible care and elevating the standard of health care in the community where our families and we live.”

A native Texan and Spanish speaker, Ehlers grew up in the Houston area and graduated from Rice University. He received his medical degree and completed his residency at The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine in Galveston.

While he knew he wanted to be a surgeon when he entered medical school, it wasn’t until his residency that he became interested in cancer and put the two disciplines together.

“I was driven early on by my desire to care for and help heal people. That enthusiasm and drive has only gotten stronger,” said Ehlers, a husband and father of two children. “It’s great to bring my specialty to a community that I care about and with an institution that means so much to me.”

Ehlers is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Society for Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Located on the campus of CHRISTUS St. John Hospital in Nassau Bay, the Bay Area Regional Care Center offers a full range of radiation, surgical and medical oncology services, laboratory services, chemotherapy infusion, pain management and support services. MD Anderson has regional care centers in Katy, Sugar Land and The Woodlands in addition to Bay Area.

To learn more about the MD Anderson Regional Care Center in the Bay Area visit www.MDAnderson.org/BayArea.