Dolly’s is thrilled to welcome local doctor, now author, Robert T. Winn M.D. for an event in partnership with the Park City Library on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 6:30 pm!
Book: Night Reflections: A True Story of Friendship, Love, Cancer, and Survival
Date of Event: Wed. Nov. 30th, 2016
Place: Park City Library, Community Room
Time: 6:30 P.M.
About the Author
Dr. Robert T. Winn is the long-serving Medical Director for the Deer Valley Ski and Park City Ski resorts in Utah. In this capacity he administrates and sets policy for the on-mountain clinics that care for thousands of guests from around the world each year. For over twenty years he also served as the Medical Director at the Old Faithful clinic in Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park created in 1872.
In 2002, when Park City hosted the Winter Olympics, Deer Valley designated Dr. Winn its venue medical director in charge of all medical care for both athletes and spectators. Previously, in 1985, Dr. Winn acted as the overall Medical Director when Park City was the venue for the International Winter Special Olympic games.
Today, Dr. Winn remains a long-term resident of Park City, Utah and is also the co-founder of a large and diverse primary care practice that has grown to seventeen dedicated providers. He was born and raised in Wallingford, Pennsylvania and completed his undergraduate studies at the Pennsylvania State University where he was a member of the Blue Key honor society and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Dr. Winn attended the Milton S. Hershey Medical School of the Pennsylvania State University. While at Hershey, he received a foreign studies scholarship during his senior year to study in the rural town of Garkida, Nigeria. When he graduated medical school he received the Gilbert S. Nurich award for scholastic excellence.
After discovering and falling in love with the mountains of the western United States, Dr. Winn chose to do his pediatric residency at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. His first job was as a solo physician at the Mammoth Clinic in Yellowstone National Park where he met his wife Nancy to whom he has been married and deeply in love with for many years. He and Nancy have two children, Jayna and Jaret.
Dr. Winn remains very involved in the Park City local community and, at various times, has served several terms as president of the Summit County Health Board, as well as being a member of the Emergency Medical Services Council, and as a charter member of the Park City Educational Foundation Board. In his early years, he was the Ambulance Medical Director when the ambulance service was all volunteer. Over the decades, Dr. Winn and his partners have provided medical assistance to the Sundance Film Festival, the Park City Ride and Tie, and the Autumn Aloft Balloon Festival. Dr. Winn’s medical group has also served almost every local high school sports team and he has consistently and continuously participated in various school events acting as chairman of groups such as Reality Town, Community of Caring, Great Books, and Father-son events.
Dr. Winn was one of the founding members and early volunteers that helped staff the People’s Health Center after Park City identified the need for a non profit health clinic for the uninsured and under insured. When Park City was chosen as a finalist in the “All American City” national competition Dr. Winn was sent to Cleveland by city leaders as a delegate for the final presentation. With a long-term commitment to community service, Dr. Winn has served as chairman of the “Children at Risk” committee that supervised the Park City Rotary Club’s philanthropic activities with young people in addition to many school and community activities.
Dr. Winn has received numerous accolades and public recognition for his work with Park Rangers, volunteer and professional Ski Patrollers, Medical and Nursing students, and Medical Residents from several different specialties and hospitals. He continues to enjoy showing students how to provide medical care like an “old time country doctor.” He treats his patients as family and knows them on a first name basis just as they know him by his nickname “Winnie.”
Dr. Winn’s writing career is a direct outgrowth of his many years as a “teacher.”
Foreword from the Book:
A diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia is a shocking, disorienting, terrifying event. Only a month ago, your life was unfolding as usual. Only one week ago, you sensed something wasn’t quite right, noticing just a bit more fatigue and a few unexpected bruises. Only a minute ago, you heard your doctor declare that you have leukemia. Without therapy you are told that you will likely die in a few weeks, and that the only alternative is to receive intensive chemotherapy — which itself could kill you. If, following initial therapy, you are fortunate enough to enter a complete remission, you are advised that you will need further treatment to keep the leukemia from recurring. Later, you will have to make a decision between receiving additional chemotherapy versus undergoing a bone marrow transplant, one of the crucial decisions in all of clinical medicine. Simply, it could happen to any of us, and it did to Nancy Winn.
In Night Reflections, Robert Winn, himself a physician, describes the roller coaster events following his wife’s diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. The book is medically and scientifically accurate. More importantly, Dr. Winn’s story is remarkably open, unguarded and intimate – a personal journey of discovery, friendship, love and ultimately survival. Dr. Winn’s willingness to honestly explore and expose his own vulnerabilities provides an honest look into the tumultuous and sometimes chaotic events experienced by a caring husband and family as a loved one faces a potentially fatal illness. I believe that almost every physician, staff member, patient, patient family member or friend will come away with new insights and understanding after reading this moving memoir.
Nancy Winn was blessed to have a supportive husband and family. She was also fortunate to be treated in the current era rather than a few decades ago. Medical advances have been significant in many ways. Although the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia still leaves much to be desired, there has been noteworthy recent improvement in outcomes. Today, the risk of dying from a complication of chemotherapy has dropped remarkably, mostly due to the development of better ways to combat infection. With this advance and the development of new chemotherapies and refinements in their use, cure rates with chemotherapy alone have increased from 15% to almost 50%. Outcomes with bone marrow transplantation have likewise improved over the last several decades, and cure rates of 65% are now regularly reported. The credit for these advances goes to the scientists and clinicians who developed and tested these new approaches. But enormous credit should also be given to the countless patients who willingly participated in the clinical trials that were required to test these new approaches and demonstrate their effectiveness.
Nancy Winn did not have a matched sibling to serve as a donor, but rather received her transplant from an unrelated volunteer donor. The first transplant from a matched unrelated donor was reported in 1980. It was obvious from the very beginning that if unrelated transplants were to become widely available, a very large donor registry would have to be created. Remarkably, today over 25 million normal individuals have agreed to be typed and entered into an international registry to provide bone marrow for individuals they have never met, and to do so for no financial or other reward. While Nobel Prizes and honorary degrees go to leading scientists and clinicians, there are many other heroes in the fight against leukemia, including past patients, volunteer donors and societies, and supportive, loving family members like the Winns.
Frederick R. Appelbaum, MD
Director, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Head, Division of Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
President, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, Washington