WICHITA – When Wesley Medical Center recently announced plans to build a $28 million children’s hospital, officials said that commitment to pediatric services would help recruit new specialty physicians to Wichita.
It didn’t take long for that to become reality, as Wesley recently welcomed Dr. Mark Saxton, MD, to its pediatric surgery clinic. Dr. Saxton is the only permanent pediatric surgeon in the area.
“We are extremely excited to announce the addition of Dr. Saxton to our pediatric surgery clinic,” said Tripp Owings, Wesley’s vice president of pediatric operations and business development. “He is one of several amazing physicians we are in the process of hiring to bolster our current 20 pediatric subspecialties and help advance our children’s hospital project.”
Following six years in private practice in Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Saxton provided pediatric surgery services at Gundersen Health Systems in La Crosse, Wisconsin. There, he established the first pediatric surgical service in the western Wisconsin tri-state region (Wisconsin-Minnesota-Iowa). Since 2012, he has also provided pediatric surgery coverage at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. He began providing locum tenens, or temporary, pediatric surgery coverage at Wesley last spring.
Wesley was an easy choice, he said, because of the emphasis Wesley has placed on pediatrics in recent years, including the children’s hospital announcement.
“It’s been a great experience working at Wesley,” Dr. Saxton said. “The providers and support staff have an impressive team approach to patient care that results in excellent results. Plus, the community has been very welcoming, and the hospital’s investment to build a children’s hospital tells me we’re serious about taking care of kids right here in Wichita.”
In addition to his specialization in pediatric surgery, Dr. Saxton helped establish the pectus excavatum program to correct “sunken chest” deformities at Gundersen. The program was named a center of excellence, and he said he’d like to develop a similar program at Wesley as a service to children and adults throughput Kansas afflicted with chest wall deformities.
Since 2013, he has participated in the pediatric surgical outreach program at the Matagalpa Regional Hospital in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. His outreach services have included performing surgeries and assisting local pediatric surgeons with support as needed.
“Unfortunately, hospitals in Nicaragua don’t have the resources that we are accustomed to in the United States,” Dr. Saxton said. “I appreciate the opportunity to share my knowledge with their medical professionals and assist them with whatever I can.”
Wesley’s Pediatric Surgery Clinic is located on the fifth floor of Wesley’s Medical Arts Tower at 3243 E. Murdock. The clinic is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1-5:00pm to see patients for pre- and post-operative appointments. Pediatric surgery services remain available at Wesley 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Saxton earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He remained there for his general surgery residency, which included an additional three-year program as a guest researcher at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. He then traveled to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, where he completed his fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University of Toronto School of Medicine. He currently serves as a clinical assistant professor in the department of surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita.
Dr. Saxton is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and he is a member of the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the Children’s Oncology Group, the Society for American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and the Wisconsin Surgical Association.
He and his wife Laura have two sons, and he enjoys music, reading and coaching youth basketball through local organizations.
For more information about Wesley’s pediatric services, please visit www.wesleymc.com.
Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER and Galichia ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital, WesleyCare Clinics and the Pediatric Center of Kansas. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit wesleymc.com.