“I chose to become a physician because I had always felt it was a way I could connect with people and assist them with their health care issues.”
Nita M. Lowey
“COMPASSIONATE HEALER AND ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH”
Nancy Mills is a medical oncologist, hematologist and Senior Attending Physician at world-famous Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, in Sleepy Hollow. She is noted for particular expertise in the treatment of breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies.
Motivated by her lifelong compassion for people, Mills is also known as a very caring physician who makes enduring, personal connections with her patients. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY-18), who nominated Mills to be a Local Legend of Medicine, remarks that she "takes a special interest in educating women concerning the treatment of breast cancer and has organized numerous educational programs on topics related to women's health issues." In addition to her Sloan-Kettering responsibilities, Mills is also Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
A 1983 magna cum laude A.B. graduate in biology from Harvard University, she earned her M.D. from New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine four years later, prior to completing a three-year internship and residency in internal medicine, also at Mount Sinai.
In 1990 she moved on to a fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at New York University Medical Center, and finished her postdoctoral training with a year-long clinical research fellowship at NYU's Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, studying retinoids in breast cancer.
It was in medical school, however, that Mills discovered that her specific interest in the circulatory system was based on her empathetic quality. "I specifically chose to become a hematologist/oncologist because I was fascinated by the workings of the blood, and felt it very rewarding to try to help others in their fight against cancer," she says.
One of her role models was Dr. Henriette Lackner, a coagulation specialist at NYU, who was "a perfectionist in her care for patients and a true physician and scientist. She was a pioneer in that she was a woman in both laboratory and clinical medicine at a time when this was not particularly common." Empowered by such strong female role models, Mills continues to work to achieve her own success by touching the lives of her patients.
She devotes significant personal time to various community endeavors, such as participating in and helping to sponsor the Westchester County American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk, collecting holiday gifts for Toys for Tots, and organizing food collections for AIDS-related patients.
A passionate amateur singer, Mills belongs to a choir which serenades nursing home residents throughout Westchester. "The response we get is quite gratifying. Music can definitely be a form of therapy and it is a great way to give something back to the community," she says.
Public speaker, invited lecturer and author of several published studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, Oncogene and Women's Oncology Review, Mills was elected a Fellow, American College of Physicians, in 1999. From 2000 through 2002, she was named one of the "Best Doctors in New York" for medical oncology by New York Magazine, and was honored with Physician's Recognition Award in Continuing Medical Education by the American Medical Association, 2001-2003.
Graduates magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in biology
Becomes Principal Investigator and Researcher of Lung and Breast Cancer at Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University
Appointed Associate Clinical Member for her research work at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Medical Oncology and Hematology