Good Medicine Takes Many Forms


We recently visited with Ellen Skripsky, who, at 91, has lived in Cedar Rapids her entire life. Over the years, she’s been very invested in our community, serving on boards and foundations of several organizations. She was active in Kiwanis and the Kiwanis Foundation for many years and was the first female president of the local chapter.

In 1967, she became a career woman and worked until she was 70. In retirement, she continues to lead a full life. She’s been coming to The Ghosh Center for five years and shared some insights about this experience.

Why did you choose The Ghosh Center?

My family and I have always heard wonderful things about Dr. Ghosh and the confidence his patients have in his expertise. I was extremely ill in the hospital and knew I needed a very skilled doctor to help pull me through my illness. One of my family members knows Dr. Ghosh and asked him if he would consider being my doctor. And - lucky for me - he said yes!

Was Dr. Ghosh your first hematologist?

No, I transferred my care to him because I became very ill under the care of another doctor. At the time, my family didn't realize that Dr. Ghosh practiced hematology as well as oncology. When my daughter realized this, we switched immediately to Dr. Ghosh.

If I had seen Dr. Ghosh when my medical problem was first evident, I would have avoided a lot of heartache for myself and my family.

Dr. Ghosh treats me for polycythemia vera, a rare condition in which your bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. These excess cells thicken your blood and have the potential to cause complications, such as blood clots. Dr. Ghosh has stood by me through thick and thin. He has nursed me back to health and treated me just like a family member.

What do you like most about The Ghosh Center?

What I like most about The Ghosh Center is when I walk through the doors I know I am in good hands. Dr. Ghosh's motto " Patients First" definitely rings true in this office! I feel confident that my health needs will always be met.

When I come to my appointment, one of the first staff members my daughter and I say “hello” to is Joni Tharp. Joni's parents were good friends of my husband and I for 70 years. All of the staff is very friendly and always willing to lend a hand with whatever I need during my appointment.

What would you say to others who need a hematologist?

I would highly recommend they consider going to The Ghosh Center for treatment. If I had seen Dr. Ghosh when my medical problem was first evident, I would have avoided a lot of heartache for myself and my family.

Dr. Ghosh has a compassion and desire to serve humanity. Choosing Dr. Ghosh and his team has been the best decision I have ever made. His team is wonderful, caring, and there is a sense of peace that radiates throughout The Ghosh Center.

How do you spend your time in retirement?

Gardening has been a true passion of mine since I was a young girl, helping my mother in her garden picking vegetables and watering plants. I have found over the years that gardening is an excellent form of therapy.

In 1988, I became a Master Gardener with the Iowa State University Master Gardener Program in Linn County. Master Gardeners come from a variety of backgrounds. They are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening knowledge and techniques. They must complete specific training to be certified and take additional classes every year for re-certification.

Master Gardeners share their time and expertise as volunteers in community gardens, city beautification projects and farmers markets to name a few. It is the acquisition of knowledge, the skill in gardening and giving back to the community that distinguishes a Master Gardener from other gardeners.

Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed mentoring many new Master Gardeners, and I have hosted garden walks, bus tours and many neighbors and friends in my large home garden. I have spoken about gardening to over 600 groups in the area. I was honored to receive the Master Gardener of the Year Award and to be selected as a Lifetime Master Gardener.