Jill Dietz, MD, is Director of Breast Center Operations at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Associate Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. On Sunday at the Browns vs. Jets game, she was honored as the First and Ten coin toss captain for all of her work in the community.
Dr. Dietz has obtained many accolades and continues to ferociously fight breast cancer, champion early detection and has been an invited speaker to many national and international breast conferences.
But she says, "You'd probably find me taking care of animals if I wasn't a breast cancer surgeon."
She and her family live on a farm and rescue all of their animals. Alpacas, dogs and fish. She loves being outside and supports various organizations devoted to animal safety and well-being.
Dr. Dietz is on the board of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS) and the board of NAPBC. She also chairs the Patient Reported Outcomes Committee and is on the publications committee of the ASBS. She is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and their SCORE education committee. She previously served as Chair of the SSO Program Directors Committee and as Chair of the Fellows Institute.
"I see it in nurses and professors and women who haven't even finished high school. Every population," she said.
Her biggest concern about breast cancer is if you catch it early, 95% of the time you're going to be OK, but most women don't.
Because she runs the breast cancer program at University Hospitals, and that's what her whole career is about, she's pretty passionate about it.
"You'd think all of the emphasis we have on October and wearing pink, you think everyone would get their mammogram," Dietz said. "But out of the people who could get their mammograms only 65 percent do."
She's an educator in her own right.
Dr. Dietz worked directly with the committee of high school students from Effective Leadership Academy (ELA) to educate them on breast cancer and the research being conducted at University Hospitals.
Since 2008 she has assisted in raising more than $4.5 million for the Miracle Fund supporting clinical research and treatment options for advanced breast cancer research at University Hospitals. Through the Miracle Fund, doctors have been able to take a collaborative approach to develop new trials and innovative treatments that lead to better outcomes in the fight against advanced breast cancer.
"I'm artistic and I've always drawn and painted and wanted to be a doctor, but when I got into surgery that totally changed my mind," Dietz said. "The fact that I could make a difference with my hands and change things is what won me over."
It's her job to give women good results, which is happening way more now than it had in the past. Dr. Dietz and her team perform reconstruction and make women look and feel better than before.
"I educate women with our outreach program. That's what the Woman Up campaign is all about," Dietz said. "We have kids, we run marathons, we do all of these incredible things. We can get mammograms."
She was really surprised when she found out she was chosen but was nonetheless more than worthy of the honor.
The work she does in the community is unmatched and life changing for countless women in the greater Cleveland area and beyond.