DALLAS, TEXAS (August 2020)–Dr. Suzanne Slonim, the founder and medical director of Fibroid Institute Dallas, has been chosen by the Dallas Business Journal to be among its 2020 class of Women in Business. Selected from hundreds of nominations, Dr. Slonim is among 30 honorees recognized at a virtual ceremony on August 19.
“I’m honored to receive this prestigious award,” Dr. Slonim said, “and I am truly humbled to be acknowledged for simply pursuing my passions. More importantly, this recognition brings further focus to my mission of advocating for women’s health and empowering them to find the best solutions to fibroid treatment.”
About the Award and Event
Now in its 13th year, this prestigious award was created to honor women business leaders who have influenced and improved their community. It is presented to only 25 to 30 businesswomen annually. Almost 400 nominations were submitted to judges this year.
The virtual awards ceremony was held at 11:30 am Wednesday, August 19. During the event, viewers learned about each honoree and her contributions to Dallas-area businesses and communities. The 30 women represent an array of business sectors, including women’s health, law, financial services, nonprofit, hospitality and tourism, and civil service. Recipients were also profiled in a special edition of the Dallas Business Journal published on Friday, August 21.
“The selection process for the Women in Business Award is very competitive, as we always have an extraordinary pool of diverse and deserving nominations to choose from,” said Rob Schneider, a managing editor for the Journal.
Schneider also noted that medical doctors and practitioners are not traditionally categorized as business leaders, so Dr. Slonim’s honor is a rarity in her profession. In fact, only approximately 4 percent of all recipients in the award’s 13-year history have been physicians.
Dr. Suzanne Slonim: Physician and Entrepreneur
A highly regarded board-certified specialist, Dr. Slonim is also an accomplished businesswoman with an entrepreneurial spirit. She founded Fibroid Institute Dallas in 2016 out of concern for the high incidence of surgeries to treat uterine fibroids. As the institute’s medical director, she has since dedicated her practice to expanding access to a minimally-invasive procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE). Fibroid Institute Dallas is now a multi-million-dollar business that continues to grow as women become more educated about their treatment choices.
Dr. Slonim is considered a pioneer in interventional radiology. She is among only 12 percent in the highly specialized surgical field who are women. In her 25-year practice, she has performed more than 30,000 procedures, and she is widely regarded as a leading expert in UFE. She also is a sought-after speaker and author of the 2018 book, Pain-Free Periods — Banish Menstrual Misery, Fight Fibroids, and Get Your Life Back. Readers of D Magazine have repeatedly voted her a “Best Doctor in Dallas.” She is consistently among the “Super Doctors” selected statewide by Texas Monthly.
Dr. Slonim combines efficient business practices with exceptional medical care. “I’m passionate about helping women avoid surgery if they can,” she says. “I treat every patient as if she were my sister. I feel honored that women are willing to share their concerns with me.”
While she uses the latest technology and advanced techniques, she learned her “old-school family doctor” manner from her parents, both of whom were physicians. Her mother, at age 89, just closed her practice earlier this year; her father is deceased.
Patients praise Dr. Slonim for both her expertise and her kindness, regularly giving her five-star ratings on review websites. Many patients express surprise and gratitude when Dr. Slonim readily shares her personal cell number to help them with their questions and post-procedure care. They are grateful, as well, that she treats both insured and self-pay patients, offering affordable and flexible ways to cover out-of-pocket costs so treatment won’t be delayed. Dr. Slonim is also highly respected by her peers: gynecologists all over North Texas regularly refer patients to Fibroid Institute Dallas.
Before founding her practice, Dr. Slonim was the first woman to serve as medical staff president at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. She was also a partner and president of Radiology Consultants Association. Dr. Slonim is a founder and board member of ZipRad, a medical software company.
Dr. Slonim is also passionate about philanthropy and community volunteerism. She is involved in numerous Dallas-area organizations and nonprofits, many of which are focused on women’s issues. She serves as a mentor for female students, residents, fellows, and doctors, and for the Dallas Business Journal’s women’s mentoring program. She is a frequent speaker on women’s health issues to community organizations, businesses and places of worship.
Increased Risk of Uterine Fibroids in Black Women
Dr. Slonim has focused much of her attention in her practice on the care of Black women, who are three times more likely to develop fibroids than any other racial or ethnic group. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, 80 percent of Black women will develop fibroids by the time they are 50. Additionally, they face these unique challenges with the painful and often debilitating condition:
• Fibroids are more common in Black women
• Black women are diagnosed younger (between 29 and 39)
• More often, the patient has multiple fibroids and larger fibroids
• Their fibroids display faster growth
• Their fibroids shrink slower after pregnancy (fibroids in white women shrink faster)
• They experience more severe symptoms, such as heavy bleeding, prolonged periods, cramping, etc.
• Statistically, they have surgery at an earlier age, many times during childbearing years
• They tend to experience more complications during surgery
According to the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the rate of hospitalization for fibroids is three times higher for Black women than white women. They are also two to three times more likely to undergo a hysterectomy and seven times more likely to have a myomectomy. In these surgeries, complications and blood transfusions are more common than for white women. Moreover, a Black woman’s mortality rate from surgery is higher.
In addition, African American women experience systemic racism and implicit bias in healthcare. This leads to earlier deterioration of health because of the cumulative impact of exposure to psychosocial, economic, and environmental stresses. As a result, Black women have earlier onset and higher rates of stress and chronic conditions like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Stress is a proven risk factor for fibroids.
The majority of Dr. Slonim’s patients are Black. With a passion for empowering women to take charge of their health, Dr. Slonim has reached out to the Black community to spread the word about Fibroid Institute Dallas’ alternative to invasive surgery. Through print, radio, in-person and social media platforms, she has shown her commitment to helping Black women end their suffering from fibroids.
About Uterine Fibroids and UFE
Uterine fibroids are abnormal growths in the uterus that affect three out of four women, most often between the ages of 30 and 50. Although usually benign, fibroids may lead to life-altering symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. They do not always cause problems, however, and they are often discovered during routine health testing. Black women are more likely to be affected than white women.
Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical treatment that uses radiology and tiny catheters to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids, making them shrink and die while preserving the uterus. It is a safe, fast and minimally-invasive procedure, often providing an alternative to hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or myomectomy (surgical removal of the fibroids). Covered by most insurance plans, UFE is less expensive and requires a much shorter recovery time than surgery. The success rate for the procedure is 90%.
Gynecologists historically have been reluctant to recommend UFE because of severe post-procedure pain. However, Dr. Slonim has developed a unique approach to pain management that significantly reduces the discomfort as fibroids shrink.
Fibroid Institute Dallas has two locations: its main office at 12400 Coit Road, Suite 505, Dallas, TX 75251 and a satellite office at 1010 East Wheatland Road, Suite 200, Duncanville, TX 75116. For more information contact Fibroid Institute Dallas at 214-838-6440 or visit FibroidFree.com.