Dr. Susan Gaskill
is a giver, a doer and an agent for positive change in women's health care.
Since the very beginning of her
career as a physician, she
has been determined to put women at ease when facing some of their most difficult health challenges, and to bring them the best tools, technology and education possible.
Now, as founder and Medical Director of Victory Breast Diagnostics and Women's Imaging in League City, she
is accomplishing exactly that.
This native Houstonian's path to Victory started when she
made the leap from the nursing profession to medical school.
residency in radiology at Baylor University Medical Center
in Dallas in 1991, she
had an opportunity to interact with women as they underwent imaging studies and biopsies to determine whether they had breast cancer.
Fear was the common denominator in so many of these encounters, and that stirred Dr. Gaskill's
empathy and passion for making the experience less terrifying.
next move toward that goal was to enter the emerging field of breast imaging.
In 1992, she became the first fellow in breast imaging at the Susan G. Komen Breast Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
After completing her fellowship training, Dr. Gaskill served as medical director for the Women's Diagnostic Center in Medical City Dallas Hospital.
In 1999, she returned to the Clear Lake area and worked in a hospital imaging practice.
Next, she served as interim director for the Baylor Women's Imaging Center in Plano.
Along the way, she
worked to acquire experience using digital mammography, breast MRI and other advanced imaging technologies for detecting diseases earlier.
continually gained insight and formed distinct ideas about how she
could improve on the entire care experience for women in the Clear Lake area.
As the idea for her
private practice evolved, Dr. Gaskill
recognized a void in the availability of advanced imaging services between Clear Lake and Galveston.
"I saw both a need and an opportunity to bring improvements to imaging technology and to the level of personalized care women in this area received," she
"Everything about Victory-from the state-of-the-art imaging equipment to the facility layout and décor, the waiting areas and the fluffy robes instead of flimsy gowns-is designed to provide the best possible experience," says Dr. Gaskill
says patients are pleasantly surprised to learn that they can not only get mammograms and MRIs done at the Center, but also pelvic ultrasound, bone density testing, breast and thyroid biopsies.
"They love the idea that all of these services are available under one roof and that often they can have multiple services done all in one appointment."
"Exciting and Rewarding"
"Opening Victory has given me a three-dimensional view of the business of medicine rather than a one-dimensional one," says Dr. Gaskill
"Just as I didn't become a doctor overnight, I knew that I would have a learning curve as I built my practice.
I like that challenge and it has been exciting and rewarding."
Challenge motivates Dr. Gaskill and she has drawn inspiration from a number of sources, including friendships with several pioneering women physicians and the life of a close friend who died of breast cancer.
"I was also inspired by reading Joel Osteen's 2004 book Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential," she
That really challenged me to make Victory Breast Imaging a reality."
Keeping the Faith
faith has guided her
life and she
has more freedom to express it in her
"We wanted to have a spiritually-enriched environment where faith can be openly discussed," she
"In our recovery room, for example, we have a display of crosses and a Star of David.
Many of those are gifts from my patients.
They tell me that cross wall has given them so much strength.
That's really what the name Victory is all about-victory is a very empowering word, and faith that we will have victory over breast cancer keeps all of us going-patients as well as staff."
Since the Center opened, Dr. Gaskill
team have received stacks of notes and letters.
"What's so amazing is that not only do patients thank me for opening the center and for helping them through a difficult experience, they tell me they pray for me!"
There are three generations of Dr. Gaskill's
family involved with Victory.
"My oldest daughter, who's 26, was born while I was in med school," she
works here, so she
gets first-hand experience observing what I do.
My other daughters, ages 21 and 19, do some part-time work at the Center, and my 16-year-old son gets courier duty.
My mother also volunteers as my personal assistant.
keeps me organized, and the secret is that she
is the real boss here."
Does Dr. Gaskill
children see her
as a role model?
"I hope that my children have seen the importance of perseverance and tenacity more than anything," she
"They'll certainly hear me quoting Eleanor Roosevelt: 'We must do that which we think we cannot.' I also hope they see that my foundation of faith is what keeps me going and that they should not let other people discourage them from achieving whatever they want to accomplish."
Dr. Susan Gaskill has served on the advisory board of the D'Feet Breast Cancer Foundation since 2007.
Victory Breast Imaging also participates in D'Feet's screenings for underserved and uninsured in Galveston County.
was selected as a Hero of Hope by the American Cancer Society of the Bay Area
In February 2012, she
launched a new support group for breast cancer patients.
The group meets at Victory Imaging Center the second Monday of each month.
Dr. Susan Gaskill
has a passion for helping women who may have a higher risk for developing breast cancer.
"So many women don't know their true risk," she