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Tallgrass Creek welcomes Denise Zwahlen, M.D.

New medical director brings 15 years of experience to on-site medical center

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October 14th, 2016
Dr. Denise Zwahlen (right), Tallgrass Creek’s new medical director, chats with Medical Assistant Vicki Fugate (left) and Practice Administrator Connie Wilson.

Dr. Denise Zwahlen (right), Tallgrass Creek’s new medical director, chats with Medical Assistant Vicki Fugate (left) and Practice Administrator Connie Wilson.

Tallgrass Creek welcomes Medical Director Dr. Denise Zwahlen, now heading up the Overland Park, Kans., retirement community’s medical center. 

Zwahlen comes to Tallgrass Creek with 15 years of medical experience specializing in family medicine with additional qualifications in geriatric medicine. 

As medical director, Zwahlen administers to patients and oversees the clinical responsibilities relating to the on-site medical practice. 

A native Kansan, “Dr. Z” was born and raised in Desoto and received both her bachelor and medical degrees from the combined B.A./M.D. program at University of Missouri, Kansas City. 

“I enjoyed practicing geriatric medicine throughout my medical training, so it was an easy decision when it came to selecting a specialization,” says Zwahlen. 

Experience counts

Zwahlen’s background includes an internship at Guthrie/Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa., and a residency program at the Truman Medical Center’s Family Practice in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Zwahlen completed her geriatric fellowship at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., and is board-certified in family medicine and geriatrics. 

Prior to taking a position at the Tallgrass Creek medical center, Zwahlen practiced at the Shawnee Mission Geriatric Center in Lenexa, Kans. She has been the medical director at both Lakeview Village in Lenexa and, earlier in her career, at Vida Encantada Nursing and Rehab in Las Vegas, N.M. 

She taught geriatric medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center where she helped develop a teaching curriculum in geriatric medicine that coordinates with other medical schools across the country.  

Zwahlen aims for her patients to lead energetic, active lives in an environment that includes both mental and physical independence. Other medical providers at Tallgrass Creek’s medical center include Dr. Rhonda Gaugh, D.O.; Shelley Duke, a licensed family nurse practitioner; and Dr. Raphael Nguyen, a board-certified podiatrist.

Impressive staff, facility

Zwahlen has two sons and lives in nearby Riverside, Mo., with husband Michael and their cat Ace and dog Daisy. When time permits, she enjoys traveling with her family and working crossword puzzles.

Zwahlen says she is impressed with Tallgrass Creek’s medical staff and facility and has particularly enjoyed working with residents. 

“I have met such lovely people here,” says Zwahlen. “It’s a wonderful place that, to me, is a ‘bubble of nice.’”  

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