Meet Beth Riley, 2020 Most Admired Woman — Health/Healthcare

Jun 15, 2020 | Most Admired Woman

Beth Riley, MD, FACP, of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center/UofL Health, is the 2020 Most Admired Woman in the Health/Healthcare category. Photo by Melissa Donald.
2020 MOST ADMIRED WOMAN — HEALTH/HEALTHCARE
Beth Riley, MD, FACP

Deputy Director of Health Affairs of James Graham Brown Cancer Center/ UofL Health
Family: Son Jack, 13, twins Cate and Charles, 11
Neighborhood: East End

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging for Dr. Beth Riley and the cancer patients she sees. She has been utilizing telehealth, spacing out treatments, and determining essential treatments that can be continued or supportive treatments that can be delayed. Some surgeries have been postponed and can be because the cancer is slow-growing. In other cases, she and her team have tried to come up with alternative treatments for patients awaiting needed surgeries. A situation not faced before.

HOW HAS COVID-19 AFFECTED YOU PERSONALLY?
I have to worry about infecting my kids. I have a decontamination space in my garage where I take off my scrubs and they go immediately into the washer. Then I shower right away. I feel like I’m in a residency again because I haven’t worn scrubs for 20 years.

ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
Establishing HER (Hope, Empower and Restore) to combine the expertise of medical professionals for young women 45 and under with breast cancer. It’s a time in a woman’s life when they’re starting a family and a career and those are complicating factors in this patient group. HER offers a customized treatment plan taking into consideration fertility, medical and surgical options, sexual health, and survivorship.

WHO INFLUENCED YOUR DESIRE TO GO INTO MEDICINE?
My father (Dr. Harry Carloss) is an oncologist and was my childhood hero.

CAN’T QUITE GET THE KNACK OF?
I can’t do Renegade. That’s a dance on Tik Tok that my kids have tried to teach me, but I can’t do it. I was the captain of the dance team in high school, and I think I should be able to learn it.

Beth at her house during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by Melissa Donald.
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE RECEIVED?
I was an intern for Dr. Mary Barry. As an intern, although you are still in training, you are a doctor. She told me that when someone asks, ‘Who’s the doctor here?,’ you tell them you are. You own it.

WORST JOB?
I was a hostess at a restaurant. It was my first time in the workforce and all that goes with that.

FAVORITE PLACES IN LOUISVILLE?
I love the restaurant scene, especially Butchertown Grocery. I love, love, love the Speed Art Museum. We’re so lucky to have that here in Louisville. And I enjoy going to both the outdoor antique fairs and the gardening fairs at Locust Grove.

AN ADVENTURE IN YOUR FUTURE?
My kids are starting to be old enough that we can travel beyond the beach vacation. I’d like to expose them to different cultures.

Beth with co-worker Juliet. Submitted photo.
WHEN DO YOU LOSE TRACK OF TIME?
Sometimes when I’m cooking. Also, I got involved watching Game of Thrones even though I was two years behind everyone else. I really lost track of time when I was watching that.

I HAVE TOO MANY…
Mason jars and cocktail napkins. According to my mother I’m not allowed to buy any more.

I HAVE TOO FEW…
Kentucky antiques.

WORD THAT BEST DESCRIBES YOU?
Persistent.

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT…
Alexa. I have one in every room at home.

WHAT WOULD YOUR SUPERWOMAN SKILL BE?
I would be able to stop time but still move forward. There was a show when I was a kid where the girl could stop time and stop everybody from moving but she could go ahead and continue to do things. That way I could get everything done and get back to the rest of the day. It’s been a consistent wish of mine since I was 12.

P.S. Read more about the 2020 Most Admired Woman winners.

Beth Riley. Submitted photo.

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