by Kimberly Winter Stern | Reprinted courtesy of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine
As one of Johnson County’s most respected breast surgeons, Anne Kobbermann, MD, is adept at precise movements.
Her prowess in a wide range of surgical procedures is why Kobbermann, of Advanced Breast Care, is equally at home with a mechanical pastry bag and operating room instruments.
Regarded as a champion for women with breast cancer, the physician — proud owner of a pink KitchenAid mixer — loves to bake.
And during the month of October, Kobbermann bakes for life.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Kobbermann dons an apron, cruises Pinterest for yummy recipes and applies her kitchen skills to raise funds for the American Cancer Society Making Strides.
Whipping up and decorating dozens of varieties of cupcakes like cherry almond vanilla and chocolate with raspberry buttercream, Kobbermann sells her goodies for a cause at Overland Park Regional Medical Center where she is on staff and cares for women going through the breast cancer journey.
Overland Park Medical Center (OPRMC) is part of HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider. Advanced Breast Care is part of the Midwest Physicians network, also part of HCA Midwest Health System.
This is the third year Kobbermann and her nurse practitioner Julie Tan, along with other OPRMC employees, have volunteered to pool talents for a lunch hour pop-up bakery every October Friday in the hospital’s cafeteria.
On average, Kobbermann alone produces 17 dozen cupcakes for each week’s sale.
“It was Julie’s idea to do this and it’s popular with employees, visitors and guests,” says Kobbermann. “It’s terrific to be out in the hospital, interacting with people, raising awareness of the importance of prevention through early detection and mammograms.”
Kobbermann, whose father was a well-known OB/GYN in Liberty, admits her personal passion is being one-on-one with patients to help them with breast cancer treatment options, but having a larger audience is inspiring, too.
“The money we raise through the October Friday bake sales stays local, helping women in our own backyard with programs, education and free breast cancer information,” she says.
Kobbermann’s father, a physician who stressed the importance of dedication to patients, set an example for his daughter. Her mother also influenced the future surgeon, a woman Kobbermann dubs as “Martha Stewart-esque.”
“My older sister and I baked Christmas cookies and spent time in the kitchen with Mom,” she says. “I am a big fan of gingerbread
spice cookies — and love the smell of anything baking. It’s comforting.”
Which might be why Kobbermann continues a baking tradition with her own family, a 6-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.
“My husband makes meals and I bake with the kids,” says Kobbermann, who often makes muffins, cookies and cupcakes for the week ahead on Sundays. “When they’re involved it gets a bit messy and maybe isn’t as efficient as I’d like, but we accomplish my goal: to do something fun and creative together.”
Kobbermann acknowledges her job as a board-certified surgical oncologist can be stressful, so she enjoys working out — she completed the swimming leg for the OPRMC team in last summer’s Win for KC Women’s Triathlon — and baking.
“It’s relaxing and there’s the nerdy side of me that enjoys baking’s science,” laughs Kobbermann.
Damond Boatwright, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, OPRMC, has a sweet tooth and an appreciation for what Kobberman and hospital employees do to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“October is always a fun time as our campus goes pink, providing women a visual reminder that early screening saves lives,” says Boatwright. “But when you see Dr. Kobbermann and her staff on Fridays with their pop-up bakery in the Sunflower Café, their combined energy and passion makes it even more exciting for everyone. It’s something we’re really proud of.”
Last year Kobbermann was the individual top fund-raiser for Kansas City’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, earning her the prestigious PaceSetter Award.
“I raised somewhere around $8,000, and at least half was through baking and the generosity of others who donated to the pop-up shop,” she says.