Where It All Started
Dr. Kelly Hsu, M.D. (pronounced “shoo”) grew up in a family where both her parents practiced acupuncture and oriental medicine. Dr. Hsu’s first job was at Washington Acupuncture and began taking out acupuncture needles at the age of 16. “I knew then that it was something that I wanted to do,” says Hsu. She received her undergraduate degree from The John Hopkins University in 1978, and continued formal acupuncture clinical training from the Chinese Acupuncture Hospital and Veteran’s Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Upon returning to the United States in 1981, she passed the California Acupuncture licensure examination. Dr. Kelly Hsu realized the importance of combining Eastern and Western medicine and pursued her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. After completion of her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation in 1993, Dr. Kelly Hsu and her family moved from Cincinnati to Phoenix where she started her private practice in medical acupuncture in many locations across Arizona.
Her Big Year
In 2002, life changed for Hsu. She found herself switching roles, going from the doctor to the patient. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and endured chemotherapy and radiation, but post-cancer treatment left her with significant bone pain. During that same year, Hsu set out to fill a void that existed throughout the Asian community. Hsu has been involved in community outreach for the local Asian community since her arrival in Arizona in 1993. Hsu met many Asian families at the Chinese Linguistic School where she had been taking her children since they were 3 years old and quickly realized that medical knowledge amongst the families – despite many of them possessing advanced degrees – was very poor, especially amongst the women. Hsu was convinced after a friend’s husband passed away from liver cancer that more resources were needed. So in 2002, Hsu founded Asian Pacific Community in Action (APCA) and was incorporated as a non-profit agency that same year.
Bringing New Ideas to Our Community
Hsu’s involvement in the Maricopa County Medical Society can be traced back to her arrival in Arizona in 1993. She become actively involved in the Society and joined its Board of Directors in 2012. Now, she and Drs. John Galgiani and Richard Manch, both Society members and world-renowned experts in Valley Fever and Liver disease, respectively utilize the Honor Roll Program to educate Arizona physicians on the importance of screening their patients for conditions unique to our region.
Not surprisingly, Hsu has recently found new endeavors to pursue, although her activities are still rooted in community. When doctors at the Ironwood Cancer Center earlier this year asked her to spend part of her time providing acupuncture at their Integrative Services program, she jumped at the opportunity. “My own experience with breast cancer made me more qualified to help cancer patients,” Hsu proudly admits, “and I help out by using acupuncture where appropriate, counseling patients on how to deal with their pain, and attending the metastatic and breast cancer support groups to see how I can better connect with those in need.”
In her spare time, Hsu takes care of her mother and keeps up with her two daughters, one a recent Wellesley College graduate who will be starting dental school in Fall 2015, and the other, a current student at Wellesley College majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics.