I’ve been immersed in the field of medicine for as long as I can remember. My mom’s a nurse, my dad’s a radiologist and my brother is also a doctor. When I was in high school, I liked helping out in my dad’s office, taking patients’ vitals and showing people to the exam room for their appointments. A career in health care was always in my future, but my passion for oncology came about in graduate school. I was intrigued by the idea of taking what we know about the body and applying it to help fight foreign invaders like cancer. However, what really solidified my interest in oncology was the patients themselves and my relationships with them. There’s something very special about following patients in the long term — helping them navigate difficult discussions and treatments, seeing them go into remission or helping them feel more comfortable as they transition to end-of-life care.
Several years ago, I met a patient who had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was a big hockey fan and enjoyed playing the sport as well. But there came a point when he wasn’t able to play anymore due to balance issues. When he came in for his appointments, after we talked about how things were going medically, we would chat about his life. He would share stories with me about playing hockey, which seemed to help him accept that he could no longer play. I took care of him all the way through to the end of his life, and I’ll never forget those conversations. Providing good care isn’t just about monitoring physical signs and symptoms and running labs. There’s an emotional dimension that’s also important, taking the time to understand how patients are doing in other areas of their life and giving them the opportunity to be heard.
Solid tumors, hematological cancers
I am a board-certified physician assistant who provides care for patients with a variety of hematological (blood) cancers and solid tumors, such as melanoma or breast cancer. I also serve as a sub-investigator on clinical trials, managing patients’ side effects and assessing them for treatment toxicities. Whether I’m working with people who are undergoing traditional or experimental treatments, I consider education and advocacy the cornerstones of good clinical care.
We make promising new treatments available to you through studies called clinical trials led by Fred Hutch doctors. Many of these trials at Fred Hutch have led to FDA-approved treatments and have improved standards of care globally. Together, you and your doctor can decide if a study is right for you.
At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes doctors, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.
Fred Hutch accepts most national private health insurance plans as well as Medicare. We also accept Medicaid for people from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. We are working to ensure that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, has access to the care they need.