My interest in oncology dates back to when I was doing research after college. One of the projects I was working on involved the genetics of cancer. It was fascinating to study cancer from a molecular standpoint, but I also realized that I’m a people person. I wanted to be able to interact with the patients who were dealing with the diseases I was researching, so I decided to go to physician assistant school. During my training, I did a clinical rotation in an inpatient oncology unit at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston — one that was very similar to where I work now. It was a great experience; I enjoyed the emotional and social aspects of caring for patients in this setting as well as the intellectual rigor of addressing complex medical problems in the context of cancer. I knew then that inpatient oncology care was where I wanted to be.
Several years ago, my father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He had an initial surgery that was very complicated and resulted in an unexpected three-month hospital stay. The hardest part of the experience for him was the psychological toll of cancer and treatment. He dealt with depression and anxiety, constantly worrying about what the next scan was going to show. Being there for my dad taught me how important it is to take the time to connect with people in the moment, listening to them and figuring out how to help ease the tremendous emotional burden of cancer, even just a little. Sometimes it means offering that extra bit of reassurance, talking candidly about your fears or simply having a conversation about topics unrelated to cancer. My approach to care is comprehensive. I like to evaluate the big picture, rather than solely focusing on how to fix a particular problem or symptom. From the moment we meet, I ask myself how I can support you as a whole person.
I have been a board-certified physician assistant since 2015. I provide care for hematology-oncology patients with a variety of cancers and blood disorders who have been admitted to UW Medical Center - Montlake for inpatient care. Some of the patients I work with are experiencing acute medical issues, while others require inpatient care as part of their regular treatment regimen.
I am also a certified yoga instructor, and many patients seem to appreciate my calm, grounding presence in the midst of stressful situations. I enjoy hearing about your life, your past and what you’re passionate about, and I strive to give back a little hope. While I may be the face you see at your bedside, there are often many voices that go into shaping your care plan. I am part of a highly skilled, collaborative team of providers here to support you.
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.