Blood and marrow transplantation (BMT) is a relatively niche field of medicine, but it never gets dull; this field is always changing and growing. Fred Hutch is at the forefront of transplant and immunotherapy, so it’s a really exciting place to be. Yet what’s most fulfilling about my job are the patients I work with. Cancer doesn’t distinguish, so I meet a wide variety of people from all over the world. I enjoy getting to know each one, as well as their families, and personalizing the care I provide. One of the things that has kept me at Fred Hutch all these years is its strong sense of community, and I try to extend that feeling to my patients as well.
When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, we went through a range of emotion: shock, sadness, fear and worry. It was a hard time for her and our whole family, but I was grateful to have a network of support, including many of my colleagues in the transplant community. Looking back, I wouldn’t say that the experience changed the way I approach care, but it did make me more aware of how I talk with patients. It can be hard to process all the new information and terminology that is being thrown at you, particularly early on in a diagnosis. I strive to communicate in a way that’s not only clear but also builds trust and hopefully alleviates some of the stress of the situation.
Malignant and non-malignant blood disorders
I am a board-certified physician assistant who has been part of the blood and marrow transplant team at Fred Hutch since 2001. I work with adults who are undergoing BMT or other types of immunotherapy for the treatment of blood-related cancers and disorders. My approach to care is based first and foremost on listening. Understanding your situation from your perspective helps me tailor my recommendations and make your experiences at the clinic or the hospital as positive as possible.
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.