The first time I worked with patients who had cancer was in college, when I was a hospice volunteer. Each person faced their own unique set of circumstances shaped in part by their disease. It was an eye-opening experience that inspired my interest in end-of-life care and bioethics. When I was training to be a physician assistant, I was fortunate to spend one of my rotations in a community oncology clinic in Syracuse, New York. I was awed by the high level of care the patients received and the depth of the bonds that developed between many of the patients and their providers. To be able to help people during a very challenging time while providing advanced, evidence-based care is a privilege.
One side of my family has a high prevalence of cancers. My grandmother passed away a year before I was born, and my grandfather died when I was nine. Various other family members have also been diagnosed with cancer but have undergone treatment and are currently on surveillance. These experiences encompassed an intense array of emotions — sadness, loss, frustration and fear of the unknown — for the whole family. What I’ve learned is that supportive services are important, not just for patients but also the entire circle of loved ones who care for them. As providers, we are the first line of support for our patients. I see it as my job to connect patients and families with the resources they need to cope with the emotional, logistical and physical ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis.
I am a board-certified physician assistant who cares for patients with sarcomas. This type of cancer originates in the bones or connective tissue, such as fat, muscle, nerves or tendons. Prior to joining Fred Hutch, I worked in a hematology-oncology private practice in New York, where I provided care for patients with a variety of blood disorders and solid tumors. I was inducted into the Pi Alpha, the national honor society for physician assistants, in 2016.
My approach to care is collaborative and flexible. I strive to adapt to each patient’s changing needs while providing a safe space for discussion. You hold the reins to your care. My role is to provide you with enough information to help you make decisions that best fit your ideals and life goals.
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.