University of Vermont

Vermont Cancer Center's 17th Annual Breast Cancer Conference

speakers.html

Speaker Biographies

 

The 17th Annual Breast Cancer Conference features more than 80 different sessions with a variety of speakers from around the country. More information about each speaker can be found in their bios below. Please click on the speaker's name for a short biography.

 

VCC member Vermont Cancer Center member

 

Tom Ahern, PhD, MPHVCC member

Fran Carr, PhD VCC member

Catherine Cerulli, M Ed

Mary Chamberlin, MD

Julia Child, PT, CLT-LANA

Bernard Cole, PhDVCC member

Rose Colletti, PhDVCC member

Janis Cooper

David Cranmer

Justine Dee, PT, MS, OCS

Kim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC member

Owen Drudge, PhD

Julie Dumas, PhDVCC member

Kim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC member

Linda Dyer

Elise Everett, MD

Terry Farkas

Patricia Fontaine, MACP

Janet Franz

Stephanie Fraser, MSW

Mary Giancola, MSW, LICSW

Clare Ginger, PhD

Janet Gray, PhD

Roz Grossman, MAVCC Member

Jean Harvey, PhD, RDVCC Member

Suzanne Hall, RN, BSW

Catherine Hamilton, PhD

Chef Curtiss Hemm

Sally Herschorn, MDVCC Member

Elise Hotaling, MD

Ted James, MDVCC Member

Patti Johnson, RN, OCN, CBCN

Taylor Johnson

Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT

Susan G. Lakoski, MDVCC member

Jane Lian, PhDVCC member

Alexa Luthor

Sharon Mallory

Susan Marx

Jennifer May, RD, CD

Kathy McBeth, MAVCC member

Wendy McKinnon, MSVCC member

Robert Nesbit, MD

Mary Nolan, RN, OCN

J. Chris Nunnink, MDVCC member

Patti O'Brien, MDVCC member

Manon O'Connor

Susan Pelletier

Allan Ramsay, MD

Kari Rosenkranz, MD

Nancy Ryan, BA

Joanna Schwartz, PharmD

Michelle Sowden, DOVCC member

Brian Sprague, PhDVCC member

Mary Stanley, MDVCC member

Yujing Sun, PhDVCC member

Philip Trabulsy, MD

Erin Tsai, MD

Paul Unger, MD VCC member

Christine Vatovec, PhDVCC member

Doctor Vu

Ali Waltien, CCLS

Kathy Weatherly

Betsey Wesson

Julia Wick, MS, LCMHC

Kirsten Wiley

Marie Wood, MDVCC member

Neil Zakai, MDVCC member

 

Tom Ahern, PhD, MPHTom Ahern, PhD, MPHVCC member

Thomas Ahern is an assistant professor in the departments of surgery and biochemistry at the University of Vermont. His research concerns the molecular- and pharmaco-epidemiology of breast cancer risk and survival, and he is currently funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to examine the impact of chronic phthalate exposure on breast cancer risk. In addition to his research, Dr. Ahern teaches courses on epidemiologic methods in the U.S. and Finland. (Keynote Presentation and Session 4.3)

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Fran Carr, PhDFran Carr, PhD VCC member

Dr. Carr is a Professor of Pharmacology at UVM College of Medicine. She is internationally known for her research on thyroid function and thyroid cancer. She is currently studying the effects of exposure to low levels of common environmental toxins or endocrine-disrupting chemicals on thyroid function in normal development as well as the possible role in thyroid cancer. (Session 2.1)

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Catherine Cerulli, M EdCatherine Cerulli, M Ed

Catherine spent years as primary caregiver for a loved one with cancer. This experience fuels her passion for teaching self-care and care for others through Touch, Caring, and Cancer and in her private practice. A professional educator and bodywork practitioner, Catherine is devoted to reducing pain, anxiety, and stress through teaching simple, effective skills that deepen self-awareness, support self-care, and increase confidence and competence when caring for a loved one. Her work with clients and their caregivers is informed and inspired by her professional studies, which have focused on the choices and challenges oncology patients face as they seek effective ways to manage and cope with the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial challenges of cancer. She is certified in Jin Shin Jyutsu®, Acupressure, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, and Tai Chi Easy™. (Session 1.8)

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Mary Chamberlin, MDMary Chamberlin, MD

Dr. Chamberlin is a hematologist/oncologist from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where she joined the staff in 2006. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and is certified in both internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Chamberlin's practice specialties include breast cancer treatment, personalized therapies, and survivorship. (Session 1.9)

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Julia Child, PT, CLT-LANAJulia Child, PT, CLT-LANA

Julia Child, PT, CLT-LANA received her Complex Lymphedema Therapy Certification in 1999 and has continued to update her practice methods through continuing education since that time. She was a founding member of the Vermont Lymphedema Network in 2000 and held the vice chairman position until 2006. She was a presenter at the International Lymphedema Conference in 2004. Julia owns a private practice in Middlebury Vermont and compliments her lymphedema therapy with orthopedic physical therapy. (Session 1.3)

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Bernard Cole, PhDBernard Cole, PhDVCC member

Dr. Cole is Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Vermont. His career as a biostatistician spans two decades and is distinguished by over 150 articles, books, and editorials in the statistical and biomedical literature. Cole’s major area of research involves statistical methods for quality-of-life studies in cancer clinical trials. His other research activities involve cancer epidemiology and chemoprevention studies. He is a member of the International Breast Cancer Study Group , serves on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and he is a member of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration. (Session 3.9)

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Rose Colletti, PhDRose Colletti, PhDVCC member

Rose Colletti, PhD, is a Staff Psychologist in the Cancer Patient Support program and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Section of Surgical Oncology, at the University of Vermont. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and has worked in private practice as well as the community mental health sector. In addition to helping survivors and their loved ones cope with the changes that accompany a cancer diagnosis, she is interested in educating survivors about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle during and after treatment. She enjoys physical activity, spending time with family and friends, traveling, and reading. (Session 2.5)

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Janis CooperJanis Cooper

After 30 years in Marketing management and executive positions in Fortune 500 companies, and feeling as if some part of her was left unfulfilled, horses helped guide Janis to clarity about her life’s purpose. Following a year-long training program in Colorado, where she became certified in Equine Learning Facilitation and Coaching, she launched EQnimity where she uses Equine Coaching to help people break out of old patterns, shift limiting thoughts and behaviors, and gain clarity so that they may go after what they truly desire. Her two horses, Logan and Autumn, are her coaching partners together with a larger herd of horses at the facilities she operates from in Waterbury, VT as well as at The Center for America’s First Horse in Johnson, VT. (Session 2.11)

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David CranmerDavid CranmerVCC member

David Cranmer, a thirteen-year leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor, is the coordinator for Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer, the statewide coalition responsible for implementing the Vermont State Cancer Plan. He is a co-founder and president of the Vermont Cancer Survivor Network and one of the developers of their peer support program, “Kindred Connections.” (Session 4.6)

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Justine Dee, PT, MS, OCSJustine Dee, PT, MS, OCS

Justine Dee is a clinical assistant professor in the entry level Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. She teaches the Patient Management Foundational Skills class which includes the skills of goniometry, manual muscle testing, muscle length testing, accessory motion testing, postural alignment, gait and functional mobility training. This course also includes sections devoted to how to conduct an interview and perform general health screening with physical therapy clients, and how to document physical therapy care. In the spring semester, Prof. Dee teaches Patient Management I, in which the students learn the how to examine, evaluate and treat clients/patients with musculoskeletal/orthopedic spine and peripheral joint problems. (Session 1.10)

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Kim Dittus, MD, PhDKim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC member

Dr. Dittus is an attending physician at Fletcher Allen Health Care and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Vermont. She holds a Ph.D. in nutrition, completed medical school and residency at East Tennessee State University, and a hematology/oncology fellowship at Fletcher Allen. She is pursuing an academic medical career with a research focus on the health-related issues of cancer survivors. (Sessions 2.2, 4.5, and 6.1)

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Owen Drudge, PhDOwen Drudge, PhD

Owen W Drudge, PhD is a native of Michigan where he obtained his BS in Psychology from Northern Michigan University in 1978. He came to Vermont for graduate school, completing his PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Vermont in 1986. He has specialized in neuropsychology and has worked extensively with individuals with traumatic brain injury, stroke and other neurological disorders, providing assessment, intervention and consultation services. He has been employed at Fletcher Allen Health Care as a staff neuropsychologist since 1996, working for many years providing inpatient care on the Rehabilitation Unit and currently is providing outpatient neuropsychological evaluations through the FAHC Memory Center. (Session 4.1)

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Julie Dumas, PhDJulie Dumas, PhDVCC member

Julie Dumas is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Research Track at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. She got her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 and her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1996. Dr. Dumas’ research focuses on the cognitive neuroscience of memory. Specifically she studies processes that can impair or improve memory such as aging, menopause, hormones, neurotransmitter systems and cancer. (Session 4.1)

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Linda DyerLinda Dyer

Linda Dyer is a 20-year breast cancer survivor and founder of Dragonheart Vermont, a breast cancer and survivor dragon boat organization. She also serves as Director of Survivorship NOW, cancer well programs, and the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival. The Dragonheart team hosts this community charity race event and has given over $650,000 back to the community for cancer-related causes. (Sessions L.3 and 5.10)

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Terry Farkas

Terry Farkas has worked with the Vermont/New Hampshire Susan G Komen for Cure affiliate for over 4 years and has participated in the Komen races in New York and Vermont as long as she’s been a runner. With a background in accounting and business, she came on board as Executive Director the local affiliate in January of this year. (Session 5.9)

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Patricia Fontaine, MACPPatricia Fontaine, MACP

With masters in Counseling Psychology and Transformative Language Arts, Patricia Fontaine has been facilitating workshops for many years. As a cancer survivor, she is particularly interested in art and writing as refuge for those of us living with cancer. She recently self-published a book of cancer poems, Lifting My Shirt, and a collection of student work, Healing Art & Writing: Using Creativity To Meet Illness. (Sessions 3.10 and 4.7)

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Elise Everett, MDElise Everett, MD

Dr. Everett is a gynecologic oncologist with the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Healthcare. She performed her residency at the University of Washington Medical Center and her fellowship at the University of Virginia Medical Center. Prior to coming to Vermont, she spent five years with the Swedish Medical Center is Seattle, Washington. (Sessions 2.7 and 3.7)

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Janet FranzJanet Franz

Janet Franz uses a combination of professional training and personal experience to motivate people to achieve optimal health and fitness levels. A professional group exercise instructor and personal trainer since 1993, Janet is certified by the American Council on Exercise, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and YMCA-USA. She trains clients at health clubs, worksites, and community spaces around Chittenden County, Vermont. Her specialty classes include muscle conditioning, strength training, traditional aerobics, mat and prop Pilates, senior fitness, children's exercise, and marathon training for novice runners. In addition to instructing exercise, Janet is a mother of two active boys and a professional freelance writer covering health and community news for print and online media. She serves as chairwoman for the Vermont Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, appointed by Governor Jim Douglas in 2004 and currently serving under Governor Peter Shumlin. To schedule a personal or group exercise session, contact via email or by phone at (802) 238-8182. (Session 4.9)

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Stephanie Fraser, MSW

Stephanie Fraser has worked at Fletcher Allen health Care for 27 years. In the last 12 years, she has worked in Oncology. She takes pride in establishing the Vermont Oncology Social Work Network where oncology social workers throughout the state meet quarterly to provide peer support, share information and updates in meeting the practical needs of patients with cancer. She has had the pleasure of serving as the Vermont Representative for the Association of Oncology Social Work since 2009. (Session 2.11)

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Mary Giancola, MSW, LICSWMary Giancola, MSW, LICSW

Mary M. Giancola has experience working in a variety of health care settings in the role of medical social worker to improve the quality of life of people living with serious illness. She is presently working in the Hematology/Oncology Clinic as Palliative Care Social Worker at Fletcher Allen Health Care as part of the palliative care team. (Session 1.7)

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Clare Ginger, PhDClare Ginger, PhD

Clare Ginger brings a patient perspective as a breast cancer survivor and someone who has undergone genetic testing. She served in the cancer patient mentoring program, and also has participated in panels to review grant proposals for the VT/NH chapter of the Komen Foundation. She is a faculty member at the University of Vermont where she pursues her professional interests in environmental policy through teaching, research, and service. (Session 2.6)

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Janet Gray, PhD

Janet Gray os a Professor of Psychology and the Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at Vassar College. She has done extensive research in behavioral neuroscience, with a focus on the effects of estrogens and mixed antiestrogens, especially tamoxifen, on brain activity and behavior. Dr. Gray has served as the editor of the Breast Cancer Fund's report State of the Evidence in 2008 and 2010. (Sessions 2.1 and 5.3)

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Roz Grossman, MARoz Grossman, MAVCC member

Roz Grossman M.A. provides a safe, caring atmosphere in her workshops and brings compassion from her own journey of healing from cancer. Roz has facilitated mindfulness workshops for over 100 cancer patients and caregivers at Fletcher Allen Health Care. She has received extensive training in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program taught in many cancer centers. Roz has a Master of Arts degree in Health Arts and Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies, and an Associates Degree in nursing. She offers meditation instruction and Reiki through her business, The Neshamah Center. (Sessions 3.10and 4.10)

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Suzanne Hall, RN, BSWSuzanne Hall, RN, BSW

Suzanne Hall, RN, received an A.D. in Nursing from UVM in 1973 and has worked as an R.N. at FAHC for 41 years; the first 14 years in various medical - surgical sub-specialties and the last 27 in in-patient psychiatry. Suzanne has been a student at several mental health related conferences at the Cape Cod Summer Symposium over the years including Resilience with Robert Brooks, Ph.D.; Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with Zindel Segal; Using Your Brain to Change Your Relationships with Amy Banks, M.D.; and Radical Acceptance with Tara Brach , Ph.D. Suzanne is passionate about patient care, and teaches nursing students about taking care of people. Suzanne is a performing member of the Burlington Taiko Group and drummed her way through 15 months of treatment for her own breast cancer in 2007-2008. She composed a new piece for the group which was debuted at the Flynn Theater in March 2013. (Sessions 5.11and 6.6)

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Catherine Hamilton, PhDCatherine Hamilton, PhD

Catherine has worked in health care policy, management, finance and administration for 25 years in a variety of public and not-for-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise are in strategic planning, health care finance, and health care reform policy and programs to expand health insurance coverage. Dr. Hamilton oversees strategic planning, health care reform, Medicare and retail markets and customer service. Prior to her position at BCBSVT, she worked as a regulator of health plans at the Mayor’s Office of Medicaid Managed Care and in External Affairs for the Human Resource Administration in New York City. Catherine is a lecturer at the University of Vermont Health Care Management program. She received her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College and holds a Ph.D. in public administration from the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. Catherine has served on a variety of non-profit Boards in Chittenden county. Catherine lives in South Burlington with her four sons and husband, Mark Bradley. (Session 3.3)

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Jean Harvey, PhD, RDJean Harvey, PhD, RDVCC Member

Jean Harvey received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition from Penn State University and her PhD in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her research focuses on obesity prevention in children and behavioral treatments for obesity in adults; specifically the use of the Internet to deliver behavioral weight control interventions. She is currently funded by National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Harvey is a University Scholar and a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and The Obesity Society. Dr. Harvey is Professor and Chair of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Vermont. (Session 2.4)

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Curtiss HemmChef Curtiss Hemm

Chef Curtiss Hemm is the founder and ExecutiveDirector of Pink Ribbon Cooking, LLC. Chef Curtiss is the former Dean of Culinary Arts and Director of Online Programs at the New England Culinary Institute. Additionally Curtiss was an instructor and program coordinator at Paul Smith's College of Arts and Science. Specializing in the artistic presentation and preparation of food, Chef Curtiss is also the author of Garde Manger: The Cold Kitchen, a contemporary culinary textbook focused on the preparation and artistic expression of charcuterie, salads, sandwiches, buffets and decorative sculptures. Chef Curtiss currently sits on the Vermont Hope Lodge Advisory Committee Council 2013 and the Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer Quality of Life Work Group. Intimately touched by his wife's breast cancer diagnosis and the loss of her mother to lung cancer, Curtiss now channels his professional skills and time toward raising awareness and supporting organizations that are on the frontline in the fight against cancer. (Sessions 1.5 and 3.11)

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Sally Herschorn, MDSally Herschorn, MDVCC Member

Dr. Herschorn is board-certified in Diagnostic Radiology and fellowship-trained in Cross-Sectional Imaging. An award-winning practitioner, educator and lecturer, Dr. Herschorn is the recipient of the Fletcher Allen Breast Imaging Department Leadership Award for Operational Excellence and Extraordinary Care for patients and staff. Her clinical focus is in the area of breast imaging; providing and interpreting any imaging study related to the diagnosis of breast diseases and screening for breast cancer. She also performs needle biopsies of the breast using imaging guidance. As a high risk patient herself (mother died of breast cancer at a young age), Sally understands the concerns of women regarding their risk, family history and their fears of contracting breast cancer. (Session 3.1)

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Elise Hotaling, MDElise Hotaling, MD

Dr. Elise Hotaling is a radiologist in Burlington, Vermont. She received her medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and has been in practice for 6 years. Dr. Hotaling has an appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Vermont. (Session 3.5)

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Ted James, MDTed James, MDVCC Member

Dr. Ted James is a member of the Vermont Cancer Center and Division of Surgical Oncology where he serves as Director of Skin and Soft Tissue Surgical Oncology. He manages the surgical care of patients with breast cancer, melanoma and extremity sarcoma. Dr. James is active in cancer research and is also engaged in promoting quality standards in cancer care. Dr. James employs a team-based approach to cancer care and believes in involving patients as key members of the treatment decision-making process; making certain to educate patients about their diagnosis and address their treatment priorities. (Session 5.7)

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Patti Johnson, RN, OCN, CBCNPatti Johnson, RN, OCN, CBCN

Patti Johnson is the Oncology Care Coordinator who work at the FitzPatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh, New York. Her job allows her to serve breast cancer survivors directly as a navigator and a sexuality resource registered nurse.(Session 1.1)

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Taylor JohnsonTaylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson is the Environmental Health Associate at VPIRG. He spent five summers as a part of the summer outreach program – most recently as the canvass director. Taylor completed the 2-year Fellows Program with VPIRG, during which he worked as a field organizer and directed VPIRG’s summer canvass to all-time record-breaking success. With VPIRG he has organized to close Vermont Yankee, expand clean energy and update the bottle bill. He also worked with Toxics Action Center on chemical reform and the Vermont League of Conservation Voters on their Vote Green Gov campaign. Taylor graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in history. His family lives in Rochester, VT. Most recently, he has worked in the Vermont Statehouse on toxic chemical reform and protecting the bottle bill. (Session 2.11)

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Janet Kahn, PhD, LMTJanet Kahn, PhD, LMT

A massage therapist and a research scientist, Janet has worked to bring the worlds of research and massage therapy together by serving as both the President of the Massage Therapy Foundation and Director of the Massage Research Consortium. She is on the faculty of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and a Preceptor in the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Complementary and Alternative and General Medicine. In 2011, Dr. Kahn was appointed by President Obama to serve on the national Advisory Board on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health. She also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (Sessions 1.8 and 2.9)

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Susan G. Lakoski, MDSusan G. Lakoski, MDVCC Member

Dr. Lakoski is a board-certified cardiologist who received her MD at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She obtained her specialty training in Cardiology and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Dr. Lakoski is an expert in cardiovascular prevention and exercise. She is currently the Director of Cardiovascular Prevention for Cancer Patients at the Vermont Cancer Center and the Assistant Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont. Dr. Lakoski studies how exercise in clinical cancer setting prevents cardiovascular disease and cancer progression. While exercise training is a well-known intervention among cardiovascular patients, this strategy is not routinely taken among cancer patients who are exposed to therapies which can have deleterious consequences on cardiovascular health. As such, Dr. Lakoski’s focus is on exercise training as a therapeutic modality in the fight against cancer and the study of biological mechanisms of protection. (Session L.2)

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Jane Lian, PhDJane Lian, PhDVCC Member

Dr. Lian is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont and a member of the Vermont Cancer Center. Recognition for her transformative research includes awards from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Orthopedic Reearch Society, International Association of Dental Research, the Shirley Hohl Service and the Willian Neuman Research Awards of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr Lian has served on four NIH review panels and the Research Advisory board of the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Her current research programs are supported by NIH grants from 3 Institutes NIAMS, NIDCR and NCI and a Cancer related Idea Research Award from Pfizer. (Session 1.2)

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Alexa LuthorAlexa Luthor

Alexa Luthor has been dancing her whole life. She started at the age of two, doing ballet for 18 years and a bit of jazz and belly dance. She discovered burlesque at a friend's bachelorette party and knew she had found her true passion. A 2011 graduate of Studio L'Amour in Chicago, IL, Alexa performed with Gorilla Tango Burlesque and was a Coquette with Kiss Kiss Cabaret. She then ventured back to her hometown of Burlington, VT in 2012, to start her own company, Green Mountain Cabaret which performs monthly at Club Metronome. In her spare time, she sews and alters clothing, dabbles in stage combat, indulges in British comedy, and is an extreme nerd. (Session 6.11)

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Sharon Mallory

Sharon Mallory has been working in public health for over 12 years. As the Coordinator for Vermont’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, she provides overall program management and leadership, including the oversight, execution, and maintenance of the Vermont State Cancer Plan and collaboration with/membership on the statewide cancer coalition, Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer (VTAAC). Ms. Mallory also works to build and maintain collaborations with a variety of partners to affect Vermont’s cancer burden with a focus on policy, systems and environmental approaches. Ms. Mallory received her Master of Public Health from the School of Public Health at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science from the University of Vermont. (Session 4.6)

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Susan MarxSusan Marx

Susan is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher (KYTA), AFAA Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, and is OM Yoga for Women Cancer Survivor certified. (Session 1.11)

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Jennifer May, RD, CDJennifer May, RD, CD

Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian, working full-time for the past eight years with the Cancer Patient Support Program at the Vermont Cancer Center. She provides nutrition counseling to oncology patients in the community and offers lectures on various cancer and cancer prevention topics. Jennifer received her Bachelor's of Science in Dietetics/Nutrition & Food Sciences at the University of Vermont and completed her dietetic internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. (Sessions 1.5 and 6.5)

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Kathy McBeth, MAKathy McBeth, MAVCC member

This year's conference co-chair, Kathy McBeth has been the full time coordinator with the Cancer Patient Support Program for the past seven years. She is a Licensed Psychologist, with a focus on health psychology and adjustment to illness. Kathy is two-time cancer survivor and has been involved with the Breast Cancer Conference for a number of years, first as an attendee, then as a presenter. She is a member of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, on the steering committee for Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer, on the Nursing & Allied Health Professional Advisory Committee, and a board member of the Stowe Weekend of Hope. She has presented at the Vermont Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Conference, the Dartmouth Lymphoma Symposium, the Stowe Weekend of Hope, and at the Northern New England Oncology Society annual conference. (Session 2.3)

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Wendy McKinnon, MSWendy McKinnon, MSVCC member

Wendy McKinnon is a certified genetic counselor who specializes in genetic counseling and testing for familial cancer. Ms. McKinnon is the genetic counselor for the Familial Cancer Program at the Vermont Cancer Center and Fletcher Allen, a multidisciplinary program for individuals and families at risk for hereditary cancer. (Sessions 2.8 and 3.8)

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Robert Nesbit, MDRobert Nesbit, MD

Dr. Nesbit is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the UVM Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He graduated from the Medical College of Georgia, completed residencies at Erlanger Hospital and the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse, and finished a fellowship in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at Charlotte Plastic Surgery. He has been with the University of Vermont College of Medicine since 2005. (Sessions 2.6, 4.2, and 5.8)

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Mary Nolan, RN, OCNMary Nolan, RN, OCN

Mary Nolan RN, OCN worked at the Tucker Center For Cancer Care in Middletown, NY and has been with the FitzPatrick Cancer Center since 2008. She works in the Clinic, Infusion Room and as a Sexuality Resource RN. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2010. (Session 1.1)

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J. Chris Nunnink, MDJ. Chris Nunnink, MDVCC member

Chris returned to Burlington in 1986 to start his Oncology practice –Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine (VCCM), and teach at Fletcher Allen Health Care.  He started and received funding for the oncology research program at Fanny Allen Hospital.  His former practice (Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine) grew to four physicians and two nurse practitioners practicing in St Albans, Middlebury and Burlington/Colchester and served over 22,000 patients in Vermont and upper New York for over 27 years.  He served on the board of trustees when the Fanny Allen Hospital merged with Medical Center Hospital of Vermont to form Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC).   He was a founding member of the Breast Cancer Center at FAHC.  He served on the initial committee to fund and build the first in house hospice program in Vermont – the Vermont Respite House, and served on the original board of directors.  He worked diligently on Access to Care, especially for patients in rural areas of Northern New England and published his work on March 2010.  The ability to collect data and interact with colleagues from small rural hospitals as well as FAHC, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and Maine Medical Center was inspiring and continues to motivate him. The study revealed that overall the care provided in rural areas was comparable in many ways to that provided in urban areas.  However, the infrastructure to provide excellent care in rural areas is fragile and being threatened. Maintaining this is still his passion. On October 1, 2013 Chris joined Vermont Cancer Center as associate professor in Oncology at FAHC so that he can continue his passion for providing compassionate and quality care to his patients and pursue his interest to maintain access to state of the art cancer care in rural environments. (Session 3.3)

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Patti O'Brien, MDPatti O'Brien, MDVCC member

Dr. O’Brien provides lymphedema consultations at the Vermont Cancer Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care. She serves as co-chair of the Annual Breast Cancer Conference and has also volunteered with many local nonprofits. Dr. O’Brien is a 14-year breast cancer survivor who has participated in multiple national cancer research studies, including those at the Vermont Cancer Center. She is interested in the long term medical needs of cancer survivors. (Sessions 2.6 and 4.1)

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Manon O'ConnorManon O'Connor

Manon serves as the Senior Director for Development at the Vermont Cancer Center. Previously she served as the Senior Director for Major Gifts at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and began her development career at Fletcher Allen Health Care in 2002. Manon served on the Board of the Cancer Patient Support Program from 2002-2010 and served as President from 2007-2010. (Session 2.11)

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Susan PelletierSusan Pelletier

Susan Pelletier is a two time breast cancer survivor. First diagnosed in 1999 at age 44, she became a member of The National Breast Cancer Coalition and attended Project Lead in 2004 and has been active as an advocate working on research panels for the Dept. of Defense, The California Breast Cancer Research Programs, and most recently the PCORI program which is a patient centered outcome research institute. Susan is a tireless advocate working to help and educate others who have had and are dealing with cancer, quality of life issues and health care disparities. (Session 3.4)

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Allan Ramsay, MDAllan Ramsay, MD

In his long career in academic medicine, Allan served as Residency Director and Vice Chair in the Department of Family Medicine at UVM, where he is now Professor Emeritus. Allan is a past member of the board of the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties and the Board of the Community Health Center of Burlington. Prior to moving to Vermont, he served in the National Health Service Corps in rural Colorado. He was also President of an HMO Professional Service Corporation in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. Allan holds a medical degree from Emory University and is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, hospice and palliative medicine. He lives in Essex Junction. (Session 3.3)

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Kari Rosenkranz, MDKari Rosenkranz, MD

Dr. Rosenkranz is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and the Director of the Comprehensive Breast Program at Dartmouth University's Geisel School of Medicine in New Hampshire. Her practice focus includes breast surgery and melanoma. (Session 5.4)

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Nancy Ryan, BANancy Ryan, BA

Nancy Ryan is President of the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition and New Hampshire Field Coordinator for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 and with ovarian cancer in 1998. Nancy has served as a consumer reviewer for the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program. She completed NBCC’s science training course, Project LEAD® in 2004 and the Project LEAD® Institute in 2011. (Session 3.4)

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Joanna Schwartz, PharmDJoanna Schwartz, PharmD

Dr. Schwartz is a board certified oncology pharmacist who graduated from Drake University College of Pharmacy and completed pharmacy practice and oncology residencies at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. After spending 5 years as a clinical pharmacist at the Women and Infants Hospital/Brown University Medical School Cancer Center in Providence, RI, she is currently an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Vermont Campus, with a clinical practice site at the Vermont Cancer Center at Fletcher Allen Healthcare/University of Vermont Medical School, Burlington, Vermont. She is the past-president of the Vermont Society of Health System Pharmacy (VTSHP) and has an adjunct appointment at the University of Vermont. (Session 5.6)

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Michelle Sowden, DOMichelle Sowden, DOVCC member

Dr. Sowden joined the UVM College of Medicine in 2011. Her recent research experience includes a study regarding accelerated partial breast irradiation, as well as a previous study regarding acute hepatic failure and hemorrhage following radiofrequency ablation for liver metastasis. Dr. Sowden has been an invited lecturer for multiple centers and was the recipient of a Breast Cancer Achievment Award at the 12th Annual Lynn Sage Conference. She also received an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) award for her presentation, “Who Provides Follow Up Care for Breast Cancer Survivors and Does it Make a Difference?” (Session 2.6)

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Brian Sprague, PhDBrian Sprague, PhDVCC member

Dr. Brian Sprague, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Vermont. As a cancer epidemiologist he conducts population-level research on breast cancer incidence, detection, and survival. He leads the Vermont Breast Cancer Surveillance System, a member of the national Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, which studies risk-based breast cancer screening strategies. He is currently co-Principal Investigator of the Vermont PROSPR Research Center, which seeks to evaluate the breast cancer screening process and identify factors associated with recurrence after an early stage breast cancer diagnosis. (Session 1.4)

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Mary Stanley, MDMary Stanley, MDVCC member

Mary Stanley is a breast surgeon now in private practice in South Burlington. She specializes in the surgical care of all breast diseases. Mary has lived in the Burlington area with her family since 1998. (Session 4.5)

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Yujing Sun, PhDVCC member

Dr. Yujing Sun is a cancer researcher working as Assistant Professor in the department of Surgery, School of Medicine, UVM. She graduated from medical school in China in 1996, earned her Ph.D in Pathology and Physiology in 2005. She has extensive research experience in cancer pathology, cancer immunology, cancer specific antibody generation and currently works on a project designed to create customized anti-cancer immunotherapy strategy. She is also a yoga and mindfulness meditation practitioner, and is currently working on becoming a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and yoga teacher. She just finished a 9 days intensive MBSR practicum training course in Center of Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School in January 2014. (Session 4.10)

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Philip Trabulsy, MDPhilip Trabulsy, MD

Philip P. Trabulsy MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Vermont. He is the Clinical Lead of the Program in Integrative Health at the UVM College of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Program in Integrative Medicine from the University of Arizona having studied under one of the pioneers of Integrative Health, Dr. Andrew Weil. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Acupuncture. His clinical interests include the non-operative approach to musculoskeletal pain using approaches form both the complementary and allopathic disciplines. He has a particular interest in Oncology and Supportive Cancer Care providing guidance in nutritional, lifestyle, mind-body, and acupuncture approaches to enhance the conventional treatments of his patients. (Session 2.9)

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Erin Tsai, MD

Dr. Tsai was born and raised in Springfield, VT. She graduated with honors in biology from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and worked in nursing on the Oncology Unit at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro prior to returning to Vermont to attend the UVM College of Medicine. She graduated in 2002, and went on to complete radiology residency at Fletcher Allen Health Care with board certification in 2008. Dr. Tsai was fellowship trained at FAHC in General Radiology and Breast Imaging, and has worked as a General Radiologist with a focus in breast imaging at FAHC since 2008. (Session 4.5)

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Paul Unger, MDPaul Unger, MD VCC member

Dr. Unger is a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Vermont, co-founder of the Breast Care Center, a hematologist and a medical oncologist on Fletcher Allen’s medical staff. He cares for patients at the Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine & Blood Disorders and at the breast care center at Fletcher Allen. (Session 1.6)

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Christine Vatovec, PhDVCC member

Dr. Christine Vatovec is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Vermont with joint appointments in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the College of Medicine. Dr. Vatovec is an environmental health social scientist who seeks to inspire students to actively participate in the social dialog that shapes the health and well-being of humans and the natural environment. She teaches Human Health and the Environment, and Environment, Health & Society. (Session 2.10)

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Doctor VuDoctor Vu

Doctor Vu has performed with the Green Mountain Cabaret since 2012.She has also guest performed locally with Peep Show Vermont, Burlington Burlesque and at the 2014 Vermont Burlesque Festival. In 2014 she competed in the Great Burlesque Expo Main Event. Trained in mask work and physicality, she has has been acting for several years in classic theatrical productions, Commedia dell'Arte and Interactive Theatre. The Doctor also teaches dance fitness as an instructor for Flirty Girl Fitness Booty Beat®, embracing the idea that all shapes and sizes can be fit and have fun through dance. (Session 6.11)

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Ali Waltien, CCLSAli Waltien. CCLS

Ali Waltien, CCLS is a certified Child Life Specialist funded by the Mahana Magic Foundation to work as part of the Vermont Cancer Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Ali started her Child Life career working with pediatric patients facing a wide range of medical interventions at Vermont Children’s Hospital, before evolving her role to fit the needs of adult patients with children. Ali provides developmentally appropriate education to children to help them prepare for changes in the family, as well as providing opportunities for self-expression through therapeutic activities. (Session 4.4)

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Kathy Weatherly

Kathy Weatherly is an Occupational Therapist who is LANA certified. She is also the founder and CEO of Solaris. (Session L.1)

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Betsey WessonBetsey Wesson

Betsey Wesson is Vermont’s only Bright Pink Ambassador, working to educate women on the importance of being proactive with their breast and ovarian health. She got her start advocating for Breast Cancer Awareness as Mrs. Vermont International 2013 after her cousin was diagnosed at age 25 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She is an LPN at Fletcher Allen, she loves to travel, watch baseball and spend as much time with her family as possible at their home in Colchester, VT. (Session 3.6)

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Julia Wick, MS, LCMHC

Julia Wick, MS, LCMHC is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor whose work focuses primarily on health and wellness, with a particular emphasis on emotional issues related to cancer and medical challenges. Julia is a clinician on staff at the Vermont Cancer Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care and sees individuals facing cancer as well as families and loved ones who are in the vital role of caregiver. Julia has extensive experience in the counseling field and finds her work with those affected by cancer especially meaningful. (Session 4.4)

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Kirsten WileyKirsten Wiley

Kirsten Wiley is a Nationally certified massage therapist from Burlington Vermont and has been managing pain with massage therapy since 1984. Kirsten studied gentle acupressure techniques to encourage relaxation in Beijing in 2007 and 2010, and studied Oncology massage therapy in Boston with Tracy Walton in 2011. Kirsten treats clients in Burlington and Montpelier offices as well as in the department of Hematology/Oncology in the Vermont Cancer Center. (Session 2.11)

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Marie Wood, MDMarie Wood, MDVCC member

Dr. Wood is a Professor of Medicine in the UVM Division of Hematology/Oncology. She is the founder and principle investigator of the High Risk Breast Program. Dr. Wood provides clinical, research, and programmatic oversight to the program. Dr. Wood is also the director of the Vermont Cancer Center’s Familial Cancer Program, which provides advanced multidisciplinary care for individuals and families at elevated risk for developing cancer. (Sessions 1.2 and 3.1)

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Neil Zakai, MDNeil Zakai, MDVCC member

Dr. Neil Zakai is a hematologist in Burlington, Vermont. He received his medical degree from University of Virginia School of Medicine and has been in practice for 14 years, nine of which have been at the University of Vermont. Dr. Zakai's clinical expertise includes the care of patients with venous thrombosis and it’s complications, evaluation of patients for inherited and acquired hyper-coagulable syndromes, evaluation and management of patients with premature arterial vascular disease, and evaluation and management of non-malignant disorders of blood cells. (Session 3.2)

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Last modified September 29 2014 01:28 PM