The 18th Annual Women's Health and 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.
Thomas Ahern earned his PhD in epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health and trained in cancer epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research addresses the impact of common prescription drugs on breast cancer risk and survival, and how genetic factors and tumor molecular profiles modify associations between drug therapies and breast cancer outcomes. Dr. Ahern is currently funded by Susan G. Komen to investigate medication-borne phthalate exposure as a potential risk factor for breast cancer.
Lynne Balman, EdD, has spent the better part of 46 years in Elementary Education; teaching all grades, training teachers at the college level, and providing administrative support in Vermont schools. She has been an avid member of Dragonheart Vermont, racing with the competitive SISTERS Team of Breast Cancer survivors at the Hong Kong World Cup Finals and Nationals. Currently, Lynne is overseeing programs and marketing for Survivorship NOW for all survivors of cancer, as part of the administrative team.
Maura Barry is an assistant professor of medicine in the Hematology/Oncology Division in UVM's Department of Medicine. She graduated Magna cum Laude from Barnard College and received her MD from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Barry joined the UVM College of Medicine following the completion of a fellowship in hematology and oncology at New York University.
Susan received her BA from Trinity College and her BSN from UVM in 1988. She is a clinical program coordinator at the UVM Medical Center.
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.
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.
Bridget Conry currently serves Champlain Valley Dispensary in the role of Operations Manager. She is responsible for the implementation of the organization’s mission statement and standard operating procedures across all departments from laboratory testing, infused products manufacturing, retail sales to community outreach. Ms. Conry has twenty years of experience in the food industry. She began her career at The City Bakery in New York City. At the age of 22, she was promoted to General Manager, overseeing a multi-million dollar operation that included two retail outlets, a wholesale bakery and a full service catering company. From there, she became a PR coordinator for Greenmarket in New York City, a system of 23 farmers’ markets spread throughout the five boroughs, and on-site manager at the Union Square location, the largest in the organization. Her most recent position in the industry was as General Manager of Haven Cafe and Bakery, a thriving cafe and catering company located in Lenox, MA.
David Cranmer is the Coordinator for Vermonters Taking Action Against Cancer, the state Cancer Coalition and a member of the University of Vermont Cancer Center. Since 2006, VTAAC has provided a forum for collaboration, engagement and sharing of resources for individuals and organizations concerned about cancer in Vermont. The Coalition is responsible for implementing the strategies in the Vermont State Cancer Plan.
Dr. Dittus is an attending physician at The University of Vermont Medical Center 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 The University of Vermont Medical Center. She is pursuing an academic medical career with a research focus on the health-related issues of cancer survivors.
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 The University of Vermont Medical Center 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 The University of Vermont Medical Center Memory Center.
Julie Dumas is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry 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 aging and memory. Specifically she studies the effects of hormones on cognition and the interaction of estrogen and neurotransmitter systems in older women.
Robin Edelman is a dietitian, a certified diabetes educator, and the Diabetes Prevention and Control Program Administrator at the Vermont Department of Health. In October of 2003 she led the first Vermont group to be master-trained in Stanford’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. Edelman set up pilot consumer self-management programs and leader trainings, co-chairs the Blueprint Self-Management Workgroup, and helped establish what we now call the “Healthier Living Workshop.”
Dr. Everett is a gynecologic oncologist with the University of Vermont and The University of Vermont Medical Center. 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.
Janet Ely is a family nurse practitioner certified in advanced oncology and palliative care with a focus on providing comprehensive symptom management for patients diagnosed with cancer. She is currently a nurse practitioner in hematology and oncology at University of Vermont Medical Center and has worked to develop an out-patient palliative care clinic in the University of Vermont Cancer Center. Her focus is working with patients at all stages of their cancer care. She is involved with nursing education and is an adjunct faculty at University of Vermont School of Nursing.
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.
Pam is a CHT and Project manager for the University Of Vermont Medical Center. Pam works with a team of 30 staff to support 31 clinics across Chittenden County as part of the Blueprint for Health. Pam has been a the UVM- Medical Center for over 30 years in various roles: , nurse manger on a medical unit, Outreach Program, staff nurse in critical care and post anesthesia recovery. She has been a master trainer for Stanford’s Chronic Disease Programs for over 10 years. Pam is a graduate of the University of Vermont school of Nursing and Education.
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.
Dr. Fossati provides integrative medicine and preventive health consultations to patients by referral. Previously a cardiologist, she became interested in helping her patients make lifestyle changes to promote their optimal health and well-being, leading her to adjust her career path. Her areas of expertise include integrative nutrition and lifestyle counseling, stress management and resiliency training, and the safe and effective use of herbal medicines and supplements to complement her patients' conventional medical care.
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.
Garth Garrison is an assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is a graduate of the University of Utah and did his postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan, where he completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine and critical care. He has been a member of the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the University of Vermont Medical Center since 2011.
Dr. Gentchos is an Associate Professor in the department of Radiology at the University of Vermont, and is director of Thoracic Radiology Division and Co-Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program. He is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed radiology residency and thoracic radiology fellowship at the University of Vermont and cardiac MRI fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.
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 The Vermont Cancer Center as part of the palliative care team.
Penelope Gibson attended Rosalind Franklin University for her PA degree. She then worked in family practice for several years, before transitioning to her current position in Oncology at the UVM Medical Center. She has a particular interest in breast cancer, and also sees patients in the Survivor Program, which focuses on long term issues related to cancer diagnosis and therapies.
Karen Glass, PhD is an assistant professor at the Albany College of Pharmacy and an adjunct assistant professor in the University of Vermont's Department of Biochemistry. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of certain cellular processes in the human body.
Janet Gray PhD is professor and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at Vassar College. Over the past decade, she has engaged in the public conversation focusing on environmental risks and breast cancer. She is Director of the Vassar College Environmental Risks and Breast Cancer Project, a team that produced a bilingual, interactive, user-friendly website. She is lead author of the Breast Cancer Fund’s State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment (2008; 2010) and the updated Clear Science section of the BCF website, as well as related journal articles.
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 The University of Vermont Medical Center. 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.
Maureen Harmon is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the UVM College of Medicine and a pathologist with the UVM Medical Center. She received both her BA and her MD at UVM and has served as part of the faculty since 2003. Her clinical interests include cervical pathology, cytopathology, and surgical pathology.
Chef Curtiss Hemm is the founder and Executive Director of Pink Ribbon Cooking, LLC. He is the former Dean of Culinary Arts and Director of Online Programs at the New England Culinary Institute. Chef Curtiss currently sits on the VTAAC Quality of Life Work Group, the Champlain Valley’s Committee on Healthy Lifestyles and the Cancer Patient Support Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Sally Herschorn is the Division Chief and Medical Director of Breast Imaging at the University of Vermont Medical Center. An Associate Professor of Radiology at UVM’s College of Medicine and member of the Vermont Cancer Center, Sally has a longstanding interest and involvement in providing high quality breast imaging care and in empowering women to be proactive in their health care.
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.
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.
Sandy Jefferis is a member and Co-President of the Vermont Reiki Association. She is also an artist who works with fiber art, specifically paper sculptures and contemporary baskets. She spent 15 years as a nurse, working primarily in labor and delivery, and has several published research articles to her name.
Kristi Johnson, PT, CLT-LANA, has practiced physical therapy in Vermont for 20 years and is a certified lymphedema specialist at PT360 in Shelburne, Vermont. Kristi is a certified lymphedema therapist as well as an orthopedic therapist. She has recently completed a second master’s degree in research focused in the field of lymphedema.
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.
Alan Lampson, MLS is the Lead in the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Alan is certified by the Medical Library Association as a Level II Consumer Health Information Specialist. In his 30 year career as a librarian Alan has worked with patients and community members to inform them on available health information resources and empower them to be active participants in their health care.
Dr. Licata was born in Cincinnati OH. She did her undergraduate studies at Miami University, receiving a degree in Chemistry. From there, she attended the Yale University School of Medicine and then did an internship and dermatology residency there. After residency, she came to UVM and was on the faculty there for about 15 years. In 2007 she joined Four Seasons Dermatology where she practices today in the Colchester office. She has a special interest in skin cancer, particularly melanoma.
Amy Littlefield is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Her residency at Clifton Springs Hospital in New York helped her to cultivate her gift for bridging the gap between high quality conventional medical care and naturopathic medicine. She is board certified through the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology. Her passion is working holistically with patients being treated for cancer and their oncology team to provide integrative oncology care.
Shayne Lynn is the executive director of the non-profit Champlain Valley Dispensary (CVD), Inc., which he founded in 2011. To accomplish this, Shayne assembled a network of local government representatives and business leaders to help position and finance CVD. The State of Vermont awarded its first medical marijuana license to CVD in 2012. Shayne designed, sourced, and managed the construction of CVD’s cultivation facility and has provided recommendations and public testimony to state regulators in Vermont over the past five years. He now serves as both executive director and cultivation director for CVD. Under his leadership, CVD was awarded a second license for the fourth and final dispensary within the State of Vermont in 2013 and opened Southern Vermont Wellness, Inc. in Brattleboro February 2014. Shayne is a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Susan is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher (KYTA), AFAA Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Fitness Instructor, and is OM Yoga for Women Cancer Survivor certified.
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.
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 The University of Vermont Medical Center, a multidisciplinary program for individuals and families at risk for hereditary cancer.
Todd W. Miller, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Scientific Director of the Comprehensive Breast Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research program focuses on the translational application of understanding of cell signaling pathways to therapeutics for breast cancer. His work integrates preclinical models, human tissues, and early-phase clinical trials to develop novel therapeutic strategies, elucidate mechanisms of drug resistance, and identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
Moira Mulligan is the manager of rehabilitation therapist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, where she oversees the daily operations of the Rehabilitation Therapy and Physical and Occupational Therapy sites. She also holds an associate professor position with the University of Vermont. She obtained her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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.
Britta Nelson received her BS in Exercise Science from Liberty University in 2013. She has been working as an exercise trainer for Steps to Wellness program at the University of Vermont Medical Center since December 2013.
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.
Dr. O’Brien provides lymphedema consultations at the Vermont Cancer Center at The University of Vermont Medical Center. 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.
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 The University of Vermont Medical Center in 2002. Manon served on the Board of the Cancer Patient Support Program from 2002-2010 and served as President from 2007-2010.
Tracy is an osteopathic physician with specialty training in Family Practice since 1989 and a diplomat of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine since 2014. She trained in the Usui system of Reiki, obtaining levels 1 and 2 in January of 2008 and my master’s level in November 2008. Tracy has volunteered regularly since 2008 at the UVM Medical Center working in the chemo-infusion unit and with the Palliative Care service.
Elaine Belanger Perry, PT, CLT-LANA received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 2000, and her lymphedema certification through Klose-Norton Training and Consulting in 2003. She has been employed at the UVM Medical Center at the Rehabilitation Therapy Center for the last 10 years, primarily involved in the treatment of lymphedema, as well as with oncology and neurological rehabilitation.
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.
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.
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.
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 The University of Vermont Medical Center with board certification in 2008. Dr. Tsai was fellowship trained at The University of Vermont Medical Center in General Radiology and Breast Imaging, and has worked as a General Radiologist with a focus in breast imaging at The University of Vermont Medical Center since 2008.
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 onThe University of Vermont Medical Center’s medical staff. He cares for patients at the Vermont Center for Cancer Medicine & Blood Disorders and at the breast care center at The University of Vermont Medical Center.
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.
Ali Waltien, CCLS is a certified Child Life Specialist funded by the Mahana Magic Foundation to work as part of the University of Vermont Cancer Center. Ali started her Child Life career working with pediatric patients facing a wide range of medical interventions at University of 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.
Kathy Weatherly is an Occupational Therapist who is LANA certified. She is also the founder and CEO of Solaris.
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 University of Vermont Cancer Center 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.
Dr. Zuurbier the new Director of Breast Imaging at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. She is a Harvard trained and nationally recognized leader in the practice of breast imaging and intervention including mammography, 3-D tomosynthesis, breast ultrasound, breast MR and all image guided core biopsies. She has developed and led high volume integrated academic and hospital-based private practice breast centers in Washington, DC for 2 decades.
Last modified August 28 2015 10:58 AM