Life with Cancer Staff List
Family Center Staff, Fairfax, VA
Inova Fairfax Hospital Staff
Inova Alexandria Hospital &
Kathy Alleman, Administrative Specialist
Kathy began as a volunteer with Life with Cancer in September 2011 and was hired as an employee in 2013.Â She has worked almost 19 years in the non-profit sector.Â She holds a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics.Â Her main role at Life with Cancer is to answer the Life with Cancer Connect Line to connect people with Life with Cancer programs and services as well as community resources.Â
Karen Archer, MSW, Oncology Therapist I
Karen joined Life with Cancer in 2014. She earned her master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001. Karen has worked in the field of oncology for 30 years. She worked at Inova Loudoun Hospital, in the Radiation Oncology department for 17 years and in December 2014 moved to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital (IFOH), where she holds a dual role as Oncology Therapist for Life with Cancer and Palliative Care Social Worker for the IFOH Palliative Care Team. She has a special interest in learning about and offering complimentary modalities to those touched by cancer
Sage Bolte, Ph.D., LCSW, OSW-C, Director
Sage came to Life with Cancer in June 2004, after completing two years of psychosocial oncology research and patient care at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Sage joined the staff to help develop a program that specifically addresses the needs of the women, men and families impacted by metastatic breast cancer. Sage provides individual, couples and family counseling and facilitates several support groups including the breast, metastatic breast and young adult groups. Her areas of interests and expertise are sexuality and cancer and the various issues that face those both those with metastatic disease and the young adult population. She received her master's in social work from the University of Michigan and graduated in May 2010 with a Ph.D. of social work from The Catholic University, in Washington, DC. Originally from the West Coast, Sage resides in Fairfax County with her husband, Jeff and sons Gavin and Jecen.
Drucilla Brethwaite, LCSW, OSW-C
Manager Oncology Navigation and Counseling, Life with Cancer Family Center
Drucilla oversees the delivery of programs, processes and procedures for patients and families at the Life with Cancer Family Center. In addition, she continues to provide counseling to individuals, couples and families to promote adjustment to illness and improved quality of life. Areas of interest include couples, insomnia, mind-body wellness, survivorship issues, caregivers, resiliency, end of life, and grief/bereavement; and she is available to provide presentations on these topics. In collaboration with colleagues she has helped create psychoeducational programs on Exploring Mind-Body Techniques, Tools for Couples Facing Cancer, Insomnia, Crafting a Legacy, Maintaining Resiliency and Managing Anger. Drucilla co-facilitates a number of groups including the Multiple Myeloma Group, Blood Cancers Group, Caregiver Connection, and Drumming for Well-Being and engages in research and publishing. She earned a master's in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and was named NASW Oncology Social Worker of the year for 2014. She is licensed as a clinical social worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a certified oncology social worker. Drucilla has also been an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, teaching in the Social Work Department.
Maureen Broderick, LCSW, Oncology Social Worker II
Maureen joined Life with Cancer in 2014 after having been a radiation oncology social worker at Inova Alexandria Hospital since 2004. She facilitated many support groups including a young women’s breast cancer group, a prostate cancer support group and a group for women living with advanced cancer. Prior to joining Inova, Maureen was a home care social worker with Capital Hospice from 1999 â€“ 2004. Maureen moved from New York to Northern Virginia in 1997 and worked in the psycho-oncology program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center after receiving her MSW from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Maureen’s areas of interest are adjustment to illness, use of complementary therapies, end of life care, grief/bereavement, and survivorship. In addition to providing counseling to individual patients and caregivers, she facilitates support groups and develops programs for the new cancer center at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.
Paul Clark, PhD, LCSW, Oncology Therapist III
Paul is a licensed clinical social worker with more than two decades of practice experience in health and mental health, He joined the Life with Cancer staff as an Oncology Therapist in June of 2005. He holds a master’s degree in social work from Norfolk State University and a Ph.D. in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University. At Life with Cancer, Paul has facilitated or co-facilitated support groups for people living with lung cancer, melanoma, and lymphoma. In addition, he is an active member of the Life with Cancer Research committee. Paul has research interests in health literacy, distress, and health disparities among people with cancer and their families.
Constance Connor, MSW, LCSW, Oncology Therapist III
Connie joined the Life with Cancer (LWC) staff as a pediatric oncology social worker in 2004 after working for five years as an inpatient Pediatric Oncology Social Worker at Inova Fairfax Hospital. In her current position, Connie provides support and education to children with cancer and their families during and after treatment for childhood cancer. In addition to seeing families in the clinic setting, Connie is a member of the multidisciplinary late effects and neuro oncology clinics. She runs a monthly Pediatric Oncology Parent Night and conducts annual conferences on late effects for teen and young adult survivors of childhood cancer and their parents. Publications include a chapter on Pediatric Cancer Survivorship in the Handbook of Oncology Social Work (2015) and on the teen and young adult survivorship conferences at LWC in the medical journal Pediatric Blood and Cancer (2013). Connie received her bachelor's in social work in 1972 from Boise State University and her master's in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982. She has more than 40 years of experience including five previous positions in adult oncology in California and Idaho as well as working as a therapist in community mental health programs in California and Kentucky.Â In 2011 Connie was awarded Social Worker of the Year at the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW) annual meeting by The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. In 2015, she was honored by the Make a Wish Foundation as top referrer in the Mid Atlantic region for 2014. She currently serves as Chair of Legal and Advocacy on the Board of Directors for APOSW.
Corinne H. Cook, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Oncology Therapist III
Corinne is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with approximately two decades of experience in the hospital setting. She earned her master’s degree in social work from The Catholic University of America and is a Certified Oncology Social Worker. She became part of Life with Cancer in 2015, and continues as the Social Worker in Radiation Oncology at the Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. Prior to that, she was the Radiation Oncology Social Worker at Inova Alexandria Hospital, and also worked as a social worker at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. In her current position, Corinne provides support, education, and resources to patients and their caregivers ranging in age from infants to the elderly. She also facilitates the Head and Neck Cancer Support Group and a Breast Cancer Support Group. She has a particular interest in Ethics in Social Work, employing Cognitive Brain Therapy in working with clients and spirituality issues. Corinne is a Certified Spiritual Social Worker from the Catholic University of America. Prior to becoming a social worker, Corinne spent twenty years in the securities industry, working in various positions at the National Association of Securities Dealers in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Pamela Crum, Survivors Offering Support (SOS) Consultant
Darah W. Curran, MSW, LCSW, Oncology Therapist II
Darah joined Life with Cancer in September 2009 after a year-long internship with the program.Â She was initially hired to support pediatric oncology patients and families at Inova’s outpatient clinic.Â After several years of working with that population, she transitioned to adult work and is presently based as an oncology therapist II on Inova Fairfax Hospital’s inpatient adult oncology unit.Â Darah has 20 years of social work experience having worked in home based counseling for 10 years prior to receiving her master’s in social work from Catholic University.Â
Jennifer Farrow, BSN, HNB-BC, CPON
Manager Oncology Navigation and Counseling, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
Jenn began her nursing journey at the University of Colorado studying Human Caring theory and completed her degree at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She was a Pediatric Oncology nurse for 10 years and the Clinical Director of the Inpatient Pediatric Oncology unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children before joining Life with Cancer in 2014 to focus on comprehensive cancer support and education. Since her graduation from the Birchtree Center’s Integrative Healing Arts program in 2008, she has been exploring holistic oncology care and healing. She is a board certified Holistic Nurse and is currently working towards a graduate degree in Advanced Holistic Nursing. She is also a Healing Touch Practitioner Apprentice and plans to continue on to certification. Jenn lives in Reston with her husband and one year old son.
Carrie Friedman, RN, BS
Manager Oncology Navigation and Counseling, Inova Alexandria and Fairfax HospitalsÂ Â Â Â Â Â
Carrie has been a nurse at Inova since 1998, starting as a new graduate on the Inpatient Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Since then she has worked in various areas but her heart has always been with the oncology patient population. She returned to Cancer Services in 2009 as an Oncology Nurse Navigator and moved under the Life with Cancer umbrella as the nurse manager and navigator in 2013. Carrie finds great satisfaction knowing she is helping patients move through the continuum of care and supporting patients and families with whatever needs they may have on their cancer journey. But, she also enjoys wearing one of the leadership hats at Life with Cancer. Carrie completed her undergraduate degree in Health Sciences and Nutrition at James Madison University and then went on to nursing school at Marymount University. She lives in Alexandria and likes to spend her free time enjoying her family and the outdoors.
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Susan Gilmore, MS, ACSM Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer
Since 2003, Susan has conducted exercise programs for cancer survivors at Life with Cancer, while maintaining a schedule of private clients. She is a member of and certified by the following organizations: American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Cancer Exercise Training Institute (CETI), and most recently, in 2010, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as one of approximately 150 ACSM certified cancer exercise trainers in the United States. She has also received PALS (Physical Activity and Lymphedema) Training. Susan has published trade journal articles on the value of fitness and wellness. For more than three decades Susan trained private in-home clients and conducted fitness classes for Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) and other organizations in Northern Virginia.
Laura Harty, MSW, Social Worker II
Laura earned a master’s in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and was an intern at Life with Cancer where she assisted with support groups at the Alexandria Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Department, met with patient’s admitted to Fair Oaks and Loudoun Hospitals and provided outpatient counseling at the Family Center. After completing school, Laura worked with hospice in supporting patients and providing bereavement counseling for families. Most recently, Laura has been a Social Worker in the Emergency Department at Inova Fairfax Hospital assisting families and patients as they face traumatic injuries, adjust to illness/hospitalization and assisted with acquiring community resources. Laura joined Life with Cancer in 2014. She is interested in the spiritual and emotional components of health care with the focus on enhancing adaptive coping skills and promoting well-being.
Debra Haynes, MPH, Hispanic Outreach Program Coordinator
Debra began her work with Life with Cancer in March 2011 and has been in the role of Hispanic Outreach Program Coordinator since November 2013. She had the privilege of growing up in Ecuador, South America where her parents were missionaries to the Quichua Indians, and learning both Spanish and Quichua. Debra spent many of her adult years working in community development, education, and public health with the Quichua Indian tribe. Her passion for helping people to be empowered in their own health care led her to complete her master’s degree in public health and administration at the Universidad San Francisco, Quito. In her current role, Debra is able to walk alongside Hispanic patients facing the challenges of a cancer diagnosis which is made more difficult by linguistic and cultural barriers to treatment.
Sarah H. Schmidt, MA, Oncology Therapist I, Art Therapist
Sarah joined Life with Cancer in 2014 after a year-long internship and further consultant work with the program. She earned her master’s degree in art therapy and counseling from The George Washington University in 2014, with additional coursework in trauma training. In her role as an Oncology Therapist, Sarah provides support to the Pediatric and Adult Oncology Units at Inova Fairfax and Loudoun Hospitals, as well as individual outpatient art therapy to patients and caregivers of all ages. She also coordinates and facilitates support programs each month, including the Art for Wellness Group. Her areas of interest include resiliency, mind-body wellness, grief/bereavement, and survivorship. Sarah currently resides in Alexandria with her husband and their fun-loving puppy, Hank.
Catherine Intartaglia, MSW, Community Affairs and Volunteer Coordinator
Catherine earned her master’s in social work at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1981 with a concentration in healthcare and group work. She began her career working with South East Asian refugees acclimating to life in the United States. She began her tenure at Life with Cancer in 1997 as a Volunteer Coordinator, a position that enabled her to engage with many aspects of the Life with Cancer program. In addition to coordinating volunteers, her role has expanded to include community relations and marketing. In 2014, Catherine retired from her limited practice as a Lamaze Childbirth Instructor, a position she enjoyed for 28 years. She is originally from Brooklyn, New York and has three grown children.
Molly Kisiel, RN, BSN, CPHON, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Molly is an oncology nurse navigator at Inova Fair Oaks. She completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at James Madison University and is currently enrolled in a Master’s program for nursing at George Mason University. Molly started her nursing career at Inova Fairfax Hospital where she worked on the adult oncology unit for several years. She later transferred to pediatric oncology where she worked until joining the Life with Cancer team in March of 2014. Molly enjoys being a nurse navigator because it allows her the time to meet with patients individually and provide education as well as to meet each patient’s unique needs. Molly lives in northern Virginia with her husband and her dog, Duke.
Marsha Komandt, RN, BSN, OCNÂ®, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Before joining Life with Cancer in 1990, Marsha worked as a nurse on the oncology unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital for eight years. She is currently one of the Oncology Nurse Navigators at Life with Cancer and is Oncology Certified. Marsha is a Buckeye, having graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in nursing. In her now part-time status, she oversees two series: “Living with Breast Cancer: Focus on Education and Exercise” and “Planning Ahead: A Guide to Living Fully to the End”. She also organizes several yearly breast cancer related events, facilitates the Spirituality Quest Group, co-facilitates the Melanoma Support Group and a Breast Cancer Group. With an interest in the importance of exercise in the rehabilitation of survivors, Marsha developed a four-level exercise program that has become a significant component of Life with Cancer. She is active in her church as the Health and Wellness Coordinator, having taken the certification course in Parish Nursing at Shenandoah University. She also volunteers at Wolf Trap for the Performing Arts and with the local chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society, of which she is a past-president. She received the national 2015 Oncology Nursing Society’s Excellence in Patient/Public Education Award. Marsha is married with two grown daughters of whom she is proud, and two grandchildren who live in the NVA area.
Lyn Magrum, MSN, CANP, Oncology Nurse Consultant
Lynn began her career in oncology as a staff nurse in a cancer research center in Buffalo, NY and at Georgetown University Hospital. After obtaining a BSN and MSN from George mason University she worked as a clinical instructor at Georgetown School of Nursing and a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Virginia Nurses Association for 15 years. She returned to The Catholic University of America and received a post master’s degree as an adult nurse practitioner. She has worked as a Nurse Practitioner in HIV/AIDS, Neurology, Palliative Care and primarily in Oncology. In 1999 Lynn began volunteering at LWC, teaching the Writing Your Memoirs and Lifestories Class. In 2013 she began working at LWC as an Oncology Nurse Consultant-teaching patient and caregiver education classes , co-facilitating support groups and does one on one patient consultations. Lynn has lived in Fairfax City for 41 years with her husband and has 2 children a son in Charlottesville and a daughter in Austin, TX and has 2 grandchildren Noah and Ella.
Jean McCaw, LCPAT, ATR-BC, Oncology Therapist III
Jean joined Life with Cancer in August of 2008. She is a licensed and board certified art therapist and earned her master’s degree from Vermont College of Norwich University. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Life with Cancer Jean was in private practice and for many years managed the child & adolescent program for a large hospice. As an oncology therapist and art therapist, Jean provides outpatient counseling and co-facilitates support groups for children, teens and adults impacted by cancer. She has written Touching Grief-Frequently Asked Questions About Child and Adolescent Grief as a resource for parents and caregivers with a grieving child or teen.
Barb McDonnell RN, MSN, CBCN, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Barb’s nursing career began in 1977 in the Operating Room where she held several positions, last of which was Director of Surgical Services at Inova Loudoun Hospital for ten years. During that time she obtained her master’s in nursing administration from George Mason University. In 2009 she helped launch the role of Breast Care Navigator at Inova Loudoun Hospital. She joined the Life with Cancer Staff as an Oncology Nurse Navigator in 2013 where she continues to educate and mentor patients from time of diagnosis through survivorship. She resides in Herndon with her husband Randy and two dogs Max and Quincy. She has two adult children, Julie in Alexandria and Paul who lives in Atlanta, GA.
David McGinness, MSW, LCSW, Oncology Therapist II
David is a Licensed Clinical Social worker with over twenty years’ experience in health and mental health. He joined the Life with Cancer staff as Hispanic Program Coordinator in January of 2011. David received his BA in psychology in 1995 and MSW in 2001, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He facilitates monthly Spanish-language cancer support groups at the Life with Cancer Center, and at a site in Arlington. David also provides outpatient oncology counseling in English, and co-facilitates monthly groups in prostate and lung cancer, a quarterly melanoma support group, and 2-3 eight-week bereavement group series each year. He has interests in cultural aspects of the cancer experience, mind-body tools for wellness, and the effects of life-threatening illness on relationships.
Gillian Phillips, MSW, Social Work Consultant
Gillian joined Life with Cancer in September 2013 as a Social Work Intern while earning her master’s degree in social work at George Mason University. She completed her studies in December of 2014, and has continues to work with Life with Cancer at Inova Loudoun Hospital. Gillian provides psychosocial care and counseling to oncology inpatients and their families during hospitalization. She also provides outpatient psychosocial care and counseling to individuals families during radiation treatment. She has co-facilitates the Grief, Caregiver’s and Breast Cancer Support Groups. Gillian has a special interest in grief and loss as well as outreach to the African American community affected by breast cancer. She resides in Centreville with her husband and three sons.
Michele Reddick, RN,BSN, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Michelle joined Inova Health System in 2003. She has a long history of working with oncology patients, specifically dealing with breast and GYN cancers. She is passionate about providing support to patients during emotional times. Michele’s, role is to expedite and coordinate office visits and diagnostic tests,Â provide education and resource materials, promote quality of life,Â and to assist with breaking down barriers to care and open lines of communication between patients and care givers.Â She received her BSN from George Mason University.
Amy Siegel, RN, BSN, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Amy, began her nursing career in 1975 and has been with Inova for 25 years and in Oncology since 1994, working many years on the inpatient oncology unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital (IFH) in the role of charge nurse. She became Team Coordinator for the Oncology Unit and was responsible for the movement of the patient through the continuum of care, including discharge planning, insurance concerns, patient and family education, problem-solving; expected to “hold the patient’s story” and be a resource to physicians and hospital staff about the patient and their needs; served as liaison to IFH Cancer Committee, Tower 9 Consortium; and twice nominated for Inova Nurse of the Year awards. In 2005, Amy became an Oncology Nurse Navigator which is an autonomous advanced nursing role assisting patients with complex, multidisciplinary cancer care including accessing medical care, coordination of care, education, indigent/charity care coordination, insurance issues, emotional support, extensive communication with healthcare team, and complex problem solving. Amy is an avid tennis player and golfer and loves the beach.
Shara Sosa, LCSW, Oncology Therapist II
Shara joined Life with Cancer in January of 1999 as the Children’s Program Coordinator and Oncology Therapist.Â She currently provides outpatient counseling, co-facilitates a variety of support and education groups at both the Life with Cancer Family Center and Inova Alexandria Hospital, as well as meets with patients and families at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She works part time so she may spend more time with her family, husband Sammy and three daughters Gabriella, Liliana and Isabella.Â
Christine Stone, RN, MSN, OCNÂ®, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Christine joined Inova in 1991 as a new graduate nurse and Life with Cancer in 2013. She is a seasoned oncology nurse, with over 23 years’ experience at Inova in Medical, Radiation Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant. Christine is an active member of the local Northern Virginia chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society and recently served as a board member for the chapter. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Radford University, and her master’s in nursing at George Mason University. Christine resides in Ashburn with her husband, 3 children and Vizsla pup.
Micheline Toussaint, LCSW, RYT, Oncology Therapist III
Micheline is an Oncology Counselor at Life with Cancer. A social worker for more than 20 years, Micheline developed an interest in complementary mind-body approaches to healing while growing up overseas in Asia. In addition to being a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she is a Registered Yoga Teacher, a Certified Psychodramatist, and a Certified End-of-Life Counselor. At Life with Cancer she provides individual, couples and family counseling for cancer patients and their loved ones. She helped develop a mind-body education series, leads yoga and meditation classes for patients and caregivers, facilitates support groups, and speaks to community groups about issues related to cancer. Micheline has a particular interest in using mind-body practices to strengthen resiliency in cancer patients and their caregivers.
Gale Towery, RN, BSN, OCNÂ®, CBCN Oncology Nurse Navigator
Gale brings more than 30 years of nursing experience to her role as oncology nurse navigator. She has worked in a variety of settings, but since 1992 her primary focus has been oncology nursing, including administering chemotherapy and radiation oncology. She became a certified oncology nurse in 1997 and has cared extensively for patients and families going through cancer treatment. As a oncology nurse navigator, Gale will be alongside a patient throughout their cancer journey to provide answers to their questions, offer resources and emotional support. She loves what she does because of the opportunity to help make a difference in a patient’s care experience. Gale graduated from the University Of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She is married with three sons and enjoys singing and horseback riding but mostly spending time with her grandchildren.
Angel Waldon, Operations and Administration Coordinator
Angel came to Life with Cancer in July 2012. She spent many years working with individuals that were mentally challenged which she truly enjoyed. Angel lives in Manassas with her three children, Logan, Dollie and Parker.
Saundra Weller, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Manager Oncology Navigation and Counseling, Inova Loudoun Hospital
Saundra Weller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 36 years of health care experience. She graduated from the University of Maryland at Baltimore with her MSW and a specialization in Health Care. She is oncology certified by Association of Oncology Social Workers. Saundra joined Life with Cancer in 2007 to expand cancer services to Inova Loudoun and Inova Fair Oaks Hospitals and to provide individual counseling to patients and families. During her career, she has worked in small and large hospital systems in many states providing psychosocial services to inpatients and families dealing with the adjustment to illness. Her work experience includes Hospice and Palliative Care with a strong knowledge base in grief and loss. She facilitates several support groups including bereavement, lung cancer, women’s survivorship, and caregivers. She has created survivorship programs for women which continues to be a special area of interest. Saundra also engages in research projects with LWC and is an adjunct professor for George Mason University Social Work Department.
Mayra Zepeda, Administrative Specialist
Mayra joined the Life with Cancer staff in 2014. In her role as administrative specialist, Mayra greets all who enter the Family Center or call to register for classes and groups. She is fluent in Spanish. Mayra is passionate about reading and spends much of her free time in the company of a good book. She and her family reside in Burke, VA.