Director and Chief Physicist, Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in Fall River and Fairhaven Massachusetts
What do you do professionally?
As the Chief Physicist of a community cancer program, I am responsible for the clinical physics and radiation safety of my departments. Behind the scenes, I work with a team of physicists, dosimetrists, and physicians to ensure that the radiation treatment plans custom-designed for our cancer patients are optimal. A well designed plan not only targets the cancer, but also spares healthy organs and tissues from the harmful side effects that radiation can cause. Much of my time is spent performing quality assurance tests on the equipment that we use to deliver these radiation plans. My physicist role affords me the opportunity to work one on one with patients and therapists. That, in truth, is my favorite part of the job! The hospital director piece of my role adds an administrative component that requires me to balance the regulatory and financial aspects of cancer care with more the clinical and technical aspects.
How are you engaged in the Community and what motivates you to be involved?
I am a passionate person who enjoys being involved. Through the years I have become engaged in many oncology-related activities such as Relay for Life, fundraisers, and patient celebrations. My work has also given me the opportunity to connect with students and help them to explore careers in cancer care. Last year, I had the privilege of being involved with a Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program through Tufts University; I particularly enjoy encouraging young women to pursue careers in the math and science fields.
In my home community on the South Shore, I co-chair a committee for Family Table. This is a special program that maintains a food pantry and delivers groceries directly to area families in need. I have also recently taken a leadership role in a new program designed to foster and strengthen community ties. Our goal is to bridge families to community; we provide a safe and engaging forum for children to connect, build relationships, and build confidence.
What motivates me to engage? A powerful cause that dwarfs my own challenges and reminds me how important an issue may be and how impacting my efforts could be for others.
Did you value your LSC experience? How did it contribute to your community leadership?
I have said many times that LSC was truly a gift in my life. It kicked down the walls of my environment and exposed me to so much more than I ever would ever have been otherwise. My work through LSC gave me experience starting a mentor program for New Bedford youth and gave me more confidence to step up and take a lead outside of my professional world. Community has always been important to me, but LSC helped me to move it from the back burner to the front.
Describe your leadership in one word.