Cancer, COVID-19, and Competing Threats to Indigenous Health

Posted July 20th, 2020

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) is reminding us of the deep societal inequities that make certain populations more vulnerable to harm and illness than others. Today, we are seeing this play out as two Indigenous tribal nations, White Mountain Apache and Navajo Nation, lead the United States (U.S.) in COVID-19 cases. Though COVID-19 is […]


The Doctor Will See You Now…On the Screen

Posted July 2nd, 2020

On March 10, 2020, my workday as a pediatric radiation oncologist felt very normal – I saw patients and discussed complicated cases with my trusted colleagues in friendly meetings and in close quarters. Three days later, my professional world as I knew it came to a halt.  The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had been working its […]


Tables Turned

Posted June 23rd, 2020

As the Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Penn, I have never felt prouder of our incredibly devoted staff and faculty. They have stepped up as a group from the very beginning of this global COVID crisis and forged new paths. Our collective expertise and comfort working as a team to deliver the […]


Listening to Patient Narratives

Posted June 9th, 2020

In Latin, the word “patient” means “one who suffers,” or “I am suffering.” Even in the literal translation, there’s no beating around the bush when it comes to what it’s like to live with illness. The experience of being a patient often involves significant pain and feelings of vulnerability that isolate and destabilize one’s sense […]


Between the Folds: Being a Paper Folding Volunteer at Penn Medicine

Posted May 28th, 2020

Jongi-jeobgi, the Korean art of paper folding (often called origami), was introduced to me as a child by my mom. She was a watercolor artist at the time, so naturally she attempted to teach me how to sketch. However, she soon realized that I was more interested in folding the paper in front of me […]


Maintaining Connections at a Social Distance

Posted May 21st, 2020

When my quarantine began, I knew I’d be entering a new “normal.” I knew I’d have to leave my University (Penn) and my plans for the final months of junior year behind. I knew it could be months, even a year before I could return, and that life now ran on this virus’s clock. So […]


A grilled cheese sandwich…

Posted May 5th, 2020

What is it about a crisis that tears us down. Is it doubt, fear, disappointment, anxiety, stress or is it that we are born with an innate need to respond to our environment to protect, to serve, and to survive and we worry that we are not good enough for the task? As this Covid-19 […]


Our Playlist for Support

Posted April 20th, 2020

I studied classical music, and one quote from Beethoven always stands out to me, “Music can change the world.” It is such a simple statement, yet so powerful. How does music have the ability to know exactly how we feel sometimes before we even know what we feel? The power of music has never ceased […]


COVID-19: Oral Health Tips

Posted April 14th, 2020

Patients receiving cancer treatment therapy are often at risk for oral complications.  Most dental practices are closed for routine procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s more important now than ever to take care of your oral health.  I have treated many patients with a history of cancer treatment therapy, and with proper precautions taken, they […]


Putting Your Pantry to Work: Dips, Salads and Sandwiches

Posted April 8th, 2020

Americans are facing many challenges at the moment. Just one of these challenges is to keep dining at home both interesting and nutritious day after day using what you already have in the pantry or your freezer. Here are some basics tips: Canned vegetables have received a bad reputation because they are higher in sodium […]