Benji Salter, DO
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY
Dr. Benjamin Salter is honored to join the Imerman Angels Medical Advisory board and further his involvement with the organization.
Dr. Salter is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY. After finishing residency in Chicago, he completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Mount Sinai and was invited to stay on in a faculty position. His specialty allows him to participate in the major heart and lung surgeries at his institution and play an integral role in his patients’ care.
In 2007, while completing his internship at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Dr. Salter learned about Imerman Angels after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As both a fighter and survivor, Dr. Salter has experienced first-hand the power of Imerman Angels and the importance of its mission.
Dr. Salter also serves as the New York City Ambassador for Imerman Angels and is committed to increasing awareness about the organization throughout the city. In 2012, Dr. Salter and his volunteer committee successfully hosted the city’s inaugural fundraiser.
Dr. Brad Zebrack is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and a member of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Socio-Behavioral Program. His teaching and research interests focus on cancer survivorship, and particularly regarding the effects of cancer on the psychosocial growth and development of adolescents and young adults. His research over the past 15 years has been supported by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and the Lymphoma Research Foundation.
Brad has clinical social work experience in both pediatric and adult oncology. He also has been involved in the development of peer support/advocacy programs for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.
Brad is a 25-year survivor of Hodgkin’s disease, diagnosed in 1985 at the age of 25. In 1989, Brad and his girlfriend Joanne (now wife) completed a one-year 11,000-mile bicycle tour around the United States to promote cancer survivorship. Brad and Joanne live in Ann Arbor, Michigan with their 8-year old daughter Sierra Grace and cat Cal.
Craig Nichols, MD
Co-Director Multidisciplinary Testicular Cancer Program and Director Testicular Cancer Commons
For his entire career, Dr. Craig Nichols has been fortunate to have been involved in classic academic oncology in discovery and development and patient centered cancer research particularly in the area of survivorship, late effects studies and more recently population-based studies and analysis of large aggregated data sets. In his chosen area of interest, testicular cancer, he is well positioned to lead the national effort to fully translate the well-developed discoveries to effective and consistent delivery across large populations and enable the patient voice in primary clinical decision making and survivorship planning.
Over the last decade, Dr. Craig Nichols has been one of the world leaders in large population-based clinical studies, practical and consistent delivery of multidisciplinary care and study of survivorship and late effects. Within this role, he has been able to capitalize on some of his early interests in computer science and some newly acquired experience in medical informatics. Dr. Craig Nichols worked with LIVESTRONG for 15 years as one of the founding board member and scientific advisors and has partnered in strategic planning, grant applications, manuscripts and presentations. He has a particularly active role in the Evaluation and Research Program as well as the Health Information Management Interface Program of LIVESTRONG. The balance of his career will be dedicated to bringing modern principles of information and knowledge exchange to enhance consistent, patient-centered care to patients with cancer.
Dr. Dipul Patadia is honored to serve on the Medical Advisory Board for Imerman Angels.
After Dr. Patadia graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, he obtained his Emergency Medicine training at Advocate Christ Medical Center. Since then, he has been practicing in the western suburbs and is currently the Vice Chairman at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL. With strong entrepreneurial and leadership skills, he has been successful at integrating knowledge across multiple domains such as operational design and applied information technology.
Gilbert Munoz, MD
Family Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Sports Medicine, Northwestern University, University of Illinois – Chicago, St. Joseph Hospital Medical Director, Chicago Fire Soccer Organization
Dr. Munoz is honored to be a part of Imerman Angels. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Veracruz in Mexico, his residency training in Family Practice at Cook County Hospital, and his fellowship training in Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also completed a Masters of Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago and a Faculty Development Fellowship at Rush University. He received an award from the American Academy of Family Practice for his work with underserved populations.
After the completion of his medical training, Dr. Munoz decided to work in different fields of medicine without losing sight of his Public Health education and background. He volunteered for ten years at Jorge Prieto Health Center serving a predominantly Latino population.
Greg is a 13 year prostate cancer survivor. While his own diagnosis had a great impact on his life, his true inspiration for serving the cancer community has come from the patients that he has treated over his 24 year career.
He is a General Surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio. A major focus of his practice is breast cancer care. He also proudly serves as a Leader for the Livestrong Foundation, is on the Board of Directors of the Northeast Ohio affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and also serves on the advisory board for the student run cancer organization Camp Kesem at the Ohio State University.
Greg and his wife Kim have been married for 34 years and have two sons. Brian, 30, is a physical therapist in Newport Beach, California and is married to Sarah, who has had skin cancer. Sean, 27, and his wife Jill are attorneys in Columbus, Ohio. Sean also serves as a Leader for the Livestrong Foundation. Greg’s family is the great joy in his life and is equally dedicated to the battle against cancer.
Jacquie Toia, DNP, RN is a pediatric oncology advance practice registered nurse (APRN) at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Jacquie is an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and serves on the AML and Minority Affairs subcommittees. She is also active on the Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation (HOT) Healthy Living Initiative which coordinates activities and services for children with cancer and blood disorders. Jacquie is on the medical board for One Step at a Time Camp Projects for children with cancer, and she has attended Summer camp for more than 25 years.
Dr. Chandler is co-director and surgical director of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute and the Rudy E. Sabbagha, MD, Distinguished Physician in Surgical Neuro-Oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is a professor in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Chandler received his undergraduate degree in neurobiology at the University of California at Berkeley and his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore.
He completed his residency in neurological surgery at Northwestern University Medical School and completed fellowships in cranial base and microvascular surgery at the George Washington Neurological Institute in Washington, D.C., and at the Institute Neurosurgery Sao Paulo (Brazil). He is board certified in neurological surgery.
Dr. Chandler performs the majority of brain tumor operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and has a strong interest in the evolving role of Gamma Knife radiosurgery as an alternative or adjunct to conventional surgery. He has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters.
Jamie Von Roenn, MD
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Home Hospice Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Jamie H Von Roenn, MD is a board-certified medical oncologist and palliative medicine specialist practicing for more than 25 years. She is a Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. She serves as co-director of its Cancer Control Program and served as the Medical Director of the Palliative Care and Home Hospice Program at NMH, which she helped establish in the mid-1980s. She has spearheaded integration of palliative medicine into oncology care across the continuum of the cancer experience at Northwestern University, nationally and internationally. She was awarded the American Cancer Society-American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) award and lectureship for this work.
Dr. Von Roenn has served in leadership positions in multiple national and local organizations. She is a past member of the board of directors of ASCO and the board of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition, she has served as chair of multiple committees for ASCO. She currently chairs ASCO’s Professional Development Committee and ASCO’s Leadership Development Program. She is a coach and mentor in an international leadership development program which includes onsite mentoring in low and middle resource countries. She is one of the co-chairs for the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)-ASCO Clinical Trials course. She has served as chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium and of the ECOG AIDS Malignancy committee. Dr. Von Roenn served as co-PI of the EPEC-O Project (Education in Palliative and End of Life Care for Oncologists) and is actively involved in education and mentoring activities both nationally and internationally. Dr. Von Roenn places high value on patient centered care and is listed as one of “Chicago’s Top Doctors” and “America’s Top Doctors”.
Linda Rivard is honored to serve on the Medical Advisory Board for Imerman Angels and hopes her personal and medical expertise in oncology will complement the mission of the program.
Linda was born and raised in the Chicago area and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lewis University. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to start the Pediatric Oncology Survivorship in Transition (P.O.S.T.) Clinic at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in the Fall of 2004. She is the nurse coordinator for the P.O.S.T. Clinic and sees patients 2-3 years off therapy and utilizes her medical and personal knowledge of survivorship to address the concerns and needs of childhood cancer survivors. Linda has become involved in hospital, local, and national outreach projects, and many of the projects were done in collaboration with Dr. Jason Canner.
Linda Rivard is the mother of Billy Rivard – a student at Western Michigan and an 11 year Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia/Bone Marrow transplant survivor. Linda herself is a 4 year breast cancer survivor. She has a daughter, Cindy, who is a student at University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in community and non-profit leadership, and a son, Kenny, a 6’7″ freshman at Marist High School in Chicago, Illinois. She also has a wonderful husband, Ken, a native of the Detroit, Michigan area.
Lynne Wagner, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Wagner is a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (RHLCCC) and she is the Director of Supportive Oncology at RHLCCC at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.
Dr. Wagner joined the Center on Outcomes, Research and Education at NorthShore University HealthSystem (formerly Evanston Northwestern Healthcare) as a clinical research scientist in 2000 and she joined the Department of Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School in 2009. Dr. Wagner is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from DePaul University, completed a clinical internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals and a clinical research fellowship at the Center on AIDS Intervention Research in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Dr. Wagner’s research focuses on improving quality of life for adults with cancer through conducting research in cancer symptom management, measuring patient-reported outcomes in cancer clinical trials, and developing and validating patient-reported outcomes measures to assess quality of life from the patient perspective. As Chair of the National Cancer Institute-funded Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Patient Outcomes and Survivorship Committee, Dr. Wagner provides leadership at the national level in overseeing the measurement of patient-reported outcomes in cancer clinical trials and in advancing a program of psychosocial and cancer survivorship research. Through ECOG, Dr. Wagner serves as the lead investigator or co-investigator on cancer clinical trials to assess health-related quality of life throughout treatment for various types of cancer. In recognition of her accomplishments in this role, Dr. Wagner also serves on the NCI-supported Symptom Management and Quality of Life Steering Committee and the Lymphoma Steering Committee. Dr. Wagner has served as a reviewer on the NCI Clinical Community Oncology Program grant review panel. She recently served on the Clinical Community Oncology Program Research Priorities Committee to provide the National Cancer Institute with expert input on future directions for research. She is currently serving as a track leader on the American Society of Clinical Oncology Scientific Planning Committee. Dr. Wagner has been nominated to represent the American Psychosocial Oncology Society on the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and in this role, she has contributed to advancing psychosocial screening as a requirement for member institutions. Additional national leadership roles include ongoing service as an expert panel member on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Cancer-Related Fatigue Panel and on the Distress Management Panel and serving as an RHLCCC and ASCO representative on the Alliance for Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care.
Dr. Wagner is the lead investigator or co-investigator on numerous National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health and American Cancer Society-funded research studies. She has authored or co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed publications, over 10 textbook chapters, and has presented at numerous scientific conferences and continuing medical education events. Dr. Wagner’s research has focused on understanding the trajectory of cognitive function throughout treatment for cancer (ie. “chemo-brain”) and developing a questionnaire and an item bank supported by a cancer supplement to the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), a National Institutes of Health Roadmap Initiative, to assess perceived cognitive function. In the past year, Dr. Wagner has co-authored five peer-reviewed publications (Lancet Oncology, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Journal of Supportive Oncology, Supportive Care in Cancer, JNCCN). Dr. Wagner is currently involved in research collaborations with clinical investigators from the Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School from the Departments of Preventive Medicine, the Buehler Center on Aging, and the School of Medicine including Hematology/Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Wagner’s recent collaboration with key investigators from the Northwestern University Brain Tumor Institute has led to three conference presentations and ongoing research studies examining quality of life among adults with malignant gliomas and their caregivers. Additional research interests include the development of patient-reported outcomes measures to assess cancer and treatment-related symptoms and the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions to reduce anxiety, fear of recurrence and distress.
As the Director of Supportive Oncology at RHLCCC, Dr. Wagner provides leadership for the inter-disciplinary team of nineteen supportive oncology providers, including psychologists, social workers, dietitians, patient navigators, and health information specialists. In addition, she provides psychosocial oncology clinical services through RHLCCC adult oncology clinics, including the STAR program for adult survivors of pediatric cancers. In this role, Dr. Wagner has supported the launching of the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care including the development of psychosocial oncology services at the newly opened center and the acquisition of philanthropic funding to support psychosocial, rehabilitation, and integrative medicine services for adults with cancer treated at RHLCCC. In her role as Director of Supportive Oncology, Dr. Wagner is bridging the clinical need for psychosocial screening of cancer patients with the measurement science and informatics expertise in MSS through leading an initiative to conduct electronically-based psychosocial screening of adults with cancer presenting for treatment at RHLCCC.
Mark Agulnik, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Agulnik serves as the Medical Director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Office, Clinical Director of the Sarcoma and Head and Neck Cancer Programs at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and as Assistant Fellowship Program Director for the Division of Hematology and Oncology.
He is a member of both the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society, and his research interests include drug development for the management and treatment of patients with sarcoma and head and neck cancers. Dr. Agulnik is a panel member for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Bone Cancer Panel. He is a member of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Head and Neck Cancer Committee. Dr. Agulnik earned his MD at McGill University School of Medicine in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Agulnik subsequently completed a clinical research fellowship at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto with a focus on drug development.
In his free time, he is an avid marathoner, triathlete and enjoys traveling and spending time with his family and friends.
Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C
Oncology Counselor, Life with Cancer Family Center, Inova Health System
Dr. Sage Bolte lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Jeff and their three children. She is a licensed clinical social worker who works with people impacted by cancer. Sage specializes in how cancer and its treatments impact sexual function and intimacy in relationships. She has done numerous national and international presentations and has also contributed to a number of publications on this topic. Additionally, she is passionate about educating health care professionals on how to approach the topic of sexual health with patients.
In 2008, Dr. Bolte received the American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Training Grant. She received her PhD in Social Work from The Catholic University of America School of Social Service where her dissertation explored the sexual selves of young adult cancer survivors as compared to their healthy peers. Sage is currently an oncology counselor at Life with Cancer®, a not for profit support and education program of INOVA cancer services, where she primarily works with young adults and individuals with advanced disease.
Sudip Bose, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Emergency Medicine Physician, Iraq War Veteran, Leadership/Motivational Speaker, Television Correspondent
★ Iraq war veteran, recognized as a “CNN Hero” for serving as the US physician who treated Saddam Hussein his capture
★ Recognized as one of the “Leading Physicians of the World” by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals
★ Founder www.
Dr. Bose is honored to join the Imerman Angels community in fighting cancer. His philosophy is that EDUCATION is the most powerful weapon against disease. He believes that through education people can make better informed decisions about their health.
Dr. Bose educates the public on various health care issues as an Emergency Medicine Physician, Iraq War Veteran, Associate Professor, CEO, International Public Speaker, and Television Correspondent for CNN, MSNBC, CBS News and more. He was selected as one of the “Leading Physicians of the World” by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals and as one of the “Health Care Leaders of America”
Vickie Villaflor, MD
Director Esophageal Cancer Program, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Section Hematology/Oncology, University of Chicago
Dr. Victoria Meucci Villaflor is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Medical Center and is the Director of the Esophageal Cancer Program. She is an expert in the care and treatment of adults with malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract specializing in esophageal, lung and head and neck cancers.
She attended Rush University Medical School and completed her residency in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Villaflor enjoys an academic medical career because of the opportunities to participate in patient care, education and research. Patient care is very important to her as she feels cancer patients are special. Medically, they are challenging and that drives her academic interests. Emotionally, there is a bond that exists between the cancer patient and physician that is unlike any patient-doctor relationship one can encounter. The care of these special patients brings her into a family and really teaches her about life. She cares deeply for these individuals and feels it is important to be involved with a cancer support group which encourages relationships with other patients who have endured similar treatments.
Dr. Villaflor’s research interests include clinical investigation to enhance the understanding of clinical and molecular characteristics of upper aerodigestive tract malignancies. She is involved in studies of multimodality treatments and targeted therapies for esophageal, lung and head and neck cancers to improve outcomes. Being an expert in novel cancer therapies, Dr. Villaflor is afforded opportunities to engage in the study of molecularly targeted agents in the treatment of these cancers. She is a respected lecturer at scientific meetings around the world and author of several publications on upper aerodigestive tract malignancies. She serves on several editorial boards and is involved with the Alliance/CALGB cancer cooperative groups’ respiratory and gastrointestinal committees.
In her free time, she enjoys working out, traveling with her husband, spending time with her family and friends, particularly her two cats, Igor and Bruno.