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2020 Komen New Jersey Breast Cancer Conference Speakers
Komen Scholar Since 2010
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Antonio C. Wolff, M.D., is Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. A clinician and researcher, Dr. Wolff’s research interests include new treatment strategies, the development and implementation of prognostic and predictive biomarkers (tissue, blood, and imaging) in clinical practice, and how to improve the survivorship experience of breast cancer patients and their caregivers.
He promotes the implementation of research findings in clinical practice, survivorship, and quality of care for breast cancer patients. Dr. Wolff is the Chief Operating Officer of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC)—a research group funded by Komen and that convenes a multidisciplinary group of researchers who plan and conduct studies to better understand breast cancer biology and test new therapies. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Chair of the NCI ECOG-ACRIN Breast Cancer Committee. Dr. Wolff’s Komen funding supports the development of a tissue and bodily fluid repository that has patient samples linked to clinical data and surveys that can be used to answer critical research questions.
Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD
Shridar Ganesan, MD, PhD, came to The Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 2005 from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School where he was an instructor in medicine and staff physician. He graduated from Yale University with both an MD and a PhD in cell biology and then completed a medical residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and served as a Chief Medical Resident. This was followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
With a research interest in breast cancer biology and DNA repair, Dr. Ganesan is currently exploring how DNA repair defects in cancers can be exploited to develop novel, effective treatments. He is also active in applying next-generation sequencing technology to identify specific genomic changes in cancers that can be therapeutically targeted. As a physician/scientist, he runs a basic research laboratory focused on breast cancer biology and sees patients in the Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center. In the clinic, Dr. Ganesan works collaboratively with experts across multi-disciplines and has the opportunity to put theory into practice to develop the next generation of targeted treatments for breast cancer. Working with a team of radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, nurses, social workers, genetic specialists and others, he helps patients understand their specific disease and their treatment options so that they can make informed decisions.
Dr. Ganesan is also an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Chief, Section of Molecular Oncology, holds the Omar Boraie Endowed Chair in Genomic Science, and serves as Associate Director for Translational Research at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and serves as Associate Editor for JCO: Precision Oncology.
Breast cancer, BRCA1/2, triple-negative breast cancer, breast cancer biology, rare cancers.
- Hero Award, Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, 2016
- Hope Award, CINJ, 2014
- Sidney Kimmel Foundation, Kimmel Scholar Award, 2006
- National Cancer Institute, Howard Temin Award, 2004
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1999
Jimmy McCann BSN, RN-BC
Oncology Care Program Manager
Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA)
Jimmy McCann is an Oncology Care Program Manager at Regional Cancer Care Associates, a cancer-care provider and one of the largest cancer physician networks in the U.S. which includes more than 120 physicians supported by over 800 employees at 30 care delivery sites.
Jimmy’s experience in clinical oncology includes his most recent focus on clinical research coordination and oncology patient navigation concentrating on educating patients, caregivers, and health providers on emerging targeted and oncologic therapies. While building relationships, he shows a strong interest in patient and clinician education of novel oncology agents, specifically agents of which promising clinical trial data has recently been released.
His accomplishments include many institutional awards received from an array of organizations including the National Cancer Institute since 2017 totaling over $100,000 for timely and quality data management for NCTN clinical trials and NRG Oncology 3rd highest enrolling site globally for NRG trials in 2017.
Jimmy is currently enrolled in a Philadelphia Program working to achieve a Masters in Nursing Administration and Business Administration. He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pennsylvania State University with a certificate in Nursing Informatics.
Lisa R. Allen, MD, FACS
A fellowship trained breast surgeon, Dr. Lisa Allen is director of the Capital Health Center for Comprehensive Breast Care. She provides surgical care for patients with both benign and malignant breast disease, and treats other breast conditions which require the expertise of a surgeon specializing in breast care.
Dr. Allen joined Capital Health from MD Anderson Cancer Center where she completed fellowship training in breast surgical oncology. She is board certified in general surgery. During her breast surgical oncology fellowship, Dr. Allen fine-tuned her surgical skills in breast surgery as well as received training in the many multidisciplinary aspects of breast cancer from international leaders in their fields. This included training in medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, pathology, diagnostic radiology, and genetics.
Dr. Allen received her medical degree from the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and completed her internship and residency in general surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. She also served as Chief Resident during her training. During her residency, Dr. Allen spent a year doing clinical research in the area of breast cancer.
Dr. Allen remains involved in clinical research and has presented her findings at national oncology meetings and has been published in oncology journals. Some of her research areas of interest include preoperative imaging for diagnosis and treatment planning of breast cancer, the role of nodal surgery in treatment and prognosis, and the use of partial breast irradiation in patients receiving breast conservation surgery.
In 2011, Dr. Allen’s paper, “Is there a role for MRI in the preoperative assessment of Patients with Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)” was chosen as an Important Paper in Breast Cancer Research by the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Dr. Allen is a member of many professional and scientific societies, including the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Breast Surgeons, Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP
Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP is the Medical Director of the West Cancer Center, a multispecialty oncology practice comprising over 60 medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, palliative care experts, radiologists and other oncology related physicians located in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2019, Dr. Schwartzberg became Chief Medical Officer for OneOncology, a national partnership of independent community oncology practices. He also serves as Professor of Medicine at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
Dr. Schwartzberg received his medical degree from New York Medical College. After completing his internal medicine residency at Cornell University/North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Schwartzberg continued his training with a medical oncology and hematology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). During his tenure at MSKCC, Dr. Schwartzberg served as Chief Medical Resident and was a founding member of the institutional ethics committee.
Dr. Schwartzberg specializes in the treatment of breast cancer, with a specific research focus on new therapeutic approaches, targeted therapy, and supportive care. Dr. Schwartzberg has published more than 240 peer reviewed articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lancet Oncology, and Annals of Oncology.
Dr. Schwartzberg was the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Community Oncology and currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Practice Update Oncology website. He serves on the editorial board of both the Journal of Supportive Oncology and The ASCO Post, in addition to serving as a reviewer for many prominent medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Schwartzberg served on the NCCN Board of Directors and the NCCN Guidelines Steering Committee for many years.
Robert A. Somer, MD
Head, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology
Director, Clinical Trials Program
MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper
Professor of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Areas of special interests: Breast cancer, cancer clinical trials, genitourinary cancer, cancer and genetics
Robert A. Somer, MD, is Head of the Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in Camden, New Jersey, where he is also the Director of the Clinical Trials Program. Dr. Somer is a Professor of Medicine at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, New Jersey and Adjunct Professor in the Genitourinary Malignancy Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
Dr. Somer attended New York University as a University Scholar and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors. He attended medical school at the State University at Stony Brook School of Medicine in New York and earned his degree with a Distinction in Research. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his Fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Somer has received numerous awards during his career, and is consistently recognized as a Top Physician by various publications.
In addition to establishing MD Anderson at Cooper’s comprehensive genitourinary cancer program, his clinical interests also include caring for patients with breast cancer, cancer and genetics, and cancer outreach and education.
Dr. Somer sits on many advisory boards for cancer research and has been invited to give local national and international presentations. He has co-authored publications ranging from basic science research to clinical research and cancer treatment.
Roberta McNeill, MD, CHCQM
Roberta N. McNeill, MD, has been employed with Horizon NJ Health since March 12, 2018, in the role of Medical Director of the Provider Network. In October of this year, her duties were expanded to include those of Quality Medical Appeals. In her current role, she is responsible for clinical coordination for Horizon-BCBSNJ Government Programs and New Jersey Stakeholders, including providers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and the Department of Human Services for NJ (DMAHS)
She has over 15 years of medical expertise, and was previously the Manager Medical Director for Amerigroup NJ from April 2014 until March of 2018. Since she has been with Horizon, she has been instrumental in working to establish improved community and internal relationships, including collaborations with large provider groups. She also currently serves on the Governor’s Stakeholder Initiative to improve Maternal Birth Outcomes in New Jersey.
Dr. McNeill has also held positions as Medical Director for Concentra, was employed at Valley Health Medical group, and was Staff Physician-In-Charge at the both New York Hotel Trades Council and Kings County Medical Center.
Dr. McNeill received her medical degree from the State University of New York Downstate School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian in New York City. She holds active medical licenses in both New Jersey, and New York.
She previously served on the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Bergen County, as well as the Executive Board of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Bergen County Alumnae Chapter, and continues to remain an active member in both organizations.
Dr. McNeill resides in New Jersey with her two sons.
Christine (Chris) Barton, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Design Liaison – Behavioral Health
Chris Barton joined Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey with more than three decades of clinical and administrative experience in the field of Substance Use Disorder treatment. Her experience includes work in state government, and all levels of outpatient and residential treatment.
From 2016 to 2019, Chris served as the Executive Director of Catholic Family & Community Services in Paterson, New Jersey, where she oversaw a multi-social service agency meeting the needs of people struggling with poverty, homelessness and food insecurity, as well as substance use and mental illness, in Passaic, Sussex and Morris Counties.
Prior to that Chris served for 13 years as the Chief Operating Officer of Turning Point, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center with multiple locations throughout New Jersey. As COO, she helped develop and manage a full continuum of residential and outpatient substance use treatment programs. Chris spent her early career in New Jersey’s substance use treatment system working for the Division of Addiction Services, and then Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, on research and demonstration projects, quality and outcomes improvement initiatives, and licensure.
Chris is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She earned a Master of Social Work from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and a Bachelor of Social Work from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Angelo M. Valente has been the Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey since its inception in 1992 and has led the organization to become the largest continuous Public Service Campaign in New Jersey’s history. The Partnership has been recognized twice by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for its innovative programs and initiatives, first in 2010, and again in 2015. The Partnership has also been recognized by the National Association of Government Communicators for the most effective public health education campaign in the country.
In addition, in 2009, Mr. Valente was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC), a national public health initiative to raise awareness of the issue of prescription drug abuse and maintain a National Directory of Permanent Prescription Drug Collection sites.
For close to two decades, Mr. Valente served as a member of the Holy See’s Delegation to the United Nations, focusing on international drug control strategy.
In 2017 Mr. Valente was named NJ-TV’s “Everyday Hero,” for his leadership and resourcefulness in addressing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic in New Jersey. In 2018 he was inducted into the New Jersey Advertising Club Hall of Fame, which recognizes the contributions that have been made to the industry by communications professionals from every walk of life.
In 2019 Mr. Valente was only a handful of non-medical professionals named to the NJBIZ 2019 Health Care Power 50 list. The list highlights the most influential people in New Jersey health care and the roles their organizations play in the industry.
Mr. Valente received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Montclair State University, a Masters of Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and a Masters of Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University.
A life-long resident of Hoboken, Angelo and his wife are the proud parents of three daughters.
Alkesh N. Patel MD, FASAM
Behavioral Health Medical Director, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Alkesh N. Patel MD, FASAM, is a board-certified, fellowship trained addiction psychiatrist. He completed his addiction training at The Mount Sinai Hospital/ Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and was later a training director for the fellowship program itself and taught residents, medical students and fellows His areas of clinical interest include medical education, pain management, and behavioral medicine integration. He joined Horizon as a Behavioral Health Medical Director in 2019. Dr. Patel brings both clinical, administrative, and managed care experience to the team. He holds Board Certifications in General Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine. He is a strong advocate and supporter of those considering recovery, in recovery themselves, and those that support the recovery process for others.
Patrick Borgen, MD
Lunchtime Presentation Speaker: (CME/CE credit not available for this session)
Dr. Patrick I. Borgen is Chairman of Surgery at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He is also the Director of the Brooklyn Breast Cancer program at Maimonides Cancer Center and Clinical Professor, Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate University Hospital of Brooklyn. Recruited from Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dr. Borgen was Chief, Breast Service; Head, Breast Cancer Research Laboratory; and Director, Breast Cancer Disease Management Team at Memorial.
Dr. Borgen earned a BS Magna Cum Laude in Biomedical Engineering at Tulane and his MD at Louisiana State University. His post-doctoral work includes internship and residency at Ochsner Medical Institutions in New Orleans, Louisiana (where he was chief resident), and a clinical research fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering. In addition, he received management training in the Program for Chiefs of Clinical Services at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Borgen has received numerous research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, the US Army and the National Cancer Institute. Widely published in peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Borgen is on the Editorial Board of Annals of Surgical Oncology, and on the Peer Review Board of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). He is Guest Editor for: Surgery, Annals of Surgery, The Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Breast Diseases, Breast Diseases Quarterly, The Breast Journal, The Lancet, Archives of Surgery and Journal of Clinical Oncology. He is editor of three major textbooks on breast disease, and has contributed chapters to 15 other texts. To date, he has published 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 141 abstracts and 15 editorials.
Dr. Borgen has been Chairman of the American College of Surgeons Breast Cancer Trials Group, and a Member of the Executive Board of Directors of the American Society for the Study of Breast Disease. He is currently on the Executive Boards of the Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. and of Tulane University, and a member of the American Joint Committee on Cancer, Breast Task Force.