• Meet the Team

    Navigating cancer treatment is about so much more than showing up for appointments. Your cancer journey can affect every aspect of your life. And while sometimes it’s hard to admit you need help, help is always close by at Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center.

    At the Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute, fighting cancer is a team effort. Here you will find experienced cancer specialists with advanced training in specific areas of cancer diagnosis, treatment and care. But our care extends beyond treatment to support all of your needs. Our programs support you physically, mentally, financially, spiritually and emotionally. We profoundly believe these programs will light the way to better outcomes.

    From diagnosis through treatment and beyond, you have a dedicated group working with you every step of the way.

    MEET THE SUPPORT TEAM

    NURSE NAVIGATORS

    Nurse navigators help you keep it all straight. Our team of nurse navigators will streamline your care and – just as importantly – offer up a comforting, consistent presence during a stressful time. We’ll take care of the details, while you focus on your healing.

    FINANCIAL NAVIGATORS

    Your most important job during cancer treatment is to get better. This can be hard when you’re worried about the financial impact of your care. Our financial navigators are here to lighten that burden. We’ll connect you and your family to financial assistance, explain confusing insurance requirements and benefits, and make a plan so you can stay focused on what really matters – getting back to all the people and activities you enjoy.

    SOCIAL SERVICES

    Everyone comes with cancer a little differently. That means every patient needs different support. Our social services are far reaching and wide ranging, so you can find the help you need. We can connect patients with community resources or professional guidance for any of the physical, mental and emotional challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. 

    GENETIC COUNSELORS

    Your genes hold many secrets to your health. And we’re now better able to understand those secrets, thanks to genetic counseling. Genetic testing and counseling services can help you and your family better understand cancer risks, allowing you to make informed and empowered health decisions.

    SPIRITUAL CARE

    Spiritual health is so much more than religion. It’s about finding an inner peace that can help you and your loved ones achieve life balance. For you, that may include sitting in chapel and praying. Or, it could mean meditation, volunteering, forgiveness or optimism. No matter your beliefs, our spiritual care team is here to help you and your family find that sense of calm. And we’ll start by listening to you and you’re your needs.

    PALLIATIVE CARE TEAM

    Sometimes, the hardest part of dealing with cancer is managing painful symptoms. And palliative care may be the answer. This important medical service helps relieve suffering and improve your quality of life during treatment.

    NUTRITIONISTS

    Nutrition is an important part of your cancer journey. Making healthy choices can help you feel better during treatments and recovery. Our team of dieticians will help you create a plan that works for you – one that incorporates your personal preferences and addresses any symptoms you may be experiencing.

    PHARMACISTS

    Oncology pharmacists work closely with your care team, making sure you get the medicine you need. Our pharmacists prepare medicine, ensure safety, offer patient education about dosage and possible side effects, and participate in research, which ultimately helps advance cancer care.

    CANCER REHAB TEAM

    The oncology rehabilitation program helps our patients improve quality of life and addresses symptoms and side effects that sometimes occur after cancer treatment. An experienced team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nurses, nutritionists and social workers work closely with you to develop a plan that meets your needs.

    CANCER REGISTRARS

    Our cancer registrars track the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients diagnosed with cancer. This data provides researchers, physicians and other health care providers with important information that helps improve patient outcomes.

    CANCER PREVENTION SPECIALISTS

    The Cancer Prevention team at AAMC is a multi-disciplinary approach to help patients identify and understand their risk of developing cancer. Services include clinical trials, genetic counseling, screenings, education and wellness programs to help manage your risk of cancer.

    TOBACCO TREATMENT SPECIALISTS

    Tobacco is tough to quit on your own. That’s why our team of specialists work closely with your and your entire care team to develop a "stop smoking plan" that meets your needs and lifestyle, and even addresses withdrawal symptoms.

    MEET THE MEDICAL TEAM

    NURSE PRACTITIONERS

    Nurse practitioners are an important part of your cancer care. They work closely with your entire team, providing care through annual mammograms and any other treatment you need. Your nurse practitioner works closely with you and your family, and can prescribe medicine, recommend treatments and make diagnoses.

    MEDICAL ONCOLOGISTS

    Our medical oncologists are a specialized team of providers who develop and oversee treatment plans that address our patients’ needs. Medical oncologists work closely with an entire team of providers across disciplines, ensuring you receive the care you need every step of the way. Meet our new oncologists.

    Imad Tabbara, MD, FACP – Section Chief
    Young Joo Lee, MD – Medical Director, Breast Medical Oncology
    Nikita Sharma, MD
    Yin Wu, MD
    Julia Oda, MD

    SURGICAL ONCOLOGISTS

    Surgical oncologists focus on the surgical treatment of tumors. At AAMC, our surgical oncologists are fellowship-trained, which brings invaluable insight and experience to our patients in need of surgery to treat or remove a wide range of cancers.

    THORACIC ONCOLOGISTS

    Thoracic oncologists specialize in cancers of the lung or chest, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, pleural cancer, respiratory system cancer, and tumors of the chest wall, among many others. Our team is dedicated to helping patients understand their diagnosis and delivering the latest advances in care.

    RADIATION ONCOLOGISTS

    Radiation oncologists use radiation to treat or manage cancer. Radiation is used by itself or with surgery and/or chemotherapy. AAMC is pleased to offer some of the latest advances in radiation treatment for many different types of cancer. Our radiation oncologists will walk through each option and discuss which approach is the best based on an individual’s diagnosis, medical history and treatment goals.

    BREAST SURGEONS

    The breast surgery team at The Rebecca Fortney Breast Center utilizes the latest advances and approaches to breast surgery to provide comprehensive care for patients with breast cancer and benign breast conditions. Our breast surgeons offer experience in lumpectomies, mastectomies, biopsies, lymph node removal, reconstructive surgery and more.

    PLASTIC SURGEONS

    Our plastic surgeons are uniquely positioned to meet our patients’ needs. They specialize in oncoplasty, which is the surgical treatment of cancers while restoring cosmetic appearance. The plastic surgery team works closely with your surgical oncologist, making sure you get results that look and feel the way you want.

    RADIOLOGISTS

    Radiologists at AAMC are specially trained to identify cancer through medical imaging tools, including x-rays, CT scans, MRI, mammography, 3D mammography/Tomosynthesis, ultrasound and other techniques.  Our team's expertise has earned the Breast Center top-level accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

    VICE PRESIDENT, CANCER SERVICES

    Cathy Copertino, BSN, MS and OCN, has served as the Vice President of Cancer Services at Anne Arundel Medical Center since 2006. In her position, she provides strategic, administrative and operational leadership to the Cancer Institute. She believes in the value of teamwork and open communication to empower the team at AAMC to achieve not only our organization’s goals, but also the goals of our patients.

    CHAIR OF ONCOLOGY

    Adam I. Riker, MD is board-certified in general surgery and fellowship-trained as a surgical oncologist. His clinical specialty is focused on patients with breast cancer, sarcoma, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (Merkel cell, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma).

    Dr. Riker is also passionate about getting to know the communities that we live in, providing free community outreach events, educational seminars and presentations. His favorite topics range from “What causes cancer?” and “The early detection and prevention of cancer” to “Living a long, happy, cancer-free life through better nutrition and lifestyle changes.”