American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Site Visit Reviewer Profiles

2019-2020 CoC Surveyor Team

Mindy Ansteth, BS, CTR
Arnold Baskies, MD, FACS
Richard S. Berk, MD, FACS
Aaron D. Bleznak, MD, MBA, FACS
Benoît Blondeau, MD, MBA, FACS
Diane Cassels, MS, RTT
Sanjivani Cholkar-Bakare, MD, FACS
M. Kathleen Christian, MD, FACS
Mario Contreras, MD, FCAP
Elvis Donaldson, MD
William Dooley, MD, FACS
Stephen J. Dreyer, MD, FACS
Amir Fathi, MD, FACS
Robert M. Flanigan, MD, FACS
Stewart B. Fleishman, MD
Patricia Goldblatt, MD
Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS
James B. Harris, MD, FACS
Terri Hedman, MSSL, BSN, RN, OCN
Arnold Herman, MD, FACS
Dona C. Hobart, MD, FACS
Peter S. Hopewood, MD, FACS

Atif Hussein, MD, MMM, FACP
Maureen A. Killackey, MD, FACS, FACOG
Adriene Kinnaird, MBA, RTT
E. James Kruse, DO, FACS
William Laffey, MBA
Beth-Ann Lesnikoski, MD, FACS
Marvin J. Lopez, MD, FACS, FRCS
David Mullins, MD, FACS
Suzan Naam, MD, CTR
Kevin O’Donnell, MD, FACS
Rahul Parikh, MD
William P. Reed, MD, FACS
Lisa Robinson, RHIA, CTR
Stephen L. Seagren, MD
James W. Smith, MD, FACS
Jose Sorrentino, MD, FACS
Hubert E. Spears, MD
Toncred Marya Styblo, MD, MS, FACS
Magesh Sundaram, MD, FACS
Michael P. Vezeridis, MD, FACS
Paul Waters, MD, FACS, FRCS


Mindy Ansteth, BS, CTR

Mindy Ansteth, BS, CTR

Portland, OR
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Health Care Administration, Oregon State University
  • Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR)

Ms. Ansteth a certified tumor registrar (CTR) and the Manager of Cancer Data Management & Quality Improvement Consultant with Legacy Cancer Institute in Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington State. Ms. Ansteth is an Integrative Network Cancer Program (INCP) surveyor because she believes in the value of CoC Accreditation and that all patients deserve high quality, patient-centered care no matter where they live. She feels an important role of a CoC Surveyor is to listen, share best-practices, and to help (and learn from) other network programs. In her opinion, an outstanding INCP provides high quality, integrative cancer care across the full continuum of services, and demonstrates a commitment to continual quality improvement. In her free time, Ms. Ansteth enjoys traveling and making memories with her family and friends

Arnold Baskies, MD, FACS

Arnold Baskies, MD, FACS

Cherry Hill, NJ
Surveyor since 2014

Education

  • Graduate of Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts
  • Residency at Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts
  • Fellowship at Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Baskies is a surgical oncologist with 44 years of experience. He has been actively involved with the Commission on Cancer (CoC) since 1983, having served as a Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP), NJ State Chair, Commission Executive Committee Member, and as Chair of the Education Committee for the CoC. He has helped write some of the standards. Dr. Baskies is active in the American Cancer Society and served as Chairman of the Board for the society. Dr. Baskies has always felt that the best representative of the CoC is the Surveyor. His interests include his family, photography, music, golf, and travel.

Berk

Richard S. Berk, MD, FACS

Skokie, IL
Surveyor since 2008

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Internship at the University Hospital of San Diego County in California
  • Residency at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, IL
  • Fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Medical Center, New York, NY

Currently retired, Dr. Berk is a surgical consultant at Northwestern University Health Service in Evanston, IL, and holds the title of Emeritus senior attending at North Shore University Health System, Evanston. Dr. Berk believes accreditation is important because it focuses any cancer program on the gestalt of patient-centered care from early diagnosis and community education to survivorship and palliative care. His favorite aspect of the survey process is being both an educator and enabler, verifying those parts of the program which are being done well and encouraging their continuance, and educating the program on how to improve.

Aaron D. Bleznak, MD, FACS

Aaron D. Bleznak, MD, MBA, FACS

Norfolk, VA
Surveyor since 2011

Education

  • Graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
  • Internship and residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY
  • MBA from University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Dr. Bleznak is medical director of the breast program at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and a practicing breast surgical oncologist. Dr. Bleznak graduated from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and completed his surgery residency at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Surgical Oncology, a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, and received his MBA from the Isenberg School of Management of the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Bleznak has previously specialized in breast and melanoma surgery for the Geisinger Clinic and Lehigh Valley Health Network. At Lehigh, he served as chair of the cancer committee, vice chair of the department of surgery, and director of the breast surgery fellowship. From 2011 to 2018, he was a breast surgeon and served as senior medical director and vice president for specialty services for Sentara Medical Group in Norfolk, VA.

For the CoC, Dr. Bleznak has served two decades as a CLP, three terms as a State Chair, and eight years as a member representing the ACS Fellowship, including terms as Vice Chair and Chair of the Committee on Cancer Liaison. He was a member of several of the work groups involved in developing the 2012 Standards and has been a CoC Surveyor since 2012; also serving on the Program Review Subcommittee for 2012–2018.

Benoît Blondeau, MD, MBA, FACS

Benoît Blondeau, MD, MBA, FACS

Terre Haute, IN and Portsmouth, NH
Surveyor since 2014

Education

  • Graduate of Faculté de Médecine de Tours in France
  • General surgery internship at Howard University, Washington, DC
  • Residency at University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • MBA at The Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri, Kansas City

Dr. Blondeau is a general surgery and palliative care physician. He says CoC accreditation defines a common language that allows development of improvement and quality measures. Dr. Blondeau also believes that a great cancer program is a combination of long-term vision and constant adaptation to short-term results, as well as a dedication to see beyond compliance. In his free time, he enjoys spending time in New England and the Midwest, playing squash, and hiking.

Diane Cassels, MS, RTT

Diane Cassels, MS, RTT

Atlanta, GA
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Master in Health Services Administration from College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL
  • Certification as a radiologic technologist and radiation therapist

Ms. Cassels served as the chief administrative officer of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, until her retirement in January 2017. Previously, she was the administrator of the department of radiation oncology at Emory and has had experience at other hospitals in Illinois and Wisconsin. She believes that “CoC accreditation aligns cancer center goals for patients, hospitals, and providers. There is great value in having access to the NCDB data in order to benchmark with their own data and outcomes.” Her interest in being a Surveyor stemmed from the desire to give back to a profession that she enjoyed for almost 40 years. Diane and her husband love to travel. Of particular interest to them is visiting each of the U.S. National Parks and seeing as many different countries as they can to experience different cultures.Sanjivani Cholkar-Bakare, MD, FACS

Sanjivani Cholkar-Bakare, MD, FACS

Bronx, NY
Surveyor since 2010

Education

  • Graduate of Grant Medical College, University of Mumbai, India
  • Residency at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut
  • Internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY

Dr. Cholkar-Bakare is a general surgeon affiliated with James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY. Her main reason for becoming a surveyor was to help cancer programs learn and share best practices with each other. She states that the number-one value of accreditation is the opportunity for cancer patients to get the best care in their community. Dr. Cholkar-Bakare enjoys playing bridge.

M. Kathleen Christian, MD

M. Kathleen Christian, MD, FACS

La Crosse, WI
Surveyor since 2011

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Kansas, Wichita, KS
  • Residency at the University of Kansas in Wichita, KS

Dr. Christian is a general surgeon affiliated with Mayo Clinic Health System and Franciscan Healthcare in LaCrosse, WI. She became a surveyor to promote the value and importance of CoC accreditation. Dr. Christian believes that accreditation gives assurance to both patients and families that they are receiving high-quality cancer care. In her down time, Dr. Christian enjoys walks, photography, and spending time with her family.

Mario R. Contreras, MD, FCAP

Mario R. Contreras, MD, FCAP

Lafayette, IN
Surveyor since 2014

Education

  • Graduate of University of San Carlos School of Medicine, Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Residency at Madison General Hospital in Wisconsin
  • Fellowships at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Cleveland, OH

Dr. Contreras was chair of pathology from 2000 to February 2015 at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health in Lafayette, IN. With a background in anatomic and clinical pathology and experience as a College of Pathology Inspector, he has developed an interest in being further involved in activities that will promote compliance. According to Dr. Contreras, an excellent cancer program “complies with the organizational, operational, and accreditation standards instituted by federal and professional organizations such as the CoC.” His interests and hobbies include Mayan history and archeology, soccer, and hiking.

Elvis Donaldson, MD

Elvis Donaldson, MD

Lexington, KY
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Undergraduate: Tulane University, BS
  • Medicine: University of Kentucky MD, 1971
  • Surgical Internship, Medical University of South Carolina, 1972
  • Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, SIU Affiliated Hospitals, 1975
  • Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, University of Kentucky, 1977

I am just retired from clinical practice serving in an advisory role to the Cancer Committee and Cancer Program at our hospital. During forty plus years my professional life has fortunately provided many varied experiences. This included full time academic, hospital-affiliated, solo private and system affiliated practices. These environments have allowed me to experience, learn, and advance to leadership positions in clinical, academic, scientific, and administrative settings.

In clinical cancer leadership positions, I have experienced many COC survey visits. I was fortunate to be appointed the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Liaison to the Commission on Cancer from 1989-1995. I served on the Committee of Approvals, subcommittee on Special Issues (Chair; 1993-1995), and Education Committee. I consider the Mission, Values, and Goals of the Commission on Cancer vital to the maintenance of consistent excellence and progress in prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, management and support and follow up of patients with cancer.

On a personal note, my emphasis has always been patient care and education. I consistently encouraged participation in clinical trials, particularly in the private sector is a mission. Teaching and counseling emerging young clinicians has consistently been a tremendous personal reward. I am gratified to once again contribute to the work of the Commission on Cancer.

William Dooley, MD, FACS

William Dooley, MD, FACS

Oklahoma City, OK
Surveyor since 2014

Education

  • Graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
  • Residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD
  • Fellowships at Johns Hopkins and Oxford University in the United Kingdom

Dr. Dooley is a surgical oncologist at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City where he serves as professor and chair of surgical breast oncology. He believes accreditation is important because it is instrumental in helping to focus on important goals such as reassessing treatments and outcomes as well as best practices. As a surveyor, he would like to help programs and institutions see their potential and utilize CoC resources that can help them transform cancer care for the better in their community. Dr. Dooley’s pastimes include fly fishing, horseback riding, and gourmet cooking. He is also passionate about community service.

Stephen J. Dreyer, MD, FACS

Stephen J. Dreyer, MD, FACS

Naples, FL
Surveyor since 2012

Education

  • Graduate of Creighton University, Omaha, NE
  • Internship and residency at Truman Medical Center, Kansas City, MO

Dr. Dreyer is a retired general surgeon, who remains active in the American College of Surgeons by doing surveys for the CoC. He considers CoC accreditation to be important for any hospital that treats Cancer patients because it provides the collaborative environment and the data reporting tools that enable health care providers to continuously measure, analyze, and improve outcomes for those patients. “A survey becomes a very rewarding experience through interaction with the Cancer committee members, answering their questions about specific standards, and helping them become a better program.” In his spare time, Dr. Dreyer enjoys running and traveling.

Amir Fathi, MD, FACS

Amir Fathi, MD, FACS

Fresno, CA
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Integrated BS and MD, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences
  • General Surgery Residency, Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals of Cleveland
  • Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Fathi is an HS Assistant Clinical Professor of University of California San Francisco at the UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research. Dr. Fathi received his integrated bachelors and medical degree from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. He completed a Research Clerkship in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Spine Division at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore and subsequently attended Case Western Reserve University, where he received his Post-Doctoral Research Scholarship prior to his residency. Dr. Fathi completed his general surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University. He then completed his Fellowship in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.

Dr. Fathi is certified by the American Board of Surgery. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Surgery since 2015. In his role as teaching faculty, he educates, supervises and lectures medical students and residents in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery. He holds an Adjunct Professorship with Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine in Tabriz, Iran. Dr. Fathi’s clinical interests include foregut malignancies, tumors of the liver, biliary tree, and pancreas. He also specializes in complex abdominal wall reconstruction and minimally invasive hernia surgery.

In addition to his educational role, Dr. Fathi serves as Cancer Liaison Physician for Community Medical Centers in Fresno. He is the surgeon champion for National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) and Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program for Community Regional Medical Center. He is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association, American Hernia Society and the Fresno Madera Medical Society.

Robert M. Flanigan, MD, FACS

Robert M. Flanigan, MD, FACS

Barrington, IL
Surveyor since 2008

Education

  • Graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee
  • Internship and residency at Rush Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Dr. Flanigan states that the CoC Cancer Program accreditation process is a means by which cancer patients at an accredited facility can be assured of receiving the highest quality of cancer care. His favorite aspect of surveying is the educational nature of the process, “As a surveyor you can leave advice behind but there is always the opportunity to learn from a program and then share that information with other cancer programs.” At home his pastimes are reading and jogging. He also enjoys fishing in the Florida Keys and sailing anywhere, preferably in the Virgin Islands.

Stewart B. Fleishman, MD

Stewart B. Fleishman, MD

Palms Spring, CA
Surveyor since 2009

Education

  • Graduate of Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in Mexico
  • Internship and residency at Long Island Jewish Hospital
  • Fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY

Dr. Fleishman is the founding director of Cancer Supportive Services, Continuum Cancer Centers of New York. He is also currently the president of the Board of the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, the only no-cost clinic in the Coachella Valley, where he also sees patients.

Patricia Goldblatt, MD

Patricia Goldblatt, MD, FCAP

Gainesville, FL
Surveyor since 2016

Education

  • Graduated of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Florida, Gainesville

Dr. Goldblatt is a retired anatomic and clinical pathologist and former managing partner of Pathology Associates of North Florida. She served as cancer committee chair at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville since 2009. She became a surveyor because her duties as cancer committee chairman compelled her to thoroughly understand the standards and clinical processes of cancer programs as well as strategies to measurably improve their outcomes. She believes that an award-winning cancer program “is a program that actively seeks out opportunities to make improvements, sees the educational benefits of past experience and quantitatively measures the success of their programs.” When Dr. Goldblatt is not surveying cancer programs, she enjoys spending time with family, cooking, golfing, and traveling abroad.

Greene

Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS

Charlotte, NC
Surveyor since 1997

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville
  • Internship and residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut

Dr. Greene is currently the medical director of Cancer Data Services, Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys meeting the leaders of cancer programs around the country and the opportunity to tell people about the importance of CoC accreditation. In his opinion, an award-winning cancer program is possible when the administration of the hospital is committed to excellence of the cancer registry and the standards of accreditation. Dr. Greene’s favorite pastimes are seeing good movies and playing with his grandchildren.

James B. Harris MD, FACS

James B. Harris MD, FACS

Reno, NV
Surveyor since 2015

Education

  • Graduate of Stanford University in California and Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC
  • Residency at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center in California.
  • Fellowship in surgical oncology at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, CA

Dr. Harris is currently a surgical oncologist practicing in Reno, NV. He is also the State Chair of Nevada and a long time CLP. Dr. Harris believes that CoC accreditation is important in that it encourages the constant improvement in the care of cancer patients. Accreditation is also important in helping various cancer programs to organize their services. Dr. Harris’ hobbies include visiting his sons, playing the piano, running, skiing in the Sierras, hiking and travel.

Terri Hedman, BSN, RN, OCN

Terri Hedman, MSSL, BSN, RN, OCN

Fargo, ND
Network surveyor since 2014

Education

  • BSN from Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Master’s in Strategic Leadership from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND

Ms. Hedman currently serves as a clinical educator serving the Sanford Enterprise. The driving force that encouraged Terri to become a CoC Surveyor is her love for teaching, and she believes that surveying is a wonderful professional challenge. In her free time, Terri loves to read, travel, and fish—“sometimes all at the same time!”Herman

Arnold H. Herman, MD, FACS

Providence, RI
Surveyor since 2009

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Kansas in Lawrence
  • Internship and residency at Boston University Medical Center in Massachusetts

Dr. Herman is a retired surgeon and served as the CLP at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI, for many years. He continues to serve on the cancer committee and breast cancer steering committee as well as the IRB at The Miriam Hospital. He is active in the medical community and works to expand the TarWars Program in Rhode Island with the Lifespan Cancer Institute. He believes that CoC accreditation provides programs with a structure to analyze the quality of their program and tools to improve their performance. In his free time, he likes to be with his wife and 9 grandchildren, play tennis, read, and travel.

Dona C. Hobart, MD, FACS

Dona C. Hobart, MD, FACS

Westminster, MD
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Attended medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Completed surgical residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital

Dr. Hobart is a breast surgeon and medical director of Lifebridge Breast Health Services. She is actively practicing, covering two breast centers in the Lifebridge System. She is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons; she is cancer committee chair of Lifebridge Health as well as the CLP for Carroll Hospital and Lifebridge Health Systems. Dr. Hobart became more involved with accreditation through her work as a CLP and wants to become an advocate for accreditation and an ambassador for community hospitals nationally. She is a busy single mother, and enjoys running with her dog, gardening, and skiing and snowboarding with her family.

Peter S. Hopewood, MD, FACS

Peter S. Hopewood, MD, FACS

Falmouth, MA
Surveyor since 2010

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
  • Internship and residency at Harvard 5th Surgical Service at New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA

Dr. Hopewood is a general surgeon in private practice at Falmouth Hospital in Massachusetts. He believes accreditation shows cancer patients a commitment beyond the norm to improve the quality of cancer care, survivorship, and survival. His favorite aspects of surveying are seeing community outreach and improvement programs. In his spare time, Dr. Hopewood enjoys family life, singing in an a cappella quintet, and playing the tuba.

Atif Hussein, MD, MMM, FACP

Atif Hussein, MD, MMM, FACP

Hollywood, FL
Surveyor since 2010

Education

  • Graduate of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon
  • Internship and residency at American University of Beirut in Lebanon
  • Fellowship at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida

Dr. Hussein is a medical oncologist and is currently the medical director of Hematology/Oncology at the Memorial Cancer Institute in Hollywood, FL, Chief, Department of Hematology/Oncology, and Chairman of the Cancer Committee. He became a surveyor to improve the quality of cancer care for patients and their families and to help others interested in building accredited cancer programs. The main value of accreditation for Dr. Hussein is the excellence in cancer care for our patients. He is most impressed by the comprehensive multidisciplinary disease-specific measures available. In his spare time, Dr. Hussein enjoys reading.

Maureen A. Killackey, MD, FACS, FACOG

Maureen A. Killackey, MD, FACS, FACOG

Chatham, NY
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Attended medical school at Weill Cornell Medical College, NY
  • Internship in General Surgery at  New York Hospital, NY
  • Residency in Ob/Gyn at New York Hospital, NY
  • Fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY

Dr. Killackey has been immersed in cancer care delivery since she started as a gynecologic/surgical oncologist and is a professor of medicine and obstetrics/gynecologist at the NCI-Comprehensive Herbert Irving Cancer Center/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Since 2000, she has held clinical directorships at several community-based Cancer programs affiliated with NCI-academic partners in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Dr. Killackey is committed to ensuring access to the highest quality patient-centered, multidisciplinary, and integrated oncology services along the continuum of cancer care in the community. She views the CoC accreditation program as the leader in ensuring quality care and is delighted to support these efforts as a CoC Surveyor. Along with her husband and dogs, Dr. Killackey is expanding her organic vegetable garden and sharing the bounty with her cancer team and local food pantry.

Adriene Kinnaird, MBA, RTT

Adriene Kinnaird, MBA, RTT

St. Louis, MO
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Graduate of Howard University, Washington, DC

Ms. Kinnaird is currently employed as the chief executive officer at a long-term acute care hospital, working with patients that are critically ill. She was previously the regional vice president for oncology operation at SSM Health in St. Louis through 2017. When asked why she wanted to become a CoC Surveyor, she stated: “With more than 35 years of experience in oncology, I have been fortunate to be exposed to varying levels of care. My desire has always been to ensure all oncology patients receive the highest level of care no matter the size or location. What better way to achieve that goal than to be a Surveyor and help other programs.” In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, ceramics, and mentoring young ladies.

E. James Kruse, DO, FACS

E. James Kruse, DO, FACS

Augusta, GA
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Graduate of Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA
  • Internship at Des Moines VA Medical Center in Des Moines, IA
  • Internship and Residency at Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, WI
  • Fellowship at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA

Dr. Kruse is the section chief of Surgical Oncology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He graduated from medical school in Des Moines, IA and completed a preliminary surgical internship at the VA Medical Center in Des Moines. He served in the US Army in Germany and Bosnia before returning to complete his general surgery residency and subsequent fellowship. He has been at the Medical College of Georgia since 2006 with a general surgical oncology practice focused on hepatobiliary diseases. He has been the Cancer Liaison Physician and Cancer Committee chair for 10 years. He is involved in the Cancer Care Standards Development Committee and is helping author the next volume of the Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery.

William Laffey, MBA

William Laffey, MBA

New Berlin, WI
Surveyor since 2011

Education

  • MBA from the University of Chicago, IL, with specialization in hospital administration

Currently president of a management consulting firm specializing in oncology, Mr. Laffey recently retired from his position as system vice-president of Oncology for Presence Health in Chicago, IL, although he prefers the military term that he “left active duty.” As a former hospital CEO and cancer executive in large health systems, he provides a program administrator perspective to the survey process and shares knowledge with other network cancer programs. In his opinion, programs that combine outstanding clinical practice with integrated and coordinated care and have strong communication and teamwork represent an award-winning cancer program. His hobbies include playing senior baseball, participating in community theatre, and singing.

Beth-Ann Lesnikoski, MD, FACS

Beth-Ann Lesnikoski, MD, FACS

Atlantis, FL
Surveyor since 2010

Education

  • Graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
  • Residency at New England Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • Fellowship at Faulkner Breast Centre, Boston, MA.

Dr. Lesnikoski is a general surgeon and medical director at The Breast Institute at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, FL. As a surveyor, she believes that physicians and other health care professionals should play a role in determining benchmarks for quality. In her opinion, an award-winning cancer program is one that is passionate and compassionate about patient care. Dr. Lesnikoski likes yoga, biking, gardening, and traveling with her husband.

Marvin J. Lopez, MD, FACS, FRCS

Marvin J. Lopez, MD, FACS, FRCS

Plymouth, MA
Surveyor since 1998

Education

  • Graduate of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara , Mexico
  • Residency at Montreal General Hospital, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec
  • Fellowship training at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at the University of Missouri in Columbia

Dr. Lopez's background is in surgical oncology/breast surgery. A professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston since 1995, he recently retired from practice and from his position as executive director of the Jordan Hospital Cancer Center in Plymouth, MA. Dr. Lopez believes "an award-winning cancer program is one that has an outstanding leader, an engaging Cancer Liaison Physician, smart and committed tumor registrars and a supportive administration that listens to the cancer committee. In addition, a strong multidisciplinary team is essential to outstanding patient care." He enjoys educating cancer programs, traveling, golf, and reading—especially history.

David Mullins, MD, FACS

David Mullins, MD, FACS

Princeton, WV
Surveyor since 2016

Education

  • Graduated from West Virginia University School of Medicine and
  • Residency at West Virginia University/Charleston Division
  • MBA from Regis University with a specialization in Health Care Management

Dr. Mullins is a general surgeon at Princeton Community Hospital in Princeton, WV, where he has practiced since completing his residency for the past 17 years. He has served as the CLP for his program for the past 8 years. He has completed the training for Certified Physician Executive through the American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Mullins also serves on the West Virginia Board of Medicine through a given a gubernatorial appointment. Most of his free time is spent in activities with his three children (ages 19, 17 and 13).Naam

Suzan Naam, MD, CTR

New York, NY
Surveyor since 2008

Education

  • Graduate of Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt
  • Internship and residency at Dar El Salaam Hospital in Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Naam is a trained obstetrics/gynecologist and currently manages the registries for cancer and bone marrow transplant at Hackensack University in New Jersey. Her favorite aspect of surveying is the opportunity to interact with cancer programs’ teams and identify best practices of using CoC standards as a tool box to improve patient care. Dr. Naam enjoys gardening, crafting, photography, interior decoration and traveling.

Kevin O’Donnell, MD, FACS

Kevin O’Donnell, MD, FACS

Brighton, MA
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, Medford, MA
  • Surgical residency at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, MA

Dr. O’Donnell is an attending surgeon at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and a clinical professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine. As a Cancer Liaison Physician and former Chair of his cancer committee, he has participated in CoC surveys and found them “very educational and informative as well as important sources of support and assistance in improving my own cancer program.” Dr. O’Donnell’s outside interests include travel, ship model building, and medical missionary work.

Rahul Parikh, MD

Rahul Parikh, MD

New Brunswick, NJ
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Graduate of Albany Medical College, Albany, New York
  • Internship at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Dr. Parikh is currently a Board-certified Radiation Oncologist, practicing at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health System. He is the Medical Director of the Proton Beam Therapy program and is also the Chair of the Cancer Committee, the state’s only NCI-designated Cancer Hospital. He is committed to elevating the high quality of patient-centered, multi-disciplinary cancer care in the region. He views the role of a CoC Surveyor as a leader to ensure the highest quality care is delivered to all cancer patients nationwide. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his family and spending time on the beach with his two children.

William P. Reed, MD, FACS

Mineola, NY
Surveyor since 2000

Education

  • Graduate of Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Internship and residency at Stanford University Hospital in California
  • Fellowship training at Institut Gustave-Roussy in Paris, France

Dr. Reed is the chair emeritus of the department of surgery at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. He is a surgical oncologist (retired) that specializes in breast, gastrointestinal, head and neck, sarcoma, and skin cancers. He believes accreditation provides feedback to institutions regarding quality of care and adherence to treatment guidelines associated with optimal care. His favorite aspect of accreditation is maximizing integration of the full range of cancer services. In his spare time, Dr. Reed enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and attending the opera.

Lisa Robinson, RHIA, CTR

Lisa Robinson, RHIA, CTR

Milwaukee, WI
Surveyor since 2010

Ms. Robinson is a registered health information administrator and a certified tumor registrar affiliated with Advocate Aurora Health (AAH) in Milwaukee, WI. Ms. Robinson is the director of clinical data registries for various specialties within AAH in Wisconsin. A surveyor with a primary focus on Integrated Network Cancer Program (INCP) surveys and plans to verify that accredited programs are providing high-quality integrated cancer care to their patients in compliance with CoC standards. She perceives the main value of accreditation is the offering of coordinated cancer care from prevention to survivorship. Ms. Robinson is most impressed by the value of cancer registry data based on the multiple dimensions it can offer to assist programs improve patient’s quality and outcome. In her spare time, Ms. Robinson enjoys swimming, skiing and gardening.

Stephen L. Seagren, MD

Stephen L. Seagren, MD

La Jolla, CA
Surveyor since 2008

Education

  • Graduate of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Internship and residency at Hennepin County General Hospital, Minneapolis, MN, and the University of California, San Diego
  • Fellowship training at LAC, University of Southern California, and UCLA Harbor General.

Dr. Seagren is a retired professor of radiology and medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He affirms that accreditation by the CoC instills institutional confidence in its cancer program. CoC standards can be a program’s organizational basis—the program and patients both benefit. His other interests include physical fitness, tennis, golf, bridge, poker, and skiing.

James W. Smith, MD, FACS

James W. Smith, MD, FACS

Little Rock, AR
Surveyor since 2011

Education

  • Graduate of the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
  • Internship and residency at New Rochelle Hospital and his fellowship training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, NY

Dr. Smith is the chief of surgical services at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, AR.

Jose Sorrentino, MD, FACS

Jose Sorrentino, MD, FACS

San Juan, PR
Surveyor since 2015; Former Surveyor

Education: Graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME. Medical school and general surgery training at University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the Medical Center of Delaware and an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at the University of Louisville.

Dr. Sorrentino is an associate professor of Surgery at the University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Sorrentino believes that delivering the best possible cancer care to any patient is a primordial obligation of any healthcare facility. In his mind, having a patient-centered culture where all aspects of cancer care can be coordinated and delivered within the premises of a given institution defines a center of excellence. In his free time, he enjoys riding his road bike and would like to join MSF (Doctors Without Borders) when he complete his current clinical practice.

Toncred Marya Styblo, MD, MS, FACS

Toncred Marya Styblo, MD, MS, FACS

Atlanta, GA
Surveyor since 2017

Education

  • Graduate of Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, and St. Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri
  • Residency at St. Louis University, Missouri
  • Fellowship training at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • MS from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Dr. Styblo is a surgical oncologist at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where she is the surgical director of the Glenn Family Breast Center of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. She has been active with the CoC for the last 25 years and believes the accreditation process facilitates patient-centered cancer care. Her interests include hiking, reading, playing piano, and photography.

Hubert E. Spears, MD

Hubert E. Spears, MD

Oxford, MS
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • University of Mississippi 1973–1976, Summa Cum Laud, Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Epsilon Delta officer
  • University of Mississippi School of Medicine 1976–1980
  • University of Tennessee, Memphis, General Surgery Residency 1980–1985, Chief Resident 1985, Outstanding Resident Research Paper 1984, Harwell Wilson Surgical Society
  • Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, Surgical Oncology Fellow 1985–1987; American Cancer Society Fellow 1986

I practiced surgical oncology for thirty years in Memphis, TN, Oxford, MS and Grenada, MS. I was involved in cancer committees through most of those years and served for about 14 years as a cancer liaison physician. In that role I became well versed in the Commission on Cancer Standards, the NCDB and CQIP. I served one term as the State Chair for the CoC Cancer Liaison Physician for the state of Mississippi. I am a believer in the mission of the Commission on Cancer and feel that the organization has played a major role in helping to standardize the cancer care in the United States and that in turn has helped achieve the decreasing death rates of several cancer sites and in the overall cancer death rates.

My practice was always primarily clinical. I enjoyed all aspects of patient care. I did not pursue research after residency and fellowship, although I have great admiration for those who did. I have always had a keen interest in following the latest research in surgical oncology and offering the most up to date findings to my patients. I am happy to now be in the position, having retired from surgery, to be able to continue to contribute to the field of surgical oncology by helping the Commission on Cancer in its goal of insuring up-to-date cancer care for patients throughout the United State as a surveyor. I also feel fortunate to work on the campus of my undergraduate alma mater, the University of Mississippi, in the campus health center. As most graduates, I have an abiding love for the campus, and have great memories of those days when I was a college student. I enjoy interacting with students, professors and other employees and following the sports teams as well as the arts on campus and in the community. My wife and I raised two daughters in this community, and we have been very active in supporting the arts. I have been in the civic chorus for over twenty years and have served on its board. I have competed 27 hours over the past three years toward a Master of Arts in teaching degree which I am using to teach freshmen and tutor students at various stages in biology. I am seeing the wonders of biology from a different perspective at this age.

Magesh Sundaram, MD, FACS

Magesh Sundaram, MD, FACS

Milford, DE
Surveyor since 2008

Education

  • Graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore
  • Internship and residency at Christiana Care in Newark, DE
  • Surgical oncology fellowship training at the University of Miami in Florida

Dr. Sundaram is a surgical oncologist with clinical and administrative roles in his cancer center. He states that CoC accreditation allows a multidisciplinary process for timely collection of data to help recognize institutional and national cancer incidences and patterns. His favorite part of being a surveyor is witnessing the empowerment of the cancer committee to pursue changes necessary for high-quality care. He enjoys being out on the beach or on the Chesapeake Bay, all the great sports teams in Maryland, and adding to his Starbucks City mug collection when visiting cancer centers across the U.S.

Michael P. Vezeridis, MD, FACS

Michael P. Vezeridis, MD, FACS

Providence, RI
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • Graduate of National University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece
  • Residency at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
  • Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA
  • Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Dr. Vezeridis is a Surgical Oncologist in Providence, Rhode Island, Professor of Surgery at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Program at Rhode Island Hospital. He has served as Cancer Liaison Physician and Chairman of Rhode Island State Cancer Liaison Program for three terms. He also served as member of the Commission on Cancer for six years. He has been a very active American Cancer Society volunteer for many years at the local, regional and national levels. Dr. Vezeridis believes that Commission on Cancer accreditation ensures that cancer patients receive high quality care and encourages cancer programs to improve multidisciplinary care and community outreach. His hobbies are music, singing, reading history and traveling.

Paul Waters, MD, FACS, FRCS

Paul Waters, MD, FACS, FRCS

Greenwich, CT
Surveyor since 2019

Education

  • MD—University of Toronto, Toronto Canada
  • Internship—General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery Residency, University of Toronto
  • Fellowship—University of Chicago

For the past 12 years Dr. Waters has been Section Head of Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Surgery at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT which is part of the Yale/New Haven Health System. He had been Division Head of Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation at both UCLA and Mount Sinai in New York for the prior 20 years. He also serves as Chairman of the IRB at Greenwich Hospital.

He has also served as the Cancer Liaison Physician for the Greenwich Hospital Cancer Program for 12 years. He is strongly committed to excellence in cancer care as promulgated by the Commission on Cancer and wishes to help cancer programs continue to foster this through careful accountability.