Our Care Team

Meet our exceptional, caring and award-winning Advanced Practice Providers at Astera Cancer Care

At Astera Cancer Care, our Advanced Practice Providers are dedicated to enhancing the quality of your care. They are highly-trained, experienced medical professionals who combine their diverse backgrounds with a shared commitment to excellent care and outcomes. Whether that involves working on research and quality improvement projects, presenting at national conferences, teaching or advocating for patients in front of members of the US Senate and Congress, their care for you inspires them to do more.

Dedicated Physicians & Pharmacists

Several Astera Cancer Care doctors have even been recognized as Top Doctors by various publications and organizations for their leadership, skill and other attributes as physicians.

Their renowned work has garnered them national recognition and honors, such as the Emerging Leader Award from Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the Cure® Extraordinary Healer® Award from Cancer Research & Education.

Advanced Practice Providers

Barnes, Victoria, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Benson, Kristen E., MSN, APRN, AGPCNP – BC, OCN
Carroll, Rachel, MSN, FNP-BC, AOCNP
Haj-Ibrahim, Salma, PA-C
Jain, Shreya, PA-C
Kiley, Lauren, MSN, APN-BC, AOCNP
Oderanti, Joshua, DNP, APN, FNP-BC
Rodia, Jr. , Michael J. PA-C
Shander, Valerie, AOCNP, FNP
Woerner, Shannon L., ANP-BC, AOCNP, MBA

Pharmacists

McIlvaine, Nancy, PharmD
Peng, Eileen R., PharmD
Szpakowski, Mariana, PharmD, RPh, MS

Social Workers

Marcus, Neshama LMSW

Palliative Care

Basenese, Tina MA, APN, ACHPN

Research

Yeung, Percy L. PhD, CCRP

Radiation Oncology Support Team

Radiation Therapist – Specially trained to deliver your treatment.

The member of your Personal Care Team responsible for delivering the daily treatment prescribed by the radiation oncologist, your Astera Radiation Oncology radiation therapist, is certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technology and licensed by the State of New Jersey. They’re trained in operating the technology that delivers radiation therapy and in catering to your needs.

Do not hesitate to notify your radiation therapist if you have any questions or concerns throughout your treatment. They will refer you to the appropriate team member.

Radiation Oncology Nurse – Ensuring personalized, coordinated care.

Also central to your Personal Care Team, our radiation oncology nurses are Registered Nurses who work closely with the radiation oncologist and other staff to coordinate your care. You will have a primary nurse working with you during all phases of your treatment.

Your nurse will provide you with information concerning your treatment and self-care measures to manage potential side effects of radiation therapy. In addition, your nurse will be available for any questions or concerns you may have both during treatment and after completion of your treatment. If necessary, your nurse may refer you to other supportive care resources, such as social workers, counselors, nutritionists and/or support groups.

Medical Physicist – A vital part of your treatment planning.

Vital to your Extended Care Team are our specialists in the measurement and delivery of radiation: medical physicists. At Astera Radiation Oncology, all medical physicists are board-certified by the American Board of Radiology or American Board of Medical Physics. They’re responsible for the overall safety and accuracy of the treatment machines as well as for the treatment-planning computers used to determine the beam arrangements for your treatment.

The medical physicists may be asked to assist the radiation oncologist with additional calculations, measurements or design of special treatment aids. The medical physicist also checks your initial treatment plan and treatment machine and monitors unit calculations. The physicist provides a weekly quality assurance check while you’re being treated to make sure the treatment is delivered accurately.

You may not have much direct interaction with medical physicists, but they are integral members of your treatment team and play a key role in the planning and delivery of your radiation treatments.

Medical Dosimetrist – Key to ensuring the proper dose of radiation.

Also in your Extended Care team is a medical dosimetrist. The dosimetrist is responsible for assisting the radiation oncologist in planning your treatment through the use of computers, computed tomography (CT) scans and other images you may have had previously (or that we may order for you).

At Astera Radiation Oncology Center, all of our dosimetrists are certified by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board. The medical dosimetrist uses guidelines given by the radiation oncologist for the dose to be delivered. The goal of the dosimetrist’s work is to design a combination of fields that adequately treats the area of disease while avoiding areas of sensitive normal tissue.

Additional responsibilities include calculating radiation dose delivered to the tumor and normal structures and assisting the medical physicist in quality assurance.

 

For more information about our cancer care team, or to schedule an appointment, call 732-724-1727. You can also request an appointment using our online form.