WHCC Website Header 2023

 Friday, September 29

8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Free to Attend
Hybrid Format

Dudley H. Davis Center
University of Vermont
590 Main St., Burlington, VT 05401

or virtually over Zoom

Contact Us

Questions about this year's conference? 
Email Rachel Zwynenburg.

"The Changing Landscape of Cancer" 

Our understanding of the patient experience, clinical treatments, and realities of a cancer diagnosis is evolving. Join us to explore changes in nutrition, sexual health, stories and strategies for living with and beyond cancer, trauma-informed care, new treatments, and so much more.

This conference is free and open to patients, healthcare providers, caregivers, and anyone looking to expand their knowledge of all aspects of the burden of cancer.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on September 29th 2023! Our team is working to caption the video recordings, once available they will be linked below. Simply scroll down to find the individual recording links provided for each session! Please check back mid-October. 


Accreditation: This conference is accredited at no charge to participants courtesy of the UVM Cancer Center. If you wish to receive continuing education credit, please contact UVM Continuing Medical & Interprofessional Education at UVMCMIE@med.uvm.edu for more information. The recordings are not approved for CE/CME credit.


Presenting Sponsor

The Patti O’Brien, MD Women’s Health and Cancer Fund

Keynote Luncheon Sponsor

Eleanor B. Daniels Fund at the UVM Cancer Center

Supporting Sponsor

Vox Media Group

Additional Conference Information




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Program Agenda September 29, 2023
Opening Remarks: The Changing Landscape of Cancer
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Cancer Online: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

9:00-10:00 am
Eleonora Teplinsky, MD
Head, Breast Medical Oncology, The Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai

A welcome by Kim Dittus*, MD, PhD Executive Director, Women's Health and Cancer Conference, Medical Oncologist.

Social media can be both a powerful tool for patients and health care providers through advocacy, empowerment and education. However, misinformation, negative online interactions, the digital divide and accessibility are some of the challenges and pitfalls of the use of social media in oncology. In this talk, we will address both the positives and negatives and talk about how to navigate the social media world as a health care provider and as a patient.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD, SW)

Click here to join via Zoom
Session 1 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Hereditary Cancer Syndromes: Present and Future Care

10:10-11:00 am
Kara K. Landry*, MD
Co-Director, Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, UVM Cancer Center (UVMCC)

This talk will discuss the importance of identifying inherited genetic variants (mutations) and why longitudinal clinical follow-up is important for patients with hereditary cancer syndromes.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD)

Join via Zoom
Nutrition and Immune Function

10:10-11:00 am
Jennifer May, RD, CD
Clinical Nutritionist, UVM Health Medical Center (UVMMC)

This talk will describe the complexity of our immune systems, provide an overview of what is currently known about the link between immunity and lifestyle factors, and identify controllable immune supporters and distractors.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, SW)

Join via Zoom
Session 2 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Lymphedema Panel- Extremities and Beyond

11:10-12:00 pm
Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez*, MD Moderator
Conference Co-Chair, Surgical Oncology, UVMCC
Jean Marie Cullon, PT, CLT
Certified Lymphedema Therapist, UVMMC
Elaine B. Perry, PT, CLT Staff Physical Therapist, UVMMC
Mirabelle Sajisevi*, MD Otolaryngologist, UVMMC
Michelle Sowden*, DO Surgical Oncologist, UVMCC

This will be a brief overview of goals of compression use in management of lymphedema. Compression strategies for upper extremities, lower extremities trunk compression, and breast lymphedema will be discussed with time for Q&A at the end.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych)

Join via Zoom
Sexuality is a Human Right, Even After Cancer

11:20-12:10 pm
Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO
Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Brown University
Cancer and its treatments can negatively impact sexuality and sexual relationships. Unfortunately, it is a topic that almost two-thirds of those treated for cancer do not discuss, because - in general - clinicians do not bring it up. However, cancer should not silence your sexuality and in this talk, we review the scope of the problem and how it can be approached and treated.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD, SW)
Join via Zoom
Keynote Luncheon sponsored by the Eleanor B. Daniels Fund
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Wife and Death

12:45-1:40 pm
Kristin Flanary, MA
Keynote Presentation

A welcome by Randall Holcombe*, MD, MBA Director, University of Vermont Cancer Center and Molly Barry*, MD Co-Chair, Women’s Health and Cancer Conference; Medical Oncologist, UVMCC

Kristin Flanary, MA (aka “Lady Glaucomflecken”) has survived being married to social media sensation “Dr. Glaucomflecken” through medical training, two cancer occurrences, and a sudden cardiac arrest (including giving him 10 minutes of CPR). In this keynote, Kristin will deliver an immersive and poignant example of the bystander, co-survivor, and caregiver experiences and explore how to make healthcare a little more human for patients and their families.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD, SW)

Join via Zoom

This lecture will not be recorded/available after the conference
Session 3 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Emerging Therapies Panel: CAR-T, TILS, mRNA

2:00-2:50 pm
Hibba tul Rehman*, MD
(moderator) Medical Oncologist, UVMCC
James Gerson*, MD Medical Oncologist, UVMCC
Stephanie Goff, MD, FACS Senior Research physician, National Cancer Institute, Surgery Branch, NIH
Dev Majumdar*, PhD Surgical Research and Biomedical Engineering, UVM

This talk will discuss advances, and potential challenges to these emerging therapy approaches, as found in early clinical trials of these tools. CAR-T cell therapy is an innovative way of treating cancer that uses a patient’s own blood cells to target and destroy cancer cells. It is currently FDA approved for the treatment of a variety of blood cancers and has revolutionized the field of oncology. mRNA- based cancer vaccines, therapeutic deliverables, and mRNA-based reprogrammed anti-cancer immune cells have all emerged as potentially useful tools in a variety of clinical settings. Most cancers, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer, have immune cells within them, called tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). By studying TIL, we can identify immune cells that can recognize a patient’s tumor. We are experimenting with treatment strategies that deliver these cells back to patients with metastatic cancer, with some success
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD)

Join via Zoom
Navigating the Emotional Roller Coaster of a Cancer Diagnosis

2:00-2:50 pm
Kim Dittus*, MD, PhD Moderator,
Executive Director, Women’s Health and Cancer Conference; Medical Oncologist, UVMCC 
Kim Kelley Feeney, BS, CTR Co-Chair, Women’s Health and Cancer Conference
Kathleen McBeth, MA Clinical Psychologist, UVMMC
Jane Feustel Bensimhon, MSW Masters of Social Work student and Patient Family Advisor

The Cancer diagnosis is a physical and emotional experience. This panel discussion will focus on the emotions associated with diagnosis and survivorship including fear, anger and acceptance. We will provide both emotional/mental health and valuable lifestyle interventions like food choice, movement and sleep that can help deal with the many changes related to the cancer diagnosis and treatment.
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD, SW)

Join via Zoom
Physical Therapy Community of Practice

2:00-2:50 pm
Michelle Sowden*, DO Surgical Oncologist, UVMCC

We'll discuss the benefits of creating a community of practice for physical therapists, specifically in regards to cancer care and develop strategies on how to connect, collaborate, and share best practices.

Reserved for Physical Therapist only, in-person only, maximum participation = 25

Not availabe virtually
Plenary Session & Closing Remarks
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Addressing the Health Impacts of Social Inequities and Trauma in the LGBTQ Community

3:00-3:50 pm
Suzan R. White, DO
Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Tamarack Integrative Psychiatry

An introduction by Kim Kelley Feeney, BS, CTR Co-Chair, Women’s Health and Cancer Conference.

This talk will review the physiological impacts of what we are exposed to on a daily basis, how this differs according to social factors, and then draws on CBT, Positive Psychology and mindfulness for tools to support well-being.

Closing remarks by Kim Kelley Feeney, BS, CTR Co-Chair, Women’s Health and Cancer Conference.
Save the date: September 20, 2024!
(P, N, MH, PT, Psych, RD, SW)

Join via Zoom

* denotes UVM Cancer Center Member

CME KEY P=Physician; N=Nursing Contact Hours; MH=Allied Mental Health; Psych=Psychology; PT=Physical Therapy; RD=Registered Dietician; SW=Social Work

Kristin Flanary headshot

Keynote: Kristin Flanary aka "Lady Glaucomflecken"

Kristin Flanary is on a mission to make health care a little more human. Through storytelling, she brings perspective as a caregiver and “co-survivor” of her husband’s two cancer occurrences and a sudden cardiac arrest.

Kristin is internationally known by her social media alter ego, “Lady Glaucomflecken.” You’ll find Kristin guest starring in Dr. Glaucomflecken’s videos and as the co-host of the medically-themed comedy podcast “Knock Knock, Hi.” She earned a bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University and a master’s degree at Dartmouth College. In 2022, she co-founded Glaucomflecken LLC, an advocacy organization for caregivers and co-survivors of medical trauma and critical illness, physician families, CPR and AED use, and adolescents and young adults affected by cancer.

Learn more about Lady Glaucomfleken.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter


The University of Vermont Cancer Center

2023 Conference Planning Committee:


Kim L. Dittus, MD, PhD
Conference Program Executive Director
Medical Oncologist
Director, Steps To Wellness Program
Associate Professor of Oncology

Kim Kelley Feeney, BS, CTR
Community Representative Co-chair

Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez, MD
Clinical Co-chair
Surgical Oncologist
Assistant Professor, Larner College of Medicine

Maura M. Barry, MD
Clinical Co-chair
Medical Oncologist
University of Vermont Cancer Center