Friday, September 30, 2022

8:00 am - 3:00 pm

a free community event hosted by

uvmcancercenter logo

This free, educational event will be hosted as a hybrid event to preserve the safety and comfort of all participants.

This year’s event will be held on September 30, 2022, at the Dudley H. Davis Center at UVM and virtually over Zoom. 

Join us for a day of education for patients, families, providers, caregivers, and people passionate about women’s health. We’ll hear from patients, integrative oncology experts, doctors, and researchers who will share the latest about cancer screening, treatment, survivorship, reducing the cancer burden, and how the science has changed over 25 years (and where it’s going next).


Kim Dittus Headshot Final

Keynote Luncheon sponsored by the Eleanor B. Daniels Fund:

KIM DITTUS, MD, PhD: Moving from treating cancer to treating the whole person

Presenting Sponsor

The Victoria Buffum Fund at the UVM Cancer Center

Gold Sponsor

UVM Cancer Center Eleanor B Daniels Fund logo

Silver Sponsor

WHCC Radio Sponsor Logos

Contact Us

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





The Whole Patient.

Attend in person and explore the Integrative Therapy Exhibits featuring massage, yoga, acupuncture, and local organizations that offer support and resources to the cancer community. Space is limited so please register early.

Accreditation: This conference is accredited at no charge to participants courtesy of the UVM Cancer Center. 

COVID-19 Guidelines: UVM expects in-person event participants, visitors and guests will be vaccinated. Masks are optional but strongly encouraged.

Attend virtually and watch the sessions live and participate in Q&A.

Recording links will be added as soon as they are available on YouTube.

Program Agenda September 30, 2022
Welcome & Session 1 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Welcome & Introductions
8:30-8:35 am
 Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez*, MD - Conference Co-Chair
Michelle Machesky, PA - Conference Co-Chair
New Technologies to Reduce the Burden of Cancer

8:30-9:20 am
Randall F. Holcombe*, MD, MBA Director, University of Vermont Cancer Center
James Gerson, MD
Hem/Onc, Director CAR-T Program
Nikoletta Sidiropoulos*, MD Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
John Shepherd, PhD Professor & Deputy Director, University of Hawai’i Cancer Center

1) Explain how new technologies like artificial intelligence can improve cancer screening such as breast mammography.
2) Discuss how new approaches to cancer detection using genetic testing from blood samples may work and may be able to identify cancer before symptoms develop.
3) Describe how new "cellular therapies" such as CAR-T cells can improve survival for patients with cancer by "re-engineering" the immune system to attach cancer cells.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, RT, SW)

Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

8:30-9:20 am
Michelle Sowden*, DO, FACOS Surgical Oncology
Charles Patterson, MD Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgery

1) Clarify the difference between partial mastectomy and mastectomy as it relates to survival, recurrence, hospital time and recuperation.
2) Discuss the different reconstructive options for partial mastectomy and mastectomy.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, RT, SW)

Session 2 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Lumps and Bumps and Surprises, Oh My! How to deal with skin and soft tissue lesions and incidental imaging findings.

9:30-10:20 am
Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez*, MD
Conference Co-Chair, Surgical Oncology
1) Discuss a range of benign and malignant skin lesions and when to be concerned.
2) Describe possible causes of soft tissue masses (or lumps), how to work them up, and when they need to be either biopsied or removed.
3) Recognize a variety of incidental findings on imaging studies and who can help determine if anything further needs to be done.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, RT)
Treatment’s Over: Now What? Patient Panel

9:30-10:20 am
Kathleen M. McBeth, Psych-MA
Hem/Onc, Clinical Psychologist
Amelia Glickman
Cheryl Foxodell
Emily Davis

1) Discuss development of a survivor's wellness plan that includes ways to take care of physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych)
Session 3 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Management: Updates on Squamous Cell Carcinoma

10:30-11:20 am
Melanie R. Bui*, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
1) Define risk factors for and common presentations of SCC of the skin.
2) Review common systems for determining risk and behavior of SCC of the skin.
3) Identify new technologies for characterizing behaviors of SCC.
4) Review guidelines and updated research to determine which patients require additional treatments including radiation.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych)
Rural Cancer Health Disparities in Vermont: What can we do?

10:30-11:20 am
Jan Carney*, MD, MPH
Associate Dean for Public Health
1) Describe the scope of cancer health disparities in rural areas.
2) Identify the causes of health disparities for rural populations, including social and economic factors, health care access, and education.
3) Formulate potential strategies to achieve cancer health equity.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych)
Keynote Luncheon sponsored by the Eleanor B. Daniels Fund
TitlePresenterDescription Link
25 Years WHCC Reflection

11:50-12:00 pm
Patti O’Brien, MD
Founder of the Women’s Health and Cancer Conference
25th Anniversary Celebration
Moving from Treating Cancer to Treating the Whole Person

12:00-12:30 pm

Kim L. Dittus*, MD, PhD

1) Identify at least two integrative modalities that can improve side effects related to cancer treatment.
2) Identify at least one lifestyle change patients can incorporate that will improve overall health during and after cancer treatment.
(P, N, MH, PA, Pharm, PT, Psych, SW)

Session 4 - Choose one
TitlePresenterDescription Link
Screening Guidelines 101: Lung, Colorectal, and Gynecologic Cancers

12:50-1:40 pm
Christopher J. Anker*, MD Radiation Oncology
Hannah Z. Kooperkamp, MD Cardiothoracic Surgery
Jeremy A. Dressler*, MD Colorectal Surgery
Charles W. Ashley, MD Gyn/Onc

1) Discuss the current screening guidelines for lung, colorectal and gynecologic cancers.
2) Describe what patients can expect when getting screened.
3) Explain the value of early detection through data and stories.
(PD, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, RT)


How to Build Your Integrative Care Team

12:50-1:40 pm
Cara Feldman-Hunt MA, NBA-HW
Director, UVM Integrative Health
Amy Littlefield, ND Onc-Certified ND, Acupuncturist, VT Wellness Medicine
Kathleen M. McBeth, Psych-MA Hem/Onc, Clinical Psychologist
Julie Suarez Cormier, LAC Acupuncturist, VT Community Acupuncture
Additional panelists to include - Oncologist and Psychologist

1) Explain how to find the right integrative practitioner for a patient.
2) Discuss what practitioners need to know about the patient's journey to be able to provide appropriate care.
3) Describe best practices in coordinating integrative care.
4) Discuss what practitioners need from both patients and the care team to deliver effective treatments.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, SW)

Plenary Session & Closing Remarks
TitlePresenterDescription Link
What Matters Most: Person-Centered Goals of Care Discussions for Cancer Patients

1:50-2:45 pm
Stephen Berns, MD
Palliative Medicine
Larner College of Medicine

1) Describe a framework for serious illness considerations.
2) Recognize when to have a goals of care conversation with cancer patients.
3) Discuss the difference between treatment-centered conversations and value-centered conversations.
4) Recognize the importance of eliciting goals and values prior to making a care plan.
5) Describe effective open-ended questions for eliciting goals.
(P, N, MH, PA, PH, PT, Psych, SW)


* denotes UVM Cancer Center Member
P=Physician; N=Nursing Contact Hours; MH=Allied Mental Health; PA=Physician Assistant; PH=Pharmacy; Psych=Psychology; PT=Physical Therapy; RT=Radiologic Technologist; SW=Social Work

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The University of Vermont Cancer Center

About our Presenting Sponsor: The Victoria Buffum Fund

Victoria (Vicki) Buffum was a Vermonter who lost her battle with cancer in 2002 at the age of 58. During her experience as a patient at the University of Vermont Cancer Center, she became devoted to improving the experience of those facing cancer and blood diseases. She wished to inspire programs that supported patients and their families facing the many challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. Buffum created a fund at the UVM Medical Center through her generous personal philanthropy in support of this goal, called the Victoria Buffum Fund.

Today, the fund has supported countless programs, from massage therapy to counseling, to rehabilitation programs and emergency financial assistance, to helping support patients at the hematology/oncology clinic at the UVM Cancer Center. In keeping with this legacy of impact, Vicki's brother and his wife, Tom and Melissa Gauntlett, have provided additional support through the Buffum Fund to benefit the Women's Health and Cancer Conference to help ensure that this valuable educational day remains free and accessible to those in our community for the coming years.

Conference Co-Chairs
Headshot of Jessica Cintolo-Gonzalez, MD and Michelle Machesky, PA-C

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

Michelle Machesky, PA-C
High-Risk Breast Clinic
University of Vermont Cancer Center