In This Section

Advisory Committee

Allison Applebaum
Allison J. Applebaum, PhD
Associate Attending Psychologist and Director, Caregivers Clinic
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases
New York, New York

Allison J. Applebaum, PhD, is an associate attending psychologist and director of the Caregivers Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York. The Caregivers Clinic is the first of its kind and provides comprehensive psychosocial care to family members and friends of patients who experience significant distress and burden because of their caregiving role. Dr. Applebaum is also an Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Applebaum’s research focuses on the development and dissemination of psychosocial interventions for cancer caregivers, as well as understanding the impact of caregiver psychosocial wellbeing, prognostic awareness, and communication skills on advanced care planning. She has published over 100 articles, reviews, and book chapters on these topics, and is the editor of the textbook Cancer Caregivers (Oxford University Press, 2019). Dr. Applebaum has received competitive funding for her research, including awards from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the American Cancer Society, the T.J. Martell Foundation, and the van Ameringen Foundation.

Dr. Applebaum earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University in New York, New York.

Eliot Backer
Elliot Backer, MD
Director, Interventional Pulmonology
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, New Hampshire

Dr. Backer is an assistant professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center where he serves as director of Interventional Pulmonology and co-director of the Pulmonary Nodule Clinic.

Dr. Backer’s research interests include Cystic Fibrosis, Lung Metastases, Acute Interstitial Pneumonia, and Interstitial Lung Disease.

Dr. Backer received a medical degree from the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in New York, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.  

Mary D. Chamberlin, MD
Medical Oncologist and Associate Professor of Medicine
Geisel School of Medicine
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, New Hampshire

Mary D. Chamberlin, MD, is a medical oncologist and associate professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Her clinical research focuses on breast cancer treatment, personalized therapies, global health: cancer care and education in Africa, and exercise and obesity, and triple negative breast cancer.

Dr. Chamberlin received a medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont. She completed a residency in internal medicine from Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, VT, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Nicole Garbarino
Nicole Garbarino, MPH, MSW, LMSW
Manager, Programs and Services
Cancer Support Community
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Nicole Garbarino, MPH, MSW, LMSW, is a manager of programs and services at the Cancer Support Community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining CSC, Nicole worked as an oncology social worker in both inpatient and ambulatory hospital settings, providing psychosocial support to patients and families.

Nicole holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, and a master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

Nichole Goble
Nichole Goble
Director of Community Initiatives
Caregiver Action Network
Washington, District of Columbia

Nichole Goble is the current director of community initiatives at Caregiver Action Network, where she manages activities and programs with community partners and moderates caregiver roundtables and learning collaboratives. Nichole brings a unique perspective to her role, being an individual with a disability that has been on both sides of the caregiving relationship. She also has a background in disability advocacy and experience working with youth.

Nichole received a bachelor's degree in theater from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Cassy Horton
Cassy Horton, MBA
Executive Director
Pickles Group
Los Angeles, California

Cassy Horton, MBA, is the founding executive director of Pickles Group, a growing national nonprofit whose mission is to provide free peer-to-peer support and resources to kids affected by their parent or caregiver’s cancer. Before joining Pickles Group, Cassy devoted her entire career to improving outcomes for kids. For a decade, she championed the needs of 130,000 students from all walks of life attending over 250 Los Angeles-area nonprofit charter public schools.

Cassy received her bachelor’s degree in political science and public affairs from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her MBA in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, and Behavioral Science from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in Chicago, Illinois.

Leeann Medina-Martinez, LCSW
Patient Assistance Program Manager
New York, New York

Leeann Medina-Martinez, LCSW, is a bilingual licensed clinical social worker and patient assistance program manager at CancerCare in New York, New York. At CancerCare her role has been of providing practical and emotional support to cancer patients and their loved ones. In her role as the patient assistance program manager, she has been working on identifying and addressing barriers and gaps that are affecting people diagnosed with cancer. She has also been working on advocating for patients as well as providing education and resources to patients and their loved ones.

Leeann received her master’s degree concentrating on health and mental health from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York, New York.

Lora Rhodes
Lora Rhodes, MSW, LCSW
Social Worker, Department of Medical Oncology
Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lora Rhodes, MSW, LCSW, is a senior social worker at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her current role, she provides psychosocial support for the senior adult oncology, head and neck cancer, lung cancer and cancer genetics clinical teams. She is a trained tobacco treatment specialist. Lora also is an instructor for the Temple University School of Social Work Continuing Education Program. Prior to her current position, she worked in continuing medical education, developing education programs for physicians, nurses, and social workers. A social worker for over 25 years, she has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on psychosocial issues facing individuals with cancer and their families.

Rhodes received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, and Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Heather Simpson, BCPA
Patient Financial Navigator
Allina Health Cancer Institute – River Falls
River Falls, WI

Heather Simpson is a patient financial navigator at Allina Health Cancer Institute in River Falls, Wisc., and Hastings, Minn. She has worked in healthcare for over 30 years. Two years after Simpson joined Allina Health’s patient access team, she began addressing oncology patients’ billing questions and concerns, eventually offering financial counseling to patients who were beginning treatment.

Simpson developed and implemented a lung cancer screening program at her organization and works with the institute’s Commission on Cancer accreditation as an integrated network, designing prevention and screening events across each location’s communities to promote cancer awareness. Simpson is a graduate of the Association of Cancer Care Centers Financial Advocacy Network boot camp and a board-certified patient advocate.