CANCER CENTER NEWS

Hidden Heroes of Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

Sep 15, 2021, 10:00 AM by OnCenter

DOSIMETRISTS 

Dosimetrists (do•sim•e•trists) create individual radiation treatment plans for each patient, using the radiation therapy prescription from the oncologist to carefully design, measure and calculate the dose. The goal is to reduce the size of, or completely eradicate the cancerous tumor, while sparing healthy tissue and protecting nearby sensitive structures in the body. 

Tim Johnson, senior medical dosimetrist, is a 21 year veteran of the department. He says the best part of his job is playing an important role in a patient’s life at a difficult time. Medical dosimetrist Sadie White appreciates hearing good news from doctors when patients complete their treatment, knowing she made a difference. “Finding just the right set of circumstances when tailoring the treatment to each patient is challenging,” shares senior dosimetrist Sarah Sullivan. “But being part of a community that truly aims to help patients move forward with grace is what I like most about working here.” 

PHYSICISTS

Physicists also work with the radiation oncologists to develop treatment plans, and with dosimetrists to make sure the treatment is safe and tailored to patients’ needs. They develop and monitor quality control plans for radiation equipment and procedures, to ensure patient safety and comfort. Meg Barker, Gregory Dominiak and Kara Lambson are Ridley-Tree’s therapeutic medical physicists. “Most patients don’t meet us, but we review every single chart and

treatment plan,” they report. Meg, Gregory and Kara are constantly working to improve treatments and they enjoy implementing new advancements like Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT). They often work after-hours and on weekends when patients need quick access and the radiation therapy needs to begin immediately for medical reasons. “Ridley-Tree is committed to being continually at the forefront of cancer care. While that keeps us busy, our mission is to give our patients the best care possible,” says Meg.

Photo captions: (Top Photo) Tim Johnson and Sadie Wilhite. (Bottom Photo) Meg Barker, Gregory Dominiak and Kara Lambson