Breast Care Team

Your multidisciplinary breast care team at Hoag will guide you every step of the way through your breast care experience. We are here for you.

Breast Cancer Patient Support Team

In partnership together, Hoag Breast Center and Hoag Family Cancer Institute provide a dedicated team of clinical experts to help educate, guide and support you and your family through this journey.

Expert Medical Team

Hoag’s expert medical team is just one of the many reasons why patients diagnosed at Hoag remain at Hoag for treatment. Our multidisciplinary team of board certified diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, breast surgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists work together to determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient.

From minimally invasive surgical options, to the latest in radiation therapy and systemic therapy, Hoag’s comprehensive approach to breast cancer has resulted in outstanding survival rates.

As part of Hoag’s multidisciplinary approach, the breast cancer team conducts weekly cancer case conferences where experts from all disciplines gather together to review cases from every angle to ensure the latest knowledge in cancer treatment is applied.

Additionally, Hoag’s expert medical staff is complemented by its highly trained team of oncology nurses. Dedicated to delivering patient-centered care, Hoag’s nursing staff ranks among the nation’s top nurses, as validated by Hoag’s designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Breast Surgeons

Obtaining your cancer care from a medical team that treats a high volume of patients with your specific cancer type has its advantages - namely, successful patient outcomes. Studies show that physicians who treat large numbers of patients with a specific disease achieve better patient outcomes.

Hoag’s expert medical team and higher than national figure survival rates are just two reasons why the majority of patients diagnosed at Hoag remain at Hoag for treatment. Hoag also has specialized plastic surgeons on staff who are experts in breast reconstruction for patients who undergo mastectomy.

Melvin J. Silverstein, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Melvin J. Silverstein, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Breast Care Expert, Surgeon
Medical Director, Hoag Breast Center

Dr. Melvin J. Silverstein is the Medical Director of Hoag Breast Center and the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery.

Dr. Silverstein is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Albany Medical College. Following his surgical residency at the Boston City Hospital, he completed a three-year fellowship in surgical oncology and served as Assistant Professor of Surgery and Oncology at UCLA School of Medicine, as well as Senior Researcher at the UCLA School of Public Health.

Previously, Dr. Silverstein founded The Breast Center in Van Nuys, California in 1979 and served as its Medical Director and Senior Surgical Oncologist until 1998. The Van Nuys Breast Center was the first free-standing breast center in the United States and it served as a model for breast center development and operation, having been visited by physicians from all over the United States and from more than 20 foreign countries.

Additionally, Dr. Silverstein served as Professor of Surgery with Tenure at The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, Director of the Harold E. and Henrietta C. Lee Breast Center at the USC/Norris Cancer Center, Chief of the Breast Service at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, Director of the Breast Fellowship Program, and holds the Henrietta C. Lee Chair in Breast Cancer Research.

Dr. Silverstein is the author of more than 250 scientific papers, book chapters and abstracts. In addition, he has written four books dealing with breast cancer, including the first major textbook on ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast. He developed the Van Nuys Classification for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of the Breast as well as the USC Van Nuys Prognostic Index. Both of these tools are used all over the world for DCIS prognosis and treatment.

Heather Macdonald, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Lincoln Snyder, M.D.

Breast Surgical Oncologist
Medical Director, High Risk Program​

Dr. Heather Macdonald is the Medical Director of the High Risk Program at Hoag Breast Center Irvine and Assistant Clinical Professor of ObGyn and Surgery at Keck School of Medicine at USC.

As a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist (ObGyn) and fellowship trained breast surgeon she is unique and provides a holistic approach to women’s reproductive health. Dr. Macdonald is an expert in breast disease including the diagnosis and surgical management of breast cancer as well as gynecologic issues related to breast disease including menopause, contraception, breast cancer survivorship, fertility preservation and inherited breast and ovarian cancer syndromes.

Dr. Macdonald completed medical school, residency in ObGyn and fellowship in Breast Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. During her fellowship she trained under the guidance of Dr. Melvin Silverstein and developed an expertise in Oncoplastic Surgery. She then held a faculty position in both departments of Surgery and ObGyn at USC for 10 years before being recruited to Hoag.

Dr. Macdonald is nationally recognized for her expertise in breast disease and continues to publish widely and speak nationally on topics as diverse as Breast Cancer, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndromes, Gynecologic care of the breast cancer patient, Fertility Preservation and Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and is a member of the Society of Surgical Oncologists and the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

In her practice, Dr. Macdonald focuses on breast disease diagnosis, surgical management of breast cancer, menopause, high risk patients and inherited breast cancer syndromes. She provides personalized holistic compassionate care to all patients. Her clinical expertise includes oncoplastic breast conservation, skin and nipple sparing mastectomies, intra-operative radiation therapy techniques and reproductive health services including contraception and menopause management.

Sadia Khan, D.O., F.A.C.O.S., F.A.C.S.

Sadia Khan, D.O.

Breast Surgical Oncologist
Director of Integrative Breast Oncology

Dr. Sadia Khan is a fellowship-trained breast surgeon at Hoag Breast Center. She is the Program Director of Integrative Breast Oncology for the Hoag Breast Center where she advocates for the latest and most comprehensive breast care for the women she serves. She has developed a comprehensive breast cancer survivorship program at Hoag to help survivors transition into thrivorship. Dr. Khan graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Texas at Austin and completed her medical degree with honors at Touro University College of Medicine, California. She finished a rigorous five-year general surgery residency program at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center during which she was elected Administrative Chief Resident and awarded Resident of the Year. She is a board certified General Surgeon.

She then went on to complete a breast surgical oncology fellowship with The University of Southern California / Hoag Breast Fellowship Program under Dr. Melvin Silverstein, who is known as the pioneer of oncoplastic breast surgery in the United States. During her fellowship, Dr. Khan became the first recipient of the Muzzy Family Endowed Fellowship in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery.

Dr. Khan holds membership with the following prestigious professional organizations: American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, and Association of Women Surgeons. She has been an invited speaker and presented at numerous national conferences, and she has published her research in prominent national journals.

Dr. Khan is Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, where she serves as the Associate Program Director for the breast surgical oncology fellowship program. Her areas of clinical expertise include oncoplastic breast surgery, extreme oncoplasty, nipple-sparing and skin-sparing mastectomy, intra-operative radiation therapy techniques, young and high-risk women, as well as providing comprehensive and compassionate care for patients with all breast diseases.

Colleen Coleman, M.D.

Colleen Coleman, M.D

Dr. Coleman is a highly experienced and compassionate breast surgeon who has been performing complex breast surgical procedures at Hoag for nearly 20 years. She is recognized by the American Society of Breast Surgeons as a breast specialist and is also board certified in general surgery through the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Coleman was the first female surgeon at Hoag to dedicate most of her surgical practice to the performance of breast surgery and she continues to treat the full spectrum of breast diseases. She was also the first woman chairman of the Department of Surgery at Hoag. As a valued member of Hoag Breast Center’s surgical team, Dr. Coleman has extensive experience in performing advanced techniques for breast surgery including oncoplastic surgery and intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT).

Recognized for her surgical expertise and outstanding patient care, Dr. Coleman has been named to Orange Coast Magazine’s exclusive list of Top Doctors in Orange County and is also a member of several professional organizations including: the American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Society of Breast Disease and the Society of Women Surgeons.

She became a member of the Medical Staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in July 2000 after completing a residency in General Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles in June. Her General Surgery residency included a year of research at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

A long-term resident of Orange County, Dr. Coleman is active in her community and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children when she is not caring for patients in her office or the operating room.

Lincoln Snyder, M.D.

Lincoln Snyder, M.D.

Dr. Lincoln M. Snyder is a trusted and highly respected surgeon specializing in breast cancer surgery. He has been a leading breast surgeon at Hoag for over 20 years and has been one of the primary surgeons at Hoag Breast Center since its inception. He is well known throughout the communities served by Hoag and voted one of the Best Doctors in Orange County in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

He has tremendous experience with breast conserving surgery, skin and nipple preserving mastectomy surgery and surgical techniques for intra-operative radiation. Dr. Snyder works closely with the community’s top plastic and reconstructive surgeons to achieve the best results, and he provides patients threatened with breast cancer the attention that they deserve.

Dr. Snyder’s education and training includes receiving a Medical Degree from Jefferson Medical College, and completing a Residency in Surgery at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and a Fellowship in Critical Care at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Snyder is Medical Director for Outpatient Breast Surgery at Hoag and an active member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Breast Radiologists

January Lopez, M.D., Radiologist

Breast Care Expert, Radiologist
Director of Breast Imaging, Hoag Breast Center

Dr. January Lopez has been a member of the Hoag Breast Care Team since 2010 and is the Director of Breast Imaging at Hoag Breast Center. She has been selected by the Orange County Medical Association as a "Physician of Excellence" consecutive years since 2016 and was recognized as one of the “Top Women in Healthcare” by Orange County Coast Magazine in 2019.

Dr. Lopez graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from UC Berkeley, and received her medical degree from UCLA Medical School, where she served as President of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, as well as President of the UCLA student chapter of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Lopez’s commitment to radiology was recognized early on in her medical career, when she was awarded the Leo G. Rigler Award in Radiological Sciences for the Outstanding Graduating Medical Student. She subsequently completed her internship in Internal Medicine at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, where she was named “Intern of the Year”. Dr. Lopez then returned to UCLA to complete her residency, during which time she served as Chief Resident, and was the recipient of the UCLA “Radiology Resident of the Year” award.

Dr. Lopez has been dedicated to the field of breast imaging since 2003 with her involvement in the landmark American College of Radiology (ACRIN) Digital Mammography (DMIST) Trial. Dr. Lopez specializes in breast imaging and breast biopsy, and has authored several radiology manuscripts and textbook chapters. Outside of Hoag, she gives back to the community in her role as a board member on the Susan G. Komen Orange County Board of Directors.

Jennifer Overstreet, M.D., Radiologist

Associate Director of Imaging

Dr. Jennifer Overstreet is a board certified radiologist practicing at Hoag Breast Care Center since 2009. Dr. Overstreet earned both her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in biology at Stanford University before earning her M.D. from the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Overstreet remained at UCLA completing her residency in diagnostic radiology and fellowship training in breast imaging where she specialized in mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and image guided breast biopsy.

Dr. Overstreet has participated in several research projects in the field of breast imaging including early studies aimed at identifying the potential advantages of digital mammography. She is an active member of the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging.

Nicolas von dem Bussche, M.D., Radiologist

Dr. von dem Bussche graduated from the U.C. Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Molecular and Cell Biology and German Studies. During his time at Berkeley, he participated in a number of activities including studying abroad, volunteering at clinics for the under-served, and basic science research. He received the top prize among German Studies graduates and was among the top 11 graduates in Molecular and Cell Biology.

At the U.C. San Francisco School of Medicine he was the student representative at the Association of American Medical Colleges. He received many clerkship honors, conducted published research on the origins of epilepsy, and participated in curricular reform efforts. He was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

After an internship in internal medicine, he started his residency at the U.C. San Diego. During his training he presented a number of award winning exhibits at the national meeting of the Radiological Sciences of North America and was elected Chief Resident in his third year. He stayed in San Diego for fellowship training in abdominal imaging and breast MRI, and during this year he also served as an attending breast imager at the Moore’s Cancer Center in La Jolla, California.

Dr. von dem Bussche joined the Hoag Breast Center in 2006 and holds voluntary academic appointments at U.C. Irvine and U.C. San Diego. He is married and has three children. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys reading, travel, photography, and baseball.

Yingding Xu, MD ​

Dr. Xu joined NHRA in 2019. He graduated with honor from California Institute of Technology and completed his medical school training at Stanford University School of Medicine. He was the recipient of the Resident Teaching Award during his internship year at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. He then returned to Stanford Hospital and Clinics for his radiology residency and fellowship where he received the Roentgen Resident Research Award from RSNA and served as the chief fellow of the musculoskeletal imaging fellowship. Dr. Xu also completed fellowship-level training in breast imaging at Stanford University.

Zaihleen S Keller, MD ​

Dr. Zaihleen Keller joined NHRA in 2019. She specializes in breast imaging and interventions. Dr. Keller graduated with high honors from UC Berkeley with a degree in Chemistry and was presented with the George C. Pimentel award at graduation for excellence in research. She spent two years following graduation working in research, including formulating treatments for rare genetic diseases.

Dr. Keller received her medical degree at Chicago Medical School. She was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society (AOA) in her junior year, and served as president of her chapter. She received several awards at graduation, including the Dr. Martin Gecht Memorial Award for leadership, and the CMS Dean’s Award for service.

Dr. Keller completed her radiology residency and fellowship at the University of Southern California (USC). In 2017, she was named one of Pasadena Magazine’s top doctors.

Ashley Lotfipour, M.D., Radiologist

Jay Lichman, M.D.

Dr. Ashley Lotfipour joined NHRA in 2015. She graduated summa cum laude from UC San Diego, and with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from UC Irvine School of Medicine. Dr. Lotfipour was subsequently the valedictorian of her business school class at Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, graduating with a Master’s degree in business administration. She received the Marie Curie Fellowship for research from the European Union and completed a fellowship in magnetic resonance physics at the University of Nottingham. Dr. Lotfipour served as chief resident at UC Los Angeles during her radiology residency, where she received the ACR’s Moorefield Economics and Health Policy Fellowship. She also served as chief fellow during her breast imaging fellowship training at UC Los Angeles.

Lauralyn Markle, M.D., Radiologist

Lauralyn Markle, M.D., Radiologist

Dr. Lauralyn Markle joined Hoag Breast Center in fall of 2014. She has 20 years of experience as a dedicated Breast Imager specializing in early diagnosis with extensive experience with newer technologies including Breast Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography) and whole breast ultrasound.

She previously practiced in South Orange County from 1994-2008 where she served as Medical Director of Memorial Care Breast Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at UC Irvine before moving to Texas in 2008.

Dr. Markle has been lead investigator and authored several breast research studies as well as having received several awards including Excellence in Healthcare Award, ABC-Ch7 and Soroptimist International “Women Helping Women” Award. She is a member of Society of Breast Imaging, Radiologic Society of North America, American Society of Breast Disease and National Consortium of Breast Centers.

Suneet Pramanik, M.D., Radiologist

Suneet Pramanik, M.D., RadiologistDr. Pramanik graduated from Stanford University, where he received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant for his work in Molecular Biology. He went on to medical school at UCLA, where he earned the Leo Rigler Award, given to the most outstanding student in Radiology, and also received a prestigious RSNA National Research grant for his work in Neuroradiology. He then joined UCLA for his Radiology training, where he presented at numerous national conferences and received the RSNA Cum Laude Award for his educational presentations. Finally, he completed his fellowship training in Breast Imaging at UCLA, where he gained extensive training in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis.

Peggy Pugh, M.D., Radiologist

Dr. Peggy Pugh has been in private diagnostic radiology practice in Orange County since 1991. She has devoted herself to Women’s Imaging, with particular focus on breast health. As a dedicated breast-imaging specialist, she performs individualized imaging for detection and diagnosis of breast cancer as well as other benign breast conditions. Dr. Pugh believes that taking the time to talk directly with her diagnostic patients and discuss exam results immediately is extremely important. This provides an opportunity to educate patients and empower women to take an active role in their breast health decisions.

Dr. Pugh has lived in Southern California ever since she was transplanted from the East Coast with her family as a teenager. She received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Cal Poly Pomona. She was awarded her medical degree from University of Southern California and completed her Internship at Los Angeles County-USC hospital. She completed her residency in Diagnostic Radiology at University of California, Irvine and served as Chief Resident in her third year. She continued at UCI for her Fellowship year focusing on Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Dr. Pugh has several professional affiliations including Diplomate, American Board of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging. Dr. Pugh and her husband have made their home in Orange County for many years. They has two college aged children and a collie named Tucker. She has many non-medical interests including cultivating California native plants in her garden, baking and creating colorful glass and tile mosaics.

Nina Woldenberg, M.D., Radiologist

Nina Woldenberg, M.D., RadiologistDr. Woldenberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. During her UCLA residency, Dr. Woldenberg was elected by her peers and faculty to serve as both junior chief resident as well as chief resident. Following her residency, Dr. Woldenberg completed a breast imaging fellowship at UCLA. During her fellowship, Dr. Woldenberg served as a Clinical Instructor and was the recipient of the UCLA "Acute Care Imaging Service Award."

Brian L. Dubin, MD

Dr. Brian L. Dubin graduated with honors from Northwestern University and with Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honors from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He served as Chief Resident at UCLA during radiology residency and was recognized for scoring highest in the country on the national in-service examination. During his breast imaging fellowship at UCLA, he served as a Clinical Instructor and Chief Fellow while conducting research on artificial intelligence and breast MRI. Dr. Dubin has given lectures to radiologists throughout the US, India and Japan and was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Radiological Society of North America.

Medical Oncologists

Medical oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer through the use of chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy. If you are going through treatment, your medical oncologist will play an important role in your treatment plan.

Hoag has an exceptional team of experienced and caring medical oncologists who offer specialized care for those diagnosed with breast cancer.

Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists specialize in radiation therapy. At Hoag, all of our radiation oncologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology. They will discuss the role of radiation therapy as part of a patient’s treatment plan. Visit Hoag Radiation Oncology for details about Hoag’s radiation oncology team and services.

Craig Cox, M.D.

Dr. Craig Cox is a Radiation Oncologist and the Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology department at Hoag Family Cancer Institute. He completed a Radiology Oncology residency at Sanford University in 1987, and continued to practice in Stanford and the San Jose area until 1989, until he relocated to Orange County and joined the Medical Staff at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Dr. Cox completed medical school at the University of Nevada followed by an internship at Highland General Hospital. Dr. Cox is a board certified radiation oncologist through the American Board of Radiology since 1987, and brings a great deal of experience and radiation leadership to Hoag cancer patients.

Peter Chen, M.D.

Peter Chen, M.D.

Dr. Peter Chen is a Radiation Oncologist within the Radiation Oncology department at Hoag Family Cancer Institute. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with high honors and a second bachelor’s degree in rhetoric with honors and high distinction in general scholarship from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Chen then completed a master’s degree in biomechanical engineering at Stanford University and a fellowship at the Stanford School of Engineering. He earned his medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he also completed an internship in internal medicine at UCLA San Fernando Valley Program and a residency in radiation oncology at UCLA.

Dr. Chen received additional training at UCLA’s comprehensive cancer center, including experience with Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Radiotherapy (Novalis), HDR, CT Simulation and Conformal Therapy (AQSim, Theraplan, ADAC), IMRT, and Prostate Brachytherapy. He was also chief resident before joining Hoag in 2004.

He is a diplomate with the American Board of Radiology and is California State-certified for radiopharmaceutical delivery. Dr. Chen is involved with many clinical research projects on stereotactic radiosurgery and radiation oncology, and is an integral leader in the administration of intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT). He is an invited speaker and lecturer across the United States on topics including external beam radiotherapy and radiation oncology.

Brian Kim, M.D.

Brian Kim, M.D.

Dr. Brian Kim is a Radiation Oncologist within the Radiation Oncology department at Hoag Family Cancer Institute. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at the California Institute of Technology(Caltech), where he graduated with honors. He then completed his medical degree from UCLA and went on to complete an internship at the UCLA San Fernando Valley Internal Medicine Program and a residency at the UCLA Radiation Oncology program. Dr. Kim has been affiliated with Hoag’s Radiation Oncology department since 2005 and is board-certified in radiology and therapeutic radiology.

He is a former clinical instructor of third-year medical students at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine and has been a long-time active member of many community and philanthropic organizations in Southern California.

Dr. Kim is a member of many international professional societies including American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), American College of Radiology (ACR) and American Brachytherapy Society (ABR). Other Southern California association memberships include the Orange Country Korean Medical Society, Los Angeles Radiologic Society (LARS), Southern California Radiation Oncology Society (SCROS) and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Korean American Graduate Medical Association.

He is involved with many clinical research projects and is widely published in medical journals and publications. Dr. Kim presents at several national and international conferences including the Southern California Radiation Oncology Society, European Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology and American Radium Society Conference.

Kevin Lin, M.D.

Dr. Lin is a Radiation Oncologist within the Radiation Oncology department at Hoag Family Cancer Institute, and focuses his time at Hoag Cancer Center Irvine. He graduated with a degree in Biophysics from Brown University, where he graduated with Honors and Magna cum laude. He subsequently earned his MD degree from UCLA, and also completed his residency in Radiation Oncology at UCLA.

After completing residency, Dr. Lin joined the UCLA medical staff before going out to serve the community by establishing and successfully building up Advanced Oncology Center in West Covina, a freestanding radiation therapy facility focused on highly compassionate and outstanding patient care.

Plastic Surgeons

Nirav B. Savalia, M.D

Nirav B. Savalia, M.D

Director of Oncoplastic and Aesthetic Breast Surgery

Nirav Savalia, M.D., is the Program Director for Oncoplastic and Aesthetic Breast Surgery of the Hoag Breast Center. He has pioneered many new oncoplastic surgery techniques for immediate breast reconstruction. He uses principles of aesthetic breast surgery, a deep understanding of breast anatomy, and an artistic eye to restore appearance and functionality following a breast cancer diagnosis.

Dr. Savalia is board certified in plastic surgery and trained in cosmetic surgery and currently a Clinical Professor of Surgery at USC, Keck School of Medicine. He teaches the next generation of oncoplastic surgeons in the latest techniques during their fellowship training at Hoag Hospital.

Nurse Navigators

Hoag offers a full spectrum of breast care support services, including one-on-one consultation and educational support through Hoag’s breast care nurse navigators. Your nurse navigator will provide helpful information and resources for you. This type of personalized support is a unique facet available at Hoag that brings knowledge and comfort to patients.

Your nurse navigator is committed to providing a smooth and coordinated process of care, while giving you the information and support you need to make decisions about your treatment.
She is here to:
  • Answer your questions
  • Listen to your concerns
  • Help with referrals
  • Be an advocate on your behalf
Your nurse navigator will assist you through Hoag’s comprehensive breast cancer program. They will serve an important role as facilitator to guide for you, answer questions and provide support through each phase of treatment.

Traci Swenson, BSN, RN, OCN, Breast Cancer Clinical Nurse Navigator

Traci serves an important role as facilitator and guide for breast cancer patients. She helps answer questions, provides support from diagnosis through recovery, and acts as an advocate for patients, connecting them with the right clinical teams, physicians, and support resources.

To contact Traci, please call 949-764-5504 or 949-7-CANCER (722-6237).

Tu Le, RN, Clinical Nurse Navigator

Tu Le is the Clinical Nurse Navigator at Hoag Breast Center in Irvine. She has over 20 years of oncology nursing experience in both the private community practices and large academic hospital based cancer clinic. Her experience range from chemotherapy infusion to case management provides extensive perspective and knowledge to guide patients throughout their cancer journey. She is a member of the Oncology Nursing Society and continues to search for innovative approaches for superior care and treatment in the oncology community.

Kim Noviello, CBPN-IC, CRT, ARRT (R), (M), BS, Imaging Navigator

Kim is the Imaging Navigator at Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach. After her internship at Harbor-UCLA, she began her career in 1991 as a certified technologist in radiology, mammography, and ultrasound. Her background as a breast center supervisor at various southern California imaging centers and her contributions in establishing three separate breast centers in Orange County make her uniquely qualified for her role as an Imaging Navigator. Kim became certified in Imaging Navigation and Cancer Navigation in March of 2012 and joined the Hoag team shortly thereafter. Kim’s primary role is to provide physician/patient support when delivering biopsy results to patients. She is responsible for coordinating any additional imaging needed and works directly with referring physicians to schedule surgical consultations. Since Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, she comes from a place of compassion and empathy in her dealings with the newly diagnosed patient. She understands, on a very personal level, what it means to receive a diagnosis of cancer and the common fears associated with that diagnosis. She lets the patient know the Hoag team is behind her/him and will guide and support them through their journey.

Laura Topp, RN, CN-BN, Clinical Nurse Navigator

Laura Topp is the Clinical Nurse Navigator at Hoag Breast Center Newport Beach where she navigates patients through the numerous surgical options available. She has 23 years of Oncology nursing experience. Laura was the charge nurse of a large urban Pediatric Oncology Unit for over 10 years. She also was the Manager of an Adult Outpatient Infusion Center, where she was directly involved with Oncology clinical trials. Additionally, she assisted with the start-up of an Infusion Center at a new Oncology Practice. Laura has extensive experience in Oncology Care Case Management and had a lead role in implementing a successful Palliative Care Program. She is a member of ONS (Oncology Nursing Society), and has volunteered, raised donations and participated in events for various non-profit fundraising childhood and adult cancer organizations. Laura believes in taking time to listen and understand each patient’s particular needs. She provides highly professional care with a caring and compassionate approach.

Social Workers

Hoag offers clinical social workers as a support to you during your breast cancer journey. This caring and professional team provides one-on-one support, and directs you, or family and friends, to helpful resources within Hoag and the community.

Hoag’s breast cancer social workers include:

Josephina Kim, L.C.S.W.

Josephina Kim earned a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California. During her graduate studies and internship at the Hoag Family Cancer Center, she discovered her true calling - to work with cancer patients and their families. She provides unconditional positive regard to cancer patients as they navigate through the shock, fear, and complexity of cancer. She addresses the psychological, psychosocial, cultural, and continuing care needs of patients and their families. Through one-on-one counseling, providing coping tools, connecting patients to resources and support groups, Josephina is able to help cancer patients and their families cope through this new journey.

Marie Miao, L.C.S.W., OSW-C

Marie Miao earned her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a licensed social worker and certified as an oncology social worker. During her undergraduate years as a hospice volunteer, she discovered her passion to help others with a serious illness. Marie has been in the field of hospice, palliative care and oncology ever since, six years of which being at Hoag. Marie has been a big advocate for voicing patient needs and developing programs to meet those gaps-CLIMB being one of them. Whether it be one-on-one counseling, educational workshops, support groups or art class, she provides coping tools and resources to navigate the complex cancer journey.

Deborah Sisley, L.C.S.W.

Deborah Sisley is an Oncology Clinical Social worker who has worked at Hoag Hospital for over 22 years providing frontline services to patients and families spanning the entire continuum of a diagnosis and health-related issues. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of California, Irvine and her Masters in Social Work with a Health concentration from the University of Southern California. She has extensive experience and training working with chronic illness and palliative care, which has shaped her “person-in-environment” approach. She strongly believes patients are not just their diagnoses. She values acknowledging patients within their relationships, career and recreation activities, community, and culture. Her passion is to assist patients and family members with identifying their strengths and providing them with resources and counseling support that will help them enhance hope and quality of life.

Hoag’s social workers can be reached at 949-722-6237.

Genetic Counselors

Hoag Family Cancer Institute provides a dedicated team of genetic counselors that offer risk assessment counseling and genetic testing to individuals with a personal or family history of breast cancer. Approximately 400 new patients are seen each year through the Hereditary Cancer Program.

Jeanne Homer graduated from Smith College and received her M.S. degree in genetic counseling from the University of California at Irvine. She is board certified as a genetic counselor. Jeanne has been seeing patients through the Hereditary Cancer Program at Hoag Cancer Center since 2002.

Chelsey Weatherill, M.S. graduated from the University of Alberta with an honors degree in Molecular Genetics. She received her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Chelsey is board certified as a genetic counselor and licensed in the state of California.

Registered Dietitians

Hoag’s Nutrition Services provides comprehensive nutrition counseling and support to breast cancer patients and survivors. Comprised of two dedicated registered dietitians, Denise Lohman, RD. MPH and Jessica Tamashiro, RD, the Cancer Institute dietitian team is dedicated to helping patients meet their nutritional goals and understand the valuable relationship between good nutrition and health.

These services are all available free of charge to Hoag Family Cancer Institute patients. To learn more about Hoag’s Nutrition Services, or to schedule an appointment with one of the registered dietitians, please call 949-764-8369.

Executive Leaders

Allyson M. Brooks, M.D.

Allyson Brooks, M.D., F.A.C.O.G

Allyson Brooks, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist and an AAGL Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology (COEMIG™) designee. Dr. Brooks was appointed the Executive Medical Director of the Women's Health Institute at Hoag Hospital in October 2010. Dr. Brooks is one of only ten professionals nationwide just named to the 2013-2015 class of The Academy GE Fellowship Program for Physician Executives. This two year fellowship is considered the nation’s most prestigious leadership program for medical professionals within large health care systems.

Dr. Brooks has a private practice in Newport Beach and active staff privileges at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian since 1993. Beginning in 2001, Dr. Brooks limited her practice to gynecology exclusively.

Dr. Brooks specializes in minimally invasive medical and surgical treatments for a variety of gynecologic conditions, such as heavy periods, pelvic pain, endometriosis and symptomatic fibroids. She has expertise in total laparoscopic hysterectomy, laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy; laparoscopic approach to ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, and evaluation of pelvic pain; endometrial ablation and diagnostic/operative hysteroscopy.

Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D.

Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D.

Dr. Eisenberg is the Executive Medical Director for Hoag Family Cancer Institute and the Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair.

Dr. Eisenberg brings a diverse background from nationally-acclaimed cancer centers that bridge the patient care continuum between academic cancer centers and community-based cancer programs. He joined Hoag after working at Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he held the role of Deputy Director, and he was a Professor of Surgery in Surgical Oncology at Dartmouth Medical School. Before Dartmouth, Dr. Eisenberg was a Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology at Temple University School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and his residency in surgical oncology at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston.

Dr. Eisenberg is board certified in general surgery, with a special interest and specialty in Surgical oncology, sarcoma, soft tissue tumors, breast cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, and melanoma.