Meet our co-workers

Once a month, we like to highlight one of our many wonderful co-workers. Find out more about their role in the health system and what they love about working at one of the many Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion locations.

Meet Kirk Shuler, social worker for infusion patients at the LCRP. In addition to the main office in Savannah, Kirk also helps patients in Pembroke and Statesboro, going twice a week, and offers online support for patients in Jesup. A big part of his job is helping patients with resources they need during their treatment. It could be assisting a family buying groceries or arranging transportation or helping find a way to pay an electric bill. But just as important as finding those resources is offering emotional support. Kirk is a listening ear when patients or caregivers are feeling anxious or depressed or just need someone to talk to.

Kirk has a favorite Bible verse that is his guiding force to serve and to take care of others.

Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

“I think God has really built me over the years to serve in this capacity. I feel like even the difficulties I’ve been through have helped make me more empathetic to serve in this position. When I was doing orientation in July and they prayed, that was wonderful because at a lot of places you can’t even tell a person you are praying for them, let alone pray with them. That perspective is awesome.”

“This whole place has been reflective of kindness and warmth. The staff is so kind. I love working in the outlying communities because for many of them it’s hard to get to Savannah. By me going out there means they don’t have to drive into Savannah; they don’t have to spend their money on gas. This has been such a blessing in my life in only seven months. It feels like this is where I should be.”

Meet Beverly Youmans Ballance, oncology compliance and quality manager for the LCRP. Beverly has worked for St. Joseph’s/Candler for 35 years and at the LCRP since the doors opened in 2006. She was the infusion nurse manager during most of her time at the LCRP and recently her role has evolved into the compliance and quality manager. Among many of her responsibilities is making surveys and policies to review quality of care and making sure we meet our accreditation requirements. She also helps with staff education and orientation.

“Oncology nursing is my passion. I do miss the infusion patients, but I still get to work with the nurses and managers and other staff as well. I also have a passion for quality because I think it impacts our patients. You need to give them quality care. It also validates our cancer program, what we do and how we do it. The surveys and the standards and the education of our staff, in the end, gets to the patients. It also enhances what people know about us in the community and medical field.”

“St. Joseph’s/Candler feels different. We have a mission. We are vested in the community. We are vested in our co-workers. I love that it’s faith-based, and you feel that and see that in so may different things. I love the Sisters of Mercy. I’ve always had great co-workers. There’s always been great teamwork. It just feels different, and I’ve never wanted to work anywhere else.” 

Meet Kasey Wilson, oncology project manager for the LCRP. She’s worked here for six years starting out as an oncology patient navigator and then working as an oncology protocol nurse and infusion manager for Pembroke and Statesboro before becoming project manager about 15 months ago. In her current position, Kasey works on various strategic initiatives to help improve the overall quality of patient care at the LCRP. She played a role in the opening of our Advanced Thoracic Oncology Center. She’s worked on insurance verification processes and so much more, combining her clinical knowledge with project management.

“I would have never envisioned when I got my RN license years ago that I would now be doing this, but now I have my project management certification, and it’s really allowed me to grow professionally but still keep that clinical understanding. I am a full believer that God puts us where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there. I started off mostly in the hospice realm, and I thought that’s where I’d be for my career. After I had my daughter, the door opened to become a navigator at the LCRP. Every step of the way here God has put me where I needed to be. I enjoy the ability to be immersed in all the different areas of the oncology service line. In navigation, I had a little more of a silo. I worked with a specific subset of patients. Then moving to protocol and infusion, I was able to expand my knowledge in chemotherapy. Now, I’ve really been able to see the work flows from the front office end of things to billing, and I think it’s given me a really good appreciation of the diversity we have in the oncology service line.”

“Our mission of being so faith-driven is important to me. I think God puts us into this field and this mission for a reason. Our leadership team is just phenomenal at being able to recognize strengths and mentoring us as we go. I am so appreciative of the leadership team we have in oncology and their push to help us grow as we go.” 

Meet Kirstie Wooten, infusion registered nurse at our Statesboro Infusion Center. Kirstie has been with the Statesboro practice for three years, but has been a nurse for 28 years, of which more than 20 have been in infusion. She helps chemotherapy and hematology patients get the proper treatment they need, whether that’s via IV, injection or any other way a patient may receive treatment. Kirstie also orders supplies and medications and makes sure the center has whatever it needs to take care of patients.

“I love my patients. I love what I do. You got to care and be compassionate, especially in the cancer world. We try to be one big family here even though everybody’s got individual things going on. This has been something I’ve always wanted to do, even as a child. I have always loved nursing. Also, if I have a patient that needs an advocate, I am a true advocate for my patients. I don’t mind stepping on whoever’s toes to advocate for my patients. I enjoy doing that for our patients.”

“I like the Christian background that is the LCRP and St. Joseph’s/Candler. You can witness to patients. We have seen miracles here. When you see patients on a regular basis, they get to know you. You are a familiar face when they come here. They trust you. You get to trust each other.”

Meet Felicia Barreau, certified medical dosimetrist at the LCRP. Felicia has worked here for almost two years. Dosimetry is the science of measuring or calculating radiation exposure. As a dosimetrist, Felicia helps develop radiotherapy treatment plans for patients to calculate doses of radiation delivered to the cancer site while minimizing exposure to nearby organs and tissue. She works with fellow dosimetrists, physicists and radiation oncologists to develop each individual patient plan.

“I enjoy, No. 1, helping people. Cancer is extremely dear to me and close to me so I enjoy knowing that I’m making a difference in helping somebody’s longevity in life. I love that it’s like a complicated puzzle. Everybody is different. I love that about it. It’s not day-to-day the exact same task every day. Also, you’re dealing with a different patient each treatment plan so that’s another life that I’m trying to help save.”

“I also enjoy all of my colleagues and co-workers. I think we have a really good team here. We have a great dynamic and great relationship with ssone another. I love how it’s a fun place to work. There’s always some type of event or something going on. It’s a great place to work.” 

Meet Frances Carroll, radiation therapist who has worked for the health system and LCRP for 23 years. As a radiation therapist, Frances administers high dose radiation to patients with cancer. She makes sure patients are set up correctly and delivers the radiation prescribed by the radiation oncologist. Frances sees patients anywhere from one to eight weeks, which enables her to build relationships with her patients. Frances can work with patients on both our TrueBeam and CyberKnife radiation treatment modalities.

“I love the patients. I got into this field because my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer when I was 12. He always talked about his radiation therapist. After I graduated college, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, so I feel like God put me at the right place at the right time.”

“Our patients are very special. The best day of my career was when an advanced stage lung cancer patient came back on the 10th year anniversary of being cancer free to come to tell me he would not be here without me. It made me tear up because it was exciting that he thought to come to me 10 years later to thank me for saving his life.” 

Meet Ebony N. Thomas, new patient office coordinator with the LCRP-S.C. Cancer Specialists in Hilton Head and Bluffton. Ebony has worked at the Hilton Head office for four and a half years. She schedules new patients for Dr. Gary Thomas and the nurse practitioner for both the Hilton Head and Bluffton locations. She gets patient referrals via fax and occasionally email or phone call. She then gets all the paperwork in order, such as office notes, lab results, imaging results, pathology reports, to share with the doctor and nurse who tell her when to schedule the patient. Then, she calls the patient to set up their new patient visit and sends them new patient paperwork to have ready for that first visit.

“I do enjoy talking to the patients. We try to be as helpful to the patient as possible. I like to walk them through the process and help overcome any challenges or concerns they might have. I hate that I don’t really ever get to meet the patients, but occasionally I’ll get a call from downstairs that a patient wants to meet me. We have a lot of patients who would have to travel to Charleston or Jacksonville to have treatments, and many can’t travel anymore. Having someone locally who can help out, is big.”

“I love the support here. It’s not just one person doing something. It takes literally a team of people to get that one patient in to see the doctor to get the treatment they need. At St. Joseph’s/Candler, we have that support. We have others that step in if you are out or step in if you can’t get to it. There’s always somebody willing to help out.”

Meet Jordon Lee, a pharmacy tech for our oncology centers in Savannah and Hinesville. Jordon has worked for the LCRP for two years. Every morning starts out with a deep clean of anything hazardous and the mixing rooms. After that, it’s all about patient care. He’ll help prepare medication bags or mix drugs as patients come in for their treatment.

“I really enjoy the patients. Especially Hinesville being a smaller site, you get more intimate with your patients. I get to see them walk by, and I’ve already made friends with some of them. Living in Hinesville, I know many of their cousins or brothers. Our patients are really wonderful people. I’m a type 1 diabetic so I connect with them that way. They are hooked up to something. I’m hooked up to something. I understand that aspect of what they are going through. Having these outreach offices like the ones in Pembroke and Hinesville, even though we are a smaller site, we’ve already seen a lot of people come in, which is sad, but I’m also glad we are able to help. Not having anything there, leaves them with nothing or a long commute, and a lot of people, especially if they are older, don’t want to do it.”

“In my time so far at the LCRP, I’ve been mentored by so many influential people. I’ve talked to a lot of great physicians and other co-workers that have been wonderful to talk to. Even my first day, trying to find out where I was going for my interview, was humongous because I didn’t know where I was going and all the staff were wonderful and helpful. It’s been like that ever since.”

Meet Kathleen Lamaker, Lead Research Regulatory Coordinator at the LCRP. Kathleen has worked here for nine years and is an important part of the clinical trials team. She is responsible for opening all the oncology clinical trials by preparing and tracking all study related regulatory documents at the Lewis Cancer &  Research Pavilion in Savannah and all three of the oncology locations in South Carolina where trials are offered. She then maintains all the documentation and updates them as needed during the life of the trial. All the documentation that Kathleen prepares is reviewed by an Institution Review Board (IRB) prior to trial implementation.  Kathleen also prepares the Informed Consent Forms which are provided to patients who are eligible and agree to participate on clinical trials. She also helps ensure the physicians are up-to-date on credentialing and training.

“I love that it’s a very detailed oriented job. It’s evolved in a lot of different aspects from when I started. There have been a lot of changes in regulatory requirements and processing timeframes, and with the addition of the SJ/C Bluffton Campus and expansion of trial availability in Hilton Head, there is so much more information to keep up with. l really enjoy working with my manager, Alaina (Underberg). She is the best and she has worked so hard to advocate for our team. She has helped empower me in my role and work through challenges that we’ve encountered. I enjoy being part of the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System as a coworker, especially when there’s an opportunity to participate in some of the outreach and community events, such as Paint the Town Pink and the Bridge Run.”

Meet Victoria Diaz, office coordinator for surgical oncology at the LCRP. Victoria has worked here for more than six months and handles the referrals, imaging and appointments for the surgical patients of Dr. Leonard Henry and Dr. Yana Puckett. She is often the first line letting patients know the not-so-good-news they have cancer, but she says she tries to do it with a positive, comforting energy. She assures patients that the surgical oncology center is here for them and that they can call her with questions or concerns anytime.

“What I enjoy about my job is getting to know the patients and their story and background. I know it’s not the best time in their life, but it’s important to stay positive and encourage them that we’re going to get through this together. Once they are at the post-op appointment, that is the best time to see them because they are so happy. We had one patient who was so excited he booked a cruise the next week. I just love seeing those moments with patients.”

“I’ve only been here for a short amount of time, but I feel I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. Everyone is so friendly and nice. Everyone has a smile on their face, and everyone says good morning. Everyone here is so willing to help you. We all have our separate areas of practice, but we’re together for sure.”

Meet Kelsey Flippen-Johnson, radiation therapist at our St. Joseph’s/Candler Bluffton Campus. Kelsey has worked there for a year and assists patients who need radiation therapy. It begins by doing quality assurance testing on the equipment. She also helps with scheduling, including setting up imaging and simulation before the patient even begins treatment. She works with patients on a daily basis when they come in for treatment, which for some can be every day for weeks or even months at a time.

“I love my job. I am very blessed to be in this field. I feel privileged that I get to start my career here at St. Joseph’s/Candler. It’s such a warm environment here. I love the staff here. Every single one of them, down to the people at the front door. It’s a great place to work. I love that chance to build that relationship with my patients because we spend so much time with them. My favorite part is that I get to make it easier. It’s such a hard time what they are going through, and it’s scary what they are facing, and I get to help make it as some patients even say enjoyable. It’s not that the treatment is enjoyable, but we’re able to joke with them, make them smile or be a shoulder to cry on. I feel like I was called into this by God. I feel like God lead me to this field to bring hope to patients.”

“It’s been an incredible journey this year. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person not just as a radiation therapist in my time being here. It’s a huge honor and privilege to be able t work for St. Joseph’s/Candler and the radiation therapy industry. We have the best doctors. Just in my time as a student, I was able to travel and saw seven different facilities and sites and this by far is my favorite one. You don’t find a single person here who doesn’t give tremendous care to our patients.”

Meet Isabelle Puckett, oncology protocol nurse for our infusion centers in Pembroke and Statesboro. Isabelle has worked for St. Joseph’s/Candler for 24 years. Prior to this past year, she was the resource coordinator at Candler Hospital on the fourth floor, which is our oncology unit. She joined the LCRP a year ago to help cancer patients in an outpatient setting in our rural areas of Pembroke and Statesboro. She serves as the liaison between the patient and the physician, the pre-cert team, pharmacy and infusion nurses to ensure cohesive transition of treatment for the patient. She also does a daily check of chemotherapy regiments to ensure accurate and safe treatment and helps with any barriers the patient may experience.

“I’ve been with St. Joseph’s/Candler for 24 years because it’s a faith-based organization. I like that the Health System always stands by its patients and its employees. I’ve learned so much being here. Being a resource coordinator, I’ve seen a lot of chemotherapy regiments, and being here, I’ve learned even more about chemotherapy and now I’m a certified oncology nurse. I’ve learned so much and that helps me so I can better educate and help the patients. I think it’s great to have our infusion centers in Pembroke and Statesboro instead of going all the way into Savannah. For many, travel is an issue. For them, it’s been very good to have this institute here and be that much closer to home.”

“I work with a great team of nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, pharmacy, medical assistants, lab, schedulers and front desk co-workers at both the Pembroke and Statesboro offices. I also have a great manager who gave me this opportunity to work with this great team.”

Meet April McCollum, team lead and referral coordinator for radiation oncology at the LCRP. April has worked at the LCRP for almost 14 years. You probably remember her smiling face at the front desk where she spent more than 12 years working as a receptionist/office coordinator. Well she didn’t go anywhere but was promoted to a new position that handles all referrals, and she also is responsible for the front desk and medical records. As referral coordinator for four very busy doctors and two nurse practitioners, April handles all referrals that come in via phone, fax or verbally. She verifies patient insurance and makes sure the provider has every record, every image, every detail needed before the patient’s first visit.

“I enjoy my work. I enjoy the patients. Even though I have a new position, I still get phone calls every day of patients asking for me. When they come in, they want to know where I went, did I leave, so I’ll go up front and hug them and say hello. That makes me feel good because they remember the smiles, the conversations, the crying, the hugs, graduating from radiation and ringing that bell. I do miss sitting up front because I’m in the back corner now, but I really enjoy my job.”

“I also enjoy my co-workers. My boss is phenomenal; very understanding, as is my director. The doctors are great to work with. I really enjoy the health system as a whole. It’s non-discriminatory. We worship God. We pray. When I come to work I feel like I’m home. It’s home away from home. Even if it starts out as a bad day, when I drive into that parking lot, it’s a whole different mode. I tell people even when you are going through something, when you come to work, leave it in the car, leave it with God. We have those six values (Compassion, Quality, Integrity, Courtesy, Accountability and Team Work) ,and you follow them. It’s like, I’m home. I don’t have to work on glass. We can talk about God. We can pray. I wouldn’t take LCRP at St. Joseph’s/Candler for any job. I plan on retiring from here.” 

Meet Lizzy Norton, nurse practitioner at our SJ/C Gynecologic Oncology and Surgical Specialists practice. Lizzy works directly with patients to initiate and coordinate their chemotherapy, providing education to help her patients feel as comfortable as possible during their treatment. She makes sure patients get scheduled for their chemotherapy at the LCRP, have all necessary lab work done and provides direct treatment if the patient is having any issues. Her next biggest responsibility? Playing cheerleader.

“We meet patients on what could be the worst day of their life when they get a cancer diagnosis and hear the word chemo, and it’s really scary. Myself, Julie – our other nurse practitioner – and Dr. (Sarah) Gill, we are very easy to reach. If our patients need us to talk to them, if they are having a problem or if they just need a pep talk, we are here. I think being able to provide that kind of personalized care so they really feel like they are being taken care of and not just a number is one of the best things about our office.”

“I love these ladies so much. It’s wonderful to meet people and to talk to them about everything besides cancer. It’s so wonderful to make those connections and hear those stories and laugh with them and joke with them. It feels like a lot of times I’m visiting with friends during their appointments.”

Meet Rashaunda Head, chief radiation therapist at our Savannah radiation oncology location. Rashaunda has worked here for 10 years. Her main responsibility is to ensure all staff radiation therapists have the necessary tools and education to successfully treat each patient safely and accurately. She works on the patient and therapists’ schedules to ensure all our patients are moved through the process as efficiently as possible while being respectful of their time.

“I love being able to provide a positive experience for our patients while they are dealing with some of the most stressful and scary situations of their lives. I enjoy talking to patients about what they can expect during their treatments so they are comfortable and can anticipate what will happen as they move along through their treatment process. I am proud to be part of the LCRP team.”

Meet our LCRP medical physics team, (L-R) Joey Spring, Steven White and Caleb Price. They have a combined 42 years of experience as medical physicists. A medical physicist is responsible for the safe and accurate delivery of therapeutic doses of radiation. That includes a whole host of responsibilities such as overseeing the treatment planning process, calibrating radiotherapy equipment, performing patient specific quality assurance checks, proper care and storage of radioactive materials and ensuring that best practices are followed when it comes to radiation safety.

“Medical physicists have a unique combination of scientific and clinical education that makes them crucial to the delivery of quality radiation therapy. Having a qualified medical physics team improves patient outcomes and keeps the LCRP on the forefront of cancer research and therapy.”

“LCRP takes a team approach to treating our patients. The different areas of the department do not work in silos without sufficient communication. From physicians to therapists, everyone has a meaningful voice in developing and implementing the patient’s care path. This community approach creates a positive work environment, and in the end, ensures that the patient gets the best treatment possible.”

Meet Candra Murray, oncology infusion manager at our LCRP Jesup practice where we partner with Wayne Memorial Hospital. Candra, who is an oncology certified nurse (OCN), is responsible for working with the team to provide the best care to patients by offering the latest medications and treatment regimens and helping educate both patients and fellow nurses. She also helps the office staff with scheduling and other questions, putting out any “little fires” along the way to ensure patient care is the No. 1 priority.

“It means so much to me to be able to bring such expert care to our area. I was born and raised in Waycross and have family here and I also have friends that I grew up with that have become like family. Being able to give this care to them in our small rural community makes such a huge difference and impacts not just the quantity of their life, but more importantly, the quality of their life and even their loved ones. It’s truly an honor to get to be part of bringing ‘big city’ medicine to small rural towns like Jesup and Waycross.”

“I have been a nurse for almost nine years and oncology has been the only area I have worked. If you would have asked me 10 years ago, I would have told you that I could never work around cancer. That word holds such negativity in the world. But the patients are the reason I love my job. Cancer patients are so resilient and courageous. They allow me to slow down, step back and take a look at the true meaning of life. Some days it’s natural to rather be somewhere besides work, but then I come in and am greeted by a patient who is just happy to be able to have another day at life and living. It’s humbling and so very rewarding, the feeling of helping each patient have another day to fight and have an opportunity at life.”


Meet Deborah Smith, housekeeper at the LCRP. Deborah has worked at the LCRP for six years and before that spent 16 years in the transport department at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She is responsible for making sure the LCRP building is clean and as germ-free as possible, a very important role for our patients and staff to stay safe.

“I love my job. I love to meet new people. These patients have good days and bad days, and they just need someone to talk to, so I’ll talk to them and hopefully help brighten their day. I know they go through a lot, and they want to see a bright, smiling face. They don’t need anyone huffing and puffing around them. So it’s important to show them kindness because they are going through so much.”

“I also love my coworkers. They are very respectful. They help out. I just love them to death, and they love me too. It feels good when someone appreciates you and tells you that you are doing a good job and thanks you. It means a lot to me. I always tell them thanks for caring and that I appreciate them too.”

Meet Marietta Brown who is the office coordinator and medical assistant at the LCRP’s Hinesville office where we partner with Liberty Regional Medical Center. Marietta has worked in a variety of roles for the LCRP for the last eight years but has really found her home at our Hinesville office. She is often the first and last face patients see, making sure they have everything they need for their appointment. She helps with medical records, insurance and copays, as well as handling incoming and outgoing referrals. She also makes sure the office and staff have everything they need to do their jobs.

“What I love about the job is being here to help our patients as much as we can. They are sometimes afraid, being referred to an oncology center. We explain to them why they are being seen. You have to show compassion so they won’t be scared. You try to be friendly and speak positive in any situation.”

“I’m so grateful we are here in Hinesville. A lot of patients don’t have transportation to travel to Savannah or Brunswick. I’m so happy we are here to assist the public and their needs in Hinesville and the little surrounding areas in Liberty County. It’s such a blessing to me to be here to help cancer patients. We see them every week – Mondays or Fridays for lab work and then on Wednesday and Thursday for treatment. You really get to know them. It’s like a family here.”

Meet Tiffany Harkleroad, medical oncology/hematology nurse practitioner at our LCRP Waycross practice where we partner with Wayne Memorial Hospital. Tiffany is AOCNP credentialed (Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner). As the nurse practitioner in the office for the last three years, Tiffany sees all patients with cancer and blood disorders. Her four key responsibilities are to assess, discuss, educate and manage. She also works in collaboration with other specialties whether its pathology, radiation or surgery. 

“Hands down what I love about my job is the patient connection, particularly since we’re in a small community. We get attached. I see them at ball games, community events or a friend’s birthday party. They know that you care, and that in turn develops a level of trust that is vital within this field. The connections I have been blessed with within the oncology network have also been gratifying. I often am reminded that working in oncology can be very challenging. In hindsight, it can be so rewarding as well. Our patients are living longer, fuller lives with the help of new treatment options. The advancements we’ve made in the last 15 to 20 years is amazing. Being able to help a patient with a terminal illness make it to their daughter’s graduation or grandson’s next birthday brings such joy to us.”

“These patients treat you like their own family. They make us feel as special as we try to make them feel. I am excited to help bring more advanced treatment and testing options to the Waycross area. For so long, patients had to travel so far to get quality oncology care. While we still may send out to a tertiary center for services we just can’t do here, it’s still exciting to be able to continue to work collaboratively with the patient and the other providers so that they may receive as much care closer to home with only a few trips elsewhere, if at all. To say I’m ecstatic to be a part of bringing other advancements and treatment possibilities to this community is an understatement.”

Meet Allen Chau, a radiation therapist in the radiation therapy department at our Savannah LCRP site. Allen has worked here for more than 11 years. He and his teammates are the ones who administer high dose radiation to the target site to treat cancer, or in some cases, help relieve pain. Allen works on both the CyberKnife® and TrueBeam machines.

“The best part of my job is I get to interact with the patients. I get to joke around with them. Radiation therapy is not a one and done thing. Our patients come to us repeatedly until they are all done with their treatments. We see them multiple times throughout the week, sometimes up to eight weeks of treatment. You build a relationship with them. You bond with them. I think our cancer patients are the most optimistic patients. We do get good results from radiation treatments, and I feel like the cancer patients have the best attitude towards life in general.”

“I was born and raised in Savannah. I was actually born right across the street at Candler Hospital. I graduated from Windsor Forest High School and then went to Armstrong for their radiation therapy program. This is home. This is a great place to work.”

Meet Alaina Underberg, Regulatory & Compliance Manager and the Georgia NCORP CCDR & Symptom Science Coordinator. Alaina works directly with our robust clinical trial program, ensuring that we are following all regulations and practices. She makes sure our patients have access to safe and needed clinical trials – throughout the entire state of Georgia with our partnership with Ga. NCORP. She also ensures patient cases are being followed closely and any updates made to currently open trials are properly handled. She makes sure all LCRP staff that work with patients on clinical trials are credentialed.

“I love this organization. After grad school, this was the first job I held working at the LCRP, and I’ve made my way up through promotions because I don’t want to leave. I like working here. I like what we do for our community, and how it’s a small, faith-based institution. I think all of us at the LCRP have a No. 1 goal to be very focused on making sure our patients have the best care. We might be small, but we are mighty. We say our clinical research team is very small, but we are a strong team.”

“I also like being able to work with the doctors. We have a great relationship, and we meet on a regular basis for things they need to sign off on. I am not patient facing, but I still have a good relationship behind the scenes. I do like being able to provide clinical trials to our patients. For some patients, a clinical trial may be their last hope or a better treatment option. It’s a patient benefit that I like most, but I do like being behind the scenes.”

Meet Tallie Wells, an infusion nurse with our LCRP Hinesville practice where we partner with Liberty Regional Medical Center to bring cancer care to the Liberty County region. Tallie, who was born and raised in Hinesville, works directly with patients who need chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other treatments. She helps patients with nutritional needs and symptom management. Tallie also does a lot of patient education.

“I love the fact that I can represent the LCRP in Hinesville because I was born and raised in Hinesville. My dad’s family has been here for generations. I have taken care of patients that I have known my entire life. This community means a lot to me. These are my roots and to be able to give cancer care in this more rural area versus Savannah or other bigger towns, it’s incredible. It means a lot to me. I am very blessed to be able to represent the LCRP in my little community.”

“I love this job; love it. The patients are the best. In my nursing career so far, oncology patients are the most humble. They are the sweetest. They make the job worth it. Then my coworkers – I have never had such a strong coworker family before. That helps the work environment tremendously. When most people dread on Sunday going to work on Monday, I don’t. It’s a great feeling.”


Meet Cementhia Bennett. She’s a new face to the LCRP but most often the first face you see entering the building. Cementhia is a guest service agent who’s been here for three months. It’s her job to greet patients and make sure they know where to go. You’ll often see her assisting a patient get in a wheelchair or walking them to the right office for their appointment.

“I’m the first face they see and sometimes the last face they see, and I want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. I try to smile and joke around and give them encouragement because you don’t know what type of night they had before they came here. This is a different type of customer service. I love it. I look forward to coming to work every day. I believe everyone, from the patients to my coworkers, deserves respect and a positive attitude. In the end, I want to make sure the patients remember me.”

“I have met some really nice people from the patients, their guests and my coworkers. They help my day go by smoothly because I can go to them and ask them questions, especially with me being new.”

Meet Debbie Christian, facilities manager for the LCRP. Debbie has worked for St. Joseph’s/Candler for 25 years and helped open the doors of the LCRP 16 years ago, where she remains today. As facilities manager, Debbie wears many hats, including making sure the inside and outside of the building appear properly, making sure equipment and amenities are working correctly and overseeing construction projects. She also helps order furniture and helps oversee other LCRP locations such as Bluffton and Pembroke.

“My customers are our patients and our coworkers. If you have a light out, you call me. If you have a leak, you call me. If you are hot or cold, you call me. The mother hen, I call myself because it’s my job to make sure our coworkers are able to work in an environment that is comfortable to them, as well as our patients. We as employees donate to this place, the community donates, the patients donate to this place – they deserve a beautifully, well-kept building when they come here. We owe it to the patients, visitors and coworkers to provide a beautiful, efficiently run cancer center, and it’s my job to make it happen.”

“I just love being able to help people. I love feeling needed and depended on. Even though I’m not directly in patient care, the patients are here regularly. I meet them in the elevators or sitting in the lobby. We become friends. I’ve made some very good friends throughout my 16 years we’ve been in this building that were patients. Another thing that makes me proud working here is the way our coworkers treat patients. Every patient that I encounter brags about how well they were taken care of. I never hear any complaints, even when I’m out in the community. It makes you proud when you know your coworkers are doing the right thing.”

Meet Christina Morales, who’s worked here for 18 years. Christina is the radiation oncology manager for the Bluffton and Hilton Head radiation oncology offices. She addresses the needs of both coworkers and patients, making sure both have the right resources. She also is the liaison between management in Savannah and South Carolina.

“I love our team, from upper management to everybody below them. I feel like we’ve grown up together. A lot of us have been here a while, but even the newcomers, we all just jump in there to get the job done. Out here on the South Carolina side, we are a small team compared to the main office so that last part of our job description says I’ll do whatever is needed. I love that about our team.”

“A lot of our patients from this area are from up North, and I’m originally from New Jersey. I love making that connection with patients. I’ll be in the office and hear that accent and come talk to them, find out where they are from, and usually they are not too far from where I grew up. It’s making that connection. When people move to this community, a lot of them are retirement age. Cancer wasn’t something on their bucket list. I love being there for them and helping them through their journey and cheering them on whenever they come into our building.”


Meet Debbie Pinckney, office manager for the St. Joseph’s/Candler and Summit Cancer Care partnership. Debbie has been with the Health System for seven years. In her current role, Debbie is responsible for patient care. You can often find her greeting patients, asking if they need water or simply offering them a piece of candy. She is also responsible for day-to-day operations of the staff and providers and making sure schedules are aligned.

“I like to say I’m Ms. Customer Service, and I love it. I really enjoy what I do. We are working with different patients with different illnesses, and we have to be there for them. I offer to pray with them if they want to pray. I make sure I put little candies out in the lobby for them. We want to offer them the best care. Knowing our mission starts with ‘Rooted in God’s love’, as a Christian, it makes me feel like I’m doing the work of God.”

“I also enjoy working with our providers and staff. You really get to know them and become personable with them. We are like a family. The providers have a very important job, but it’s not that their job is way more important. We are a team.”

Meet Jacob South, manager of genetic counseling services at the LCRP. Jacob has worked as a genetic counselor here for 11 years. He meets with patients on a daily basis to discuss their medical history and family history to determine if genetic testing is right for them. A genetic test is conducted through a blood draw or saliva collection. Jacob then helps patients understand the results and next steps.

“I enjoy that I get to help people and that it’s one-on-one with our patients. I also enjoy the feedback that I get from patients. Many of the patients that I see it’s their first time seeing a genetic counselor and for most of them it’s their first time even being seen at a cancer center. It’s nice knowing this service is a niche of patient care that not many do and patients tend to find it really helpful. I enjoy the fact and appreciate that we have all these services to take care of our patients.”

Meet Susan Gunby, financial navigator at the LCRP. She’s worked in that role for us for 13 years. She helps cancer patients navigate their insurance, understand their bills, helps find financial assistance, helps find free medications or assistance with medication co-pays and new insurance enrollment, just to name a few things she does.

“I introduce myself as part of our care team, and we wrap our arms around them and take care of them at every avenue that we possibly can. No matter what obstacles are in the way, I’m here and we’ll figure it out together. It makes the patient feel like they have someone there for them. We pride ourselves on offering this service. I have a passion for what I do. I love finding assistance for patients and navigating them through changes. I think meeting one-on-one is a benefit. When you talk face to face to that patient, you have a connection. They trust you. It becomes a bond, that you are part of their care team. I love helping our patients and giving them the information that they need.”

Meet Melanie Collum, the officer manager for the St. Joseph’s/Candler – South Carolina Cancer Specialists oncology practice in Bluffton. She’s worked there for eight years and is responsible for patient care and oversees the daily operations from patient scheduling to staff scheduling and more.

“What I enjoy about my job is being able to provide quality, excellent patient care. Even the scheduling part, the least we can do for our patients is make sure everything is scheduled appropriately and in a timely manner. I think that’s very important to help alleviate the stress of whatever our patients are going through. It may be a little thing, just a schedule, but it means a lot to them.”

“What I enjoy about working here is meeting other coworkers and becoming friends with them. I am originally from the Philippines and most of my family is not here. My coworkers may not realize it, but they’ve become like a second family to me. I also love our Mission, Vision and Core values which is ‘Rooted in God’s love, we treat illness and promote wellness for all people.’ Being able to be a form of support to our patients, providers and staff is what I value the most. My time and compassion are the most valuable thing I can give to anyone.”

Nancy N. and J.C.
Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion
225 Candler Dr.,
Savannah, GA 31405

St. Joseph's Hospital Campus 
11705 Mercy Blvd.,
Savannah, GA 31419

Candler Hospital Campus 
5353 Reynolds St.,
Savannah, GA 31405