"Thorough, kind, up-to-date, committed, technically excellent"
Specialty: Radiation Oncologist
A radiation oncologist is a specialized cancer doctor who administers the controlled use of radiation therapy to fight and cure cancer. Radiation therapy is a highly effective tool in treating a broad range of cancers, especially in conjunction with other treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy. A radiation oncologist is a key member of a multi-disciplinary cancer team.
Dr. Kendra M. Harris MD is a radiation oncologist in New Orleans, LA with over 12 years of experience. Dr. Harris graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2008. She is licensed to practice by the state board in Louisiana.
Dr. Dang is a New Orleans native who attended Tulane University for undergraduate study double majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Asian Studies. She completed the last year of her Asian Studies program at the University of Singapore. Dr. Dang returned to Tulane University to earn her Doctorate in Medicine.
She authored and co-authored multiple research publications in high-impact journals.
Dr. Chen is the lead medical physicist in the department of radiation oncology at Tulane Cancer Center. He earned his doctor degree in physics from the University of Arizona. He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. As a medical physicist, his role is to ensure the safety and accuracy of the radiation treatment for our patients. He is interested in all types of radiation treatment techniques, especially stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). SRS treatments include high dose per fraction to a very small target, and Dr. Chen's focus is on highly conformal planning and highly accurate delivery methodology.
Virginia Bubenzer CMD, MPH is a board certified medical dosimetrist, practicing for over 16 years, 12 of them in Tulane’s Radiation Oncology Department. After completing M.D. Anderson’s program in Radiation Therapy, Virginia then received her Master’s of Public Health in Health Systems Management from Tulane School of Public Health in 2001. Returning to Houston, she completed the medical dosimetry program at U.T.M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2004. Virginia also has a Certificate of Clinical Research granted by Tulane School of Medicine.
As a senior medical dosimetrist, Virginia works with the Radiation Oncologists and the Medical Physics team to design treatment plans for our patients. Treatment techniques employed during the planning process include image fusion, 3 dimensional planning, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Radiation Therapy (VMAT), Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT), and Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS). Medical dosimetrists are also involved in the development of customized treatment devices.
What is the Role of a Medical Dosimetrist?
The medical dosimetrist is a member of the radiation oncology team working in collaboration with the medical physicist and radiation oncologist. Through knowledge of radiation oncology treatment machines and equipment and application of principles of physics, anatomy and radiobiology, the dosimetrist generates life-saving radiation therapy treatment plans.
Shawna Blackmore, Financial Counselor, assists patients with insurance and patient funding options. Shawna began her start with Tulane in 2017 and became a financial counselor in 2018. Cancer is one of the most expensive diseases and is constantly rising in healthcare costs. As a financial counselor, Shawna advises patients of their co-pays and provides a meaningful estimate of patients’ financial responsibility during their care at Tulane Cancer Center. She also applies for funding assistance for oral medications based on availability of funding and diagnosis. Shawna has received over $100k in funding assistance since her journey here in the Cancer Center. Her knowledge of finance offers patient support, understanding, and relief about the medical bills they have or will receive.
Originator of the Nutrition Services Program at Tulane
Young Dietitian of the Year by the Louisiana Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
Melissa Barrois, LMSW is a master’s level social worker. Melissa provides free services to patients from diagnosis through treatment. Services include education, advocacy, discharge planning, case management, as well as, referrals to community and national resources such as financial and medication assistance and transportation. The services are designed to maximize the patient's utilization of the health care system. Melissa acts as a liaison with the healthcare team and provides for the psychological, social, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of patients and their caregivers.
Michelle Fields joined the New Orleans community in June of 2017 and the Cancer Survivor community in 2019. In late 2018, she received a breast cancer diagnosis and quickly had to learn to navigate all that entails of a cancer diagnosis. As a Tulane Cancer Center patient alumni, Michelle's day-to-day patient interactions left a lasting impression on her. She saw the struggles that impact most of Tulane Cancer Center patient population - patients forced to make decisions between treatment and basic human needs. Those interactions became a part of her cancer story, which drives her purpose- to eliminate hurdles for cancer patients; these hurdles shouldn't determine a cancer patient's outcome.
Before becoming a member of the New Orleans community, Michelle was a member of the Sacramento Ca., where she spent a considerable amount of time volunteering for various organizations, sitting on committees, fundraising, and event planning.