Christopher Chan, MD

Whether it’s nausea from chemotherapy or symptoms of a pre-existing condition, treating cancer patients usually means more than ridding them of tumors.

Patients often face other health issues – some related, some not – including sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, infection, nausea, inflammation and pain.

That’s where Dr. Christopher Chan comes in.

A board-certified family practitioner, Chris works with our medical oncologists and other providers to help patients deal with side effects, medical issues associated with treatment, and other primary care needs that may arise. He also participates in the on-call schedule and care management of the clinic’s hospitalized patients at Swedish Medical Center.

All too often, there is a gap between treating cancer and addressing other health needs. This gap gets even wider when patients don’t have a primary care physician or when so-called routine care is deferred during cancer treatment.

Chris – who is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin – was added to our integrative team in 2007 to close any gaps and to ensure that care is well coordinated. He is here to consult with and complement, rather than replace, any existing primary care relationship patients might have.

A graduate of the University of Alberta at Edmonton, Chris brings more than ten years of primary care and care-management experience to Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. Before coming here, he worked at Pacific Medical Clinic in Kirkland and often personally referred patients to us.

“This is a very comprehensive approach,” says Chris of the clinic’s integrative and patient-centered philosophy. “Everybody is different in how they respond to treatment. I provide patients with information and lay out options so they can choose the treatments that are right for them and participate in their own care.”

Michelle Brown, MSN, RN, Nurse Practitioner

Michele Brown does a lot of explaining in her job. She helps patients manage the side effects of their chemotherapy, charts and updates them on their progress, points them to needed resources and makes sure their clinic visits go smoothly.

“I’m a liaison between the patient and the oncologist,” she says. “My role is to explain what’s going on, to help them understand.”

But while patients learn from her, she’s also learning from them.

“They’ve taught me a lot,” says Michele, who started working at the clinic in September 2007. “They are some of the most positive, optimistic and resilient people I’ve ever met. And they’re all very proactive in their health care, so it ends up being a very collaborative experience.”

A former research technician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Michele has pursued an interest in oncology since 1998. She received her Registered Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing from Seattle University in 2007.

What drew her to the clinic, she says, was its integrated approach to cancer treatment.

“When each patient experiences the disease and side effects differently, you can’t apply any one treatment,” she says. “The ability to work with naturopathic oncologists, acupuncturists and social workers allows me to give the patient the most expert and complete care and information possible. It’s wonderful to be able to talk to other practitioners that same day. We can both provide our best from our backgrounds.”

Lisa So, BS, Certified Physician Assistant

Lisa So feels right at home with the integration of Eastern and Western medicine at Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center.

“I grew up in a house where I was surrounded by Chinese herbs,” Lisa says of the mixtures her mother would brew into medicinal teas.

“I feel like my mother played a major role in my career choice,” Lisa adds. “She was always interested in medicine and healing and would ask endless questions of her doctors.”

Now it’s Lisa’s job to answer questions. As a certified physician assistant, she “bridges the gap” between patients and their oncologists, particularly when it comes to managing the side effects of chemotherapy.

“I’m always here for questions and open to patients who may just want to talk,” she says.

Lisa received a Bachelor of Science degree in cell and molecular biology at the University of Michigan in 2004 and her physician assistant certification from Cornell University Weill Medical College in New York in 2007.

Hired at the clinic in 2007, she feels fortunate to work with other practitioners who are “open-minded” about medicine— both Eastern and Western—and who treat people not just the disease.

“We treat patients here as if they were members of our own family,” she says.

Stacie Beam-Bruce, MSW, Patient Navigator

Cancer is stressful enough without the headaches of sorting through an often overwhelming health-care process.

As her title implies, Stacie Beam-Bruce is a guide. But unlike patient navigators at large hospitals, Stacie doesn’t just meet with new patients, link them with services, and then move on.

She follows patients through the entire course of their care at Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center.

“My job, in essence, is to make sure their needs are being met,” she says. “They can throw any questions they have my way. If I don’t know the answer, I will find it. I am their advocate.”

Before she was hired for this position in 2006, Stacie interned with the clinic’s Mind-Body Medicine Department, offering supportive counseling to patients and their families.

Her experience includes many years as a volunteer for Wellness House in Yakima, helping people facing cancer and other life threatening illnesses. She also interned at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital as a discharge planner in the intensive care and oncology units.

Stacie earned her Master in Social Work degree from Eastern Washington University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental toxicology from Western Washington University.

She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Association of Oncology Social Workers. She serves as the continuing education chair for the Puget Sound Oncology Social Work Network.

“The journey through a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly complex on so many levels,” she says. “I am blessed to be in a position to offer compassion and understanding as I help people navigate through the process. For me, an integrated approach to wellness is essential; my contribution to this approach is making sure the core needs of people are being met so they can focus on their healing.”