October 28 - November 18, 2021

We want to make life after cancer easier

Join 50+ cancer survivors, newly diagnosed patients and caregivers for 3 weeks of virtual support beginning October 28!

Wherever you want to be after a cancer diagnosis, we can help you get there faster.

Cancer patients and survivors often tell us that life outside an oncology office can feel overwhelming, isolating and sometimes depressing. Most don’t realize there’s a community ready and willing to help! 

That’s why the Texas Oncology Foundation created the Virtual Experience. With in-person cancer support limited, we’re bringing the very best survivorship experts, topics and resources directly to you!

Beginning October 28 – November 18, any current or former cancer patient, survivor or caregiver can get access to 3 weeks of exclusive, online support and resources that will include:

  • 3 Weekly Webinars Featuring Q&A Sessions With Medical and Psychological Oncology Experts
  • 11 Workshops Featuring Topics Spanning Nutrition To Writing To Survivor-Focused Workouts
  • 6 Virtual Support Group Meetings Led By Licensed Oncology Social Workers
  • A Supportive Cancer Community & Alumni Network
  • Live Kickoff & Closing Celebrations
  • & Much, Much More!

All sessions will be hosted live on Zoom and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. All sessions will be recorded for attendees to stream on-demand from a phone, laptop or computer.

Click below to register for the next experience beginning October 28, 2021!

Play Video

Virtual Experience alumnus McKinney B. shared how this community gave him the answers he was searching for.

Play Video

Judith M. shared why she has signed up for the Virtual Experience numerous times.

Sponsored by

Weekly, live Q&A webinars featuring licensed oncology experts

Week 1

Currents & Cross-Currents: Spirituality & Mental Health in the Cancer Community

We know cancer takes not only a physical but a mental toll on us. Through an open dialogue with survivors and caregivers, our speakers will help us explore the concept of spirituality, especially as it relates to the uniqueness of cancer journeys. This session will also include methods and tools for defining individual mental health and spirituality goals.

David Zuniga, PhD, MDIV, MA

Katie Ozuna, LMSW, OSW-C, OPN-CG

Week 2

Late & Long-Term Effects of Treatment

This medical panel will engage in a moderated discussion about the late & long-term effects many patients face after a cancer treatment. The dynamic panel is made up of a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist and a social worker with palliative care experience in order to provide a fuller view of the treatment process and its after effects.

Stephanie Broadnax Broussard, MSSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C

Susan Escudier, MD, FACP

L. Andy Chen, MD, PhD

Week 3

Release the Brake!

A high energy talk that will inspire you to stop letting cancer hold you hostage. Through mixed media storytelling, Tamika connects with audience members to remind them to live life beyond cancer.

Tamika Felder, Cancer Survivor & Chief Visionary at Cervivor

About The Experts

Susan Escudier, MD, FACP
Vice President, Value-Based Care and Quality Programs, Texas Oncology

Susan Escudier, MD, FACP, serves as vice president, value based care and quality programs for Texas Oncology. She also serves as regional medical director for Texas Oncology’s Gulf Coast region.  Dr. Escudier joined Texas Oncology in 1994 and practices at Texas Oncology–Houston Medical Center. Since she joined Texas Oncology, Dr. Escudier has served on the board of directors and numerous committees, including the practice’s medical oncology quality committee.  Dr. Escudier serves as a member of the Houston Komen Foundation medical advisory board. She is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and previously served as assistant professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where she was involved in leukemia research.

Tamika Felder
Cancer Survivor & Chief Visionary at Cervivor

Cancer survivor and award-winning women’s health advocate Tamika Felder is the Chief Visionary at Cervivor – a nonprofit dedicated to cervical cancer advocacy and support. Named a “Cancer Rebel” by Newsweek in a 2017 cover story, Tamika is a highly sought-after speaker on cervical cancer advocacy, cancer prevention, HPV education, and living life with purpose after cancer. She is the author of “Seriously, What Are You Waiting For? 13 Actions To Ignite Your Life & Achieve The Ultimate Comeback.” Tamika currently serves on the steering committee of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable. She’s shared her story and experiences on Presidential Cancer Panels convened by the White House. An award-winning television producer, Tamika is currently filming a documentary about cervical cancer, the women living with it, and the vaccine to prevent it. Her story of patient-to-advocate / survivor-to-Cervivor inspires and mentors not only patients and medical communities, but anyone who has struggled with obstacles in their life. Learn more about Tamika’s work at Cervivor.org and TamikaFelder.com.

L. Andy Chen, MD, PhD
Radiation Oncologist, Texas Oncology

L. Andy Chen, MD, PhD, specializes in radiation oncology at Texas Oncology – Sugar Land and Beaumont. He earned his medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas Medical Branch. He then completed a residency in radiation oncology at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital and LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, serving as chief resident. Dr. Chen is a member of the American Brachytherapy Society, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Texas Medical Association. He has particular interests in breast, gynecologic, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal cancers. Outside of work, Dr. Chen enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family.

David Zuniga, PhD, MDIV, MA
Licensed Psychologist
David Zuniga, PhD, MDIV, MA, is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Austin, Texas. Previously, he was a faculty member in the Integrative Medicine Department at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Previously he earned a master’s degree in comparative religion from Harvard and worked as a healthcare chaplain for over a decade. He also holds a master’s degree in English literature, has published widely and spoken internationally at leading academic conferences on many dimensions of wellness and healthcare.
Stephanie Broadnax Broussard, MSSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C
Director of Palliative Care and Social Work, Texas Oncology

Stephanie Broadnax Broussard, MSSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C, is the Director of Palliative Care and Social Work at Texas Oncology and is a member of a Private Practice in Fort Worth, TX LCS Counseling and Consulting Agency. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker (ACHP-SW). Stephanie is also a Certified Advanced Care Planning Facilitator and Trainer and enjoys educating the community and other clinicians on the importance of communication and having difficult conversations with patients. Her passion for helping others navigate the complexities of life, lead her to Palliative Care where she specializes in helping patients and their families cope with illnesses and life transitions.

Katie Ozuna, LMSW, OSW-C, OPN-CG
Licensed Oncology Social Worker and Patient Navigator

Katie Ozuna, LMSW, OSW-C, OPN-CG, is a licensed oncology social worker and patient navigator with over 10 years of experience. Following her husband’s cancer treatment, Katie dedicated her life to improving the cancer experience for all those impacted by a cancer diagnosis. She worked for a large 14-hospital healthcare system in Dallas/Fort Worth, implementing behavioral health research, developing psychosocial programming, and facilitating individual/group counseling. In addition, she’s traveled throughout the country as a motivational speaker for cancer patients and caregivers. Most recently Katie opened her own business, providing cognitive-behavioral and empowerment driven coaching. You can learn more at katieozuna.com

What previous attendees are saying

Melt away stress or find a creative outlet with cancer-focused workshops

Yoga (For Cancer Survivors)

Capital of Texas Team Survivor coordinating with Art Beat Dance Center to provide this Yoga workshop! This Gentle Hatha Yoga class will focus on reducing stress and a ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ full body stretch. It would be helpful to have a yoga block or large book, a blanket or pillow, and a yoga strap or towel for class!

Brenna Kuhn

Owner/Director
Art Beat Dance Center, Cedar Park, TX

Brenna Kuhn is the Owner/Director of Art Beat Dance Center in Cedar Park, TX and the Board President of The Art Beat Foundation. She is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher with the National Yoga Alliance and the Director of the Austin Tap Ensemble. She’s an anatomy nerd and a student of tap dance history. She is passionate about spreading dance, music, rhythm, and community wherever she goes. She also loves her husband and her dog Lily.

Journaling

During the journaling workshop, participants will learn about the healing benefits of expressive writing, receive the information needed to develop their own journaling and creative writing practices, and engage in writing and sharing (if desired). Through common journaling topics, patients, survivors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals will reflect on their individual experiences, while gaining an understanding of the experiences of others.

Melissa Hudler, PhD

Professor of Writing and Literature, Lamar University, Beaumont, TX

Melissa Hudler, PhD, is a professor of writing and literature at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a member of the Editorial Board for Survive and Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine. She completed her PhD in Renaissance Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, during which time she developed an interest in the Medical and Health Humanities. To pursue this interest, she created and teaches literature courses focusing on illness and trauma narratives and the Ethics of Care. This research and teaching interest, combined with her personal interest in journaling and creative writing, inspired Melissa to start a local journaling group for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to promote healing and well-being through personal expression. Topics from the journaling group can be found on her website: www.nurtureyournarrative.com

Process of Elimination (Interactive Nutrition Discussion)

Oncology dietitians Nicole Hodac and Morgan Mendenhall have teamed up to
bring you an interactive nutrition session around how our bowels move and what your gut might be telling you.

Nicole Hodac, MS, RDN, CSO, LD

Board Certified Oncology Dietitian, Texas Oncology–Central Region

Nicole Hodac, MS, RDN, CSO, LD, is board certified oncology dietitian with Texas Oncology–Central Region. With over ten years of clinical experience, Nicole has been able to support patients with cancer in the maintenance and improvement of their overall well-being through nutrition education and counseling.  She serves as a patient advocate on the medical oncology team developing healthful eating plans for the reduction of disease risk and progression to healthier lifestyles.  She often works with the patient and caregiver to dispel common nutrition myths and find the right nutrition strategy for patients to maintain weight, recover strength, or mitigate treatment side effects. Nicole continues to be an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Oncology Nutrition dietetic practice group.

Morgan Mendenhall, RDN, LD

Registered/Licensed Dietitian
Texas Oncology at Sammons Cancer Center

Morgan Mendenhall, RDN, LD, has been a registered/licensed dietitian for over 3 years. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Oklahoma where she also completed a dietetic internship. Morgan moved to Texas in 2017 and started out working in the acute care setting in a hospital; primarily with oncology patients, patients with GI disease, and patients in the critical care units. She has been with Texas Oncology at the Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas since Fall of 2020. Morgan spends most of her free time in the kitchen; in typical dietitian fashion!

Nutrition to Digest (Cooking Demo)

Join our dietitians in the kitchen! As an extension of the first nutrition
workshop “Process of Elimination” they will be hosting this cooking demo
session to share recipes and kitchen organization to encourage inclusion of
gut-friendly foods.

Morgan Mendenhall, RDN, LD

Registered/Licensed Dietitian
Texas Oncology at Sammons Cancer Center

Morgan Mendenhall, RDN, LD, has been a registered/licensed dietitian for over 3 years. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Oklahoma where she also completed a dietetic internship. Morgan moved to Texas in 2017 and started out working in the acute care setting in a hospital; primarily with oncology patients, patients with GI disease, and patients in the critical care units. She has been with Texas Oncology at the Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas since Fall of 2020. Morgan spends most of her free time in the kitchen; in typical dietitian fashion!

Nicole Hodac, MS, RDN, CSO, LD

Board Certified Oncology Dietitian, Texas Oncology–Central Region

Nicole Hodac, MS, RDN, CSO, LD, is board certified oncology dietitian with Texas Oncology–Central Region. With over ten years of clinical experience, Nicole has been able to support patients with cancer in the maintenance and improvement of their overall well-being through nutrition education and counseling.  She serves as a patient advocate on the medical oncology team developing healthful eating plans for the reduction of disease risk and progression to healthier lifestyles.  She often works with the patient and caregiver to dispel common nutrition myths and find the right nutrition strategy for patients to maintain weight, recover strength, or mitigate treatment side effects. Nicole continues to be an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Oncology Nutrition dietetic practice group.

Tabata HIIT

Tabata HIIT is a cardio and strength workout that aims to yield the most benefits in a short amount of time. Specifically, it is a four-minute workout cycle consisting of eight rounds of 20 seconds of work at maximum effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The class is a total of 8 cycles and 64 rounds. The class also includes a warm-up and a cool down. ALL FITNESS LEVELS ARE WELCOME. What you need: Bring a positive mindset – we are going to have a great time! Please have water, a towel, a steady chair, lightweights (3, 5 or 8 pounds) or anything equivalent to that weight.

Patti Murillo-Casa, CWC, CPT, GFI

Certified Wellness Coach & Personal Trainer

Patti Murillo-Casa, CWC, CPT, GFI, is a retired NYC Police Officer, and a 12-year cervical cancer survivor. She is a Certified Wellness Coach, a Transformation Specialist, a Certified Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor specialized in several modalities. Patti has more than seven years of health and wellness experience. Before becoming a fitness instructor, Patti lost 113 pounds with a balanced diet and exercise. She is a women’s health advocate and educator. She resides in NYC with her husband of 22 years. For more from Patti visit her website pattimurillocasa.com

Meet others who understand what you're going through at a virtual support group

Play Video

Oncology social worker Debbi Newton, LCSW, OSW-C outlined what an online support group is like and the impact it has on attendees.

Play Video

Virtual Experience alumnus McKinney B. discussed the new opportunities and perspectives he gained from others.

Play Video

Virtual Experience alumnus Judith M. shared what she enjoyed most about the support group and how it has continued on.

Morning Support

Thursdays
November 4, 11, 18
11:30am – 1pm

Emily Pearcy, MSSW, LCSW

Texas Oncology

Emily Pearcy, MSSW, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with extensive experience providing psychosocial oncology and hematology care. Since 2003, Emily has provided supportive care services in both pediatric and adult outpatient oncology settings, as well as through a non-profit organization. She has facilitated numerous support groups and workshops on cancer coping, survivorship, caregiving, and grief & loss. Emily enjoys empowering patients and families by connecting them with the knowledge, resources, and support available to more confidently navigate cancer and blood disorders.

Rebecca Clinton, LCSW, OSW-C

Texas Oncology

Rebecca Clinton, MSW, MBA, LCSW, OSW-C, received her Master’s in Social Work in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma.  She furthered her education by completing her MBA in Healthcare Administration in 2018.  She has extensive experience in counseling psychology, crisis counseling/intervention, grief counseling, family care/therapy, group therapy, and individual counseling.  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Rebecca has several years providing education, identifying financial resources, and promoting advocacy for cancer patients, both inpatient and outpatient services.

Evening Support

Mondays
November 1, 8, 15
6 – 7:30pm

Debbi Newton, LCSW, OSW-C

Texas Oncology

Debbi Newton, LCSW, OSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker located at the Texas Oncology sites in Longview, Palestine, Mt. Pleasant, Paris and Greenville. She received a bachelor of social work degree from Eastern Washington University (Cheney, WA), a master of social work degree from Stephen F. Austin University (Nacogdoches, TX) and a master of public administration degree from Capella University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate of social work. Debbi has over 15 years of social work experience and is currently working on her clinical social work license. Debbi assists patients and caregivers through all phases of the cancer experience by providing psychosocial support and knowledge of community resources. She has facilitated numerous support groups in Denton, Flower Mound, Carrollton, and Lewisville on coping with a cancer diagnosis, caregiving and grief and loss.

Jackeline Castillo, LCSW

Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center

Jackeline Castillo, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Mary Crowley Cancer Research. Jackie is bi-lingual and has over 15 years of experience in a variety of settings and with diverse clients including adults in various forms of crisis. In her current role she works with patients and their family to help address any barriers or concerns they may face during their cancer diagnosis. Jackie is passionate about educating and informing people about their rights that allows them to make the most informed decision.

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11 Live Workshops.
6 Support Groups.
3 Expert Webinars.

Only $25!*

$15 for Survive & Thrive alumni!

What You'll Get...

  • Access To A Virtual Meet & Greet With All Speakers, Group Leaders & Participants

  • Live & Recorded Sessions Hosted By Cancer Survivorship Experts Covering Mental & Physical Health, Nutrition & More!

  • Evidence-Based Cancer Workshops Led By Certified Oncology Coaches, Trainers and Oncology Specialists

  • Exclusive Access To Live, Interactive Q&A Sessions With Cancer Survivorship Experts

  • Virtual, Online Support Groups Led By Licensed Oncology Social Workers

  • Weekly Challenges And Fun Activities Design To Help You Live Your Best Life After Cancer

  • Personal Recommendations For Support Resources Specific To You

  • A Tight Knit Community Of People Sharing Similar Experiences

*If $25 is cost prohibitive, please contact Kelly.Condon@usoncology.com for patient assistance