Sue Agee, RN, E-RYT 500 was born and raised in Richmond and both of her sons attended Collegiate K-12. As a newborn intensive care nurse, she was always drawn to teaching families and also fellow nurses. Her love of Yoga blended her passion for western medicine/science and the ancient healings of eastern medicine. She has studied with some of the world’s most revered yoga teachers and currently teaches classes and private lessons at Om On Yoga, Glenmore Yoga and Wellness and also Project Yoga Richmond, where as a board member and ambassador she helps this non profit community space bring the benefits of yoga and mindfulness to under served populations in the area. She serves on the faculty of Om On Yoga’s advanced teacher training yearlong course. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book on philosophy, she’s out enjoying a walk with her high school sweetheart husband, or still trying to train her therapy beagles.
Mary Baker, MSN, FNP-C, AOCNP manages the Cancer Survivorship Program for Bon Secours Cancer Institute in Richmond, VA. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia and is board-certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also certified as an oncology nurse practitioner by the Oncology Nursing Society. Mary is a 5-year breast cancer survivor and understands the unique experience of individuals who have completed treatment for cancer. Her career is dedicated to sharing knowledge and resources with survivors of all types of cancer so they may live their lives to the fullest.
Sylvia Britt graduated with Honors from the University of Richmond with a BAS Degree in Human Resource Management. She currently serves as President of the Alumni Association for the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. She has been with Virginia Commonwealth University in the Facilities/Physical Plant Department for the past 6 years where she serves as Contact Administration Manager for Facilities contracts for both the Monroe Park Campus and the MCV Campus. Mrs. Britt is certified as a Virginia Contracting Officer (VCO) by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior to VCU, she worked in Facilities Management roles for 2 local Richmond factories that shut down — one in 2001 and the other in 2009. At that point, she made the decision to become a government employee. She is married to Randy, a talented musician who has played with multiple bands around Richmond. In their spare time, they volunteer for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and like traveling, golf, watching old movies, and hanging out with their cat, Tweet.
Michael Cerreto, MS, CPCRT, CSC, LDR is a Certified Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapist with A Talented Mind Clinic in Richmond, Virginia. He helps children, adolescents, and adults with acquired brain injuries improve the quality of their daily lives, including cancer survivors with chemobrain. He is also the author of the books, Journey Back From Chemobrain, Mental Toughness In Athletes, and University of YOU, that are available on Amazon.
Roxanne Cherry is masters prepared in pastoral studies and patient counseling. She has over 25 yrs experience in both psychosocial oncology research and in hospital based pastoral care. Her area of clinical expertise started in oncology, shifted to HIV/AIDS and is now both oncology and palliative care. She is a member of the psychosocial team at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and is committed to the team approach in the delivery of care to our patients and families. She is also a resource for the staff both in advocacy and support.
Dr. Hackney received a B.S. degree in biology from UNC Chapel Hill followed by a M.S. degree in biology from UNC Charlotte. After working in a basic science research laboratory for several years, she attended East Carolina/Brody School of Medicine. She then completed her internal medicine residency followed by a combined Hematology and Oncology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia at VCU. Dr. Hackney joined the faculty of the VCU Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care and VCU Massey Cancer Center in 1994 and has been there since. Dr. Hackney serves as the Director for Quality Improvement for the division and has been instrumental in the continuing success of Massey Cancer Center’s Rural Cancer Outreach Program. She is a member of the breast health multidisciplinary group and represents medical oncology on the breast health leadership committee. She continues to care for patients at all stages of disease, teaches several sections of the student hematology course, and maintains her board certification in palliative care. She is a frequent local, regional, and national speaker for community groups and primary care physician’s on cancer screening and risk reduction, updates in breast cancer care, and cancer survivorship.
Chris Heithoff is from the Chicago area and has lived in Virginia for the past 27 years. In early 2008 her husband was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer and he bravely battled for over 3 years before passing away in 2011. After experiencing caregiving, hospice, end of life, life after losing a spouse and helping her children with grief, Chris uses this first-hand experience to help others as a Patient Advocate for the Bon Secours Cancer Institute and the Cullather Brain Tumor Quality of Life Center. She provides emotional support and resources to patients and families on their cancer journey. Chris has a son, Ben, in graduate school at Virginia Tech and a daughter, Jane, a freshman at Virginia Tech. Chris and her rescued Westie, Abby, live near Deep Run Park and enjoy daily walks in the park.
Dr. Brian Mitchell brings more than 20 years’ experience in the field to his patients at the Virginia Cancer Institute. After graduating magna cum laude from Duke University in North Carolina with a degree in English literature, Dr. Mitchell made the switch to medicine, his true calling, completing his MD at the Duke School of Medicine in 1985. He went on to complete an internship and residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, before obtaining a fellowship in hematology/oncology with the University of Chicago Hospital. Dr. Mitchell is a strong advocate of a team approach to patient care. “Everyone in the office plays a role in helping my patients through their illness,” a principle that also reflects the core values of VCI. He believes no two patients are alike, and personalized care for each of his patients is something Dr. Mitchell strives for. His clinical interests include Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphoma, coagulation disorder and breast cancer in addition to previous research interests such as lung cancer, GI cancers and novel (Phase I) therapies. Dr. Mitchell is an avid swimmer and golfer. He enjoys traveling to historical sites with his wife and three grown children. Dr. Mitchell reads more history than literature these days, and is always fascinated by the way in which the “agonies and ecstasies of life affect individuals differently.”
Laura Pole founded “Eating for a Lifetime” in 1997 and blends her passions for food, entertaining and health into a career of nurturing people through nourishment. She is nationally recognized for her creative and informative presentations on health and healing. Laura is a Health Supportive Gourmet Chef, an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nia Fitness Instructor, and a professional musician with over 30 years experience in health care, health education and entertaining people. Laura first learned the art of good cooking in Louisiana at the apron strings of incredible Cajun and Creole home cooks. Chef Laura is Director of Nourishment Education Programs for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, DC. She also serves as Head Chef for their Cancer Help Program Retreats. Laura has edited 2 cookbooks, Soul Savory and A Taste of Smith Farm: Taking the Art of Good Cooking Home. She is a contributing chef to My Food My Health, a food and wellness website. Her programs support the philosophy that it really does matter what you eat, in sickness and in health, and this can be accomplished within everyone’s budget.