Our transplant physicians are recognized leaders in research and transplant medicine. The transplant team is comprised of health care specialists dedicated to assisting patients and caregivers through the entire process from initial consultation to long-term follow-up. The team is committed to enhancing treatment options and providing optimal patient care.
Our transplant team consists of dedicated health care professionals who bring a broad range of training, experience, talent and expertise to focus on the patients' specific needs.
Our physicians are trained in internal medicine, hematology, oncology and transplantation. They lead a team of nurse practitioners, research nurses, pharmacologists, dietitians, blood bank technologists, respiratory therapists and physical therapists.
Our nursing team includes specially trained and highly experienced primary care registered nurses working with skilled assistants and clerical staff. Our administrative team provides comprehensive assistance with referral and consultation services, insurance and funding sources, and information and clerical services.
Transplant Program Director/Collection Facility Medical Director:
Suzanne R. Fanning, D.O.
Dr. Fanning earned her medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She performed her residency and internship at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and completed her fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
Dr. Fanning is Board Certified in Medical Oncology, Hematology and Internal Medicine. She is actively involved in clinical research and stem cell transplantation at Cancer Centers of the Carolinas.
Transplant Program Associate Physician:
Saeeda Chowdhury, M.D.
Dr. Chowdhury received her medical degree from Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka, Bangladesh. After completing her internship at Dhaka Medical College, she went on to complete her internal medicine residency at the Hospital of Saint Raphael (Teaching Affiliate of the Yale University School of Medicine) in New Haven, Connecticut.
After a career in internal medicine, Dr. Chowdhury began a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Chowdhury is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology. She joined Cancer Centers of the Carolinas in 2009.
Your primary oncologist has been caring for you and has referred you to the Transplant Program. He or she will continue to follow your progress, even if s/he is not directly involved in your care.
In some cases the transplant physician is the oncologist who has been treating your cancer, and in other cases the transplant physician will be a different doctor. During the transplant treatment, the transplant physician will closely monitor all aspects of your care, including during hospitalizations. Your transplant physician will keep your primary oncologist informed of your progress.
Sometimes your transplant physician will ask a surgeon or a specially trained radiologist to insert a CVC for apheresis or use during your treatment, if you do not already have one in place. A surgeon may also be asked to perform a surgical procedure to obtain a sample of tissue for analysis or to help in treating an unusual complication.
A radiologist studies and interprets your x-rays and scans. Also, a radiologist who has received pecial training may be asked to insert a CVC for apheresis or use during your transplant therapy.
Other Specialty Physicians
Depending on your particular needs and the side effects you experience during treatment, your transplant physician may ask other physicians who are specialists to assist in your care. Your transplant physician is always the physician directing your overall care during the transplant treatment. If you become confused by information given to you by different physicians, always refer your questions to your transplant physician.
You may meet different nurses when you receive your chemotherapy. They all have special training in giving chemotherapy and helping you manage any problems caused by the medicines. They are always in close touch with your physician.
Transplant Nurse Coordinator
Under the direct supervision of your transplant physician, the transplant nurse coordinator will work with the other members of your care team including your own Caregiver. This nurse will arrange everything you need during outpatient transplant care. This nurse has had special training and experience in stem cell transplantation. S/he will see that your treatment is planned, scheduled, and carried out. S/he will teach you many things about your transplant and your care and will be one of your primary resources.
This is the nurse who will take care of you if, for any reason, you are hospitalized. The hospital nurses are also skilled in the type of care needed by transplant patients. They stay in close touch with other members of your team.
Home Care Nurse
This nurse will be available if you ever need to have care at home. Your transplant nurse coordinator will work with the home care nurse to arrange for anything you need. Your physician and your Caregiver can decide if you need a nurse to visit you at home. Sometimes the use of home care nurses can help patients stay out of the hospital by making visits to the home to check on problems which are worrying the patient and Caregiver, especially when problems develop at night. It isn’t always easy for patients to visit an emergency room and when these times come up, it is convenient to be seen by a home care nurse.
You will have a whole team of people who will work with your physicians and transplant nurse coordinator to manage your care. The members of this team are available by phone if you have any specific problems, questions, or concerns. When you call the transplant center, a secretary will take the message. You should state the reason you are calling, who you would like to speak with, and whether it is an emergency. Your call will be responded to in a timely manner, depending on the degree of urgency. If you do not receive a prompt response notify your transplant nurse coordinator. If you are uncertain who to speak to about a question or concern, speak with your transplant nurse coordinator.
Business Office Staff
People in the business office work with patients, Caregivers and insurance providers or medical plans to help patients obtain reimbursement for the costs related to transplantation. They are experts in this process and understand the various physical, medical and social problems which concern transplant patients. They will help you understand the cost and reimbursement for your care before treatment begins.
Medical technicians and other lab staff members may draw your blood and will perform the necessary tests on it. They communicate frequently with your transplant physician and nurse coordinator, as well as the other members of your team, to ensure that the proper tests are performed at the proper times and the results are communicated. Laboratory personnel are also involved with the collection, processing, storage and thawing of your stem cells.
These are the people who schedule the dates and times of your appointments and tests. Call them if you have questions about your schedule or if you need to make a time change.
These are trained nurses or technicians who operate the apheresis machine, which collects your stem cells. They are specially trained in this procedure and know how to take care of you while you are connected to the machine.
A medical social worker (MSW) is often available to you and your family, to help with the feelings you may have as you go through transplant. Your MSW can also help with practical matters such as transportation, housing, insurance, and financial concerns.
Your transplant nurse coordinator will talk to you about the importance of good nutrition during your treatment. If you have special dietary needs, a dietitian may work with you to help you select the foods best for you.
There are chaplains available for religious and spiritual support. You can ask your transplant nurse coordinator to contact a chaplain for you if you would like to speak with one. Your transplant nurse coordinator or a MSW may also be of help in finding others who share your spiritual beliefs to meet with you if you request.