The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation

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Our Team

The cancer specialists at the Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation have attended and/or were trained at some of the best universities, medical schools, and cancer-training programs in America, such as  Cornell University, Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at San Diego, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, UC Irvine College of Medicine, Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center, USC Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA affiliated hospitals Hematology Oncology program, Brown University Hematology Oncology program, MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Physicians

Richy Agajanian, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

 

A highly dedicated and compassionate doctor, Dr. Agajanian is triple board-certified by the American Board of Medical Oncology, the American Board of Hematology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Fellowship-trained in Hematology and Oncology at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Agajanian earned his medical degree from the University of California-Irvine College of Medicine and completed his Internal Medicine residency at UCLA. Prior to this, he graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California-San Diego, where he received top honors in his department. Dr. Agajanian has received numerous awards during his educational and professional careers, including induction into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He has also researched and published several articles in medical journals on the topic of Hematology and Oncology including treatment of Burkitt Lymphoma, development of a scoring system for myelodysplastic syndromes, and the study of acute chest syndrome. Dr. Agajanian has access to the latest research, technology and treatment options, including clinical trials for eligible patients. He also maintains strong professional relationships with other physicians who specialize in treatment management and support services. He strives continuously to educate patients and their families regarding cancer awareness and prevention.

Dr. Agajanian is fluent in Spanish and Armenian.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology 
  • Medical Oncology Association of Southern California
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • American Medical Association
  • Armenian American Medical Association                  
  • Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

Patient Care Philosophy

It is Dr. Agajanian's foremost goal to optimize the quality of life for patients and their loved ones, helping them cope with the challenges brought on by cancer. Dr. Agajanian strives to relieve the burden and suffering caused by cancer while always holding the utmost respect for patients and their families. He values open communication, mutual respect and patient autonomy, listening to patients as well as providing weekly educational sessions about patients' diseases and treatment plans. He builds personal synergy with his patients so they have someone to turn to in difficult times. In addition to caring deeply for his patients, Dr. Agajanian is devoted to his wife and three daughters.

David Berz, M.D., Ph.D, MPH

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Born and raised in Germany, Dr. Berz earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Universitaet, Frankfurt, Germany and his M.D./Ph.D from the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine in Norwalk, Connecticut and his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology in Providence, Rhode Island. Prior to joining The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation, Dr. Berz was an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Providence, Rhode Island from 2008 to 2010. From 2010 to 2011, Dr. Berz was an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology in Dalhousie University, St. John, New Brunswick. In 2005, Dr. Berz was awarded with an Outstanding Resident Award in Nor walk Hospital/Yale University, Connecticut.

Dr. Berz has made significant contributions to the field of oncology through ongoing research in clinical trials and publications in major journals.

Dr. Berz is fluent in Spanish, German, French, Russian and Hebrew.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Berz does not just treat the condition, he treats people. He always strives to meet his patients' needs with compassion and respect.

  

Swapna Boppana, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Eligible, American Board of Hematology

Eligible, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Swapna Boppana attended Kasturba Medical College where she received first class and first class with distinction as a medical student. She continued her journey as a physician in Cincinnati, Ohio where she did her residency at The Christ Hospital and her fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
 
Dr. Boppana has also worked on numerous academic presentations and publications that have focused on oncology. Her hard work was recognized at the American College of Physician Abstract Competition where she received Clinical Vignette Merit Award.

During her free time, she enjoys being with her family, visiting museums and reading about Tudor history.

Dr. Boppana is fluent in Hindi and Telugu.

Eric M. Cheung, D.O.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

 

A highly caring and devoted physician, Dr. Cheung is fellowship-trained in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Institute.  Dr. Cheung earned his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences.  Dr. Cheung received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, during which time he received the honor of training at Oxford University. After medical school, he completed both his internal medicine training and Hematology-Oncology training at the University of Southern California where he served as Chief of his fellowship program. While Dr. Cheung is trained in all cancers and blood disorders, he is considered an expert in the fields of Prostate cancer and platelet disorders, as attested by his numerous publications in both fields.  Dr. Cheung seeks to educate and empower his patients. He is dedicated to the comprehensive well-being of his patients and to the quality of their lives.  

Dr. Cheung is fluent in Spanish.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Cheung doesn’t just treat disease, he treats people. He understands that every patient has unique needs and he meets them with constant doses of personal attention.  Dr. Cheung resides in the community and enjoys spending quality time with his wife and family.

Michael S. Chung, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Diplomate, American Board of Oncology

Eligible, American Board of Hematology

Dr. Chung grew up around Washington D.C.  He attended the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Tech and went on to college at Cornell University, where he also became a certified EMT and first responder.  He worked in the Food Science laboratories as a premed and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Computer Science.  Dr. Chung then moved to New York City for med school at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did research at Columbia University and volunteered in the rural clinics of Guatemala.  He stayed in NYC for residency at Beth Israel Medical Center and moved to California to become a Hematologist/Oncology at the University of Southern California Norris Cancer Center.

 Dr. Chung is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish

 Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Chinese American Medical Society

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Chung is a skilled listener and a patient advocate.  His life philosophy is to promote an active lifestyle and to make healthy decisions.  He enjoys exercise, fitness, and sports.

 

Jack H. Freimann Jr., M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Freimann has been dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to his patients in Whittier and the surrounding communities for the past 19 years.  He takes an active role in hospital leadership. Dr. Freimann is a long-standing member of the Cancer Committee at Presbyterian Hospital (PIH) having served as chairman for several years and as a member of the Medical Executive Committee. He has also served as past chairman of the departments of Medicine at PIH and Whittier Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Freimann is triple-board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology. After receiving his medical degree from UCLA, Dr. Freimann attended the prestigious M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for his fellowship training in medical Oncology and Hematology. There, he participated in many areas of cancer research, particularly the area of combinations of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Dr. Freimann has presented papers at the annual meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology, and published articles in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and American Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Trained in treating a broad spectrum of solid tumors, benign and malignant hematologic conditions, Dr. Freimann’s particular interests are in treating breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and lymphoma.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American College of Physicians
  • California Medical Association
  • Medical Oncology Association of Southern California

Dr. Freimann and his family live in Whittier. He likes to spend his free time watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play at Angel Stadium. In addition to being an avid baseball fan, Dr. Freimann also enjoys the outdoors, skiing in the winter, camping and fishing in the High Sierras in the summer.

 

Alexander Gaitanis, D.O.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Highly committed to providing the best patient care, Dr. Alexander Gaitanis is a board-certified Oncologist and Internal Medicine physician by the American Board of Medical Oncology and American Board of Internal Medicine.  Dr. Gaitanis received his undergraduate degree from Philadelphia University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. He then attended Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine where he earned his Post-Baccalaureate degree in Bio-Medical Sciences followed by his medical degree. He then went on to complete his Internship and Internal Medicine residency. This was followed by an Oncology/Hematology fellowship at the University of Florida. In addition to his clinical training, he spent a year at the University of Tennessee Department of Medicine as an Internal Medicine physician between his residency and fellowship.

Dr. Gaitanis has received numerous awards during his educational and teaching career, including the Resident Research award, and is a published author in the field of cancer nanotechnology.  

Dr. Gaitanis is fluent in Greek.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Gaitanis is actively involved in patient care and is committed to providing compassionate, quality care and improving his patient’s quality of life. He finds this part of his work very gratifying. He works hard to provide his patients access to the best care available and empower them through their treatments by providing them with a clear diagnosis and access to the latest technology, treatment options, support, and clinical trials.

Youssef K. Gamal, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology, Hematology

A firm believer and advocate of whole-person care, Dr. Gamal was born in Cairo, Egypt and received his Doctor of Medicine with honors from Ain Shams University in Cairo before moving to the United States. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ before completing his Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Dr. Gamal's prior appointments included serving as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. In 2005, he moved to the west coast and served as the Attending Physician and Partner for the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands, CA where he was a co-investigator for multiple phase II and III clinical research trials before joining The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation.

Dr. Gamal has received numerous awards including “Polaris Recognition” and the “Orion Award” for outstanding patient care. He has also presented on topics such as Extranodal Marginal Zone Lymphomas of MALT-Type, Quinine-Induced Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome, and Thrombotic Microangiopaties as well as co-authored a chapter about unusual lymphomas in "Blood Disorders in the Elderly" reference manual in 2008.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • California Medical Association
  • Christian Medical and Dental Association

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Gamal strives to deliver comprehensive and compassionate whole-person care with a personalized approach that meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient.  He achieves this through a multi-disciplinary approach of open communication and collaboration with surgeons, radiologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other members of the patient's care team.   He places a high value on symptom management to maximize quality of life for each patient throughout all phases of his/her treatment journey.  Dr. Gamal's motto, "There is always hope" is evident as he guides his patients every step of the way.

Ping Hu, M.D.

Eligible, American Board of Hematology

Eligible, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Ping Hu is a worldly educated and trained oncologist. She received her undergraduate degree in Medicine from the Capital Medical University in Beijing, China and her Masters of Science in General and Medical Microbiology from the University of London. She completed her residency at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and finished her fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Hu was active both inside and outside of the classroom with her involvement with presentations, research, and publications. Her significant contributions earned her the Outstanding Student Award from Capital Medical University in 1990, 1992-1995 and the Moonlight Sonata Award in Fellowship 2012 from the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center.

During her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as cross-country running, swimming, tennis, and gardening as well as travelling and spending time with her family. 

Professional Memberships:

American Society of Clinical Oncology 
American Society of Hematology

She is fluent in Chinese.

Daniel B. Huang, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Born and raised in the East Coast, Dr. Huang earned his B.S. in Biology from Cornell University and his M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at UCLA – Olive View Medical Center. During his training, Dr. Huang was active in research at the Louis Warschaw Prostate Cancer Center and at UCLA – Olive View Medical Center studying the links between obesity and outcome in patients with prostate cancer and breast cancer.  Prior to joining the Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation, he spent two years in private practice in Newport Beach.  Through his training and private practice, he has gained a wealth of clinical experience in oncology and hematology. 

Dr. Huang is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Huang endeavors to find the intersection between science and compassion in caring for his patients.  He seeks to design personalized treatment strategies for each individual while helping them maintain the highest possible quality of life.  Dr. Huang knows that the doctor-patient relationship in oncology is unlike any other and strives to build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.  He enjoys and makes use of every opportunity to educate his patients so that they are informed and empowered during their journey through the practice. 

Dr. Huang enjoys playing basketball, watching football, cooking, and - most of all - spending time with his wife and three young sons.

Stephen Huang, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

 

Born and raised in Chicago, Dr. Huang attended Medical School there and earned his MD at the University of Illinois. This was followed by Internship and Residency at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center. He then worked as a Hospitalist at downtown Chicago's famous Cook County Hospital, gaining intensive and valuable medical experience, before returning to University of Illinois Medical Center to complete a Hematology and Oncology Fellowship, finishing as Chief Fellow. Among many honors, his research abstract studying "The Function of HGMA2 Gene in Idiopathic Bone Marrow Fibrosis" was selected for oral presentation at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.  Being Triple Board-Certified in Oncology, Hematology, and Internal Medicine, he then worked in full-time practice in Michigan for six years, treating thousands of patients with every type of cancer or blood disorder, publishing several manuscripts, and serving on Multidisciplinary Tumor Boards for Breast, Lung, and Gastrointestinal Cancers, as well as multiple Quality Improvement Councils at the Cancer Center. Now with comprehensive training and practical experience, Dr. Huang joins us in Southern California to continue delivering state-of-the-art cancer treatment to patients while showing compassion to them and their families.

Dr. Huang is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. 

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

"Knowledge is Power - especially in the fight against cancer." Having acquired special training in communicating with cancer patients called The OncoTalk program, Dr. Huang is particularly renowned for his ability to listen to his patients and educate them, explaining highly complex treatment options without complex jargon. 

Dr. Huang is a devoted husband and proud father of three. He cherishes family time and is also passionate about any activity outdoors, particularly hiking, camping, and scuba diving.

Daniel J. Kim, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

 

Dr. Kim grew up in Japan in a Korean household, but most of his life was spent in the Los Angeles area.  He earned his undergraduate degree with high honors in Molecular Cell Biology from University of California, Berkeley.  He then earned two masters degrees, one from Biola University in cultural anthropology, and another from Dartmouth College in epidemiology and biostatistics.  His medical degree was earned from Loma Linda University School of Medicine.  This was followed by an internal medicine residency at UCLA - Olive View Medical Center where he was recognized as the most humanistic intern, the most outstanding intern, and the most outstanding resident for two years in a row.  He also served as the chief resident of his internal medicine residency, during which he held simultaneous appointment as a Clinical Instructor of Medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  He then trained in hematology and medical oncology at UCLA - Olive View and Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers, where he was recognized as the most outstanding fellow for two years in a row.  During his fellowship, his focus of research was on gastrointestinal malignancies, especially in gastric cancer involving young patients. 

Dr. Kim has presented on the topic of multiple myeloma at a national meeting for the Society of General Internal Medicine, and has published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Southern Medical Journal, and Acta Oto-laryngologica, and eMedicine. Dr. Kim has traveled to Honduras, the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and East Asia on medical mission trips through Global Health Outreach. Dr. Kim believes in a whole-person approach to medical care. Medical, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of care are of utmost importance. 

Dr. Kim speaks both Japanese and Korean

Professional Memeberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Medical Association / California Medical Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • Christian Medical Association
  • Korean American Medical Association
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Royal Society of Medicine

 

Reza Mostofi, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology 

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine 

Dr. Mostofi was born in Iran and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with his family at a very young age. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Neuroscience, Physiology, and Behavior. He received his medical degree from St. George’s University. He completed his residency and fellowship at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia where he served as a Chief Fellow during his final year. After completing his training he joined Associates in Hematology-Oncology at Crozer Regional Cancer Center, a Fox Chase Cancer Center Affiliate. He has a passion for teaching and his work with the medical students and residents earned him an appoint of Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine by Temple University School of Medicine.

Dr. Mostofi was recently recognized by his peers and received a "Top Doctors of 2013" Award that was published in the December 2013 editions of the Philadelphia's area's Main Line Today Magazine.


In his free time, Dr. Mostofi likes to spend time with his wife and two sons. He is an avid soccer fan and enjoys participating in sports including soccer, tennis, fishing, and skiing.

Patient Care Philosophy

The doctor-patient relationship is the mainstay of care: where data is gathered, diagnoses and plans are made, understanding and compliance are accomplished, and healing and support are provided. He believes in using evidence-based medicine to personalized care to meet each individual patient’s needs.

Aileen Novero, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine
Oncology & Hematology

A passionate doctor about giving her patients the most accurate care, Dr. Aileen Novero is fellowship-trained at the New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, NY. She received her undergraduate degree with a Bachelors of Science in Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution at UCLA and earned her medical degree at the Ross University of Medicine. Dr. Novero completed her residency at the Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, NY. 

Dr. Novero’s hard work and dedication has earned her awards including Intern of the Year 2007 to 2008, Resident of the Year 2008 to 2009, and Fellow of the Year in 2012-2013.from the Department of Medicine at the Richmond University Medical Center. Dr. Novero has significant contributions to the field Oncology with her contributions in publications as well as case reports where she won the Case Report Award Competition at the Academy of Medicine of Richmond in 2010 and 2013.

Professional Memberships:

- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- American Society of Hematology
    
In her free time she likes spending time with her family, going to the park with her two dogs and scrapbooking.

Dr. Novero is also fluent in Tagalog.

Dr. Novero will be joining eighteen other physicians on staff at The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation starting July, 2014.

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Aileen Novero’s goal is to be always available for her patients and their family. Having cancer is stressful enough; she wants her patients to know that she and her team are always there to help out. Every patient also has the right to know the truth about his/her condition and it is her duty to prepare them about these truths and assist them in terms of their decisions of care.

Arsinur Burcoglu-Oral, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

 

Dr. Oral is a compassionate doctor who believes that educating her patients is key. Dr. Oral received both her undergraduate and medical degree from the Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey. She did her residency at the Western PA / Allegheny Medical Center and finished as a chief resident. Dr. Oral is triple board-certified by the American Board of Medical Oncology, the American Board of Hematology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her expertise and knowledge in the industry has earned her awards from drug development patents in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.

Dr. Oral also held several academic appointments. Her hard work as a fellow at the University of Pittsburgh rewarded her with positions as assistant professor and Medical Director of the HLA-Platelet Program, CD 34 Laboratory, Aphaeresis Department and Industry Trials. She also taught at National Institute of Health, University of Virginia, and Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

 The basic component of relating to patients is knowledge: Knowing what the disease is, the treatment plan and implementing the standard of care. I want to be able to give my patients confidence without compromising their quality of life and “on a path together” feeling. Knowledge is the best way to minimize their overwhelming isolation within the context of positioning them into the universality of objective medicine.

 

Thomas F. Reynolds, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hospice & Palliative Medicine

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

A firm believer in providing quality care to both patients and their families, Dr. Reynolds is triple-board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Oncology, and American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Fellowship trained in Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Dr. Reynolds earned his medical degree at Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1974 and completed his residency over at Carney Hospital at Boston University.  Dr. Reynolds also has two graduate degrees, which include a M.S. in Physical Chemistry from Northwestern University and a M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Besides his vast experience as a medical oncologist, Dr. Reynolds has also held several academic appointments, including serving as an Assistant Professor of Medicine over at Albany Medical College and Boston University’s School of Medicine.  He also served as the Instructor of Medicine at Cornell University’s Medical College.

Professional Memberships:

American Society of Clinical Oncology
American College of Physicians

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Reynolds believes that the best care address the medical, social, psychological, and spiritual issues that arise while providing restorative, curative, or life-prolonging treatment. This is the core of what palliative care provides patients. It also includes awareness of all ethical modes of care such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, nutritional supplements, and prayers are just some of the many.

Ravin M. Rupani, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Rupani received his Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and Cell Biology degree from the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla with honors.   After medical school, he completed his internship year in internal medicine at the University of Connecticut.  Subsequently Dr. Rupani returned to Los Angeles where he completed both his internal medicine training and hematology-oncology training at LAC-USC Medical Center.  Trained in oncologic and hematologic malignancies as well as hematological disorders, Dr. Rupani shares a special interest in lymphomas.  Dr. Rupani seeks to educate and empower his patients. He is dedicated to the comprehensive well-being of his patients and to the quality of their lives.

Dr. Rupani is fluent in Spanish.

 Professional Memberships:

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology  
  • American Society of Hematology  
  • American College of Physicians  

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Rupani understands that there is a person behind the disease.  He takes great deal of interest in educating his patients about their disease to empower them through one of their most difficult times during their lives.  

Dr. Rupani's philosophy is in treating the patient with a multidisciplinary approach including not only the Surgical Team, Radiation Oncologist, and Radiologist but also a Nutritionist, Pscychologist, Physical Therapist and Social Worker. All these team members assist in the emotional and physical journey during the patient’s battle against their disease and for a positive outcome.

Merrill K. Shum, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

A Southern California native, Dr. Shum returns to us from Philadelphia, PA where he served as an attending physician and member of the Crozer Regional Cancer Center, a Fox Chase Cancer Center affiliate for the past two years.  During his tenure there, he served as a relevance reviewer for Hematology and Medical Oncology for the American Board of Internal Medicine and was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at Temple University’s School of Medicine.  Dr. Shum is triple board certified by the American Board of Hematology, the American Board of Medical Oncology and the American Board of Internal Medicine.  Fellowship trained in Hematology and Oncology at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey at Cooper, Dr. Shum earned his medical degree from the University Autonoma of Guadalajara and his fifth Pathway Certification at New York Medical College.  He completed his residency at UMDNJ- Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, (Cooper University Hospital) and served at Chief Institutional Fellow.  Prior to this, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Shum has received numerous honors and teaching awards including the Arthur P. Gold Foundation Excellence in Humanism and Teaching Award, the Golden Apple Teaching Award, Teaching Resident of the Year Award, Internal Medicine Resident of the Year Award, Cambridge Who’s Who in Medicine, AMA Physician’s Recognition Award and NJ ACP Certificate of Merit.  He has presented nationally at NJ ACP, SGIM, Lynn Sage Breast Symposium, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and internationally at Novo Nordisk Symposium on Haemostasis Management.  His publications can be found in the Am J of Med, Blood, Proc Am J Clin Onc and Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

Dr. Shum is fluent in Spanish, conversational Cantonese (Chinese).

Professional Memberships:

  • American College of Physicians
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Hematology

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Shum continues to strive to bridge the gap of patient understanding through communication and education.  His strong interest in clinical trials allows him to integrate current standard therapies with the latest advances.  “While we maintain our integrity through honestly, we must remain compassionate.  Our dedication and commitment to achieve the highest quality of care is aimed at improving quality of life and ultimately improving survival.  It is our responsibility to help our patients and their families navigate through their cancer management to minimize anxiety through this difficult period.”

 

Rodina Vatanparast, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Vatanparast’s interest in Hematology and Oncology dates back to her days at King Drew Medical Magnet High School where she had the opportunity to perform bench research in Oncology at King Drew/UCLA Medical School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. During this period, she joined Santa Cruz Biotechnology as a research assistant. She continued her work at IMPATH/BIS Biotechnology for a few years until medical school. She received her Medical Doctorate from St. George’s University School of Medicine. She completed her post graduate training in Philadelphia at Drexel University College of Medicine/Hahnemann University Hospital in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology. In her post graduate training, she served as Chief Medical Resident overseeing over 150 medical residents. After completing her training, she joined Comprehensive Cancer and Hematology Specialists in New Jersey. She was actively involved in enrolling patients into clinical trials through close affiliation with Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

Dr. Vatanparast is Board Certified in Hematology, Oncology and Internal Medicine. She has publications in various medical journals including British Medical Journal, Blood, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. She has served on numerous professional committees and has been involved in various administrative services including The Cancer Committee at Kennedy University Hospital, Breast Leadership Panel at Virtua Health Systems, and CME Assistant Program Director at Drexel University College of Medicine and served as member of the Performance Improvement Council at Hahnemann University Hospital.
She moved back home to Southern California with her husband and two sons after joining The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation. 

She is fluent in Spanish and Farsi.

Patient Care Philosophy

To deliver up to date and individualized cancer care. To empower patients in medical decision making with full knowledge and mutual respect. To set realistic goals without losing sight of hope. To focus on quality of life while helping patients achieve their own personal triumphs.

Deepika Wali, M.D.

Diplomate, American Board of Medical Oncology

Diplomate, American Board of Hematology

Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Dr. Deepika Wali is fellowship-trained in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles County Medical Center and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Institute. She received both her undergraduate and medical education from Grant Medical College in India. After medical school, she received training in Hematology and Oncology at the LAC-USC Medical Center and Griffin Hospital, a Yale University Affiliate. She has worked on numerous publications including some with the Journal of Oncology. She is triple-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology.

Dr. Wali is fluent in Hindi.

Patient Care Philosophy

Dr. Wali is always prepared to diagnose and provide quality care for her patients. Her knowledge allows her to treat patients with common and complex blood-related disorders and cancers. With her experience working with other physicians and specialists, she always ensures that her patients receive the highest standard of care.


Physician Extenders

Anais Cunha, MSN, AONP

Masters of Science in Nursing

Advanced Oncology Nurse Practioner

Anais Cunha is a compassionate and attentive Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She then returned to Southern California and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. She started her nursing career at Barlow Respiratory Hospital. After working as a Registered Nurse for 4 years she received her Master of Science in Nursing from Azusa Pacific University, Family Nurse Practitioner Program. She is dedicated to providing excellent quality patient care. She strives to make patients and families feel as comfortable as possible.

Professional Memberships:

  • California Association of Nurse Practitioners

Lauren R. Gillan, MPAP, PA-C

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Master of Physician Assistant Practice

Lauren Gillan is a NCCPA board-certified physician assistant (PA-C). She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences with an emphasis in Anatomy and Physiology from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California and graduated cum laude. She developed a passion for medicine through medical missions to Central America and also worked as a medical assistant before completing the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the University of Southern California. At USC she earned her Master of Physician Assistant Practice and was inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Mrs. Gillan also has experience working in family medicine and is dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate patient care. 

Mrs. Gillan is fluent in Spanish.

Professional Memberships:

  • California Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Phi Alpha Honor Society

Son H. Nguyen, MS, PA-C

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Mr. Nguyen is a certified Physician Assistant. He received his Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from Western University of Health Sciences. He decided to pursue a career in medicine after the passing of his little sister due to cancer. His experiences with his sister’s battle with cancer inspired him to work in the field of Oncology. He has lived through the emotions that a love one may have during the management of cancer and is highly motivated to provide strong emotional support and ensure physical well-being in his patients and their family members. He is committed to treating his patients with love, dignity and respect while maintaining a high standard level of care.

Mr. Nguyen is fluent in Vietnamese.

Professional Memberships:

  • California Academy of Physician Assistant
  • National Commission of Certification of Physicians Assistant

Genevieve Taguinod, MSN, AOCNP

Masters of Science in Nursing

Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner

Mrs. Taguinod is dedicated to the comfort, support and well-being of each and every patient who comes to the Oncology Institute. A Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse with additional certification in chemotherapy and biotherapy, she specializes in the care of Hematology/Oncology patients. She has clinical experience in a variety of treatment methods including chemotherapy administration, bone marrow biopsy, aspiration, the management of acute and chronic Oncology patients, and hemodialysis and anemia management for patients with chronic renal failure. She gets to know every patient and his or her family personally, striving to provide a compassionate ear as well as professional care.

Mrs. Taguinod received her Masters of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) summa cum laude from California State University at Fullerton and the University of California at Irvine, where she ranked in the top 10% of graduating nurse practitioners and received the Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Education Excellence Scholarship for three years. Previously, she earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Cypress College and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) magna cum laude from CSU-Fullerton.

Mrs. Taguinod is fluent in Spanish and Tagalog.

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Sigma Theta Tau International, Upsilon Beta Chapter
  • California Association of Nurse Practitioners
  • Oncology Nursing Society

Tania Tatoyan, MS, PA-C

Masters of Science in Physicians Assistant Studies

Mrs. Tatoyan is a certified Physician Assistant. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Prior to continuing her education, Tania worked in the Los Angeles area as an Emergency Medical Technician responding to 911 calls.  Soon after, Tania earned a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant studies  from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. Mrs. Tatoyan is a dedicated Physician Assistant with experience in urgent care, family and occupational medicine.

Mrs. Tatoyan is fluent in Armenian, and Spanish.

Professional Memberships:

  • California Academy of Physician Assistants
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Armenian American Medical Society of California

Management

Hilda H. Agajanian, MBA

Administrator

An extremely devoted and caring Administrator, Hilda Agajanian strives to ensure that all patient needs are met.  She is committed to providing optimal care for our patients during their most challenging times.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the California State University, Northridge and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  Her range of experience derives from managing a spine center for numerous years to wealth management at UBS Financial Services.  Her diverse experience helps to cultivate a patient-centric culture and optimize patient satisfaction.


Mrs. Agajanian is fluent in  Armenian.  

Claudia Angeles

Authorizations Supervisor

Claudia is a very compassionate and dedicated person, who believes “every accomplishment begins with the decision to try!” Claudia has been in the healthcare industry since 1994 and is certified in Medical Billing/Claims Examiner from American Career College.  Since then, she has worked with various billing companies all specializing in Oncology/Hematology, in the Greater Los Angeles area. Over the past 15 years, her experience has included analyzing and reviewing analytical reports, with the goal to facilitate annual revenue resulting in profitable gain.  Cancer has also stricken Claudia’s family, and that is one of the reasons why she will do her best to help both the patients in need and the physicians who ultimately render services to all those patients in good faith.

Mrs. Angeles is fluent in Spanish.

Leeanne Fontes

Office Manager

Mrs. Fontes is a highly dedicated and compassionate manager who is currently working on a degree in business management.  She comes to our organization with 12 years experience in the healthcare field, 5 of those years in Oncology.  As an Office Manager, Leeanne strives to ensure that each patients' experience is personalized according to their needs. She is the liaison between the patients and the practitioners.  Her vast experience in Medical Oncology helps her provide optimal care for each and every one of our patients.

She not only contributes to the daily operations of our practice but provides empathetic and superior care for our patients.

Maria Garcia

Wellness Center Coordinator

 

Maria I. Garcia is the Wellness Center Coordinator at the Hope, Health & Healing Center in Whittier. She started her career in the medical field as a Medical Assistant, earning her certificate at the American Career College in 2006. Previously, Maria has been office manager at the Oncology Institiute. She has over 5 years of experience working in a variety of settings with an emphasis on Oncology. Maria uses her experience to help communicate and motivate patients the importance of the services at the wellness center. Her objective is to provide a warm and professional environment in which she can help patients foster balance in their lives. 

She is also bilingual and able to conduct business in English and Spanish.

Maria is married, has 3 girls and 2 boys. She enjoys spending her leisure time with family and friends. 

Donna Lara

Operations Manager

Donna Lara comes to our organization with over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry.  Ms. Lara serves as Operations Manager for the practice. She oversees the day-to-day business activities for all office locations. She joins us with enthusiasm and compassion for our patients, their families and our staff members.  As Operations Manager, she ensures that all employees are highly qualified and well-trained professionals who are united and passionate in providing the highest standard of patient care. She is committed to making sure each patient is treated with compassion, respect and dignity.

Julie Miranda

Office Supervisor

Julie Miranda is a highly dedicated and compassionate Supervisor. She began her career in the field of healthcare over 20 years ago as a Unit Secretary in the Los Angeles area and has experience in many aspects of the healthcare industry.  Ever since her own mother’s passing of cancer, she has taken a more heartfelt interest for her work at The Oncology Institute. With her personal experience in dealing with cancer in her family, Julie knows how important it is to make our organization a loving and caring environment for all of our patients. She builds effective working relationships with fellow co-workers, patients, and their families and always makes herself available to all. Julie is a highly compassionate and understanding individual, who strives to make a difference in people’s lives, and for that, we are grateful to have someone like her at the Oncology Institute.

Kimthoa Pham

Billing and Collections Manager

Kimthoa Pham is a very compassionate and dedicated leader in our Insurance Billing Department.  She started her career in early 1990 and has worked with various facilities all specializing in Oncology and Hematology. Working side by side with Doctors, she has translated her experience beyond just billing and coding. Cancer had taken her mother away at a young age; she has made it her passion to make sure that insurers are paying for patients’ cancer care when they need it most. Her Insurance knowledge has helped patients to better understand the financial process and challenges that affect healthcare.  

She is fluent in Vietnamese.

Marni Rupp

Director of Human Resources

Marni Rupp is a highly caring and compassionate person. She began her career in the healthcare field as a Medical Assistant working with the USC Keck School of Medicine in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. While with USC, Marni not only worked as a Medical Assistant, she was also one of the Account Managers handling the coding and billing for the Division, and was subsequently promoted to an Office Manager in the Department of Internal Medicine. 

Marni is dedicated to the well-being of our patients and strives to ensure that patient needs are met during their most challenging times.

Matthew Stevens

General Counsel and Compliance Officer

Matthew Stevens serves as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer of The Oncology Institute. Prior to joining The Oncology Institute Mr. Stevens was an extern for the Office of Counsel to the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, volunteered for the Attorney General of California Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, was an extern at St. Joseph Health System General Counsel's office, and helped write payment decisions for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals. Mr. Stevens also served as an extern to the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford, U.S. District Court, Central District of California and for the Honorable Luis Rodriguez, Superior Court of Orange County. Mr. Stevens is an active member of the California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, enjoys hiking, climbing, and is an avid reader.

Barbara Trujillo

Office Supervisor

Barbara Trujillo is an energetic, compassionate, and a self-driven Supervisor, with over twenty five years of experience working with the public.  She changed her profession over thirteen years ago from working in the financial industry to healthcare because of her love for helping others. She is licensed and certified in medical assisting and as a phlebotomist.  She always strives to better herself, and is taking continuing education courses to extend her knowledge. She is competent in all aspects in the medical industry including back office procedures, authorizations, eligibility, scheduling, and collections. She uses her knowledge to build up her staff, and realizes that the most important thing for our patients is that we provide excellent service because they deserve nothing less.

Mila Voskanyan

Health Care Coach

Mila Voskanyan is extremely energetic, passionate, and dedicated Supervisor. She began her career in 2005 and has worked with various facilities in the medical industry. Mila received her Bachelor’s of Criminology and Psychology from University of La Verne, and her Masters of Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.  She oversees the day-to-day activities for the Glendale office. 

Mila strives to make our organization a loving and caring environment for all of our patients and their families. She builds effective working relationships with her co-workers, patients, and their families and always makes herself available to all.

Mila is an exceptional individual, who strives to make a difference in people’s lives by always providing the highest level of patient care.

Jenise Claude

Nursing Manager

Jenise is a highly committed and enthusiastic nursing supervisor. She has been in the medical field for 17 years and received her ADN at Cerritos Community College. She has been a Registered Nurse for the last eight years and started her nursing career at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in the Med/Surg Oncology Unit. Jenise joined our practice shortly after The Oncology Institute of Hope and Innovation opened in 2007.  She works diligently to assure that the patients receive the best of care in the most compassionate manner.


 

1184 N. Euclid St.
Anaheim
CA 92801

Tel. 714.399.0620
Fax 714.399.0621
530 W. Badillo St.
Suite D
Covina, CA 91722

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11480 Brookshire Ave.
Suite 309
Downey, CA 90241

Tel. 562.869.1201
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1510 S. Central Ave.
Suite 240
Glendale, CA 91204

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3300 E. South St.
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Long Beach, CA 90805

Tel. 562.232.0550
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1700 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
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Los Angeles, CA 90033

Tel. 323.284.4077
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3628 E. Imperial Hwy.
Suite 100
Lynwood, CA 90262

Tel. 310.667.4000
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101 E. Beverly Blvd.
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Montebello, CA 90640

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Santa Ana, CA 92705

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Torrance, CA 90503

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8135 S. Painter Ave.
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Whittier, CA 90602

Tel. 562.698.6888
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