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Radiation Therapists

Radiation Therapists at UCLA

Hussen AbdelhayiHussen Abdelhayi has been a staff member of UCLA since April 2007. Before becoming a Radiation Therapist, he graduated from Long Beach City College with an Associate Degree of Sciences in Radiological Technologist. He then continued his educations at Loma Linda University where he earned his certificate in Radiation Therapy. He is a member of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. Hussen is a huge fan of the Phoenix Suns and enjoys basketball and soccer.

 

 

Dawn AberdeenDawn Aberdeen was born and raised in the windy city of Chicago, Illinois, where she received her BA in Allied Health Administration and Education in Radiation Therapy. Her collaborative experience is from institutions that include Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center of Chicago, Cedars Sinai of Los Angeles, the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, and UCLA Medical center. That experience has allowed her the great opportunity to be part of a team for a remarkable institution and outstanding team of medical professionals at UCLA. In Jan of 2011, she was promoted, after 16 years of service at UCLA, to the Chief Therapist of Radiation Oncology. She is also certified in Pilates and as a Massage Therapist. In her spare time she looks for warm sunny beaches, loves skiing and bike riding.

 

Ben BlairBen Blair has been with UCLA since 2009. He came to us from Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank. He attended Washburn University and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Health Science and an Associate’s in Applied Science. He became a therapist because he likes getting to know new people, but he also wanted a job that was both challenging and rewarding. In his spare time he enjoys playing sports, hiking, reading, and spending time with family. He loves traveling around the world, and has spent time in Cambodia, Ecuador, Thailand, and Europe. Also of note, Ben likes to talk about the few years he worked as a carni, traveling throughout Canada as a professional moose wrangler and polar bear whisperer.

 

Kelly ClarkKelly Clark is a Southern California native and a graduate of CSU Long Beach. She completed a BA in Liberal Studies and continued her education at CSULB where she earned a BS in Radiation Therapy. In 1998, Kelly joined UCLA Radiation Oncology, where she is certified member of ARRT and ASRT and she is currently an Associate Chief Therapist.

 

 

Ruben GomezRuben Gomez is a Northern California native and attended the University of California Berkeley. He graduated from the City College of San Francisco Radiation Therapy program and worked for 7 years at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. He moved to Southern California and worked for 5 years at Glendale Memorial Hospital as a staff therapist for two years and then was promoted to Chief Therapist for the remainder of his time. He started working at UCLA in 1992 and is an Associate Chief Therapist.

 

 

John HelzerJohn Helzer is an interesting guy; he grew up in Vermont and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in English. He then came to California where he got his BS in Radiation Therapy from Cal State Long Beach. Upon graduation in 2008, he immediately came to UCLA to start his career in radiation therapy. John became a therapist because he wanted to help people and treat them with the latest technology available. He enjoys his job because he gets to meet interesting people and tries to make them feel better by putting a smile on their face during a difficult time (and, of course, because he gets to eat lots of cookies from patients). In his spare time he plays music, cooks, rides his bike, and frequently performs in triathlons.

 

Damien HolmanDamien Holman is an easy-going guy who has been with UCLA since 2008. He was born in Cleveland Ohio, and raised in the South Bay of Los Angeles. After graduating from Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Damien attended El Camino Community College and received an Associates degree in English. Thereafter, he transferred to California State University Long Beach. Here, Damien graduated with honors with his BS in Health Science: Radiation Therapy, and was awarded the Varian Student Scholarship. Upon graduating he worked with the Radiation Medical group in San Diego before coming to UCLA. He decided to become a therapist because he enjoyed the technical aspect of therapy along with the interpersonal. He enjoys the people he works with, and the patients he gets to meet as a therapist. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar, surfing, and living life in southern California.

 

Alfred JamisonAlfred Jamison followed Tom in joining the UCLA Brachytherapy team after working with Dr. Demanes’ group in the Bay area. He has a wide range of interests and has worked a myriad of jobs. These jobs have ranged from coal mining, to construction, to truck driving, to literally milking cows to pay for college at the Chico State Dairy. When he has time he enjoys reading about psychology, philosophy, and religion, and sharpens his mind on the chess board when able. All in all, Alfred enjoys his job because he has a heart for people, and likes getting to know them as they go through one of the most difficult times in their life.

 

Maria KebedeMaria Kebede is our native Ethiopian. She was born in Addis Ababa and came to the States to pursue a higher education at Texas State University. After graduating from Texas in 2008 with her Bachelor’s in Radiation Therapy she came straight to UCLA to start her career, and has worked here ever since. She is an incredibly happy person who loves that her job allows her to meet new people every day. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with family, watching movies, reading, dancing, traveling, and engaging in interesting conversation. She is multilingual, speaking both Amharic and French in addition to English. If you come through our department you will know Maria by her joyful smile.

 

Kendra PedersenKendra Pedersen, though a native Californian, grew up in Colorado. She came to California for her education and graduated from Cal State University Long Beach in 2006 earning her bachelor’s in Radiation Therapy. She remains involved in Cal State Long Beach and serves as an advisor to her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi. Kendra joined the UCLA family in 2008 and has enjoyed working here ever since. She is a fun loving and joyful individual who enjoys reading, snowboarding, hoop dance, and yoga. She became a therapist because of the unique intellectual challenges of therapy coupled with the ability to work closely with patients on a day to day basis. She likes the fact that she gets to know people, but also likes that she gets to work with other people who she respects and enjoys the company of.

 

Farhad SachinvalaFarhad Sachinvala has a Bachelor’s in Psychology from UCLA, and has worked here as a radiation therapist since 2008. He became a therapist because it is a challenging and unique field in which he gets the chance to grow both personally and professionally. The thing he loves most about his job are interacting with his patients and making them laugh. He particularly enjoys the challenge of learning on a daily basis and being a source of support for his patients during a difficult time in their lives. Making his patient’s smile whenever possible is of the utmost importance to him, so if something as simple as playing a patient’s favorite music during treatment will brighten their day, he will do it. In his spare time he likes the beach and trying new things. He loves to eat (particularly cheese), and enjoys reading Steven King books, listening to music, and watching TV. Some odd facts about Farhad, he can sing the lyrics to most any song we play in the treatment rooms, can wiggle his ears, and has a dog named Sir Sexy.

  

Mark SolisMark Solis is a well-rounded individual who graduated from California State University Long Beach with a BS in Health Science: Option in Radiation Therapy. Mark has an intrinsic passion for photography. He originally started his career as an X-ray technician, only to realize that taking pictures of bones was not enough. He moved on to purse a more gratifying patient involved career as a Radiation Therapist. Upon graduation he has gained valuable experience at various facilities and is now a part of the UCLA team. During his leisure time, Mark enjoys watching basketball and football games (LA Lakers and SF 49ers), taking random adventures, toying around with his Nikon, staying active, and simply just having FUN!

 

James TakakuraJames Takakura graduated from Loma Linda University with honors in 1997, James received his certification as a Radiation Therapist. Prior to joining the team at UCLA Medical Center, James served as a Radiation Therapist at Cedar Sinai Medical Center. His extensive experience in the medical field includes a respected position at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. James has had the privilege of working with many fine therapists over his many years of service in the field; something he feels has given him more opportunities to diversify his training which allows him the ability to share his experience here at UCLA. Introduced to the medical field by his sister, with whom he works with today at UCLA Medical Center, he enhances the experience of working with patients. Previous to the medical field he received a degree in Electronics as well as Photography, something he enjoys very much. He is also certified as a Massage Therapist.

 

W. Todd WalkerW. Todd Walker was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He received his AA degree in Radiology from Lamar University in 1990. He received his degree in Radiation Therapy from the University of Texas. He worked at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for 10 years before moving on to become Chief Radiation Therapist at US Oncology-El Paso. Most recently, he worked as Chief Therapist with City of Hope (outpatient) and Siteline Oncology. He loves working out, hiking, biking, and spontaneous travel.

 

 

Tom WongTom Wong graduated from San Francisco City College in 1977 where he received an AA in both psychology and Radiation Therapy. Upon graduating he practiced for 11 years at Summit Medical Center and from there moved to work for the California Endocurietherapy Cancer Center. Tom joined us from the San Francisco Bay area recently when Dr. Demanes’ Brachytherapy group joined the UCLA team in 2010. Tom has worked hand in hand with Dr. Demanes for the past 25 years and specializes in brachytherapy techniques. He is an energetic guy who enjoys the day to day challenge of therapy. He likes the scientific and interpersonal aspects of therapy, and in his spare time enjoys Astronomy and working out. One way to know if you’ve met Tom is …if you are referred to as a “genius” while in our department, because chances are, you have met our Tom.

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