The Show Up Initiative is a series of portraits and personal stories from peer-nominated honorees who exemplify Rutger’s Cancer Institute inclusive core values by continually showing up for their patients, peers, and community. Their presence and voices throughout the hallways of 195 Little Albany represent the myriad of cultures, skillsets, and professions we have within our team that all positively contribute to the shared mission of conquering cancer.
"Although I have a traditional psychology research background, I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Digital Marketing here at Rutgers. Making creative materials and interventions that help patients with their mental health and psychological coping when faced with a new diagnosis or challenge is my passion."
-Anna Mitarotondo (she/her/hers)
Research Program Manager
"I was born and raised in Peru and Spanish is my first language. In the past few years while working at Rutgers Cancer Institute, I have had the opportunity to conduct research with residents of the Greater New Brunswick area who are Spanish-speaking. With this work, I have been able to disseminate important findings related to cancer care and prevention in the community in Spanish. I am happy to show up for my community."
-Carolina I. Lozada (she/her/hers)
Shared Resource Manager
"Each patient that I work with when scheduling a surgical procedure is scared and overwhelmed and I will do anything to try and alleviate those feelings, even if it’s just for a few moments. Hearing a patient say, 'Thank you for being so patient and helpful,' is WHY I show up! It all comes down to them feeling the slightest bit of comfort at the end of the day. I know what these patients are going through, and I know how difficult this journey is."
-Dina Choinchio (she/her/hers)
"I show up for the staff with whom I work. I always want them to feel comfortable to share their views, ideas, and plans with me. I believe that dedicated and passionate personnel are one of our greatest resources and so should be given attention and support."
-Gina Londino-Greenberg (she/her/hers)
Administration Senior Director
"I am very proud to be a Brazilian in New Jersey helping other Brazilians that are facing cancer. Being an immigrant, I can relate to our patients that have left their families and everything they knew for the 'American Dream'. I just want to make things easier to the best of my ability for our patients and their families. They do not face cancer alone because I am here to help them."
-Glaucia Goncalves dos Santos-Vaccaro (she/her/hers)
Assistant Research Coordinator
"During my graduate studies in Japan, my thesis work involved rat and mouse carcinogenesis models. Recently, I generated some brain tumor mouse models, and using these models, I am trying to explore new drugs to benefit brain tumor cancer patients. What motivates me is that our Rutgers Cancer Institute environment has the potential for my research to be able to connect and benefit cancer patients."
-Huimei Lu, PhD (she/her/hers)
Supervising Research Scientist
"In my first career as a cytotechnologist, I microscopically diagnosed benign conditions, as well as cancer. I later became a medical librarian. With education, patients can be empowered to make well informed medical decisions with their care. I show up because patients, family members and caregivers face many challenges, finding credible health information shouldn’t be one of them."
-Janet Lasin (she/her/hers)
"I show up for my daughters because I am an example for them. Working in the environment that we do, I value the gift we have every day, and see so many examples of people going through difficulty, but their strength inspires me to give the best of me and do what is in my power to do good for them."
-Jenni Bejarano Bermudez (she/her/hers)
Medical Health Technician
"I am passionate about making a difference in the quality of our patients’ lives. My research focuses on disparities in clinical care and use of various modalities to correct such disparities. This is most relevant in pain management, where data unfortunately continues to show a significant under treatment of pain in Black patients and other minorities. We have been researching and publishing on this topic to correct various incorrect biases in healthcare."
-M. Hamza Habib, MD (he/him/his)
Palliative Care Physician
"What excites me most about working at Rutgers Cancer Institute is the collaboration with my colleagues and the friendliness and engagement with patients. Knowing I provide a service that will help our most vulnerable by ensuring that our labs and clinics are receiving their packages in a timely matter is why I show up every day."
-Shaun Greene (he/him/his)
Senior Material Handler
"I love understanding and addressing issues affecting underserved groups in the academic pipeline and empowering them with resources and skillsets to reach their true potential. I show up because I enjoy the opportunity to serve and contribute to what we can do together at Rutgers Cancer Institute."
-Sunita Chaudhary, PhD (she/her/hers)
"The work culture amongst my colleagues is next to none. I show up because I enjoy every aspect of my job—ensuring my patients have the best possible clinical and surgical outcome, that my team has all the resources to succeed, and that our trainees receive the best education possible."
-Thomas Jang, MD, MPH, FACS (he/him/his)
2023 Show Up Honorees
Glaucia Dos Santos-Vaccaro