From Our Founder

Laurence J Heifetz, MD, FACP
Laurence J. Heifetz, Founder of Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center

Welcome to our inaugural issue of Tahoe Cancer News. In the ten years since we started providing hematology and oncology services in this community we have been honored to be your doctors. Your trust in us is not taken for granted, and we hope to continue to earn that trust every day.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Thomas Semrad, MD, MAS, FACP, medical Oncologist and Hematologist to our team.  Dr. Semrad comes to us from UC Davis, where he was Associate Professor of Hematology and Oncology at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. You can read more about Dr. Semrad here.

The cancer program here is focused on delivering the best care you can get and still stay close to home. This has been enabled by our close relationship with the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our virtual tumor board program has allowed us to discuss complex cases with thought leaders in an easy and open forum frequently throughout the week.

Our coordinated patient and family services programs, available to you without charge, are testing the idea that physical and emotional stability will result in improved symptoms and outcomes for our cancer patients.

Please take your time and review this newsletter. We hope to bring you useful information at all times, and welcome your comments.  We promise to read every one! Email:

For Dr. Heifetz, helping cancer patients has become his life’s work, providing what he calls “a wonderful sense of satisfaction.”  After 30 years in oncology, Dr. Heifetz is still admired for his personal and honest approach.