From Our Founder

Laurence J. Heifetz, MD, FACP
Headshot of Laurence J. Heifetz

Welcome to our 2018 Winter/Spring edition of Tahoe Cancer News. This issue contains an overview of useful programs available here at the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center. Keep it for your reference.

Cancer prevention and screening

Dr. Melissa Kaime, our Director of Quality Programs, has given you a clear, clean, and concise outline of why cancer screening is critically important to you and your family, along with a set of simple tasks for you to help keep yourself safe. You might save it as a reference.

Walkabout project

We are developing a program for remote physical therapy using telecommunications for our patients who are unable to attend our group exercise classes at Tahoe Forest Hospital or Incline Village Community Hospital. This fledgling program might be just the answer for patients living in more remote areas. Michelle Larson, MPT, came up with the idea and describes it for you here.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is a much-appreciated service throughout the medical experience. For cancer patients it provides significant help. Polly Triplat, CMT, has written a very comprehensive explanation of the philosophy and application of this useful modality.

Our Art Experience

In our last issue, we discussed how we chose our art for the center. In this issue we describe in more detail a few representative pieces from James Shay, Pamela Hunt Lee, Brent Baker, and of course, my dad, Dr. Milton Heifetz. Please use it as a guide as you enjoy all of our collection.

The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative

In our last issue, James McKenna, MHA, our Director, explained the importance of national accrediting organizations to our capacity to honestly feel we are delivering quality care. Being certified by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) is one of those important programs we want you to understand more about.

The importance of sleep

Nikki Dean, E-YRT, has written a fabulous article on the value of sleep to all of us, especially our patients. Many of us can relate to not sleeping well and she has given us guidelines to help us improve our sleeping.


Biofeedback—you’ve heard of it, but what is it? Linda MacKenzie, a Certified Biofeedback Therapist at Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center, explains that biofeedback uses a patient’s own biology to provide information that can be used to learn self-regulation techniques for reducing stress, pain or other unpleasant conditions. By the way, it can also be used for sports enhancement.


We wanted to end this issue with a heartfelt expression of what it is like to be an oncology nurse. Lisa Wry, RN, BSN, OCN has artfully articulated in a few short lines why she and her partners come to work every day with satisfaction and fulfillment.

I hope this newsletter continues to be helpful to you. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, so please feel free to reach out to us with any useful suggestions.

Laurence J Heifetz, MD, FACP