Our Newsletter

Partners with Asante

March 14, 2022

Hematology Oncology Associates (HOA) has partnered with Asante to provide our patients with additional services, such as clinical trials, nurse navigators, and better access for covering care for those who are underinsured or uninsured. This new partnership went into effect January 1, 2022. HOA staff become Asante employees but HOA providers will remain independent. Your HOA doctor will continue care for you in the Asante hematology oncology clinics inside the new Mary and Dick Heimann Cancer Center at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, and the newly expanded Helen K. Spears Cancer Center at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass.

You and your caregivers will receive many benefits from HOA and Asante joining together in your cancer care, including easy coordination among your primary care physician and cancer specialists. Your oncology teams will have greater access to other hospital specialists and can communicate your critical information faster. A treatment plan is created especially for you by a multidisciplinary team of specialists who meet regularly to review newly diagnosed cases. You will also have greater access to nurse navigators, social workers, dietitians, financial counselors, and genetic counseling. BothAsante and HOA contract with the same insurance plans.

We hope you will take advantage of the availability of additional resources and increased services offered throughout your cancer care journey with HOA and Asante. Please visit the Hematology Oncology Associates website and the Asante Cancer Care page for more information about our partnership.

Welcome Dr. Balakrishna

November 01, 2021

Please join us in welcoming Pragathi Balakrishna, MD to the team of physicians at Hematology Oncology Associates.

Dr. Balakrishna graduated from medical school and earned a Masters in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from two prestigious medical colleges in India. She was awarded for her stellar research and academic performance, graduating at the top of her university’s program.

While studying in India, Dr. Balakrishna participated in a polio immunization campaign that provided polio vaccine to children under 5 years with the ultimate goal of eradicating polio in India.

Dr. Balakrishna became a resident at the Orange Park Medical Center in Florida where she won the American College of Physicians (ACP) Adult Immunization and Quality Improvement competition which seeks to increase the rates of adult immunization through education. Dr. Balakrishna completed her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City.

Pragathi has always wanted help people. Her uncle and close friend’s mother are physicians, and she was inspired by them to become a doctor. “Cancer patients are the strongest and most resilient people. Helping them is very satisfying to me. My patients help make me a better person by teaching empathy and humility.”

Pragathi and her husband visited southern Oregon for the first time in 2013. They loved the surroundings and outdoor activities, especially hiking with their kids. Every day, Dr. Balakrishna endeavors to make a difference in both her personal and professional life. “I believe in patient-oriented healthcare,” says Pragahthi. “I strive to provide compassionate and comprehensive cancer care to each one of my patients.”

We’re in this together.

October 27, 2021

At Hematology Oncology Associates, it’s our mission to guide and support you and your family through the challenges of cancer and blood disorders.

We are here to:

  • Help you understand your diagnosis.
  • Provide you with access to the latest treatments
  • Develop a customized treatment strategy just for you.
  • Coordinate all aspects of your treatment, both in our facility and with other specialists.
  • Advocate on your behalf when working with health insurance companies.
  • Refer you to financial and drug assistance programs.

If there’s anything further you need, please let us know how we can help.

Welcome Dr. Sara Matar

July 23, 2020

Please join us in welcoming Sara Matar, MD to the team of physicians at Hematology Oncology Associates.

After graduating with honors from the prestigious American University of Beirut, Dr. Matar was a resident at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where she was elected as the best resident scholar by her peers, and inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. During her training, Dr. Matar was invited to serve on the executive board of Women in Medicine, as well as the American College of Medical Quality, MUSC chapters.

After completing her fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the National Cancer Institute designated Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina, Dr. Matar returned to Oregon to be closer to her family.

“The team at Hematology Oncology Associates is incredible,” says Dr. Matar. “They immediately made me feel right at home. I’m truly honored to be part of this fantastic group of providers.”

Dr. Matar believes in the importance of staying up-to-date with the most recent cancer studies and she is passionate about contributing her skills to improve cancer care both locally and abroad. She is currently collaborating with a national consortium studying ways to improve the care of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most recent results from the study were published in the prestigious scientific paper The Lancet.

Sara became a doctor because of her desire to advocate for cancer patients during what may be one of the most difficult times of their lives. “I feel honored to be given the opportunity to take care of my patients. My goal is to help build a personalized treatment plan that’s focused on their needs, while following the most current therapy guidelines. I want to help each patient understand their options, and provide them with state-of-the-art care. Together, we focus not only on treating the cancer, but alleviating symptoms and healing them as a whole person.”

Dr. Matar’s philosophy is best summarized by one of her patients who said: “Any healthcare provider can give medical advice, but Dr. Sara does it with compassion, genuine care, and a smile that gives me hope.”

Welcome Dr. Emre Koca

July 23, 2020

We are honored to have Emre Koca, MD join the team of physicians at Hematology Oncology Associates.

After graduating from Hacettepe University Medical School, the top medical program in Turkey, Dr. Koca completed his residency at Weiss Memorial Hospital at the University of Illinois in Chicago and became board certified in Internal Medicine. He then served as the chief Hematology-Oncology fellow at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas.

During his training, Dr. Koca was selected for the ASCO/AACR Workshop in 2019, the most competitive and prestigious workshop for clinical trial development. He also advocated for cancer patients in the Texas legislature.

Dr. Koca has multiple publications in prestigious journals, he has presented at national oncology meetings, and he received prestigious awards during his training, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology merit award, and the outstanding fellow of the year award from the Texas Society of Clinical Oncology.

Emre enjoys developing long-lasting, trustworthy, empathetic connections with his patients. A multidisciplinary approach to making decisions in intricate situations and staying up-to-date with the ongoing discovery of new therapeutic approaches is what motivates him every day.

“Each patient has right to receive a highly personalized standard of care,” says Dr. Koca. “As the famous Sir William Osler once said, ‘the good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.’ I strive to be that great physician.”

Dr. Koca grew up in Turkey, and trained to be a cancer care provider in the Midwest and Texas. After completing his training, “it was time to change the scenery,” says Emre. “Being an outdoorsy person and married to a geology engineer, it was not hard for me to choose the Pacific Northwest, join Hematology Oncology Associates, and live in this beautiful, welcoming community.”

Welcome Dr. Hidong Kim

September 10, 2019

Please join us in welcoming the newest provider at Hematology Oncology Associates, Hidong Kim, MD, PhD.

Before attending medical school, Dr. Kim earned a PhD in chemistry at Harvard University. Upon graduation, Dr. Kim co-founded a biotech company in Bainbridge Island, Washington, where he lived and worked for 11 years. During this time, he co-authored and co-presented several projects around the US, and was also awarded research grants for his work.

Driven by a desire to help those in need, Dr. Kim shifted careers and chose to continue his education—this time in the medical field. He attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, where he earned his MD. Following graduation, he completed his internal medicine residency and fellowship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Born in South Korea, growing up in the Midwest, spending some time in the Pacific Northwest, and then returning to the Midwest for school, residency and fellowship, Dr. Kim knew he was ready for a change in scenery once again. Fortunately for us, that move brought him to Medford, Oregon.

“The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.” —Dr. William Mayo

If you ask Dr. Kim his philosophy on patient care, he’ll tell you his goal is not to let cancer get in the way of his patients’ lives. “I don’t want my patients to survive. I want my patients to thrive!” With this desire to serve our community, Dr. Kim’s passion for quality patient care aligns perfectly with the rest of our team at Hematology Oncology Associates.

We look forward to showing Dr. Kim around the Rogue Valley, and introducing him to all the activities, sights, landmarks, and people that make Southern Oregon a great place to call home.

Quality Care Certification

July 17, 2019

Just 20 medical practices in three countries elevated their standard of care and achieved Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification in the second quarter of 2019. ASCO commends practices that have demonstrated their commitment to providing the highest-quality oncology care to their patients and communities.

“We commend these practices for their dedication to the highest-quality care for patients with cancer,” said ASCO President Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO. “ASCO’s mission is to conquer cancer by promoting the highest quality care, and this only can be achieved in the clinical setting through our members around the world in practices of all settings who are taking steps to continually improve the care they provide.”

In the second quarter of 2019, Hematology Oncology Associates of Medford, Oregon achieved QOPI re-certification, which is valid for a three-year period.

 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Relay for Life

August 24, 2019

Southern Oregon’s 2019 Relay For Life event was held on Saturday, August 24 in Medford. The team from Hematology Oncology Associates was the top fundraiser, earning $10,666 for the American Cancer Society. HOA provided brunch for the survivors, and Dr. Aleksandra Sander spoke at the opening ceremony. She recited the “Cancer Cannot Do” poem, which provided inspiration to the attendees.

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.

Because of our generous donors and volunteers, Relay for Life and Hematology Oncology Associates have been able to help thousands of people with breakthrough treatments, education and prevention initiatives, and crucial patient care programs.

About Relay for Life

The Relay For Life movement is American Cancer Society’s signature fund-raiser dedicated to helping communities attack cancer. From team members to volunteers, we’re all able to remember those we’ve lost and help those affected today. Through funds donated, time given, or awareness raised, our community has teamed up to make a difference. When we rally together in the fight against cancer through this fun and inspirational event, we can accomplish anything!

One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Relay For Life events help even the odds in the fight against cancer. The funds raised through Relay For Life not only honor survivors and remember loved ones, but also help give cancer patients and their families the resources they need, like free rides to chemo, free places to stay near hospitals, and a live 24/7 helpline for answers and support.

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