Radiation Oncology

Ernest Hymel,MD,PhD,MBA
Board Certified
Radiation Oncology

Danny Chow, MD
Board Certified
Radiation Oncology

Chisa Echendu, MD,PhD
Radiation Oncology

Medical Oncology

Harry Smith, MD
Board Certified
Medical Oncology

Sohail Akbani, MD
Board Certified
Medical Oncology

Tahir Naqvi,MD,MBA
Board Certified
Hematology/Oncology

Muhammad Asim Khalil, MD
Board Certified
Hematology/Oncology

Nurse Practicioners

Ashley Humphreys, AGACNP-BC
Board Certified
Adult Gerontology Acute Care

Amanda Huang, APRN, FNP-BC
Board Certified
Family Nurse Practitioner

Falon Richard, NP-C
Board Certified
Family Nurse Practitioner

Brooke Manuel, FNP-C
Board Certified
Family Nurse Practitioner

Services We Offer

Explore the comprehensive services the Cancer Network offers

The Baptist Cancer Network is focused on assuring that the right care for
Southeast Texas cancer patients and their families is right here in Beaumont.
Our network provides a full range of services related to prevention,
early detection and treatment of cancer.

Embracing Life:

A Place of Learning to Live Beyond Cancer

Immunotherapy/Chemotherapy

Immunotherapy/Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is administered in several ways:

Intravenous (IV) is the most common method. A needle is inserted into a vein and attached with tubing to a plastic bag holding the drug. For patients who undergo several chemotherapy sessions, a catheter is inserted into one of the large veins and left in place during the entire course of treatment. Some patients have a metal or plastic port implanted under the skin as an IV connection device.

Oral chemotherapy drugs are taken by mouth, either in pill or liquid form.

Injections are administered into the muscle, under the skin or directly into a cancer lesion, depending on the type or location of the cancer.

Side effects of chemotherapy:

Side effects depend on the type of chemotherapy drugs used. The length and severity of chemotherapy side effects differ from patient to patient. Most are temporary and will disappear once treatment has ended. There are drugs and non-invasive comple-mentary therapies that can help alleviate some of the more severe symptoms. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Temporary hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Depression
  • Increased sun sensitivity
  • Numbness or weakness in hands and feet
  • Chemobrain: cognitive issues that include memory problems, trouble concentrating and other mental symptoms
Cacer survivor applying makeup
Radiation Oncology

Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology team consists of radiation oncologists and their clinical staff – physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, and nurses who develop a treatment plan when radiation is determined to be an appropriate form of treatment for your type of cancer. The purpose of radiation therapy is to damage or destroy cancerous cells by preventing them from growing or dividing while minimizing adverse effects on nearby healthy organs and tissues. Radiation therapy, or “radiotherapy,” is the treatment of cancer using ionized radiation. Radiotherapy works by irradiating cancer cells, which harms and ultimately destroys them. Many types of cancer are treated by delivering the radiation via a beam from an external source, called “external-beam radiation therapy.”

At the Baptist Cancer Network, patients receive today’s most precise radiation applications due to our advanced cancer treatment planning systems and radiation oncology technology. Your cancer treatment plans may include one or more of the following technologies:

CT Simulator enhances radiation oncology treatment planning by generating three-dimensional images for achieving utmost accuracy in targeting and mapping specific treatment areas. With CT Simulation, oncologists can deliver high doses of radiation to a tumor while minimizing the amount of radiation to normal, surrounding tissues.

Cancer treatment planning is enhanced with the use of a three-dimensional treatment planning computer. Using the information and images provided by the CT Simulator, the computer generates a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s cancer care needs. Guided by three-dimensional models, the radiation oncologist, physicist and dosimetrists can accurately determine the optimal dose of radiation to be delivered during treatment.

The most precise form of external radiation therapy, IMRT is an advanced form of noninvasive radiation treatment enabling radiation oncologists to precisely target tumor cells. IMRT uses computer generated images and treatment planning to deliver high doses of radiation to a tumor while minimizing the amount of radiation to normal, surrounding tissues. Computed tomography (CT) and other imaging studies to build 3D diagnostic images and treatment plans to deliver tightly focused radiation beams of varying intensity to cancerous tumors without needles, tubes, or catheters. The higher dose to the tumor can result in a higher possibility of a cure, and with the addition of ultrasound technology to IMRT; radiation oncologists can localize treatment to the affected area, minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.

The computer-controlled MLC accurately designs the size and shape of the radiation beam to conform to the tumor during the treatment planning process. Individually adjusted metal “leaves” vary beam intensity by blocking and protecting healthy tissue.

Today, using a technology known as image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), a tumor can be imaged just before the delivery of radiotherapy or even during a treatment, enabling radiation oncologists to verify its exact location, thereby reducing the margin of healthy tissue exposed to radiation to five millimeters and, in certain cases, to as little as one or two millimeters. If a tumor has shifted even slightly since a patient’s last visit, the radiation beams can be adjusted so that they hit it precisely.

PET/CT is a relatively new imaging tool that combines two diagnostic imaging scan techniques in one – a PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan and a CT scan.  The combined PET and CT images enhance the physician’s ability to diagnose cancer at earlier stages, including recurrent cancers, and provide a clearer assessment of response to treatments, such as radiation therapy. PET/CT is mainly used for diagnosis, staging or restaging cancer and for evaluation of treatment response. Together the two procedures provide information about the location, nature of and the extent of a tumor. It answers questions such as: where is the tumor, how big is the tumor, is it malignant, benign or due to inflammatory change, and has it spread.

PET/ CT make it possible to customize patient treatment positions. This advanced equipment is able to reconstruct individual “slices” into a 3D image of the entire area scanned, giving the most detailed high-resolution image available.  Because of the lightning-fast speed, these images allow for immediate treatment planning, allowing our physicians to evaluate tumors and surrounding structures in minute detail. When PET is used to image cancer, a radiopharmaceutical (such as fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG, which includes both a sugar and a radionuclide) is injected into a patient. Cancer cells metabolize sugar at higher rates than normal cells, and the radiopharmaceutical is drawn in higher concentrations to cancerous areas. The highly sensitive PET scan picks up the metabolic signal of actively growing cancer cells. The CT scan generates a detailed picture of internal anatomy, locating and revealing the size and shape of abnormal cancer growths. When these two results are fused together, the functional data from the PET imaging is correlated with anatomy on the CT images to give a single detailed and informative image. PET/CT allows for noninvasive evaluation of metabolic and anatomic information, providing a tremendous advantage over other currently available diagnostic tools.

Imaging Fusion technology enhances radiation treatment planning by enabling radiation oncologists to more precisely and confidently locate and define tumors. With Imaging Fusion, radiation oncologists can scale, rotate and translate target body parts or tissues into 3D images for a more accurate perspective of their size and shape.

ARIA is a comprehensive information and image management system that aggregates patient data into a fully-electronic medical chart. ARIA’s oncology-specific EMR streamlines care delivery and provides your healthcare team with immediate access to key information resulting in the ability to make sound clinical decisions in a timely manner.

ARIA, our patient management system is integrally linked to our Varian iX linear accelerator. This technology enables recording and verifying of patients’ specialized treatment plans. All information in the patient’s chart is stored in this system and is available at every workstation, saving time and ensuring quality control for each individual’s specific treatment.

When treating prostate cancer, the goal is to destroy the cancer cells while avoiding damage to healthy tissue. SpaceOAR is a hydrogel technology that creates space between the prostate and rectum to avoid damage to the rectum during Radiation Therapy treatments. We work with local Urologists Dr. Preston Kerr & Dr. Jenny Nguyen, who have been specially trained to insert this gel, significantly reducing the risk of damage to rectal tissue that can cause incontinence.

Elderly patients discussing radiation options

Our program has been accredited by the American Society for Radiation Oncology. To achieve this accreditation, we successfully met the standards of ASTRO’s APEx – Accreditation Program for Excellence.

The ASTRO Accreditation Program for Excellence, APEx, is an independent radiation oncology practice accreditation program. The program is based on a comprehensive set of sixteen standards of radiation oncology practice, organized around five pillars of
patient care:

  1. The process of care
  2. The radiation oncology team
  3. Safety
  4. Quality management
  5. Patient-centered care

When you choose our APEx-accredited facility, you know that:

Our facility has voluntarily gone through
a rigorous review process by trained
radiation oncology professionals.
Our facility’s policies and procedures have been evaluated using objective, verifiable expectations for performance
in radiation oncology.
Our facility is committed to the highest standards of safety and quality in the
practice of radiation oncology.
Our facility practices patient-centered care
by promoting effective communication, coordination of treatment and engaging
patients and their families as partners in care.
Suspicion of Cancer Clinic

Suspicion of Cancer Clinic

​The BRCN Suspicion of Cancer Clinic is here to diagnose possible cancer at an early and curable stage, when most treatment options are available. Patients are evaluated by a team of healthcare professionals that include Medical or Radiation Oncologists, who may then recommend a series of scans or biopsies to establish a diagnosis.The clinic sees new and existing patients, who can refer themselves or be referred by their physician.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have cancer, please call our intake department for more information: 409-212-5985
Doctor talking with patients
Elderly man playing with grandchild
Our Support Services

Our Support Services

At the Baptist Cancer Center, we strive to provide the best possible treatment for cancer patients in the Beaumont and Southeast Texas area. Our team of cancer specialists frequently consult with academic institutions and sub-specialists to coordinate care and ensure Baptist Cancer Center continues to provide leading-edge cancer treatment.

Click a service below to learn more:

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be an overwhelming experience. That’s why we have experienced cancer nurses and a specialized team of Oncology Nurse Navigators that help patients through the process.

The Baptist Regional Cancer Network have Patient Navigators to assist cancer patients in the transition from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. Patients are then able to traverse their cancer pathway more easily and focus on recovery and healing.

Meet Our Patient Navigators

As the oncology center for Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Baptist Regional Cancer Network is accredited by the American College of Surgeons.  Part of this accreditation includes reporting all new and active cases of cancer to the state of Texas and the National Cancer Database (NCDB). In order to abstract this data, we must submit all signs and symptoms, abnormal diagnostic procedures (Radiology and lab findings), surgery, pathology, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and transplant information for research and trending.  We also are required to follow our patients to assist the NCDB to determine the effectiveness of treatment, which helps research oncologists determine the best treatment for any particular type of cancer. Through these affiliations, the Baptist Regional Cancer Network is also able to participate in research protocols to help find new ways to treat cancer.

Tumor/Breast Conference is held twice a month on the first and third Thursday at Baptist Regional Cancer Center.  At this conference we bring all clinical disciplines together to discuss the best treatment plans for our patients.  Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Navigators, Social Workers, Dieticians, and Nurses are present to discuss newly diagnosed cancer patients or patients that may need changes in their treatment.  

The patient’s medical history, symptoms, and family history of cancer are discussed.  Imaging findings are reviewed by Radiologists and presented to the group, and Pathologists show slides of actual biopsies and present findings.  Medical and Radiation Oncologists, along with the team of Surgeons, then discuss and give recommendations on treatment(s) needed for best survival outcomes for our patients.  Holding Tumor Conferences is one of the standards for the Baptist Regional Cancer Network’s accreditations with the NAPBC and COC.

Nutrition is a core component in the treatment process for cancer patients. Nutritious foods that benefit overall health can support the body in fighting against cancer, can promote healing, and can prevent other diseases or complications. At the Baptist Regional Cancer Network, all patients have access to an Oncology Dietitian. Patients may receive individualized nutrition counseling at any point in their journey and can even continue after treatment. The dietitian works alongside the doctors and oncology team to integrate the nutrition care process into the plan of care. During treatment, the dietitian provides specific educations based on need, including: how to mitigate or address side-effects, supporting a healthy gut, enhancing energy, regulating laboratory values, navigating allergies, and use of alternative nutrition. Once treatment is completed, focus transitions to life-long nutritious habits for supporting health. Any patient can request to be seen by our dietician, Bethany Williams, MS, RDN, LD by calling 409-212-5980 Meet Our Staff

We understand that navigating recovery can have various challenges. That is why the Baptist Regional Cancer Network and Baptist Behavioral Health work together to ensure that you have the emotional support that you need. One of the steps we take to help on the journey is to screen and identify individuals who may need the assistance of a Licensed Professional Counselor or Social Worker at Baptist Behavioral Health to meet with you in your time of need while at the Center.

For more information on this process or additional mental health resources, please call Kayla D. Tiller, LBSW MSW at 409-212-5908.

While providing care for patients and family members at the Baptist Regional Cancer Network, it is not uncommon to hear phrases like, “please pray for me,” “I am scared,” “this thing hurts” “I do not know how this is going to turn out,” “thank you,” “I am worried about my family,” “I am sick,” “I am tired,” “I am ready to die,” “I am grateful for life” and “God seems so distant.” These and many other words accompany patients and their family members who are facing cancer.

Efficacy of cancer treatment continues to evolve through research, technology and constant searching for new treatment modalities so as to bring a cure and healing for those facing cancer. One component of any kind of treatment of a patient with a life-threatening illness is care of the Spirit. While other foci of treatment evolve with new clinical data, spiritual care has remained steadfast as an integral part of cancer treatment and healing.

Numerous studies have shown that spiritual well-being helps persons manage feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and isolation that come with illness. In her book, A Time for Listening and Caring, physician Christina M. Puchalski stated that, “In a questionnaire sent out by the American Pain Society (1998), prayer was the second most common method of pain management after oral medications, and was the most common nondrug method of pain management.” Many patients rely on spiritual or religious beliefs and practices to help them cope. In a study of nearly 600 severely ill patients, those who sought a connection with a benevolent God, as well as support from clergy and faith group members, were much less depressed and rated their quality of life as higher, even after taking into account the severity of their illness. Continued major research on cancer coping points to the help of spiritual care during illness.

Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, Monday through Sunday, to attend to the spiritual and emotional needs of patients, families and staff. You can reach the Chaplain by notifying any staff member or calling the Chaplain’s Department at 409-212-5890.

Pink Power Network, Breast Cancer Support Group – A support group specifically for our breast cancer patients. This program is provided by Baptist Cancer Center and the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life”. Program offered twice in one day on the 3rd Thursday of every month. 12:00pm Charline and Sidney “Chief” Dauphin Center Conference Room 740 Hospital Drive, Ste. 100 RSVP 409-212-7962 6:00pm Gift of Life 148 South Dowlen Rd. RSVP 409-833-3663

Sacred Circle – The Sacred Circle is a loving meeting place for people with cancer and those touched by the disease. It helps many people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer by providing a safe space to share their feelings and challenges, and also allows people to learn from others facing similar situations. Sacred Circle meets monthly on the Second Tuesday of each month. 10a-11a at BRCN Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Center Lobby. 3555 Stagg Dr, Beaumont. Light snacks and water served. RSVP to 409.212.5914

The American Cancer Society recommends screening guidelines for individuals who are at high risk of lung cancer due to cigarette smoking. If you meet all of the following criteria then you might be a candidate for screening:

  • 50 to 80 years of age
  • In fairly good health
  • Have at least a 20 pack-year smoking history AND are either still smoking or have quit smoking within the last 15 years

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Specialty Pharmacy provides medication typically prescribed for chronic or complex medical conditions that may not be available through a neighborhood pharmacy. Our team of highly skilled pharmacy staff and medical professionals work together to meet your unique needs, offering personalized, coordinated care.

The Specialty Pharmacy program provides home delivery of prescriptions, education and counseling, automatic refill scheduling, and patient services offered in multiple languages. Our pharmacy staff will provide all the information you need to properly dose and administer your medications, and we’re here to answer any questions or help manage any side effects.

Family posing for a photo

It’s time to take the next step

The experts at the Baptist Cancer Center are here to help.

Cancer Center of Southeast Texas

Altus Cancer Center

Julie & Ben Rogers Cancer Institute

Ernest Hymel, MD,PhD,MBA​

Ernest Hymel, MD, PhD, MBA

Board Certified
Radiation Oncology

Dr. Ernest Hymel is a Radiation Oncologist with the Baptist Cancer Network at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. He serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Oncology Program as well as the President of the Medical Staff at Baptist Hospital.

Dr. Hymel completed his Radiation Oncology training at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2005 before moving to Beaumont with his wife, Amy. Despite his administrative duties, Dr. Hymel’s favorite place to be is in the clinic where he has the privilege of working with patients during a difficult time in their lives. His approach to patient care is simple… for every patient he asks himself, “what would I recommend to my wife, or my dad, or my best friend?” As part of his commitment to maintaining high quality care to the community, Dr. Hymel has led the Baptist Cancer Network to maintain accreditation with the Commission On Cancer (COC) and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), and has recently added accreditation of the Radiation Oncology Program with ASTRO Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx).

When not in clinic, Dr. Hymel and his wife work in animal rescue, from dogs to cats and even donkeys!

aimee

Andrew Goolsby

Staff Chaplain

Andrew Goolsby is a staff Chaplain at Baptist Hospital, where he helps patients and their families to connect with the spiritual resources they need while undergoing tests, treatment, and follow-up care within the Baptist Cancer Network. He actively engages patients and family members by providing a listening ear as they express their challenges, uncertainties and concerns. He also helps patients to execute advanced directives.

Andrew met the requirements to become a healthcare chaplain before working at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. After completing his Undergraduate degree at Lamar University and his Master’s degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he continued his training by finishing a year of residency in Clinical Pastoral Education in Austin, Texas. As a resident Chaplain, he served in the Ascension Seton system of hospitals. While there, he provided pastoral care for the patients on the COVID, Medical-Surgical and Oncology floors of the hospital, along with seeing patients in the outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic.  Within the Baptist Cancer Network, Andrew journeys with patients as they cope with the spiritual and emotional milestones that come up along the way. He is there daily to provide a loving presence as they endure the rigors of cancer treatments.

Andrew grew up in Southeast Texas, which provides him a connection to the people in the area. He is married to Lauren and they have a son named Theodore. Andrew enjoys watching his favorite sports teams: The University of Alabama athletics and the Manchester United Football Club (an English soccer team). He is also a movies enthusiast and loves to listen to a wide range of music, especially the films and songs that make him feel nostalgic.  Andrew also enjoys laughter and is a firm believer that you can’t take yourself too seriously.

aimee

Telice Terro (RN)

Oncology Certified

Telice Terro is an Oncology Certified Registered Nurse. She has 21 years of experience in nursing with nearly all 21 years dedicated to oncology care and 8 of those years working in research. She is also certified in Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Administration. She is the Clinical Research Manager at the Baptist Cancer Center and on the main campus of Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, which means that she is responsible for clinical research involving patients. In this role her job is to educate patients and staff on available research opportunities at our facility, as well as ensuring clinical research studies are carried out within regulatory compliance and advocating for the rights and welfare of patients interested and enrolled in studies at our facility. 

Telice is passionate about her role of connecting patients to research opportunities with the goal to improve healthcare outcomes. She feels this role is important and necessary to healthcare to gain necessary knowledge to help treat patients now and in the future. It is important for patients interested and enrolled in studies to know their decision to participate is their decision and 100% voluntary throughout the entire study. 

Telice entered nursing school with the desire to work in the field of oncology. Although she did not have a cancer diagnosis, she was a patient at MD Anderson for 10 years from the age of 8 to 18. This experience, along with having several family members having a cancer diagnosis, showed her what her purpose was. Immediately after graduating nursing school, she was able to work in inpatient in oncology, followed by outpatient cancer care, oncology screening, then research. Her current role in research was encouraged by the medical oncologists where she began her work as a research nurse/clinical research coordinator. She enjoys working in research – most importantly to make the patients feel comfortable with their decisions to participate in studies and to be able to offer data to research sponsors with the goal of improving healthcare. 

Outside of work Telice is the mother of a 10-year-old who keeps her busy with dance and basketball. She volunteers with her church, working as the church nurse for kid’s summer camp. She has always had a passion for running, but mostly recently her busy schedule has thwarted her efforts. However, she is looking forward to enjoying that hobby again, as she has joined her church’s running group, “Be Fit for Him”.

You can reach Telice at telice.terro@bhset.net.

potter

Charlotte Potter, BSN, RN

Medical Oncology Navigator

Charlotte Potter is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.  She has 26 years of nursing experience, 20 of those in critical care.  She is currently the Medical Oncology Navigator at the Baptist Cancer Network.

Charlotte has always enjoyed nursing and helping people.  As a Medical Oncology Navigator, she is able to combine her experience with her passion, guiding and helping patients through the cancer treatment process. She also assesses patient needs such as transportation, financial obligations, and home care, and provides patients with education regarding diagnosis, treatment plan and survivorship.  She serves as a point of contact for patients, family members and other members of the health care team.  

Charlotte enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.  She has been happily married for 26 years, is a mother of 5, and grandmother to one precious baby – so far.  She is also a very active member of her church.

You can reach Charlotte at charlottee.potter@bhset.net.

beth

Bethany Siow, MS,
RDN, CSO, LD

Board Certified in
Oncology Nutrition

Bethany Siow is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at the Baptist Cancer Network with a Board Certification in Oncology Nutrition.  As part of the care team, Bethany works empathetically with patients as they progress through the cancer diagnosis journey.  To help patients cope with treatment(s) and potential side-effects, she provides detailed medical nutrition therapy, which includes diet recommendations, management of enteral and parenteral nutrition, monitoring for dehydration, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies, and ordering nutrition-related labs when necessary.  Beyond the hospital visit, she equips her patients with education on appropriate supplements, along with resources on healing nutrition.  

Bethany ventured into oncology nutrition after completing her master’s degree and dietetic internship and has served in the field for over 3 years.  She witnessed firsthand how nutrition positively influences a patient’s tolerance to treatment, betterment of the quality of life, and recovery.  “I call nutrition the side-kick to any cancer therapy.  Without proper nutrition, the superhero cannot effectively do its job,” Bethany said.

Bethany wants to make people know and feel that they are loved.  She finds enjoyment in cooking and sharing meals with people at her home, encouraging others to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle, leading and participating in church small groups, and is in the process of learning Mandarin to communicate better with her husband’s Malaysian Chinese family.

aimee

Aimee Smith

Patient Enrichment Coordinator

Aimee Smith is the Patient Enrichment Coordinator and founder of the “Being Beautiful” program located in the Reflections Room at the BCN Julie and Ben Rogers Cancer Institute. Aimee has created a warm, loving place for patients to receive resources they will need to help guide them through their journey with cancer. 

Aimee has dedicated 16 years to creating a colorful, happy, and unique experience for our patients and staff. From displaying beautiful holiday décor and seasonal window art to creating holiday parties, special treats, crafting activities and a Sacred Circle Support Group, Aimee puts our patients’ comfort and emotional support at the heart of all we do. She is an active participant in the annual American Cancer Society “Relay For Life”, where she has served as a committee member and as Team Captain. She is actively involved with the American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball and participates in a variety of education and fundraising events for cancer. She is a recipient of the Baptist Way Award and enjoys spending quality time getting to know her patients, as she considers them an extension of her own family. 

“I want all patients and their loved ones to feel like family. My goal is to help guide them through their cancer journey and to help them overcome their fears and anxieties whether big or small. I try always to lift them with hope and prayer, and to show them true compassion and love,” Aimee said.   

Loreal Irvine (1) copy

Loreal Irvine, RN

Breast Nurse Navigator/
Genetics Coordinator

Loreal Irvine is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and a certificate in Surgical Technology. She has been working toward her Masters Degree in Nursing Education and certification as a Breast Patient Navigator. Loreal has 18 years of experience in nursing, primarily as an Emergency Room nurse, and has recently transitioned to Dauphin Women’s Imaging Center as the Nurse Navigator and Genetics Coordinator. 

There she provides individualized assistance to patients, families, and caregivers to help them overcome health care system barriers and facilitates timely access to quality health and psychosocial care throughout all phases of the breast cancer experience. She will welcome you with a smile and ensure you are comfortable during your visits as well as provide education about the care process at the Baptist Cancer Network. 

Outside of work, Loreal loves the outdoors: traveling, scuba diving, and collecting sea glass off beaches. She loves spending time with her two grandbabies and children as well. 

Michele Chaisson, RN, OCN​

Michele Chaisson, RN, OCN

Clinical Manager

Michele Chaisson, RN, OCN is the Clinical Manager at the Baptist Cancer Network, where she leads, develops and coordinates clinical staff. Together with the clinical management team, Michele manages an educated, dedicated and compassionate staff who care for cancer patients and patients with blood disorders. She also serves on the Cancer Committee as the Quality Coordinator, where she and the team conduct studies to improve the quality of care provided to BCN patients. 

Michele has been an Oncology Certified Nurse since 1999 and has used her knowledge to work in many areas of Oncology including chemotherapy administration, patient and community education, clinic nursing and quality nursing. She maintains her Chemotherapy/Biotherapy provider card which enables her to administer chemotherapy and biotherapy drugs. She has attended and worked many health fairs in the community in effort to promote Oncology screenings and patient awareness of cancer prevention. She has educated youth on tobacco awareness with Ben’s Kids summer youth camp 2 years in a row, among other distinctions in the field. Michele helps guide oncology patients through their cancer journey by providing an environment of care that is safe and efficient, while exhibiting a commitment to caring for the patients in our facilities. 

Michele also loves to spend time with her husband and 5 children. She enjoys participating in church functions, reading, shopping, and decorating in her spare time. She loves nature and traveling to the beach or mountains to appreciate the beauty of life. 

To reach Michele, please send email to Michele.chaisson@bhset.net.

Matthew Knowles, RT(R)(T)​

Matthew Knowles, RT(R)(T)

Director Radiation Therapy

My name is Matthew Knowles, and I am the Regional Director of Radiation Therapy with the Baptist Cancer Network. I started my career in healthcare in 1999 when I attended the Baptist Hospital School of Radiological Sciences program. After graduating, I gained interest in Radiation Therapy and attended The University of Texas MD Anderson Radiation therapy program. Upon completion of my studies there, I stayed and worked at MD Anderson for a year before returning to Baptist Hospital in 2003. Baptist has always been a home to me, and I have enjoyed being able to serve patients right here in my community.

Patient care is my number one priority, and the most effective way I can do that is to ensure our patients have the best possible experience while undergoing radiation therapy. I try to instill empathy and compassion into all of my employees, who in turn touch the lives of our patients every day.

When not working, I enjoy wood working, fishing and hunting and of course, family time. 

Please email me at matthew.knowles@bhset.net or reach me by phone at 409-981-5510. 

Michelle Esclovon, MS, RN, OCN​

Michelle Esclovon, MS, RN, OCN

Oncology Informatics
Nurse Specialist

Michelle Esclovon is a Registered Nurse with a Masters Degree and an Oncology Certification. She has 14 years of experience in nursing, 13 of those in Oncology, where she is also certified in Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Administration. She is the Informatics Nurse at the Baptist Cancer Network, which means that she incorporates nursing, computer, and information sciences to maintain and develop medical data and systems to support the practice of nursing and to improve patient care outcomes. 

Michelle is passionate about her role in delivering crucial information that helps the nursing team care for patients safely. She feels that the contribution of nurse informaticists in developing and improving technology such as electronic medical records and computerized provider ordering has been critical in reducing medical errors, delays in patient care, and health care costs. She happened upon this field when it was a new concept, and she had the most experience with the applications at the time. Now she enjoys using data analytics to see how we can improve our program, as well as the care our patients receive. 

Outside of work, Michelle has turned a photography pastime into an award-winning hobby. She received Best in Show at the Silsbee Ice House Museum for her photographic entry, and she was commissioned by the Sabine County Hospital to supply her photographs, which now hang the walls of the entire facility. Her favorite subject is the Big Thicket with its great biodiversity. 

You can reach Michelle at Michelle.Esclovon@bhset.net.

Gay-Lynne Jones, RN​

Gay-Lynne Jones, RN

Regional Director
Baptist Cancer Network
Beaumont ● Port Arthur

Gay-Lynne Jones is the Regional Director of the Baptist Cancer Network. The Baptist Cancer Network (BCN) is comprised of three campuses – the BCN Julie and Ben Rogers campus (Beaumont), BCN Altus Cancer Center (Beaumont) and the BCN Cancer Center of Southeast Texas (Port Arthur). Gay-Lynne has more than 30 years of experience in oncology services and an outstanding reputation among local and national cancer organizations. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, she moved to Beaumont at the age of 20 to pursue a career in nursing and has since developed an exceptional career in healthcare. Her volunteerism and leadership efforts in Southeast Texas have been recognized as exemplary, and she has been the recipient of the following awards:

  • American Cancer Society Lane W. Adams National Quality of Life Award
  • Inaugural Inductee into the American Cancer Society High Plains Division Relay For Life Hall of Fame
  • American Cancer Society St. George National Award Medal
  • Julie Rogers Gift of Life Volunteer of the Year Award
  • American Cancer Society Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award

Gay-Lynne continues to volunteer for the American Cancer Society locally and regionally. She participates with Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Cattle Baron’s Ball events.

Gay-Lynne is excited about the services that the Baptist Cancer Network can provide locally to the Southeast Texas community, hoping to keep cancer care closest to patients’ family and friends. She is very passionate about the care provided being patient centric. She believes that having a cancer diagnosis is life-altering and that the patient journey should be a positive experience.  Being the only local accredited facility by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer means that cancer care is taken to another level and the care is delivered is through a holistic approach that looks after the mind, body and spirit.

What is a Clinical Trial?

Current trials open at Baptist Cancer Network:

A191901 (GET SET)-Optimizing Endocrine Therapy Through Motivational Interviewing and Text Interventions (GET SET stands for Guiding Endocrine Therapy Success through Empowerment and Technology): Research opportunity for women who take medicine to help keep breast cancer from coming back. The medicines are endocrine therapies and include Tamoxifen or Arimidex. Women enrolled in this study will receive either text message motivation, counselor motivation, text and counselor motivation, or standard of care.

SER-ISD1-001-A Phase 1b Study of Serabelisib in Combination With an Insulin Suppressing Diet (Study ISD) and With or Without Nab-paclitaxel in Adult Subjects With Advanced Solid Tumors With PIK3CA Mutations With or Without PTEN Loss. This study will evaluate the feasibility of optimizing the safety and tolerability of serabelisib (an investigational PI3K inhibitor) when combined with an ISD and with or without nab-paclitaxel with a goal of reducing side effects and enhancing anticancer activity.

NEAAR-001-Prospective, Single Arm Medical Food Study to Evaluate a Standardized Nonessential Amino Acid Restriction (NEAAR) Medical Food for the Dietary Management of Advanced/Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. This is a single arm study evaluating the tolerability and markers of pancreatic cancer with a specially designed medical food restricted in specific amino acids for the dietary management of subjects with locally advanced and unresectable or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Subjects who are eligible to receive two FDA approved first line drug therapies, gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel (gem+nabP), routinely prescribed in combination for pancreatic cancer may be included in this study.

Boston II Study-Diagnostic performance of small RNA blood test in patients undergoing follow-up imaging after positive low dose CT screening for cancer of the lung “Early Detection of Lung Cancer based on small RNA signatures – Boston II”. The study is a prospective, longitudinal, observational study to evaluate the performance of a novel diagnostic test for early-stage lung cancer. Study duration: Expected patient enrollment to be completed within 12 months after study initiation. Patients will be followed for a minimum of 12 months from the date of enrollment. The study duration is approximately 2 years. Participant duration: The day of blood collection. Participants will follow their regular standard of care schedule as recommended by existing guidelines; no extra visits are planned. Follow up data will be obtained from the electronic medical record within at least 12 months of follow-up period.

ICARE-Registry-Inherited CAncer REgistry (ICARE) Initiative: Registry opportunity through Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center for individuals with a personal and/or family history of cancer.

To learn more about these studies, you can find the protocols at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ or you may contact Research Coordinator Telice Terro at 409-212-5979 or telice.terro@bhset.net

Research Team

Investigators:

  • Ernest Hymel, MD, PhD, MBA (Radiation Oncology)
  • Sohail Akbani, MD (Medical Oncology/Hematology)
  • Tahir Naqvi, MD, MBA (Medical Oncology/Hematology)
  • Harry Smith, MD (Medical Oncology/Hematology)

Research Staff:

  • Telice Terro, RN, OCN (Clinical Research Manager)
  • Dr. Salah Tumsah (Clinical Research Specialist)
  • Samantha Blevins, RN (Clinical Research Coordinator)
  • Eisha Killian (Clinical Research Assistant)