Your Health Care Team - Penn State Cancer Institute

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Your Health Care Team

Medical Oncologist is a faculty physician who specializes in oncology and/or hematology. Your physician will manage your care and supervise the care you receive from the resident physician and medical students. He/she is responsible for involving other members of your health care team, including consulting physicians, in your treatment plan.

Fellow Physician is a doctor who has completed medical school, received his/her medical doctor degree, and is now undertaking intensive training for oncology and hematology specialty. Your fellow physicians will be the doctors who write orders and make decisions related to your care under the direct supervision of your attending physician.

Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP OR NP) is a certified advanced practice nurse who is qualified to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor, performs physical exams and procedures, prescribes and administers medications, interprets laboratory studies and provides treatment. The nurse practitioner works in collaboration with your treating physician.

Physician's Assistant (PA) is a certified, mid-level medical provider who works under the supervision of a licensed physician and is trained to perform physical exams and many clinical procedures, prescribes and administers medications, interprets laboratory studies and provides treatment.

Nurse Coordinator is a nurse assigned to work with you, under the direction of a physician, to coordinate your treatment scheduling and help maintain continuity of clinical care. The nurse coordinator also serves as your liaison with the physician.

  • Office Hours(Medical Oncology) - Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Calls received after 4 p.m. may not be answered until the next business day.
    • For emergency and very serious health-related issues (including fever > 100.4) after normal business hours, on weekends or holidays, please call 717-531-6585 (select option 4) to be connected to our after-hours nurse triage care line.

Clinical Trials Research Nurse Coordinator is a nurse who directs and coordinates patient care during a clinical trial, including teaching patients about what is involved in participation in a clinical trial, instructing on side effects and their management, managing data and serving as a contact person for patients when they have questions.

Radiation Oncologist is a doctor who specializes in using radiation therapy to treat cancer. A radiation oncologist prescribes the amount of radiation you will receive, plans how your treatment will be given and closely follows you to help manage side effects.

  • If you are experiencing an urgent medical need related to your radiation therapy during normal business hours (8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) please call 717-531-8024 and follow the prompts for the radiation oncology nurse working with your physician.
  • If you have an urgent medical need after normal business hours, on weekends or holidays, please call 717-531-8521 and ask for the radiation oncologist on-call.

Radiation Oncology Nurse provides nursing care during radiation therapy, working with all members of your radiation team. A radiation oncology nurse will talk with you about your radiation treatment and help you manage side effects.

Radiation Therapist works with you during each radiation therapy session. A radiation therapist positions you for treatment and runs the machines to make sure you get the dose of radiation prescribed by your radiation oncologist.

Surgical Oncologist is a physician who specializes in the surgical treatment of cancer.

Medical Social Worker is a licensed professional who assists with emotional support for you and your loved ones. The social worker also helps with any financial, medical, and prescription issues, as well as arrangements for home care, equipment, infusion services and transportation.

Clinical Pharmacist is a member of the health care team who works directly with physicians, other health professionals, and patients to ensure that the medications prescribed for patients contribute to the best possible health outcomes.

Social Worker

Penn State Cancer Institute offers social work services for both inpatient and outpatient concerns. The Social Worker can help patients and families with the following:

  • Emotional support, counseling and referrals
  • Financial concerns
  • Assistance with applications for financial and/or prescription assistance
  • Lodging and transportation assistance/options
  • Information and referrals to hospice
  • Home care and home infusion arrangements
  • Alternatives to home care (skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, rehabilitation facility)
  • Home equipment needs, including wheel chairs, walkers, and oxygen
  • Referrals to community agencies
  • Information about how to apply for disability
  • Information about local support groups
  • Information about handicap placards
  • Information about notary services

For most concerns and questions, the best way to contact and communicate with your physician is through the nurse coordinator who works closely with your physician.

Your Health Care Team - Nurse Coordinators Office Hours


To reach the Penn State Cancer Institute (toll free), call 866-987-7724; follow the prompts.

  • To schedule a return appointment
  • To cancel an appointment
  • To reschedule a current appointment