Dr. Ali Moussa
Tulsa Cancer Institute
Moussa, a medical oncologist at Tulsa Cancer Institute, is known both for his expertise and his bedside manner. He has been listed as one of America’s Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report in the field of medical oncology and has received Vitals Patients’ Choice and Compassionate Doctor awards, recognition earned through positive patient feedback. Although a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, Moussa finds joy in offering his patients hope.
“Cancer is the most challenging disease of our modern age, and the cancer patient is the most compliant and appreciative,” he says. “Caring for them is very rewarding.”
Despite the challenges, Moussa shares that cancer treatments continue to progress.
“Through clinical trials we have the ability to offer more precise treatments. Tulsa Cancer Institute is the only facility in the greater Tulsa area that has an adult oncology research department,” he says. “This allows our doctors to perform genetic mapping of each person’s cancer and choose from over 100 trials open within Tulsa Cancer Institute through the National Cancer Institute and major pharmaceutical companies to personalize each patient’s care.”
Moussa says his greatest accomplishments are “being able to follow up with patients … diagnosed with stage IV cancer and being able to see them 10 or more years after their initial diagnosis going through life enjoying their kids and grandkids.”
Dr. Jose El-Amm
Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation
Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute
INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center
As the medical director of kidney transplantation for the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute, El-Amm encourages everyone to become an organ donor.
“The most rewarding outcome for patients with chronic kidney disease is a transplant,” says El-Amm. “My patients live longer and have a better quality of life if they are fortunate enough to get a transplant.”
Dedicated to helping as many patients as possible, El-Amm has marked several milestones in his career, including opening Oklahoma’s first and only desensitization program, which helps some patients, who previously may not have been good candidates for a transplant, receive one. He also opened the state’s first and only active paired kidney donation program. This program increases the number of transplant recipients by allowing living donors and recipients to share organs with other living donors and recipients.
El-Amm says the hardest part of his job is to be a part of the team who must refuse a patient for a transplant.
“Sometimes the risk-benefit ratio favors a patient staying on dialysis,” he says. “We do it for the benefit of the patient, but it is always a heartbreaking decision.”
Dr. Daniel Nader
National Clinical Director, Pulmonary/Critical Care
Chief of Staff
Director of the Lung Center & Interventional Pulmonologist
Cancer Treatment Center of America
While Nader assumes multiple roles for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), he has a unified goal, which is providing extraordinary clinical expertise with compassionate patient care.
Nader serves as CTCA’s national clinical director of pulmonary/critical care and as chief of staff and director of the Lung Center & Interventional Pulmonologist at CTCA’s Southwestern Regional Medical Center in Tulsa.
Through his work, Nader participates in the research of new therapies in emphysema and radiation therapy of lung tumors.
“Serving as national director of pulmonary medicine for the entire CTCA enterprise, which includes five hospitals and an outpatient clinic, I have the opportunity to collaborate with some of the top pulmonologists in the nation, advancing care to our patients,” says Nader. “I am grateful to CTCA for the opportunity to use a broad range of advanced technologies to make a real difference in the lives of patients.”
He shares that diagnostic procedures have significantly improved to the benefit of patients.
“These advancements allow interventional pulmonologists to non-invasively biopsy and stage lung cancer, while possibly avoiding other more invasive procedures. Any time you can improve care or make it less intrusive is a big win for patients,” says Nader. “Pulmonary medicine has been a significant benefactor to technology but continues to allow physicians direct patient interaction. It’s encouraging to see patients return year after year and be able to have a good quality of life.”
Dr. Rebecca G. Stough
Director of Imaging at Mercy Women’s Center
Clinical Director at Breast MRI of Oklahoma, LLC
Stough is a leader in early breast cancer detection and has a passion for the cause.
“My mother and first cousin both had breast cancer that was invisible on the mammograms of that day,” says Stough. “With the advent of minimally invasive breast biopsies and digital mammography, the early diagnosis of breast cancer became possible.”
Around this time, Stough turned her attention from CT scanning to mammography, and in 1999, she helped open Mercy Women’s Center, the state’s first facility offering digital mammography to all patients.
However, she explains that despite the advances in digital mammography, there were breast cancers that were still unseen.
To increase detection, Stough launched the first comprehensive breast MRI program in Oklahoma in 2002 and is now one of the country’s most experienced breast MRI radiologists. She is an international speaker and educator on breast MRI and MRI-guided biopsies and serves as an advisor to industry leaders in imaging technology. She finds her greatest satisfaction in helping patients.
“Since these cancers are invisible by mammography and ultrasound, we perform an MRI-guided biopsy,” says Stough.
“Thus, we are able to make the diagnosis months before it would have been identifiable by any other method. This could be lifesaving.”
Dr. Beverly J. Talbert
Clinical Associate Professor
Stephenson Cancer Center
Talbert has been an advocate for women’s health for more than 20 years. Today, she serves as a clinical associate professor and surgical oncologist at Stephenson Cancer Center at the OU Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
“When I finished my surgical training in 1991, women surgeons were still relatively uncommon,” says Talbert. “I felt that gave me a unique perspective on issues dealing with women’s health.”
Talbert was also among the first physicians in Oklahoma to focus her practice exclusively on breast health and to champion a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment.
Her career calling aligns with the mission of the Stephenson Cancer Center – to improve and extend the lives of cancer patients. As part of its Breast Cancer Program, she is among a team of breast cancer experts who focus on the full spectrum of breast oncology care, including prevention, detection, treatment and research.
“Breast cancer affects one in eight women, most of whom will be long-term survivors,” says Talbert. “It has been most gratifying to watch the evolution of ‘personalized’ medicine, which recognizes the unique qualities of each individual patient.”
Dr. John B. Forrest
Staff Urologist with Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma, Inc.
Chief of Urology, St. John Medical Center
Upcoming: Medical Director of Surgical Services and Director of Surgical Oncology St. John Medical Center
With an already exemplary career in medicine, Forrest continues to be a leader in his field. On Oct. 20, he will become the medical director of surgical services and director of surgical oncology at St. John Medical Center. He currently serves as the chief of urology for St. John Medical Center and as a staff urologist with Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma.
No matter what his title, Forrest says that, first and foremost, he enjoys helping patients alleviate or lessen the burden of urologic disease. He also enjoys working with a variety of professionals toward a common goal and feels privileged to have worked with his outstanding colleagues at Urologic Specialists of Oklahoma for the past 31 years.
Since beginning his profession, Forrest has seen several significant advancements in the urology field and says that improved imaging techniques and instrumentation for surgical approaches without incisions, as well as the use of robotically enhanced laparoscopic techniques, continue to evolve.
“In the last three years, six to seven new products for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer have been FDA approved,” says Forrest. “Urology as a field continues to advance on many fronts.”
Dr. David W. Harris
Saint Francis Health System
Harris, an endocrinologist with Warren Clinic, a division of Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, consistently works to benefit patients through new research findings and is personally driven to help end diabetes.
“Overall, endocrinology is a very challenging and intriguing medical specialty,” says Harris. “The diagnosis and management of diabetes and other endocrine illnesses requires intellectual endeavor, and it is very important to keep up with the latest developments in this specialty.”
While growing up, Harris was very aware of diabetes because he had family members who had the disease.
“When I had the opportunity to choose endocrinology as my emphasis in medical school, I did not hesitate,” he says. “Diabetes is a terrible disease and is a growing problem. I want to do all I can to combat it.”
Harris shares that one of the greatest advancements in his field is the “elucidation of the human genome,” which “allows for more precise diagnosis, treatment and opportunities for a cure of many diseases,” he says.
Harris has spent more than 25 years practicing endocrinology and has served on many committees of local and national endocrine-related specialty organizations.
“Endocrinology is a specialty that brings to bear outstanding knowledge gained by rigorous research to the exam room bedside to improve the lives of all endocrine patients,” he says. “What gives me pride as a physician is knowing that Warren Clinic is providing a service to the community. The most important thing that people have is their health. Being entrusted to take care of it is very rewarding and humbling. Seeing patients benefit from their medical treatment is very gratifying.”