J. Andrew Livingston, M.D.
AYA Program Co-Director
Associate Professor, Sarcoma Medical Oncology
J. Andrew Livingston, M.D., is a board certified pediatrician, internist, and adult medical oncologist with a particular interest in the care of adolescents and young adults with cancer as well as patients with soft tissue and bone sarcomas. He is a panel member on the committee that developed the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Guidelines on AYA Oncology and also serves on the AYA Committee for SWOG. His clinical and laboratory research focuses on developing new treatment strategies for patients with osteosarcoma. Livingston is the principle investigator on multiple clinical trials for patients with osteosarcoma that has spread to the lungs. He has also earned an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award and the NIH/NCI Paul Calabresi Career Development Award in Clinical Oncology.
Michael Roth, M.D.
AYA Program Co-Director
Director of Survivorship Program
Michael Roth, M.D., is an associate professor of Pediatrics and co-director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Program. He is also the chair of the AYA Committee within the Children’s Oncology Group. He has clinical expertise treating patients with leukemia and lymphoma, and providing supportive care for adolescents and young adults from initial diagnosis through long-term survivorship. His research focuses on identifying and addressing disparities in care and outcomes for AYA cancer patients and survivors. He earned his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and completed his pediatrics residency and hematology/oncology fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, where he also was assistant professor of Pediatrics prior to his appointment at MD Anderson.
Wendy Griffith, MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Wendy Griffith has worked with children and young adults in Texas for over a decade, starting with her undergraduate and graduate internships where she first found her love for oncology. Griffith joined MD Anderson in 2008 as a social worker in the Head and Neck Clinic where she had the opportunity to provide counseling and resource linkages to patients of all ages, but especially to young adults. She co-manages the Young Adult Advisory Council, which works with patients and employees to improve the experience of care for young adults at MD Anderson by collaborating in the development, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs and services that impact young adults. She also created and facilitates the Young Adult Support Group for young adult patients (ages 18 to 39) and their caregivers. Her role in the AYA Oncology Program is to ensure our services are well-known throughout MD Anderson and to be a liaison to neighboring institutions, community organizations, and philanthropic partners. She can be reached at WEGriffith@mdanderson.org
Angela R. Yarbrough, D.N.P., M.S.N., R.N., F.N.P.-B.C.
Angela Yarbrough has been providing care to pediatric and young adult patients for over 20 years. She spent the first 12 years of her career as a registered nurse and certified family nurse practitioner at hospitals and universities in Mississippi, and has been at MD Anderson since 2009. Her experience includes general pediatrics, pediatric nephrology, pediatric intensive care and outpatient pediatric oncology and endocrinology. Yarbrough works in both the Childhood Survivor Clinic and Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic providing clinical care to her patients. She is passionate about survivorship care of children and young adult patients and serves as the disease committee nurse for outcomes and survivorship for the Children’s Oncology Group. She completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2019. She can be reached at ARYarbrough@mdanderson.org.
Donna Herrera Bell, MSN, RN, NP-C
Bell has been providing care to pediatric and young adult patients with cardiology and oncology needs for nearly 19 years. She began her career as a staff nurse and has earned positions of increasing responsibility ever since, including a role as a program director at a regional hospital in which she coordinated the nursing care of all pediatric service lines. As a nurse practitioner at the Children’s Cancer Hospital for 11 years, she works with children and adolescents with leukemia and lymphoma. Bell was pivotal in the development and maintenance of our Pediatric Onco-fertility consult service. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Alexandra Saldana, PA-C
Alexandra (Lexi) has been working as a PA for over 10 years. She started her career working in general pediatrics and primary care with a focus in medically underserved populations. She eventually transitioned to oncology, where she gained experience in orthopedic surgical oncology, lymphoma and now AYA. She is passionate about providing high-quality care to the pediatric and young adult population and hopes to improve their outcomes by providing resources to address the many concerns they may face including fertility, psychosocial, genetic and survivorship/late effects. She is highly involved in various local and national PA organizations including Texas Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Texas Gulf Coast Physician Association.
Jessica Blanc, LCSW
Social Work Counselor
Jessica Blanc is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with adolescents and young adults and their families since starting her social work career at MD Anderson in 2019. She is passionate about supporting patients and caregivers through trauma-informed, culturally sensitive and strengths-based care. As a social worker in the AYA clinic, Jessica is available to provide support, counseling and resource linkage to patients and caregivers at no cost. Common topics include adjustment to a new diagnosis or treatment regimen, exploring healthy coping skills, anxiety, grief, trauma, navigating healthy relationships, body image, sexuality and intimacy, legacy planning, and adjustment to life after cancer. She also provides education on advanced care planning and helps patients and caregivers connect with community AYA resources. Services can be provided in person, by phone or via virtual visit. Jessica can be reached at JMBlanc@mdanderson.org.
Cindy Parker, LMSW
Social Work Counselor
Cindy Parker is a Licensed Master Social Work (LMSW) who is excited to work with adolescents and young adults and their families. As one of the social work counselors with the AYA clinic, Cindy is available to support patients and caregivers throughout the entire cancer experience. If anyone is looking for resources, ways to connect during this time of care or just need to talk, please reach out to her any time. Cindy also provides education on advanced care planning and helps patients and caregivers connect with community AYA resources. Services can be provided in person, by phone or via virtual visit. Cindy can be reached at CLParker3@mdanderson.org.
Heather DeRousse, LCSW
Heather is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with pediatric and young adult cancer patients for 20+ years. After working as a social worker in multiple areas across MD Anderson, Heather transitioned to the AYA team in 2023 to focus specifically on vocational counseling. As a vocational counselor, she assists adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with college and career exploration, often utilizing career and interest assessments to help them plan meaningful career paths tailored to their specific interests and talents. When working with college students, Heather helps with identify resources for financial aid scholarships and explores possible educational accommodations. She also frequently works with patients and survivors who are navigating the workplace setting by providing guidance on leave of absence and workplace accommodations. When she isn’t in clinic or with patients, she is co-leading the Adolescent and Young Adult Advisory Council, the AYA caregiver support group, or participating in a variety of committees and workgroups. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexander Chernyshov, LPC, MBA
AYA Senior Counselor
Alexander (Alex) is a Licensed Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with children, adults, couples and families, as well as leading support and recovery groups. His professional work history ranges from private practice to acute mental health hospitals to community-based healthcare clinics. Working in such a variety of settings has not only given him a wide breadth of expertise, but perhaps most importantly has fueled his long-standing passion for helping individuals overcome personal struggles to achieve their fullest potential. In 2023 he made the transition to oncology and accepted a position as a senior counselor within the AYA Program, where he provides psychological services to adolescents and young adults during and after treatment. In his work Alex applies a holistic approach and utilizes several therapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy and solution-focused therapy. He is a strong proponent of the “healthy body – healthy mind” methodology. Professional interests include anxiety, depression, coordinated system of care, addiction and integrated behavioral healthcare. In his spare time Alexander enjoys running, traveling and spending time with family and friends. Patients can request psychology counseling services through the AYA clinic; however, only patients physically present in Texas are eligible due to licensing restrictions. Appointments are available virtually and in person. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Diana Guzman, MA, LPC-S
AYA Senior Counselor
Diana Guzman is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC-S) who has worked with young and adult oncology patients and their families for 10 years starting with her undergraduate and graduate psycho-oncology internships. She has extensive experience as an educational advisor, parenting coach, and counselor primarily in health and oncology settings. She completed her graduate internship at the MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital and quickly developed a passion for oncology. In 2015 Diana accepted a position at MD Anderson as a counselor in the Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine Department, where she provided psychosocial support to patients with advanced and terminal cancer and their families. After 8 years there, she accepted a Senior Counselor position within the AYA Program, where she provides counseling services to support AYA-specific emotional and psychological needs and helps AYA patients develop adequate coping skills to enhance their quality of life. Diana's therapy practices are primarily based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Patients can request psychology counseling services through the AYA clinic. Only patients physically present in Texas are eligible due to licensing restrictions. Appointments are available virtually and in person. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AYA Clinic Nurse
Meagan is a certified pediatric hematology/oncology (CPHON) nurse who has had a passion for oncology since her first semester of nursing school. She began working at MD Anderson as a Summer Nurse Extern on the inpatient pediatric floor in 2015 and then happily accepted a full-time position there in 2016 after she graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She stayed in that position for 4 years and then transitioned to outpatient when she joined the AYA team in 2020. Meagan loves getting to connect with AYA patients, and especially enjoys the opportunity to link them to the vast number of resources provided through both the AYA Clinic and MD Anderson. Meagan can be reached at email@example.com.
Jessica Corredor, MS, CGC
Jessie Corredor is a certified genetic counselor who works to help AYA patients gain access to genetic counseling services. She joined MD Anderson in 2016, after completing her genetic counseling degree at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During her graduate education she developed a passion for genetic counseling in children, adolescents, and young adults. This passion continued when she accepted a position seeing patients in MD Anderson’s Breast Center and Children’s Cancer Hospital, where she works with patients of all ages, including numerous AYA patients. As a genetic counselor to AYA patients, Jessie uses patient and family history information to determine whether individuals could benefit from genetic testing. Jessie then has the opportunity to help patients and families understand their genetic testing results, help determine other family members' cancer risks, discuss prevention options, and even review potential impacts on future generations. Patients can discuss a referral and appointment for genetic counseling with their provider at their initial visit to the AYA clinic.
Eliana Shkedy, MS, RDN, LD
Eliana Shkedy is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) in the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) clinic. She is passionate about educating individuals with cancer and their caregivers on the importance of nutrition during their journey through all phases of cancer treatment. She works closely with patients during treatment to optimize their nutrition status and find foods that they can enjoy, and after treatment on how to achieve optimal health. All of her services are provided in person, over the phone, or by video visit at no cost. Patients can request a nutrition consultation with their provider during any visit to the AYA Clinic.
AYA Patient Navigator
Janae Harris is a certified pediatric hematology/oncology (CPHON) nurse who has extensive oncology nursing experience and a deep passion for the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population. She has taken on various roles in her 15 years of nursing including an inpatient clinical staff nurse, outpatient nurse coordinator for bone marrow transplant long-term survivors, outpatient AYA Clinic nurse, and most recently – AYA Patient Navigator. As the AYA Patient Navigator, Janae’s primary goal is to connect patients with all aspects of the AYA Program and help them navigate through the MD Anderson system at large. She has a major role in facilitating fertility preservation as well as family planning discussions. Janae enjoys connecting with patients directly and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Program Manager
Maldonado has more than 15 years of experience supporting executive level physician administrators. She works with our team to coordinate administrative appointments, facilitate patient access and education, and assist faculty in sharing information about our AYA program, both internally and beyond the institution. Reach her during office hours at 713-745-0477 or at email@example.com