A Lung Cancer Hero Is the Doctor ‘Every Oncologist Should Strive to Be’

Conference | <b>Lung Cancer Heroes</b>

Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez serves patients with lung cancer in more than just a clinical capacity, her Lung Cancer Hero® nominator wrote.

By Tisdrey Torres, APRN

It is a great honor to nominate Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez for the 2022 Lung Cancer Hero® award because she truly resembles the definition of a hero in every capacity.

She is a remarkable and inspiring human and thoracic oncologist who has dedicated her career to caring and advocating for patients with lung cancer and their caregivers. As well as improving lung cancer screening programs and raising awareness about the need for more funding directed to lung cancer research.

Dr. Rodriguez obtained her medical degree from the State University of New

York and completed her hematology-oncology fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania where she acted as the Chief fellow for the Thoracic Oncology Division. She has also authored multiple publications focusing on various aspects of lung cancer health disparities.

She is also a leader and has participated in multiple committees such as the Tobacco and Environmental Carcinogenesis: Imaging/ Clinical Trial Working Group at the University of Pennsylvania and ECOG/ACRIN Health Equity Committee.

Dr. Rodriguez is a well-known lung cancer expert in the country and loves to share her expertise by educating new oncologists, advanced practice providers and oncology nurses. She routinely participates in lectures, conferences and media presentations to raise awareness, teach and discuss the latest advances in lung cancer.

Through the span of her career, Dr. Rodriguez has accepted several professional roles focused on serving patients with lung cancer in so much more than just a clinical capacity. While acting as the Medical Director for the Thoracic Oncology Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center she also served as physician advisor and quality assurance coordinator for the Cancer Planning Committee, physician advisor for the Lung Cancer Screening Program, and a member of the clinical research committee.

She is currently the associate director of Community Outreach for the Thoracic Oncology Division at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Furthermore, she is the co-lead for the Thoracic Site Disease Research Group where she dedicates her time and efforts securing the latest thoracic and phase I clinical trials and making them available to patients in the South Florida Region.

In addition to her arduous work in the clinical field, Dr. Rodriguez also finds time to frequently engage in community activities. She acts as a chair at Shine a Light on Lung Cancer, Lung Cancer Alliance Annual Fundraising Event. She also chairs the voluntary leadership board for the American Cancer Society, Miami-Dade Division. Dr. Rodriguez also serves as co-chair for the Go2 Lung Cancer Foundation Hollywood Walk/Run, and the Researchers Campaign-Southeast FL, American Cancer Society. In the past, she has also participated as a team leader in the annual Dolphin Cancer Challenge, as well as in Your Next Step is the Cure Walk/Run, benefitting The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation.

I have personally had the pleasure to work with Dr. Rodriguez for the past two years as APRN. She is the medical oncologist that every oncologist should strive to be.

Dr. Rodriguez always goes above and beyond for all her patients. Her commitment to fighting lung cancer many times exceeds patient’s own expectations. Her perseverance is admirable as she is always finding different avenues and thinking outside the box when it comes to treatment strategies. Thoracic oncology can be such a challenging clinical setting, but she never gives up on getting our patients to their next milestone.

Her compassion and dedication are exemplary, and her patients experience it through their journey, from the very first treatment until their transition to palliative care.

Dr. Rodriguez is extremely humble and never accepts compliments for her hard clinical work and accomplishments. Instead, she always honors and recognizes the patients as the ones doing all the work. I feel so honored to witness this Lung Cancer Hero® in action every day.

For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to CURE®’s newsletters here.