Who We Are

The folks at Cancer Care Services have a tremendous commitment to help - and even bigger hearts!

Daniel Wessel, Volunteer

  • Our Staff
  • History
  • Board of Directors
  • Financials
  • Donors


Cancer Care Services Staff


Melanie Wilson
President & CEO

Melanie Lara, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Todd Cooper-Dalton
Director of Operations

Kim Fulk
Finance Coordinator (AR)

Jill Plocar
Finance Coordinator (AP)

Savannah Garcia
Office Coordinator


Deanna Stuart
Senior Development Director

Laura Misuk, MPA
Director of Grants & Advocacy

Rhea Jackson
Donor Relations Manager

Becky Williams
Major Gifts Manager

Katherine B Ware, MBA
Development Marketing Coordinator


Social Workers & Client Activities

Tracey Willingham, LMSW
Senior Program Director/Social Worker
HIPAA Security Officer

James Earl II, LBSW, MPA
Director of Outreach and Health Equity
Survivorship Navigator

Margaritta Jackson, LBSW
Program Director/Social Worker
Caregiver Navigator

Annie Presley, LCSW, OSW-C
Community Counselor

Niels Falk, LMSW
Program Manager, Social Worker
Intern Task Supervisor

Martti McMurry, MSW
Community Social Worker

Fernanda Valadez, BSW
Bilingual Community Social Worker

Brianna Silva, LPC
Child, Teen, and Young Adult Counselor

Megan Clifton
Client Connection Manager

Tamika Chambers
Financial Advocate

Tori Mudge
Volunteer and Program Coordinator

Precious Harris
Targeted Outreach Navigator

Carlene King
Community Health Worker

Kayla Plocar, LMSW
Targeted Outreach
Arlington Social Worker

Danni Howard
Data Coordinator

Dacia Whitaker, LMSW, OSW-C
Clinic Social Work Manager

Erinn Anderson, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker

Brittany Thornton, LBSW
Clinic Social Worker

Christi Jackson, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker

Emily Swearingen, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker

Lindsey Graham, MSW
Rural Clinic Social Worker

Registered Dietitians

Lisa Hall, RD, CSO, LD
Dietitian Manager
Registered Oncology Dietician

Caryn Fields, MS, RD, LD, CNSC
Registered Oncology Dietician



Organizational History and Mission.


Mission Statement: Cancer Care Services supports cancer patients, cares for the caregiver, and empowers survivors to reduce the impact of cancer in our community. It is our vision that everyone who is affected by cancer in our community will partner with Cancer Care Services to CONNECT, COPE, and THRIVE.

Cancer Care Services originated in 1946 when Fort Worth physicians observed the non-medical challenges that low-income cancer patients faced while undergoing treatment, such as loss of health insurance, lack of transportation to treatment, and the inability to afford prescription medications. In response, a group of compassionate physicians and community leaders created a unique and inventive organization for cancer patients. For more than 70 years, Cancer Care Services has been continuously providing financial and emotional support services to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in Tarrant County.  (We received tax exempt status from the IRS as a registered nonprofit organization in June, 1965.)


Community Need.


According to the American Cancer Society in 2017, 116,200 individuals living in Texas were expected to be diagnosed with cancer per year, and 40,260 will die of the disease (more than 100 people per day). According to 2017 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 8,380 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in Tarrant County alone. At the outset of a cancer diagnosis, cancer patients and their families must endure the stresses caused by physically demanding treatments and the health impairment, disability, fatigue and pain that can result. However, a cancer diagnosis can also lead to financial, emotional and mental distress that affects the overall quality of life of the cancer patient and their caregivers. Individuals with limited income may experience financial stress as they worry about how to access or keep from losing the health insurance coverage they need to pay for their treatment and other health-related expenses. In turn, the ongoing impact of cancer treatment can create emotional distress and mental health issues among cancer patients and caregivers, particularly for those who have a weak or absent social support system. As they intertwine, physical, psychological and social stressors decrease a patient’s quality of life and in turn their ability to survive cancer.

In fact, according to the findings of an observational study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, financial distress resulting from out-of-pocket cancer treatment costs increases the risk of death by 79%. The Association of Oncology Social Work conducted a survey of cancer patients in which more than half indicated cancer treatment costs negatively impacted their focus on recovery. Of those patients with major financial challenges, 66% reported suffering from depression and anxiety. Altogether, these “hidden costs” of cancer create a substantial economic burden for the entire community through financial loss, lost productivity, ongoing health problems, reduced quality of life and premature death.

According to a recent study, one in three people diagnosed with cancer end up struggling with a mental health disorder, the most common affecting cancer patients being anxiety disorders (including PTSD) and adjustment disorders. Population-based data suggests that cancer survivors are more than twice as likely to have disabling psychological problems compared with adults without cancer, and individuals who have both cancer and other chronic illnesses have a risk of psychological disability that is nearly 6 times higher than that of adults without cancer. The family members of those going through cancer are at an increased risk for depression and anxiety, particularly in the case of those who are acting in a caregiver role. According to the National Cancer Institute, depressive symptoms in caregivers can be similar to, or even higher than in patients with cancer.

Cancer Care Services partners with cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to improve their quality of life and empower them to care for their overall health. We accomplish this by providing case management and financial assistance to access critical health care services, as well as coordinating emotional/mental health and psychosocial support services that help clients improve their overall well-being, both short and long term.

Board of Directors

Joseph Austin

Jesse Booher, CPA – Board Treasurer
Shareholder | Alexander Booher & Assoc.

Peggy Booher
Community Volunteer

Cameron Brown, D.Min.
Staff Care Chaplain| Cook Children’s, TCU, FW Fire Dept.

LaRhonda Brown-Barrett

Stevie Dawn Carter, PhD – Board Chair
Founder | Orange Compass

Nanny Christie, PhD
Psychophysiologist- Retired

Rosemary Galdiano, RN
Manager, Wellness for Life Services | Texas Health Fort Worth

Karen Garcia, CPA
Audit Supervisor | BKD

Jackie Gibbons
Community Volunteer

Travis Hopkins, MBA
Director of Business Development | FuseMind Inc.
Principal – Strategic Growth Consulting Services | TJH LLC

Deloris Hummel
Investment Manager | Bank of Texas

Audie Kuhn
Advancement | TCU

Cristy LePori, RN
Manager Outpatient Infusion/Thoracic Oncology Navigator | Texas Health Harris Hospital

Rosalyn Levy
Control Manager | JP Morgan Chase

Rodolfo Martinez
NextHome Real Estate Advisors

Dustin Miles
Entrepreneur | Cowtown Capital LLC

Ann-Margaret Ochs, D.O.
Medical Oncologist | Texas Oncology

Jane Oderberg, LMSW
Project Coordinator | UNT Health Science Center

Chianna Rodgers
Financial Planner, Principal | Secure Matrix Insurance

Sue Shields, RN
Retired – Director, Cancer Program | Texas Health Fort Worth

Louann Schulze, D.Ed.
Retired – College Administrator/Counselor | TCC Trinity River Campus

Norma Salinas
AVP Branch Manager – Southside Bank

Melanie Stevenson
Community Volunteer

Robert Sturns, MBA 
Director, Economic Development | City of Fort Worth

Steve Troy
OwnerTroy Financial

Tonya Veasey
President | Public Affairs OCGPR

Misty Wilder
Community Health/Healthy Start Program Manager | UNT Health Science Center


Thank you to the following foundations and organizations for helping us further our mission through their generous financial support during 2018.

Aegon Transamerica Foundation
Alcon Foundation
Paul E. Andrew Foundation
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
C. B. Baird Foundation
BBVA Foundation
BNSF Foundation
The Capper Foundation
Amon G. Carter Foundation
Colleyville Women’s Club
Joe and Jessie Crump Foundation
Ken W. Davis Foundation
M. S. Doss Foundation
The DuBose Family Foundation
Genentech Foundation
Jeanne and Roy J. Grogan Charitable Fund
HNC Living Foundation
The Hodges Foundation
The Holland Foundation
The Hyde Foundation
Lockheed Martin AERO Club
The Lowe Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities of North Texas
The Morris Foundation
Network for Good
Pfizer Foundation
Marty Potishman Lard Trust
R4 Foundation
Ed Rachal Foundation
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
The Ryan Foundation
Guido and Ruth Shumake Charitable Trust
The Sportsmen’s Club
United Way
The Walsh Foundation
Gil and Dody Weaver Foundation


Thank you to the following corporations for helping us further our mission through their generous financial support during 2017.

 Allstate Insurance Company
Apex Capital Corporation
Federated Insurance
Fellfab Corporation
Fit Body Boot Camp
Fort Worth Country Day School
Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc.
Oakline Floors
Quilters’ Guild of Arlington
Sigma Lambda Gamma Omicron Beta
SourceHOV Tax
Southlake Women’s Club
Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth
Takeda Pharmaceuticals
Texas Oncology
The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Troy and Associates LLC
Unity Church of Fort Worth
UNT Health Science Center

Heroes of Hope Corporate Mission Partners: