Meet Our Team
Jane M. Kanowitz, MD
Medical Director of Oncology Services and the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center
Dr. Kanowitz completed a clinical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College. She completed her internal medicine residency at Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. She also is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Dr. Kanowitz’s areas of special interest include providing the same state-of-the-art-care at Bristol Hospital that is provided at academic National Cancer Institute-affiliated cancer centers throughout the country. Her other areas of special interest include program development and utilizing quality metrics to enhance care and the patient experience.
Dr. Kanowitz said she believes patients appreciate her warmth and humor. She also prides herself on providing the same level of care that she would expect to receive for herself and her family.
The Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center is designed to enhance care in a supportive and pleasant, healing environment. The center is approved with commendation by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer as offering the very best in cancer care, meaning patients and their families do not have to travel long distances to receive cutting-edge cancer treatment.
Driola Brahaj, MD
Dr. Brahaj received her medical degree from the University “Mother Teresa” of Tirana in Albania. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Our Lady of Mercy Medical
Center, New York Medical College. Dr. Brahaj trained for three years in hematology-oncology at the Montefiore North Medical Center and graduated from New York Medical College.
She is board-certified in internal medicine and hematology and oncology. Her clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant hematologic diseases and solid tumors with an interest in renal, lung, colon and breast cancer.
Sapna Khubchandani, MD, MPH
Dr. Khubchandani received her medical degree at the Medical College at Calcutta University, India and completed her residency in internal medicine and preventive medicine (cancer prevention track) at Griffin Hospital/Yale University, Derby, Conn. While completing her residency, Dr. Khubchandani also completed her masters degree in public health at the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Conn. She completed her fellowship in medical oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, New York. Dr. Khubchandani is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Dr. Khubchandani is widely published in her field and has presented at numerous conferences. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology. She is also the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Physician Training Award in Preventive Medicine.
Mary Ann Cirone
Director of Operations
Mary Ann Cirone graduated nursing school with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1985, and immediately started her career in inpatient oncology. Within one year she became the nurse manager and worked with a Vanderbilt physician to start a six-bed bone marrow transplant unit. She became increasingly involved in high-dose therapy with special attention to women with breast cancer and adult leukemia patients.
Mary Ann attended the University of Oklahoma Graduate Nursing Program in 1987 and finished her Master’s Degree in 1991. She was recruited to a medical oncology practice in Sonoma County, California, and while working there, started an outpatient stem cell transplant program with the assistance of medical oncologists and bone marrow transplant specialists from Stanford.
Her passion for oncology and hospice started in 1979 prior to her undergraduate work and remains still present today at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center.
Cathi Grady has worked in the Cancer Registry for 3 ½ years. Cathi’s responsibilities include case finding, completing data requests from various departments, as well as additional cancer registries throughout the State of Connecticut.
She is responsible for follow-up, abstracting/coding, data submission to the State of Connecticut, logging the minutes for both the Cancer Committee meetings and Tumor Boards, as well as staging form completion, and documenting all treatments.
Cathi accesses information from the State of Connecticut regarding cases and phone contacts, represents Bristol Hospital at local and regional cancer registry educational meetings and participated in the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center’s Accreditation to the State of Connecticut.
Candace Willig, RN
Candace Willig, RN, BSN, has worked at the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center for more than 20 years, and was one of the earliest registered nurses to administer chemotherapy in an outpatient setting.
Candy graduated with a BSN from the University of Maryland, School of Nursing and immediately entered into patient oncology care where she worked for 10 years, eventually becoming the nurse manager of a 32 bed unit. She is currently the triage nurse for the Cancer Care Center.
Candy’s experience is unsurpassed and her commitment to oncology is equally remarkable. She will attempt to assist with any patient problem or concern as quickly as possible, with a goal of a same day response. Her knowledge and vast experience at Bristol Hospital offers any patient entering the Cancer Care Center valuable insight into their care.
Arlene Pereira, MSW, LCSW
Oncology Clinical Social Worker
Our patients will meet with Arlene at the time of their first visit with us, and are encouraged to speak to her throughout their treatment journey. She will be available to provide counseling and support services for you and your family whenever needed.
She will work as your liaison to community services and programs, as well as facilitate our Cancer Care Center's support group programs for both patients and caregivers. Arlene is also looking forward to expanding groups for all kinds of patients, families and children’s needs. These groups are a wonderful resource and are open to community participation.
Jacqueline Dean RN, MSN, OCN
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Jacqueline received her BSN from St. Joseph College and her MSN from Sacred Heart University in Patient Care Services Administration. She has been practicing Oncology Nursing for over 20 years in Inpatient, Outpatient and Hospice settings and also spent 8 years in the US Army Reserves. She is looking forward to bring her diverse experience in clinical and research nursing to her new role as the Nurse Navigator at the Cancer Care Center. Jackie is an Oncology Certified Nurse through the Oncology Nursing society.
Jacqueline is available to assist patients starting at the time of diagnosis. She will provide information about our center, radiation, chemotherapy, port placement, and any other aspect in dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Jacqueline also works in collaboration with the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness at Bristol Hospital.
Contact the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center at 860.585.3400