Meet Our Team

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
Cancer Registrar

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.

Kelly Michaud, RN
Nurse Navigator 

Kelly Michaud has been a registered nurse for over three years.   After losing her father to pancreatic cancer in 2007, she returned to college to pursue a nursing degree.  Upon graduation from Goodwin College in 2011, she began working at The Hospital of Central Connecticut on a medical-surgical/orthopedic unit.  During this time, she received education and training, in which she began to build upon her training in nursing school. She joined the Joslin Diabetes team in which she became a Diabetes Nurse Champion.  She educated patients and peers about diabetes and the impact it has on every aspect of one’s life.   Kelly soon moved forward to the in-patient oncology floor, where she became chemotherapy certified and took classes in the basics of oncology through the Oncology Nursing Society.  During this time, she assisted patients in cancer care, pre and post-operative care, chemotherapy infusion and education, radiation, pain management, symptom management, end-of-life care and support for families and caregivers. 

As the team’s nurse navigator, Kelly will assist patients through initial diagnosis, providing education about cancer, radiation, chemotherapy, port placement, and any other aspect in dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  Kelly will work in collaboration with the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness.

Candace Willig, RN
Triage Nurse

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.

Pauline Miller, MSW, LCSW
Oncology Clinical Social Worker
Pauline Miller, MSW, received her Master’s degree from the UCONN School of Social Work, and has worked in the fields of geriatrics, oncology, hospice and palliative care for over 20 years.

Our patients will meet with Pauline 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.  Pauline 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.   

Contact the Bristol Hospital Cancer Care Center at 860.585.3400
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