At the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology you will find a dedicated team of highly trained professionals that work together to provide the most appropriate, individualized care for each of our patients. At ACFRO, our team consists of providers, medical techs, administrative staff, and our patients. We share the same objective: eliminating cancer. Below is a brief description of our roles, and an introduction to our team members.
A radiation oncologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the use of radiation for treating cancer. Dr. Richard Garza is the radiation oncologist at the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology. Dr. Garza’s role includes reviewing all pertinent medical information to determine the most successful course of treatment for each patient. He also works with referring physicians and other health care providers in determining the right plan of treatment for you. Once a course of treatment has been determined, the radiation oncologist will prescribe and plan how your treatment will be given. Throughout treatment, Dr. Garza will track your progress and adjust the treatment, as necessary, to make sure that you receive the safest and most effective treatment.
Dr. Richard Garza Bio
Dr. Richard Garza is a board certified Radiation Oncologist. He is a graduate of The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where he earned his Medical Degree and was elected class president. He completed his Radiation Oncology residency at Loyola University Chicago Medical Center.
Dr. Garza comes to the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology with acclaim in both medical practice and academic leadership in the field of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Garza has spent an extensive amount of time training in 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, and GU/GYN Brachytherapy. After completing residency, he was recruited to stay at Loyola, where he climbed the ranks to Assistant Professor. During his tenure, he was designated as Medical Director for the University Radiation Clinic at the Hines Veterans Administration Radiation Clinic, and the Radiation Oncology Residency Program Director.
Dr. Garza has treated hundreds of cancer patients with radiation therapy, and has a special interest and expertise in the treatment of prostate cancer. In addition, he has published both textbook and scientific journal articles related to cancer and radiation therapy. Richard Garza, MD has been recognized as a “Top Doctor” under the category of Radiation Oncology in the January 2019 and January 2020 editions of Austin Monthly Magazine.
Click below to listen to Dr. Garza discuss men’s health and the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology!
Evelina Kaminski, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC
Evelina Kaminski is an Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology seeing patients under the supervision of Dr. Garza. Evelina completed her Master of Science in Nursing, from the School of Nursing, at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. In 2017, she also received designations as an Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist – Board Certified, American Nurses Credentialing Center(ANCC), and an Advanced Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC).
With a special interest in Oncology, Evelina believes that forming patient-centered partnerships is critical to improving patient health outcomes and patient quality of life. She feels that therapeutic relationships based on respect, trust and empathy allow patients to maintain their autonomy and empower them to make informed decisions about all aspects of care.
Medical Physicist and Dosimetrist
At the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology, the medical physicist / dosimetrist is responsible for designing a treatment plan and carrying out calculations for the delivery of radiation for each patient. This plan is based on the radiation oncologist’s prescribed course of treatment, and takes into consideration tumor pathology, tumor volume, and inherent dose-limiting structures surrounding the tumor. The treatment plan and radiation field-placement techniques are constructed utilizing sophisticated computer equipment and technology. Brad Pollard is the medical physicist / dosimetrist at ACFRO. Brad works with Dr. Garza to construct a treatment plan that meets the prescription written for radiotherapy. This plan is designed to target the tumor, while ensuring that minimal levels of radiation affect surrounding healthy tissue. Once the treatment plan is complete, Brad works closely with the radiation therapists to implement the prescribed plan.
Brad Pollard, Medical Physicist Bio
Brad Pollard started his career in the field of radiotherapy in 2003, and recently rejoined The Austin Center for Radiation (ACFRO) where he was previously employed from 2010 until 2015.
Brad Pollard earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Computer Science, from California Polytechnic State University located in San Luis Obispo, California. Following graduation, he completed a Master’s Degree in Medical Physics from Columbia University in New York City, as well as a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Santa Clara University in California.
As a Medical Physicist at ACFRO, Brad works closely with Dr. Richard Garza to develop the best and most appropriate radiation treatment plan for each patient. Brad’s long-term experience allows him to expertly analyze the needs of each patient, and collaborate with Dr. Garza to individualize patient care. For the safety of patients, Brad is also responsible for measuring and monitoring radiation that exits ACFRO’s radiation machine.
Medical team and support staff
Radiation Therapist: Radiation therapists are highly skilled health care professionals who are integral members of the cancer care team. Radiation therapists use advanced computer systems to operate sophisticated radiation therapy equipment such as a Linear Accelerator. The radiation therapist works closely with the radiation oncologist, medical physicist and other members of the health care team. Since the course of radiation therapy can extend over several weeks, the radiation therapist is responsible for monitoring the condition of the patient and is required to assess if changes to the treatment plan are necessary. The therapist takes images of the targeted treatment area and reproduces the patient positioning and plan parameters daily.
At ACFRO, our team of Radiation Therapists are key members of your care team. The radiation therapists work in coordination with the Radiation Oncologist and the Medical Physicist to administer the radiation treatment to each patient. They are responsible for monitoring all of the machines to ensure the proper dosage is administered for the safety of patients. Our radiation therapists are all licensed by the Texas Medical Board and accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
ACFRO Radiation Therapists
Erick joined the ACFRO team in October 2014. Erick received his BSRT(T) from Texas State University, has his Texas Medical Board License, ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist) Accredited and is CPR certified. He is also a member of ASRT Foundation (American Society of Radiologic Technologists). He loves being a part of this team and enjoys the opportunity to give his best care possible to each patient. When he is not working, he plays volleyball, loves running, hiking and playing with his dog.
Kristianne joined the ACFRO team in October of 2017. Kristianne received her BSRT(T) from Texas State University, has her Texas Medical Board License, ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist) Accredited and is CPR certified. She is also a member of ASRT Foundation (American Society of Radiologic Technologists). Kristianne’s favorite part of her job is working closely with each patient to help them through the unfamiliar situation, and to feel more at ease in their surroundings and treatment. Kristianne loves all the outdoor activities that Austin has to offer. She enjoys kayaking, traveling and spending time with family.
Angela joined the ACFRO team in October 2015. Angela received her BSRT(T) from Texas State University, has her Texas Medical Board License, ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist) Accredited and is CPR certified. She is also a member of member of ASRT Foundation (American Society of Radiologic Technologists). Angela’s favorite part of this amazing team are her patients. Knowing that she is making a difference and keeping a smile on her patients face while doing so is truly the highlight of each and every day for her. Outside of work, she enjoys fishing, boating, fitness, family, friends and experiencing the joys that come along with living in Austin!
Katherine joined the ACFRO team in May 2018. Katherine received her BSRT(T) from Texas State University, has her Texas Medical Board License, ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist) Accredited and is CPR certified. She is also a member of member of ASRT Foundation (American Society of Radiologic Technologists). Katherine is excited to come to work each day to see the incredible patients, learn about their lives, and help ease them through what could be a difficult time while providing them the highest standard of care. Outside of work, Katherine loves being outdoors, hanging out with friends and her dog. She also likes to travel, explore new places and learn new things.
Before patients begin their radiation treatments, they will first have CT imaging performed by a CT technologist. These scans produce cross-section images of each patient’s internal organs and tissues. After the simulation is complete, the CT tech will review the images with the radiation oncologist.
Once scans are approved, the images will be sent to the medical physicist / dosimetrist as electronic files to be used in the planning stages.
The CT technologist also constructs an immobilization device (a body mold called a Vac-lok) for each patient. This mold is used to keep the patient in the exact same position while they are undergoing treatment.
Joyce has been a CT Technologist for 20+ years and an ACFRO team member for over 6 years. She has an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiologic Technology. She is a member of ASRT (American Society of Radiologic Technologists) and is CPR certified. She also has her Texas Medical Board License, and ARRT (The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist). Joyce loves being part a team fighting against cancer. In her spare time, she enjoys attending sporting events with her family and listening to country music.
The nurse assists the radiation oncologist in clinical duties at ACFRO. Clinical duties can include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for their medical examination, drawing blood, and administering medication as prescribed by the radiation oncologist. Additionally, the nurse functions as a patient advocate and liaison between the physician and patient.
Laguana, better known as Que, joined the ACFRO team in 2019. Que has been a nurse for over 12 years, and has had the pleasure of working with great physicians. During that time, she gained clinical expertise in Urology Nursing, and has seven years experience in a surgical office based practice. Because of her experience, Que has the ability to utilize good clinical judgement and deal tactfully and effectively with patients, their families, and other medical professionals. Que is also CPR/BLS (Basic Life Support) certified.
Now that she is at ACFRO, Que feels that she has “stumbled on one of the best Teams ever”. In her own words Que states that, “The professionalism and dedication to the patients exceed all expectations. This team works together and everyone knows what their job is, and they execute it precisely. I wake up and feel like I am going to a job that actually cares and helps people. As a nurse it is our call to duty, but the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology makes you feel like you are part of Team working for the greater good. For that I am grateful.”
Radiation Patient Liaison: Corina is the Radiation Patient Liaison at ACFRO. She handles all patient billing, verifying benefits, and authorizations for radiation, Provenge, and Xofigo. She was previously a Patient Service Representative at ACFRO from 2015 to 2017, then came back in April 2018 in the role of Radiation Patient Liaison. Corina loves being a part of the ACFRO family and is dedicated to exhausting all measures to ease some of the financial burdens that may come with receiving treatment at ACFRO.
Patient Service Representative: Patient Service Representatives, or PSRs greet each patient as they arrive for their radiation appointments. They are available to answer questions regarding billing, practice policies, and available services. PSRs file documentation and maintain a filing system for patient charts. They also register patients in our system, verify that records are up-to-date and accurate, and make appropriate changes in the computer system. PSRs also collect payment from patients, apply payments, and make any necessary adjustments to patient accounts.
When arriving at the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology, patients receive a warm greeting and assistance from our Patient Service Representatives Jenavie and Isabel. Jenavie joined the ACFRO team in March of 2012. Isabel joined Urology Austin in July 2014, and then transferred to ACFRO in February 2018.
At the Austin Center for Radiation Oncology, our team of professionals are dedicated to providing the most effective and personalized care for each patient. If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Richard Garza.