Our Team

The Symptom Management Services team is made up of clinicians and staff throughout the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

SMS Team

The group includes palliative care physicians, all members of the Cancer Center social work program, the Ida & Joseph Friend Cancer Resource Center staff, and the Spiritual Care Services group.

The team also collaborates with the UCSF Art for Recovery Program, members of the Cancer Center Psycho Oncology program and community organizations including Jewish Family and Children's Services.


Michael W. Rabow, MD (Director)

Cancer Center biosketch

Michael W. Rabow, M.D., is a Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Board-certified in internal medicine and hospice & palliative care, he directs the Symptom Management Service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is the Associate Director of the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) and a member of the curriculum development committee for the PCLC Initiative nationally. The PCLC Initiative has trained more than 500 of the approximately 1200 hospital-based palliative care programs in the United States. Dr. Rabow is the executive producer of "The Caregivers" film and accompanying family caregiver handbook. He has written and taught widely about family caregiving and communication with patients and families around serious news and existential issues at the end-of-life. In addition to his clinical palliative care work, Dr. Rabow has an active outpatient primary care medicine practice.

Dr. Rabow attended UCSF for medical school and general internal medicine residency training. He completed fellowships at UCSF in general medicine, as well as in medical education research. His research work is in palliative care, family caregiving, and end-of-life care education. Dr. Rabow has served as a consultant to U.S. hospitals and hospital systems working to develop or expand their palliative care services for more than eight years and runs one of the nation's leading outpatient palliative care consultation services.

Dr. Rabow was Assistant Editor for the recently completed bimonthly section in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled "Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life." He serves as the Director of the Center for the Study of the Healer's Art at the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal in California.


Nancy Shepard Lopez, NP (Assistant Director)

Nancy was born and raised in Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. Olaf College. She feels fortunate to have found her “niche” in oncology nursing and has spent her entire career taking care of cancer patients and their families. After receiving a master’s degree in oncology nursing from UCSF, Nancy worked as an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist. In this role, she helped establish an inpatient palliative care consult service at Marin General Hospital. In addition, she has taught widely on a variety of oncology-related topics. In 2002, she returned to UCSF and completed the post-master’s acute care nurse practitioner program. As an Oncology Nurse Practitioner with both solid tumor and hematologic malignancy experience, Nancy is excited for the opportunity to focus on pain and symptom management and quality of life as a member of the Symptom Management Service team.

Nancy is an Associate Clinical Professor with the Department of Physiological Nursing at UCSF School of Nursing where she teaches and mentors graduate students. She has been active in the Oncology Nursing Society having served as local chapter president, presented at national meetings and helped develop the evidence-based guideline on management of anorexia. She is certified as an Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse by the Oncology Nursing Society.

BJ Miller

Bruce (BJ) Miller, MD

BJ was born and raised principally in Chicago. He studied Art History as an undergraduate at Princeton University. After several years working in both the art and disability-rights non-profit communities he enrolled at UCSF where he completed his MD as a Regents Scholar in 2001. He completed his internal medicine residency at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara where he served as chief resident. His interests in medicine generally relate to how people cope with life-altering illness. He sees an intellectual connection between art and medicine insofar as both relate directly to the human condition and focus serious attention on the notion of perspective. He is interested in the philosophical underpinnings of medicine and end-of-life care. "I see great value in reciprocation between patient and doctor; I believe there is a vast therapeutic potential to be found within this relationship and exchange, and I believe it can be gleaned in a moment." B.J. completed a fellowship in palliative medicine at Harvard Medical School with his clinical duties split between the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Brook Calton, MD, MHS

Dr. Brook Calton is a Palliative Medicine specialist at UCSF. She completed medical school, Internal Medicine-Primary Care Residency, and Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship at UCSF. Dr. Calton feels it’s a true privilege to get to know and care for her patients in SMS and her home-based palliative medicine practice at UCSF. Dr. Calton maintains a strong interest in medical education and leads several projects on serious illness communication for medical students and residents. Outside of medicine, she enjoys travelling, spending time with her husband, cat "Fenway", and friends, and searching for the best pizza in the Bay Area.


Kara Bischoff, MD

Kara Bischoff, MD, is the Director of Quality Improvement for the Palliative Care Service at the UCSF Medical Center. As such, she works on projects to improve pain, complete advance directives, and transition care between the hospital and home settings. She is also working with the gastrointestinal oncologists to develop a program to support patients with metastatic colorectal cancer from the time of diagnosis. Dr. Bischoff belongs to The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Society for Hospital Medicine. She attended Harvard Medical School, completed her residency at UCSF (Internal Medicine, 2012), and her Fellowship at UCSF (Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 2014). She is also a mother and an outdoor enthusiast.

S. Adkins

Sarah Adkins, MD

Dr. Sarah Adkins is a palliative care physician who treats seriously ill patients both in the hospital and at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. She specializes in managing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue and anxiety. Her primary goal is to improve the quality of life of her patients and their families by addressing their physical, psychological and spiritual needs. Adkins received her medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She then completed a residency in internal medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, followed by a fellowship in palliative care at UCSF. She is a member of the American Academy of Palliative Medicine and the Society of Hospital Medicine.


Stephanie Cheng, MD

Dr. Stephanie Cheng is a palliative care physician who cares for patients with terminal or life-altering illness. Her goal is to provide holistic, person-centered care focused on improving patients' quality of life. She devotes most of her clinical time to outpatient palliative care and sees patients through the Bridges Program, which provides supportive home care to UCSF patients with life-threatening or advanced illness. She also sees oncology patients through the Symptom Management Service at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Cheng has a special interest in integrative approaches to symptom management and improving quality of life. She completed a two-year program through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the Metta Institute, exploring illness, aging and death from a contemplative perspective and learning how to incorporate mindfulness, compassion and other meditation practices into her work with patients and into her daily life. Cheng received her medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University, followed by a family medicine residency at UCSF affiliate Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. She then completed a dual fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine and integrative medicine at George Washington University. She is a member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.


Daphne Stuart, MSW, LCSW

Daphne Stuart, LCSW is a graduate of San Francisco State University, 1989. On arriving in California, 1981, Daphne began a career as an electrician and gravitated toward social services when working for Shanti Project Residence Program. "Finding housing and adapting it for people with AIDS disabilities inspired me to take a hand in social change." On graduating from San Francisco State she began a long social work career with Visiting Nurses and Hospice. At that time there were few distinctions made between hospice, palliative care and home health services. Social Work Case Management required knowledge and flexibility to deliver all types of care. Daphne has continued to increase her experience and education most recently with a certificate in End of Life Care from the Smith College School of Social Work in 2006. She joined the Social Work team at the Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2007.

When not at the cancer center she combines her love of the practical with puttering, home improvements and enjoying her family.


Gayle Kojimoto (Program Coordinator)

Gayle was born in New York City and moved to San Francisco at an early age. She attended UC Davis, where she was a peer counselor and received a BA in Psychology. Following graduation, she worked with people with developmental disabilities, helping them become job ready and find employment. In 2003, Gayle returned to San Francisco and was a Career Counselor with Goodwill Industries. There she assisted welfare-to-work recipients find jobs. She began her career at UCSF Medical Center in 2004 as an Administrative Assistant. She has worked in various units coordinating surgeries, scheduling appointments, and above all, helping patients navigate through insurance, billing, and healthcare issues. In 2011, Gayle joined the Symptom Management Service team as the SMS Program Coordinator, where she gets to utilize her administrative skills while helping patients in need.

David Bullard, PhD

David Bullard, PhD, Licensed Psychologist and Licensed Marital and Family Therapist, has been practicing individual psychotherapy and couples therapy in San Francisco for over 30 years. He is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (Psychiatry) at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was affiliated with the Human Sexuality Program and the Behavioral Medicine Unit, hosted international symposia on sexuality and medical conditions, and taught courses to medical students, nurses, interns, residents, faculty, therapists and other health care providers. He currently consults at UCSF with the Symptom Management Service at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is also a member of the Professional Advisory Group, Clinical Pastoral Education Program, Spiritual Care Services. More information is on the website drbullard.com.


Greta Macaire, RD

Greta Macaire has been a Registered Dietitian (RD) since 2002. She holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences/Dietetics from San Francisco State University. Additionally, she has the highest credential given to RD's for being an expert in oncology nutrition: Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition (CSO). Greta has been specializing in oncology nutrition for the past five years.

Greta Macaire is an oncology nutritionist at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. She provides individual nutrition counseling to people with cancer including nutrition guidelines for specific cancers, supportive nutrition during treatment, optimizing healthy eating patterns to reduce the risk for recurrence and maximize quality of life. Additionally, Greta provides monthly workshops on a variety of cancer related nutrition topics including breast cancer and prostate cancer nutrition.

Prior to coming to UCSF in March 2007, Greta worked as a clinical dietitian for California Pacific Medical Center's departments of Radiation Oncology and the Forbes Norris ALS/MDA Research Center and St. Mary's Hospital. She has practiced in the community as the nutrition education coordinator for the Native American Health Center WIC program in Oakland, program manager of CPMC's Community Health Resource Center Food Bank Outreach Program and School Nutrition Program.


Judy Patt Smoker, MSW

Judy recieved her Bachelor's degree in Developmental Psychology from UC Santa Cruz in 1990. She then went on to obtain her Masters degree in Social Work at California State University, San Jose in 1993, with an emphasis on Health and Mental Health. Judy has focused her entire Social Work career in Medical Social Work.

She has worked with chronically and acutely ill pediatric and adult patients and their families, providing both emotional and practical support to them,in hospital and clinic settings. Judy appreciates the uniqueness of the SMS clinic with its focus on supporting patients and families emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Judy is honored to be a Social Worker at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Center, as well as a Symptom Management Service team member.