Our Symptom Management Services Team

grandmother and granddaughter holding hands


Michael W. Rabow, MD (Director)

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.

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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.

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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.


Brieze Keeley Bell, MD

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Dr. Brieze Keeley Bell is a board-certified integrative internal medicine and palliative care physician who originally hails from the Midwest, but has found her home here on the West Coast. She completed her medical training at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. There, she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, and received awards for Distinction in Clinical Research and Highest Overall Standing in her graduating class. Dr. Bell then pursued residency training in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, prior to completing fellowship training in palliative medicine at the University of California San Francisco. She has since joined the UCSF Helen Diller Cancer Center Symptom Management Service (SMS) as an attending physician in palliative medicine.

In addition to her work at the SMS Clinic, Dr. Bell is currently pursuing clinical fellowship training at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. As a former professional dancer, health counselor, and long-time yoga teacher, Dr. Bell has had a lifelong passion for helping patients and providers optimize health through lifestyle-based interventions in concert with high-quality biomedical care. This training experience is deepening her expertise in evidence-informed, integrative approaches to wellness—including dietary strategies, mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques, and other complementary therapies where appropriate.


Kara Bischoff, MD

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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.

UCSF CancerDavid Bullard, PhD

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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.


Brook Calton, MD, MHS

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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.


Danielle Chammas, MD

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Danielle Chammas, MD was born and raised in San Diego, California. She came to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University, where she studied Human Biology as an undergraduate. She attained her MD at UCSF School of Medicine, where she graduated as part of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in 2010. She remained at UCSF for her residency in General Adult Psychiatry. She served as a Chief Resident at the SFVA Medical Center and was recognized in various ways for her commitment to teaching. She went on to complete a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at UCSF and is an ongoing member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Chammas now works as a physician in the Symptom Management clinic, helping to address the physical and emotional symptoms that impact her patients’ quality of life. In addition, she loves getting to know her patients as individuals and understanding what they find important and meaningful. She has a strong interest in how our culture approaches illness, in what it means to live “well,” in the humanities, and in teaching. In her free time, she enjoys writing and illustrating anything from poetry to children’s books.


Stephanie Cheng, MD

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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.


Sarah Holland, BSN, RN, CHPN

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Sarah Holland is a clinical practice nurse for the Symptom Management Service. Prior to joining the team, Sarah worked as an oncology nurse in the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center working with the GU Medical Oncology, Melanoma, and Head & Neck Medical and Surgical Oncology practices. She started her nursing career on the hematology-oncology floor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where she first became aware of the impact that good symptom management can have the quality of life of patients and their families. She is thrilled to be able to combine her passion for palliative care and oncology nursing in her current role.

Sarah has degrees in Art History from Boston College and nursing from New York University. She is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse, an ELNEC Trainer, and a member of the Palliative Care and Symptom Management Nursing Advisory Board, which focuses on expanding palliative care nursing education and practice in the Cancer Center.

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Paul Lindenfeld, MD

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Dr. Paul Lindenfeld works closely with the oncology team to manage: cancer-related pain, fatigue, weight loss, depression/anxiety, gastrointestinal symptoms, and other symptoms with the goal of improving patients' quality of life and function. He also assists with advanced care planning in the setting of serious medical illness. After practicing for over 10 years in primary care, Dr. Lindenfeld is now exclusively practicing outpatient palliative care at UCSF.

S. Adkins

Sarah Sedki, MD

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Dr. Sarah Sedki 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. Sedki 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.

Elizabeth Stewart, RN

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Elizabeth Stewart is a clinical practice nurse for the Symptom Management Service. Elizabeth completed her nursing education in her home state of Colorado, and has worked as a nurse for the past six years with a primary focus on inpatient oncology. With additional nursing training and experience in the operating room, telemetry, adult specialty care, and pediatric patient care settings, Elizabeth has a wide breadth of skills. She helped to develop Stanford Health Care’s patient-centered Cancer Supportive Care Program, and has worked with patients in various hospital settings throughout California as a chemotherapy/biotherapy certified oncology nurse.

Elizabeth has a strong passion for integrative cancer care, and for providing education to patients regarding nutrition and lifestyle adaptations that can be used to complement patient treatment plans. She made the transition from oncology to palliative care to best serve her patients by focusing on each patient’s quality of life, and providing holistic patient-specific care, addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of each individual. In her free time Elizabeth enjoys long hikes with her rescue dog, Kamea.


Natalie C. Young, MD

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Natalie C. Young, MD, is a geriatrics and palliative care physician who cares for patients with serious illness and their families. She specializes in managing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, and anxiety. As a geriatrician, she also specializes in the care of older adults, with attention to evaluation of function, mobility, cognition, nutrition, and medications. Her primary goal is to improve the quality of life of her patients and provide personalized care based on her patients' values and goals. Dr. Young graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine and remained in San Francisco for her residency in Internal Medicine with a focus on primary care. She (briefly) left San Francisco to complete an integrated geriatrics and palliative medicine fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.


Carly Zapata, MPH, MD

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Carly Zapata is a palliative care doctor who provides consultations for hospitalized patients with cancer or other serious illnesses. She helps them with controlling symptoms as well as advance care planning. Zapata researches strategies to make advance care planning easier for both patients and doctors. She also studies how to promote self-care for doctors and ways to incorporate routine palliative care into oncology practices. Zapata earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a master's in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She completed her residency in internal medicine at UCSF, where she served as chief resident. She also completed a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at UCSF. Zapata is a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine and American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor at UCSF. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading fiction, exploring San Francisco and spending time with her toddler.