OPFAC April 2017 Meeting
The Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council (OPFAC) meets monthly at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.

Ensuring Patient-Centered Care

Today, thanks to the many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer that have occurred in recent years, more and more individuals are surviving cancer and going on to live long fulfilling lives. Understanding and responding to the patient experience throughout the cancer journey is critical to this. At MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, we are committed to providing each patient with the most comprehensive and compassionate care possible every step of the way.

Patient-centered care requires empowering patients by giving them a voice when it comes to healthcare design and delivery.  To ensure that we are addressing the needs and preferences of patients, we established an Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council to provide us with valuable feedback on issues affecting the care of cancer patients. 

Our Mission

The Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council brings together cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians, nurses, and support staff for the purpose of advancing the MedStar Montgomery Medical Center Cancer Program’s understanding and commitment to the delivery of quality cancer care.


The council: 

  • Serves as a voice for patients.
  • Promotes patient/family advocacy and involvement in the care and treatment process.
  • Enhances the patient and family experience.
  • Provides input for the planning of new patient-related programs.
  • Serves as a resource on a wide variety of issues, services and policies.


The Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council meets monthly and reports directly to the MedStar Montgomery Cancer Committee, offering direct feedback and suggestions for improvements to the care of cancer patients at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.

Current Projects

  • New Patient Orientation
  • New Patient Handbook
  • OPFAC Webpage

Council Members


Kathy Geehreng, Patient, Infusion Center Volunteer

Kathy Geehreng is a current patient, diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2014, retired travel agent, and longtime volunteer at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. Kathy had been a volunteer in the ER for over 15 years and just months prior to her diagnosis, she was reassigned to the Infusion Center which ended up putting her "in the right place at the right time." Kathy became very familiar with the staff and the procedures associated with cancer treatments, which helped when she became the patient. She continued to volunteer during all phases of her treatments - chemo, surgery and radiation, and still volunteers at the Infusion Center every Friday. Serving on this council gives Kathy an opportunity to help make the journey easier for others who are facing a cancer diagnosis.


Lisa Gross, Cancer Survivor

Lisa Gross is a recent survivor (and "thrive-or") of breast cancer. She is committed to supporting this council because of the outstanding treatment and care she received through MedStar Montgomery Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. Lisa profoundly believes that cancer was a gift in her life and is deeply grateful to MedStar's highly skilled medical professionals, state-of-the-art care, and to equally skilled complementary practitioners. Personally, Lisa is passionate about meditation, mindfulness, and working with others to make things better, even in small ways. Her hobbies include spinning, learning golf, and being a beach bum! Medication and meditation were both key to Lisa's healing journey and she hopes to share that with others through this council.


Mew Rattanawatkul, Caregiver

Mew Rattanawatkul is currently a caregiver at MedStar Mongomery Medical Center. She is a part of this council to give back to a community that has offered so much help to her family when they were going through cancer treatments, to work with passionate patients and families, to provide input on issues that impact care, and to ensure that any future patient's journey is not so difficult. Mew looks forward to being a part of the roll out of the New Patient Handbook, completion of the OPFAC webpage, and possibly the initiation of the MedStar Montgomery Health and Wellness Center. When she is not working or volunteering, Mew enjoys laughing out loud with her family. She also likes traveling the world, playing tennis, and learning how to cook and eat delicious food.


Martha Steinbock, Patient

Martha Bair Steinbock is currently being treated for carcinoid cancer at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center. She also serves as a patient representative on this council to help all cancer patients receive support and compassionate, cutting-edge care. Martha is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and received her Master's Degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Since her retirement, Ms. Steinbock served as the Assistant to the Operations Director of the Combined Democratic Campaign for the State of Maryland. She devotes many happy hours to enjoying her family including seven grandchildren, traveling, attending modern art exhibits, and watching Major League Baseball, especially the San Francisco Giants.


Jennifer Macdonald, Patient

Jennifer Macdonald is a current patient at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, invited by her medical oncologist, Dr. Dilawari, to be a patient representative on this council. Jennifer hopes to inform cancer patients of the great treatment and resources available at MedStar Montgomery. While being a part of this council, Jennifer would also like to create real connections with other cancer patients and their families. She understands how to make a difficult time better with wonderful treatment and a positive outlook and she plans to accomplish that as a part of this council. In her spare time, she likes to volunteer at St. Peter’s Parish and Olney Mill Swim Club, and she also enjoys cooking and gardening.


Steve Mowrey, Patient

Bio coming soon


Hospital Steering Committee Council Members


Asma Dilwari, MD, Chair, Cancer Committee

Dr. Asma Ali Dilawari, MD, is board certified in hematology and medical oncology and is the Medical Director of Oncology at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. She is a member of the faculty at Georgetown University as an assistant professor and is a member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center's breast oncology team. Dr. Dilawari is involved in research on healthcare disparities, adherence to treatment, and survivorship. She is working to expand the clinical trial enrollment among breast cancer patients in the community setting and is committed to offering integrative medicine options for cancer patients. Dr. Dilawari's commitment to personalized care for each patient and cutting-edge research gives her patients reassurance that they are receiving the latest treatment options for their needs.


Debbie Otani, RN, OCN, CBCN, Cancer Care Nurse Navigator

Debbie Otani is certified in oncology nursing and has worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years. She is also a breast cancer survivor of 17 years and truly believes helping to coordinate this council is one of the highlights of her career. Debbie strives for this council to meet the diverse and common needs of patients who’ve experienced a cancer diagnosis. Her own eyes were opened to better understand some of challenges of navigating cancer care during her diagnosis. Debbie enjoys being part of a team, hospital, and system with a strong desire to help others be prepared to navigate for quality cancer care and she fully supports the council’s efforts. In her spare time she enjoys watching football with her family, walking with a friend, reading historical fiction, finding something of high value for low cost, the beach and skiing.  


Dairy Marroquin, Community Benefits Outreach Coordinator

Dairy Marroquin is the Community Benefits Outreach Coordinator at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. As a member of this council, Dairy looks forward to assisting with innovative ideas and projects that support and improve the health status of patients and community members, through community-based initiatives. She truly enjoys being a part of this team and is very optimistic about the council's ideas and projects that will bring positive outcomes to the quality of cancer care that our hospital provides. Out of work, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones, as there is nothing more special to Dairy than her family and friends. She also enjoys ballroom dancing and watching a good soccer game.

How to Get Involved

Council members commit to a one-year term with an option to remain on the council for an additional year. Terms begin in January. If you are interested in serving on the council or would like more information, contact: 

Debra Otani, RN, OCN, CBCN
Cancer Care Navigator
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
18101 Prince Philip Drive, Room G-23
Olney, MD 20832
Phone: 301-774-8693
Email: [email protected]

Community Support

Check out our list of upcoming cancer-related events hosted by MedStar Montgomery

Patient Resources 

Read our 2016 Oncology Annual Report to find out more about the MedStar Montgomery Cancer Center.