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Dr. Julia Stevens, PharmD, BCOP, is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Ambulatory Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She specializes in kidney cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. Her primary clinical responsibilities include educating patients and caregivers, monitoring and supporting those on oral therapies, minimizing the financial toxicity of treatment, and providing drug information and treatment recommendations to the medical oncology team.

What motivated you to get involved with the KCA?

As an oncology clinical pharmacist specializing in GU oncology, I have witnessed the impact of kidney cancer on patients and their families firsthand. Joining the Clinical Advisory Board at the Kidney Cancer Association allows me to contribute my knowledge and expertise in a broader capacity, collaborate with other experts, and actively support the mission of advancing kidney cancer research, education, and patient care.

How is kidney cancer part of your work?

I typically join a patient’s care team when they start on oral therapies or other systemic treatments for their kidney cancer. After helping patients navigate insurance and drug access, I provide initial education regarding drug administration, mechanism of action, potential side effects, and more with the goal of empowering patients to actively participate in their care. For patients on treatment, I proactively reach out to to manage side effects and respond to issues that may arise. I believe that if we prescribe a treatment plan it is our responsibility to make sure patients have support for any side effects or barriers they may encounter. Throughout these activities, I closely collaborate with my medical oncology team to develop individualized treatment and supportive care plans, ensuring the safe and effective use of medications.

What is the most meaningful part of your job?

The most meaningful part of my job is being able to make a positive impact on the lives of patients. Empowering patients with knowledge and understanding of their cancer treatment allows them to actively participate in their care and make informed decisions. Seeing patients gain confidence, hope, and a sense of control over their health journey is incredibly fulfilling. I also value being my patients’ first call for drug questions and treatment side effects—I really get to build trust and relationships with my patients over time. Many of my patients have left an indelible mark on me and have helped me see the world from an entirely different perspective! It is a privilege to be part of my patients’ support system and contribute to their overall well-being throughout their cancer treatment.

What are you excited to bring to the organization?

I am excited to bring my expertise in oncology pharmacy and patient-centered care to the Kidney Cancer Association. With my passion for empowering patients through education, I aim to contribute to the organization’s mission by developing resources and educational materials that help patients understand their treatment options and navigate the complexities of kidney cancer. Additionally, I look forward to collaborating with fellow experts on the Clinical Advisory Board to further enhance the overall care experience for kidney cancer patients.

What is your favorite travel destination?

It is hard to pick just one location! From my recent trips I would pick Chilean Patagonia for its rugged epic beauty, remoteness, and adventure. Patagonia really does feel like a final frontier on earth. The delicious Chilean wines and food also stand out!

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy any time spent outside—hiking, backpacking, sailing, and skiing especially. I also love cooking recipes from diverse cuisines of every continent and reading fiction from other cultures. I appreciate the way food and books expand my horizons!

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