(Oct. 16, 2020) Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research is pleased to announce the appointment of a new medical advisor joining the Foundation’s team this October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Lina Romero, MD, is a dedicated and collaborative oncoplastic breast surgeon and leader with extensive experience as a clinician, researcher, and medical educator. Dr. Romero is passionate about strategic breast cancer research and optimizing not only patient outcomes, but also the patient care experience.
Lina Romero was born in Michigan and grew up in a multicultural household in the Dominican Republic where she became fluent in Spanish and French. She earned her Medical Doctorate from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1997, where she was honored with the Calvin Fentress Research Fellowship Award. Dr. Romero then went on to complete the General Surgery residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center followed by the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In 2004, Dr. Romero was recruited to the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in Los Angeles. Appointed Director of the Breast Center, she quickly established herself as a leader and was adept at identifying the needs of the programs she worked with and finding opportunities for innovation and improvement. She opened the first dedicated Breast Center in the Southern California Kaiser Permanente medical system, where breast surgeons, breast radiologists and social workers delivered empathic, patient-centered care together under one roof.
Unsatisfied with the fragmented care that her patients requiring radiologic wire localization of non-palpable lesions received on the day of surgical excision, Dr. Romero validated and incorporated intraoperative ultrasound into her surgical practice, precluding the need for wire placement. She also developed a biopsy notification system that significantly decreased the wait time from biopsy to notification of results with 100% patient satisfaction. Another important contribution was the development of the high-risk multidisciplinary clinic for patients at increased risk for breast cancer in an effort to better engage and empower these patients.
Dr. Romero was also involved in numerous clinical research projects that culminated in published contributions to the medical literature and played an important role in patient care algorithms at her institution.
After practicing breast surgical oncology for over a decade, Dr. Romero was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Unfortunately, sequelae from her treatment prevented her from resuming her surgical practice. As she recovered from treatment, she dedicated her time to her two young children while remaining engaged with the breast cancer community. The recent social unrest unfolding during the pandemic inspired Dr. Romero to look for ways to apply her skills and experience as a provider and survivor to advance health equity in people of color.
Her goals are to eliminate barriers in our health care system to ensure access to quality breast cancer care and support for diverse populations. This brought her to the Foundation, which she is eager to join in prioritizing inclusivity in research as we work towards a future without breast cancer.
“Dr. Lina Romero brings her years of clinical experience, and a level of compassion as a breast cancer survivor herself to the Foundation in her role as Medical Advisor. Joining us during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Romero will make her Foundation debut at our Virtual Afternoon Tea at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena,” says Susan Love, MD, MBA, Founder & Chief Visionary Officer at Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Dr. Lina Romero will be joining Dr. Stephanie Graff, the Foundation’s other newly appointed Medical Advisor. The Foundation is pleased about the addition of Dr. Romero to the team.