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Melinda Finds Strength in Support from Her Care Team

Published 11/14/2023


Melinda, a patient of South County Health's Cancer Center

Last Christmas, Melinda noticed a mass in the front of her left breast, so she made an appointment with Emily Hoffman, Certified Nurse Midwife, of South County Health’s Center for Women’s Health. As she was leaving her appointment, while she was still in the parking lot, she got a call from the Center for Women’s Health asking her to come back in for a diagnostic mammography to scan for breast cancer.

“I absolutely love Gracie and the relationship we have. She's very understanding, listens so well, and really genuinely cares about your well-being.” says Melinda.

The next week, Melinda was sitting with Sue Hall, Breast Health Navigator, and making plans for surgery at South County Hospital. Her general surgeon, Gracie Luetters, MD, performed a left mastectomy in February and a right mastectomy in August.

Melinda, a longtime patient of South County Health’s Center for Women’s Health, received chemotherapy at the Cancer Center at South County Hospital, and is currently undergoing radiation therapy at South County Health's Radiation Therapy facility on the Hospital campus.

“I'm a huge fan of the chemotherapy nurses and team as a whole. They've been nothing shy of the best for me. I absolutely loved going there every day I had to, and loved being in their company.”

About the entire experience, Melinda maintains a mindful perspective, “I would have to say overall this experience has been good. I've been taking it day by day and enjoying each day the best I can. My husband Bruce has been by my side through all my treatments, and brings so much joy and humor to my life.” She adds, “Being a mom to an autistic nonverbal 8 year old, I have to stay well for him. That's the reason I've been so positive throughout this entire journey. At the end of the day, you have to move on and forward in the best way possible. Gracie has been a huge supporter, helping ensure that the decisions that I make are what is best and works for me. I can't imagine doing this with anyone else.”

Just as Melinda's care team has become a source of support for her, South County Health is here to support you, whatever you are facing. That is central to our mission to be Rhode Island's Most Trusted Health Partner.

To learn more about Cancer Care at South County Health, including Radiation Therapy, visit

For more information about the Center for Women’s Health, visit

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