Who We Are

In 2008, a group of community leaders came together with a vision: to bring groundbreaking clinical trials and cancer research to the South Sound Region, and to provide residents with cancer treatment options otherwise unavailable. And so, out of such a dream, the South Sound CARE Foundation was born.

Today, South Sound CARE’s board includes cancer survivors and medical professionals from MultiCare, Franciscan and Northwest Medical Specialties, all of whom strive to eradicate this deadly disease by working together and bringing clinical trials to the South Sound region. But it’s not just medical professionals and patients who are burdened by cancer. The black hand of this disease has marred the life of nearly every person in America today, and for that reason cancer advocates—those touched indirectly by cancer through the battle of a loved one—are integral to the South Sound CARE team.

We cannot afford to forget that cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States. In Pierce County alone, the annual incident rates include:

  • Over 600 new cases of breast cancer
  • Over 300 cases of colorectal cancer
  • Over 500 cases of lung cancer
  • Over 500 cases of prostrate cancer

Our group of medical professionals, board members, and volunteers work together to make sure that patients in the South Sound Region have access to leading medical research, and to improve the cure rate for cancer. Above all else, we know that eliminating the hardship of travel allows patients to remain with their loved ones during treatment while they battle for their lives. And that, in and of itself, is a victory.

If you’d like to join us in this endless fight, please consider making a donation to the South Sound CARE Foundation today.

“I am here to speak for those who have lost their battle, and for those of us still fighting to survive. Clinical trials going on now will one day lead to a targeted therapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. But funding is crucial to keep these trials going.”

– Cynthia Davis

Meet Our Doctors

Meet Our Board

Carolyn Ho

Carolyn Ho received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and teaching certificate from the University of Puget Sound, a Masters of Education Degree from Central Washington University, and completed the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Seattle University. She has accrued an impressive 46-year career in education and administration, including working as the Assistant Principal at Peninsula High School, the Director of Student Services for Peninsula School District, and the Executive Director of Special Education & Health Services in the Tacoma School District.

Her numerous professional honors including being named the AASA 2001 Recipient of the Forest E. Connor Scholarship for doctoral studies and the Administrator of the Year by the Autism Society in 2003. She has served in presenter and instructor positions for education and leadership related conferences and programs with various higher learning institutions throughout the region.

Carolyn was married to Ray Ho for 38 years before he passed away in 2014 after a second courageous battle with lymphoma. Together they raised two sons, now both married with children of their own. Due to her own breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, as well as her husband’s battle with lymphoma in 2000 and again in 2013-14, Carolyn is dedicated to helping advance the mission of South Sound CARE Foundation. She explains, “It is time for me to give back, and I welcome the opportunity to join the South Sound CARE Board. It is an honor and privilege to contribute to the Board’s mission to advance the quality of cancer care in our area”.

Gwen Gilchrist

Gwen Gilchrist graduated from Washington State University. A retired schoolteacher, Gwen taught history at Curtis Junior High in University Place for 32 years. Married for over 35 years to Gary Gilchrist, Gwen has two adult children and two grandchildren. Gwen is an active member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and serves as a mentor for Communities in Schools at Oakland Alternative School. Her passion for history aligns with her joy of reading and travel. Spending time with her family is always a priority.

Gwen has experienced losing a loved one to cancer and she values what South Sound CARE Foundation offers to patients and their families. Cancer clinical trials can add months, years, or even an indefinite amount of time to someone’s life.

Lynae Walker

Lynae Walker grew up in University Place where she attended Curtis Junior and Senior High Schools. After attending Washington State University, she pursued a career in finance and business management. After working as a Vice President with a local building company, she retired in 2011. Lynae and her husband Scott have been residents of Gig Harbor since 1993. When their three daughters were young, she was very active in the area schools and community youth programs. Lynae decided to join the board of South Sound CARE Foundation because of her own experiences with cancer. A dear lifelong friend lost a battle with pancreatic cancer at just 38 years old. Additionally, her stepmother and another close friend are breast cancer survivors. She looks forward to working with the local community to help bring research and hope to people battling cancer in the South Sound region.

Paul Amoroso

Dr. Paul Amoroso is the Physician Executive for the MultiCare Institute for Research and Innovation in Tacoma. He is a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) where he received a doctor of medicine (MD) in 1985, and Harvard School of Public Health where he obtained his Masters in Public Health in Health Policy and Management in 1989. He retired from the Army Medical Corps as a Colonel after 35 years in the military. He is physician board certified in Aerospace Medicine, and is certified as a Physician Investigator by the Academy of Physicians in Clinical Research, and as a Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management.

Former appointments include: Chief, Clinical Investigation, Madigan Army Medical Center; Program Director, US Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine; and Senior Flight Surgeon 101st Airborne Division, Tal Afar, Iraq. Dr. Amoroso’s passion is to facilitate clinical research in the South Sound area through the creation of solid community, industry, and academic partnerships, so that patients have local treatment options that they otherwise might not have. He has lived in Tacoma with his wife of 27 years and three children since 2006. In his spare time he enjoys all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, including skiing, hiking, camping, and near year-round farming.

Tom Quinlan

Tom is a Tacoma native. A shareholder of the Smith Alling law firm in Tacoma, Tom graduated from the Seattle University School of Law (formerly University of Puget Sound School of Law), and got his undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound. After completing his undergraduate studies and prior to his law school tenure, Tom was employed in the family contracting business as the construction project superintendent. There, he learned the value of dedicated hard work, the niceties of the employee/employer relations, as well as the importance of proper business management.

Tom has received the preeminent “AV” attorney peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a rating indicating that Mr. Quinlan’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence, based on his ethical standards and legal ability, as adjudged by his knowledge of the law, creativity in analyzing issues, ability to communicate effectively, judgment in case management, and overall experience.Tom has served as Judge pro tempore for the city of Fife and the town of Fircrest. Other lawyers have elected him in a variety of leadership positions in the Pierce County Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He is the past President of the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association. He was the first President of the Washington State Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division for the new millennia.

Tom has made notable contributions as a volunteer to many community organizations. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, with nearly twenty years of continuous service as a judge advocate. Presently, he serves as a member of the CARE Board of Trustees.

Deb Settles

Deb Settles is a graduate of Chaminade Catholic University of Honolulu. She’s been a legal assistant for 25 years, as well as a nonprofit fundraiser and community volunteer. Her fundraising experience extends to some of the most prominent organizations in the state from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, American Heart Association-Seattle Chapter, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Virginia Mason Hospital, Swedish Hospital, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Community College, just to name a few. In 2014, her family celebrated 50 years in fundraising; in the last 10 years, she has donated her fundraising experience and philanthropic passions in order to continue her family’s legacy. Her volunteering began 26 years ago in the convent in Lourdes, France, sitting with cancer patients receiving chemotherapy where she offered support and resources to patients, caregivers and families coping with cancer.

She currently works at MultiCare Health System and is a Fundraising Consultant for nonprofit healthcare organizations. She is passionate about family, spending every moment she can with her husband of 20 years and their two teenage boys. In her spare time, she is usually found in her garden. She joined South Sound CARE because she believes everyone battling cancer deserves to have access to the latest cancer research, treatments, and technology.

Gregory Unruh

Gregory Unruh was named president of the Franciscan Foundation in August 2012. He has more than 30 years of accomplished leadership and business experience in the banking industry, having held senior leadership positions with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Timberland Bank.

He has been an active philanthropic volunteer for the Franciscan Foundation, including serving as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors. Additionally, he is a member of the Greater Lakes Mental Health Foundation Board of Directors and the Bellarmine Preparatory School Board of Directors. Unruh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in history and English, from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

Joy Martin

As the Director of Oncology Services for the Franciscan Healthcare System, Joy Martin is a registered nurse and has a master’s degree in nursing. She has been with Franciscan for over 28 years and chairs the Franciscan Regional Clinical Standards Committee.

Joy co-created the Breast Navigator Program that assists ethnic minorities to overcome cultural, language and other obstacles to receiving breast cancer screening and diagnoses. Because of her leadership and dedication, Franciscan earned accreditation as a Cancer Network Program by the American College of Surgeons in 2006. In 2009, Joy received the March of Dimes Western Washington Distinguished Nurse of the Year Award.

Mary Bryne

Mary has worked in the automotive industry for over 28 years. She currently serves on the Bellarmine Prep Board of Directors and the South Sound CARE Foundation Board. She was the President for the Washington State Auto Dealers Association and for the Fife Chamber of Commerce. She previously served on the WSADA Board of Directors and Executive Committee before becoming the Association’s first female president in its 90-year history. Mary began her automotive career as a salesperson and 10 years later opened her own store, Nissan of Fife. She sold that store in 2008 and is now the GM for Bruce Titus Automotive group.

Mary and her husband, Kevin, have been married for over 28 years and have two sons, James and Chase. In addition to family obligations and her involvement at the dealership, Mary makes time to volunteer. She co-chaired the St. Charles’ annual fundraiser and served as a crossing guard for many years along with many different positions at Bellarmine Prep. Mary also sat on the board of directors of the Greater Pierce County Chapter of the American Heart Association. “I volunteer because it’s the right thing to do,” Mary said. “I was raised that you have to give back, and so I do.”

Stan Flemming

A retired Brigadier General, Ambassador Flemming has extensive academic credentials that include: a Master’s Degree in Human Relations and Social Psychology from Pacific Lutheran University, a Master’s Degree from the United States Naval War College in National Defense and Strategic Planning, a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences, and a Fellowship from the University of Southern California School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Additionally, he graduated from the United States Air War College, the United States Army War College Defense Strategy Program, and Harvard University’s Physician Executive Program.

Doctor Flemming was the first HIV/AIDS physician in Pierce County, and in 1995, he was one of two finalists for Surgeon General of the United States. An active politician, he has served numerous political appointments, including: Washington State House of Representatives, City of University Place founding Mayor, Chairman of the Board for Evergreen State College, President of Pacific Northwest University of Health Science, and Chairman of the Board for the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. He is currently the Pierce County Executive Pro-Tem and a member of the Pierce County Council representing the 7th District. Doctor Flemming is also the President and CEO of HealthCare-4-Life, PC, a health subscribership organization that improves access to primary care providers in the healthcare community and aims to change the way healthcare is delivered.

In his free time, he enjoys restoring antique and classic automobiles, playing guitar, working in his gardens, hiking, and skiing. He is married to Martha Flemming, an elementary school principal and a cancer survivor. They have three children. Doctor Flemming joined CARE because he believes that everyone facing cancer in the South Sound Region deserves to have access to the latest technology and the best oncological physicians in the region. The CARE family creates that opportunity with excellence.