Dr. Emily Dunn recently received a 20 Under 40 Award for her commitment to excellence in providing cancer care to our patients and our community. The 20 under 40 Awards recognize 20 individuals committed to career excellence and who are engaged in making the Eugene-Springfield area a better place.

As a board-certified radiation oncologist at WVCI, Dr. Dunn is raising the bar and making great strides in how we care for patients, especially those with hard-to-treat cancers. One of the things that drew Dr. Dunn to WVCI was the clinic’s recent transition to 3D brachytherapy. Brachytherapy is an internal radiation therapy used to treat certain types of breast, prostate, gynecologic and other forms of cancers. This treatment provides more accurate therapy for patients, leading to increased survival with less toxicity. Dr. Dunn serves as WVCI’s brachytherapy physician lead, keeping the clinic up to date on best practices and working closely with our on-site physicist to ensure patient safety.

“Dr. Dunn has a passion for her work, and it shows,” says radiation oncologist Dr. Haidy Lee. “She chose radiation oncology because of its precision in treating cancer and its ever-evolving technology, and she has been rewarded by the numerous patients and families she gets to help every day. Dr. Dunn is an expert in her field, a true asset to our cancer center and an outstanding example of what it means to give back and be part of our community.”

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Dunn also puts in time as the physician liaison for WVCI’s patient advocacy group and the Fight Like a Duck campaign, a partnership with Oregon Athletics that aims to celebrate the strength and tenacity of those fighting cancer in our area, and to raise awareness about the high-quality, multidisciplinary care provided in our community, including the latest cancer therapies.

A three-time Academic All-American track and field athlete, Dr. Dunn also volunteered as a doctor at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, and supports FOOD for Lane County, Positive Community Kitchen, Soroptimist Club, American Cancer Society, and Oregon Cancer Foundation.

Q: How has your community involvement impacted your work and life?

Dr. Dunn: My time in the community has led me to understand just how great some needs are within Eugene and the surrounding communities for access to health care, food security, drug and alcohol recovery, and housing.

Q: What have you been most motivated by in your career?

Dr. Dunn: I have been motivated mostly by my patients. I witness their courage, strength, fear, anger, sadness, joy and every emotion in between as they undergo cancer therapy. They motivate me to continue to learn, to push the boundaries of our treatments, and to continue to strive and provide the highest quality care locally.

Q: What do you hope to see for our community?

Dr. Dunn: The hope I have for our community is more involvement. Most of the people I meet have an idea and hope for change for our community, but the ways in which to act upon that aren’t always clear or are very limited (time, financial, etc.). I hope that our future community has more ways in which everyone can give back and support this place we live – regardless of your passion. More hands helping equals a better place to live.