Steve Blanchard grew up near St. Louis and spent 16 years as a print journalist, covering a wide range of topics, from sports and entertainment to cops and courts. He joined the Moffitt team in 2015 as a PR account coordinator, just one month after his mother lost her battle with breast cancer. When not writing about the amazing advances in cancer research and treatment at Moffitt, Steve enjoys the Florida weather in his Jeep Wrangler, taking his dogs on long walks through area nature trails and spending his money at Florida’s many theme parks.
Sara Bondell, a medical science writer at Moffitt, got hooked on writing as a kid, filling yellow notepads with stories and observations. This Tampa native attended the University of Tampa and played on the national champion women’s soccer team. After transferring to Emory University, Sara earned degrees in Journalism and English and worked as a broadcast journalist in Georgia and Florida. She remembers useless pop culture trivia and movie quotes, loves all things buffalo chicken and in another life, would be a killer pastry chef. She loves traveling, but Sara’s favorite place is at home with her family and two rescue pups, Penny and Kenai.
Pat Carragher joined the Moffitt team as a PR account coordinator in 2020. He's always appreciated a great story, especially ones told in the form of a pro wrestling match or comic book. A New Jersey native with a communication degree from Stockton University, Pat spent two years riding the bench for his college lacrosse team before realizing he was better at writing about sports than playing them. He covered high school sports for a southern New Jersey newspaper before jumping to television news, where he spent the next decade, eventually landing in Florida. When he's not spreading the good word about Moffitt, Pat is spending time with his wife, Katie, and dog, Auggie, checking out the best breweries, beaches and parks in Tampa Bay.
Sarah Garcia is the CEO Communications Manager at Moffitt, supporting social media and internal and external communications for the Office of the CEO. Her love for storytelling was kindled at a young age when her father would read her the newspaper each morning. Sarah is a Tampa native and earned a news-editorial journalism degree from the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!). Sarah began her career at a social media startup and has spent more than a decade working in social media and communications. When she’s not supporting Moffitt’s mission, Sarah can be found spending time with her husband and two young children, riding her bike or whipping up something new in the kitchen.
Nancy Hilbrands is the board and corporate events liaison at Moffitt, facilitating the creative and logistical planning for signature board and corporate events. Before joining the cancer center, she was director of weddings, also known as the “Bride Whisperer,” at an award-winning event venue. Witnessing firsthand her father’s angiosarcoma cancer journey makes contributing to Moffitt’s mission that much more meaningful. Nancy earned her marketing degree from the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!). She’s an avid concertgoer and attended 15 concerts in 2019. At the end of her workday, she enjoys sunsets at the beach with her husband, Bill. Her favorite thing is spending time with family, especially her two sons, Andrew and David.
Patty Kim is the director of PR at Moffitt. She started storytelling as a reporter for her middle-school newspaper and went on to reporting for The Tampa Tribune, News Channel 8 and TBO.com. She earned a degree in microbiology from the University of Florida and a journalism degree from the University of South Florida – but she bleeds orange and blue. (Go Gators!) Patty thrives on the adrenaline rush of skydiving (while being filmed for the History Channel), maneuvering rolls and spins in an aerobatics plane, and scaling Angel’s Landing at Zion. This hula-hoop champ also digs running, cooking, traveling and playing ultimate Frisbee.
Kevin Kirby is a multimedia specialist at Moffitt. A graduate of Briar Cliff University with a degree in Mass Communications, Kevin has been working in photography, graphic design and video production for 14 years. He believes capturing memorable and distinctive emotions are the central components of effective visual stories. When he’s not holding a camera, Kevin enjoys brewing his own craft beer or kicking off his shoes and enjoying what his friends consider “unwatchable and boring b-movies.” If you happen to see Kevin in the wild, you most likely will also meet his extremely fluffy puppy, Moxie.
Katie Kyne heads corporate communications at Moffitt. She joined Moffitt in 2018 after 12 years as a communicator at USAA, where she developed a great appreciation for our armed forces…and a love for breakfast tacos. Katie earned a degree in finance from Florida State University and a master’s in communications management from the University of Southern California. She and her husband are co-founders of the Be Fierce Foundation, a nonprofit they started in their daughter Aubrey’s memory to help kids with rare or undiagnosed medical conditions. Most weekends, Katie can be found cooking, traveling or catching a Rowdies game (COYR!). Internal comms nerd. Special needs advocate. Mom. Wife. Vegetarian. Coffee addict. Music lover.
Amy McSweeney started her career at Moffitt Cancer Center as an administrative coordinator in the operating room. With 15 years of administrative experience working in health care and event planning, coupled with her love for sports, she quickly found her niche on Moffitt’s Strategic Communications team. Amy parlayed her experience into the community relations coordinator role. The California native and graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising has an eye for detail and is always quick to jump into action. In her free time (whatever that is), she is usually chasing her vibrant toddler from place to place and spending time with her husband.
Corrie Pellegrino is the senior managing editor for publications at Moffitt. She started her career as a journalist and has more than 20 years of publications and communications experience. An alumni of the University of South Florida, Corrie cheers for the Bulls (but only if she is forced to watch sports). Originally from North Carolina, she loves the mountains and has a goal of hitting up every national park in the U.S. When not working or on vacation, Corrie and her husband, Joe, are on a never-ending mission to keep their 100-year-old house from falling apart. Unfortunately, their son and two dogs are on an opposing mission. Who will succeed? Only time will tell.
Jeremy Peplow is the interactive media manager at Moffitt. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Jeremy has worked in digital media broadcasting, professional communications and media distribution for 17 years. He has received seven Emmy nominations and three Emmy awards for his documentary work with PBS. Jeremy believes good, clean design, paired with intentional and thoughtful content, should not just fill a screen, but showcase our true story and purpose. Before Jeremy had kids, he enjoyed working with reclaimed wood and restoring a 1956 Vespa. Today, he mainly wrangles tiny humans in his free time (all the time).
Kim Polacek brings more than 20 years of communications experience to Moffitt. In her role as senior public relations account coordinator, she provides counsel and develops communications for the Moffitt Research Institute, Office of Innovation and Industry Alliances and Government Relations. A proud graduate of Florida State University (Go Noles!), Kim began her career in television as a news producer in Tallahassee, Orlando and Tampa. She has earned the Accreditation in Public Relations and Certified Public Relations Counselor credentials. When she is not sharing Moffitt news, Kim enjoys experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen, tending to her garden and playing with her two Goldendoodles.
Jonesa Rodriguez is a PR account coordinator at Moffitt. Before joining Moffitt, she spent several years at Federally Qualified Health Centers, where she developed a love for health care and helping others. Jonesa earned a degree in public relations from Florida A&M University and is currently working on her master’s in communication from Purdue University. When she isn’t out conquering the health care world, Jonesa enjoys spending time with her son and binge-watching shows on Netflix.
Amanda Sangster served in administration at Moffitt before plunging headfirst into the PR team as an account coordinator. A proud Nashville native, she won her first award for songwriting at 5, despite being completely tone deaf. With a degree in Speech Rhetoric, she moved to Tampa to study Communication, International Relations and Paralegal Studies at the University of South Florida. In her free time, Amanda volunteers at a local foster care center and explores the great outdoors, hiking the Appalachian Mountains or SCUBA diving off the Emerald Coast.
Lizette Toro is the corporate events and partnerships manager at Moffitt. She joined Moffitt in 2008. A graduate of the University of Florida with degrees in Telecommunications News and Sociology, Lizette was a reporter for WUFT TV-News, hosted a weekly entertainment show on AM850 WRUF radio, and worked as a producer for Bay News 9 en Español. A Tampa native, Lizette is an avid sports fan who cheers for all the local teams, but her true love is the Florida Gators. On her days off, you can catch Lizette at the dog park with her sweet yellow lab, Gringo.
Moffitt Cancer Center
12902 USF Magnolia Drive, MTP-PR
Tampa, Fla. 33612