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Governor Appoints Cancer Physician to Board of Trustees

Sanjeev Aggarwal was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation.

By Caroline Chon

The Connection

<bt>At young ages, children hold dreams of becoming adults with certain occupations they picture as perfect. One child yearned to be a doctor. Watching "Quincy," a T.V. program from the 70's and 80's related to medical procedures and solving crime, he already had his future planned and set.

"As a kid, I always wanted to be a doctor," said Sanjeev Aggarwal, M.D., radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the Department of Radiation Medicine at Georgetown University Hospital. "It wasn't a question. I've wanted to be one for as long as I can remember." Governor Mark Warner appointed Aggarwal to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation July 22. He is one of four health professionals who are members of the board.

A few months ago, he was notified that the foundation was looking for a person to become a member of the board, and he immediately jumped at the chance. In medical school, Aggarwal concentrated much of his studies on cancer. He works as a cancer physician in radiology, and the connection with cancer and smoking caught his interest in becoming a member of the foundation.

The goal of the foundation is to discourage youth from smoking at an early age. There are 23 members on the Board of Trustees, which include delegates, senators, representatives of public health organizations, health professionals, and citizens. Members serve four-year terms, with a possibility of serving two consecutive terms.

"The work we are going to do is important," Aggarwal said. "[The foundation] is a nice avenue to encourage change. Through bigger people, you can influence more change."

AGGARWAL HAS a faculty appointment at Georgetown University Hospital for Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology. While treating patients for the majority of the time, he also teaches and leads medical students while working. Students experience the position of a medical doctor by completing similar tasks, such as reviewing x-rays and CT scans, going through the rationale and data, and explaining the results to the patient.

“He is a dedicated and competent physician,” said Anu Singh, cancer physician who works with Aggarwal. “He truly cares about his patients. Mutual patients speak so highly of him. He gives both medical and emotional support with a full capacity.”

Singh said that he has a lot of vision for the future and is very academic.

“He makes sure he is providing current treatments, which is very important,” Singh said. “He is very well read.”

Aggarwal enjoys basketball, volleyball and skiing. He has parents who live in Alexandria, an older sister, a younger brother, and a family dog named Zach.

“We hang out quite socially, just like friends,” younger brother Reggie Aggarwal said. “He is very straight-forward, honest, hard-working, and very serious.”

Working with Georgetown University Hospital for the past three years and being a part of an academic practice, Aggarwal works in a region he is very much familiar with. He grew up as a child in Alexandria and graduated from Edison High School, and is now an Arlington resident.