Staff Spotlight

Deanna Rudolph, Oncology Social Worker

John Stoddard Cancer Center

I graduated from the University of Iowa with both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. I am an avid Hawkeye fan, and the Iowa City campus is a very special place for me as that is where my husband and I met and were married.

I have been a social worker for 10 years. In addition to providing connections to resources for practical needs for patients and their families, social work focuses on emotional needs and coping. My favorite day is filled with patient meetings as they process the experience of undergoing treatments and major health decisions. The strength we hear in their voices and through their stories is what fuels my passion to continue to help the people we serve. It is truly an honor to support our patients and their families during this stressful time and be a part of their journey. 

I enjoy being outdoors, doing lawn work and gardening, and spending time with my husband, daughter, and long-haired dachshund. My husband and I love to travel, and we have been to 45/50 states together. We hope to share the love for travel and adventure with our growing family.

Welcome, Deanna!


Stoddard Cancer Center is a Clinical Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence!

At Stoddard Cancer Center, our dedicated care team includes radiation oncologists who are experts in interpreting nuclear medicine studies, collaborating closely with certified nuclear medicine radiologists. Together, we bring a wealth of experience in administering various radiopharmaceutical therapies, ensuring the highest standards of care for our patients.

Your health and well-being are our top priorities. Trust our experienced team to provide personalized and effective radiopharmaceutical therapies.

Stoddard Cancer Center Achieves Reaccreditation

Congratulations to the Stoddard Cancer Center team on a deficiency-free National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) survey! Receiving this accreditation showcases the voluntary commitment to providing the best possible care to patients with breast cancer. Stoddard Cancer Center has been accredited with the NAPBC since 2014 is now an accredited breast cancer center through March 2027. Thank you, Stoddard Cancer Center team members, for your hard work in making this survey and our program a success. 

Congratulations to all of the nurses that were recognized during the Nurses Week Awards! Hannah Thompson, oncology unit based educator was featured on We Are Iowa Local 5 News as her team surprised her with the DAISY Educator Award!

Stoddard Cancer Center 2023 Annual Report

On behalf of the dedicated physicians, nurses, volunteers and support staff at UnityPoint Health - John Stoddard Cancer Center, we are excited to share our 2023 accomplishments and milestones with you. View our 2023 Annual Report by visiting .


Dish with Nish Podcast is a series exploring topics of interest in cancer prevention, the human spirit and how new ideas are changing cancer care. Dr. Andrew Nish, Medical Director at the Stoddard Cancer Center, hosts insightful conversations with doctors, health care workers and patients discussing various aspects of health and cancer care. To listen to his latest episodes, including the topics of The Iowa Cancer Report 2024, AYA Cancer Awareness Month Cancer Survivor Interview and a discussion with the Director of Spritual Care at UnityPoint Health Des Moines click here. Scroll to 'Dish with Nish Podcast'.

Upcoming Classes, Programs & Events

Hybrid Support Groups

Stoddard Cancer Center has transitioned most support groups to hybrid meetings, so participants have the option of attending in-person or virtually. For information on when groups meet and how to join, click here and contact the phone number listed for the group you are interested in attending. 

Writing Through Cancer | Select Mondays through August

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Virtual

Participants create a safe space, then write together for timed intervals to writing prompts. The writing circles are led by Founder and Executive Director of the Ames Writers Collective, Ana McCracken. Cancer patients and survivors are welcome to sign up. For more information click here.

Cancer Related Cognitive Dysfunction |Tuesday, July 9

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. | Virtual

John Stoddard Cancer Center and UnityPoint Health Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Services – Penn Avenue are pleased to offer "Cancer Related Cognitive Dysfunction." This class is offered free of charge to cancer survivors affected by cognitive changes caused by a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Participants in the class will:

• Be educated on what CRCD is

• Learn to identify and recognize one’s own symptoms of CRCD

• Practice strategies to improve memory

• Learn exercises to train the brain

• Learn how to get more help if needed

A link will be sent to registrants prior to the class.

For more information or to register, please call (515) 241-8505.

Golfing “FORE” a Purpose 2024 | July 17 | The Legacy Club in Norwalk

John Stoddard Cancer Center is proud to sponsor the Prostate Cancer Awareness of Central Iowa’s Golfing “FORE” a Purpose 2024. Come out and show your support for Iowans affected by prostate cancer. Click here for information and to register for the golf tournament. Other upcoming events, including a run/walk in September are listed on the site.

Save the Date: On the Horizon of Oncology Care Conference

November 7 and 8 | IMMC Kelley Conference Center

The John Stoddard Cancer Center oncology fall conference “On the Horizon of Oncology Care: Updates and Current Treatment in 2024,” will be held November 7 and 8, at the Kelley Conference Center on the Iowa Methodist Medical Center campus. Topics covered include speech therapy in head and neck cancer, cervical cancer prevention, Enhertu, integrative oncology, surgical management of primary and secondary liver tumors, multiple myeloma, sexual health and cancer, hepatocellular carcioma cancer care, radiopharmaceuticals and fertility and cancer. Further information will be shared when online registration opens later this summer. 

Black Women 4 Healthy Living

Black Women 4 Healthy Living (BW4HL) hosts the Black Women’s Health Coalition at Corinthian Baptist Church on the third Saturday of each month in 2024. The focus is on Black women and their health and wellness. Health Assessments are given monthly to measure progress. The group engages in some low-impact physical activity and discusses a health-related topic unique to Black women. These events are completely free, and ALL Black women are welcome to join. For more information or to register, visit

Rooted in Nature

UnityPoint Health - Des Moines partners with Polk County Conservation to create health and wellness programs that are focused on improving health with a connection to nature. For a list of classes, click here.


Forest bathing (also called forest therapy) is a wellness practice rooted in scientific research that helps individuals engage with the natural world using all the senses in order to reap positive physiological and psychological benefits. It’s more than a walk in the woods; it’s an immersion into the full experience of the forest and nature. For upcoming opportunities, click here.

In the News

Dr. Andrew Nish, Medical Director of Stoddard Cancer Center, shares lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of cancer on Hello Iowa. To watch the interview, click here.

Foundation News

On April 11, we dedicated the chapel on Powell 3's Inpatient Oncology Unit in honor of Dwight and Ruth Johnston. They recently made a generous gift supporting enhancements of our equipment and technology and the What’s On Your Mind Free Counseling Program. Pictured is Ruth and Dwight Johnston (centered) and their daughters, Kim Dickinson (left) and Chris Richards (right).

American Cancer Society Shares Their Generosity

American Cancer Society granted Stoddard Cancer Center $13,000 for patient transportation. This grant will help lighten their financial load and provide cancer patients with gas cards and DART transportation to and from appointments and treatments. More than 30% of patients travel significant distances to receive treatment that can add up to hundreds of dollars in gas and travel expenses.

National Cancer Survivors Day

National Cancer Survivors Day is June 2. You can honor those who have survived, inspire those recently diagnosed and acknowledge family members, friends and oncology health care providers who have walked alongside patients in their journeys. Learn how you can make a difference here:

Stoddard Cancer Center provided patients and survivors with succulents and seed packets in Radiation Oncology, Powell 3 Adult Oncology and Mission Cancer + Blood on Friday, May 31 to celebrate Cancer Survivors Day. Happy National Cancer Survivors Day on June 2!

Cancer awareness t shirts are available for purchase in UnityPoint Health gift shops at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Methodist West Hospital for $18. Show support of those with cancer and part of the proceeds come back to Stoddard Cancer Center.

Fun Photos

The EMPOWER Boutique and Salon recently began offering manicures for cancer patients and survivors free of charge thanks to the support of generous donors. For an appointment, call 515-241-4243.

Healthy Eats

David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Vegetarian Red Borscht

By David Tanis (This recipe has been modified from the original version)

A traditional vegetable soup made for centuries throughout Eastern Europe, borscht is well loved by many. There are white versions, made with potatoes and cabbage, and green versions, made with sorrel and spinach. Most familiar, though, is the red version, made with beets. Many recipes add simmered beef, lamb or pork, but here, the meat is skipped for a quick-cooking vegetarian red borscht.

YIELD: Yield: 6 to 8 servings  PREP TIME: 1 hour



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 large leek, diced (about 1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold or other starchy potatoes (about 6 potatoes), peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound medium beets (about 6 beets), peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • ½ pound medium carrots (about 4 carrots), peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar, or to taste


  • 2 tablespoons horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fat-free or light sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Dill, parsley, tarragon and chives, for garnish


Step 1

Put olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Step 2

When oil is hot, add onion, celery and leek, stir to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring, until onion has softened and just begun to brown. Add garlic, tomato paste, paprika, bay leaf and thyme, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Step 3

Add potatoes, beets and carrots, 6 cups vegetable stock and 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer. Simmer with lid ajar for 20 minutes, or until potatoes, beets and carrots are fork tender.

Step 4

Add kale and vinegar, and stir to distribute. Taste broth and adjust seasoning. Simmer until kale is done, about 8 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, make the horseradish cream: Put horseradish, lemon juice, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Let macerate 5 minutes, then stir in sour cream or yogurt.

Step 6

To serve, ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with chopped dill, parsley, tarragon and chive

Volunteers are needed at Stoddard Cancer Center. Volunteer opportunities include the Powell 3 Comfort Cart, Radiation Oncology Waiting Room and EMPOWER Boutique. Please contact Caroline Baker at or visit if interested.

Drivers needed! Help cancer patients get to treatments. To learn more and to volunteer visit or

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