A local doctor can add another accolade to her already impressive resume.

Dr. Heloisa Soares has been nationally recognized as somebody who is making a difference in the fight against cancer.

Even though she has only worked at UNM’s Comprehensive Cancer Center for a year, Dr. Soares has already been named as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 in Cancer” in the country.

“It was very surprising and it was very humbling because I have amazing colleagues,” said Dr. Soares.

The Lynx Group award recognizes the most promising young oncology professionals and celebrates the contributions they are making to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.

“You have to really work hard. You can never accept no. You have to look for better things in terms of providing care for patients,” said Dr. Soares.

So what was it that caught their eye?

Aside from holding many positions at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and sitting on national boards, Dr. Soares is also very active in the community by engaging patients and their families.

She’s doing this through a brown bag series in which patients can ask questions, discuss the disease, and what family members need to know about it.

She’s also involved in local and national patient conferences and events.

Her goal is to engage patients and families in understanding gastrointestinal cancers.

“I want to be there for them and make that process as smooth as possible and help them through all the challenges they have for the patients but also their families,” said Dr. Soares.

Dr. Soares even recently started a Twitter account to keep her patients in the loop about advances in GI cancers.

She says she is also planning to start a monthly patient walk this Fall.