TIFTON — Dr. Andrew Nackashi plans to honor Dr. Joel Johnson, who is retiring soon as Tift Comprehensive Breast Center director, by continuing the fight against breast cancer. 

Possessing a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Nackashi joined Tift Regional Medical Center's ranks a few weeks ago.

Dr. Nackashi

Dr. Andrew Nackashi recently joined the Tift Regional Medical Center staff. 

Prior to that, he was conducting his five-year residency at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, Mississippi, where he worked with various types of cancer, including breast cancer and thyroid cancer.

Nackashi's family has had a long history with breast cancer, with many of his relatives having fought or preemptively stopped it. Nackashi said it was this history that gives him the passion and drive to help others combat it.

"My mom's got the BRCA gene, my grandmother had breast cancer and my aunt died of breast cancer," Nackashi said. "So I try to treat all of my patients like I would want my family to be treated."

Now that he's working at Tift Regional, Nackashi plans to help continue the duties of Johnson in the breast cancer field. Given Johnson played a big part in developing Tift Regional's breast cancer program, Nackashi said he certainly has some big shoes to fill. But he added he's eager to help out any way he can and carry on Johnson's legacy.

Johnson "kind of brought the breast program to what it was here over the last 25 years, where it didn't have anything and he built it from the ground up," Nackashi said. "So I'm continuing on his legacy that he left, and I'm happy to do it."

Johnson will oversee Nackashi's transition into the role. Johnson will remain at Tift Regional for an additional three months to help usher Nackashi into the program.

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