Social Work for Cancer Patients
Social Work Team Lead: Michelle Kotwas, LCSW-C
Social workers at the University of Maryland Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) provide clinical services throughout the treatment process to address the complex needs of cancer patients.
For a patient with an initial diagnosis of cancer, meeting with a social worker can provide emotional support, help with decision making, someone to listen to their feelings of anger, fear or sadness, as well as someone to offer concrete suggestions to help them achieve a sense of control in their lives.
For patients with advanced disease, social workers can provide help with decision making around life/death issues, someone to listen to what they are going through, and support and comfort for both patients and family members.
Treatment strategies include:
- individual and family counseling;
- psychosocial consultation;
- patient and family education;
- community resource referrals; and
- coordination of care.
UMGCCC social workers attend daily inpatient multidisciplinary rounds and weekly team meetings. Social workers work closely with patients and families to help identify their strengths and to cope more effectively with their illness. For patients who are in advanced stages of cancer, social workers help with decisions about palliative care. Psychosocial evaluations are provided for every patient who is considered for the bone marrow transplant program in order to determine suitability for the program.
For more information, please call the Department of Social Work at 410-328-6700 or 410-328-6508.