CancerCare Welcomes New CEO, Patricia Goldsmith

April 7, 2014

As CancerCare approaches the 70th anniversary of its founding, we are pleased to welcome oncology leader Patricia Goldsmith as the new Chief Executive Officer. Patricia will officially join the organization on May 5, 2014.

“As CancerCare marks seven decades of helping the cancer community, we are thrilled to have found an exceptional leader in Patricia Goldsmith,” said CancerCare National Board of Trustees President Susan Smirnoff. “Patricia is a dynamic oncology visionary with an outstanding record of achievement, and we look forward to expanding CancerCare’s service offerings under her leadership.”

Patricia brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and strategic planning experience to her new role, and has a proven track record of success in hospital and physician academic organizations, as well as nongovernmental health care organizations. She previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 25 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research and education. In this role, she was responsible for overall operations and provided oversight for a multitude of programs and national initiatives.

Prior to joining NCCN, she was Vice President for Institutional Development, Public Affairs and Marketing at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the only Florida-based National Cancer Institute-Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“CancerCare is a remarkable organization that does so much good for so many,” said incoming CEO Patricia Goldsmith. “As the leading social service organization in cancer, CancerCare is well-positioned to support the coming changes in our health care system directly relating to the psychosocial and financial effects of diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. I have admired the organization for many years and am honored to have been chosen to become the next CEO. I look forward to working with the talented staff and Board of Trustees to achieve even greater success in the coming decade.”


CancerCare Recognizes the Importance of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for People Affected by Cancer

March 24, 2014

CancerCare Social Work Staff and Training Instructors

CancerCare‘s staff of oncology social workers recently received in-depth training on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. CBT is a therapeutic model that focuses on empowering the client to create coping mechanisms for life stressors and issues that otherwise compromise the quality of life.

“CBT is a model that fits the CancerCare counseling approach and is appropriate for the person with cancer, the caregiver and the bereaved,” said CancerCare Director of Clinical Services William Goeren, LCSW-R, ACSW, BCD.

One featured topic, “Body Image Issues after Cancer Treatment,” explored the multiple factors affecting body image and the outcomes of CBT and mindfulness interventions.

The training was lead by Szilvia Vas, health psychology researcher and member of the British Psychological Society; Andrea Ryder, Macmillan therapist; Ashley Yarwood, Macmillan therapist; and Jeanette McCarthy Macmillan director.

CancerCare provides free services for anyone affected by cancer. View all of CancerCare’s body image resources and learn more about our counseling services.


National Social Work Month: “All People Matter”

March 5, 2014

Richard Dickens, LCSW-R meets with a CancerCare client

Happy National Professional Social Work Month! We’re proud of our extraordinary team of professional oncology social workers who continue to help anyone affected by cancer, regardless of cancer type or stage, completely free of charge.

The official theme for Social Work Month in March 2014 is “All People Matter.” Celebrated each March, National Professional Social Work Month is an opportunity for social workers across the country to turn the spotlight on the profession and highlight the important contributions they make to society.

Each day, our professional oncology social workers strive to provide in-person and telephone counseling to help people manage stress and anxiety. They also lead support groups to help people connect with others and help clients find reliable cancer information and financial resources.

Richard Dickens, LCSW-R is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer survivor and has been a CancerCare social worker for over 15 years. “In my work as a social worker, I witness time and again the resiliency of the human spirit. My passion is to help people normalize their experience, try to see their world through their eyes and provide them with hope.”

To speak to one of our professional oncology social workers, call 800-813-HOPE (4673).



How Technology Is Transforming Cancer Prevention

February 20, 2014

The field of oncology is constantly redefining treatment approaches and options to improve the standard of care for people everywhere. In a field that is rapidly making innovative advances, we are fortunate to stay aware of new discoveries in oncology through modern technology.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, the perfect time to recognize how developments in oncology, coupled with technology, have impacted the lives of people living with cancer, caregivers and health professionals. A person’s geographic location or financial situation are no longer barriers. Mobile apps and health-focused websites allow instant access to topics such as cancer screenings, research updates and risk factors.

A prime example is simply picking up the telephone and joining one of CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshops. Whether participants listen to a live or archived Connect Education Workshop, they will hear compassionate experts in oncology provide the latest medical advances from the convenience of their own home or office. The comprehensive educational workshops have evolved with technology to include a webcast component, accessible online via podcast, and telephone replay.

CancerCare’s easy-to-read fact sheets and educational booklets, written by experts, can be ordered online, over the phone or viewed on our website. Like all of CancerCare’s services, our workshops, fact sheets and booklets are free of charge. 

In recognition of National Cancer Prevention Month, we encourage you to visit CancerCare’s workshop and publication webpages for up-to-date information from leading experts in oncology. The first and foremost step to cancer prevention is knowledge.


Guest blogger Sarah Quinlan is the Senior Education Technical and Marketing Coordinator at CancerCare.

CancerCare Applauds Recent CVS Decision to Ban Tobacco Products

February 10, 2014

CVS Caremark, the nation’s second-largest drugstore chain, recently announced the decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in their stores by October. The company predicts this change will drastically cut sales by an estimated $2 billion annually, but will further their mission of serving as a health care-focused retailer.

CancerCare is pleased to see CVS taking a stance and setting an example in the pharmacy industry. This decision shines a light on the ramifications of tobacco use and creates a timely world-wide conversation

The announcement comes on the heels of World Health Organization’s release of The World Cancer Report 2014 estimating a dramatic increase in cancer cases over the next two decades. The report emphasizes the importance of cancer screening and avoidance of lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco usage that can increase the risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

“CancerCare works with cancer patients and survivors every day and we know how devastating this disease can be for everyone involved,” said Win Boerckel, CancerCare’s National Lung Cancer Program Coordinator. “While it is important to stress that tobacco use is not the only cause of lung cancer, more than 80 percent of cases are caused by smoking.”

Learn more about how we help people coping with lung cancer.

Resources for Women Coping With Cervical Cancer

January 9, 2014

January is observed as Cervical Health Awareness Month, and it was started as a way to recognize the need for awareness of HPV (human papillomavirus) and cervical cancer.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and a major cause of cervical cancer. However, HPV can be prevented with the HPV vaccine, and cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests (called Pap tests) and follow-up care.

CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers can help you learn about ways to cope with or prevent cervical cancer, and can locate resources (including screening programs) in your community. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program also provides helpful information, including a state-by-state directory of free or low-cost mammogram and Pap test screening programs.

CancerCare is offering an upcoming 15-week online support group for women diagnosed with a gynecologic and/or reproductive cancer who are currently receiving treatment. In this group led by an oncology social worker, patients give support to each other and share resources and information.

To join this group, you will need to complete our online registration process. After joining this password-protected group, you can read and post messages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The group will continue accepting members after the February 1 start date.

CancerCare’s free services also include individual counseling from professional oncology social workers and financial assistance. To speak with a professional oncology social worker, call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

Visit to learn more about Cervical Health Awareness Month.

Get Help With Caregiving Tasks This Holiday Season

November 22, 2013

Holidays are meant to be joyful times that create good memories. But for caregivers of people with cancer, it can be challenging to keep up with the preparations that often come with celebrating holidays along with juggling caregiving responsibilities such as taking a loved one to treatment. Many times, friends and community members may want to help out, but are unsure of where to begin. is an online tool created by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with CancerCare to help caregivers create their own community of support. The tool allows caregivers to coordinate volunteer activities such as cooking meals or transporting a loved one to appointments. My Cancer Circle™ also provides a private space where members can offer words of support and encouragement. To learn more about My Cancer Circle or to create a community to support a loved one facing cancer, visit

Learn how to create a community of support from leading experts by listening to the podcast, My Cancer Circle: A Support Network for Caregivers. You can also read our fact sheet, “Building a Community of Support.” Order free copies online at

You may also find it helpful to review our resources on coping with cancer and caregiving during holidays and special events.

CancerCare provides free services specifically for caregivers, including support groups (available face to face, over the phone, and online), publications and Connect Education Workshops™. View all of CancerCare’s free services for caregivers.

Caribou Coffee Raises $250,000 In Support of Our Free Services

November 18, 2013

Caribou Coffee offered its special Caribou Coffee Amy’s Blend collection of coffee, tea and merchandise from September 28 through October 31, donating 10% of all retail coffeehouse proceeds to CancerCare. The collection was named in honor of the company’s original roastmaster, Amy Erickson, and helped raise an astounding $250,000 in support of people coping with breast cancer.

Caribou Coffee CEO and President Mike Tattersfield journeyed from Minneapolis to our national headquarters in New York City to present Caribou’s donation on November 4. CancerCare breast cancer clients Michele “Maisey” Mais and Elisa Colon were on hand for the presentation.

L to R: CancerCare Board of Trustees Member Michael Parisi, CancerCare client Michele “Maisy” Mais, Caribou Coffee CEO and President Mike Tattersfield, CancerCare COO John Rutigliano, CancerCare client Elisa Colon, CancerCare Oncology Social Worker Carly Mesavitz

View more photos from Caribou Coffee’s visit.

As part of the social media program “Caribou Knits,” Caribou also presented us with 450 scarves, intended to provide warmth to those impacted by breast cancer.

To learn more about this year’s Caribou Coffee Amy’s Blend program, visit

We are tremendously proud of our partnership with Caribou Coffee, a company that shares CancerCare’s dedication to helping people affected by cancer. Thank you, Caribou!


Brian Tomlinson, MPA, BSW Joins CancerCare as Chief Program and Communications Officer

November 12, 2013

CancerCare is thrilled to announce that Brian Tomlinson, MPA, BSW joins the organization today as Chief Program and Communications Officer. Brian, who began his career as a social worker, is a highly respected national advocate for cancer patients and their families.

“I am excited to be joining such a remarkable organization with 70 years of history,” he shares. “I look forward to working with the dedicated CancerCare team to expand national awareness and to continue to carry out the incredible mission of helping people cope with the emotional and practical challenges of a cancer diagnosis.”

In his new role, Brian will lead CancerCare’s educational and patient assistance programs, as well as public affairs, brand management and communications.  Most recently, Brian served as Chief Program Officer at the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF).

“We are delighted to welcome Brian to the organization,” says CancerCare National Board of Trustees President Susan Smirnoff. “His extensive knowledge and experience in oncology social services, education and program development perfectly align with our core mission and values. We’re excited to have such an outstanding addition to the leadership team as we plan for the future of CancerCare.” 

Brian holds a masters degree in nonprofit management and public administration from Baruch College School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Science in social work from Long Island University. He is a member of several professional societies including the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the American Association for Cancer Education, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Association of Oncology Social Workers.

Get the Facts on Lung Cancer Awareness and Prevention

October 28, 2013

According to a new study on lung cancer awareness, nearly a quarter of people in the 21 countries surveyed admitted they could not name any symptoms of the diagnosis.

Dr. Matthew Peters, chair of The Global Lung Cancer Coalition, said: “Patients are often diagnosed with lung cancer at a very late stage when treatment is no longer an option. If we can get patients diagnosed earlier, we can treat them and save lives. That is why being aware of the symptoms is so important.”

The groundbreaking study’s results will be presented at the IASLC 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer, held this year in Sydney, Australia. CancerCare National Lung Cancer Program Coordinator Win Boerckel, LCSW-R, MSW, MBA will be in attendance at the conference.

“It’s heartening to learn about the ever-increasing activity to find new drugs for the treatment of lung cancer and to be able to bring that news back to CancerCare’s lung cancer clients,” Win shares.  “Each new development provides patients and caregivers with a new measure of hope in overcoming this dreaded disease.”

CancerCare provides a comprehensive network of services for people coping with any type and stage of lung cancer, including our upcoming Connect Education Workshop, Advances in the Treatment of Lung Cancer. Listen in live over the telephone or online as leading experts, including Win, answer your questions.

The workshop will take place Tuesday, November 19 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Participation is free, and pre-registration is required.

Learn more about how we help people coping with lung cancer.

CancerCare’s 11th Annual Lung Cancer Walk for Hope will take place Sunday, November 3rd at the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course in Woodbury, NY. All proceeds from the event support CancerCare’s free services for people coping with lung cancer.

Watch a video about the Lung Cancer Walk for Hope:

Whether you walk, volunteer or donate, your participation will make all the difference to someone facing lung cancer. Learn more and register.