CancerCare Welcomes Ellen Miller Sonet as Chief Strategy and Alliance Officer

July 22, 2014

In her new role, Ellen Miller Sonet will serve as an integral member of CancerCare’s Executive Leadership Team charged with strategic branding, cultivating alliances within the oncology community and advancing the organization’s national policy agenda.

“I’m honored to be joining this extraordinary organization, which is at the forefront of supporting cancer patients and families both locally and nationally,” Sonet said.

In her nearly 17 years as Vice President of Marketing at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Sonet was an avid patient advocate who was devoted to understanding the complex nature of health care decision-making and the needs of people affected by cancer. Her work showed an unfaltering focus on clear and relevant communication that facilitated making informed health care choices and supported patients and families through their cancer experiences.

“Ellen is a creative and passionate health care marketing and strategy professional with in-depth experience at executive levels in the hospital and pharma industries,” said CancerCare CEO Patricia J. Goldsmith. “Her expertise and vision will undoubtedly elevate our status as a national oncology leader and will help us to build on 70 years of success. Our leadership team feels confident that with Ellen’s expertise, we will have an even greater capacity to help anyone coping with a cancer diagnosis.”

Prior to her tenure at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Sonet worked in pharmaceutical marketing on brands such as Afrin Nasal Spray and Bayer Aspirin. She holds a BA in political science from Brown University, and an MBA and JD from Boston University.

 

 

 

 


CancerCare Social Workers Shine at the AOSW Annual Conference

June 5, 2014

Allison Nilsen, LMSW presenting at AOSW

A dynamic team of six CancerCare oncology social work team members presented at this year’s Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) Annual Conference. AOSW is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the enhancement of psychosocial services to people with cancer and their families.

More than 500 oncology social work professionals gathered in Baltimore, Maryland for the conference on May 28-30, 2014. CancerCare presenters included Maria Chi, LCSW; Elizabeth Ezra, LCSW, OSW-C; William Goeren, LCSW-R; Carly Mesavitz, LCSW, OSW-C; Carolyn Messner, DSW, OSW-C, LCSW-R and Allison Nilsen, LMSW.

CancerCare presentations and posters were given on a variety of topics, including:

• Feeling Whole Again: The Role of Social Work Intervention During a Wig and Breast Prosthesis Fitting

• Finding Hope Beyond the Pall of a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis: What Can We Do to Help?

• Oncology Social Work Field Education: An Insider’s Perspective

• Support Group for Older Gay Men with Cancer – Clinical Issues and Overview

• Training the Next Generation of Leaders in Oncology Social Work

Elizabeth Ezra, LCSW, OSW-C presents on pancreatic cancer

Created in 1984 by social workers interested in oncology and by existing national cancer organizations, AOSW is an expanding force of psychosocial oncology professionals. The annual meeting serves as a wonderful opportunity to advance the field of oncology social work, as well as to highlight the important work conducted by CancerCare’s social workers.

 

 

 

 

 


Grant from The Horizon Foundation For New Jersey will Bring Cancer Services to Underserved Populations

May 20, 2014

 

 

CancerCare has received a $35,000 grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. The grant will fund CancerCare’s project, Early Detection and Education Program for Underserved Individuals in Newark.

The project aims to bring professional services to the local community and raise awareness on the importance of screening for breast, cervical, colon and prostate cancers. Free educational workshops, led by Spanish-speaking social workers, will be provided throughout Newark and the surrounding Essex County areas.

On-site cancer screenings will be available at select sites. Participants will also have direct access to CancerCare’s professional support services, including financial assistance and counseling.

“The need for expert, no cost cancer prevention and early detection services is growing. Through this generous grant from The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, CancerCare will be able to effectively reach even more underserved populations,” said CancerCare CEO Patricia J. Goldsmith. “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that a lack of knowledge about cancer risk factors can hinder early diagnosis. Early diagnosis leads to the best possible outcomes at the lowest cost. This project will allow our organization to bring critical information and services to hundreds of individuals in the community that might otherwise face a diagnosis without much needed support services.”

CancerCare’s continued partnership with The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey will address language, cultural and psychological barriers that traditionally prevent underserved individuals from obtaining regular cancer screenings.

“We are delighted to support CancerCare,” said Jonathan R. Pearson, Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. “The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is dedicated to supporting charitable organizations making an impact in the lives of people across New Jersey.”

For more information about the Foundation visit www.HorizonBlue.com/foundation.

 

 


Greenwich 5K Walk/Run for Hope Raises over $40,000 for Anyone Affected by Cancer

May 6, 2014

Top fundraiser Sophie Khanna

Dedicated CancerCare supporters laced up to raise more than $40,000 at the Second Annual Walk/Run for Hope at Greenwich Point in Greenwich, CT on May 4, 2014.

The community-based event brought together friends and families to walk or run in memory of those they have lost to cancer, honor survivors and support those who are currently facing the disease.

Top-fundraiser and advocate Sophie Khanna, age 14 of Greenwich, raised $10,685 for the organization. “I was looking for a run to do and I saw CancerCare,” said Sophie. “My grandma suffered from cancer. Luckily she survived it and I just want to help people around who suffer from cancer.”

CancerCare client and advocate Margie Benefico, of Stamford, began meeting with a CancerCare social worker after she was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) six months ago. After learning about the walk, she formed a team of 55 members called ‘The Lymphomaniacs’ and raised $5,410.

“From the first time I called CancerCare, they were very warm and welcoming. They helped me to talk things through – like getting a second opinion and tolerating the chemo. I hope to be involved with CancerCare for many years to come and to help others find the services that they gave to me.”

“CancerCare is there to provide free services to those dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” said Connecticut State Representative, House District 151, Fred Camillo. “I know from personal experience that facing this illness can be overwhelming, but an organization like CancerCare makes certain that you won’t have to do so alone.”

Walkers and runners of all levels and ages participated in the event. Visit www.cancercare.org/walkgreenwich to see the top fundraisers and race results and see the event photos at http://ow.ly/wyfJ4.

“Thank you to all of the dedicated walkers, runners and volunteers who made this year’s Walk/Run for Hope a huge success,” said CancerCare Connecticut Office Regional Director Sandra Tripodi, LCSW, ACSW. “As a native of Greenwich, it gives me great pleasure to be working with local supporters to raise awareness and funds for CancerCare’s free programs and financial assistance to anyone affected by a diagnosis of cancer.”

 


CancerCare Welcomes New CEO, Patricia Goldsmith

May 2, 2014

As CancerCare celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding, we are pleased to welcome oncology leader Patricia Goldsmith as the new Chief Executive Officer.

“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 Celebrates 70 Years and Raises Over One Million Dollars at Anniversary Gala

April 29, 2014

Journalist and Advocate Katie Couric; Junior Philanthropist Maddy Gold; and Chef David Burke at the Gala.

Thanks to our dedicated supporters and advocates, CancerCare raised more than one million dollars for anyone affected by cancer at the 70th Anniversary Celebration Gala. Over 500 attendees gathered at Cipriani in New York City on April 23 to honor the organization as it moves into its eighth decade of service.

“With 13.7 million cancer survivors in the U.S. today, a number that is expected to increase to 18 million over the next decade, CancerCare’s services are more relevant than ever before,” said CancerCare National Board of Trustees President Susan Smirnoff. “The Gala allows us to honor individuals and corporations that have made incredible contributions in supporting CancerCare over the past 70 years and to raise essential funds to further carry the mission.”

Television journalist, author and dedicated cancer advocate Katie Couric kicked off the evening by sharing how she and her family were personally affected by cancer and found comfort in using CancerCare’s services.

Chef and restaurateur David Burke took the stage for the live auction portion of the event. Grammy Award-winning contemporary opera singer Jessye Norman and Former Mayor of New York City David Norman Dinkins were also in attendance.

Ms. Couric proudly presented the Partnership Award to Philip Blake, Senior Bayer Representative USA and Bayer HealthCare Representative US. Under the leadership of Blake, Bayer HealthCare holds a long-standing commitment to CancerCare’s mission of bringing outstanding educational services to help people whose lives have been affected by cancer.

The Help & Hope Award was presented to Pamela S. Wygod and the WebMD Health Foundation. Ms. Wygod has been a devoted member of CancerCare’s Board of Trustees since 2006 and the Foundation has awarded the organization more than $2.5 million to support cancer patients in the San Diego area.

One of the organization’s youngest and most powerful advocates, Maddy Gold, 13, courageously shared her story and was surprised with the Junior Philanthropist Award.

The event was hosted by Annette and Andrew Pizzo, President of Collection XIIX, Ltd.

The CancerCare 70th Anniversary Celebration Gala raises crucial funds for and increases awareness of the organization’s free, professional support services. To see photos from the event, visit http://ow.ly/wf1xb.

Stay up to date on all of the social media action by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

 

 

 


CancerCare Superstar Maddy Shares Her Story of Help and Hope

April 21, 2014

Alyssa and Maddy

Maddy Gold, 13, has quickly become one of CancerCare’s most inspiring advocates by sharing her personal cancer experience. As a result, she has made a remarkable impact on the lives of others.

Maddy began coming to CancerCare at the age of four to receive emotional support after her mother, Alyssa, was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. She found it to be a safe space to talk about all of the changes their family was facing.

“I remember that when my mom started losing her hair, I didn’t understand why. My social worker explained to me that the medicine in her body made my mom lose her hair, and as a young child, that made me feel better,” shares Maddy.

In December 2006, Alyssa passed away. Maddy and her younger brother continued visiting their social worker to learn how to cope with their loss and their father joined a weekly bereavement group.

“CancerCare was one of the only places where I could go to escape the sadness of my mom’s cancer and be myself – talking about my true feelings with my social worker who really understood and cared about me and my family and what we were going through.”

In honor of Alyssa, the Gold family formed the walking team “Hearts of Gold” to raise funds for CancerCare’s free support services. Maddy also serves as a volunteer at CancerCare’s New Jersey office and has raised $1,500 by selling awareness bracelets.

Maddy will share her powerful story at the CancerCare 70th Anniversary Celebration Gala on April 23. Learn how you can get involved and support this exciting event and help Maddy’s cause: http://community.cancercare.org/gala.

“My mom got so much support from CancerCare when she was sick and would be so happy that I continue to give back to help other people just like her.”

 

 


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.

 


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.


New Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report Stresses Importance of Comprehensive Patient Care

September 11, 2013

A new report released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) this week, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis, is changing the conversation about cancer patient care.

The report documents how the current health care system fails to adequately address patients’ needs, leading to poorer outcomes and quality of life. It also provides recommendations in six areas for improving patient care:

  • Engaging patients to make more informed choices about their care
  • Having an adequately staffed, trained and coordinated workforce
  • Providing evidence-based care
  • Learning health care information technology (IT)
  • Translating evidence into clinical practice, quality measurement and performance improvement
  • Offering accessible and affordable care

This breakthrough report reaffirms IOM’s recommendation that health care professionals address patients’ “psychosocial” (practical, financial and emotional) concerns, along with medical needs, in order to provide the most comprehensive care.

CancerCare has long been looked to as the leading organization advocating the importance of psychosocial cancer care, and was instrumental in crafting recommendations for the IOM’s landmark 2007 report, “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.”

The findings from that report, as well as from this most recent report, illustrate the crucial importance of providing care addressing patients’ myriad needs. CancerCare applauds the IOM for continuing to advocate for comprehensive patient care going beyond simply treating the disease.

Amy J. Berman, Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation and celebrated health care blogger, provides a clear and concise rundown of the report on the Hartford Foundation’s blog, Health AGEenda. Amy also provided testimony, served as a reviewer for the report, and is included in the accompanying IOM video clip, which you can watch below.