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Oncology Social Work

The cancer journey is rife with challenges for patients and caregivers alike. At the UK Markey Cancer Center, we have a comprehensive support network that will help those affected by this disease manage the physical, emotional, spiritual and practical hurdles they may encounter after a diagnosis.

Our team of oncology social workers specializes in caring for cancer patients, and each is trained to offer therapeutic counseling, which may include crisis intervention, personalized therapy or a referral to a mental health provider or psychiatrist as needed. In addition, oncology social workers connect our patients to resources they need to help them navigate the healthcare system and remove barriers to care. This may include providing gas cards to those in need, finding temporary lodging closer to the hospital or educating patients and families about advance directives and other legal matters.

The oncology social work team is easily accessible, with an office located on the third floor of the Combs Building at Markey Cancer Center. Patients may walk in for a consult or request a consultation through their physician. Doctors may also refer patients directly.

  • What We Do

    Our oncology social work team is focused on:

    • Counseling patients and families after a diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond to help them manage the emotional and social challenges of living with and caring for someone with a complex disease.
    • Teaching patients how to change behaviors (quitting smoking, eating healthier) to ensure the best possible outcome.
    • Connecting patients with the services and resources they need to manage practical aspects of living with cancer, including financial and nutrition counseling, transportation and housing assistance.
    • Informing patients about resources available to them at Markey, in their communities and online, such as support groups and disease-specific information.
  • The Consult

    Patients are welcome to visit our office on the third floor of the Combs Building any time during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to speak with a member of our team. We will address your immediate concerns and evaluate your needs to determine how we might serve you best.

    As a new Markey patient, you may be asked to complete a questionnaire that will allow you to share any issues or concerns you have related to your cancer diagnosis. Based on your responses, a member of our team may reach out to further discuss how we might best address your needs.

    Your physician may also refer you to oncology social work if he or she feels you might benefit from our services.