Cancer Social Services and Support Groups

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The Cancer Center's oncology social workers offer an array of programs and support groups, counseling and a community resource specialist to help with lodging, transportation, insurance coverage and transition to community-based services.

What is Oncology Social Work?

Oncology Social Work is the professional discipline that provides psychosocial services to patients, families and significant others facing the impact of a potential or actual diagnosis of cancer. Oncology social workers facilitate patients' adjustment to illness and the maintenance of optimal individual and family functioning. All of the oncology social workers at BIDMC are Oncology Social Work (OSW)-certified. Services are designed to promote the patient's best utilization of the health care system, the optimal development of coping strategies and the mobilization of community resources to support maximum functioning.

Our Services

Oncology social workers offer individual, family and group counseling and advocate for the needs of patients. They provide case management, linking patients with the variety of services necessary to meet multiple needs. They function collaboratively with other cancer care professionals in treatment planning for patients as well as in discharge planning when care is being provided within institutions and in the community.

In addition to individually scheduled appointments for assessment, consultation or ongoing psychotherapy, we offer a number of programs of interest to oncology patients and families as well as a variety of support groups. which offer an especially valuable opportunity for patients to share a common experience.

Referrals and Appointments

The Oncology Social Work Group is organized by service. Ideally, an initial call should be made to the social worker who covers the treatment site of the individual's care. If this is difficult for any reason, a referral may be made to 617-667-2661, and we will follow up appropriately, Referrals may be made by any health care provider or by the individual or family directly.

Contact Information by Service

Medical Oncology, Hematology-Oncology Ambulatory Unit

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C 
Frank McCaffrey, LICSW, OSW-C 

BreastCare Center

Barbara Clivio, PhD, LICSW, OSW-C 

Hematologic Malignancies/Bone Marrow Transplant

Marcie Saganov, LICSW, OSW-C 
Linda Goorin, LICSW, OSW-C 

Patient Navigator Services

Christina Ho (for Chinese patients) 

Oncology Service Community Resource Specialist

Kristina Maguy