Cancer Social Work Services
The Patient and Family Support Services of the Knight Cancer Institute assist patients and families throughout their cancer experience with advocacy, education, resources, and compassion.
Specialty-trained cancer social workers are available to provide support and help you and your family cope with cancer.
At the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute our social workers are an important part of your multidisciplinary care team. They have a broad understanding of cancer, cancer treatment, survivorship, community resources, palliative care, hospice care, grief and bereavement.
Social workers are available in several clinics and by phone to work with you on the following types of issues:
- Short-term counseling
- Support to your caregivers and family
- Help facilitate communication between patients and their medical team
- Assistance with adjustment to new diagnosis
- Mental health recommendations and referrals
- Information and referrals for community-based services
- Grief and loss support
- Assistance in mediating family conflict
- Transportation, lodging/housing
- Help with navigating OHSU
- Basic needs referrals through American Cancer Society Patient Navigator
- Assistance with advanced directives and palliative care, and decisions about end of life issues
- Information and referrals for financial and insurance concerns
There are also a number of support groups and patient education classes available through OHSU Knight Cancer Institute social work services. You may find comfort in talking with others who are having a similar experience or sharing helpful resources and information with others.
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute social workers are listed below with cancer types they support and their phone numbers. They are available to help our cancer patients or family members. You can call them directly to make an appointment. If you do not see the cancer type relevant to you, call Caroline Macuiba, 503 418-9758.
Cancer and blood diseases
Peter Bennett, M.S.W.
Peter supports adult patients receiving treatment in the Radiation Oncology clinic, as well as patients and families in the Hematology and Medical Oncology clinic who have blood disorders, head and neck cancers, bladder and renal cancers, and lung cancer. Peter also serves the Phase 1 clinical trial service.
Katie Hennessy, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Katie supports patients and families in the Hematology and Medical Oncology clinic affected by prostate cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer and melanoma. She also is a member of the outpatient palliative care team.
Andrea Lehman, L.C.S.W.
Andrea supports patients and families at our Community Hematology Oncology Northwest clinic.
Caroline Macuiba, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Caroline supports patients and families affected by gastro-intestinal cancers, those receiving treatment in the outpatient infusion unit for brain tumors and gynecological cancers, and patients seen in the palliative care clinic. She is also the supervisor of the adult oncology social work team.
Christen Skolnick, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Christen supports patients and families at our community cancer clinics in East Portland and Gresham.
KrisAnn Talarico, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
KrisAnn supports patients and families affected by breast cancer and sarcoma.
Cathy Weeks, L.C.S.W.
Cathy supports patients and families at our Community Hematology Oncology Beaverton and Tualatin clinics.
Blood cancers and blood diseases
Nancy Boyle, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Nancy works with patients and families facing leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, blood disorders, and stem cell transplants.
Keren McCord, L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Keren works with patients and families facing leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, blood disorders, and stem cell transplants.
Support during your hospital stay
Jen Smith, L.C.S.W.
Jen works with bone marrow transplant and hematological malignancy patients staying in the hospital and their family members on the 14th floor of the Kohler Pavilion.
Manager of Patient and Family Services
Susan Hedlund, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., OSW-C
Susan is the Manager of Patient and Family Support Services at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. She is on the faculty of the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University, as well as the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University.