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Oncology Social Work Services

An oncology social worker provides services, such as counseling, education, and information and referrals to community resources, including support groups. An oncology social worker often acts as a liaison between people with cancer and the medical team, and helps people find ways to navigate the health-care system. He or she works with the medical team to make sure people with cancer get the information they need to make informed choices about their care, and the support needed to manage the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer.

Social Workers are available for oncology patients to help deal with a cancer diagnosis and potential treatments. Our goal is to assist you through the treatment process in a number of practical and supportive ways. The following is a partial list of the ways that social workers may help you and your family:

  • Discussing work concerns
  • Crisis intervention, grief and loss concerns
  • Looking at changes in sexual functioning
  • Coping with physical changes from surgery or treatment
  • Helping you and your family learn about your disease and treatment
  • Dealing with emotional reactions following a cancer diagnosis & treatment
  • Making quality of life decisions in coordination with your goals of treatment
  • Assisting with problem solving, coordination and adaptation to healthcare needs
  • Referral for resources (social, emotional, and/or financial) as needed to overcome barriers to care and improve the psychosocial functioning of the patient/caregiver

Contact Patient & Family Resources to reach a Clinical Social Worker: (352) 265-0224

Criser Cancer Resource Center

Located on the south east corner of the Andy and Toni Crawford lobby of UF Health Shands Cancer Hospital, the Marshall M. and Paula P. Criser, Jr. Cancer Resource Center is designed to promote patient education and wellness.

Realizing the need for a safe, quiet and private space, the center provides patients and families a relaxing and supportive environment. Here they can stay connected to family and friends through computers with free internet access, find up-to-date information about treatment, recovery and how to cope with bereavement.

The floor-to-ceiling windows on the east and south sides offer ample natural light, and visitors can enjoy views of the Garden of Hope and surrounding scenery in a family room atmosphere.

Experienced staff with backgrounds in oncology, social work, psychology, creative arts and holistic healing, engage patients and families in a variety of educational opportunities and support services designed to foster personal discovery.

In addition, the Margo Powers multi-purpose room (located within the center) offers patients, families and staff a place to conduct and enjoy health-related classes, art workshops and educational seminars. It also can host small group meetings.

The Criser Cancer Resource Center is an interdisciplinary facility that complements medical care and helps us support the diverse needs of individuals and families. The center provides information and tools to help patients and their families cope with cancer and its treatments.

Local & Online Support Groups

  • UF Health – Cancer Support & Wellness: UF Health Palliative Care is offering a Cancer Support and Wellness Series on the second Monday of each month. Fun and educational classes are offered to cancer patients, family members and the community. To promote health and quality of life, topics will cover a variety of areas including dance and movement therapy, nutrition, advance care planning and more. Seating, snacks and refreshments provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Healing Touch Support Group: family, friends, caregivers, patients, and survivors are welcome at group, which meets the third Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:00 in the O. Dean Martin Prayer Room of Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 4000 NW 53rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32653. For more information, please contact Marcey Corey at (352) 331-2960 or Margie Stark at (386) 462-9592, or Trinity United Methodist Church at (352) 376-6615.
  • HealthStreet Cancer Connections: Cancer Connections is a monthly educational and networking meeting held at HealthStreet for cancer healthcare professionals and cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. Anyone who is involved in the care or treatment of cancer patients or who provide a service to them is welcomed to join. The group meets at HealthStreet on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 12pm-1pm featuring prominent cancer healthcare professionals. For more information about how to get involved with Cancer Connections, contact Barb Thomas at bnbbarb@aol.com
  • ABTA Nationwide Support Group Listing: The ABTA maintains a nationwide listing of brain tumor support groups, cancer groups that welcome brain tumor survivors, caregiver/spouse support groups and grief (bereavement) support groups.
  • Imerman Angels: Imerman Angels connects individuals seeking cancer support with a “Mentor Angel.” These 1–on–1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience. Mentor Angels can lend support and empathy while helping cancer fighters and caregivers navigate the system, determine their options and create their own support systems.
  • ABTA Connections Online Support: The ABTA maintains a nationwide listing of brain tumor support groups, cancer groups that welcome brain tumor survivors, caregiver/spouse support groups and grief (bereavement) support groups.
  • Brain Tumor – Caregiver Support Group: This 15-week online support group is for people caring for a loved one with a primary malignant brain tumor or brain metastasis. This group is a safe, convenient, and confidential space where caregivers can discuss the unique challenges of caring for a loved one with a brain tumor while giving and receiving support, information, and guidance. This group is professionally moderated by a licensed oncology social worker and is completely free of charge.

Medical Interpreter and Translation Services

We provide interpretation services each year to thousands of patients and their families with limited English proficiency to ensure patient safety and compassionate care. Spanish medical interpreters are available 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, to assist patients and families during their hospital stay. We also offer 24/7 phone translation services when our interpreters are unavailable. For assistance, please call (352) 265-0123.

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