Excellence in Cancer Education and Leadership
The primary aim of this comprehensive educational program is to improve the delivery of psychosocial care for oncology patients through intensive education of oncology social workers. ExCEL in Social Work will address critical aspects of psychosocial support while encouraging oncology social workers to address the standard of care recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2008 Report – “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs.” This will be accomplished through a collaborative partnership between the City of Hope and the two professional organizations dedicated to representing oncology social workers - the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) and the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW).
Essential elements of this psychosocial education project include strategies for improved team functioning, family conferencing, enhancing team communication and collaboration, building leadership skills for institutional change, and the development of increased pain and symptom management skills. Attention to the family as the primary unit of care and an appreciation of diversity will also be key themes intertwined throughout the curriculum. Participating oncology social workers will identify goals that they will seek to change and be offered an opportunity to personalize their commitment to improve the delivery of psychosocial care within their scope of influence.
Pre-eminent leaders in the field have enthusiastically endorsed this proposal, in recognition that empowering oncology social work professionals is critical to the delivery of quality psychosocial care for cancer patients and their families.