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ExCEL in Social Work
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 addresses 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 is accomplished through a collaborative partnership between the City of Hope and the two leading 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 program include strategies for improved interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork,  person-centered and family-focused psychosocial screening and assessment, family caregiver support and family conferencing, culturally-sensitive communication, problem-solving and decision-making, evidence-informed psychosocial interventions, and advocacy and leadership. 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.

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.
The first journal publication about the program and current data will be available soon, but ExCEL has ongoing columns in the AOSW and APOSW newsletters as well as our own newsletter.  ExCEL also recently earned the Outstanding Education and Training Award from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. The award recognizes the program’s importance in educating oncology social workers to improve psychosocial care of cancer patients and their families and the award underscores the importance of oncology social work in interdisciplinary teams and recognizes oncology social workers as leaders in the cancer center setting.
Who Should Apply
Competitive Selection
Although this program has an oncology focus; content will be applicable to other healthcare settings. Applicants are invited who demonstrate a commitment to improving the delivery of psychosocial care within his/her institutions. Please email: ExCEL@coh.org if you are an international candidate. The application deadline is February 10, 2014.

Background and Significance

Deficits in the delivery of quality psychosocial care are numerous, with troubling findings continuing to emerge regarding disparities in the provision of care, substandard pain and symptom management, poor access to care, high caregiver burden, and communication deficits across the continuum of care. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of evidence gathered over the past decade that demonstrates that these concerns remain inadequately addressed (IOM, 2013; IOM 2008).
The 2008 IOM Report recommends a standard for the delivery of quality psychosocial health care based upon an extensive review of the literature. To address this standard, a skilled workforce is needed with competencies in communication; screening; needs assessment; care planning and coordination; illness management and collaboration across disciplines. Although oncology social workers are typically master’s-prepared professionals, social workers, like their colleagues in nursing and medicine, are unlikely to enter their career sufficiently versed in these essential skills. Many oncology social workers are supervised by non-social work professionals and embedded in multidisciplinary departments or units, limiting access to seasoned social work colleagues as role-models. Yet, oncology social workers are ideally poised to develop these necessary competencies given sufficient education, mentorship and support.
ExCEL addresses these deficits through the development of an oncology social work specific curriculum designed to enhance the skills and leadership potential of oncology social workers. With adequate training, adult and pediatric oncology social workers are ideally positioned in healthcare settings to provide care that meets the IOM recommended standard for quality psychosocial care. ExCEL courses support oncology social workers in reclaiming their role and responsibility as system advocates for improved psychosocial care within their network of influence.


ExCEL in Social Work enhances the clinical and leadership skills of oncology social workers through the following specific aims:
  • Create an exceptional oncology social work-specific curriculum directly addressing the recommendations of the 2008 IOM Report on psychosocial health needs of oncology patients.
  • Implement the curriculum through eight pre-conference courses offered in conjunction with the annual meetings of the AOSW and the APOSW.
  • Provide evidence-informed information through the AOSW, APOSW and ExCEL newsletters and websites.
  • Evaluate the impact of this training by measuring the process and the outcomes of the various educational activities and change efforts (goals) initiated by the participants.
  • Disseminate the findings through peer-reviewed publications, various professional organizations and oncology networks.


This innovative psychosocial program’s curriculum is based upon the framework of the 2008 IOM Report presented in Figure 1, which has been adapted to address the six core competencies necessary for oncology social workers to meet the report’s recommended Standard of Care for improving psychosocial healthcare (IOM Report, 2008)

All cancer care should ensure the provision of appropriate psychosocial health services by:
  • Facilitating effective communication between patients and care providers (Although the language of this standard refers only to patients, the standard should be taken as referring to both patients and families when the patient is a child, has family members involved in providing care, or simply desires the involvement of family members);
  • Identifying each patient’s psychosocial health needs;
  • Designing and implementing a plan that links the patient with needed psychosocial services, coordinates biomedical and psychosocial care, engages and supports patients in managing their illness and health; and
  • Systematically following up on, reevaluating and adjusting plans.

This educational program enhances the clinical and leadership skills necessary for oncology social work professionals to act as system change agents within their institutions. Enhancing the leadership skills of oncology social workers will be necessary if institutions are to reliably meet the recommended standard of care. Thus, this educational training will offer intensive skill-building and mentorship opportunities. Through organizational collaboration with the AOSW and APOSW, participants will have opportunities for continued mutual support through attendance at each organizations annual conference and through electronic networking. These activities will also serve to reinforce participant change efforts, maximize participation in evaluation efforts and increase dissemination of findings.

The courses are associated with both the AOSW and APOSW annual meetings and provide rich opportunities for direct face-to-face learning. Historically, the AOSW and APOSW annual meetings are held in the spring. To maximize geographic reach, they move strategically around the country each year. Content modules developed from the IOM Report addressing identified gaps in oncology social work competencies are presented by skilled ExCEL in Social Work faculty. Curriculum content is based upon an extensive literature review with input from project co-investigators and external content consultants to ensure that it addresses the recommendations of the 2008 IOM Report and reflects the educational requests identified from needs assessments.
Educational Methods
This program uses a variety of innovative adult-learning strategies to enhance participant skill-development and promote institutional change efforts. Competitively selected oncology social workers will participate in interactive pre-conference trainings. An evening reception begins the program to outline the Standard of Care recommended by the 2008 IOM report, introduce key leadership skills and the importance of patient-focused change efforts. The full day of training that follows is devoted to a series of six modules developed from the IOM report that provide the framework for quality psychosocial care. These modules address various screening and assessment tools; evidence-based psychosocial interventions; communication models; family conferencing skills; team-building strategies and leadership skills. Facilitated small group sessions will assist participants in goal refinement using “SMART” goals. Both the AOSW and APOSW will dedicate portions of their Websites and Newsletters to reinforce key curriculum concepts and highlight successful participant change efforts.

All educational interventions will be predicated upon established adult learning theories. Adult learners are self-directed, have rich life experiences and are concerned with solving relevant life-problems. Participants will benefit from immediate application of meaningful examples and will retain information best after they “discover”it for themselves. Effective educators recognize that their role is to create a safe environment for participant-exploration of relevant concepts. Specific teaching methods will be individually tailored to best address the venue and content. As recommended in the IOM Report, the pre-conference courses will include a varied combination of educational strategies to maximize educational effectiveness. There will be lectures for new content, discussion sessions for sharing and clarification, case studies, as well as demonstration and role-playing specifically tailored to the needs of adult and pediatric oncology social workers.
Curriculum content will encourage exploration of role function, improved clinical judgment, leadership and professionalism, collaboration, systems thinking, cultural competence, facilitation of learning, accountability, empowerment, and the development of improved inter-professional communication skills. Selected video segments will be incorporated into the agenda to bring the voice of patients and families into the learning environment. During the annual pre-conference courses, faculty will facilitate group interactions and mentor participants as they apply concepts and principles that are relevant to their own situations.

ExCEL in Social Work seeks to “change the change agents:” to encourage increased accountability, growth and risk taking on behalf of the vulnerable populations that each serves to reliably meet the IOM Report’s Standard of Care. Principles of transformational learning theory will provide the basis for the skilled faculty to create an environment that inspires participants to reach personal growth goals. To maximize the effectiveness of course exercises, change concepts taken from the psychology and the business world will be applied when appropriate.

The IOM Report will be the provided text for the course. Using combined electronic and print distribution strategies of the adapted Pre-Conference modules will allow the curriculum to be more broadly disseminated so that oncology social workers unable to attend the pre-conference will still have opportunities to benefit from this program. Those who attended the trainings will benefit from reinforcement through later print or Web-based exposure of critical content. The print and Web-based educational efforts also offer more timely responses to the complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment.
ExCEL in Social Work Objectives
Following training, participants will be able to...
  1. Apply institutional change principles to enhance oncology social workers effectiveness as leaders and change-agents.
  2. Identify strategies that improve the delivery of psychosocial care to traditionally underserved oncology patients and their families.
  3. Increase oncology social worker knowledge regarding their role in pain and symptom management.
  4. Demonstrate effective communication as a strategy to enhance inter-professional collaboration in a team environment.
  5. Increase their knowledge of evidence-based interventions to improve patient quality of life.
  6. Demonstrate ability to apply appropriate quality improvement projects and performance measures. (including the “Plan, Do, Study, Act” rapid-cycle quality improvement model in their clinical practice setting)
  7. Identify various psychosocial screening and assessment strategies relevant to their patient population.
  8. Increase awareness of various protocols useful to maximize the effectiveness of family conferencing.
  9. Explore their role in addressing the psychosocial needs of patients and families across the life-span.
  10. Plan and implement a measurable change effort to better meet the IOM Report’s recommended Standard of Care within their institution.


Personal Vision, Goal and Steps
As part of the application to attend this course you must identify a preliminary vision, goal and steps describing how you will implement this training in your work setting within 12 months of attending the Pre-Conference. Outstanding achievement will be competitively evaluated for merit. An annual $1,500 award recognizing excellence will be given to one participant each year from the AOSW and from the APOSW to support further professional development.


Shirley Otis-Green, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., A.C.S.W., O.S.W-C.
Principal Investigator
Ms. Otis-Green is a licensed clinical social worker and Senior Research Specialist in the Division of Nursing Research and Education at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. Her clinical work, research, presentations and publications focus on transdisciplinary palliative care and integrated symptom management with a special emphasis upon underserved populations. Ms. Otis-Green is the Principal Investigator for the NCI-funded “Cancer Care for the Whole Patient (IOM, 2008): An Oncology Social Work Response.” (ExCEL in Social Work, 2010 – 2015). Ms. Otis-Green is also the Principal Investigator of the recently completed ACE Project - Advocating for Clinical Excellence: Transdisciplinary Palliative Care Education. She also developed and coordinated the Promoting Excellence in Pain Management & Palliative Care for Social Workers annual training course which received a national award for “innovation and quality in healthcare” in 2008 by the American Society on Aging. In her former role as Clinical Program Manager in the department of Supportive Care, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Ms. Otis-Green created the Transitions Program, which offered psycho-educational support services for those facing end of life and the Art for the Heart: Hands on Harps Program. Ms. Otis-Green is a 2006 Mayday Pain and Society Fellow and the recipient of two Social Work Leadership Awards from the Project on Death in America. Additionally, Ms. Terry Altilio and Otis-Green are co-editors of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., M.A.,F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N.
Dr. Ferrell is a Professor and Research Scientist at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, California. She has been an oncology nurse for 33 years and has extensive research experience in pain and quality of life for cancer patients and their family caregivers. Dr. Ferrell is the Principal Investigator for the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), a comprehensive national effort to improve end-of-life care by nurses. Dr. Ferrell is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum and was Chairperson of the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. She has authored and edited several books, including Cancer Pain Management (1995), Pain in the Elderly (1996) and the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing (2010). Dr. Ferrell is co-author of the text – The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing (1995)and Making Healthcare Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Patient Care (2010). Dr. Ferrell is also co-author of a chapter on “Nursing Collaboration” in the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (2011).
Marcia Grant, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N.
Dr. Grant is the Director of Nursing Research & Education, and Professor in the Department of Population Sciences at the City of Hope. Her primary program of research focuses on symptom management and quality of life in cancer patients. Dr. Grant’s current studies focus on the effects of an advanced practice nurse-led post discharge intervention for bone marrow transplant survivors, quality of life in ostomy patients, and improving end-of-life and cancer survivor care. She is Principal Investigator on several grants including the NCI-funded studies in Standardized Nursing Intervention Protocol and “Survivorship Education for Quality Cancer Care.” Dr. Grant serves on several national committees and is on the editorial boards for CA: A Journal for Clinicians and Seminars in Oncology Nursing. Her educational leadership is demonstrated in her receipt of the 2003 Oncology Nursing Society Mary Nowotny Excellence in Cancer Nursing Education Award. She recently received the Oncology Nursing Society Distinguished Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Co-investigators & Organizational Consultants
AOSW – Brad Zebrack, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.P.H.
Dr. Zebrack is Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, USA. His teaching and research interests are in the area of health, medicine, and quality of life. He is particularly interested in the effects of cancer on the psychosocial growth and development of adolescents and young adults. Dr. Zebrack has clinical social work experience in both pediatric and adult oncology, and also has been involved in the development of patient and peer support programs for adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.
Dr. Zebrack currently serves as a steering committee member for the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LiveStrong™Young Adult Alliance, charged with developing clinical and supportive care guidelines for adolescents and young adults with cancer. He has served as a board member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers , American Psychosocial Oncology Society, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship . Dr. Zebrack also is a former advisor to the director of the National Cancer Institute as a member of the NCI’s Director's Consumer Liaison Group.
APOSW – Barbara Jones, Ph.D., M.S.W.
Dr. Jones is Associate Professor and Co-Director of The Institute for Grief, Loss and Family Survival at the UT Austin School of Social Work. Dr. Jones is the Past President of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers (APOSW) and a member of the Children’s Oncology Group. Dr. Jones is a Board Member of the Social Work Hospice/ Palliative Care Network. Dr. Jones is also a Project on Death in America Social Work Scholar and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Social Work in Palliative and End-of-Life Care. Dr. Jones’ clinical experience has been primarily in the field of pediatric oncology, children’s grief and loss, pediatric palliative and end-of-life care, grief, trauma, and survival. Dr. Jones is currently conducting research on pediatric palliative care, social work interventions for children with cancer, Hispanic/Latino adolescent cancer survivors and on the health promotion needs of childhood cancer survivors.
ExCEL Faculty
The following four oncology social workers were selected to join the ExCEL team as faculty in recognition of their extensive skills in psychosocial care. They are each strong communicators and excellent educators with years of direct clinical experience. Their diverse perspectives and differing areas of expertise will ensure that the course materials and the print and Web-based content reflect the needs of practicing adult and pediatric social workers.
Terry Altilio, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Ms. Altiliois Coordinator of Social Work for the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. In addition to direct work with patients and families, she has published and lectured nationally and internationally on topics such as pain management, ethics, palliative care and psychosocial issues in end-of-life care. Additionally, Ms. Altilio and Ms. Otis-Green are co-editors for the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (Oxford University Press, 2011). Ms. Altilio received a Project on Death in America Social Work Leadership award to establish a social work post graduate fellowship in palliative care and the Social Work Network in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, an email discussion group which currently networks over 500 social workers. In 2003, she received the Social Worker of the Year award from the Association of Oncology Social Work and a Professional Volunteer Recognition Award from the American Cancer Society . She is a Mayday Pain and Society Fellow and was elected a Distinguished Social Work Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice. Terry serves on the Advisory Council of the Alliance of State Pain Initiatives and the editorial board of the Journal of Social Work and End of Life Care.
Stacy Remke, M.S.W.
Stacy Remke is a clinical social worker and a teaching specialist at the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. She received her MSW from the University of Minnesota, and holds a certificate as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker (ACHP-SW). Her work has been in the area of palliative care, and especially pediatrics. She now teaches Social work practice in the areas of health, aging and disabilities. Prior to joining the University faculty in 2012, she worked for over 25 years at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in the areas of pain, palliative care and integrative medicine program. She has been a faculty member for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), and has a special interest in team development and sustainability. Stacy is a leader in the field of palliative care, and an advocate for excellence in social work practice in these areas.
Kathy Smolinski, M.S.W., L.C.S.W-C., J.D. 
Ms. Smolinski is a clinical oncology social worker, former Executive Director of the Association of Oncology Social Work and currently is the director of the new clinic Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer that she helped develop. Most recently, Ms. Smolinski was awarded a prestigious two-year fellowship from Equal Justice Works to develop a medical-legal partnership with The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit. Previously, she was a senior clinical social worker and Cancer Pain & Fatigue Fellow at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has a particular expertise in ethics and in mediation. Since 2007, she has been a field supervisor in the Smith College School for Social Work End-of-Life Care Certificate Program. She has published widely and lectured nationally and internationally on topics such as pain management, palliative care, ethics and psychosocial issues in end-of-life care. She received the American Cancer Society's Lane W. Adams Award in 1998 and the Leadership in Oncology Social Work from AOSW in 2005. Ms. Smolinski served as a reviewer of the Institute of Medicine Institute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of MedicineInstitute of Medicine Institute of Medicine (2008): Cancer Care for the Whole Patient Institute of Medicine (2008): Cancer Care for the Whole Patient for her expertise in oncology social work and excellent collaborative skills.
Stacia Wagner, M.S.W., M.Ed.
Ms. Wagneris the Senior Director of Survivor Programs at Children's Brain Tumor Foundation in New York. Her direct practice focus is predominately with teen and young adult brain tumor survivors focusing on peer and dating relationships, education challenges and employment issues. Ms. Wagner designs programs focused on social skill improvement, increase of self-esteem and community integration and development. She is also part of a research team investigating career development for young adult brain tumor survivors and a member of LIVESTRONGtm Young Adult Alliance. Additionally, she is the Research Committee Chairperson for APOSW and the co-facilitator of the APOSW brain tumor special interest group. She is chapter co-author of Caregiver and Family Issues for Brain Tumor Survivors in Late Effects of Treatment for Brain Tumors.
Lisa Kilburn, B.A.
Project Coordinator (City of Hope)
Ms. Kilburn is pursuing her passion to improve education and healthcare through professional education initiatives and health policy analysis. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island and completed her BA in Political Science and Spanish Language and Literature. Ms. Kilburn worked as a high school teacher in Providence, RI and as a professional education teacher in Barcelona, Spain. Ms. Kilburn is very interested in the differing attitudes regarding quality education and healthcare across the country and globe. In addition to coordinating ExCEL in Social Work, Ms. Kilburn assisted Ms. Altilio and Ms. Otis-Green in the publication of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (2011).

Awards of Excellence

Each year ExCEL in Social Work recognizes a participant or team from the past year’s courses. In order to win an award the individual or team must demonstrate outstanding goal achievement. This process is competitive and achieved through a self-nomination form and subsequent faculty rating. The awards are presented at the AOSW and APOSW Annual Conferences (during the Award Ceremonies) and include a slide presentation, plaque(s), media coverage and $1,500. The ExCEL honorees are below with brief articles discussing their ExCEL projects. The next self-nomination period will be open to cohort 3 - 2013 participants in January 2014. Please email ExCEL@coh.org with any further questions.
Award Winner Christina Bach : Cohort 1 - 2011

Resources and Links

(AOSW) is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the enhancement of psychosocial services to people with cancer and their families. Created in 1984 by social workers interested in oncology and by existing national cancer organizations, AOSW is an expanding force of psychosocial oncology professionals. AOSW’s mission is to advance excellence in the psychosocial care of persons with cancer, their families, and caregivers through:
  • Networking
  • Education
  • Advocacy
  • Research
  • Resource Development

AOSW Goals
  • Increase awareness of the psychosocial effects of cancer.
  • Advance the practice of psychosocial interventions that enhance quality of life and recovery of persons with cancer and their families.
  • Foster communication and support among psychosocial oncology caregivers.
  • Further the study of psychological and social effects of cancer through research and continuing education.
  • Advocate for programs and policies to meet the psychosocial needs of oncology patients and their families.
  • Promote liaison activities with other psychosocial oncology groups and professional oncology organizations.
  • Promote the highest professional standards and ethics in the practice of oncology social work.

The Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers
The (APOSW) mission is to advance pediatric psychosocial oncology care through clinical social work practice, research, advocacy, education, and program development.

  • To advocate and develop policies nationally and internationally that will enhance the lives of children with cancer and their families
  • To provide clinical interventions and develop programs and that will enrich the lives of children with cancer and their families
  • To collaborate with related organizations to achieve the purposes and goals of the Association and the psychosocial needs of patients and their families
  • To promote the professional and ethical standards of pediatric oncology social work
  • To advance the psychosocial well being of patients and their families by conducting/developing research in pediatric oncology
  • To conduct evidenced based practice that will enhance the quality of life of children with cancer and their families
  • To cultivate communication thorough education and networking with the childhood cancer community
Join the ExCEL in Social Work community on Facebook and start networking with other healthcare professionals.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 145,000 members. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs
Cancer care today often provides state-of-the-science biomedical treatment, but fails to address the psychological and social (psychosocial) problems associated with the illness. This failure can compromise the effectiveness of health care and thereby adversely affect the health of cancer patients. Read more...

Advocating for Clinical Excellence (ACE) Project
Individuals facing a serious illness require competent and compassionate care, with patients confronting a complex interplay of physical, psychological, social, spiritual, existential, medical, financial and social burdens. However, evidence indicates that few health-care providers are adequately prepared for this critical task. The ACE Project is an innovative psycho-oncology educational initiative which aims to change this. The ACE Project is designed to improve palliative care on a multidisciplinary basis through an intensive advocacy and leadership training programs for psychologists, social workers and spiritual care professionals.
Contact: Shirley Otis-Green at ACEproject@coh.org.

The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work (Oxford University Press, 2011)
Edited by leading social work clinician-researchers in the US, Terry Altilio and Shirley Otis-Green, this text is a comprehensive, evidence-informed text that provides clinicians, researchers, policy-makers and academicians with content to inform and enrich the guidelines recommended by the National Consensus Project and the National Quality Forum Preferred Practices. It is designed to meet the needs of health social work professionals who seek to provide culturally sensitive biopsychosocial-spiritual care for patients and families living with life-threatening illness. This text serves as the definitive resource for practicing clinicians and fulfills the need for social work faculty who wish to complement general health care texts with information specific to palliative and end-of-life care.

The Pain Resource Center (PRC)
The City of Hope Pain & Palliative Care Resource Center serves as a clearinghouse of information and resources that assist others in improving the quality of pain management and end of life care. Established in 1985 by Nursing Research and Education, it is a central source of a variety of materials including pain assessment tools, patient education materials, research instruments, quality assurance materials, special population resources, cancer survivorship resources, end of life resources, and other resources.

The Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative (SCCPI)
SCCPI is a nonprofit volunteer interdisciplinary organization made up of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and many other professionals dedicated to the relief of cancer pain. Three newsletters as well as various announcements are sent to the 3,000 SCCPI members every year. SCCPI also offers the following professional courses:

Pain Resource Nurse (PRN) Training Course
The primary purpose of this course is to prepare individual nurses in a comprehensive training program related to assessment and treatment of pain.                                  
Contact: Maggie Johnson at mjohnson@coh.org

The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)
A national education initiative to improve end-of-life care in the United States. The Project provides undergraduate and graduate nursing faculty, CE providers, staff development educators, specialty nurses in pediatrics, oncology, critical care and geriatrics and other nurses with training in end-of-life care so they can teach this essential information to nursing students and practicing nurses. ELNEC trainings are held multiple times each year in locations across the country.
Contact: Celeste Radell at cradell@coh.org
Writing for Wellness
Writing for Wellness provides a new and focused writing program for cancer patients, their family members, caregivers, and medical staff. It includes information about the author’s own battle with cancer, Healing Words from more than 60 contributors, and instructions for the reader to write his or her own healing words in the It’s Your Turn section.

For six years participants in Writing for Wellness classes have come to write and to eagerly share their stories. Wealthy Hollywood writers and producers sit alongside the poorest of the poor. Racial, religious, and cultural minorities all write together, battling to survive, heal, thrive. In her class Julie’s method focuses on specific themes. Anger, frustration, fear, laughter, and tears pour out in prose and poetry, which Julie has collected in her book,Writing for Wellness A Prescription for Healing Now readers can share in the healing by doing their own writing — first reading the Healing Words from more than 60 class participants and then expressing their own feelings with the It’s Your Turn section in every chapter.
  • The author, a college writing professor and two-time breast-cancer survivor, shares her experiences to teach cancer patients and family members how to express what they are going through.
  • The audience includes those who have experienced cancer or other tragedies personally or through their family and friends, and those working in medical centers, hospitals.
  • Each thematic chapter includes Julie’s own experiences battling cancer, the writings of her students in Healing Words, and a section for readers, It’s Your Turn, designed to help them begin to heal through writing.

The book is an inspirational, uplifting, and sometimes humorous look at how cancer and other tragedies affect our lives. A unique and focused writing program containing the contributions of more than 60 participants in Julie Davey’s Writing for Wellness classes at City of Hope. filled with easy-to-follow writing techniques you can use to help healing, even if you are a “non-writer.”

Strategies to Improve Psychosocial Care


Excel Courses 2014
Do you care for people impacted by cancer? Approximately 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will develop cancer during their lifetime. We invite you to join our community of dedicated social workers committed to improving the delivery of  psychosocial care by attending a course in 2014! This is the last year courses will be offered. Application Deadline: CLOSED. 
April 21 to 22, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA: Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown
May 26 to 27, 2014 - Baltimore, MD: The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel
Please share this flyer with your social work colleagues!
2014 ExCEL Application
We are delighted that you are interested in joining our growing ExCEL community of social workers who are committed to improving the delivery of psychosocial-spiritual care.
Current NRE Programs for Health Professionals

City of Hope has a long-standing commitment to Continuing Medical Education (CME), sharing advances in cancer research and treatment with the health-care community through CME courses such as conferences, symposia and other on and off campus CME opportunities for medical professionals.
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  • Elizabeth Budde, M.D., Ph.D., wants to encourage infighting. She aims to turn the immune system on itself — to the benefit of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, or AML. AML arises when abnormal white blood cells grow out of control, amassing in the bone marrow and interfering with normal blood cell developme...
  • Six, to date; more soon. Outpatient bone marrow transplants, that is. Finding new ways to deliver quality care with the greatest benefit is a priority for a patient-centered institution like City of Hope. For example, not every bone marrow transplant patient needs to check into the hospital for treatment. In fa...
  • The best measure of success in the fight against cancer is in lives saved and families intact, in extra days made special simply because they exist. Yuman Fong, M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery at City of Hope, understands what precedes that special awareness. When cancer strikes, one minute a person ma...
  • In cancer, expertise matters. So do survival rates, patient safety, patient services and many other factors. City of Hope understands this, as does U.S.News & World Report. The magazine’s 2014-2015 list of best hospitals for cancer once again includes City of Hope, ranking the institution 12 out of 900 elig...
  • At 29, Kommah McDowell was a successful young professional engaged to be married to her best friend. She worked in the financial services sector and kick-boxed to keep in shape and to relax. Then came the diagnosis of triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer, a rare and very aggressive form of breast cancer. ...