ExCEL Team

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).