Social Work for Cancer and Hematology Patients, Including Patients with Hemophilia

Contact: Barbara Altieri, CSW
Kathy Brodsky, CSW
Mark Clauss, CSW
Phone: 315 464-5175
Website: www.upstate.edu/uh/socialwork/

Social work is an important part of the treatment process for oncology and hematology patients and their families at Upstate University Hospital. Services are focused on assisting patients and their families in coping with stresses associated with their diagnosis.

The Social Worker's role is to enhance the patient's/family's ability to cope, and adapt to the stresses associated with diagnosis, treatment, hospitalization and discharge. Social Workers provide a wide range of services including psychosocial assessment with plan, education and counseling intervention.

Information and referral linkage to resources and services in the community, along with discharge planning, is an important aspect of this responsibility. All services are provided from a psychosocial perspective to maximize a patient's potential for treatment while enhancing the integrity of the patient/family system.

Clinical issues often addressed in social work intervention include:

  1. Feeling loss of control during diagnosis and treatment
  2. Difficulties coping with physical changes–as well as change and impairment of thought process and mood–resulting from disease and treatment
  3. The need for social support both within the family and the community as this relates to a patient's psychosocial adjustment
  4. The impact and consequences of role changes within the family and the need for internal and external resources for adjustment
  5. Interpersonal issues of communication with loved ones and feelings which emerge from these relationships

All patients identified as needing social work assessment and intervention may be referred to the social workers by calling 315 464-5175.