2023 Executive Committee
Leora Lowenthal, LICSW, OSW-C, MPA, FAOSW
(Term: 1/1/2023 – 12/31/2023)
Michael L. Grignon, LMSW, CCM, MBA
(Term: 6/20/2023 – 12/31/2023)
Michael served as AOSW’s Secretary-Treasurer and chair of the finance committee from 2019-2021, a term that coincided with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and an array of associated challenges. During this time, Michael gained experience in promoting the financial well-being of AOSW and learned how strong, collective board leadership is essential to organizational health and growth, particularly in times of unexpected, acute crisis. Michael has been an active AOSW member beyond his role as Secretary-Treasurer. Since joining in 2017, Michael has served on the Advocacy Committee (2018-present); as interim Advocacy Committee Director (May-September 2022); on the Executive Committee (2019-2021); on the Nominations Committee (2021); and on the Education Committee (2017-2018). Michael was a member of the Oncology Social Work Workforce & Role Delineation Survey Advisory Committee (2019-2021), where he co-authored research papers on the impact of COVID-19 on oncology social work practice and on core competencies of the oncology social work profession. At the 2022 conference, Michael co-presented “Mind the Gap: Building Advocacy Skills to Cross the Line Between Clinical and Policy Practice. “
Sarah Conning, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, APHSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2023- 12/31/2023)
I rely on AOSW as my go-to community for keeping current in the field, for staying grounded in our professional values, and for finding inspiration for my work.
I served as the AOSW Advocacy Director 2016-2018 and have continued more recently as the acting chair of the Advocacy Committee, working alongside other committed volunteers. Together we have worked to articulate an advocacy agenda for AOSW—envisioning greater equity in healthcare, more person-centered cancer care, and more empowered social work leaders throughout the oncology workforce. Advocacy is central to AOSW’s mission, closely tied to our education, research, and community-building activities. Our Association thrives when these strands of our mission are individually strong and tightly woven together. As President, my aim will be to continue incorporating new members and new voices of leadership into the great work that is happening in AOSW.
Briana Joyce, LCSW, MSW, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2023)
Briana Kraus Joyce, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C has served the oncology population at Moffitt Cancer Center, an NCI Designated Cancer Center for 8.5 years. She currently holds the position of Supervisor for Outpatient Social Work. In this capacity she acts as direct supervisor for 14 oncology social workers and provides weekly clinical supervision to those seeking licensure. Briana has over 6 years of committee leadership experience and brings creativity and strategic thinking into every new challenge she undertakes. Briana is dedicated to the oncology social work profession and believes strongly in the power of education and importance of professional connections. Briana joined AOSW in 2016. She has participated in national conferences as presenter and attendee. As Secretary-Treasurer, Briana works to ensure AOSW has the financial ability to advance the oncology social work profession and pursue our mission. Briana earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Katie Tremel, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2022 – 12/31/2024)
Katie Tremel, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C has been an Oncology Social Worker the past seven years. Many of those years were spent in Radiation Oncology providing supportive services to patients, facilitating an all-cancer support group and involvement with several committees including the Cancer, Advance Directives and Ethics Committee. Most recently she serves as the Program Manager for Cancer Support Community – South Central Indiana developing and managing support programs in several counties. Her duties include counseling survivors, marketing, building and facilitating cancer programs, along with supervising facilitators and interns. Katie earned her MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012. She has been a member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW) since 2015. She serves as the State Representative for Indiana and is the elected Advocacy Director.
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C
(Term: 11/1/2022 – 12/31/2024)
Jeanice is a licensed clinical social worker who applies her skills in a variety of healthcare support roles in Colorado and nationally. She has worked in healthcare settings for nearly 33 years, initially in an inpatient hospital psychiatric unit, emergency department and ICU. After 10 years providing inpatient medical social work across all other hospital units, Jeanice specialized in outpatient oncology support services and also developed a collaborative program for children of parents living with cancer. She immediately pursued training as a Cancer Guide regarding integrative oncology modalities and has maintained an interest in this area of practice over the years.
In addition, Jeanice helped develop a local Patient Navigation program and NCI-funded professional training programs for Community Health Workers and Patient Navigators in 2004. She continues to be called upon to develop health-related training materials for these professionals.
Jeanice briefly worked in Hospice and Palliative Care and returned to outpatient oncology care for several more years, eventually managing a support services team for a hospital-based cancer center in Denver. She was recruited by Clearity to provide virtual support to women and families living with ovarian cancer for 2 years and continues to offer virtual support to women and families in Colorado facing breast or ovarian cancer as part of the counseling network for Unite for HER. Jeanice stepped into the position of Support Services Program Director for the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) February 2023.
Jeanice became an active member of the Association of Oncology Social Work in 2002 and volunteered to be SWON co-moderator in 2020. Jeanice has also been a long-time member of the Colorado Cancer Coalition where she recently served as co-chair of the Coalition’s Survivorship and Palliative Care Task Force for 3 years.
Diversity Equity & Inclusion Director
Lailea Noel, PhD, MSW
(Term: 1/1/2022 – 12/31/2023)
Lailea Noel, PhD, MSW is Assistant Professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin (UT). At the UT Dell Medical School she holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Oncology and the Department of Health Social Work, she co-chairs the Health Equity in Research Workgroup and serves on the Livestrong Cancer Institutes’ Clinical and Prevention Research Workgroup and the Breast Clinical Outcomes Workgroup. Dr. Noel has an extensive practice background with 20 years of health administration experience in the field of oncology and non-profit management. Her research interests seek to connect communities most impacted by cancer disparities with cancer care services by exploring patient-provider communication effects on psychosocial barriers to care. She has a passion for conducting community-based participatory research and has a wealth of experience engaging communities, social scientists, and medical professionals in such research pursuits. She also has been successful at recruiting members of marginalized populations into community engaged research.
Dr. Noel has been a member of the AOSW since 2012 and a member of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee since 2019. She has contributed to the creation of goals and structure for this dynamic committee. As the Board Director of DEI, she brings a wealth of energy and empathy to the position and she has a vision to help empower the membership to continue to advance the DEI efforts of the association. Through her leadership we would hope to continue to cultivate an inclusive, equitable and empowering environment for all existing, new and potential members.
Kerry Irish, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW
(Term: 1/1/2023 -12/31/2025)
Jennifer Dunn, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2023)
Jennifer M. Dunn, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C is a Certified Oncology Social Worker at Washington University School of Medicine-Siteman Cancer Center. She received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a M.S.W from Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work specializing in Mental Health. Jennifer has experience with adult and pediatric hospice and supportive care, volunteers for bereavement camps and retreats for children and adults and works as a support group facilitator for the Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis. Jennifer is a 2019 Social Work Fellow in Palliative and End of Life Care from the New York University School of Social Work. Jennifer has been an active member of the AOSW since 2015 and an active participant on the AOSW Membership Committee as co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion sub-committee.
AOSW is dedicated to supporting practitioners as we navigate critical challenges to our nation’s healthcare system. As a member of the AOSW Board of Directors, I will dedicate myself to building upon the foundation of member services by championing new and innovative ways to support members across the country. I will work with members across the AOSW Board of Directors to stay current of the major events and issues impacting the daily lives of members and will advocate for services and benefits that reflect the ever-changing atmosphere of healthcare and oncology services.
Chiara Acquati, Ph.D., LMSW
(Term: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2023)
Cancer remains a life-threatening disease that can result in adverse physical, psychosocial, or behavioral outcomes, ultimately impairing the quality of life and survival of the individual. Differential outcomes are the result of persistent social determinants of health, structural inequities, and a cancer care delivery system that often fails to be patient centered. While interventions have historically concentrated on the individual, psychosocial mechanisms that characterize the relationship with partners, informal caregivers, and the larger social network are critical intervening factors to improve patient-reported outcomes and alleviate the disproportionate burden of the disease.
Dr. Acquati’ s research program has extended current understanding of the psychosocial issues experienced by survivors and caregivers and has assessed how interpersonal processes contribute to mental health, coping, and wellbeing-related outcomes, particularly for those who experience cancer from a position of disadvantage. Through this work, she has developed interventions that leverage the role of close relationships for effective illness management and expanded providers’ capacity for psychosocial care. Scholarship activities are organized in three intersecting areas: the investigation of psychosocial outcomes of cancer survivors and informal caregivers, interpersonal processes within the patient-caregiver dyad with emphasis on quantitative (dyadic data analysis) and qualitative methodologies to appraise and advance theories of stress and dyadic coping, and the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions and trainings of providers.
Director-at-Large – State Representatives
Camille Faunda, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2023)
Camille Faunda, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, is an experienced oncology social worker employed with Moffitt Cancer Center and an active member of AOSW’s Membership Committee and Mentorship Sub-Committee. Her career at Moffitt has included experience working with patients in clinic and admitted to the hospital approaching end of life as well as in the outpatient Head and Neck Clinic. She has been an active participant on AOSW’s Mentorship Committee to proactively match oncology social workers across the country who share common passions and professional goals. Camille developed and initiated a grief debriefing group at Moffitt for resident physicians through the University of South Florida. She presented this group’s development and success at the 2019 Annual AOSW Conference.
As AOSW’s Director-at-Large for State Representatives, Camille empowers unity amongst oncology social workers across the United States by hosting regular meetings, sharing knowledge, and understanding the diverse care settings within each state. She acts as a proactive advocate between state representatives and the Board of Directors through effective communication. She continues to be a well-informed and active participant on AOSW committees, and recruit involvement from both new and existing members.
Director-at-Large – Special Interest Groups
Chelsea Kroll, MSW, LMSW, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2023 -12/31/2025)