Board of Directors

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Board of Directors

2022 Executive Committee

President
Sarah Conning, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, APHSW-C

Email: [email protected]
(Term: 1/1/2022- 12/31/2022)

In my twenty years as an oncology social worker in direct practice, nothing has been more valuable for my professional growth and resilience than the mentoring, education, resource sharing, and connection I have gained through membership in AOSW. Like many of you, 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 would be honored to serve AOSW as President-Elect, and the skills I will bring are those honed through years of social work practice: good listening, creative collaboration, and resourceful problem solving.
 
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.
 
For all of us and for our Association, 2020 has been a year like no other. More than ever, this is a time for us to speak out boldly, to serve and stand with people facing cancer, and to invest in our community of learning and support. The next few years will be pivotal in defining our roles as oncology social workers and empowering our members to build lasting positive change. I look forward to our work together!

                                 President-Elect
L-Lowenthal-headshot-150-x-181-edited-(2).jpgLeora Lowenthal, LICSW, OSW-C, FAOSW

(Term: 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022)




 AOSW President-elect Role Description
 

Michael-Grignon-(2).jpgSecretary-Treasurer
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 7.5 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. Prior to Briana’s supervisor position, she provided direct patient care in the ambulatory oncology clinic setting. Briana has over 5 years of committee leadership experience and aims to bring 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. To further this aim, Briana joined AOSW in 2016. She has since participated in national conferences as presenter and attendee. In order to advance her knowledge of non-profit management, Briana joined the AOSW Finance Committee. Her current understanding of the AOSW budget and past involvement in the selection of financial advisor would be an asset if elected. As Secretary-Treasurer, Briana would work 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. 

Sara-headshot-(1).jpegPast-President
Bill McDermott, MSW, LCSW
(Term: 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2023)

 

Directors

KTremel-pic-150-x-195-edited.jpgAdvocacy Director
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 newly elected Advocacy Director. Outside of Oncology Social Work, Katie is chasing after her ornery 5 year-old son, Louie, taking care of a whole lot of pets/animals and eating the best dark chocolate she can find. 
 

Maureen2-150-x-143.jpgCommunications Director
Maureen Rigney, LICSW
(Term: 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2024)

Maureen Rigney received her MSW from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She worked in community-based behavioral health programs before joining the organization now known as GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer in 2005 and is currently their Senior Director of Support Initiatives. Maureen has exhibited at AOSW conferences since becoming a member and served on the 2016 Conference committee; the Advocacy Committee; and is currently active in the Professional Empowerment and Leadership subcommittee of the Education Committee. As Communications Director, Maureen’s goal is to recognize the diverse needs of the AOSW membership.

Lailea_Noel_150-x-140-edited.jpgDiversity Equity & Inclusion Director
Lailea Noel, PhD, MSW

(Term: 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022)

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. 
 




Heather-Honore-Goltz-(1).jpgEducation Director
Heather Goltz, PhD, LMSW, MEd

(Term: 1/1/2020 -12/31/2022)

Dr. Heather Goltz is an Associate Professor at University of Houston-Downtown and holds appointments with Baylor College of Medicine and MEDVAMC. She has co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed articles and almost $2.8 million in research grants from ACS, NIH, DOD, and VA, primarily focusing on genitourinary cancer survivorship and sexual health. As Education Director, her focus is on building research competencies and capacity among members, and working with the Board and Research Committee to secure funding and offer professional development opportunities to improve members’ ability to competently and effectively form research collaborations and integrate research activities into practice.

AOSW Education Director Role Description
 

Membership Director
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.  

Research Director
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 ‚Äč

(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 hopes to empower 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 will act as a proactive advocate between state representatives and the Board of Directors through effective communication. She will continue to be a well-informed and active participant on AOSW committees, and recruit involvement from both new and existing members.

IMG_0896.jpgDirector-at-Large
Linda Mathew, MSW, LCSW-R, OSW-C
(Term: 1/1/2020 -12/31/2022) 
Linda's interest stems from her current leadership position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Cultivating the skills that our colleagues have within oncology is vital to the growth of AOSW. In this position, Linda's goal is to provide forums for our new members, who may need additional support, as they learn more about AOSW SIGs and the benefits they can obtain from being involved in them. She believes that SIGs give new members the opportunity to learn from seasoned AOSW members, who can impart leadership skills and assist with cultivating interests in specialized areas of practice. Linda received the 2018 Award of Excellence in Clinical Practice from Socia Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network; the 2016 Exemplary Mid-Career Social Work Leadership Award from NASW/NYC Chapter; has served as a mentor to NYU Zelda Foster Palliative Program, as well as guest lecturing at NYU Zelda Foster Palliative Care Studies. She supervises social work staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Linda is also a member of the Children’s Treehouse Foundation Advisory Board for CLIMB® and is the co-coordinator for MSK Social Work Department’s Talking with Children About Cancer Program.

AOSW Director at Large Role Description