Keynote Speakers

Keynote Addresses

AOSW is proud to have presented some of the leaders in Oncology Social Work during the 2023 Annual Conference. Read more about them below. 

Opening Keynote

Healing Through (Cultural) Humility and History
Heather Honoré Goltz, PhD, LCSW, MEd, MPH

Over 200 years before the opening of Ellis Island, French explorers claimed the Mississippi River delta and surrounding lands for the French crown. La Nouvelle-Orleans (New Orleans) was founded in 1718 and quickly became the original New World “melting pot,” a complex amalgamation of African and Indigenous enslaved people, French and Spanish colonials, free people of color (Les gens de couleur libres), American colonists, German and Swiss settlers, pirates, and merchants from around the world. On April 30, 1803, the Louisiana colony was sold to the United States in a purchase treaty that doubled its land mass and set the stage for over 150 years of sociopolitical unrest as the nation wrestled in succession with the Antebellum period, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights era.

Using historical narratives and letters, legal cases, art, poetry, music, and the research literature, this opening keynote address will draw parallels between the dehumanizing institutions of slavery, indenture, and colonization that marked much of Louisiana’s early history and their legacy in “Cancer Alley.” This talk will discuss the enduring influence of these historic traumas on contemporary understandings of race, ethnicity, color, class, and culture and their complex relationships to social determinants of health in Louisiana and across other “cancer alleys” in the United States. Special attention will be given to the mechanisms by which social, racial, economic, and environmental inequities influence social determinants of cancer risk, access to care, and outcomes, as well as susceptibility to COVID-19. The remainder of the talk will focus on what it means for oncology social workers and patients to heal from complex, historic traumas using cultural humility and competency, infused with deep ecological understandings of how historical forces broadly and specifically shape our lived experiences. Implications for oncology social work practice with colleagues and individuals and families from minoritized groups and communities will also be discussed.
Monday, June 19, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Closing Keynote

Finding Our Best Selves Amidst the Temptation to be “Everything Everywhere All At Once”
Tara J. Schapmire PhD, OSW-C, FAOSW
Associate Professor of Medicine and Social Work
University of Louisville
The COVID-19 pandemic served as a major catalyst for oncology social workers; more than ever, we often felt like we had to be/do “everything everywhere all at once”. It forced us to navigate our work, career development, and homelife in wholly new and critical ways. This presentation will explore the themes of interconnectedness, professional identity, power, and professional resilience and suggest ways to sustain our careers over the long haul. 
Wednesday, June 21, 3:45 p.m.

ACS Quality of Life Award

Leading from the heart: Oncology social work taking our stance with compassion and strength
Barbara L. Jones, PhD, MSW, FNAP
Associate Dean for Health Affairs 
University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Josleen and Frances Lockhart Memorial Professor of Social Work
Director, Institute for Collaborative Health Research and Practice
Steve Hicks School of Social Work  
Wednesday, June 21,  Noon