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At the Intersection: Trauma and Oncology Social Work

Eileen Joyce, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C
Recorded on December 17, 2018

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About this Live Interactive Webinar 

Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t choose who will get it and who won’t. It doesn’t say, “You’ve been through enough already. I’ll give you a break.” In fact, studies show that those who have a history of trauma such as child abuse, neglect, parental mental illness or witnessing domestic violence are more likely to have health issues later in life—including cancer. Additionally, many people experience cancer diagnosis and treatment as a trauma.  Some find themselves coping not just with the physical effects of cancer treatment, but also with the resulting trauma response including avoidant behaviors, sleep disturbances, emotional dysregulation, dissociation, etc.
As oncology social workers, we are often at the intersection of these two realities; working with patients who have significant trauma histories and seeing those who are experiencing their cancer diagnosis and treatment as a trauma, with the resulting emotional/psychological impact. This webinar will begin to unpack the intersection of pre-existing and cancer-related trauma. We will consider how you can develop a proactive approach to trauma in your oncology practice and explore how you can introduce the concepts of trauma-informed care within your larger clinic or institution.

Learning Objectives
At the end of the presentation, the participant will be able to:
  1. Articulate the intersection of cancer-related trauma and pre-existing trauma.
  2. Explore the role of oncology social workers in both developing a trauma-responsive clinical tool kit to use in your practice and becoming a champion for a trauma-informed practice within your clinic.
  3. Examine the principles of trauma-informed care and consider how to facilitate the culture change needed to create a trauma-informed treatment setting.  
    Eileen Joyce, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C, is a clinical social work supervisor with the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in the breast surgical service. She also provides clinical and programmatic support to Brigham and Women’s Hospital Breast Center patients and the Breast Center’s high-risk program (BPREP). Joyce currently instructs graduate-level social work students at the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and chairs the continuing education program for staff social workers throughout Brigham Health.

She sits on the Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW) Education Committee and serves as a Massachusetts State Representative for AOSW. Joyce is a member of the Partners Health Care Steering Committee on Trauma Informed Care, The Brigham and Women’s TIC Initiative and the TIC Education and Training Subcommittee for Brigham Health, where she recently helped create TIC training materials for Harvard Medical School.

She has previously presented on the intersection of trauma and oncology social work and has presented nationally and locally on topics including social work professional development, psycho-social issues related to lung cancer, staff bereavement support and Schwartz Rounds. Eileen is a 1990 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and received her MSW from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in 1996.


Continuing Education Credits
Level - Intermediate
Participants will earn 1.5 CE credits upon successful completion of a quiz and a post-webinar evaluation. 

Course Designation
This course has been approved for 1.5 clinical continuing education clock hours.

12:00 p.m. - 12:25 p.m.: Articulating the intersection of cancer related trauma and pre-existing trauma.
12:26 p.m. - 12:48 p.m.: Exploring the role of oncology social workers in both developing a trauma responsive clinical tool kit to use in your practice and becoming a champion for a trauma informed practice within your clinic.
12:49 p.m.-1:09 p.m.: Examine the principles of trauma informed care and consider how to facilitate the culture change needed to create a trauma informed treatment setting.
1:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Questions and Answers


ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORK BOARDS (ASWB):  This organization, Association of Oncology Social Workers, ACE Approval #1351, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. AOSW maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 11/11/16 - 11/11/19.  Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. 

Association of Oncology Social Work, Inc., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0320.

GRIEVANCE POLICY: ASOW will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content and in the treatment of program participants. The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be responsibility of the Education Director in consultation with the Education Chair and clinical director from committee. We do our best to anticipate problems and, when they do present themselves, will attempt to alleviate complaints as quickly as possible. When a complaint, either verbally or written, is received, the following guidelines are followed with respect to achieving resolution: (1) Complaints relative to a speaker or workshop leader, contents of instructional materials being presented, or an individual educational style being utilized, the individual voicing disapproval is requested to place his/her comments in writing. An AOSW representative will convey these comments to the speaker, assuring the confidentiality of the grieved individual. (2) If the complaint concerns a continuing education activity, its content, level of presentation, or facilities in which the event is being held, the representative in charge will attempt to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible. If the offered resolution (resolutions offered may include, but not be limited to partial/full refund of registration fees paid; credit toward future event) not satisfactory to the individual filing the complaint, then further action may be taken as follows. (3) The individual is requested to place his/her complaint in writing to the attention of the Education Director, The Association of Oncology Social Work, 17W110 22nd St, Suite 800, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. The complaint is then reviewed by the Education Director in consultation with the Clinical Director and Education Advisor. A written response will be issued within 30-days of receipt of the written complaint.

ADA ACCOMODATIONS: For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact AOSW Education Department at 847-686-2233. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.