AOSW Connections Search

Editorial Team

Amy Colver, MSSA, MA, LISW

AOSW Communications Director
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C

Managing Editor
Patricia Sullivan

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To submit a story or information for inclusion in a future issue of AOSW Newsletter, contact Amy Colver or Melody Griffith on the list above.

May 2024

Volume 3 | Issue 2

President's Message

President’s Message

Michael L. Grignon, LMSW, CCM, MBA

I am going to say somewhere around 100. That’s how many friendships I have made or nurtured through AOSW conferences. My first conference was not all that long ago, and I still remember the first AOSW member I met in person, the “new member welcome breakfast,” and the first session I attended. I don’t have enough space to list all the ways these friendships have motivated, inspired and empowered me. I am both a better social worker and a better person because of them.

AOSW Conference

Celebrating 40 Years of AOSW Conference

Nicole Marcouiller, LICSW, OSW-C

Learning from the Past & Looking Forward to the Future
It is hard to believe that another conference is already upon us. As I was reflecting on the theme of this issue of Connections, “The Impact of Technology on Psychosocial Oncology Care,” while writing about our upcoming conference, I was struck by the timing. Though it was a difficult decision for our board, the decision was made this year to offer a virtual conference.

SIG Updates

Virtual Health SIG

Alexandra Gubin, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C; Kristin Scheeler, MSSW, CAPSW, OSW-C (she/her)‎

The Development and Delivery of New Digital Oncology Mental Health Solutions
The landscape of health care and the medium in which it is delivered continues to innovate toward digital health solutions, especially since the pandemic. With the prevalence of telehealth, health care workers, including social workers, are learning to navigate a virtual-based health system; the virtual setting represents a novel environment for many oncology social workers who have been educated and trained in the traditional clinical practice setting.

Editor's Message

Editor's Message

Amy Colver, MSSA, MA, LISW

As I’m sitting here writing this message, I’m realizing that it’s been a little while since I’ve written to all of you. So much has happened within AOSW and for me personally. First, AOSW is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year! This milestone is being highlighted in many different ways this year, including at our Annual Conference. Next, I hope you had a wonderful Social Work Month! So many people within AOSW did an excellent job honoring our profession during the month of March.


Introducing Your Membership Committee

Jill Randall, PhD, MSW, LICSW

Did you know that AOSW has over 1,000 active members across 49 states in the U.S. as well as Canada and Israel? Some members are brand new to oncology social work, and others have been practicing in the field for over 30 years. We span practice settings including hospitals, clinics, home care and hospice agencies, community wellness programs, patient advocacy organizations, and others. This is indeed a rich group of members!


Leveraging Technology to Create Community for Breast Cancer Survivors

Kiersten Anderson, MSW, LICSW

Most people will agree that the COVID-19 pandemic was, on net, damaging to most individuals’ psychosocial relationships. However, in the face of a pandemic that demanded social isolation emerged a normalization of technology as a means of bringing people together. I cannot think of a better example of this than the virtual community that has been created through one of our Lifestyle Medicine programs, PAVING the Path to Wellness.

An Introduction to AI for Oncology Social Workers

Christina Bach, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C, FASOW; Rosie Nagy, MSHI, LCSW, OSW-C

From ChatGPT, “AI, or artificial intelligence, is the creation of computer systems that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as understanding language, recognizing patterns, or making decisions. It involves programming computers to mimic cognitive functions like learning and problem-solving, enabling them to adapt and improve over time without explicit programming for every scenario.”

Apps to Support Patients and Families in Navigating the Cancer Trajectory

Melissa Levin, MSW, LICSW; Jen Brown, MSW, LICSW

Every day, we are faced with guiding our patients through a treatment marathon that can be overwhelming. “Take one medication X hours before chemo. Take another medication X hours after chemo. Keep track of your protein intake. Drink this shake if you are eating too little but be careful not to eat too much.

Using Digital Innovation to Reshape Patient Navigation Support

Nicole Robertson, MPH; Trish Pangilinan, MSW, LCSW

This year an estimated 2 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States. Advancements in prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship continue, but not everyone has benefited. For many people with cancer, care is often fragmented and poorly coordinated, with barriers to receiving timely, patient-centered services.

Imaging the Possibilities for Oncology Social Work with AI

Jennifer Bires, LCSW, OSW-C, CST

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the buzz right now. Advances are happening at a rapid pace generating excitement, uncertainty and fear. As a profession, oncology social work prides itself on relationships – the ones we build with patients and communities and the ones we help patients build with their communities, families and providers.