Social Services and Child Life Staff Comfort Patients in Many Ways

The social services and child life team, from left: Heather Oakley, Kim Todd, Stephanie Saman, Jennifer Duncanson.

Clinical social workers and child life specialists across the nation have important roles in patient care. At the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, we are fortunate to have two full-time clinical social workers and two child life specialists.

Heather Oakley, LCSW, OSW-C, is director of social services and is a pediatric oncology social worker. In addition to managing the social work and child life programs, she is responsible for assisting pediatric patients and their families with social, financial and psychological matters related to their diagnosis and treatment.

Stephanie Saman is an adult social worker and assists patients and their families with both practical and psychosocial needs. She facilitates various support groups for adult patients and their caregivers and connects patients and their families with essential public- and private-sector resources for additional support.

Kimberly Todd is a certified child life specialist who educates, prepares and supports children through difficult tests, procedures and treatment. Her goal is to ease anxiety that young patients may experience. She has developed model programs for proton therapy child life specialists and spearheaded the development and launch of the online teaching tool Proton U.

Jennifer Duncanson is a Go4TheGoal child life fellow who supports children through treatment, teaches coping skills through hands-on educational play, and helps patients and families adjust to daily treatment.

 

About This Newsletter

The Precision Newsletter is an electronic-only publication that is distributed by email. Each issue is sent monthly to patients, alumni patients and friends of the University of Florida Health Proton Therapy Institute. As the official newsletter of the Institute, the content is compiled and prepared by our communications representative and approved by the editor Stuart Klein, executive director of UF Health Proton Therapy Institute. Special bulletin newsletters may occasionally be prepared when timely topics and new developments in proton therapy occur. If you would like to send a Letter to the Editor, please click here.

 

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Knowing how you are feeling during and after treatment is essential to providing you the best care possible and contributes to the care of future patients.