“Blessed” is the word both Wendy Hall, LCSW and Amy Roberts, LCSW, use to describe how they feel about their work at the Robert Boisonneault Oncology Institute.
Both have been licensed in clinical social work since the 1990s and have been at RBOI since 2011.
Both have a passion for advocacy. Wendy says that a priority at RBOI is to meet every person in treatment or every family as soon as possible. “When somebody’s calling in, we’re going to talk to them that day. People don’t fall through the cracks.”
Community outreach is key. “People who are financially in dire straits or devastated because of cancer know to call us,” she adds. For example, “I get calls from people who haven’t had a mammography. They don’t have insurance and they wonder what to do. We can always get them a mammography. People have so many hurdles to fight dealing with the health care system. I just feel it’s imperative that we help walk people through these very stressful times in their life.”
As chair of the Cancer Alliance of Marion County, Amy works to ensure that everyone dealing with cancer, including their families, should have access to healthcare, mental health support, and resources during and after treatment. “The purpose of the
Cancer Alliance is to determine what are the greatest needs for our cancer community, and then work together to improve the lives of those affected by cancer,” she says. Through this collaboration, Marion County’s agencies share resources and find solutions more quickly and efficiently.
While Amy sits on the board of HUGs Charities in Marion County, Wendy helped establish the Citrus Aid Cancer Foundation and sits on its board. Both organizations assist those in financial crisis during cancer treatment. “Keeping their lights running, keeping their bills paid, keeping gas in their car for treatment,” Amy explains.
Between them, they are certified in advanced hospice and palliative care, cancer navigation, grief therapy, mindfulness meditation, and tobacco cessation. They facilitate and co-facilitate support groups and wellness classes.
“We’re probably the only medical social workers that work in oncology outside of a hospital in Florida,”
Wendy says. “And it’s because Dr. Anderson started his practice with that type of an approach, which I think is awesome. We really just like working together.”
What does an Oncology Social Worker Do?
Amy and Wendy can help you:
-Make sure your health care needs are addressed
-Cope with emotional reactions around diagnosis and treatment
-Secure financial assistance, lodging, and transportation
-Coordinate with support agencies
-Deal with physical changes like fatigue, pain, sexual health issues, and sleep disorders Learn (and educate yourloved ones) about your cancer and treatment
-Manage work concerns
-Make quality of life decisions in step with your treatment goals
-Arrange for home health care, hospice care, and securing medical equipment
-Perform crisis intervention, including counseling related to grief and loss.
-Our support is provided free of cost to the community, whether or not you have been treated at RBOI.
-Support can begin prior to diagnosis and extend far beyond the end of treatment.
Call us to learn more:
You can reach Wendy at 352-527-0106 and Amy at 352-732-0277.