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Release: July 2, 1999

American Cancer Society awards grant to UI Hospitals and Clinics

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- For the sixth time, the American Cancer Society has awarded a training grant to the department of social services at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. The grant includes an $8,000 stipend to a second-year, master-level graduate student in social work whose practice area is in oncology.

The grant proposal submitted to the cancer society incorporates a mix of clinical and administrative practice and gives students a "birds-eye-view" of each stage in patient care, according to Joy Sutter, assistant director in the department of social services at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

The trainee will rotate through inpatient areas and outpatient clinics while being involved in all aspects of oncology social work -- discharge planning, patient and family counseling, program development, community resource networking and working with physicians and nurses.

"Students get the best education by having a variety of experiences," Sutter said. "The goal of the grant is to train people and get them excited to launch a career in oncology social work."

When selecting a candidate for the cancer society grant, Sutter said she looked for "someone with a certain mindset and someone who wants to work with and care for cancer patients and their families."

Kate Harris, a UI student in her second advanced-level practicum in the master's of social work program was chosen as the grant recipient and will begin training in August.

In addition, Harris will attend a basic skills seminar in the department of social services at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and help coordinate the conference "Psychosocial Oncology…Refreshing the Spirit," to be held Oct. 29 in Iowa City.

George Weiner, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and director of the UI Cancer Center, said the grant demonstrates the comprehensive nature of the center.

"Our team provides cutting edge cancer care that is the most advanced care available anywhere," explained Weiner. "But at the same time, it is care that is compassionate and also addresses the social and emotional needs of our patients."