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Release: June 5, 2000

American Cancer Society grant supports oncology social work training at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of social services has received a Clinical Oncology Social Work Training grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS), which will support work done at the University of Iowa Cancer Center.

The $12,000 grant award will be used to train a master of social work student in oncology social work, including the psychosocial aspects of living with cancer. In addition, practicing oncology social workers will benefit from the grant by receiving continuing education that helps them stay current with the latest developments in the field.

Megan Freeburg, a master's level social work student in her second year of training at the UI School of Social Work, has been selected as the grant recipient and will work with UI Health Care oncology social workers in the UI Cancer Center, starting in late August. She will perform daily duties of psychosocial assessments, counseling, financial assistance and discharge planning.

Joy Sutter, assistant director in the department of social service, said that programs and grants such as the ACS grant encourage students to challenge themselves in the field and gain
hands-on experience.

"As a result, this support has produced a generation of dedicated, capable social services professionals who are an asset to patients and their families," Sutter said.

Last year's grant recipient, Kate Harris, said, "This award provided me with a variety of experiences in the field of psychosocial oncology which I could not have received elsewhere."

The field of psychosocial oncology is rapidly expanding and the need for trained social work professionals is steadily increasing.

"We are pleased to be able to offer the training to a student and continuing education to oncology social work staff to stay on top of the latest psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and their families," Sutter said.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.