Aspirus Media Center

The Vital Role of Social Workers in Cancer Care

March is Social Work Month


Jenifer Boettcher-Beyer, Aspirus Social Worker

At the heart of Aspirus Cancer Care – Wausau lies a dedicated team of cancer care experts. In addition to board-certified oncologists, the comprehensive team is comprised of additional caregivers, including dedicated social workers who support patients in the battle against cancer. Jenifer Boettcher-Beyer, a seasoned social worker with nearly 24 years of experience, shares insights into the pivotal role they play in helping patients navigate the complex challenges of living with cancer.


While medical providers focus on treating the patient’s physical health, the oncology social work team addresses the vital aspect of mental health.


A significant part of the role involves providing emotional support and connecting patients with resources.


“The social work team here helps patients in a variety of ways," Jenifer explains. "We help patients get connected to essential services such as durable medical equipment, home health, nutrition support, and overcoming barriers to transportation."


One important aspect of their work is conducting psychosocial screenings to identify and address patients' emotional well-being, including symptoms of depression.


"Many of our patients don't recognize that they need the assistance of a social worker as, often, there is a negative stigma attached to it," Jenifer notes. "However, once we reach out to the patient, we find that 100 percent of them are very pleased with our outreach."


She adds, “Changing perspectives and reducing negative self-talk can make a significant difference in their journey."


Being a social worker in cancer care is more than a profession; it's a calling to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those facing immense challenges.


"This is the first time in my career that I'm working with a population that truly wants, needs, and appreciates the role of a social worker," Jenifer reflects. "It's fulfilling to help people during a challenging time when everything feels out of their control."



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