Clinical Social Worker, Mary Crooks, is assigned to the Stem Cell Transplant Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital and works with patients, and their families, undergoing autologous or allogeneic transplants. Her role is to assess psychosocial needs, and based on that assessment, provide the appropriate interventions.
“I work under a continuity of care model,” commented Mary. “I see patients from the moment their physician decides that a stem cell transplant is the best treatment option for them, until they no longer need my support. Sometimes a patient’s condition can become chronic, for example if they develop graft-versus-host disease, and in that case I am there to work with them for an extended period of time.”
Mary has been an oncology social worker at Yale for 9 years, but has been in the field of medical social work since 1985. Personal family experience guided her towards wanting to help patients with a serious illness. She explained that she is very fortunate to be working with such a dedicated and compassionate team. Although her work can be challenging at times, Mary is amazed every day at the strength and resilience of her patients.
Bonnie Indeck, LCSW, Manager of Oncology Social Work at Smilow Cancer Hospital, commented, “People undergoing transplant and their families feel safe in Mary's hands, knowing that she is taking care of them throughout the continuum of their treatment. Mary assists with varying needs, whether it is counseling for the patient and family, facilitating open communication, advocacy and / or connecting them to appropriate community resources. They feel able to go to her at any point and are grateful for her knowledge and skill, as I am.”