Sage Vogel, Clinical Oncology Social Worker on the 8th floor outpatient clinic at Smilow Cancer Hospital, interacts with patients diagnosed with solid tumors such as melanoma, GI tumors, or brain tumors. The number of patients Sage interacts with on a daily basis can vary, but they are all dealing with unique problems related to their cancer.
“Cancer touches every aspect of a patient’s life, whether it is their career, relationships, or finances. I enjoy helping them adjust to this new life with cancer, because it is not easy, and being involved in that process is very rewarding for me,” said Sage.
Sage’s first interaction with patients is a Social Work Assessment and based on what is learned during this assessment, they are given the proper support and resources. Sage facilitates the GI and Melanoma Support Groups at Smilow, and commented that although patients may be initially hesitant to attend support groups, it often helps them realize that they are not alone, and it can be an empowering experience.
Sage is also involved with the PACT (Parenting at a Challenging Time) Program, which helps guide parents, and grandparents, diagnosed with cancer. “PACT is specifically for parents or grandparents that have been diagnosed and working with them to figure out the best way to communicate with their children. I enjoy the variety of ways in which this allows me to interact with patients.”
Bonnie Indeck, LCSW, Manager of Oncology Social Work at Smilow Cancer Hospital, and Sage’s manager commented, “Sage is warm, courteous, friendly and skilled. She is our “go to” person and is always willing to help our Social Work team, as well as members of her “immediate” medical team. She goes out of her way to ensure that all patients and family needs are met. Sage embodies what social work, and Smilow, are all about.”