Angela Khairallah and Andrea Seigerman
For Angela Khairallah and Andrea Seigerman, Licensed Clinical Social Workers for the Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital, teamwork and communication are key components of the care of their patients. Angela has been with the Breast Center for a year and a half as well as serving as social worker for the Survivorship Clinic at Yale Cancer Center, and Andrea, a hospital employee of 37 years, joined The Breast Center team about 10 years ago.
They both enjoy working with a patient population where they are surrounded by strong, motived and courageous women on a daily basis. Their goal is to meet with every new patient diagnosed with breast cancer, and beyond that, they make themselves available to women receiving biopsies and mammograms that may need extra support.
"I co-facilitate two breast cancer support groups, one for early stage breast cancer patients, and one for metastatic. I also co-facilitate the Young Adult Cancer Support Group for patients with any cancer diagnosis between 18 and 40 years of age as well as the Kidney Cancer Support Group, the first one established on the East Coast. We are there for our patients every step of the way," said Angela.
"I coordinate a patient-to-patient program where volunteers are matched up with newly diagnosed patients, or anyone that wants to talk to other patients," said Andrea. "Male breast cancer patients are a small but very important population as well. We tailor our services to fit their needs and work with them to find resources."
Everyone manages stress differently and Andrea and Angela work with families to help them learn coping skills and how to take on new roles. "All of the women we work with are amazing wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, but it takes a really strong woman to admit when she needs help, and to accept it," said Andrea. "There is no such thing as Wonder woman and oftentimes it is hard for women to realize that."
Bonnie Indeck, LCSW, Manager of Oncology Social Work at Smilow Cancer Hospital, commented, "Andee and Angela are a great team, they complement each other and work together to ensure that all women are given the psychosocial care that is required. Both come with a myriad of clinical skill and knowledge and are looked upon as the 'go to' people for any kind of issue or need that occurs. Both receive such positive accolades from their patients and family members as well as from the staff. Smilow Cancer Hospital is lucky to have them as members of the team!"