Ellen Massey, LCSW, NP 12

Eileen Massey

Ellen Massey is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker based on North Pavilion 12 where she supports patients in the inpatient unit as well as the Extended Care Clinic. Ellen provides psychosocial support and interventions for patients and their loved ones during different stages of their cancer journey. It can be a roller coaster ride for many, and Ellen's goal is to provide support as they adjust to their diagnosis, changes, losses, grief, and uncertainty. She helps patients identify effective coping skills and can help with their understanding and communication around their medical diagnosis and treatment plan, if needed.

"I am grateful for the work I am able to do for our patients, loved ones, and caretakers, and the ongoing emotional and practical support I can provide them," says Ellen. "Holding their hand when necessary, taking someone out to the healing garden for fresh air, providing simple comfort in their room-these simple gestures shine a ray of light during their dark time. The little things we can do, they can greatly impact the healing and overall well-being of our patients."

Ellen joined Smilow one year ago this month after six years at Bridgeport Hospital, and she has enjoyed being a part of a supportive and enriching department and a member of a patient-centered interdisciplinary team. She chose to enter oncology social work because of the magnitude of the physical, emotional, and financial strains that cancer can cause. Many parts of a patient's life are affected by cancer: family, friendships, work, self-image, daily routines, and their approach to living. While patients may feel their life has been turned upside down, Ellen explains, "we provide our patients with the support, empathy, counseling, advocacy, and empowerment to take on challenges they may face. Seeing patients who are newly diagnosed or are receiving treatment, patients who have relapsed, or those who are transitioning to end of life care, I want them to know that they are not alone and I can provide guidance, support, counseling, and connect them to community resources through their entire journey."

She also says, "I know that I am not alone either thanks to having the support from my social work colleagues, medical team, and staff members on each unit. We are here to care and support each other during our difficult moments. And I will say, with tough times come the good, like when you leave work after a patient felt comfortable enough to share their feelings and/or fears, or when I say hello to my patients walking in the halls, and they look over and smile-those are good days."