Lee Tremback, LCSW
An Oncology Social Worker, Lee Tremback works with the adult outpatient population at the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Saint Francis. She has been a social worker for more than 30 years, and has worked at many hospitals across Connecticut, shifting to oncology social work in 1995. New to the Yale New Haven Health System in the last year, she says of Smilow, "It's an incredible place to work."
As one of two oncology social workers at Saint Francis, Lee's day varies based on patient needs, but she frequently works to help her patients gain access to vital resources. From finding financial grants that can assist with bills to arranging for transportation to and from the hospital-often patients just don't know what is available to them, and this assistance can help alleviate the stresses that come during the adjustment to their new life with cancer.
Lee also facilitates two support groups at Saint Francis - one for cancer patients and another for cancer caregivers. Of the patient support group, Lee says, "Patients should not deal with their cancer in isolation, and in a support group setting, they can learn from the experiences of other patients and share their distress without judgement." And similarly for caregivers, she stresses the importance of being able to learn from each other, especially when it comes to sharing ideas for coping.
Working in oncology, Lee also recognizes the importance of self-care, and she maintains an active routine of Zumba and yoga at a local fitness center, as well as with her local church. Being based in Hartford and away from the patient resources found on-site at Smilow in New Haven, Lee appreciates the strong relationship between the two locations and the emphasis on the same values - providing patient-centric, compassionate care.