Cancer Social Services and Resources

couple with doctorA cancer diagnosis can carry burdens beyond physical symptoms. You and your caregivers may need social, emotional and practical support throughout the cancer journey. Our experienced oncology social workers are ready to help.

Cancer Assistance for Everyday Life

The oncology social workers at Memorial Cancer Institute in South Florida, are mental health counselors. They are experts in the unique, nonmedical needs of cancer patients and their families. First, they talk with you and your family to understand your needs. Then they connect you with resources to ease burdens and remove barriers to care.

Our compassionate social workers can assist with the emotional stresses of cancer. They get to know you and your family and help to provide coaching and guidance on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Accessing transportation programs
  • Connecting with a support group
  • Seeking guidance with insurance issues
  • Discussing fertility preservation and family planning
  • Discussing the mental impact and quality of life concerns after being diagnosed with cancer
  • Finding programs that could help offset the cost of medication
  • Identifying and helping you apply for eligible benefits
  • Managing financial concerns and identify financial resources 
  • Providing advice on how to talk with your employer or school about your diagnosis and how you can participate during and after treatment

Our social workers collaborate with other team members to ensure you receive the holistic care you deserve. Social services are available to patients and their families at no cost.

Additional Resources for Cancer Patients and Families

While we provide extensive guidance about resources for cancer, we encourage you to seek additional information from leading organizations, including these addressing:

All Cancers

Memorial Healthcare System offers or recommends other resources to support patients and families, including:

  • American Cancer Society: Nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Patients and families can find cancer information and resources on this site.
  • American Cancer Society Road to Recovery: Provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or cannot drive themselves.
  • Appointment reminders: Receive appointment reminders on your cell phone by signing up for text messages. Text "Memorial" to 62262 to start receiving reminders.
  • Be the Match: Helps patients with blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma get life-saving blood stem cell transplants.
  • Cancer Care: Nationwide organization provides free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer.
  • Financial services from Memorial Healthcare System can help you with:
  • Gilda's Club South Florida: Provides support groups, healthy living workshops, educational programs and social activities, all free of charge.
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network: Nonprofit alliance of cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. Patients and families can find cancer information and resources on this site.
  • Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative: An organization of healthcare providers, community organizations, advocacy groups and others interested in networking and education related to cancer control.

Blood Cancers

  • Be the Match®: Helps patients with blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, get life-saving blood stem cell transplants.
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society®: Seeks to improve the quality of life of patients and families affected by leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma.

Breast Cancers

  • Living Beyond Breast Cancer: Provides trusted information and a community of support to those impacted by breast cancer.
  • Susan G. Komen®: Dedicated to saving lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.

Gynecologic Cancer

HysterSisters®: Provides woman-to-woman hysterectomy support from diagnosis through recovery and beyond.

Lung Cancer

GO2 Foundation for Lung Care: Dedicated to saving, extending and improving the lives of those vulnerable, at risk and diagnosed with lung cancer.

Prostate Cancer

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer: Leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer by advancing research, improving the lives of men and families, and inspiring action through education, testing, and advocacy.

Stomach Cancer

Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Dedicated to raising awareness about stomach cancer, advancing funding for research and providing education and support internationally to patients, families and caregivers.

Transportation Assistance

American Cancer Society Road to Recovery: This program provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or cannot drive themselves. Call 1-800-227-2345 to find a ride near you.

How the program works

  • Depending on your individual needs and what’s available in your area, we may be able to coordinate a ride with an American Cancer Society volunteer driver.
  • Patients must be traveling to a cancer-related medical appointment.
  • Other eligibility requirements may apply. For example, a caregiver may need to accompany a patient who cannot walk without help or is under age 18. Contact us to find out what is available in your area and what the specific requirements are.
  • It can take several business days to coordinate your ride, so please call us at 1-800-227-2345 well in advance of your appointment date.

Contact Us

Call 954-265-4325 (HEAL) to speak with an experienced oncology social worker at Memorial Cancer Institute in South Florida.

Oncology Social Worker Team

Carol Burgan, MSW
Oncology Social Worker
Memorial Hospital West

Donna Derby, LCSW
Oncology Social Worker
Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Regional Hospital

Elizabeth Marshall, MSW
Supervisor Oncology Social Worker
Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Regional Hospital

Rubenson Michel, MSW
Oncology Social Worker

Maria Torres, MSW
Oncology Social Worker
Memorial Regional Hospital