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Oncology Social Work Working Group

Jennifer Bires, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Executive Director
Life with Cancer and Patient Experience
Inova Schar Cancer Institute
Fairfax, VA

Jennifer Bires, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, is the executive director of Life with Cancer and Patient Experience for the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. She previously served as the executive director at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. after almost a decade of experience as an oncology social worker in the D.C. area. Jennifer has a passion for improving access to psychosocial services for those impacted by cancer. She specializes in working with young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer, end-of-life issues for patients and families, and sexual health. Jennifer is the 2017 recipient of the Oncology Social Worker of the Year Award from the Association of Oncology Social Workers.

Courtney Bitz
Courtney Bitz, LCSW, MSW
Director of Clinical Social Work
Department of Supportive Care Medicine
City of Hope
Duarte, CA
Barbara Jones
Barbara Jones, PhD, MSW, FNAP
Associate Dean for Health Affairs, University Distinguished Teaching Professor and Josleen and Frances Lockhart Memorial Professor of Social Work. Chair, Department of Health Social Work
Dell Medical School
Austin, TX
Victoria Kennedy
Victoria Kennedy, LCSW
Executive Director, Oncology Strategy & Patient Engagement
Cullari Communications Global
Indianapolis, IN
Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW
Program Manager of Quality & Research, Cancer Support Services & Compassion
Providence Cancer Institute
Portland, OR

Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, BCD, is an oncology social worker who currently serves in clinical, research, and program management roles within Providence Health and Services. Ms. Nelson recently joined the Compassion team as a Program Manager, and she appreciates the opportunity to bring her clinical expertise to work on creating supportive infusions of compassion to caregivers.

She provides individual support as well as group support for those affected with cancer. She facilitates a Young Survival Coalition online support group for women with metastatic cancer and runs a program for children with a parent with cancer. In 2015 Providence Cancer Center received an ACCC Innovator Award for its Family Program for Parents with Cancer and Their Children.

Ms. Nelson defines her role as providing support for people and their families throughout the cancer continuum and sharing the expertise that she has learned from other patients with cancer. In working with those affected by cancer, she loves, “being able to witness the grace, courage, and life lessons of individuals dealing with cancer and the opportunity to be a part of their journey.”

She is a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) and past Invited Director of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS). She loves being a part of the national discussion involving the psychosocial care of people with cancer.

She has been a speaker at local and national conferences on issues of survivorship, palliative care, distress screening, and children who have a parent with cancer. Krista also serves as an Invited Director on the board of directors of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), and as a Director of the American Clinical Social Work Association (ACSWA). In 2015, Krista was named as a finalist in the Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Award.

Krista also has been a volunteer facilitator at retreats for women with breast cancer and at camps and programs that support grieving children. She also has volunteered annually on medical relief teams to Haiti since 2009.

Shirley Otis-Green
Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FNAP
Founder, Collaborative Caring
Clinical Director, Coalition for Compassionate Care of California
Sacramento, CA 
Bradley Zebrack
Bradley J. Zebrack, PhD, MSW, MPH 
School of Social Work, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI