Mary Turney and Christine Healy, clinical social workers, of the Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, FL), spoke at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) conference about the challenges of “Moving the AYA Initiative Forward: Social Work’s Leadership Role.” The AYA (Adolescents & Young Adults with Cancer) movement is important—cancer is the largest disease-related killer of those aged 15-39—and offers great opportunities for clinical social work leadership, especially since (per Chris) “from the psycho-social point of view, those with the most power have the least understanding” of the needs of this patient population.

For success in AYA, as in many other hospital-based endeavors, clinical social work training in team-building and person-in-environment must be connected to a strong will to succeed, advisors from the patient community, and the ability to build multidisciplinary alliances—all for the cause!

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