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Oncology Social Workers

Oncology Social Workers provide counseling and other services which can reduce stress for you and your family through all phases of your cancer; new diagnosis, acute phase of treatment, survivorship and end of life.

How to Connect With a Social Worker

Social work services are provided free of charge to Avera Cancer Institute patients. Call Avera Cancer Institute at 605-322-3000 to connect with a social worker. Information on this page provided by AOSW.

How we can help you

We can help you with:

  • Accessing information to help you understand your diagnosis and treatments
  • Coping with your diagnosis of cancer and the many emotions you may be experiencing
  • Considering decisions about treatment options as you think about your work, family and other things in your life
  • Understanding social security benefits, disability benefits and insurance coverage
  • Accessing transportation/lodging during cancer care
  • Home health care and hospice care
  • Practical items such as a cane or walker
  • Referrals for help at home

What we offer

We offer:

  • Counseling for you and your family members
  • Support groups and educational programs
  • Referrals to community counseling

What we can teach you

We can teach you about:

  • Talking with your treatment team
  • Talking with your children, family, friends and co-workers
  • Coping with your emotions; sadness, anger, worry and fears
  • Reducing stress and using relaxation skills
  • How cancer affects sex, intimacy, fertility and feeling good about your body
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Clinical Trials
  • Living with cancer, issues commonly experienced and resources to help you long term
  • Planning for your care with the use of Advanced Directives
  • Live as a cancer survivor
Lynne Hunter


Lynne Hunter
Social Worker
Medical Oncology & Hematology

Melanie Hericks


Melanie Hericks
Social Worker
Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant

Brenda Ling


Brenda Ling
Social Worker
McHale Institute
Radiation Oncology

Christina Early


Christina Early
Social Worker
Gynecologic Oncology