Family Reach is proud to partner with 300 social workers at over 145 hospitals nationwide. This incredible team helps ensure that Family Reach funds go to support families facing real financial hardship when they need it most. Today we spotlight Elyse Levin-Russman, LCSW, OSW-C of Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Cancer is expensive,” Elyse says. “For some families the diagnosis is only a part of their struggle.” Elyse sees many patients struggling with finances because of lost income, additional travel costs and expensive out-of-pocket costs. When she sees this financial burden disrupting a patient’s ability to access treatment or keep a roof over their heads, Elyse relies on Family Reach as her go-to resource for support. By partnering with Family Reach, Elyse is able to provide critical assistance with rent, mortgage payments, car payments and more. Elyse describes the impact of Family Reach support on her patients as life changing.
This spring, we were honored to have Elyse serve as a member of our Family Reach Financial Handbook editorial review board. Offering her expert opinion on the psychosocial challenges of a cancer diagnosis, Elyse collaborated with Family Reach staff, other industry leaders and a group of cancer patients and caregivers on the development of this educational resource that addresses the financial burden of cancer.
“The result is a remarkable and unique resource that will have significant value to families whose children are going through cancer treatment. The Handbook takes away the stigma of talking about what is often a very difficult subject.”
In addition to being an outstanding Family Reach partner and resource, Elyse has made a tremendous impact in her community by expanding the psychosocial services offered at Mass General Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Since joining the unit in 2003, she has created a variety of support programs which help to create a richer quality of life for families who are facing the unimaginable hardships of having a child with cancer. Elyse has also been an active member of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Work (APOSW), serving on the Board of Directors as the Quality of Life Chairperson from 2011-2015. She also co-chaired the APOSW National Conference in Providence, RI in April, 2016.
Thank you, Elyse for all that you do. You truly are a lifeline for families fighting cancer!