Supportive Cancer Care Models and Equity – Reaching the Underserved through Telehealth

A NEW ALLIANCE TO ADVANCE PATIENT-CENTERED CANCER CARE WEBINAR

The world has changed significantly over the past year, but the needs of vulnerable and underserved patients remain as urgent as ever. Supportive care interventions aim to prevent and treat physical, psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to cancer. Alliance program partners are improving the quality of life of vulnerable and underserved persons with cancer through supportive care programs that aim to address their psychosocial concerns and reduce barriers to care. As many clinical centers around the country have had to increase their reliance on telehealth to deliver safe cancer care, the Alliance sites, too, have been working to adapt to the new world order.

The Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care is hosting supportive care practitioners from the University of Arizona Cancer Center and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. They will share actionable insights into reaching vulnerable and underserved patients through telehealth. This program is perfect for social workers, navigators, mental health counselors, cancer researchers, and all supportive care providers in the field of oncology and beyond.

What: Supportive Cancer Care Models and Equity – Reaching the Underserved through Telehealth
When: Wednesday, June 30 | 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am MT
Duration: This event will run for one hour and fifteen minutes
Register by: Monday, June 28
Cost: The webinar is free for all attendees



nandiFernanda Corella, LAC
Depression Care Manager
University of Arizona Cancer Center

Fernanda “Nandi” Corella has always been fascinated with human behavior, which motivated her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Psychology in Mexico. It was there that she discovered her passion for counseling others and decided to earn a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northern Arizona University. Nandi has had the opportunity to practice counseling and skills training services for over eight years in a variety of settings that include but aren’t limited to, the juvenile justice system, shelters for adults with terminal diseases, clinics, and schools. Nandi has also been able to serve Spanish-speaking populations, a need that has continued to grow, especially in Southern Arizona.

She currently provides counseling services and conducts research at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. She is part of the Collaborative Oncology Project to Enhance Depression Care (COPE-D), which is an approach that follows a stepped care model that encourages team work between professionals in order to enhance care. Nandi has various responsibilities under this program, including conducting initial assessments, providing patient education, coordinating care, supporting anti-depressant medications and/or counseling services based on the patient preferences.  She primarily utilizes the Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders as a guide to treating her patients. She also utilizes a variety of skills drawn from evidence-based approaches such as motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavior therapy, interpersonal counseling, clinical hypnosis, and mindfulness. These approaches can be utilized both in-person and by the utilization of telehealth services. She has experience treating a wide range of mental health disorders, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, substance use, and conduct disorders.

Because Nandi is so passionate about the work that she does, she will continue to attend trainings offered in her community and workplace that can help her continue learning different ways to meet her patient’s needs.

miraMira Oravcova-Mejia, MEd
Patient Navigator
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Mira Oravcova-Mejia has been working in the health care industry since 2004. Sha has worked in several different departments at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), starting in the Orthopedic Trauma Department, then working in the International Patient Center and finally in the Cancer Center. Her experience has provided her with the opportunity to witness a patient’s journey throughout the continuum of medical care. While working at the Cancer Center, she pursued her Master’s in Health Education. After graduating, she worked as a health counselor/educator providing care to mostly immigrant women in the Cambridge Health Alliance community health center.

After leaving the Cambridge Health Alliance, she came back to the MGH and joined the Community Health Associates department as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She received a Master Level certification as a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist from the UMass Medical School’s Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training. She participated in the development of a brand-new outpatient counseling program in 5 community health centers in Boston’s suburbs, providing individual as well as group smoking cessation counseling. After working 4 years in the outpatient setting, she transitioned to inpatient tobacco treatment, where she worked for 2 years.

She joined the Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care Patient Navigation program at the MGH Cancer Center in September 2020. This new role has provided her with the opportunity to use her interpersonal and counseling skills to provide patient-centered navigation to newly diagnosed cancer patients from community health centers. Since she has worked in those community health centers in her previous role, she is able to draw from her existing relationship with primary care physicians to facilitate a connection between medical oncology and their patients. She is passionate about providing personalized care to her patients considering the cultural diversity in our population, while also taking advantage of her language skills. She is fluent in Spanish, Slovak, Czech, and Russian.

ausubelAusubel Pichardo, BA
Patient Navigator
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Ausubel Pichardo is a patient navigator for the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center. He is originally from the Dominican Republic. He is currently a graduate student of bioethics at Harvard Medical School. His academic and professional interests include public health, health administration and equity. In his free time, you can find him working out, reading, or eating cookies.