My role at Simms/Mann is to provide psychosocial services to patients and families facing the many unique stressors that accompany a cancer diagnosis. My primary goal is to arm patients with the tools and emotional support to navigate the cancer experience with dignity, empowerment, meaning, and growth.
Training & Professional Work
As an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, I studied Cinematic-Arts and Business with a desire to use storytelling as a coping vehicle that would be both educational and healing. I volunteered with non-profits and hospitals to bring creativity to those suffering from trauma and chronic illness. The powerful experience of working with individuals and families in times of hardship inspired me to return to USC, where I received my Masters in Social Work degree. Receiving full merit-based scholarships for both my undergraduate and graduate education granted me the opportunity to take advantage of vast university resources to fulfill my dream of developing programs that bring more imagination and enhanced human connection to the illness experience. While in graduate school, I founded Art Rx with USC’s Keck School of Medicine and Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work to educate and strategize innovative ways in which medical professionals could utilize the arts to help relieve patients’ emotional and physical pain. In 2018, I received the USC Dean’s Award for Excellence and Innovation for my service to the community in bridging the gap between the creative and health disciplines.
In the clinical training program at Jewish Family Services, I designed and facilitated a trauma-informed mindfulness group for Holocaust survivors and provided counseling and case management to low-income seniors. With a special interest in the psycho-oncology field, I was privileged to spend my last year of graduate school training with the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology. It was at Simms/Mann that I found the professional home that I was always seeking – an innovative, integrative, and creative atmosphere that provides a comforting place within the medical system for patients to connect to their authentic selves.
Personal Interests and Perspectives
When not working, you can find me befriending dogs in a park, making silly faces at babies as their strollers pass by me, and attempting to rollerblade without running into babies and dogs. Each new encounter reminds me of the endless learning opportunities, perspectives and beautiful characters that exist in this mysterious world. I am grateful for the magical encounters I have had in this profession thus far, and look forward to many more at Simms/Mann.