Greg Flaxman, LCSW, MPH
As a Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology clinical social worker, I strive to be a supportive presence to patients and their families. Whether through individual support, assisting the patient with managing their healthcare, or finding the best available resources to help them reach their goals, I meet the patient and their family where they are in their cancer experience.
I graduated from U.C. Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Upon graduation I began work in the field of education, before realizing that I wished to move to a career in enhancing health and well-being. One of my first positions in this direction was an internship for a nonprofit startup called Beyond Wisdom, where I edited new media sharing information and personal stories about integrative medicine. During this time I also worked for the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, contributing to research on the effects of mindfulness practice in early childhood. I went on to earn a MPH in Community Health Sciences from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2012, and a MSW degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2013.
In my formal graduate training, I interned for Partners in Care Foundation, the LA County Department of Mental Health at Harbor UCLA, and Beach Cities Health District. I trained in facilitating mindfulness instruction through the InsightLA MBSR Teacher Training Practicum in 2015.
After graduating with the MSW and MPH, I worked at Beach Cities Health District as a social worker in a community-based care management program. I had the privilege of working with people facing life challenges due to disease and traumatic injury. Through this work, I learned about the resilience and strength that can emerge when encountering a life-changing diagnosis and progressive disease. I worked with the goal of assisting patients in maintaining and improving their quality of life based on their values and wishes.
Additionally, I have led mindfulness workshops in the Beach Cities as a means of sharing this practice that can enhance relaxation and ease the effects of stress. For several years I also facilitated a weekly support group for stroke survivors and coordinated an emergency preparedness initiative for older adults and adults with disabilities living independently. I am thrilled to join the Simms/Mann UCLA team in 2017 to support patients with cancer and their families.
I’m an LA native, and I love to take advantage of the local landscape by hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, going to concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, catching a Lakers game, or connecting with others through volunteering and community groups. I enjoy spending time with my wife, traveling, and am grateful for my family and friends. I meditate regularly and attend silent meditation retreats as a personal resource for renewal and balance.