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Lunch & Learn

Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease: Ways to Cope and Improve Life & the Latest Treatment Options

UPCOMING

February 28, 2024

This month, Dr. Annie Im of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh will focus on how to navigate chronic Graft Versus Host Disease (cGVHD) and updates on treatment options. As clinical trials and treatments advance, we want to be sure you have everything needed to manage it all and get busy enjoying life. Lew Christie, a two-time AML transplant survivor with an extraordinary story, will share how he gets through the tough days as he manages his GVHD on a daily basis. Jennifer Gillette, LMSW, Staff Social Worker at nbmtLINK will host this program. There will be time for live questions.

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Calling All Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Caregivers: What, Why, When and How to Get Through it All

This month’s program will focus on caregiver needs before, during and after a bone marrow/stem cell transplant. Dawn Speckhart, Ph.D., Clinical Health Psychologist, Cellular Therapy and Leukemia Program for Northside Hospital Cancer Institute will share her expertise, focusing on following instructions, including dietary and caregiver needs. She will also focus on minimizing stress post-transplant by having plans in place, frank communication, knowing when to call and “not sweating the small stuff.” Jennifer Gillette, LMSW, Staff Social Worker at nbmtLINK will share many seasoned caregiver tips and tricks conveyed to the LINK. There will also be time for live questions.

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Serving up Nutritional Know How and Resources as We Gear Up for the Holidays

This month’s program will focus on nutritional needs led by an experienced professional at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Margaret Martin, RD, MS, LDN, CDCES, Manager, Nutrition Education will share tips and guidance on how to stay healthy and enjoy this special time of the year. Margaret will educate us about a wonderful free LLS one-on-one oncology nutrition consultation phone program through their Nutrition Education Services Center. Husband and caregiver, Dave Crosby, will also share his journey and best tips regarding the holidays and much more. Jennifer Gillette, LMSW, Staff Social Worker at nbmtLINK, will host this call. There will be time for live questions.

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Navigating the Emotional Rollercoaster of Cancer

This month’s program will focus on coping with the many emotions one experiences on a cancer journey. Come hear Rebecca Higgins, MSW, CAPSW, Outpatient & Internal Medicine Social Worker at Froedtert Hospital, share her story of resilience through a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis at 19, a relapse, becoming a caregiver for her partner, and how she coped with losses on her journey. She will also share how she advocated for change to create better policies for fellow cancer patients. Jennifer Gillette, LMSW, Staff Social Worker at nbmtLINK, will also speak. She will share ways to get more support and ways to connect with resources that can help you cope. There will be time for questions.

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Caregiving Tips & Best Practices for Isolation & Loneliness

This month’s call-in program will focus on BMT care partners. Michelle M. Bishop, PhD, a licensed psychologist specialized in coping with cancer and caregiving, will talk about what the BMT survivorship road is like for many family caregivers, noting that it can be lengthy, isolating and lonely at times, offering valuable insight and advice. Additionally, Monica Coello, a seasoned professional in international trade and customer relations work, and a cancer survivor herself, will talk of her recent experience as a caregiver to her husband Greg. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Pediatric Blood Cancer Care and Treatment Updates

This month, as we recognize Pediatric Cancer and Blood Cancer Awareness Month, this call-in program will focus on supportive, patient-centered care that focuses on collaboration and innovative ways to serve children (who will undergo a transplant) and their families as well as new treatments which help lower the risk of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD). Our speaker, Alix Seif, MD, MPH, is a pediatric oncologist with clinical interests in pediatric leukemia and stem cell transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Leila Zengel, a parent caregiver, will share her daughter Julie’s transplant experience five years ago, sure to inspire. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this program. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Employment Concerns and Considerations While Navigating a Bone Marrow | Stem Cell Transplant

This month’s call-in program will focus on employment related concerns and considerations while managing the bone marrow/stem cell transplant journey. Nicole Jarvis, LMSW of Cancer and Careers, will highlight how to best approach decisions around work and the evolving employment landscape post COVID. Additionally, Christine Sherman, a survivor, will share her story, challenges, lessons learned and more. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Life After Transplant: The Good, The Bad and The Normal

This month’s call-in program will focus on finding your new normal post-transplant. Rita Abdallah, LISW-S, ACSW, Speaker & Wellness Coach, will break it all down and cover post traumatic growth, depression, isolation, transition, fears, mental health, PTSD and more. Additionally, Lela Prewitt, a survivor of Acute myeloid leukemia, AML, transplanted in June of 2021 will share her story, challenges, lessons learned and best tips as she navigates her survivorship. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Updates, Challenges and Inspiration

This month’s call-in program will focus on Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). Dr. Arpita Gandhi, of Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer will cover transplant indications in patients with MDS, caregiver support needed for transplant, the challenges of Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) and survivorship. Additionally, Jana Kirkwood, a thriving survivor of MDS who was transplanted just a few years ago, will share her story, challenges, and best tips. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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All Things Nutrition During and After a Cancer Diagnosis

This month’s call-in program will focus on nutrition. Julie Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN, Wellness Director, Cancer Services, Inc. will cover goals during and after treatment, cancer nutrition myths and truths, and share a Cancer Dietitian’s Survivor Diet List. Additionally, Jennifer Barish, a 12-year survivor of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), will share her personal dietary strategies and best tips regarding an anti-inflammatory diet. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Feeling Left Behind with a Cancer Diagnosis

This month’s call-in program will focus on feeling left behind when diagnosed with cancer with an emphasis on young adults. Juliane Belisle is a Licensed Independent Social Worker with 25 years’ experience and a specialization in serving the psycho-social needs of cancer patients and will share her expertise. Additionally, Alique Topalian, PhD, MPH, Research Scientist Survivorship and Supportive Services, University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is also a two-time cancer survivor, first diagnosed with AML in 1998 at the age of four and relapsed in March of 2021 at 27 years old. Alique is now in remission and will share her experience, insight, inspiration and coping strategies.

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Multiple Myeloma Updates

This month’s call in program will focus on Multiple Myeloma featuring Dr. C. Ola Landgren, M.D., PhD, Professor of Medicine, Chief of Myeloma Division, Director of the Sylvester Myeloma Institute. Dr. Landgren’s clinical interests include novel therapeutics, cellular therapy, innate immunity, and tumor microenvironment. Dr. Landgren will share his expertise, sure to offer hope and more options to those diagnosed with MM. Additionally, Gregory O. Proctor, of San Antonio, Texas, a Multiple Myeloma survivor, who was transplanted in Feb. 2022, will offer insight, inspiration and coping strategies. Jennifer Gillette, our licensed staff social worker will host this call. There will be plenty of time for live questions.

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Let’s Beat the Blues and Address Isolation, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition and More

This month Melissa Logue, a Nurse Practitioner (NP) at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center who works with hematologic patients, will focus on isolation, beating the winter blues, diet, nutrition, exercise, interaction through social media and more. As well, DeAnn Miller, a vibrant survivor of Myelodysplastic Syndrome with Excess Blasts (MDS-EB2) was transplanted in 2019 and will share the many ways she stays busy, sharp and actively embraces her new normal. The nbmtLINK’s licensed staff social worker, Jennifer Gillette, will facilitate the program. There will also be plenty of time for live questions.

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