Month: January 2019

From the Desk of Jane Oderberg

Jane Oderberg

From the Desk of…

Jane Oderberg

Cancer Care Services’ Retired Program Director, Board Member, Volunteer, & Donor

As a long-time professional geriatric social worker in 2005, I attended a women’s networking meeting. While catching up with a friend, she shared the fact that an employee at Cancer Care Services was going to be out on medical leave, and she needed to hire a part-time social worker for the interim. I told her that I would be interested in applying, so long as I could do the work and still care for my granddaughters. Well…as they say (whoever “they” are!), the rest is history!!

I started as a 20-hour/week home visit social worker, which I enjoyed very much. I maintained a presence in the healthcare field and continued to attend many networking meetings. I was repeatedly surprised when asked what I was doing currently, and I answered “working part-time at Cancer Care”, how few people knew what Cancer Care Services was or that it even existed! I must admit that until I started working there, I didn’t know Cancer Care did either! But once I knew, boy, was I proud to spread the word.

When the social worker who was out on medical leave returned, we job-shared for several months. Then the CEO came to me and asked that I come to his office; my co-workers teased that I was being called to the “principal’s office” for some behavior issue (like speaking my mind!). Instead, he informed me that the program director had resigned and asked if I was interested in taking on the position full-time, with responsibility for all client programming, supervising the social work staff and interns, supporting the Board of Directors, and “other duties as assigned”!

It didn’t take long, really just a year, for my relationship with one of the finest and oldest non-profits in Fort Worth to take root and begin to grow. I loved my job of helping clients and families navigate the maze that is cancer and all the ramifications that go along with it. I could leave work knowing I made a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.

The staff was wonderful…more like family, really. We supported each other in good times as well as bad. It was a pleasure going to work every day. I also learned from our clients how cancer impacted their lives and how much they appreciated all that Cancer Care did for them. I have never felt as fulfilled by my work as I did while at Cancer Care Services.

Then and ever since, I have made it my mission to educate as many people as possible about the work Cancer Care does, making sure people know how to refer clients to the programs.

In July 2016, I retired from my position – after more than eleven years. Who would have believed that my part-time gig would last so long? But my connection with Cancer Care Services wasn’t over; it simply changed. I became a speaker’s bureau volunteer, and I pledged financial support through the Legacy of Hope Giving Society.

From these new vantage points, I have enjoyed watching the growth of the organization as it works to meet the needs of more and more people in our community. It felt good to be contributing still to something so positive. Then I looked at it from another angle.

A few months ago I was asked if I would consider serving as a member of the Cancer Care Services’ Board of Directors. Thinking it would be interesting to now see the agency’s operations from the perspective of governance and strategy – informed by a deep understanding of our client’s perspective, I said yes. So in a few weeks’ time, I’ll begin my term of service, continuing to support my favorite organization as a volunteer… an advocate… a donor… and once upon a time a good while ago, as a part-time employee.

Each experience has shown me in different ways the same thing: the quality of care and commitment to service offered daily by this organization to its clients. I hope to continue to contribute to its impact for many more years to come.