The folks at Cancer Care Services have a tremendous commitment to help - and even bigger hearts!
Cancer Care Services Staff
Melanie Lara, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Director of Operations
Development & Finance Support Coordinator
Senior Development Director
Director of Grants & Advocacy
Donor Relations Manager
Katherine B Ware
Development Marketing Coordinator
Social Workers & Client Activities
Tracey Willingham, LMSW
Senior Program Director/Social Worker
James Earl, LBSW, MPA
Director of Programs/Social Worker
Client Connection Manager
Volunteer and Activity Coordinator
Annie Presley, LCSW, OSW-C
Erinn Anderson, LMSW
Clinic Social Worker
Margaritta Jackson, LBSW
Director of Programs/Social Worker
Dacia Whitaker, LMSW, OSW-C
Clinic Social Worker
Hailey Wilshire, LMSW
Community Social Worker
Brittany Thornton, LBSW
Clinic Social Worker
Community/Clinic Social Worker
Blanca Mendoza, LBSW, MSW
Bilingual Program Manager/Social Worker
Christian Moore, MS, LPC Intern
Child, Teen and Young Adult Counselor
Organizational History and Mission.
Mission Statement: Cancer Care Services supports cancer patients, cares for the caregiver, and empowers survivors to reduce the impact of cancer in our community. It is our vision that everyone who is affected by cancer in our community will partner with Cancer Care Services to COPE, THRIVE, and SURVIVE.
Cancer Care Services originated in 1946 when Fort Worth physicians observed the non-medical challenges that low-income cancer patients faced while undergoing treatment, such as loss of health insurance, lack of transportation to treatment, and the inability to afford prescription medications. In response, a group of compassionate physicians and community leaders created a unique and inventive organization for cancer patients. For more than 70 years, Cancer Care Services has been continuously providing financial and emotional support services to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in Tarrant County.
According to the American Cancer Society in 2017, 116,200 individuals living in Texas will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and 40,260 will die of the disease (more than 100 people per day). According to 2017 data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, 8,380 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in Tarrant County alone. At the outset of a cancer diagnosis, cancer patients and their families must endure the stresses caused by physically demanding treatments and the health impairment, disability, fatigue and pain that can result. However, a cancer diagnosis can also lead to financial, emotional and mental distress that affects the overall quality of life of the cancer patient and their caregivers. Individuals with limited income may experience financial stress as they worry about how to access or keep from losing the health insurance coverage they need to pay for their treatment and other health-related expenses. In turn, the ongoing impact of cancer treatment can create emotional distress and mental health issues amongst cancer patients and caregivers, particularly for those who have a weak or absent social support system. As they intertwine, physical, psychological and social stressors decrease a patient’s quality of life and in turn their ability to survive cancer.
In fact, according to the findings of an observational study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, financial distress resulting from out-of-pocket cancer treatment costs increases the risk of death by 79%. The Association of Oncology Social Work conducted a survey of cancer patients in which more than half indicated cancer treatment costs negatively impacted their focus on recovery. Of those patients with major financial challenges, 66% reported suffering from depression and anxiety. Altogether, these “hidden costs” of cancer create a substantial economic burden for the entire community through financial loss, lost productivity, ongoing health problems, reduced quality of life and premature death.
According to a recent study, one in three people diagnosed with cancer end up struggling with a mental health disorder, the most common affecting cancer patients being anxiety disorders (including PTSD) and adjustment disorders. Population-based data suggests that cancer survivors are more than twice as likely to have disabling psychological problems compared with adults without cancer, and individuals who have both cancer and other chronic illnesses have a risk of psychological disability that is nearly 6 times higher than that of adults without cancer. The family members of those going through cancer are at an increased risk for depression and anxiety, particularly in the case of those who are acting in a caregiver role. According to the National Cancer Institute, depressive symptoms in caregivers can be similar to, or even higher than in patients with cancer.
Cancer Care Services partners with cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to improve their quality of life and empower them to care for their overall health. We accomplish this by providing case management and financial assistance to access critical health care services, as well as coordinating emotional/mental health and psychosocial support services that help clients improve their overall well-being, both short and long term.
Board of Directors
Stevie Dawn Blakely, PhD
Founder | Orange Compass
Jesse Booher, CPA
Shareholder | Alexander Booher & Assoc.
Cameron Brown, D.Min.
Staff Care Chaplain| Cook Children’s, TCU, FW Fire Dept.
Attorney | BNSF Railway
Nanny Christie, PhD
Psychologist – Retired
Rosemary Galdiano, RN
Manager, Mobile Health Unit | Texas Health Fort Worth
Karen Garcia, CPA
Audit Supervisor | BKD
Travis Hopkins, MBA
HR Consultant/Producer | Frost Insurance
Investment Manager | Bank of Texas
Sally King, RN
Nurse | TCU Health Center
SVP | ACME Brick – Retired
Cristy LePori, RN
Thoracic Oncology Navigator | Texas Health Network
Attorney | Lockheed Martin
Ann-Margaret Ochs, D.O.
Medical Oncologist | Texas Oncology
Jane Oderberg, LMSW
Project Coordinator | UNT Health Science Center
Community Volunteer | Hood County
Brant Ring, MBA
AVP, Intermodel Hub Operations | BNSF Railway
Sue Shields, RN | Board Chair
Director, Cancer Program | Texas Health Fort Worth – Retired
Louann Schulze, D.Ed.
College Administrator/Counselor – Retired
Michelle Squires, CPA
Tax Manager| Pedersen Jones Hughston Poage & Graham
Robert Sturns, MBA
Director, Economic Development | City of Fort Worth
Amelia Tower, D.O.
Breast Surgical Oncologist | JPS
Owner | Troy Financial
Community Health | UNT Health Science Center
Thank you to the following corporations and organizations for helping us further our mission through their generous financial support during 2017.
Alcon Laboratories, Inc
Allstate Insurance Company
Amon G. Carter Foundation
Amon G. Carter Star-Telegram Employees Fund
Apex Capital Corporation
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation
C.B. Baird, Jr. Foundation
Colleyville Women’s Club
Communities Foundation of Texas
Crystelle Waggoner Charitable Trust
Dubose Family Foundation
Fit Body Boot Camp
Fort Worth Country Day School
Guido and Ruth Shumake Charitable Trust
HNC Living Foundation
Imperial Court De’Fort Worth/Arlington
Jeanne and Roy J. Grogan Charitable Fund
Joe & Jessie Crump Foundation
Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc.
Lockheed Martin AERO Club
Mary Potishman Lard Trust
Nancy and John Snyder Fund of the NTCF
Network for Good
Quilters’ Guild of Arlington
Robert S. & Joyce Pate Capper Charitable Foundation
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater N. Texas
Sid W. Richardson Foundation
Sigma Lambda Gamma Omicron Beta
Southlake Women’s Club
Sportsmen’s Club of Fort Worth
Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth
The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
The Gil and Dody Weaver Foundation
The Hodges Foundation
The Hyde Foundation
The M.S. Doss Foundation
The Morris Foundation
The Ryan Foundation
The Walsh Foundation
Troy and Associates LLC
United Way Parker County
United Way Hood County
United Way Tarrant County
Unity Church of Fort Worth
UNT Health Science Center
Virginia Hobbs Charitable Trust
William E. Scott Foundation
Heroes of Hope Corporate Mission Partners: