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5 Questions with Michelle, Oncology Social Worker

5 Questions with Michelle, Oncology Social Worker

Michelle joined SCCA Proton Therapy this spring and assists patients with practical needs such as housing and transportation during their treatment.  In addition to emotional support, she provides individual and family therapy.

How did you come to be an Oncology Social Worker?

I moved to Seattle from Portland, Oregon in 1999 and started work as a Social Work Assistant at the University of Washington Medical Center.  I worked as part of the Med/Surg and Oncology inpatient teams.  I fell in love with Oncology Social Work at that time and especially enjoyed working with patients and their families.

What led you to SCCA Proton Therapy?

My friend Erin, our Child Life Specialist, told me about the job at the Center. I did some research and realized that this is the same treatment my father went through. When I came in for the interview I felt very comfortable, like this was where I was supposed to be.

What is your favorite part of your work day?

I’d say it’s when my favorite seven-year-old patient comes bouncing in, throws her arms out and screams “it’s a good morning,” and we fist bump. I also enjoy providing emotional support to family members and patients.

Tell us something we would never have guessed about you.

I am considered a survivor. I had two open heart surgeries before the age of 21. I’m all good now. 

What is your dream or goal in life?

I value simplicity. I suppose everyone would like to be sitting on a warm tropical beach relaxing. That would be nice, but I am happy with having my two healthy and happy, beautiful daughters. I’m thankful every day for them.