Patient Support and Social Services
Coping with cancer can be a daunting experience. Illness and treatment may affect family life, functioning at work or school, financial stability or ability to plan for the future. Persons with cancer and their loved ones may experience periods of sadness or anxiety as they adjust to the ramifications of illness. Communication with family, friends or coworkers can become strained. Daily responsibilities, such as caring for children or managing the household may become difficult to manage while undergoing treatment. Feeling "in control" may be a challenge.
Oncology social workers are available to help those affected by cancer to cope with their concerns. They provide practical assistance, support and individual, family and group counseling. In addition, they moderate support and educational programs and regularly provide referrals to community resources.
New patients must meet with a social worker before accessing psychiatric services. Contact a Social Worker (404) 778-5933 to make an appointment.
Meet Winship's Social Services Team
James Hankins, MSW, LCSW, Director Patient Support and Social Services
James Hankins is the Director of Patient Support and Social Services for the Winship Cancer Institute. He is a licensed clinical social worker who has focused his career on providing counseling and support services to patients and caregivers coping with medical illnesses. James came to the Winship Cancer Institute from Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a therapist in private practice and worked as an oncology social worker for the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and received a Master of Social Work from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Hilary G. Cohen, LCSW, CTS, DVC (III)
Hilary received a Bachelor of Science from Lehigh University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Hilary is a licensed clinical social worker and also a Certified Trauma Specialist and Domestic Violence Counselor with more than 12 years of experience in Trauma and emergency room medicine. She also has experience working in mental health care, adult medicine and hospice oncology care. Hilary joined the Emory team with a continued specific interest in adult medicine and oncology research. She works with Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant patients.
Martha Giardina, BSW
Martha Giardina graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Social Work. Following employment with an adoption agency, Martha came to work at the Emory Clinics where she was a general social worker for Clinic A&B for approximately 10 years. Martha has been a part of the Emory Radiation Oncology Department for 8 years. In her role, she became aware of the needs of oncology patients and found her niche with this population. Martha has facilitated various support groups and has served on the Planning Committee for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. Martha is alert to resources which would benefit individuals diagnosed with cancer as well as their families and caregivers. She is a member of the Association of Oncology Social Work and the Georgia Social Work Oncology Group.
Valerie Henderson, MSW
Valerie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Science Degree in Psychology from Capella University. Valerie has over 28 years of experience in oncology where she has worked in clinic, hospital, and hospice settings as an oncology social worker. Specific areas of interest include the elderly, grief, loss, and end of life care. Valerie joined Winship Cancer Institute in 2007 and is social worker for Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute Midtown campus at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
Joy McCall, LMSW
Joy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kennesaw State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. As part of her education she completed an internship with the Marcus Institute working on the pediatric feeding unit; and an internship counseling individuals and couples at Families First, supporting families and children facing challenges to build strong family bonds and stability for their future. She also interned at Winship where she worked with cancer patients including breast, gynecologic, brain and melanoma patients. She had previously worked with individuals with developmental disabilities for over 4 years providing support to families and caregivers. At Winship she works with the Bone Marrow Transplant, Hematology and Gynecologic teams and their patients.
Alice D. Mullins, LCSW
Alice graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College and Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. As part of her master's program, Alice's internships included the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter where she educated and provided assistance to families and individuals dealing with Alzheimer's, as well as educating community members. She also interned for a year at Families First where she provided counseling to individuals and couples. Alice has worked as a hospice social worker providing support to individuals and families facing end of life issues. During her years working at hospice, she became increasingly interested in grief and loss issues. She is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers and Georgia Social Work Oncology Group. At Winship, Alice works with the Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematology teams and their patients.
Carol Rivera, ACBSW
Carol graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Social Work. Carol has over 30 years of Social Work experience with Emory Healthcare. She worked in oncology at Emory Midtown and with brain tumor patients at the Emory Center for Rehabilitation Medicine. Carol has prior experience with support groups and is currently a facilitator with the Caregiver Support Group. She is a member of National Association of Social Workers, where she is certified in the Academy of Baccalaureate Social Workers, and is a member of the Georgia Social Work Oncology group. At Winship she is working with the Aerodigestive and Gastrointestinal patients.
Margaret "Maggie" Hughes, MSW
Maggie graduated from The University of Georgia with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work. As a BSW, Maggie completed a year long practicum as a school social worker for the Barrow County Board of Education and conducted a grief support group for teenagers experiencing loss. Maggie graduated from The University of Georgia with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. While completing her Master’s degree, Maggie worked at Winship Cancer Institute and received the Heather Christina Wright Scholarship for Social Worker’s in Oncology. Upon graduation, Maggie worked at Emory’s Geriatric Hospital, Wesley Woods, as a social worker on the medical unit. Specific areas of interest to Maggie include grief, loss and working with families affected by cancer. Maggie joined Winship in 2012 and works with the genitourology urinary and gastro intestinal patients at the Emory Clifton Road location and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at the Emory Hospital Midtown location.
Rebecca Sizemore, MSW, LCSW
Rebecca received a Bachelor of Science in Family Child Development at Virginia Tech and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has six years of social work experience in health care settings which include acute care, private for profit and non-profit arenas. While working in the acute care setting at both the Medical College of Virginia and Emory University Hospital, she became increasingly interested in the oncology population, which allows more long-term relationships with patients and families. It is through these years of experience and education that Rebecca has found her special interest in working with families and end-of-life care. She enjoys facilitating support groups and connecting with other social workers in the community through memberships in both National Association of Social Workers and the Georgia Social Work Oncology Group. At Winship, she works with breast, melanoma and brain tumor patients.