Ms. Kathryn Smolinski, MSW, JD, is an oncology social worker and public interest attorney who assists cancer patients with their legal issues. Ms. Smolinski has designed and currently manages a medical-legal partnership between Wayne State University Law School and Karmanos Cancer Center which provides free legal education, representation and resources to low-income cancer patients in Detroit, Michigan. This second career complements her first as a clinical oncology social worker for over 20 years including her position as former Executive Director of the Association of Oncology Social Work. Ms. Smolinski has been a senior clinical social worker and Cancer Pain & Fatigue Fellow at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland where she worked for nine years after providing home hospice services in her hometown of Monroe, Michigan. Ms. Smolinski served on the Clinical Ethics Service at Hopkins for eight years assisting patients, families and healthcare professionals in making difficult decisions in the medical setting. She has also completed mediation training in both Maryland and Michigan and is a volunteer mediator with the Dispute Resolution Center in Ann Arbor. Since 2007, Ms. Smolinski has been a field supervisor in the Smith College School for Social Work End-of-Life Care Certificate Program. She is a faculty member on a five-year National Cancer Institute grant in which she teaches leadership skills to oncology social workers around the country. Ms. Smolinski has worked tirelessly in advocating for excellence in end-of-life care. She has published journal articles, book chapters and lectured nationally and internationally on topics such as pain management, palliative care, ethics and psychosocial issues in end-of-life care. She received the American Cancer Society’s Lane W. Adams Award for Excellence in Caregiving and the Leadership in Oncology Social Work from AOSW. She also received a prestigious Equal Justice Works Fellowship to implement the medical-legal partnership. Recognized for her expertise in oncology social work and excellent collaborative skills, Ms. Smolinski has served on numerous boards and committees including her role as a reviewer of the Institute of Medicine: Cancer Care for the Whole Patient.
Topics: Ethics; End of Life; and Legal Issues.