Kent School faculty member elected president of the Association of Oncology Social Work

 Tara Schapmire, Ph.D., has been elected president-elect of the Association of Oncology Social Work. Her three-year term begins in January 2017 with one year as president-elect, followed by one year as president and the final year as past president.

“I am honored to serve in leadership of the organization that helped mold me into who I am today professionally. I believe that the Association of Oncology Social Work and our profession are strengthened by combining the expertise of researchers and clinicians to elevate the respect of oncology social work within interprofessional cancer care. I am excited to work on collaborative partnerships and funding that ensure AOSW’s leadership role in promoting excellence in psychosocial care, education and advocacy for those with cancer,” said Dr. Schapmire.

Schapmire has taught classes in the Kent School since 2008, most notably in the master’s degree program and the psychosocial oncology specialization, in addition to other master’s level practice and research classes.

"The Kent School of Social Work is extremely proud of the selection of Dr. Schapmire as president-elect of the Association of Oncology Social Work. This is a great recognition for her and for the important work that social workers do in the field of oncology. Dr. Schapmire has a strong history of outstanding work in health care and serves as a great role model for social workers in this field of practice," said Dean David Jenkins. 

Schapmire is also an assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Care and Medical Education of the Department of Medicine.

“AOSW and the Kent School have a long standing partnership since the inception of the psychosocial oncology specialization. AOSW brought our national conference to Louisville in 2008 to celebrate former Dean Terry Singer’s announcement of the fundraising efforts to develop the nation’s first Endowed Chair in Psychosocial Oncology in a school of social work. Since then, Kent has worked with AOSW to arrange for the University of Louisville Library to archive all AOSW records. Dr. Karen Kayser has many research collaborations and funding with AOSW as well. As President, I will support continued successful partnership between our two organizations,” Schapmire said.

The Kent School’s Dr. Karen Kayser is the Dr. Renato LaRocca Endowed Chair in Oncology Social Work and heads the School’s Psychosocial Oncology specialization.

Schapmire is co-investigator on a Health Resources and Services Administration grant aimed at development of an interdisciplinary gerontology curriculum for learners in medicine, nursing, social work, dentistry and pharmacy.  As a co-investigator on the $7.5 million Kentucky LEADS Collaborative, she and her team are dedicated to reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky and beyond through development, evaluation, and dissemination of novel, community-based interventions to promote provider education, survivorship care prevention and early detection regarding lung cancer. Her past research includes a National Institutes of Health grant focused on development of an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum for schools of medicine, social work and nursing and chaplaincy residency programs and an American Cancer Society-funded study of emotional distress in older adults with cancer.