CaLM Care Team
Your interdisciplinary care team will be made up of experts, including oncologists, a dietitian, a genetic counselor, a psychiatrist, social workers, symptom management specialists, wellness experts and others, who will help you discover and focus on the things that are most important to you and your healing. Your team will work to minimize the stress and potential chaos of a cancer diagnosis by delivering services and resources that you and your loved ones need, all in one place.
In addition to world-class, personalized cancer treatment, the CaLM model of whole-person care provides wraparound services for patients, including Emotional, Mental & Behavioral Health Support, Palliative Care & Symptom Management, Access Navigation & Care Coordination, Nutritional Support, Fertility Preservation, Genetic Counseling, and Spiritual Counseling. We are coordinating other services with community partners through warm referrals, including Fitness, Physical Therapy & Yoga, Integrative Therapy, Financial Counseling, and Job & Legal Counseling.
Consider the Access Coordinator as your personal cancer care navigator. Because cancer can impact the practical aspects of your life, our Access Coordinator is here to help you manage and coordinate all aspects of your care here at the UT Health Austin Cancer Center and in the community. Whether you need access to social services and community programs, help with employment issues or support with transportation, we will be by your side.
Advanced Practice Providers (APP)
Your Advanced Practice Providers will work in collaboration with your disease management team (like your medical, radiation, or surgical oncologist) to manage the symptoms, treatment, and side effects of your cancer. They prioritize supporting your day-to-day physical health as you move through the cancer journey. They are your go-to expert in supportive care to help manage any pain and discomfort and optimize your healing. Your APPs are dedicated to helping you meet your treatment and care goals, and improving your quality of life.
Clinical Social Worker
Taking care of the whole person means addressing the mind, body, and heart. Cancer can be stressful and emotionally challenging for you and your loved ones, children, or community. Your clinical social worker will become an integral part of your care team and will work to get to know what’s important in your life, and help you and your loved ones build a plan to treat any emotional health needs that arise and make sure you have the emotional and mental health support you need to be resilient during the cancer experience.
Nutrition and healthy eating can play an important role during the cancer treatment and survivorship journey. Having a dietician as part of your care team can increase your chance of success. Your oncology dietician will work to support your nutritional and dietary needs before, during and after your treatment, in a way that fits in to your lifestyle and your everyday.
Paying for healthcare can be confusing and challenging, especially with a cancer diagnosis. Our financial navigator is here for you to provide comprehensive financial counseling, navigation and support to cancer patients and their families in order to reduce financial burden throughout the cancer journey. Our financial navigator will explain the cost of care, and if needed, they will be your advocate and communicate on your behalf to insurers, employers and/or creditors to resolve financial and insurance issues that may arise with your cancer diagnosis.
Fertility Advanced Practice Provider
For those who are in their reproductive years, sometimes cancer or its treatment may impact fertility and ability to have a family. Our Fertility Advanced Practice Provider is here to educate patients of reproductive age about any risks of infertility and options to preserve fertility. They will also work closely with the rest of your care team to ensure that you have all the fertility preservation education and resources you need and that you can access affordable fertility preservation options before cancer treatment begins so that you can have the opportunity to build a family later.
Our genetic counselor will be here to help you and your family understand genetic tests that you may need as part of you cancer treatment journey, to offer you information about cancer screening and prevention, and support you as you do any genetic testing. They will be here to advise you about how to talk your family members about any cancer risk, whether you are at risk of developing specific types of cancer based on your family history, and about special genetic tests that can give you more information about your risk of certain types of cancer.
Your medical oncologist is a doctor who treats cancer and provides medical care for people diagnosed with cancer. You may have a medical oncologist with a special focus on the type of cancer you have and he/she will oversee your cancer treatment if your treatment includes chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Your medical oncologist may act as your main health care provider for directing your treatment, and they will also give supportive care and may coordinate cancer treatments given by other specialists.
- S. Gail Eckhardt, MD, FASCO - Gastrointestinal Oncologist
- Anna Capasso, MD, PhD - Gastrointestinal Oncologist
- M. Yvette Williams-Brown, MD - Gynecologic Oncologist
Your pharmacist is an important part of your care team and will be here to counsel you about new medications as well as educate you and your loved ones about chemotherapy, if chemo is part of your treatment plan. The team pharmacist is here to support your physical, mental, and emotional well-being as you move through the treatment journey, to make sure that you are feeling your best while taking medications and receiving chemo.
Physiologic and emotional changes related to cancer and its treatment can bring about changes in mood, anxiety, and overall psychosocial wellness. Our team includes a psychiatrist with specialized experience in cancer care to address mental health concerns that impact your quality of life so that you can maintain a sense of meaningful engagement with the things that are most important to you.
If your treatment includes radiation therapy, your team may include a radiation oncologist. This is a doctor who has special training to use various types of external and/or internal radiation to help treat your cancer. Your radiation oncologist will work with the rest of your care team to ensure you have the best possible treatment.
Supportive and Survivorship Doctor
Your team includes an expert in supportive care and survivorship health issues. A board certified palliative care doctor adds expertise in symptom management and complex healthcare decision-making to your cancer care team for your entire treatment trajectory.
If your treatment includes surgery, your team may include a surgical oncologist. Our surgical oncologists are surgeons who have special training to perform surgeries to remove the tumor and/or nearby tissues during surgery. Your surgical oncologist will work with the rest of your care team to ensure you have the best possible treatment.