March is National Social Work Month! Here at Lung Cancer Alliance, we have two dedicated social workers on our Support Services team who put the needs of those touched by lung cancer first, day after day. We sat down with our Support Services Manager, Miranda Goff, LICSW, to take a deeper dive into the field.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I received both my undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in Social Work and am a licensed clinical social worker in the District of Columbia. Prior to Lung Cancer Alliance, I worked in both health and community mental health settings providing behavioral healthcare and other social services.
As Support Services Manager, I support lung cancer patients, caregivers and professionals through our HelpLine and coordinate the Phone Buddy peer mentoring program. I work closely with our Director of Support Initiatives, Maureen Rigney, LICSW, on many other patient support projects. Maureen is also a social worker and exemplifies how social workers can touch the lives of communities nationwide.
What does a social worker do?
Social workers empower people by helping them to navigate systems, problem solve, cope with life’s challenges and address larger community needs. A key part of training to be a social worker is learning how to help a people within the community they live in. We are trained to assess the needs and strengths within individuals, families and broader communities. We are also trained to create change within communities through policy, advocacy and leadership. This means that social workers not only help a person in a particular situation but they are also working towards addressing larger scale injustices or needs.
What led you to this career?
For me, social work isn’t just my career, it’s my passion. I decided I was going to be a social worker when I was 14 years old because it was a career that I knew would allow me to help people during some of their darkest moments and allow me fight to end social injustices. To me, being a helping professional is truly an honor. My role at Lung Cancer Alliance has allowed me to help people in both direct and indirect ways which I find intrinsically rewarding. I was drawn to Lung Cancer Alliance because of its mission to save lives, but what excited me most was the opportunity to connect people through the Phone Buddy program.
What do you enjoy most about your field of work?
I love getting to know the patients and family members and connecting survivors with one another through the Phone Buddy program. Our support volunteers are the most kind, caring people I know and I get so excited about matching them so they can share their strength with others. I also enjoy learning about the new advancements in treatment and finding ways I can advance our efforts even more by telling people about our molecular testing, treatment and clinical trial service—LungMATCH.
Want to learn more? Watch our “Find Support” video where Miranda discusses the different types of support available for the lung cancer community and how to access them.