The Society for Integrative Oncology’s 13th international conference, November 5-7, 2016 in Miami, Florida, will include a plenary session on culture and caregiving. The session, to be held, November 6, will include, as moderator, Judith Fouladbakhsh, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC. of Oakland University and, as panelists, Allison Applebaum, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Samreet Kumar, PhD, of Memorial Healthcare System; and BeJoy Thomas, PhD, of the University of Calgary. They will discuss will discuss their approaches to the care of those affected by cancer, including patients and caregivers worldwide; the challenge to deliver consistently high quality care across treatment and during survivorship; compassion, fatigue and burnout among providers; and evidence-based approaches to enhance resiliency.


Judith FouladbakhshDr. Fouladbakhsh is an Associate Professor, Oakland University School of Nursing, and researcher specializing in the exploration of yoga as an alternative therapy for patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Areas of focuses include the use of integrative approaches by cancer survivors for symptom management and health promotion, for which she developed the CAM Healthcare Model©. Funded studies have included comparative analyses of integrative medicine therapy use among cancer survivors in the U.S population; gender effects on use for symptom management; reflexology for pain relief; the effects of yoga on breathing, mood, sleep and quality of life of lung cancer patients; and use of nondrug therapies among community elders. She earned her doctorate at Michigan State University and holds advanced practice certifications in Community Health and Holistic Nursing, and is a certified Healing Touch Practitioner, Reflexologist and a Reiki Master, working with the homeless in Oakland County in Michigan.


Allison ApplebaumDr. Applebaum is Assistant Attending Psychologist and Director, Caregivers Clinic at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is a clinical psychologist specializing in helping patients with cancer and their caregivers. Her research interests involve the development of psychosocial interventions for cancer patients and their caregivers, how patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers make meaning of the cancer experience, how current empirically supported treatments may be adapted for the acute cancer setting, and how to best meet their psychosocial needs in the setting of multiple competing responsibilities. She also is investigating the experience of caregivers of patients with particular cancer diagnoses and treatment regimens, such as bone marrow transplant patients and patients with brain tumors. She received her PhD from Boston University and took her residency at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center


Samreet KumarDr. Kumar is Clinical Psychologist at Memorial Cancer Institute of Memorial Healthcare System, specializing in working with adults who have cancer, as well as with their caregivers and families. His professional interests include mindfulness meditation, well-being, and grief and bereavement He earned his doctorate in adult clinical psychology at the University of Miami and completed his fellowship at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He also has studied with numerous spiritual teachers. He is the author of Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Approach to Coping with Loss, and The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination.


Bejoy ThomasDr. Thomas is Coordinator for the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, a research scientist affiliated with Community Oncology, Alberta Health Services – Cancer Care, and is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychosocial Oncology, Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on health systems research, patient diversity and disparities in health outcomes, health futures, health literacy and patient-centered care. His work includes the role patient ethnicity plays in cancer care as a determinant of cancer outcomes, seeking to define what variables best capture differences in outcomes; psychometrically defining the characteristics of distress, identifying its predictors, and postulating an alternative and sustainable “distress-screening” methodology; prostate cancer, including studies on the decision-making process in men with early or intermediate prostate cancer and the health education process in minority populations on PSA screening and health; and participating in the Androgen Deprivation Therapy management working group. He also is involved in statistical and mathematical modeling and early warning/predictive systems for patient behavior. He received his PhD from the University of Kerala, India, and completed a fellowship at the University of Calgary, Division of Psychosocial Oncology.


Read more about programming at the conference web site.