St. Luke's University Health Network

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Grant Awarded to Attend NBCC Conference

St. Luke's Psychotherapist Awarded Grant to Attend National Cancer Coalition Foundation Conference

Susan Toohey,
MEd, NCC, LPC

Bethlehem, PA (5/17/2010) - Susan Toohey, MEd, NCC, LPC is one of three recipients in the nation to receive a scholarship to attend the prestigious National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) Annual Meeting in May in Washington, D.C.

Toohey is the psychotherapist at St. Luke's Family Medicine in Bethlehem and the women's cancer counselor at St. Luke's Cancer Center. At both facilities, she works with patients dealing with emotional issues related to cancer. Toohey also practices privately part time as a licensed professional counselor.

Working to Eradicate Breast Cancer

Toohey will work with the NBCC on advocacy efforts to educate survivors, the public and to find solutions to eradicate breast cancer. Ms. Toohey is a two time breast cancer survivor and has been a survivor for 11 years.

“I am dedicated to initiatives that integrate body, mind and spirit in the treatment of cancer patients and advocates treating the ‘whole patient’,” said Toohey. “I believe that professionals can support and empower women through understanding and knowledge of their disease and provide counseling to help survivors long after cancer treatments end.”

The NBCC offers premier, targeted training in breast cancer science and public policy so that breast cancer advocates can become agents of action and change in the mission to eradicate breast cancer, according to Toohey. The NBCC faculty offers the latest scientific research to several hundred advocates from around the world, she said. In addition, they teach effective advocacy strategies and provide presentations by respected researchers in the field, grassroots leaders from around the country and prominent public policy experts. NBCC's mandate is to train and develop a strong, knowledgeable, nationwide network of breast cancer advocates, according to the organization. The NBCC is a sister organization of the National Cancer Coalition Foundation.

In addition to this grant, Toohey was awarded a grant in 2007 to attend a program sponsored by the U.S. Oncology Foundation called Life Beyond Cancer for women cancer survivors, social workers and oncology nurses to learn advocacy initiatives and integrative and complementary approaches for women surviving cancer.

Leader in Breast Cancer Education and Support at St. Luke's

At St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network, she began a support group three years ago for women in active treatment with breast cancer, co-facilitated a breast cancer support group and served as the initial project manager for the Lance Armstrong Survivorship Grant through the University of Pennsylvania geared toward women who have or have had breast cancer. She participated at The Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community) in her professional role as a psychotherapist with breast cancer survivors in programs funded by the Susan G. Komen organization. Toohey is a member of the Cancer Support Community's Professional Advisory Board.