Skip to Main Content

Oncology Social Workers

Oncology Social Workers provide counseling and other services which can reduce stress for you and your family through all phases of your cancer; new diagnosis, acute phase of treatment, survivorship and end of life.

How to Connect With a Social Worker

Social work services are provided free of charge to Avera Cancer Institute patients. Call Avera Cancer Institute at 605-322-3000 to connect with a social worker. Information on this page provided by AOSW.

How we can help you

We can help you with:

  • Accessing information to help you understand your diagnosis and treatments
  • Coping with your diagnosis of cancer and the many emotions you may be experiencing
  • Considering decisions about treatment options as you think about your work, family and other things in your life
  • Understanding social security benefits, disability benefits and insurance coverage
  • Accessing transportation/lodging during cancer care
  • Home health care and hospice care
  • Practical items such as a cane or walker
  • Referrals for help at home

What we offer

We offer:

  • Counseling for you and your family members
  • Support groups and educational programs
  • Referrals to community counseling

What we can teach you

We can teach you about:

  • Talking with your treatment team
  • Talking with your children, family, friends and co-workers
  • Coping with your emotions; sadness, anger, worry and fears
  • Reducing stress and using relaxation skills
  • How cancer affects sex, intimacy, fertility and feeling good about your body
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Clinical Trials
  • Living with cancer, issues commonly experienced and resources to help you long term
  • Planning for your care with the use of Advanced Directives
  • Live as a cancer survivor
Lynne Hunter


Lynne Hunter
Social Worker
Medical Oncology & Hematology

Melanie Hericks


Melanie Hericks
Social Worker
Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant

Brenda Ling


Brenda Ling
Social Worker
McHale Institute
Radiation Oncology

Christina Early


Christina Early
Social Worker
Gynecologic Oncology

Avera Race Against Breast Cancer-2013

Watch a video of the Avera Race–celebrating 25 years.

Virtual Online Tour

Avera Cancer InstituteTake a virtual tour

Roger Koole

roger kooleRoger Koole discusses his experience at Avera.

Watch the video now