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Employee Profile: Liora Lew

Liora Lew, LCSW for the Adult Sickle Cell Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, works with patients with a rare disease that has many complications. The program started about a year and a half ago, and has seen great success in that time. Under the leadership of Dr. John D. Roberts, the program has helped to reduce the length of hospital stays for these patients, increase outpatient visits, and encourage patients with sickle cell disease to see themselves as more than their illness; Liora has played a huge role in this success.
 
While dealing with the physical pain associated with sickle cell disease, a hereditary blood disorder, there are also emotional, economic, and social pains. Liora works with this patient population, primarily minorities, to overcome these obstacles and have better outcomes in the community setting. One of the biggest issues she helps patients with is dependence on narcotics that are used to manage pain.
 
"It is wonderful to see the results and celebrate accomplishments and success with patients," said Liora. "My goal is to empower them and give them the dignity and respect that they deserve, along with tools and information they can use to cope with life as patients with a non-curable disease."
 
Since the program started, Liora has played an integral role in helping to decrease the length of in-patient stays. Liora and the team work closely with community providers to eliminate gaps in care at the time of discharge, to help ensure a life outside of the hospital for these patients. She worked to obtain a grant that provided the patients with educational materials resulting in a lending library as well as a Wii console, which has helped patients to relieve stress and take their mind off of their pain. Additionally Liora facilitates a very successful bi-weekly support group.
 
Bonnie Indeck, LCSW, and Manager of Oncology Social Work at Smilow Cancer Hospital, commented, "Liora is dedicated to working with people with sickle cell disease and their family members. She has taken the time to build relationships, resulting in great respect for her in her role as clinical social worker. Liora's patients love to see her as she brings a sense of warmth and compassion and sees her patients as who they are and not their disease. Liora embodies Service Excellence and we are thrilled that she is a member of the Smilow family!"