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Hidden Heroes of Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

Feb 24, 2022, 15:25 PM by OnCenter
Our Oncology Caseworkers are our HIDDEN HEROES! They work behind the scenes to assist patients and their families with the psychological, social and economic challenges that cancer often brings. When patients’ basic daily needs are met and barriers to treatment are removed, a great burden is lifted.



Group Photo of Hidden Heroes

Because a cancer diagnosis often brings many psychological, social and economic challenges for patients and their families, caseworkers in Ridley-Tree’s Oncology Social Work Department are at the ready to provide critical assistance so patients’ basic daily needs are met, and so any barriers to treatment can be removed. Caseworkers help patients to obtain medical services, transportation, food and housing. They advocate for patients, so they can better coordinate with state and community agencies. “This greatly eases the burden,” explains Sherry Massey, a 25-year veteran of the Oncology Social Work Department. “I often receive requests from patients who tried to resolve issues with Medi-Cal, Social Security or California’s Disability Insurance Department on their own, but have not been successful. Not knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. It is most rewarding when we can help to resolve these problems.”

New caseworker Ana Manzo assists patients with filling out free drug enrollment applications, receiving handicap placards, writing time-off letters to employers, and many other tasks that help to lighten the load. “I have the opportunity to provide great resources,” says Ana. “This team works so hard for the wellbeing of the patient.”

Laura Gonzalez has been a Ridley-Tree caseworker for the last 7 years. She enjoys speaking with her patients by phone, meeting to discuss their medical bills or calling healthcare insurance providers to coordinate coverage. This is invaluable assistance for patients whose time and energy are drained. “I love working at Ridley-Tree, especially when patients share how grateful they are for your support,” shares Laura.

To request an appointment with one of our caseworkers, call the Oncology Social Work Department at one of the numbers below:

  • Santa Barbara (805) 879-5690
  • Solvang (805) 879-5685

Photo caption: Sherry Massey, Ana Manzo and Laura Gonzalez

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