The National LGBT Cancer Network
Thomas J. Pier
- Thomas J. Pier, MSW, LISW is a Senior Oncology Social Worker at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque, NM. UNM recently opened a new, world-class, state-of-the-art Cancer Center focused on providing quality cancer care and addressing the whole person needs of cancer patients and their families throughout the state of NM and the region. He works with people with cancer and their loved ones throughout the continuum of the illness, through death and bereavement, and into survivorship. He facilitates the lung cancer support group.
- Tom has been working in cancer care and end of life care for over 18 years. He is a 1991 graduate of the College of St. Thomas, and received his Master of Social Work degree from New Mexico State University in 1995.
- Tom is a licensed clinical social worker in California (2002) and New Mexico (1998), and a member of the Association of Oncology Social Work and the National Association of Social Workers. He presented at the AOSW Conference 2008 in Louisville, KY, a workshop entitled "Difficult Conversations: Opening Communication about End of Life Decision-making", and at AOSW Conference 2009 in Savannah, GA, a workshop entitled "The LGBT Cancer Experience: Understanding Health Disparities, Creating a Welcoming Clinical Environment, and Providing Culturally Sensitive Interventions."
- Tom has been active throughout his career in clinical education and supervision of future oncology mental health clinicians including MSW, MFT, psychology and chaplaincy interns and has worked with UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, Columbia, Florida State, Cal State Long Beach, UNM, New Mexico Highlands University, New Mexico State University and the Academy for Jewish Religion. He currently coordinates the clinical education program with 5 interns working within the UNM Cancer Center.
- In addition to oncology, Tom has an interest in healthcare ethics having served on several hospital and hospice ethics committees over the years. He received his Certificate in Healthcare Ethics from the inaugural class at the University of New Mexico in 2000.
- Personally, Tom and his partner, Russell Kieffer, who is also active with the Network and a clinical social worker in AIDS education programing throughout the state, will celebrate two anniversaries in 2009 - 18 years as committed life partners and 1 year of legal marriage in the State of California - one of the 18,000 couples who married there legally in 2008. Both men are committed to improving health care and providing culturally sensitive care for LGBT individuals and for all patients.
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