An oncology social worker is gaining recognition for her work with cancer patients at the Stamford Hospital's Bennett Cancer Center.
Fran Becker, manager of cancer support services, was chosen from about 1,000 national and international members of the Association of Oncology Social Workers to to receive the 2013 Oncology Social Worker of the Year award at its annual conference in June.
"All my career has been medical social work," said Becker.
"I've had medical social work, I've had personal experiences with my family where I have realized how helpful it can be. The help that I received moved me in the direction of wanting to be helpful to other people."
The award recognizes an oncology social worker who provides exemplary commitment to the delivery of compassionate patient care. Becker works directly with cancer patients, counseling them and their families.
"She is considered one of the most energetic who will sympathize and be empathetic with her patients," said medical oncology nurse Barbara Williams.
"If anything new arises or any new system arises, she's there to put out and make sure they're taken care of," said Medical Secretary Elmorris Brown.
"The courage and inspiration that I find in working with people as I walk the journey with them," said Becker. "It is incredibly inspirational and it also teaches you not to sweat the small stuff in your own life."
The Bennet Cancer Center cares for a total of 4,000 cancer patients annually and Becker has held her position there for about 15 years. The American Cancer society reports although cancer is growing along with the population, the number of deaths has decreased.
"The people that you work with, whether they've struggled or sailed through, you remember them," said Becker.
"Fran chips in," said Brown. "We're like one big machine working together to make sure the patients are taken care of."