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Tina Staley, LCSW

Pathfinders Director Tina Staley, LCSW, is Founder and Director of Pathfinders, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the experience of illness, healthcare, and healing for all cancer patients, their families, and caregivers.

Ms. Staley received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Roosevelt University, and her master’s in social work from Loyola University where she worked as an intern at the Ilene Josselyn Center.  She developed useful interpersonal and human relations skills through pursuing professional careers in drama and executive recruitment. She has since served as spokesperson and support group leader for the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (Highland Park IL), and as bereavement program coordinator for Roaring Fork Hospice (Glenwood Springs CO).  She is a national speaker for the Spiritual Paths Foundation and leads seminars on living fully while preparing for the end of life.  She is a founder and partner of the Aspen Center for Integrative Health, and a faculty member of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine (Washington DC). Currently, Ms. Staley is Director of Pathfinders MBS, and Integrative Oncology Instructor at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She sits on several boards; those focused on integrative medicine include the Spiritual Paths Foundation, Roaring Forks Hospice, and Aspen Center for Integrative Health.  She is a regularly featured speaker on end-of-life issues, integrative medicine, and supportive care at national conferences and symposia.

The cancer diagnoses of her brother and her best friend brought Ms. Staley to a turning point in her life.  The experience of caring for both loved ones (only one of whom survived) brought her face-to-face with a critical need in health care, namely, the need to support the patient, family, and caregiver as they journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and/or end of life.  Ms. Staley dedicated herself to ensuring that, ultimately, no patient must experience cancer alone – and Pathfinders was born.  First launched in Aspen, CO, the Pathfinders program of comprehensive psychosocial supportive care quickly met with enthusiastic reception from patients, families, caregivers, physicians, nurses, and healthcare administrators.  The scope of the program is expanding to encompass new regions of the country, and to benefit a broad spectrum of patients; adaptation of the model for implementation in new sites, and incorporation of novel technologies and methods for reaching additional patients, have opened new horizons for increasing Pathfinders’ impact.  While Pathfinders builds an evidence basis to support its effectiveness, in collaboration with Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and Supportive Oncology Services, Inc. (SOS), it continues to provide quality of life-enhancing services to a growing number of patients. At present, Pathfinders is conducting a randomized, controlled, pilot study in the Breast Cancer Clinic at Duke University Medical Center to rigorously evaluate the impact of the Pathfinders program on specific patient-, provider-, and system-level indicators.