Well-Being and Cancer at Work (WeCanWork)

A Total Worker Health® intervention to improve cancer survivors’ well-being and work outcomes by enhancing oncology care team support.

About the WeCanWork program


Photo of hospital patient in a gown on their phone

Cancer survivors face many challenges when they return to work during and/or after their treatment. They experience worse well-being when their changed physical and cognitive abilities do not align with their job demands. Oncology teams do not have a work-specific supportive service to refer patients to.

The Well-Being and Cancer at Work (WeCanWork) program aims to improve working cancer survivors' access to experts who assess their ability to continue working during periods of illness and disability. WeCanWork also aims to empower patients who want to work and oncology care providers to support patients through occupational medicine referrals.

Recently, the WeCanWork program created a simple and efficient referral process for oncology practices to send their patients to occupational medicine consultations. The program is currently in its implementation stage.

 

 

This study aims to longitudinally assess how cancer diagnosis impacts employment, financial, and well-being on employed patients treated in community- and academic-based oncology practice settings. Through participatory research approaches, we will engage community- and academic-based oncology care teams and occupational medicine practices to identify challenges in providing work-related support to cancer patients and refine the design of a Total Worker Health training-based intervention to improve working patients’ economic and well-being outcomes.

The WeCanWork study includes three aims:

1. Longitudinally assess the employment, financial, and well-being impact of a new solid tumor cancer diagnosis on employed men treated in community- and academic-based oncology settings.  

2. Engage with a community- and academic-based oncology care team and occupational medicine practice to identify challenges in providing work-related support to patients and to refine the design of a Total Worker Health (TWH) training-based intervention to improve working patients’ economic and well-being outcomes

3. Longitudinally assess a TWH-tailored employment counseling intervention in the community- and academic-based oncology practices to benefit cancer survivors’ employment and well-being outcomes.    

Yabroff KR, Bradley C, Shih YT. Understanding Financial Hardship Among Cancer Survivors in the United States: Strategies for Prevention and Mitigation. J Clin Oncol. 2020 Feb 1;38(4):292-301. doi: 10.1200/JCO.19.01564. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 31804869; PMCID: PMC6994250.

Bradley CJ, Brown KL, Haan M, Glasgow RE, Newman LS, Rabin B, Ritzwoller DP, Tenney L. Cancer Survivorship and Employment: Intersection of Oral Agents, Changing Workforce Dynamics, and Employers' Perspectives. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Dec 1;110(12):1292-1299. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy172. PMID: 30346557.

de Moor JS, Alfano CM, Kent EE, Norton WE, Coughlan D, Roberts MC, Grimes M, Bradley CJ. Recommendations for Research and Practice to Improve Work Outcomes Among Cancer Survivors. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Oct 1;110(10):1041-1047. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djy154. PMID: 30252079; PMCID: PMC6454422.

Are you a part of an oncology clinic looking to recruit patients to occupational health resources or would like to learn more about WeCanWork? Check out our resources below.

Questions? Contact our team at wecanwork@cuanschutz.edu.

Highlights


Physician referring oncology patient

Colorado School of Public Health Launches Innovative Program to Support Working Cancer Patients

New Partnership with University of Colorado Hospital, the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and the Colorado School of Public Health will help Remove Barriers and Support Cancer Patients in Pursuit of Work and Well-Being

Photo of people shaking hands

A New Colorado Program Supports Working Cancer Patients

The partnership’s program, dubbed WeCanWork, will help remove barriers and support cancer patients in pursuit of work and well-being.

Full Story
Photo of two people talking at work

Center for Health, Work & Environment receives award to continue National Center of Excellence for Total Worker Health®

CHWE first received designation as a CDC/NIOSH Center of Excellence in 2016. With this renewal, it will be one of 10 centers nationwide. The Centers of Excellence represent the extramural portfolio of TWH research to further its mission of protecting and advancing the safety, health, and well-being of our nation's diverse population of workers.

Full story

Our team


Cathy Bradley PhD

Dean & Professor; Deputy Director (CU Cancer Center)

Lee Newman MD, MA

Distinguished Professor, Director (CHWE)

Liliana Tenney DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor, Director of Outreach and Programs (CHWE)

Carol Brown PhD

Deputy Director

Joelle Wedel PA-C, MS

Senior Professional Research Assistant

Madison Goering MSW, MPH

Senior Professional Research Assistant

Miranda Dally DrPH, MS

Senior Research Instructor

Brian Williams MD, MPH

Clinical Assistant Professor

Amy Dye-Robinson MS, BS

Professional Research Assistant

Natalie Schwatka PhD, MS

Assistant Professor

Our partners


CU Cancer Center Logo
UC Health Logo

 

This program is supported by a cooperative agreement (U19OH011227) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health as part of one of ten national Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®.

 

Center for Health, Work & Environment

Colorado School of Public Health

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Suite W3111

Mail Stop B119

Aurora, CO 80045


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