Elizabeth A. Rohan, PhD, MSW
Dr. Elizabeth Rohan is a health scientist in CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC). She graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 1989 with a degree of sociology and earned her Master of Social Work in Boston College’s accelerated program a year later. She then began a career in clinical oncology social work, counseling cancer patients and their families, first at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1990 to 1995) and later (1995 to 2002) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both designated Centers for Excellence in Oncology by the National Cancer Institute. She found her work with cancer patients extraordinarily rewarding and developed a research interest in the multidisciplinary oncology health care team. Dr. Rohan completed a joint PhD in sociology and social work at Boston University in 2005.
Since August 2009, Dr. Rohan has been translating her clinical oncology social work knowledge into public health practice at CDC. As a health scientist in DCPC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch, Dr. Rohan has a research portfolio that encompasses distress screening among cancer survivors, stigma related to lung cancer, and other psychosocial concerns of cancer survivors and their caregivers. Her health services research focuses on patient navigation and community health worker interventions. She co-leads the Community Health Worker Workgroup at CDC and serves on the Policy Task Group of the National Navigation Roundtable. Dr. Rohan is also a member of the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, where she serves on the Stigma and Nihilism Task Group. Her recent studies have examined disparities in distress screening for lung and ovarian cancer survivors and provided an approach for increasing the health and wellness of cancer survivors in rural communities through tele-mentoring of rural providers and providing patient navigation and community health worker services to post-treatment survivors. Dr. Rohan has served as adjunct faculty at Boston College, Boston University, the University of Louisville, and Oglethorpe University.
The most recent articles Dr. Rohan has first-authored include—
- 2023 Diving deeper into distress screening implementation in oncology care.
- 2022 Disparities in psychosocial distress screening and management of lung and ovarian cancer survivors.
- 2022 Pairing Project ECHO and patient navigation as an innovative approach to improving the health and wellness of cancer survivors in rural settings.
- 2018 An exploration of patient navigation and community health worker activities across national comprehensive cancer control programs.
- 2018 Comprehensive cancer control: promoting survivor health and wellness.
- 2017 “When I needed it”: Evaluation of the use and timing of Sharsheret’s Thriving Again program for young breast cancer survivors.
- 2016 Refining the patient navigation role in a colorectal cancer screening program: results from an intervention study.
- 2016 In their own words: a qualitative study of the psychosocial concerns of post-treatment and long-term lung cancer survivors.
- 2015 Health behaviors and quality of life among colorectal cancer survivors.
- 2013 Implementing CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program: wisdom from the field.
- 2013 Removing the stress from selecting instruments: arming social workers to take leadership in routine distress screening implementation.
Dr. Rohan offers her perspective in the blog post, Patient Navigation: Helping Those Facing Cancer Find the Way.