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.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Rohan has experience teaching social work courses at Boston University and sociology courses at Boston College (1999 to 2002) and was ranked third among Boston College faculty by online student evaluations one semester. Dr. Rohan moved to the Atlanta area in 2003 and completed a joint doctorate of sociology and social work from Boston University in 2005. Soon thereafter, she worked at a small private practice in Atlanta, providing supervision for master’s level social workers seeking licensure. In 2009, Dr. Rohan published a book, Laboring at the Edge: Effects of Repeated Exposure to Death and Dying on Oncology Doctors, Nurses, and Social Workers, a result of her dissertation work on the multidisciplinary oncology health care team. Also in 2009, Dr. Rohan was featured in The Weekly Qualitative Report for her article, “Climbing Everest: Oncology Work as an Expedition in Caring,” which was published in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology.
Since August 2009, Dr. Rohan has been translating her clinical knowledge into public health practice at CDC. As a health scientist in DCPC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch, she leads the Division’s Community Health Worker/Patient Navigation Workgroup and is an active member of CDC’s Community Health Worker Workgroup. Dr. Rohan is involved in many cancer-related health services research and evaluation projects, with a particular focus on patient navigation/community health workers and the psychosocial concerns of cancer survivors. As well, she served as an adjunct professor of Social Work at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work and is an adjunct instructor of Sociology at Oglethorpe University.
The most recent articles Dr. Rohan has first-authored include—
- 2018 An exploration of patient navigation and community health worker activities across national comprehensive cancer control programs.External
- 2018 Comprehensive cancer control: promoting survivor health and wellness.External
- 2017 “When I needed it”: Evaluation of the use and timing of Sharsheret’s Thriving Again program for young breast cancer survivors.External
- 2016 Refining the patient navigation role in a colorectal cancer screening program: results from an intervention study.External
- 2016 In their own words: a qualitative study of the psychosocial concerns of post-treatment and long-term lung cancer survivors.External
- 2015 Health behaviors and quality of life among colorectal cancer survivors.External
- 2013 Implementing CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program: wisdom from the field.External
- 2013 Removing the stress from selecting instruments: arming social workers to take leadership in routine distress screening implementation.External
Dr. Rohan offers her perspective in the blog post, Patient Navigation: Helping Those Facing Cancer Find the Way.