Friday, May 11th (9:00 AM - 4:30 PM)
Saturday, May 12th (9:00 AM - 1:00 PM)

The Bridging the Divide: Mental Health and Cancer Care symposium is designed to raise awareness about disparities in cancer care for patients with serious mental illness (SMI) and bring together diverse stakeholders to generate priorities for patient-centered research, clinical innovation, and policy change.

The symposium will highlight:

  • Patient and caregiver perspectives as we identify best practices to bridge the gap between mental health and cancer care.
  • Expert speakers from mental health and oncology paired with patients and caregivers to educate participants on the state of the science of the continuum of cancer care.
  • An interactive panel with representation from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Depression-Bipolar Support Alliance, and Mass General to discuss barriers to participation in research for people with serious mental illness.
  • A plenary delivered by Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH from the Columbia University Psychiatry highlighting how to develop partnerships at multiple levels to engage caregivers, accelerate research, and impact policy change.
  • Morning and afternoon breakouts sessions: participants will choose among four topics and engage in a dialogue with researchers, clinicians, advocates, policy-makers, patients and family and community-based caregivers to create an agenda for practice change.
  • Presentations from policy leaders (Senator Cindy Friedman, Dr. Kathy Sanders, Medical Director, DMH) regarding reform in the structure of the Department of Mental Health, accountable care models, and a legislative agenda for change.

By collaborating across disciplines and roles, we aim to strengthen the community network of individuals who are committed to promoting equity in cancer care and research for people affected by mental illness.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the disparities in cancer care and research experienced by patients with comorbid serious mental health
  • Recommend best practices regarding the integration of psychiatry and cancer care and models of clinical care delivery from the perspective of mental health and oncology clinicians, patients, and caregivers that meets identified training gaps in the context of cancer
  • Create academic-community partnerships and build the capacity for patient-centered research at the intersection of cancer and mental illness
  • Discuss integrated models of social work and cancer care and best practice for the support of caregivers of patients with cancer and serious mental illness
  • Identify opportunities for dissemination of integrated models and best practices beyond the academic center


  • Executive Director
    National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts
  • Social Work Case Manager, Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program
    Clinical Social Worker, North Shore Medical Center, Partners HealthCare, and Private Practice
  • Principal Clinical Psychologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

    Head and Clinical Lead of the Psycho-oncology Department, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

    Adjunct Associate Professor, The School of Psychology, University College Dublin
  • Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center
    Director, Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research & Center for Practice Innovations
    Editor, Psychiatric Services
  • Executive Vice President of External Affairs
    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

    Co-principal investigator
    Mood Network
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Harvard Medical School

    Bone Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program
    Massachusetts General Hospital

    Associate Director
    MGH Cancer Center Survivorship Program
  • Director, Psychiatry and Psychology Service, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
    Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Adjunct Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine
    Adjunct Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health
    Affiliate Investigator, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Staff Radiologist
    Massachusetts General Hospital

    Instructor of Radiology
    Harvard Medical School

    Director of Radiology Community Health Improvement.
  • Neuro-Oncologist
    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

    Instructor in Neurology
    Harvard Medical School

    Associate Program Director
    MGH-BWH-DFCI Neuro-Oncology Fellowship Program
  • Massachusetts State Senator, 4th Middlesex district
  • Program Director
    Center for Psychiatric Oncology & Behavioral Sciences

    Associate Director
    Cancer Outcomes Research Program
    MGH Cancer Center
  • Founding Director
    Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program
    Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

    Instructor in Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School
  • Commissioner
    Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
  • Clinical Director
    Gillette Center for Women’s Cancers – Center for Breast Cancer
    Massachusetts General Hospital

    Associate Professor, Medicine
    Harvard Medical School
  • Thomas P. Hackett, MD, Endowed Chair in Psychiatry
    Director, Dauten Family Center for Bipolar Treatment Innovation
    Associate Director, Depression Clinical and Research Program
    Director, Training and Education, MGH Research Institute
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Associate Professor
    Department of Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School

    Senior Scientist
    Mongan Institute Health Policy Center

    Associate Director
    MGH Cancer Center Survivorship Program

    Director of Behavioral Sciences Research
    MGH Tobacco Research & Treatment Center

    Director of Behavioral Health Research
    Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body
  • Chief of Hematology/Oncology, MGH Cancer Center
    Clinical Director of MGH Cancer Center
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    OIF Medical and Scientific Advisory Board
  • Deputy Commissioner for Clinical and Professional Services
    State Medical Director
    Department of Mental Health
    Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Assistant Professor Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
    American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School
  • Clinical Director
    Psychotic Disorders Division

    McLean Hospital Assistant Program Director
    MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program

    Instructor in Psychiatry
    Harvard Medical School

Target Audience

This program is intended to bring together diverse stakeholders invested in achieving equity in cancer care for people with serious mental illness, including:

  • Oncology and mental health clinicians (nursing, physicians, social work, psychologists)
  • Researchers
  • Advocates
  • Patients
  • Family and Community-based Caregivers
  • Policy-makers


Physicians (CME): $50.00

Psychologists & Allied Health (CEU): $25.00

No CME/CEU/CE credit: Free

Contact Information

For questions or to join the Cancer and Mental Health Collaborative, please contact

Visit us at


By registering for this activity you are joining the Cancer and Mental Health Collaborative.

Additional Live Conferences

We offer other live conferences on various facets of mental health in addition to the conference you are currently viewing.

View a full list of our mental health conferences


This is a save the date. We will update disclosure information as soon as we finalize the agenda.


Starr Center Auditorium, 185 Cambridge Street, 2nd floor, Boston, MA, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)