To Tom Barkauskas, providing help and support to cancer patients and their families is more than a job. The licensed clinical social worker considers it a calling.
Tom facilitates monthly support groups at Waterford Place and has done so for the past four years. He supports groups for those living with an advanced or metastatic cancer diagnosis, men with a cancer diagnosis, and a bereavement support group for those who have lost loved ones to cancer. He also provides short-term counseling to cancer patients and their families.
“These services are important because cancer affects our emotional health as well as our physical health,” he says. “We provide tools and support to help all those who are affected by a cancer diagnosis to get through the stresses and challenges.”
In practice for more than 30 years, Tom says that throughout his career, he has been drawn to working with people experiencing serious illnesses. In addition to working at Waterford Place, he provides outpatient counseling through his private practice at his offices in Aurora and Yorkville. Due to the pandemic, much of his work is currently via telehealth, but he also conducts limited in-person office sessions following safety guidelines. In his spare time, he enjoys exercising, walking in nature, reading and spending time with his family.
“It is an honor and privilege to work in conjunction with all the caring staff at Waterford Place to provide support services in such a heartfelt manner,” he says. “I encourage people to not suffer in silence or alone in their cancer journey. We are here to walk with you – please reach out to us.”