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Social Work


A clinical social worker is a licensed healthcare professional trained to help patients with life's most difficult situations. As integral members of the healthcare team, social workers collaborate with other practitioners to identify the psychosocial needs of each patient throughout his or her care.

Our social worker can help patients and their families understand and cope with the medical, psychological, and social issues related to their illness. This involves assisting patients in effectively communicating with their healthcare team and ensuring participation in their individual plan of care. Our social worker offers emotional support, patient advocacy, and guidance.

Social work services are available for all patients with digestive diseases and disorders at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. For pediatric patients, our social worker works closely with pediatric physicians, navigators, and psychologists to care for our youngest patients and their parents. Social work is also available to guide pediatric patients as they transition to adult programs and prepare for college.

Our social worker is also available to meet with patients during chemotherapy infusion sessions and coordinate care with the oncology team. Patients having difficulty adjusting to life with an ostomy or a new digestive diagnosis have access to a social worker for support, guidance, and the development of coping skills. For patients and families preparing for surgery or changing the goals of care, our social worker is available to assist with family meetings to enhance communication, provide education about home care services, and teach patients and families how to access resources within their own communities.

Social Work Services

Our clinical social worker offer many services, including:

  • Brief counseling to help patients and families cope with illness and its related stressors
  • Community referrals and concrete services (including home care referrals, hospice care, enteral nutrition coordination, education about eligibility for transportation services, referrals to support groups, community mental health referrals, and meal delivery programs)
  • Education regarding entitlement programs and financial assistance resources (including Social Security Administration programs/eligibility, Medicare, Medicaid, EPIC, and pharmaceutical company based-Prescription Assistance Programs)
  • Support groups at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and referrals to support groups near patients' homes
  • Educational programming to enhance patient/family preparation and adjustment to medical interventions

CADC Social Work Staff

Image Vanessa Zinke, LMSW, is a licensed master social worker specifically dedicated to the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. She provides concrete services and supportive counseling to patients and their families. Vanessa has a range of interests in the field of social work, including domestic violence, youth development, trauma-informed care, and grief counseling. She has experience working with both children and adults. Vanessa earned a Bachelors in Social Work from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. Prior to joining the CADC, Vanessa interned at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in the Outpatient Oncology department.

Jenisabel Pyzikiewicz, LMSW Jenisabel Pyzikiewicz, LMSW, is bilingual licensed social worker serving the GI pediatrics department in the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. Jenisabel received her BSW at Temple University and MSW at the University of Pittsburgh. Jenisabel is also working towards her Child and Family therapy certificate through NYU’s continuing education program. Jenisabel has served children and families in many different capacities including in medical foster care and school social work. Jenisabel is passionate about trauma-focused work, crisis and grief counseling, individual, family and group therapy, socialization skills, meditation and serving children and families holistically to ensure their social-emotional well-being.