Zabora is new director of Life with Cancer for the Inova

Social work spotlight

James Zabora has resigned from his position as dean of the National Catholic School of Social Service and professor of social work to assume the role of director of Life with Cancer for the Inova Health System in Northern Virginia. Zabora came to the Catholic University of America after a 20-year career at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


At Johns Hopkins, he was an assistant professor of oncology in the School of Medicine with two secondary appointments as an assistant professor in the School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management. As an administrator, he was one of five associate directors in the Comprehensive Cancer Center with a special focus on community programs and research.

Zabora’s cancer research over the past 30 years has focused on cancer prevention and control, psychosocial screening, problem-solving education, and quality of life among cancer patients and their families.

In his role as director of LWC, Zabora will be responsible for the psychological care of cancer patients and their families for Inova’s five hospitals and two children’s hospitals.

Susan Carroll, vice president of Cancer Services for Inova, describes Zabora “as a significant addition to our cancer team.”

Dr. John Niederhuber, former director of the National Cancer Institute and director of Inova’s Cancer Program, stated that “Jim’s clinical expertise and scholarship will enable us to provide the highest quality of comprehensive care to cancer patients and their families for all of Northern Virginia and beyond.”

From the January 2013 NASW News.

One comment

  1. Good Morning,

    I would greatly appreciate if you would kindly forward a copy of this letter to Dr. James Zabora and/or whomever is in charge of professional education and publications.

    I am an author of a new book,” Healing Grief: A Story of Survivorship”, and would like to know about opportunities to submit an article and/or deliver a presentation for healthcare professionals and/or the lay community?

    Dr. Jimmie Holland, the “founder” of the field of psycho-oncology wrote the gorgeous Foreword for the book which I am including in this email.

    Please go to my website for more information about my story, my BIO, and presentations I’ve given here and abroad, which underscore the importance of providing psycho-social support for cancer survivors, caregivers and families.

    As a two- time cancer survivor, mental health professional for children and families facing grief and loss, and the spouse of an oncologist, I bring a unique perspective that makes for a deeply personal, hopeful presentation about making the shift from going through cancer to growing through cancer, and the tremendous need for psycho-social support. Thank you. Joan H. Miller 860-299-3199

    Here is the magnificent Foreword Dr. Jimmie Holland wrote:

    It is a pleasure to write a foreword for this book that is so completely
    human and revealing of emotions most of us don’t like to
    admit that we have ever had—and we surely don’t expose them.
    Joan is enormously generous to share the raw feelings associated
    with facing the threat of death by illness, and threat to psyche by a
    severe mental depression. She tells the story with grace and dignity
    by providing excerpts from her diary and then recalls the emotions
    as a survivor. This “double whammy” illness also occurred at the
    time of managing young children, a young husband and his career,
    and her own career aspirations; each is a large task on its own.
    However, most would agree there is never a “good” time for illness
    in our lives.
    I think the real gift of Joan’s book sneaks up on you. By her
    knowledge and insights, she has provided herself and her experience
    as the “virtual” grief companion—the one she longed for during
    illness. The reader in need of cheer and solace will find Joan a
    thoughtful and compassionate companion to take on the unplanned
    and unwanted journey into the Land of the Ill. She makes you familiar
    with the geography of the land with its clinics and hospital
    rooms, populated by those who often seem to speak another language
    and care little for the amenities of personhood which are
    so important for us, wherever we are. How does one get out of
    this strange place and back into familiar territory of home? Such
    experiences call on us to reach into our depth and find courage,
    perseverance, even maturity and wisdom that we never suspected
    were there. Joan reveals these qualities in this highly personal but
    also, highly meaningful book. It will serve as a companion for many
    who are in need.
    Jimmie C. Holland, MD
    Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    New York, NY
    June, 2015”

    Many thanks for delivering this email. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Yours Truly, Joan H. Miller, EdM tel: 860-299-3199

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