Contact Catherine: Catherine@LivingLFS.org
Catherine Wilsnack, MSW, LMSW, is a licensed social worker with expertise in counseling individuals and families with serious illness, particularly cancer predisposition syndromes like LFS. She is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin Steve Hicks School of Social Work. Catherine earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. During her MSW program, Catherine clinically trained in gerontology, outpatient and inpatient interdisciplinary healthcare settings, and hospice care for individuals and families.
After graduating with her MSW, Catherine completed a two-year Cancer Research Training Award Fellowship within the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Clinical Genetics Branch of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. During her fellowship, Catherine was a research coordinator and investigator on multiple studies of individuals and families living with cancer predisposition syndromes, including a study of adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with LFS. She has published peer-reviewed articles about family identity and reproductive beliefs of families living with LFS. Catherine continues to work alongside the NCI’s LFS research team, contributing to their ongoing investigation of the unique and rapidly evolving psychosocial needs of AYAs with LFS. In addition, Catherine partners with hereditary cancer patient advocacy groups to conduct research and provide psychosocial support.
Living LFS holds a special place in Catherine’s heart. She had the privilege of facilitating LFS-related mental health workshops and support groups for family camp attendees in October 2019. Moreover, Catherine co-authored a mental health fact sheet that individuals and families with LFS may use in their local communities when seeking mental health services with providers unfamiliar with LFS.
Catherine Wilsnack's Publications and Presentations (2022)
Manuscripts - first author or a co-author:
1. Werner-Lin. A, Forbes Shepherd, R., Rising, C., Thompson, A., Huelsnitz, C., Wilsnack, C., Sleight, A., Boyd, P., Hutson, S. P., Khincha, P.P. (in press). How do young people with a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome understand and experience cancer survivorship? “With Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, it’s just an intermission” Psycho-Oncology.
2. Rising, C. J., Wilsnack, C., Boyd, P., Sleight, A. G., Hutson, S. P., Khincha, P. P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Family communication challenges of adolescents and young adults with Li-Fraumeni syndrome: Implications for psychosocial care. Patient Education and Counseling, 105(11), 3259-3266.
3. Werner-Lin, A., Forbes Shepherd, R., Young, J. L., Wilsnack, C., Merrill, S., Groner, V., Greene, M. H., Khincha, P. (2022). Physical and aesthetic change as loss for families with a rare inherited cancer syndrome: “Like electricity through my body.” Social Science & Medicine, 301, 1-9.
4. Sleight, A., Rising, C., Boyd, P., Wilsnack, C., Goodfellow, M., Khincha, P. P., Hutson, S. P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). “I can control what I do with my daily life”: Occupational experiences of adolescents and young adults with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. Journal of Occupational Science. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2022.2050785
5. Wilsnack, C., Young, J., Merrill, S., Hutson, S., Groner, V., Bremer, R, C., Greene, M., Khincha, P.P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Reproductive beliefs among families with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: Generations of cancer risk. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. In Press.
1. Wilsnack, C.*, Young, J., Merrill, S., Groner, V., Bremer, R, C., Greene, M., Khincha, P.P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Reproductive beliefs in the context of hereditary cancer: Families with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS). Oral presentation. 38th Annual Association of Oncology Social Work Conference. Raleigh, NC
2. (Catherine Wilsnack presenter and co-author): Werner-Lin, A., Wilsnack, C.*, Young, J., Merrill, S., Groner, V., Loud, J., Bremer, R, C., Peters, J. A., Greene, M., & Khincha, P.P. (2022). Waiting and “Weighted Down”: the Challenge of Anticipatory Loss for Individuals and Families with Li‐Fraumeni Syndrome. Oral presentation. 38th Annual Association of Oncology Social Work Conference. Raleigh, NC
3. Wilsnack, C.*, Fishstein, A., Rising, C., Boyd, P., Sleight, A., Khincha, P.P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Identity formation in adolescents and young adults with a rare hereditary cancer syndrome: “I’m scared to go have dreams.” Oral presentation. 12th Annual Texas AYA Oncology Conference, Virtual.
1. Rising, C. J.*, Sleight, A. G., Boyd, P., Wilsnack C., Feldman, A., Klein, C., Forbes Shepherd, R., Hutson, S. P., Khincha, P. P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Cancer prevention beliefs and health behaviors of adolescents and young adults with Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Oral presentation. 43rd Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference.
2. Rising, C.*, Boyd, P., Forbes Shepherd, R., Wilsnack, C., Sleight, A., Hutson, S., Khincha, P.P., & Werner-Lin, A. (2022). Perceptions of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS) are associated with reported mental health in adolescents and young adults with LFS: A mixed methods study. Oral presentation. 22nd International Psycho-Oncology Society. Toronto, Canada.