Hospital Educator and Academic Liaison Association

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2013 Nan Songer Award Recipient

Deborah Van Slyke

Deborah Van Slyke (right) is presented with the
2013 Nan Songer Distinguished Member Award.


Debbie Van Slyke, Pd.D., is currently a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University.  At Vanderbilt, Debbie established the clinical program designed to help children and their families meet the psychosocial challenges of dealing with cancer.  Additionally, she developed a neurocognitive assessment program that provides comprehensive evaluations of children's cognitive strengths and weaknesses, leading to recommendations for classroom accommodations and modifications.  Debbie also created a pilot program, involving 1-on-1 consultation and a notebook of materials, that outlines a roadmap for parents to follow to address the many tasks involved in keeping children connected to school in the first months treatment and in preparing them to return to school once medically able.


Debbie is one of the original 15  in attendance at the original meeting called by Nan Songer in 2005.   Since then, she has displayed an enthusiastic commitment to APHOES.  She has been an integral member of the Editorial Committee, taking an active role in the writing and editing of the Practice Recommendations.  Debbie presented at the National Conference in South Carolina ("After Treatment Ends:  Unmet Needs of Pediatric Cancer Survivors in the Classroom").  The following year, Debbie represented APHOES in presenting the Practice Recommendations at the AECMN conference in Georgia.


Debbie is known among her colleagues as a smart, thoughtful professional who looks for ways to collaborate with others in the best interest of her patients.  She is a person of great integrity, commitment, kindness, and good humor. 


We are proud of Debbie’s achievements at her institution and within APHOES, and delighted to bestow this honor of the 2013 Nan Songer Distinguished Member Award upon her.


Multiple Disciplines, One Mission

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