Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Launches Four New Fellowships, Including World’s First Supportive Oncology Fellowship

05.26.2021 Atrium Health News | Levine Cancer Institute

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May, 26, 2021 Cancer impacts many areas of life for patients and their families, including work, finances, and mental health, creating ongoing challenges even after cancer is cured. To cope with those enduring challenges, experts from Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute’s Department of Supportive Oncology have established four  fellowship tracks to provide physicians and clinicians the skill sets and techniques needed to deliver patient-centered cancer care.

A team of multidisciplinary physicians that make up the award-winning Department of Supportive Oncology at Levine Cancer Institute (LCI) provide supportive care to patients with the goal of improving their quality of life by preventing or treating early symptoms of a life-threating disease. Looking deeper into their integrated cancer services, LCI’s Department of Supportive Oncology uncovered that incorporating pain and symptom management into the treatment plan can help patients feel better and improve outcomes. The new training programs bring innovative opportunities and synergies to the field of supportive oncology and LCI’s new Supportive Oncology Fellowship is the only one of its kind, both nationally and internationally.

“We have seen that the application of supportive oncology techniques like patient navigation and nutritional support that are used daily in our clinics, and that will be taught in our fellowship programs, increase survival, improve surgical outcomes, reduce the number of hospitalizations and improve satisfaction for patients and families,” said Declan Walsh, M.D., chair of LCI’s Department of Supportive Oncology.

Walsh joined LCI in November 2016, with a mission to build, lead and grow the Department of Supportive Oncology.

Under his direction, LCI built upon its strong foundation of exceptional clinical care, continuing to lead the way in the fields of survivorship, psycho-oncology, palliative medicine, cancer rehabilitation, and nutrition. As a pioneer in palliative medicine, Dr. Walsh developed the first palliative medicine program in the United States in 1987.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Walsh, an internationally renowned physician, researcher and educator, at the helm of our new fellowship programs,” said Beth York, administrative director of LCI’s Department of Supportive Oncology.

LCI is seeking fellowship applicants who are graduating from an accredited program and will be eligible to practice medicine in North Carolina. “We’re looking for dedicated, passionate people who want to change the world of supportive oncology,” said York.

The Department of Supportive Oncology is launching four new fellowship tracks over the next two academic years:

  • Summer 2021: Supportive Oncology Fellowship and Psycho-Oncology Fellowship
  • Summer 2022: Cancer Rehabilitation Fellowship (in partnership with Carolinas Rehab) and Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship (in partnership with Carolinas Hospice and Palliative Care Group)

The training programs are structured to provide experience in multiple areas of clinical activity under the supervision of experts in the multidisciplinary field of supportive oncology – all within a single department. In addition, the programs also include teaching opportunities, research projects and elective time for trainees to further explore a specialty of their choice.

“Our well-rounded fellowship programs help trainees understand how to fit in with modern healthcare systems that include virtual and pathway-driven care,” York said. “By teaching vital program management skills, our trainees not only learn how to take better care of patients medically but also how to build successful supportive oncology programs at other institutions.”

LCI’s Department of Supportive Oncology is the first in the U.S. to bring all specialized cancer services into one clinical and administrative unit, putting supportive oncology at the same level of other traditional oncology departments, including hematology oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology. “This unique structure helps us deliver integrated services in a way that focuses on treating the whole patient, not just the cancer,” said Walsh.

With the arrival of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Charlotte and the department’s expansion, both Walsh and York anticipate additional educational development and strategic opportunities. “This could have a ripple affect across healthcare in multiple disciplines, including nursing, nutrition and pharmacy,” said Walsh.

Learn more about LCI’s Department of Supportive Oncology here. If interested in applying to Levine Cancer Institute’s Supportive Oncology Fellowship programs, please email


About Atrium Health

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with nearly 70,000 teammates serving patients at 42 hospitals and more than 1,500 care locations. It provides care under the Wake Forest Baptist Health name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region and Atrium Health Navicent in Georgia. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for cancer treatment and in eight pediatric specialties, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing more than $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.