Sue Heiney has devoted her life to helping families that have been stricken with cancer to cope. She began her career as a clinician, witnessing firsthand the ravaging effects of a disease that was considered a death sentence at the time. She took particular notice of the children of cancer patients and the effect the process was having on them. Inspired by this, she applied for and received funding throughout the years to study the anxiety and psychosocial needs of these children. Eventually, this led her to develop CLIMB, Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery, a support program for children whose parents have cancer. Originally offered in the U.S. and attended by Japanese nurses, social workers, and child life specialists, Dr. Heiney was then invited to Japan by Hope Tree, a volunteer organization founded to support children of cancer patients. She conducted workshops there to teach pediatricians, oncologists, nurses, social workers, and child life specialists how to implement CLIMB. Heiney later developed the Butterfly Program, specifically for Japanese oncology professionals, to teach them strategies for explaining impending death to children of parents in hospice and palliative care.
Research Emphasis Areas
Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
This core focuses on interventions and care strategies to promote health and reduce risk for individuals and populations across the lifespan.