Patient Support

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Mental Health Services

Psychiatry and psychology services are available for patients who have difficulties or stresses that are not entirely taken care of with medical or social-work care. Specialized medication, coping skills, imagery and behavioral techniques are some of the many options available for managing stress, depression, anxiety, pain, sleep, nausea or eating difficulty, or other issues that are common during illness and treatment.


The Psychiatry & Psychology Service was initially developed in 1985 at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to assist patients with cancer with their psychosocial needs.

The service provides direct consultation and ongoing mental health care to all the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) clinics. Our goal is to facilitate education, communication and collaboration with oncologists, physician assistants, nurses, social workers and other healthcare providers in the recognition and treatment of the psychosocial needs of our patients.

We perform comprehensive evaluations and use evidence-based approaches to treat a variety of psychosocial issues that arise in the context of medical illness.


Psychiatry and Psychology Services The Psychiatry & Psychology Service provides integrated outpatient psychiatry and psychology coverage Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We can provide timely consultations to the oncology services at SCCA for the psychological and behavioral needs of our patients. Consultations are initiated by the treatment team and may range from a one-time visit to ongoing psychiatric care, which may include eventual referral to other community resources.

Depending on the needs of the patient and the treatment team, we will perform either a focused or a comprehensive initial psychiatric assessment.

Evidence-based treatment modalities used by our consultants include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy
  • Behavioral management
  • Desensitization
  • Relaxation and imagery
  • Hypnosis
  • Patient education
  • Treatment-team care conferences

These are some examples of reasons for referrals:

  • Past or ongoing psychiatric issues
  • Psychiatric medication issues (such as appropriateness or interactions)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Medical phobias (such as phobias about medical procedures)
  • Food aversions
  • Anger or irritability
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Couple and sexual-relationship issues
  • Delirium
  • Confusion or cognitive problems
  • Compliance problems
  • Decision-making difficulties
  • Loss and grief
  • Behavioral problems
  • Substance abuse

Inpatient Consultations

Psychiatric consultations for SCCA inpatients are provided by the UW Medical Center Psychiatry Consultation-Liaison Service. Our outpatient and inpatient services work closely together to ensure strong communication and continuity of care.


Samantha Artherholt, PhD, clinical psychologist
(206) 288-1029

Jesse Fann, MD, MPH, psychiatrist, service director
(206) 288-1030

Catherine Howe, MD, PhD, psychiatrist
(206) 288-1030

Mitch Levy, MD, psychiatrist
(206) 288-1030

Jennifer Sexton, MD, psychiatrist
(206) 288-1030

Karen Syrjala, PhD, clinical psychologist
(206) 288-1029

More Information 

For more information, speak with a social worker or someone else on your medical team after you arrive at SCCA, or contact Jesse Fann, MD, MPH, by phone at (206) 288-1030 or by e-mail at

Read Quality of Mind Matters, a story about the Psychiatry & Psychology Service.

Read about our work at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center:

Read more about the Hutchinson Center Biobehavioral Sciences Division.