This is an excerpt from: Wiener L. In Memoriam: Andrea Farkas Patenaude, PhD. Psycho‐Oncology. 2018;27(4):1357–1358.
Dr. Andrea Farkas Patenaude, a visionary and internationally renowned clinician and thoughtful clinical researcher had a significant impact on the field of psycho-oncology. Dr. Patenaude’s early career focused on children with cancer undergoing bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Her excellent clinical skills and leadership abilities were well known and she was the Director of the Jimmie Fund Clinic of the DFCI Pediatric Psychology Program from 2000-2011, providing psychosocial services to children with cancer, their parents, siblings and survivors of pediatric cancer. From 2011 until her retirement, Dr. Patenaude was the Director of Psychology Research and Clinical Service, in the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention where she developed a unique hereditary cancer psychosocial clinic to support and treat members of these high-risk families.
She published two groundbreaking books, “Genetic Testing for Cancer: Psychological Approaches to Helping Patients and Families,” in 2005, and "Prophylactic Mastectomy: Insights from Women Who Chose to Reduce Their Risk," in 2012. Throughout her career, Dr. Patenaude lectured on every continent except Antarctica, authored over 70 peer-reviewed articles and numerous book chapters, and edited two editions of the Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians: The Psychiatric and Psychological Dimensions of Cancer Symptom Management. Amongst many other leadership roles, Dr. Patenaude co-chaired the Pediatrics Special Interest Group for the International Psychosocial Oncology Society (IPOS) and was a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOP). She coordinated collaborative efforts between IPOS and SIOP to shine a light on human rights abuses involving the treatment of cancer in children globally, and particularly in Africa. While promoting psychosocial research, Dr. Patenaude was a clinician at heart. She supported PROs but emphasized the importance of the clinical interview. Her leadership and original contributions to the field of psychosocial oncology was complemented by her tremendous warmth, quiet manner, and ability to address pertinent questions, that went right to the heart of the issue, and that others found uncomfortable to explore.
It is no surprise that Dr. Patenaude was the recipient of many awards including the Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence from the International Psycho-Oncology Society in 2013, a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association (1999), the Rosalee G. Weiss Award from the American Psychological Foundation (1999) and the 50th Anniversary Scholars in Medicine Award from Harvard Medical School (2000). Andrea Farkas Patenaude retired from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute on August 31, 2017 after more than 40 years of service to the cancer care community. She died peacefully on January 29th, 2018 surrounded by her family. We will miss her warm presence, colorful clothes, generous spirit, and contagious smile. Her contributions to the field of Psycho-Oncology will live on for generations to come.