A Shout-Out for Social Work in Boston Globe Editorial on Reimbursement for End-of-Life Conversations!

The SWHPN Board is pleased to see that an editorial in the July 20, 2015 edition of the Boston Globe calls not only for making end-of-life discussions a routine part of health care, but also advocates that Medicare reimbursement cover the cost of social workers for facilitating these discussions! Social workers are uniquely equipped to help patients and families handle these kinds of discussions. It is great to have this recognition and support for which we have strongly advocated. Read more here.

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Social Work on NY Times front page

nytimes_teensCheck out the front page NY Times article on approaches to advanced directives with adolescents and young adults. The study reported is directed by Lori Weiner, a social worker. Social workers are featured prominently throughout in relevant, innovative, and important roles. Congratulations pediatric colleagues! We also want to thank Barbara Jones who was the Pediatric Section Head in our new book Handbook of Oncology Social Work:Psychosocial Care for People with Cancer. Lori as well as six other pediatric colleagues contributed terrific chapters on issues related to the pediatric population. The NY times article can be reached through the following link http://nyti.ms/1G3Ejo9

Grace Christ, Board Chair, SWHPN

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Smith College announces Palliative Care Post Graduate Certificate Program

The Smith College School for Social Work and Baystate Health announce  the 15th  Palliative Care Post Graduate Certificate Program for social workers working in hospice, medical social work, bereavement and in palliative care. The program draws national and international practitioners who meet on Smith’s campus for two long weekends ( Oct.15-18 and April 7-10 ). Over these two intensive weekends, social work practitioners take courses on advanced practice I and II, leadership, psychological theories of grief and bereavement, pain and symptom management, diversity, spirituality I and II, issues in hospice and palliative care, childhood bereavement, legal and ethical issues, practice with gays and lesbians, cross cultural issues and compassion fatigue.

Coursework is taught by national leaders in the field. Classroom learning is punctuated by a six -month clinical internship in the student’s work setting. Here participants identify two to three study cases. Where possible students take leadership in their settings: teaching, creating groups, providing training and presenting at conferences. Students receive individual clinical telephonic supervision every other week from outstanding practitioners in the field and also receive group clinical telephonic supervision from an instructor in the program Graduates have gone on to write grants, teach, supervise, develop palliative care programs, develop research tools, publish papers and take many forms of leadership locally and nationally. For more information go to  www.baystatehealth.org/learn or http://www.smith.edu/ssw/acad_cont_graduate.php or contact the Acting Director,estherchachkes @estherchachkes@gmail.com


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SWHPN 2015 Assembly Program on February 23-24 in Philadelphia

See SWHPN 2015 final Assembly program for Feb 23-24 in Philadelphia at


Thanks to all our contributors, attendees, participants, and sponsors – we couldn’t have done it without you. There is still time to join us in Philadelphia as we champion psychosocial palliative care and interprofessional collaboration.  Go to SWHPN.org or just meet us there!   Welcome!

SWHPN Board,Members, Colleagues, Friends!!

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One-year fellowship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel now accepting applications

Mount Sinai Beth Israel is offering a one year postgraduate Social Work Fellowship in palliative and end-of-life care through the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care (DPMPC). The training program provides experience in the multidimensional assessment and intervention with patients and families, in multiple practice sites (an inpatient pain, palliative care and hospice unit, inpatient consultation service and an ambulatory practice) along the continuum of serious illness. Supervision is provided by an experienced palliative social worker.

Fellows participate in interdisciplinary rounds, case discussions, journal clubs, didactic conferences and departmental meetings with the focus on multidimensional approaches to symptom management, palliative and end-of-life care. Learning is complemented by access to interdisciplinary experts and resources.

Designed to develop specialist clinicians, leaders, and mentors, the social work fellowship was established with a grant from the Open Society Institute Project on Death in America (PDIA) through their Social Work Leadership Award and receives ongoing generous support through the Barbara Zirinsky Fund. The program is offered on a full-time basis for one year and includes stipend and benefits.

Social Work Applications are available at: http://www.wehealny.org/services/BI_PainPalliativeCare/files/Social_Work_Fellowship_Application_Revised_1_2015.pdf

Deadline for completed applications is Monday March 16, 2015 with fellowship year to begin July 1, 2015.

For More Information about the clinical goals, focus and details about the fellowship please contact:

Terry Altilio, LCSW
Social Work Coordinator
Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
First Avenue at 16th Street
New York, New York 10003
Tel: (212) 844-1467
Fax: (212) 844-1503
Email: taltilio@chpnet.org

For Information about the Application, Deadline, and how to submit please contact:

Tavia Bryan-Samuels
Fellowship Coordinator
Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care
Mount Sinai Beth Israel
First Avenue at 16th Street
New York, New York 10003
Tel: (212) 844-1479

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Full program announced for SWHPN General Assembly, February 23-24, 2015

Just announced: We have posted the full program for the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly, February 23-24, Philadelphia!  (And register today – hotels are booking fast!)

Care Continuum / Clinical Practice: Challenges and Opportunities of Assessment in Hospice and Palliative Care • Caregiving: Caregivers as Hidden Patients • Research: Minimizing Financial Burden on Families at the End of Life  •  Communication & Decision Making: Advance Directive Development in the Past Decade  • Ethics & Policy: Social Workers as Medical Ethicists • The Social Work Role in the ICU Interdisciplinary: Integrating Palliative Care in the ER • Care Continuum: Allowing Suffering: Clinical Intervention at End-of-Life • Special Populations: No Two Are Alike: Death Rituals in Contemporary America

Browse the full program: SWHPN 2015 agenda

Also, are you new to the field or in a new role? We are still accepting applications for practitioners who would like to be matched with a mentor via our complimentary mentorship program.

See you next month!

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SWHPN General Assembly Scholarships Now Available!

We are pleased to announce the establishment of a scholarship fund that will be used to cover the conference registration fees of at least seven participants to attend the SWHPN 2015 General Assembly.

Preference will be given to MSW and PhD social work students, first-time presenters, first-time attendees, and international participants, as well others who document financial need and commitment to palliative and hospice care.

To apply for scholarship consideration, please submit the following information tomembership@swhpn.org by January 30, 2015:

1) A Word document not to exceed one page that:

a) Describes what you hope to gain from the conference
b) Demonstrates your interest in and commitment to hospice and palliative care
c) States how this financial support will benefit you
2) A curriculum vitae or resume that provides your contact information and experience.

Thank you to our donors and for providing for this fund to support professionals in our field.

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Early bird deadline extended!

With constraints in holiday schedules (and a few technical glitches), we are extending the SWHPN General Assembly early bird deadlines to January 12th! Register now to take advantage of these rates.

Join us in lifting the palliative social work voice in 2015! We look forward to seeing you in February.

Warmest wishes in the new year,


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Just announced: Plenary – New Opportunities in Hospice and Palliative Care

Palliative and hospice care are changing rapidly – it’s our goal as an association to keep you up to speed on what’s coming around the bend.

You might have caught the webinar on the IOM 2014 report, featuring Judy Peres and others from the committee: Dying in America / Institute of Medicine

It’s insights like this that have us excited about the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly, such as this plenary below featuring Judy and also Judi Lund Person.

(And register soon – early bird rates end Wednesday!)

From Policy to Practice: New Opportunities in Hospice and Palliative Care 

Never before in the history of the Medicare Hospice Benefit have there been so many regulatory and policy changes in such a short amount of time.  Hear a briefing from policy expert Judi Lund Person on today’s and tomorrow’s changes, the data that drives some of the decisions, and what hospice providers can do to prepare and succeed in this challenging environment.

Then, join the call to action to social workers as Judy Peres, social work policy analyst and leading member of the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel on Dying in America, highlights the role of social work and psychosocial care in the development of the committee’s report.  She will describe opportunities for social workers and other psychosocial  professionals to lead in implementing recommended changes in hospice and palliative care going forward.

Judi Lund Person, MPH; Vice-President of Compliance and Regulatory Leadership for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

Judy Peres, MSW; Consultant and Senior Policy Analyst for Altarum Institute’s Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness

SWHPN General Assembly
February 23-24, 2015
Philadelphia, PA

Early bird rates end December 31!

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Catch this Panel at SWHPN 2015: Interprofessional Collaboration and the Role of Social Workers

A NEW plenary session has been announced for the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly that you won’t want to miss: “Catching the Buzz about Interprofessional Collaboration: How Social Workers Can Lead Their Teams to Success.” Register now to take advantage of early bird rates, good until 12/31/15.

About the Plenary session:

In the changing world of health care, recent developments are emphasizing the importance of interprofessional collaboration and the role it plays in strengthening patient care. However, interprofessional teams are still determining how to navigate and integrate these goals into their practice. This plenary will discuss why social work professionals are in prime positions to lead palliative and hospice teams to successful collaborative care. Speakers will present key competencies for interprofessional collaboration, strategies for integrating these into training for all professionals, as well as specific concepts and tools for how social work professionals can lead these initiatives in practice and with practitioners across the field of collaborative care.

Panel presenters:

Susan BlackerSusan Blacker, MSW, RSW; Director of Cancer Services Planning and Performance at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario



Barbara Barbara HeadHead, PhD, RN, MSSW; Associate Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine



BarbaraLJonesBarbara L. Jones, PhD, MSW;  Assistant Dean for Health Affairs and Associate Professor at the UT Austin School of Social Work and Co-Director of The Institute for Grief, Loss and Family Survival


Stacy Remke

Stacy Remke, MSW, LICSW, ACHP-SW; Faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.



KSupianoKatherine Supiano, PhD, LCSW, FGSA, FT;  Associate Professor in the College of Nursing, and the director of Caring Connections:  A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program at the University of Utah College of Nursing.


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