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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Don’t Miss These Upcoming Deadlines!

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we wanted to remind you of several important deadlines that are fast approaching as we prepare for the SWHPN General Assembly.

Nominate for Awards:  The deadline to submit a nomination is Sunday, December 7. Don’t miss this chance to highlight the amazing accomplishments of a notable colleague!

Registration: Early bird registration ends on December 31! Register now to take advantage of the low conference rate of $375 for SWHPN members / $470 for non-members.

Sponsor: Take advantage of early bird rates on sponsorship and exhibit opportunities when you reserve by December 15th. This is an excellent way for your organization to reach a wide audience of hospice and palliative care professionals.

We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

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Join SWHPN’s Mentoring Program

Mentor and Mentee at 2013 SWHPN AssemblyLive and learn: Participate in our mentoring program for 2015! At SWHPN’s 2015 General Assembly, February 23-24 in Philadelphia we will again be hosting a mentorship program coordinated by Susan Blacker and Grace Christ.  SWHPN Mentoring Program is designed to connect social workers who are new to hospice and palliative care with more experienced social workers.  The focus may be on seeking ideas about advancing one’s career in clinical care, education, research or policy/advocacy.

According to Mary Knecht, a past mentor in the program, the benefits are numerous. “Being a mentor at the SWHPN conference was a highlight of the conference.  I love working with our future super stars in hospice and palliative care.  I have 15 years in hospice care, another 5 in home care, and the rest of my 36 years of Social Work is a mix of clinical casework and Management.  “It takes a village” and it is so important to “pass it on” in terms of social work clinical development.  And, believe me, it is a two way street! I learned a few technical and social networking ideas from my mentee!”

For more details, including how to apply to be a mentor or receive mentorship, please visit the 2015 General Assembly website.

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Interview with Atul Gawande: Palliative Social Work

This recent interview with the author and physician Dr Atul Gawande addresses the problematic way we view and treat end of life issues, particularly in the older population. The issues he raises are those in which palliative social workers have enormous knowledge, expertise and skill to teach other disciplines as well as psychosocial professionals.


Lastly, I remind you to keep current with us! Learn more about the innovative approaches to challenges such as these by joining us at the SWHPN General Assembly February 23-24 at the Grand Hyatt in Philadelphia!

Grace Christ

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New York Palliative Care Conference Showcases Palliative Social Work Leaders

Upcoming event: Joanna Mellor Annual Gerontology Conference

November 14, 2014

New York, NY


Join SWHPN in NYC for 3.5 CEU credits and the opportunity to discuss re-framing psychosocial care for elders, caregivers, and serious illness. Brought to you by the Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

55 Fifth Avenue @ 12th Street – Cardozo Law School, Moot Court Room

3.5 CEUs available

For program and registration details, click here.

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Nominate your colleagues: 2015 SWHPN awards!

awardsCan you think of a colleague who has contributed significant advancements to hospice and palliative care?

We are now accepting nominations for psychosocial palliative and hospice care professionals in the following categories:

  • PDIA Career Achievement Award
  • Emerging Leader Award
  • Awards of Excellence: Clinical Practice, Professional Education or Psychosocial Research

Winners will be honored at the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly. Nominations are being accepted through November 30, 2014.

Great work deserves recognition. Nominate today!


Early bird rates now available: 2015 SWHPN General Assembly
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