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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Registration is Open for SWHPN 2015 General Assembly

SWHPN 2015 LogoRegistration opened today for our 2015 General Assembly, and we are so looking forward to your joining us for this assembly with the best of our planning and the best of our colleagues from around the world.

Over the past year, there has grown an even stronger recognition for psychosocial support services and the important role they serve in hospice and palliative care. From SWHPN’s membership in the AAHPM/HPNA Coalition, to advocacy for psychosocial services in the recent IOM Report, all signs point toward growth and progress.

It was with these factors in mind that we selected our theme for the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly, Championing Psychosocial Care, to champion the strong and crucial role that psychosocial practitioners serve in palliative and hospice care.

In that vein, at our 2015 event we will be exploring relevant topics and best practices that champion for your best professional interest and skill betterment, such as: continuing advocacy for social support services and securing funding; developing competent teams through effective interprofessional collaboration; creating innovative programs in advanced care planning, coordinated care, family support, and bereavement services; identifying best practices in psychosocial care; and clarifying critical new directions for palliative social work and psychosocial practice.

We look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months. In the meantime, take advantage of our early bird rates on registration and hotel.

It’s going to be a great event, and we look forward to your joining us.

To read more about the 2015 assembly and book your early bird rates:


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Deadline Extended! One more week to submit abstracts!

 Dear colleague:

Good news: We have extended our deadline!

 We know that schedules were tight, and we didn’t want to miss your input.

Take the week to submit your oral, poster or symposium presentation. Review details and ideas on our website.

New deadline for abstracts: October 7

We look forward to your submissions!

Gary Stein, JD, MSW/ Tracy Schroepfer, PhD
Co-Chairs, SWHPN 2015 Abstract Committee

P.S. General Assembly registration opens October 1st – more details to come soon!

Abstract FAQ    •   SWHPN 2015   •   Submit an abstract
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Institute of Medicine report: In support of social work services

On Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine released its long awaited report, “Dying in America.”

The palliative social work voice is being heard.  With social work services and the social work profession identified and supported throughout the report, it is clear that the importance of the social work role is increasingly recognized by our interdisciplinary palliative care and hospice colleagues.

There is a synergy between the release of the IOM report and the theme of the 3rd Annual SWHPN General Assembly.  Topics highlighted by this report include challenges and opportunities for social work in advance care planning, the roles of social work in establishing goals of care, educational approaches to teaching inter-professional colleagues as well as social work health care colleagues, and social workers in other specialties.

All of these align well with our theme and goal for our 2015 assembly. We encourage you to browse and find your voice in these topics – and then, submit an abstract to continue these advances with us in 2015!

(We are also immensely appreciative of the strong social work representation of panel members – let’s give them a hand!  Judy Peres, SWHPN Board member, June Simmons, and Fernando Torres-Gil from UCLA were committee members; SWHPN Board Member Tracy Schroepfer served as a reviewer.)

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Journal of Social Work: new issue available now

We are enjoying the latest issue of Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care.

This issue’s topics include:

  • Dying Amidst a Primordial Dawn
    Glenn Meuche MSW, MA, LCSW
  • Becoming One with the Cosmic Dance and Flow
    Glenn Meuche MSW, MA, LCSW
  • When the Therapist Becomes the Patient
    Judith P. Delehanty & Roberta Rachel Omin
  • Burnout and Death Anxiety in Hospice Social Workers
    Lisa Quinn-Lee, Leah Olson-McBride & April Unterberger
  • The Attitudes of Social Work Students Toward End-of-Life Care Planning
    Sung Ae Kwon, Stacey Kolomer & Jamie Alper
  • Creating the Final Conversations Scale: A Measure of End-of-Life Relational Communication with Terminally Ill Individuals
    Mark Alan Generous & Maureen P. Keeley
  • Team-Based Volunteerism with the Seriously Ill: A Qualitative Analysis from 10 Volunteers’ Perspectives
    Casey B. Azuero, Grant M. Harris, Rebecca S. Allen, Beverly R. Williams, Elizabeth Kvale & Christine S. Ritchie

All SWHPN members have free access to the journal included with membership!

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Four weeks left: Call for abstracts

In only four weeks, abstracts are due for the 2015 SWHPN General Assembly. At this important time of health care transformation, help us to showcase the social work role, perspectives, interventions, leadership, innovations in hospice and palliative care: Submit your abstract today!

We welcome submissions for poster, oral or symposia presentations on topics such as:

  • Approaches for interprofessional collaboration within teams and across disciplines
  • Emerging policies, legislation, legal, and ethical issues
  • New research related to the impact of chronic and progressive illness, medical treatment, and palliative care on individuals, families, and communities
  • Cultural and structural perspectives in palliative and end-of-life care
  • Effective and innovative strategies or models for psychosocial care
  • Best practices in psychosocial and spiritual care

As a professional in the field of palliative and hospice care, your knowledge is valuable to our community. Submit today: Abstracts are due by September 30th!


P.S. Take advantage of the special SWHPN event hotel room rate: $149.00 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Penn’s Landing. Conference registration rates to be announced soon!

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Q & A with Tracy: Submitting Abstracts

Hi all! As you know, the call is now open and you can begin submitting abstracts for the 2015 SWHPN conference, which will be held in Philadelphia February 23-24.  Our conference theme this year is “Championing Psychosocial Palliative Care and Interprofessional Collaboration” and I think lends itself to lots of interesting presentations.

Tracy_SchroepferLast year, the SWHPN conference in San Diego was a huge success due not only to your attendance and participation but also because of the many wonderful presentations made by our members. I know that this year can be even more successful if you, our members, submit an abstract and share with your colleagues the amazing work you are doing!

Some of you may have presented numerous times before and so are knowledgeable about writing and submitting an abstract. You know how to create measurable objectives, can clearly and concisely summarize your presentation, and know how to share your information in easy to read power point slides that can be viewed in the allotted time. Others of you may not have written or submitted an abstract before and so have questions about whether you could do so. Please know that each of us has much to share and we all have to write that “first” abstract so do not let this hold you back!

In order to insure that everyone has the support they need, I am taking questions on about writing and submitting a proposal for our 2015 conference, over on LinkingHealthProfessionals. This week, we are extending this to our blog audience.

I am very interested in reading your posts; by sharing our questions and comments with each other in the comments section below, we can all learn.

I am excited to co-chair the abstract committee with Gary Stein, and we look forward to being overwhelmed with abstract submissions so please submit, submit, submit!



Tracy Schroepfer, PhD
Co-Chair, SWHPN 2015 Abstract Committee

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