2022 Plenaries & Keynote Speakers

SWHPN is pleased to announce the following plenary keynote talks taking place during this year's General Assembly. Over the two days of the conference, you'll have the opportunity to hear from leaders and experts on a wide range of topics - there is truly something for everyone!

To see the full list of 2022 program sessions:

For 2022 registration, click here.


Monday, April 25, 2022: General Assembly Opening Plenary

Holding the Liminal Space: Balancing Uncertainty and Rejuvenation

Our community has been forever changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ever-evolving layers of trauma and strain call for needed change within our collective considerations of grief – and of healing. To what degree have experiences of loss and compounded strain impacted our cumulative health and wellbeing? How are our narratives of grief shaped by the systems we live in, the biases we face and hold, and the opportunities for aid we are either empowered or dissuaded to access? How do we, as social workers and as humans, continue to move forward together in the time that lies ahead? 

This interactive plenary will explore the multi-faceted and evolving layers of experience we have collectively moved through as individuals, as communities, and as social workers over the past two years. Utilizing a multi-media experience, panelists will share work from platforms including Grief is a Sneaky B*tch PodcastThe Good Listening Project, and Narrative Improv.

This will be a space of conversation between the speakers and our greater community, harnessing our collective perspectives as we gather together for the first time in over two years.


Opening Plenary Presenters:

Troy Andersen, PhD, LCSW

Barbara Jones, PhD, MSW, FNAP
Lisa Keefauver, MSW
Rachel Rusch, LCSW, MSW, MA

Kathie Supiano, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C

Tuesday, April 26, 2022: General Assembly Morning Plenary

Our Tuesday morning keynote plenary will bring together five clinicians of color in discussion about the alienating effects of White Eurocentric ideology and settler colonialism in the field of palliative care and social work. Titled "Decolonizing Palliative & Hospice Social Work Practice: Unpacking the legacy of White supremacy and building new paradigms in education, clinical practice, research and beyond," this discussion will go through a critical examination of white cultural assumptions and practices, and the panel will explore ways to deconstruct White supremacy and rebuild ways of working and being that are more inclusive and global. This symposium is intended to be an interactive discussion in which participants will be invited into the conversation circle. Together, social work clinicians of color will discuss concepts and ideas about decolonization, and what deconstructing White supremacy in palliative care, biomedicine and the field of social work looks like.

At a meta-level, the presenters also seek to model non-White ways of being in conversation, negating practices based on competition, hierarchy, duality of right and wrong, binary, and linear thinking. All speakers are viewed as experts of their own experiences and equal contributors to the construction of collaborative ideas.

The conversation will consist of the following topics:

  • When we say decolonization, what do we mean?

  • What do we mean by White culture and how has/does it impact us in the field of social work and patients and families at end-of-life?

  • What do we mean when we talk about total pain, and what are White cultural assumptions embedded in this crucial concept?

  • How can we redefine the idea of total pain in a way that respects cultural differences?

  • In what ways do we see "white saviorism" manifest in palliative care and social work?

  • What impact does settler colonialism have on end-of-life care and choices for patients and families?

  • How has social work education and culture of Western biomedicine contributed to our own unexamined acculturation into White supremacist ideas?

  • How can social workers support the medical team in thinking and practicing outside of the inherently hegemonic paradigms of White supremacy that are built into the culture of biomedicine?

  • How do we support Black, Brown, Indigenous, and POC patients in expressing and upholding their cultural truths with primarily white providers?

Tuesday Plenary Presenters:

Arika Patneaude, MSW, LICSW, APHSW-C
Stephanie B. Broussard, MSW, LCSW-S, APHSW-C
Autumn Asher BlackDeer, PhD, MSW
Sharon Keun-hae Chung, MSW, LICSW, APHSW-C
Eunju Lee, MSW, MSOD, LCSW, APHSW-C


Tuesday, April 26, 2022: General Assembly Closing Plenary

SWHPN is thrilled to welcome Dr. Anthony Fleg as our 2022 closing keynote speaker. Dr. Fleg is a family medicine doctor in Albuquerque, who often consults with palliative care in his practice. He also teaches at University of New Mexico in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the College of Population Health, and is the Partnership Director of the Native Health Initiative, which addresses health inequities through loving service for Indigenous youth. Through his practice, writings, and outreach, Dr. Fleg centers his work on the premise that people and communities know their own healing, possess their own medicine, and the role of us healers is simply to empower people to find their own healing. This uplifting closing talk will draw together the various threads presented throughout the conference, bringing us together to reflect on our past work, center us in the current moment, and inspire us as we return to our work during these turbulent times. 

Dr. Fleg is a family medicine physician here at UNM in the Dept of Family and Community Medicine and the College of Population Health. He also serves as a Partnership Director of the Native Health Initiative (NHI) and has dedicated much of his career to improving health in Indigenous communities. He is a proud father of 4 children, an avid runner, and a blogger. His first book, Writing to Heal: A Pandemic Journey to Healing came out this year.

Many thanks to our 2022 keynote speakers. Please check back at this page for additional plenary announcements.