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Special Call for Papers: Social Work Practice during Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Deadline: December 31, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has created changes and challenges in how social work practice is being conducted in all areas of the health care system due to guidelines and restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic. Thus, hospice, palliative and other social workers are being tasked with supporting individuals, families, and co-workers in new, unforeseen, and creative ways. In this special issue, social workers are encouraged to share reflections about the situations, challenges and changes they are experiencing as well as the processes of new ways to connect with those in most in need of intervention. In addition, it is important that social workers’ practice self-care and so papers on approaches to doing so during this stressful time are welcome.

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Working with Families Facing Undesired Outcomes During the COVID-19 Crisis

As SWHPN gathers resources for its social workers who are facing an unprecedented time in their practice, we've issued our first tip sheet: Working with Families Facing Undesired Outcomes During the COVID-19 Crisis.

You can find tip sheets and additional tools, resources, and information on the COVID-19 Resources PagePlease share widely.

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SWHPN releases Core Curriculum for Palliative and Hospice Social Work

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What does Social Justice mean to you?

Make your voice heard by participating in a SWHPN-endorsed study on the role of social justice in hospice and palliative care. Your participation is important because social justice is a defining professional value and social justice issues are directly relevant to our field, as well as to our patients and families. The study will help identify common social injustices that social workers encounter in hospice and palliative care settings and possible strategies to address them.

The study consists of a single online survey. Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary. Should you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete a brief (10-15 minute) survey on what social justice means to you. The survey consists of two sections – the first with open-ended questions on your experience with social justice in the field, the second with a few demographics questions. Upon completion of the survey, no further actions will be requested as completing the survey constitutes full participation in the study. Participation is anonymous and will allow us to gain a better understanding of how you incorporate social justice into your practice.

This study is led by Dr. John Cagle and his team at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Study procedures have been reviewed and approved by the University of Maryland, Baltimore IRB (#HP-00088264). If you have questions about the study, please contact Dr. Cagle (Principal Investigator) or Rachel Brandon, whose contact info is below.

To participate in this short – but important – study, please click the button here:

 
TAKE THE SURVEY

John G. Cagle, MSW, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Maryland, Baltimore
School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street, 3W13
Baltimore, MD 21201
410-706-6106
[email protected]

Rachel Brandon
Research Team Member
University of Maryland, Baltimore
School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street, 3W13
Baltimore, MD 21201
[email protected]

CMS-AAHPM MACRA Quality Measure Project

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, in partnership with the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care and RAND Health, is leading a three-year effort to develop patient-reported quality measures in outpatient palliative care for the CMS Quality Payment Program.

SWHPN is a member of the Coalition and is inviting programs that provide outpatient palliative care services to adult patients (and you can provide inpatient services, as long as you provide outpatient services) to consider serving as a testing site in this effort.
 
RAND Health will be leading a national field test of patient-reported items among outpatient palliative care programs, and field testing will begin in September 2019.

 
The benefits of participating as a testing site include:




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Social workers: we need your input for the HPC Workforce Study!

SWHPN is inviting its members, colleagues, and friends to participate in a research study questionnaire asking about your work experience, future plans, and professional stressors: the HPC Workforce Study. A social work-specific section is included for your input. If you work with seriously ill patients, you should consider participating in this study. This workforce survey is for all members of the interdisciplinary team.

SWHPN is proud to be participating, along with several other national organizations including AAHPM, HPNA, PAHPM and SCA/HCCN, in this important study. The results may be published as part of a Palliative Care specialty workforce series in Health Affairs.

By completing this survey, you are consenting to participate. No identifying information will be collected or reported. Other than contributing to our field's knowledge in this area, there are no other benefits to participation. The survey will take less than 15 minutes to complete, and is available here: http://www.hpcworkforcesurvey.com/

New National Guidelines Seek to Improve Access to Palliative Care for People Living with Serious Illness

New national palliative care clinical practice guidelines seek to ensure the millions of people living with serious illness, such as heart failure, lung disease and cancer, have access to vital care that can help meet their needs. The guidelines promote improved access to palliative care, which is focused on giving patients and their caregivers relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness, is based on need, not prognosis, and can be provided along with disease-focused treatment.

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Survey: Experiences of LGBT Patients and Families in Hospice and Palliative Care

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has a long history of experiencing discrimination and stigma in many arenas, including health care and social services. Gary L. Stein, JD, MSW (SWHPN Vice Chair, Professor at Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University) and Cathy Berkman, PhD, MSW (SWHPN Board, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University) are conducting a study to learn about the experiences of LGBT persons and their family and friends with palliative care and hospice programs. The goal of this study is to the ways in which their care is discriminatory, disrespectful, or inappropriate based on their sexual minority status. Study findings will be used to develop and disseminate policy and practice remedies.

Your participation is voluntary. If you do participate, you have the option of remaining anonymous. If you choose to share your identity, your responses will be confidential. Study findings will be reported in the aggregate and it will not be possible to identify individual respondents or their institutions. We expect that the national sample will include several hundred hospice and palliative care respondents from social work, medicine, nursing, chaplaincy, administrators and elder law attorneys.

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Your Annual Review: Take The Wheel

Get reimbursement for your professional memberships, certifications, and professional development.

For many of us, it is annual review time: a time to reflect on our work with managers and supervisors, and an opportunity to remind them of the value, skills and expertise we bring to our work, our teams, and our patients.

It is also a time to request things for yourself! Although budgets are tight, it's important to advocate for yourself and your profession. Many of us do receive money for CME activities, such an professional conferences like SWHPN's.

Here are five things to do when asking your manager or supervisor for professional support:

1. List all of your clinical activities and educational efforts (including the clinical work you do with health care providers “on the fly”); and any research, QI or program development you do individually or as part of a group/team. Demonstrate how valuable you are!

2. Remind your superiors of the evidence based value of social work. Social workers not only impact the quality of patient/family care, but often the “bottom line” of the hospital, by reducing lengths of stays when we are involved in the case. We also solve problems with distressed patients and families facing complex personal and medical situations that are overwhelming their capacities, providing important communications support for the hospital and interdisciplinary team.

3. Demonstrate the importance of advanced certification. The upcoming certification of APHSW is the first and only test-based certification for social workers in the medical field, and will, hopefully, lead to billing options in the future. It is critical that we all have advanced certification in the field of Palliative Care and Hospice. Your institution can support you in this effort by paying for your SWHPN membership and APHSW registration fee. The cost for SWHPN membership of $125 annually. The cost of the upcoming certification is $275 for members/$450 for non-members – a savings of $50 for members for a total request of $400 - giving you an advanced certification and the benefits of SWHPN membership. No matter what you're requesting, always ask for the specific amount.

4. Ask for support to attend professional conferences, usually limited to one. Of course, we would love for you to attend SWHPN 2019, to be held in Orlando (as will AAHPM and HPNA), and our 2019 costs (to be announced soon!) are still far less than AAHPM and HPNA. Between registration, travel and accommodations, $1,500 is a reasonable request to start with.

At our first event in 2012, less than 50% of SWHPN conference attendees received support from their institutions/hospices to attend; this year, that number has jumped to almost 80%! More and more participants are receiving support from their employers.

In many/most medical institutions and hospices it is standard to provide continuing education and membership fee money to MD’s and NP’s. It should be the same for social work. We are a valued member of the team and do important clinical, educational, and program work.















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Announcing the APHSW-C Certification Program

The Social Work Hospice and Palliative Network is proud to announce the Advanced Palliative Hospice Social Worker Certification (APHSW-C) Program, the first evidence-based specialty certification program for hospice and palliative social workers.

Led by Dr. Barbara Head, and an advisory committee of educators, administrators, and practitioners, the APHSW-C Certification Program is the culmination of two years of work developing the first-ever testing and certification process specifically for hospice and palliative social workers. Unlike other certification programs, the APHSW-C designation requires verification of knowledge and competency based on passing an exam specifically and scientifically constructed to reflect the essential knowledge and skills required for specialty practice. Now established, social workers practicing in this specialty can apply for certification. The first administration of the test is scheduled for January 2019.

This program now provides a process by which a social worker's qualifications (knowledge, skills, abilities and experience) are verified for practice in hospice and palliative care. The certification may be preferred or required employment criteria or may be an expectation of accrediting bodies. Employers may expect new hires to work toward this specialty certification knowing that it validates their ability to practice in the field.

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Defining Palliative Care Social Work: Moving the Needle

Many of us, as palliative care social workers, have been thinking about how we can best describe what we do as clinicians, researchers, educators, within our medical institutions. In the setting of so many changes that have happened to medical social workers and case management over the past years, the social worker on the palliative care team are often caught between two or more worlds! These worlds and descriptions don’t always have the capacity to stretch and grow as the PC-CSW role has grown over the years. That has been our experience.

SWHPN Board Member Vickie Leff, LCSW, BCD is trying to change that, in the hope that we can help each other, learn from each other, and elevate the level of understanding of PC-CSW in hospital systems. At Duke, Vickie, along with Kristen Lakis, LCSW, Pediatric QoL Team, is working on not only developing new job descriptions that encompass the psychosocial, program, research, etc. that we do, but also reflect a vision for professional development both on the team and in the field. 

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New Post-MSW Palliative Care Social Work Fellowship at Montefiore Medical Center

Montefiore Medical Center

Palliative Care Social Work Fellowship Program

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SWHPN 2018 AWARDS RECIPIENTS

Each year, SWHPN members nominate their peers to recognize outstanding achievements in social work hospice and palliative care.  Winners are then recognized at the annual General Assembly.  We are pleased to announce this year’s winners, and will showcase their work on Monday, March 12, 2018, at the 6th Annual General Assembly in Boston, MA.  


Allison “Allie” Shukraft, MSW, MAT, Carolinas Healthcare System has been selected to receive the 2018 Emerging Leader Award.  This Award is designed to honor a palliative social worker with six or less years of experience in the field who has already demonstrated significant contributions. Emerging Leaders show potential to move the field forward and evidence of excellence and innovation in any of the following areas: professional practice, leadership, research, education, and/or policy and advocacy work.

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