Pre-Conference Workshops at the 2019 General Assembly

Interested in learning more about specific topics in greater detail, straight from experts in the field? Join us for morning or afternoon workshops (or both!) that are highly interactive, focused on one particular topic, and will provide you with the opportunity to learn in a smaller, more intimate environment.

Due to many requests, a few of our most popular workshops are back this year, in an expanded format. There are also several new workshops, based on participant feedback - such as ones focused on program design, communication, and bereavement. As in the previous three years, we expect to offer 3 CEs per workshop pending approval from the NASW.

We're offering special pricing on pre-conference workshops for $95 each - until midnight ET on Friday, January 18th. After January 18th, workshops go up to $125 for one workshop, or $225 for two.

Each pre-conference workshop is three hours long and you may only choose one per session to attend. You do not have to write it or select a session when you register; we will send you an email re: your workshop preference before the conference.

Space is limited, so register early!

Already registered for the conference? You may log in (if you're a member) and edit your registration; if you're not a member, simply register and choose Morning and/or Afternoon workshops at checkout.


Sunday, March 17, 2019: Morning Session, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Morning Workshop A: The Foundation Series, Part I 

(Part II of this workshop will be offered in the afternoon)

This all-day session includes key topics for palliative care and hospice social workers, from those new to the field to those looking to expand into leadership positions. Developed and presented by experts in the field, this series is an extraordinary educational opportunity, particularly if you weren’t able to join us for the webinars presented during Fall 2018. These topics can also serve as review for the APHSW certification exam, as these are the topics offered on the exam (please note: presenters are not “teaching the test.”).  Topics to be covered include assessment interventions; communication styles; caregiving; advance care planning; bereavement; and professionalism.

Participants will receive the complimentary PDF of all presentations on a flash drive.

Learning Objectives: Participants in this session will be able to:

1. Identify key social work components in a palliative care/hospice assessment

2. Understand foundational theories related to bereavement and caregiving for people who have serious illness

3. Identify at least three strategies to improve communication between patient/family providers in a palliative care or hospice setting


  • Anne Kelemen
  • Terry Altilio
  • Dana Riberio
  • Karla Washington
  • Shirley Otis-Green
  • Karen Bullock
  • Ellen Csikai

Presentation Level: Foundational

Morning Workshop B: Utilizing Integrative Modalities to Enhance Comfort at the End of Life

In today’s healthcare system, integrative strategies that were once considered “fringe” are now being used alongside conventional medicine practices.  Atrium Health Hospice and Palliative Care Network has recently expanded the integrative care program to offer additional interventions to enhance the care provided to our patients, caregivers and bereaved clients.  Our integrative team will share the knowledge that has been gained through the implementation of our program using integrative modalities at the end of life. We will also discuss the outcome measures that have been collected utilizing the Plan/Study/Do/ Act (PDSA) methodology,which demonstrates effectiveness of integrative interventions, builds administrative support and is utilized in obtaining grant funding.

Learning Objectives: Participants in this session will be able to:

1.  Explore various integrative modalities that are being used to increase comfort at the end of life for hospice and palliative care patients

2.  Describe the effectiveness of integrative modalities when used to enhance end of life care options

3.  Describe how to implement a PDSA model to build administrative support and secure funding for an integrative program.


Wanda Casey, MSW, Hospice Assistant Director - Patient and Family Services, Atrium Health Carolinas Hospice and Palliative Care Network

Melissa Coursey, MSW, LCSW, Atrium Health Carolinas Hospice and Palliative Care Network, Integrative Care Committee at Hospice & Palliative Care of Cabarrus County

Presentation Level: Foundational

Morning Workshop C: Advance Care Planning: Redesigning Patient-Centered Care 

This session will present a strategy for implementing an enterprise-wide advance planning program that promotes quality conversations across the lifespan and illness trajectory. Dr. Wilkins was part of a team that developed and led a system re-design at NYU Langone Health that established advance care planning as a key component of patient-centered care. In this session, she’ll describe the importance of the social worker’s role in advance care planning; lessons learned from building the program; the implementation of advance care planning in the electronic health record; and ways for participants to apply these lessons within their own programs.

Speaker: Christine Wilkins, PhD, LCSW, Advance Care Planning Program Manager, NYU Langone Health

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the varying components of building an advance care planning program

2. Understand the social worker's role in advance care planning

3. Evaluate the importance of the electronic health record in advance care planning

Presentation Level: Advanced

Morning Workshop D: The Ripple Effects of Grief: Bereavement Following a Child’s Death

The death of a child can impact various members of the child’s family and greater community, including schools, places of worship, extended family, peers, teammates and others. This loss will likely also impact their health care providers both in the inpatient and outpatient setting.  A child’s death will likely affect the bereavement experiences within these communities from a spiritual, emotional, developmental and functional perspective. This workshop will discuss the various systems that a pediatric death impacts, as well as the vast resources that are available to support the child’s family and community. Presenters will use case examples and bereavement narratives to demonstrate these themes. Clinical strategies for supporting various members within these systems will be discussed, with the goal of eliciting additional experiences and interventions from participants. The presenters will guide a group discussion for sharing clinical encounters that were successful as well as those that can be explored further as a group. Finally, the presenters will share literary resources that they use regularly in practice. Books intended for use with siblings, parents, classmates and providers will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1.       Understand how the death of a child can have ripple effects on the child’s immediate family, extended family, peers and community systems. Participants will be able to describe how grief manifests from a spiritual, emotional, developmental and functional standpoint.

2.         Implement resources available to support family and community members. Specifically, participants will be able to utilize literary resources are available for children and adults, understanding how these resources can be effectively used in practice.

3.         Discuss how pediatric loss can impact providers and provide strategies for promoting healthy processing, self-care and access to resources.


Caitlin Scanlon, MSW, Pediatric Palliative Care Social Worker, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University

Rachel Rusch, MA, MSW, Comfort and Palliative Care Team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Danielle Jonas, MSW, LCSW, PhD candidate at New York University

Presentation level: Advanced


Sunday, March 17, 2019: Afternoon Workshops, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Please note you can only choose to attend one workshop in the afternoon. You do not have to choose your workshop when you register.

Afternoon Workshop A: The Foundation Series, Part II

Please see workshop description above, under 1a.

Afternoon Workshop B: Preparing Hospice Social Workers to Lead the Interdisciplinary Team

This workshop will explore the ways in which hospice social workers develop as leaders in their organizations, from clinician to manager.  The workshop will include discussion of the ways in which social workers develop as clinician leaders, defining the value of social work and demonstrating their unique roles in the interdisciplinary team, within agency administration and through policy development.  The role of a strong orientation program and same discipline clinical supervision and consultation models will be reviewed.  Discussion will include the leadership role that social workers often assume in supporting distressed team members, and providing education on grief and loss, mental illness, team function, communication skills and moral distress.  

Learning objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Define the role of social work practice within the hospice setting
  2. Describe the factors that support skill and leadership development in clinicians new to hospice 
  3. Identify the role of social work to lead the team through moral distress and the factors that negatively impact clinical development and the engagement in effective problem solving 
  4. Describe the benefits of an effective orientation program and same discipline clinical consultation in leadership development


Susan Bruno, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, Director, Social Work Practice, Suncoast Hospice - Empath Health

Nancy Flowers, LCSW - Community Education Program Manager and Dementia Project Manager for Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care

Presentation level: Foundational

Afternoon Workshop C: Connecting Personal Narratives with Clinical Reflection: Enhancing Communications with Patients and Families

Narrative medicine, defined as “clinical practice fortified with the narrative competence to recognize, absorb, interpret, and honor the stories of self and other” (Miller, Balmer, Hermann, Graham, & Charon, 2014, p. 335), is increasingly utilized in healthcare providers’ education and clinical experiences. Reflection in professional practice can help providers both learn from their own personal experiences and help create meaning of complex situations (Mann, Gordon, & MacLeod, 2009).

This workshop will explore connections between (1) clinicians’ personal experiences of loss, (2) personal completion of advance care planning, and (3) professional practices related to advance care planning and end-of-life care through interactive exercises. Clinicians will have the opportunity to utilize Narrative Medicine skills to reflect upon their own experiences, the connection of those experiences to their professional identity and healthcare communication, and to practice attending to the stories of other participants.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe connections between personal experiences of loss and professional practices in healthcare communication and end-of-life care,

  2. Develop narrative skills to attend to, understand, and compassionately respond to others’ stories,

  3. Utilize narrative medicine techniques, through experiential & reflective activities, to examine their own stories of loss and how those relate to their professional identities & practice.


Cara Wallace, PhD, LMSW, Assistant Professor,  School of Social Work at Saint Louis University

Beth S. Barrett, MSW, LCSW, CT, Director of Field Education and Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Social Work at Saint Louis University

Stephanie P. Wladkowski, PhD, LICSW, ACHP-SW, assistant professor, Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work

Allison Gibson, PhD, MSW, LISW-CP, Assistant Professor, University of Kentucky’s College of Social Work

Presentation level: Advanced