Upcoming Sessions

Student sessions are free and open to all. No CEs are provided for student sessions but we can provide a Certificate of Completion to those who request it. Please send an email to [email protected]. Register here.

Join us for one-hour introductory sessions about the growing field of hospice and palliative care, as well as the social worker role within the interdisciplinary team. Also, find out how to access the benefits of joining the Social Work of Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN).




Past Sessions

Tips For Finding a Job During the Pandemic

As social work students continue to navigate virtual placements and learning, the SWHPN Student Committee offered a free session for students on how to find a job during challenging times. Topics we covered included:

  • Making your virtual field placement work for you
  • How to make your resume stand out of the pack
  • How to differentiate yourself as a candidate
  • Interviewing strategies to land the job


  • Cathy Berkman, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Director of the Palliative Care Fellowship
  • Anne Kelemen, LICSW, APHSW-C, Social Worker at MedStar Washington Hospital Center Section of Palliative Care
  • Myra Glajchen, DSW, MSW, BSW, ACSW, APHSW-C, Director of Medical Education at the MJHS Institute, Instructor of Social Work at Fordham University School of Social Work and Columbia University School of Social Work, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Watch this interactive session with Chris Onderdonk, LCSW, APHSW-C and Julia Cain, NP, AHPN-C, of the Doris A. Howell Palliative Care Service at UC San Diego Hillcrest Hospital for tips and strategies for facilitating a good family meeting - as well as what NOT to do!

Chris Onderdonk, LCSW, APHSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker with UC San Diego's inpatient palliative care team at Hillcrest Medical Center. He has 17 years of experience working in the fields of palliative care and hospice providing clinical services to patients and families and regularly teaching and presenting locally and nationally.



Vickie Leff, LCSW, BCD, APHSW-C and Stephanie Wladkowski, PhD, LMSW, ACHP-SW hosted a one-hour Q-and-A on "What is Hospice and Palliative Care?" aimed at helping social work students learn more about the field. This was an open conversation format where students could ask questions and find resources.

Topics covered included:

  • What is hospice and palliative care?

  • What is SWHPN?

  • Strategies to increase skills and knowledge in hospice and palliative care:
    • Continuing education
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Choosing conferences that will meet your educational and networking goals
    • Certificate programs
    • Presenting at conferences (posters, talks, partnering with more senior professionals)
    • The SWHPN Mentorship Program
    • Working toward a more advanced license and APHSW-C

Stephanie P. Wladkowski, PhD, LMSW, is an Associate Professor at Eastern Michigan University School of Social Work. Dr. Wladkowski has several years of clinical practice as a social worker in hospice and palliative care, which directly informs her research and teaching in health, aging, interprofessional education, and end-of-life care. Dr. Wladkowski’s current research focuses on live discharge from hospice, centering on psychosocial factors relevant to this care transition for patients and caregivers. Her research frequently seeks to identify social work practice opportunities and understanding the impact of health policies in aging and end-of-life care.

Vickie Leff, LCSW, BCD, APHSW-C received her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work in 1982. She worked at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston as an oncology social worker in hematology/oncology, both in and out patient settings. After working for 6 years at Beth Israel, she became the Director of Patient and Family services for the Massachusetts Division of ACS  for many years.

After moving to North Carolina and spending time raising her two kids, she re-entered the clinical social work workforce at WakeMed Acute Rehab Hospital in Raleigh, working with stroke patients and families. But, when a position became open for the first Palliative Care Clinical Social Worker at Duke, she jumped at the chance and was in that position from 2012 to 2019.

Since November 2019 she has been working  as a clinical social worker at Duke HomeCare and Hospice. She is also currently an an Adjunct Instructor at the UNC Graduate School of Social Work, Chapel Hill. Vickie serves as the Co-Editor of the Journal of End of Life & Palliative Social Work, Practice Concepts and Innovations Section.

Vickie is published in Health Affairs, as well as the Journal of End of Life & Palliative Social Work. She served on the SWHPN Board of Directors for a number of years, initiating their Mentorship program, and other educational activities. In addition to being a LCSW and BCD, she is APHSW-Certified.




Abigail Latimer, LCSW, APHSW-C and Anna Bullard, LCSW presented a session for students on Strategizing for Success: Making the Most of Your Field Placement.

Topics covered included:

  • Getting the lay of the land in your field placement
  • Making the supervision relationship work and getting the most out of it
  • Developing and advocating for your educational goals (examples of learning contract goals)
  • Establishing yourself with the other social workers and members of the IDT and navigating team dynamics
  • Developing allies on the primary care teams
  • Identifying and engaging in opportunities for gaining knowledge and skills
  • Challenges and obstacles and how to overcome them

Abbie Latimer, LCSW, ACHP-SW is a Clinical Social Worker on the Adult Palliative Care Team at UK HealthCare in Lexington, Kentucky.

Abbie attended the University of Kentucky where she earned a bachelor's in Psychology and a masters in Social Work; and is currently a doctoral candidate with the University of Kentucky College of Social Work.

She began her clinical social work practice with hospice, providing services at home and the inpatient setting, as well as bereavement counseling for children, adults, groups, and parents experiencing perinatal loss. She transitioned her practice to the community setting as an outpatient psychotherapist with a focus on adolescent and adult substance use disorders. She specialized in counseling persons with addiction who were receiving medication assisted treatment in recovery.

Most recently, Abbie served as the palliative care clinical social worker on the adult Palliative Care Team at the University of Kentucky. She holds an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Social Work credential and is an active member of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network, the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work, and the Gerontology Society of America. Her research interests are moral distress in healthcare professionals and advanced serious illnesses in older adults.

Anna Bullard, LCSW, is the Pediatric Palliative Care Social Worker at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anna helps children and families cope with the effects caused by a life-limiting diagnosis. Anna specializes in navigating complex medical resources and facilitating communication with the goal of improving a child’s quality of life.


Cathy Berkman, PhD, MSW, Professor and Director of the Palliative Care Fellowship Program at Fordham University; Cyndi Hovland, PhD, MSSW, Associate Professor and MSW Program Coordinator at Cleveland State University, and Monica Singh, current MSW student at Cleveland State University led a conversation on what current BSW students should know about getting an MSW.

Topics covered included:

  • When you should consider getting an MSW
  • How a MSW does and doesn't benefit your career
  • Common misconceptions about the process
  • How to secure a field placement in hospice and palliative care