2022 General Assembly Program Sessions: Tuesday, April 26

Program sessions are at the heart of the SWHPN General Assembly experience, as social workers meet with one another to learn, discuss, and explore the issues that matter most to them.

Choose from over 75 sessions and 11 tracks:

  • Clinical Interventions
  • Pediatrics
  • Grief & Bereavement
  • Caregiving
  • COVID-Related Interventions
  • Population-Specific
  • Policy & Advocacy
  • Addressing Anti-Racism & Equity
  • Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Please note all times listed are Mountain Standard Time. Keynote speakers and plenaries will be announced by March 1, 2022.

Session 4: Symposia | Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 10:30-11:45 a.m.

Decolonizing Palliative & Hospice Social Work Practice: Unpacking the legacy of White supremacy and building new paradigms in education, clinical practice, research and beyond
Arika Patneaude, MSW, LICSW, APHSW-C, Eunju Lee, LCSW, APHSW-C, MSOD, Stephanie Broussard, LCSW-S, APHSW-C, Sharon Chung, LICSW, LCSW, APHSW-C; Autumn Blackdeer
This symposium will bring together a circle of clinicians of color in a discussion about the alienating effects of White Eurocentric ideology and settler colonialism in the field of palliative care and social work. Through a critical examination of white cultural assumptions and practices, 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.
Track: Addressing Anti-Racism & Equity

Building Social Work Leadership Skills for Interprofessional Practice
Stephanie P. Wladkowski, PhD, LMSW, APHSW-C; Cara. L. Wallace, PhD, LMSW, APHSW-C; Liz Anderson, DSW, LCSW
Social workers can be found in leadership positions in almost all aspects of end-of-life care. Yet, many medical social workers have more difficulty than their medical counterparts to articulate their specific role (Head et al., 2019). Further, there is often a variance of leadership skill sets across disciplines (Klarare et al., 2020) as traditional medical hierarchies can influence interprofessional collaboration negatively (Mertens et al., 2019). Using a workshop model, this symposium will aid social workers to identify 1.current tasks as leadership skills, 2. how to seek or create leadership opportunities, and 3. how to articulate social work leadership within interprofessional teams.Speaker 1 will present context of the social work leadership styles and principles. This will include facilitating small groups of participants to assess and identify their current social work tasks, and leadership barriers and skills.
Track: Leadership

Primary Palliative Care: Expanding our Impact, and the Role of Social Work
Jennifer Levi, LCSW, APHSW-C; Mari Matsumoto, LCSW
In 2016 we came to understand that we would need nearly 27 times the 50+ specialty palliative care staff we had to meet the growing needs of our Providence Oregon community facing serious illness. Since then, formal and informal leaders in the Providence health care system have partnered to develop and implement innovative palliative care training to non-specialty clinicians in order to serve the needs of our communities. Social workers have played a crucial role in developing, implementing, and reinforcing primary palliative care thinking and skills. As palliative care needs grow in communities across the US, we hope to share valuable strategies and learnings for other social workers to utilize in their own communities of practice and influence this growing movement of primary palliative care.
Track: Clinical Interventions

Taking the Reins: Social Work and Political Palliative Care
Stacie Sinclair, MPP, CSW; Suzanne Marmo, PhD, LCSW, APHSW-C; Judy Thomas, JD
With growing policy activity to improve palliative care access, it is critical that social workers identify opportunities to support the development of sound policy at the federal and state levels. In this workshop, presenters will describe the importance of policy activity in expanding palliative care access and challenge attendees to become involved.
Track: Policy & Advocacy

Virtual Reality, Hypnosis, and Palliative Care: Past, Present, and Future of Care
Lauren King, LMSW, APHSW-C, BCH
This presention will present case narratives and research to highlight the basics of hypnotherapy & virtual reality as it pertains to Social Work practice in palliative care. These interventions may be particularly effective as non-medication interventions for symptom management, and may be preferred as first-line interventions because there are fewer side effects.
Track: Clinical Interventions

Being Virtually Present for our Patients: Optimizing Community Based Palliative Telehealth
Nancy Eddy, LCSW-C, APHSW-C; Zoe Plaugher, LCSW-C
Telehealth has become an innovative method to deliver patient care with the rise of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Yet, many are finding that providing effective care is not as simple as the push of a button. Many patients do not have access to technology and providers are learning that virtual care comes with unique challenges. This symposium will showcase an innovative palliative telehealth clinic in a major metropolitan area.
Track: Clinical Interventions

Session 5: Symposia | Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 1:15-2:30 p.m.

Non-Pharmacological Symptom Management: A Palliative Social Work Approach
Jennifer Hopping, LCSW; Shoshawna Rainwater, LCSW
This presentation will begin by outlining the prevalence of pain and other burdensome symptoms within the serious illness population. Next, it will discuss typical symptoms in some of the most common palliative care patients: those diagnosed with ESRD, Heart Failure, Cancer, COPD, Dementia, ALS, etc. It will then discuss how to assess these symptoms comprehensively and objectively, every time. It will also cover the multi-dimensional nature of symptoms and how this ought to inform our clinical interventions.The presentation will be interactive in nature with frequent solicitation of audience members’ input and experiences by the presenters. It will also involve a complex case study of a palliative care patient with a high symptom burden.The presentation will cover a mindfulness-based approach to symptom management and how this complements pharmacological symptom management.
Track: Clinical Interventions

Love (and Compassion Fatigue and Moral Distress) in the Time of Covid-19
Jamie Newell, MSW, LCSW; Susan Hedlund, MSW, LCSW
This presentation will illustrate the issues and types of cases that can put palliative care professionals at risk for compassion fatigue and moral distress, with special attention to how the overlay of navigating the pandemic in health care settings has augmented these problems. We will take an in-depth look at how palliative care professionals are vulnerable to compassion fatigue and how this risk has been enhanced greatly by the challenges of the pandemic. We will discuss the unique implications for moral distress throughout this time, including rationing of care, working with angry patients and families in a particularly polarized social climate, and visitor restrictions in inpatient and outpatient settings. We will use studies and case examples to illustrate this topic and will discuss how to recognize the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and moral distress, as well as how to preempt and treat these issues.
Track: Covid Interventions

Understanding the Ethical Landscape of COVID-19
Lori Eckel, LCSW, APHSW-C
The health care environment is an inherently moral and social landscape. Medical encounters take place in a social context where there are many different stakeholders with unique values and perspectives. How we view the circumstances in the health setting are contextually driven and concepts of right and wrong are complex and loaded. The social context is an uneven landscape and includes pervasive implicit bias and health disparity resulting from social determinants of health. The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted these dynamics in potent ways and have raised a variety of ethical dilemmas. In congruence with social work values and ethical mandates, addressing social injustice is imperative. Understanding the variety of ethical dimensions – including social ethics, organizational ethics, clinical ethics and public health ethics - is essential for social workers to assess and intervene most effectively. Using a case-based approach and group discussion, this session aims to familiarize participants with methods to assess and analyze the ethical landscape to help inform social work practices.
Track: Ethics

At the confluence of barriers to care: Collaboration between two novel palliative care teams.
Michael A. Light, MSW, MPH, LICSW, LMP; Jennifer Christophel Lichti, MSW, LICSW, BCD
This symposium presents a case study highlighting the collaboration between two novel palliative care programs improving access for patients experiencing homelessness and those living with End Stage Kidney Disease receiving dialysis. Presenters will discuss the intersection of trauma, behavioral health, unstable housing, and serious illness with strengths-based interventions that promote dignity and self-determination.
Track: Addressing SDOH

Navigating the Waters of Reimbursement for Advance Care Planning and Licensed Clinical Social Workers Role
Mary Beth Callahan, ACSW/LCSW-APHSW-C; Eric Nelson, MSW, LCSW
The goal of Advance Care Planning (ACP) is to help ensure that people receive medical care that is consistent with their values, goals and preferences during serious and chronic illness (Sudore et al, 2014). It was expected that with the changes in 2015 around billing, that more patients would engage in ACP but that has not necessarily panned out. Part of the challenge, experienced by the panelists, were concerns about who could bill for ACP and under what conditions. These concerns were exacerbated by the COVID-19 and the declaration of the Public Health Emergency. Therefore, to clarify and come to better understanding of the challenges faced by LCSW's around billing, this panel will do address the following:Speaker 1. Provide an overview of billing by LSCW's for ACPSpeaker 2. Discuss success within systems in supporting LSCW's in billing for ACP Speaker 3. Identify future areas of expanding the ability for LCSW's to bill, e.g. telehealth, independent billing Speaker 4. Identify challenges faced by each panelist in creating structures for ACP billing by LCSW's
Track: Policy & Advocacy

Supporting ALS Patients and Families: An Assessment Tool and Discussion Guide for the Interdisciplinary Team
Judith Wood Mintz, MSW, LCSW; Rev. Joe Green; Stephanie Lubin, LCSW; Meredith Sices, LCSW
This presentation by an interdisciplinary team will introduce an assessment tool and discussion guide for use with ALS patients in hospice and palliative care and their care partners. It provides an intentional, consistent, replicable, and inclusive model to guide the exploration of the patient’s and family’s values, goals, priorities, and needs in the context of anticipated disease progression.
Track: Disease-Specific

Session 6A: 30-Minute Sessions | Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 2:45-3:15 p.m.

Deepening the Conversation and Informing Action related to Inequity: Project review, design and risk.
Terry Altilio, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C, ACSW; Vickie Leff, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C
This session reflects the evolving work of a project titled: “Reflections 2020: Inequities – Deepening the Conversation, Informing Action” which centered patient and family narratives and linked their “words” to racism and health inequities, interrogated to shine light where shadows have skewed the vision of many. This interrogation, toward the goal of self-teaching, took the form of discovering authors, ideas and perspectives seemingly absent from the palliative care landscape.We will discuss the etiology and structure of this year long project including the selection of content which focused on topics such as pain management, patient autonomy and aid in dying widening the lens through which we view disparities and its relationship to many aspects of practice.
Track: Addressing SDOH

Positive aspects of family caregiving for older adults dying of dementia: A qualitative study at end-of-life.
Cynthia Hovland, Ph.D., MSSW; Christopher A. Mallett, Ph.D., LISW, Esq.
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia have significant challenges across many domains. While this role can be burdensome on the caregiver, increasingly there are also significant positive aspects reported by caregivers (known as the positive aspects of caregiving – PAC). Methods: This participatory qualitative study of 30 United States caregivers of primary family members age 65 and older who died with a dementia-related diagnoses used in-depth qualitative interviews and directed content analysis to understand the data.
Track: Caregiving

Sharing the Playground: A Working Model to Enhance Interdisciplinary Psychosocial Care
Jennifer Greenman, LCSW, APHSW-C; Heather Bemis, PhD
Interdisciplinary care is central to pediatric palliative care (PPC) practice and is highlighted in palliative care education and interventions. Focus on interdisciplinary models of specialized psychosocial care within palliative teams, however, has garnered less attention. This presentation will explore a model of integrated psychosocial care through social work and psychologist collaboration.
Track: Interdisciplinary Collaboration

A Story of Compassionate Care for Children at End-of-Life
Marianne Muzic-Lucenti, LCSW, ACHP-SW, PMH-C
Social workers in health care and other settings may be faced with working with a child with a serious and sometimes life-limiting illness. The complexities of working with children who have a life-limiting illness and their families to minimize symptom burden and maximize quality of life can be very challenging. This presentation is designed to educate social workers about the psychosocial needs of children with a serious illness, and its effects on the entire family system. Interventions to assist families in coping and the importance of hope will also be addressed, as well as how to provide culturally competent care at End-of- Life for child and family.
Track: Population-Specific (Pediatrics)

Lessons learned from a "failed" primary Social Work model trial: Navigating consult and unit-based inpatient Social Work relationships
Lindsay Wooster-Halberg, LCSW, AHPSW-C
The near constant negotiation of role clarity is an ever-present challenge amongst inpatient palliative care social work and fellow social work colleagues. Acknowledging role overlap does exist, this presentation shares a hospital’s experience of trialing an exclusive single SW model, highlighting what was learned -and what wasn’t- along the way.
Track: Policy & Advocacy


A Provider Survey on Documenting Advance Directives: A Qualitative Study with Social Workers
Frances Nedjat-Haiem, PhD, MSW, LCSW; Jennifer Hirsch, LMSW, APHSW-C; Jen Currin-McCulloch, PhD, LMSW
Advance care planning (ACP) conversations lead to a discussion of values and writing end-of-life care wishes on an advance directive (AD) document. Social workers play a critical role in guiding patients and families through the ACP process, educating them about ACP and supporting them to document an AD. ACP is an area of expertise for social workers, especially for those working in medical settings. Provider perceptions of the importance for engaging patients in ACP education is a significant factor that influences social workers to help their patients carry out these tasks. However, various perceptions about ADs exist. Additionally, there is a gap in the literature about social workers’ understanding of the purpose for assisting patients with documenting an AD. During COVID-19 pandemic, the need to support social workers with providing ACP education as an area of specialty practice became abundantly clear.

Session 6B: 30-Minute Session | Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 3:20-3:50 p.m.

Taking your first steps: Cultivating equity and inclusion through conducting palliative social work research when you're a clinician
Iris C. Fineberg, PhD, MSW, ACSW, OSW-C, FNAP, FAOSW
The conduct of research is an important mechanism for advancing equity and inclusion of underrepresented populations. It offers and additional opportunity for strengthening the visibility and influence of palliative social work. Clinicians may not realize that they do not need to be a Researcher to do research. Even when they have ideas about what would be interesting to explore, social work practitioners may not view themselves as researchers and may not feel equipped to do research. Social workers can model and advance attention to equity and inclusion in palliative care by initiating and conducting practice-informed research.
Track: Addressing anti-racism and equity

Life at the Intersection of Stigma and Avoidance: A Dangerous Existence for Those Dying with Advanced Dementia
Kathryn Coccia, MM, MT-BC
This session will provide a theoretical analysis of dementia stigma and societal death avoidance as intersectional barriers to good end-of-life care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The presenter will also discuss current and future strategies to address these barriers.
Track: Caregiving

Future of HAPC Social Workers as Interdisciplinary Educators Around Communication: A Success Story of a Community Hospital
Ellen Kim, LCSW, APHSW-C
The aim of this oral presentation is to share how “Having the Talk 101” workshop, a palliative care social work driven initiative, successfully adapted and implemented the IMPACT-ICU nurse training model to adapt to the unique needs of a community hospital. Due to its success, the program will be offered hospital-wide to all nurses in the near future.
Track: Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Prompting Advance Care Planning: Exploring its association with Death Exposure
Peiyuan Zhang, MSW
Patients who have not previously stated their treatment preferences may receive unwanted, costly medical interventions, which can also burden family members with difficult decisions. Previous literature has demonstrated that advance care planning (ACP) has positive outcomes in improving both patient and family quality of life, but it is still insufficiently utilized. Only 37% of US adults have a complete advance directive (Kuldeep et al., 2017). Existing studies examined how age, gender, race, marital status, health status, attitudes towards death impact whether people have ACP but very few explored the association between the exposure to the death of a close family member or friend on one’s ACP engagement. The goal of this study is to fill in this gap by examining whether the exposure to the death of a close family member or friend is associated with ACP engagement using national data.
Track: Clinical Interventions

Experiences of caregivers for children with complex medical needs
Shannon Cousineau, DSW, LICSW; June Ganley, MSW, LICSW, APHSW-C; Lenore Rust, MSW, LICSW
The presenters will highlight some of the results of a 157 question, mixed methods survey conducted by a Department of Social Work and a Pediatric Palliative Care Program (PediPals) The sections of the survey asked questions regarding demographics, caregivers’ sleep, stressful events experienced by the children with complex medical needs, along with the child’s medical-related stress, caregiver’s experiences, caregiver’s stress, and caregiver’s spirituality. The research implications can assist in providing additional support and ongoing assessment for the areas discussed. The results can assist the multidisciplinary team at PediPals to enhance current services, keeping the most stressful experiences in mind. Additionally, it can help in providing future PediPals caregivers more information about what they may experience in their journey caring for a child with complex medical needs.
Track: Population-Specific (Pediatrics)

Seeking inclusivity on the hospice and palliative care team: Exploring facilitators and barriers to interprofessional collaboration
Kimberly Giamportone, PhD, MSW
Poor communication and role confusion among professionals in the medical setting can compromise patient well-being and staff retainment. The purpose of this research study was to examine team cohesion along with practical and societal shifts required to achieve high-functioning interprofessional medical teams. Perceptions of healthcare participants regarding facilitators and barriers leading to effective team cohesion are explored.
Track: Policy & Advocacy

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