Speakers, Topics Set For Practice Conference

NASW’s second annual social work practice conference, “Social Work’s Critical Role in End-of-Life Care,” will examine new factors that may influence end of life and the grieving process.

The Aug. 4 event in Boston precedes the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s conference, “Developing the Care Continuum: Innovative Models to Meet the Unique Needs of Patients/Families,” Aug. 5-7.

Kenneth J. Doka, professor of gerontology at the Graduate School of The College of New Rochelle in New York state and senior consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America, will deliver a keynote address.

Topics scheduled for discussion include: six challenges to current understandings of grief; contemporary research on grief interventions; goals and techniques of individual, family and group interventions; intervention strategies through case studies; and the value of rituals.

Susan Blacker, director of cancer services planning and performance at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, will give closing remarks.

Workshops include:

  • End-of-Life Care in Nursing Homes by Mercedes Bern-Klug, assistant professor, University of Iowa School of Social Work, and director, Aging Studies Program.
  • Hospice vs. Palliative Care: Is There Really a Difference? by Sherri Weisenfluh, associate clinical officer of counseling, and Gretchen Brown, president and CEO, Hospice of the Bluegrass in Lexington, Ky.
  • Self-Care for Social Workers by Katherine Walsh, professor, Springfield College School of Social Work.
  • Cultural Competency in End-of-Life Care by Karen Bullock, professor, University of Connecticut School of Social Work.
  • Transformative Nature of Grief and Bereavement by Joan Berzoff, professor and director, End of Life Certificate Program at Smith College’s School for Social Work.
  • Social Work’s Role in Hospice: An Overview of the Research by Deborah Waldrop, professor, University of Buffalo School of Social Work.
  • Family Crisis Counseling in Disasters by Grace Christ, professor, Columbia University School of Social Work.

A pre-event reception and poster presentation will take place the evening of Aug. 3.