Social Work in Action (February 2013)

NASW staff and leaders participated at the Council on Social Work Education’s 58th annual program meeting in Washington, D.C., in November. NASW President Jeane Anastas was presented with the CSWE 2012 Feminist Scholarship Award at the event and social worker and former U.S. Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns was honored with the CSWE Chair Leadership Award for his support of social work with promotion of the Social Work Reinvestment Act and the creation of the Social Work Caucus.

At the conference, NASW CEO Elizabeth J. Clark and NASW Special Assistant to the CEO, Elizabeth Hoffler, presented “The Power of Linking Social Work Policy and Practice.” In addition, Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of the NASW Foundation’s Social Work Policy Institute, presented at the “Child Welfare Education and Practice: A Centenary Celebration of the Children’s Bureau” and the “Enhancing Psychosocial Care in Nursing Homes: Implications for Practice, Education and Research.”

Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, hosted its Social Work Convocation and Gala in November. NASW CEO Elizabeth J. Clark delivered the keynote address at the gala and noted that NASW has worked with Wartburg School of Social Work for many years. Clark said she was proud to hear that Wartburg received an endowment that has launched the Social Work Institute for Research, Training and

Consultation. The institute will create opportunities for advanced student learning, faculty service and scholarships and enhance care for the individuals, families and communities of Iowa.

Clark noted that Susan Kosche Vallem, professor of Social Work and Field Director for the college’s School of Social Work, has been an unwavering advocate for bachelor’s social work education and has served on many boards of social work organizations. Vallem is currently chair of the Action Network for Social Work Education and Research, which serves as the advocacy voice for professional social work education and research on Capitol Hill.

“We were delighted that Betsy could keynote for us,” Vallem said. She noted the institute will aid in the growth of the social work profession in the state while at the same time enhance the efforts of the school’s community partners.

Joan Levy Zlotnik, director of the NASW Foundation’s Social Work Policy Institute, was a panelist for the Wartburg College President’s Convocation, “Navigating Transitions with Seniors.”

Zlotnik said she spoke about the focus on quality outcome measures as the requirements to screen seniors’ psychosocial needs have been enhanced.

“A big focus now is on quality measurements across health care practice settings,” she said.

The importance of social work is often hidden so the profession needs to highlight its multiple roles that help clients with their health care and mental health care needs, she added.

NASW staff and members attended the National Transitions of Care Coalition’s National Transitions of Care Summit in Washington, D.C., Dec. 4 and 5. NASW member Robyn L. Golden, director of Health and Aging at Rush University Medical Center, spoke on the panel Leading Models in Transitions of Care, where she discussed the social work–led model at Rush University Center for Health and Aging.

The Bridge Model of Transitional Care is the first and only social work-based approach to transitional care. It has shown an impact on readmissions, physician follow-up, understanding of discharge plan, understanding of prescribed medications, access and timeliness of community services and mortality. More information is available at the Illinois Transitional Care Consortium website,

Social worker Abigail Morgan presented on the panel Transitions of Care from a Quality Perspective. She is a social science analyst at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is working with the Quality Improvement Organizations, or QIOs.

The QIOs were established two decades ago to enhance service delivery to Medicare beneficiaries, and CMS contracts with a QIO in each state. In keeping with other federal health care efforts under the Obama Administration, the QIOs currently focus on better patient care, better population health, and lower health care costs.

NASW has posted the practice alert CMS and Advocates Reach Proposed Settlement Agreement to Eliminate “Improvement Standard” at {}

The alert outlines how Medicare will cover skilled nursing and therapies needed to maintain a beneficiary’s condition.