Educating Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (ESPEC)


Educating Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (ESPEC)

Myra Glajchen

Myra Glajchen, DSW, MSW, BSW, ACSW, APHSW-C
Project Director

Myra Glajchen is Director of Education and Training in the MJHS Institute, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Glajchen is among a small group of national leaders in palliative social work, with extensive experience as a social work clinician, educator and researcher. She is a board member of the Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN), chair of SWHPN's external engagement committee, and past president for the Advanced Palliative Hospice Social Work Certification (APHSW-C). She is a frequent local and national presenter with numerous publications on caregiver burden, the family meeting, interprofessional training and palliative care. She is a continuing education provider for social work in New York State, teaches in continuing education at Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services, and was co-editor for the Oxford textbook of palliative communication. At MJHS, Dr. Glajchen oversees robust training programs for social work interns, physician fellows, nurses, chaplains, bereavement and other disciplines and serves as project director for the caregiver initiative.

Shirley Otis-Green

Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-CE, FNAP, FAOSW
Project Co-Director

Shirley Otis -Green is the director of collaborative caring, which focuses on education, research and consultation in palliative care. Previously, she served as clinical director of the coalition for compassionate care of California and senior research specialist at the city of hope national medical center. She is a national leader and educator in the field of palliative care, and co-editor of the Oxford textbook of palliative social work.

Ms. Otis -Green is a National Association of Social Workers Pioneer, recipient of the Project on Death in America’s Social Work Leadership Development Award, a distinguished social work practitioner in the national academies of practice, and a California health care leadership fellow. she has a distinguished teaching portfolio. She is past principal investigator for the ace and excel teaching programs in social work and adjunct faculty at the university of Maryland.  She is a prolific author and presenter locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, she serves on several editorial and professional boards.

Ken Meeker

Ken Meeker, LCSW, APHSW-C
ESPEC Advisory Board Member and Trainer

Ken Meeker, LCSW, APHSW-C, is a board-certified palliative care social worker with 10 years of experience in inpatient settings, including eight years at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, where he managed the palliative care service on one of Montefiore’s campuses. Ken’s teaching experience includes a series of didactics for palliative care fellows, residents, interns, social workers, and other hospital staff, a physician communications training initiative based on Vitaltalk, an “introduction to clinical medicine” class at Montefiore’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and as a field instructor for palliative care social work interns. Ken has presented at national and regional conferences, as well as at continuing education workshops on palliative care topics through the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Services. Currently in private practice, ken provides counseling to individuals struggling with serious illness, caregiver distress, and loss. Ken is a master trainer and advisory board member for Educating Social Workers in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (ESPEC).

Eunju Lee

Master Trainer

Eunju Lee, MSW, MSOD, LCSW, APHSW-C, is an ESPEC Master Trainer. She was a social work supervisor at MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care and now works as an oncology social worker at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Prior experience included labor and human rights advocacy in her native Korea and work with Asian-American domestic violence survivors in NYC. Her current focus is promoting access to palliative care for minority communities.
Ms. Lee is a long-time mentor and adjunct faculty of the Zelda Foster Palliative and End-of-Life Program at New York University. She teaches in Fordham University's online MSW program and presents in national and local forums. Ms. Lee serves on the board of the Social Work Palliative and Hospice Network (SWHPN) and on their Health Equity Committee. She sits on the Healthcare Advisory Council for Compassion and Choices.

Ms. Lee received an MA in Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, an MS in Organizational Development at American University, and a BS from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

Vickie Leff

Vickie Leff, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C
Master Trainer

Vickie Leff is the Executive Director of the Advanced Palliative Care & Hospice Social Work Certification Program (APHSW-C). She has over 35 years of clinical practice experience in healthcare including oncology, palliative care, and hospice. Vickie serves as a subject matter expert and presenter to several national educational organizations and institutions. She served on the board of SWHPN for many years, developing and implementing their educational and mentorship programs. Vickie has published articles in Health Affairs, JPSM and other journals related to moral distress, debriefing and resilience, in addition to providing blog posts for PalliMed. She has worked with Project ECHO related to hospice and palliative care resilience initiatives. She is an Adjunct Instructor at the UNC School of Social Work in Chapel Hill. Vickie received her MSW from Simmons School of Social Work in Boston in 1984 and a BA in Political Science from Ithaca College. Vickie is a master trainer for the ESPEC training program.

ESEPC Linda Mathew Headshot638405942589306603

Linda Mathew, DSW, MSW, LCSW-R

Linda Mathew, DSW, MSW, LCSW-R, is a Social Work Manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center with training in cognitive behavioral therapy, meaning-centered psychotherapy, and palliative care. She created the REACH for Caregivers program and led the Talking with Children About Cancer program. Dr. Mathew is an active member of the Antiracism Committee.
Dr. Mathew has received many leadership awards, including the prestigious Mid-Career Exemplary Leadership Award and Excellence in Clinical Practice Award from SWHPN and NASW, respectively. She is the incoming President of the Association of Oncology Social Workers. 

Dr. Mathew earned her MSW and DSW from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. She is a mentor in the Zelda Foster Program. Her Capstone project was “Racism Not Disrupted Becomes Racial Trauma Transferred.” She published a manuscript on "Developing Antiracist Social Work Practice at a Comprehensive Cancer Center". She has presented locally and nationally; serves on several editorial boards and as adjunct faculty. She is an ESPEC board member and trainer.