The Expert Series: Foundations of Hospice & Palliative Social Work

SWHPN presented a foundational series of interactive webinars throughout the fall of 2018, an extraordinary educational opportunity to learn from renowned experts in the field of palliative and hospice care. These webinars also provide review for the topics covered on the new APHSW Certification Exam.

This bundle of webinars includes seven (7) hours of recorded material related to topics covered on the APHSW-C Exam, and includes slides from the presenters. Even if you aren't becoming certified, the series is an excellent review of the foundations of hospice and palliative social work.

The cost for the series is $140 for current SWHPN members and $195 for non-members. We also recommend purchasing the Core Curriculum of Hospice and Palliative Social Work to accompany these webinars if preparing for the APHSW-C Exam.

Please note: we are no longer able to offer CE credits for the Expert Series, but we have other CE courses available for credit in our Professional Development Center.

To register for the Expert Series go here.

If you've already purchased the series, please be sure to log in at the top right of this page to access the courses below. You may click the link at the bottom of this page of any webinar to begin in.

Program Topics & Speakers:

Assessments & Interventions

Objectives of this webinar:

  1. Identify and implement assessment tools for patients and families;
  2. Identify emotional and behavioral barriers, and other issues related to interventions;
  3. Integrate diagnosis and treatment finds to interventions;
  4. Document assessments;
  5. Identify various psychosocial interventions such as motivational interviewing, relaxation techniques, and crisis intervention.

About the Instructor

Anne Kelemen, LICSW, ACHP-SW, Social Worker

Anne Kelemen joined the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Section of Palliative Care in 2013. In 2015, she was named MedStar Health Palliative Care Clinician of the Year. Prior to joining the Hospital Center staff, Ms. Kelemen instituted the first palliative care service at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. She first developed an interest in palliative care while a hospice volunteer in Maryland, and then received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a post-master’s certificate in End of Life Care from the Smith College School of Social Work. Ms. Kelemen continues to facilitate support groups for bereaved family members and for teens and young adults. Her research interests include the intersection between language and medicine, non-physical pain, and spirituality at the end of life.

Foundations of Bereavement

Objectives for this webinar:

  1. Overview of theories related to bereavement;
  2. Recognizing anticipatory grief of patient and support network;
  3. Assessment of bereavement needs;
  4. Clinical interventions; short and long term;
  5. Supporting community and online resources;
  6. The role of grief in resolving ethical dilemmas in advanced illness;
  7. The specific impact of traumatic loss (past and present), complicated grief, dysfunctional families, and mental illness.

About the Instructor

Deborah Waldrop, PhD

Professor Deborah P. Waldrop has been with the UB School of Social Work since 1999, following 20 years of experience in healthcare settings.

Her clinical experience with families who were facing serious and life-threatening illnesses was central, informing her research, teaching and service. Waldrop’s research focuses on decision-making in serious and life-limiting illnesses and on end-of life care. She is exploring how decision-making influences caregivers’ adaptation in bereavement; she aims to make a difference in the ways that we care for people who are facing life’s end.

Waldrop received a PhD in addition to a Certificate in Gerontology from Oklahoma State University and her MSW from Syracuse University. She serves as a member of the board of the Association of Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) and of the Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN). She is also member of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and a fellow of the Gerontological Society in America.

Amongst other honors, Waldrop has received the AGESW Career Achievement Award and the SWHPN award for Excellence in Research. She serves as a co-chair of the National Quality Forum’s standing committee on Geriatric and Palliative Care.

Foundations of Hospice 

Presented by John Cagle, PhD, of the University of Maryland, this course provides learners with an overview of hospice; including the history, social work role, and interventions and payments around hospice care.

Objectives of this webinar:

  1. Define a variety of hospice services;
  2. Understand regulations that guide hospice care under CMS;
  3. Identify psychosocial issues specific to end of life care;
  4. Understand the role of the social worker on the hospice team.

About the Instructor

Dr. Cagle is an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work with a substantive interest in improving care at the end of life. As a translational health services researcher, his efforts have focused on identifying effective models of care and support for dying patients and their families – and implementing those models into routine clinical practice. This includes efforts to minimize financial burden on families coping with life threatening illness. His research is informed by nearly a decade of clinical work as a hospice social worker. Dr. Cagle completed his PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University where his dissertation thesis explored the needs and experiences of informal caregivers of advanced cancer patients.

After being awarded his doctoral degree in 2008, he trained as an NIA-funded postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute on Aging as well as the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics. His current research examines financial burden experienced by families during life threatening illness, disparities in care at the end of life, psychosocial barriers to pain management, and improving palliative care outcomes in long-term care settings. His research has been supported by a number of public and private entities, including the University of Maryland School of Social Work Financial Social Work Initiative, the Hospice Foundation of America, the National Palliative Care Research Center, the John A. Hartford Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and the Foundation for Care at the End of Life.

Foundations of Caregiving 

In this webinar, Karla Washington, PhD explores the role of the caregiver in palliative care and hospice. She will help the learner with understanding how to assess the caregiver's needs and provide interventions. Understanding theory and practice are included in this extensive foundational understanding of caregiving.

Objectives of this webinar:

  1. Assess the caregiving needs for patient and family;
  2. Identify variables affecting caregiving ability;
  3. Familiarize with caregiving studies and theories;
  4. Identify interventions for caregivers in acute, outpatient, and home settings.

About the Instructor

Karla Washington, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. She is passionate about the physical and psychosocial needs of patients who are chronically ill. In her research, she is identifying strategies that are most effective in helping individuals and their families cope with serious and chronic illness and live life on their own terms.

Advance Care Planning

In this webinar, Shirley Otis-Green provides an extensive overview of Advance Care Planning in palliative care and hospice settings. She reviews the history of this field; the role of the social worker in advance care planning; identifying barriers and communication skills are included. This recorded webinar offers foundational information about Advance Care Planning and the Social Worker, presented by Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C.

Objectives of this webinar:

  1. Understand the various types of advance care planning activities;
  2. Assist patients with understanding living wills and advance directive; 
  3. Develop communication skills related to these conversations around living wills and advance directives;
  4. Know the legal implications of advance care planning;
  5. Communicate about insurance coverage of advance care planning.

About the Instructor

Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FNAP is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of Collaborative Caring dedicated to enhancing excellence in the delivery of culturally-congruent, person-centered and family-focused interprofessional care. Shirley’s education, research, and consultation efforts focus on quality-of-life, palliative care, leadership development and creating meaningful organizational change. 

Foundations of Communications

This webinar offers foundational information about Communication strategies for the social worker, presented by Terry Altilio and Dana Ribeiro Miller. They provide an extensive review of communication strategies for the social worker as well as theories and interventions to assist with effective communication.

Objectives of this webinar:

  1. Recognize communication patterns and challenges;
  2. Understand family dynamics in communication;
  3. How to conduct family meetings;
  4. How to communicate with providers;
  5. How to advocate for the patient and/or family'
  6. How to frame medical information;
  7. How to communicate changes to the team;
  8. And how to apply communication theories to discussions.

About the Instructors

Terry Altilio, LCSW is a recipient of a PDIA Career Achievement Award and a Social Work Leadership Award which supported a postgraduate social work fellowship and listserv which currently links 690 social workers. She has received a Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship Award. While she practiced, she lectured on pain and symptom management and ethics in the post-masters programs at NYU, Smith and California State University San Marcos. She has authored publications on varied aspects of palliative social work and pain and symptom management as well as lecturing nationally and internationally. She is co-editor with Shirley Otis- Green of the inaugural Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work, published in 2011.

Dana Ribeiro Miller M.Div., LMSW, ACHP-SW is licensed as a Master of Social Work. She holds a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work, where she was a recipient of the Dr. Maurice V. Russell Fellowship for Medical Social Work, a Masters in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and a B.S. from Rutgers University. She completed her subspecialty Palliative Care training via the Post Graduate Fellowship in Palliative Care at the Mt. Sinai-Beth Israel Division of Palliative Medicine. Currently, she is a Palliative social worker, member of the ethics committee, faculty for the Palliative Care Fellowship Program and member of the Critical Incident Stress Management Team at NYU Winthrop University Hospital.


This recorded webinar offers foundational information about Professionalism for the Social Worker, presented by Drs. Karen Bullock and Ellen Csikai.

Objectives for this webinar:

  1. Self-care in palliative care and hospice;
  2. Working with interdisciplinary teams and collaboration;
  3. Research and QI projects;
  4. Advocacy issues;
  5. The role of social work with the resilience of medical providers in the field.

About the Instructors

Karen Bullock, Ph.D. is Professor and Head of the School of Social Work at North Carolina State University, in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Work from Boston University, her Master’s degree (M.S.) in Social Work, from Columbia University in New York City, and her Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina State. Dr. Bullock is a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicince's Task Force on Serious Illness Care and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable Committee on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. She is Affiliate Faculty at the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP) at the University of Connecticut.

She has more than 25 years of clinical practice experience in mental health and aging, with expertise in health care disparities, clinical assessments, psychoeducation and clinical interventions. Karen is also a Steering Committee member of the Duke University Center for Research to Advance Health Equity (REACH). She is a John A. Hartford Faculty Scholar and serves on several national boards and committees, including the Social Work National Deans And Directors (NADD) Executive Board as Treasurer, Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network (SWHPN), as Vice-Chair and the immediate past Chair of the American Cancer Society (ACS) Oncology Social Work Research Peer Review Committee.

With more than two decades of dedicated service and committment to the National Association of Social Worker (NASW), Dr. Bullock a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) was elected Vice-President and then, served as President of the Connecticut Chapter of NASW, before going on to become the Chair of the NASW National Commitee on Race And Ethnic Diversity (NCORED) and the current Chair of the NASW Mental Health Section Committee. Dr. Bullock's research focuses on cancer care,  social support for older adults with serious illness and health equity. Her article on The Influence of Culture on End-of-Life Decision Making, won the 2012 Best Article Award by the Routledge Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care. She has been a leading force in advancing social work practice, education, and training in gerontology, mental health, hospice and palliative care. She has been quoted in the Washington PostUSA Today and LA Times as an expert in these areas. Dr. Bullock has published and presented nationally and internationally on these topics. She was the first Social Worker to be selected and serve as a Visiting Professor of Palliative Care at UCHealth and the University of Colorado School of Medicine Division of General Medicine/ Internal Medicine, in 2019. While an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Bullock was selected to serve as a Visiting Scholar at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, in 2008. She has also held clinical and academic appointments at Hartford Hospital (Institute of Living) in Connecticut, the University of Connecticut, Salem State College, Smith College, and UNC-Wilmington. 

Dr. Ellen Csikai is founding and continuing editor of The Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, published by Taylor and Francis. The journal presents research and original articles that explore issues crucial to individuals with serious, life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and their families, including interdisciplinary interventions, practice innovations, practice evaluations, end-of-life decision-making, grief and bereavement, and ethical and moral issues across the lifespan. Dr. Csikai’s research primarily addresses cultural similarities and differences in health care approaches, communication and treatment decisions among older oncology patients, family members, and health care professionals in the U.S. and internationally with Cuban and Hungarian colleagues.  She also offers a study abroad opportunity that examines social services in Mexico. At UA, she is part of the Alabama Research Institute on Aging as a faculty associate and Executive Committee Member and a faculty affiliate of the Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies Program.

To register for the Expert Series go here.

If you've already purchased the series, please be sure to log in at the top right of this page to access the courses below. You may click the link at the bottom of this page of any webinar to begin in.

Course Details

Assessments & Interventions01:00:00
Assessments & Interventions Webinar & Slides 01:00:00
Bereavement Webinar & Slides 01:00:00
Hospice Webinar & Slides
Caregiving Webinar & Slides 01:00:00
Advance Care Planning
Advance Care Planning Webinar & Slides
Communication Webinar & Slides 01:00:00
Professionalism Webinar & Slides 01:00:00
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