“There's no one to talk to”: Engaging family members in palliative care for rural patients with kidney disease

Course Overview

Rural people living with kidney disease are less likely to have palliative care. This webinar presentation will summarize the findings from 33 qualitative semi-structured interviews with rural patients, family members, palliative care, and nephrology providers living in Southeast US from March-September 2019. with a focus on culturally competent serious illness. The financial scarcity of patients, communities, and providers limit access to resources, including clinical social work services and palliative care, often leaving patients and family members to deal with the emotional and physical aspects of caregiving alone. 

Social workers can play a critical role in addressing these gaps, including advocacy for increased clinical social worker support, changes in payment models for rural providers, and educating team members on cultural humility in working with rural communities. Recommendations for specific interventions for patients and family members with kidney disease will be shared. 

Target audience: Social Workers

Content Level: Beginner

After attending the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the unique serious illness conversation and emotional needs of persons with kidney disease living in rural communities.
  • Implement culturally competent changes to serious illness conversations with family members of rural patients with kidney disease.
  • Identify social work-specific interventions for palliative care patients and family members with kidney disease.

About the Instructors

Liz Anderson, DSW, LCSW, is Assistant Professor of Social Work at Western Carolina University. A former hospice, palliative care, and renal social worker, Liz is a 2018 Sojourns Scholar Award recipient and the principal investigator in the research project, “Best Practices to Engage Family Members in Palliative Care for Rural Patients with Kidney Disease.” Liz serves on the Executive Committee for the Coalition of Supportive Care of Kidney Patients and as faculty on the Pathways project, an implementation research project that is focusing on increasing supportive care for patients with kidney disease. She has presented and published on supportive care of kidney patients, with a focus on advance care planning. 

As the Community Partnerships Coordinator at Mars Hill University, Caroline Twiggs, MSW works to meet the needs of the community through connecting faculty and students to agencies and non-profits in our region. Through training, Caroline prepares faculty, students and community partners for community engagement work. She is passionate about teaching, building sustainable relationships, and making a deep impact on identified community needs.

Also academically interested in social justice and politics, Caroline can be found on campus teaching about public policy, social change, and leadership for the academic Certificate in Community Engagement and in the Social Work department. Committed to access to education, Caroline also teaches first-year students by promoting college success for many first-generation and low-income students. 

To register:

If you've already purchased this course, click "Recorded Webinar and Slides: Engaging family members in palliative care for rural patients with kidney disease" below to get started.

If you'd like to purchase this course, click here.


The cost is $25 for SWHPN members, $40 for non-members, and free for Student & Retiree Members. 

CE requirements:

To earn CE credit, social workers must log in, attend the entire course and complete an online course assessment and evaluation. Certificates of completion will be emailed immediately following course completion.

Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network aka SWHPN, #1716, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network aka SWHPN maintains responsibility for the program.  ASWB Approval Period: 7/18/2020 – 7/18/2023. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1 continuing education clock hours.

Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0503.

Course Details

“There's no one to talk to”: Engaging family members in palliative care for rural patients with kidney disease01:20:00
Recorded Webinar: Engaging family members in palliative care for rural patients with kidney disease 01:20:00
CE Assessment
Webinar Evaluation
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