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11th Annual Palliative Care Social Work Conference

Leaning In to Lead: Innovations in Advanced Practice & Policy

The 11th Annual Palliative Care Social Work Conference, "Leaning In to Lead: Innovations in Advanced Practice & Policy", held on Friday, April 12th in the Tivoli was a huge success. Over 140 students and community practitioners and researchers were in attendance. Please see below for speaker presentations.

Special thanks goes to many! First, the Student Association of Social Workers at MSU Denver, Dept. of Social Work who manage the events aspects of arranging the space, food, and volunteers who support this event should be very proud!  A very special thanks goes to the student volunteers who are currently students studying social work – led by the tireless work of Megan White, President of SASW, Amanda Hoover and Pam Rohr (SASW members) and the SASW Faculty Advisors: Louise Haimowitz and Amanda Campbell who provided tremendous support. Also, we want to thank Kayla Duensing, our work study students, Melissa Gore, Lupe Vargas, and Caitlin Plamp, who also provided support to the conference/SASW in various ways. The community Steering Committee made up of palliative care related social work clinicians and researchers was myself, Jenny Dickman-Portz, Karen Sumey, Erin Bauman, Jennie Creasey, Laurel Tropeano, and Leslie Kalechman There were several sponsors of the conference noted on the website and our HEALS Scholarship Program was also a primary sponsor this year.

Also in attendance were our HEALS and HRSA scholars- I want to recognize these students who are, in addition to their MSW program, studying important skills needed to be leaders and skilled clinicians in health care and integrated care settings.

Thanks again to all—anyone interested in serving on the steering committee on for the 2020 conference, please contact Dr. Jess Retrum (  The committee will begin meeting again in the Fall.

Conference Presentations:

ALIGN: Tales from a Palliative Care Social Work Intervention trial
Stacy Fischer & Laurel Eskra Tropeano

Who Is Following You? (Part I)
Barbara Head

Who We Are and Where We're Leading (Part II)
Barbara Head

The Policy & Politics of Palliative Care: A Washington Perspective
Andrew MacPherson

Balancing Hope in Miracles with Biomedical Decision-Making at the End of Life
Kelly Arora, PhD

Collaborating with Colleagues & Supporting Jewish Clients' Customs & Wishes
Tanya Greathouse, PhD, MSW & Chaya Parkoff, MSW, LSW

Transforming Psychosocial-Spiritual Care for End of Life: Mushrooms as Medicine
Shannon Hughes, PhD, MSW & Rob Colbert, PhD, MA

Implementing Virtual Tours for Veterans Transitioning from Hospital to Nursing Homes
Cari Levy, MD, PhD & Leah Haverhals, PhD, MA

Using Telehealth to Bridge Barriers: Lessons from Providing Tele-Mental Health for Veterans in Skilled Nursing Facilities in both Rural & Urban Colorado
Rachel Johnson-Koenke & Elizabeth Holman

Keynote Speakers:

Barbara Head, ACSW, RN, CHPN, PhD, Associate Professor Division of General Internal Medicine, Medical Education and Palliative Care, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, leads a national Interprofessional Education & Practice palliative care project, provides leadership in developing the competencies for certification in palliative care, and is both a social worker and a nurse.

Andrew MacPherson, Principal of Healthsperien, LLC, is a leader in our national conversation about health policy related to palliative care.

Stacy Fischer, MD, a local and national leader as a geriatrician and palliative care physician researcher at the University of Colorado, is leading a randomized controlled trial pilot study of a palliative care social work intervention.

Click here to see the final program: 2019 PCSWK Conference Final Program

Brought to you by:

Community Partner Sponsors 




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Business Sponsors



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Denver, CO 80217-3362


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