Some 60 representatives of more than 35 social work and other organizations with a commitment to improve care for the terminally ill, dying, and bereaved, met June 1-3 in Washington, DC, at the 2nd Social Work Summit on End-of-Life and Palliative Care.

Participants came from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore, and include Grace Christ, DSW with Sharon Baxter, MSW, Executive Director of Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (left) and Barbara Monroe, MSW, Chief Executive of St. Christopher’s Hospice, UK (right).

“The 2nd Summit was an historic event. At no time has this group of leaders, with the unique and distinct abilities to shape the future of social work in end-of-life and palliative care, come together,” said Summit Co-Chair Grace Christ. “The diverse views represented created opportunities for learning from the collective wisdom.”

Summit planners set out to:

  • Continue momentum within the profession to make end-of-life and palliative care an important strategic area of focus;
  • Further develop a network of organizations and leaders, create a mechanism for collaborative efforts, and further the profession’s evolution in this area of policy/advocacy, practice, research and education;
  • Identify key strategies, initiatives, and action plans.

“The dynamic group of leaders in attendance at the Summit generated innovative ideas for enhancing the role of social workers in the provision of quality end-of-life care,” said Kathy Brandt, Vice President for Professional Leadership and Consumer and Caregiver Services at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

NASW Executive Director Betsy Clark commented that, “the Summit went a long way toward ensuring the future of social work in palliative and end-of-life care. It was an exciting three days.” Clark is also a Project on Death in America Social Work Leader.

July, 2005

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