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Zelda Foster Studies

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NYU Silver's Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PELC) encompasses a range of initiatives designed to develop and mentor PELC social work leaders at all stages of their careers in the areas of clinical practice, education, research, publication, and administration.

MSW Fellowship

A four-year program, the Zelda Foster MSW Fellowship in PELC begins in the final year of the MSW program and continues for three years at the post-MSW level. It includes specialized field placements, two years of post-graduate mentoring, and funding for professional development. Students at NYU Silver entering their final year of the MSW program are eligible to apply.

Post-Master's Certificate Program

This one-year program provides an integrated sequence of courses to combine theory and practice in PELC and to increase practice skills. Social workers with at least two years of post-master’s experience in or related to PELC are eligible to apply. LEARN MORE »

Post-Master's Leadership Fellowship

The goal of this fellowship is to improve palliative and end-of-life care for patients and families, especially under-served populations, through the development of a cadre of MSW PELC leaders. The fellowship includes one year of one-on-one mentoring from an experienced PELC leader. A capstone project is also required. Social workers with at least five years of post-master’s experience in or related to palliative and end-of-life care are eligible to apply. LEARN MORE »

Training in Culturally Congruent Care for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind Community

With generous funding from the Ernst & Paula Deutsch Foundation, the Zelda Foster Studies Program has launched a unique and innovative three-day course in the skills, methodologies, interventions, and sensitivities needed to provide culturally congruent care to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind (D/HH/DB) clients, their families and health care providers. LEARN MORE »

Summer Institute: An Introduction to Palliative Care

This week-long summer program provides training for social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed mental health workers, other mental health providers, chaplains, and people working with older adults in PELC primary assessment, skills and interventions needed to support patients and families as they negotiate the trajectory of serious illness. LEARN MORE »

NYU Silver's Zelda Foster Studies Program
is funded with support from:


291 Foundation
Ernst & Paula Deutsch Foundation
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation
Jewish Foundation for Education of Women
The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation
The Y.C. Ho/Helen and Michael Chiang Foundation
The Foster, Katz, and Shapiro Families
Friends and Colleagues of Zelda Foster

Interview with Bridget Sumser, Zelda Foster MSW Fellow

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Zelda Foster

About Zelda Foster

Zelda Foster was a pioneer in the development of the hospice movement in the United States and was a leader in the field of PELC. Zelda taught in NYU Silver's Post-Masters Certificate Program in PELC from its inception in 1999 until May 2006. After Zelda died in July of 2006, NYU Silver, with the support of Zelda’s family and friends, established this program in her honor.

Learn more about Zelda Foster from her obituary, published in the New York Times, and a remembrance that aired on NPR's All Things Considered.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Susan Gerbino
Director, Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care