Zelda Foster Leadership Program Celebrates Graduation of Inaugural Fellows

On Tuesday, April 30, the Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care graduated its first group of leadership fellows. The graduation was the culmination of an 18-month program that included 40 hours of training and a year of one-on-one mentorship with a leader in the field of palliative and end-of-life care.

The goal of the fellowship program is to improve palliative and end-of-life care for patients and their families, especially underserved populations, through development of a cadre of leaders in this field. The group of 13 fellows all have at least five years of post-MSW experience in the field and are in leadership positions or poised for leadership at their organizations.

The first portion of the evening consisted of the fellows’ poster presentations from their capstone projects. The capstone projects, which can be done at the fellow’s employment site or outside of the work setting, enable the fellows to expand their knowledge base of palliative and end-of-life care and make a contribution to the field. A few of this year’s topics included integrating palliative care into nursing homes, improving physician communication, and addressing modes of communication for women with breast cancer.

In attendance were the fellows’ mentors, leaders from the palliative care community, as well as Zelda Foster’s family. Zelda Foster was a pioneer in the hospice and palliative care movement and taught in the Silver School’s post-master’s certificate program.

The leadership fellowship program has been generously funded by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, and the 291 Foundation.

This year’s leadership fellows are listed below, along with the title of their capstone project poster.

Leona Abrams, LCSW-R, ACHP-SW
“Educating Caregivers and Intellectually Disabled and Developmentally Disabled
Adults (ID/DD) Living in a Group Home about Palliative and End-of-Life Care”

Darren P. Arthur, MSW, LCSW
“Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PELC): An Introduction to Clinical Concepts
Any Social Worker Should Know”

Curtis Alan Blalock, LCSW, ACHP-SW
“Enhancing Transition Planning on an Inpatient Palliative Care Consult Service
through a Review of 30-Day Readmissions”

Indrani A. Bridglall, LCSW
“Community Outreach and Education”

Susan Conceicao, LCSW, ACHP-SW
“Exploring the Understanding of the Needs of Bereaved Chinese Caregivers”

Courtney Dietrich, LCSW, BS
“Multidisciplinary Curriculum for Frontline Healthcare Workers Treating the
Severely and Persistently Mentally Ill as They Near End-of-Life”

Jennifer Giuffrida, LCSW, ACHP-SW
“Integrating a Palliative Care Program in Your Nursing Home: Good Practices
and Tools for Success”

Susan R. Glaser, LCSW
“Psychosocial Needs Assessment for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients”

Frances Eichholz Heller, LMSW, ACHP-SW
“Building an International Collaboration to Address End-of-Life Needs”

Mary A. Hines, RN, LCSW
“The Final Journey: Humanizing the Plan”

Linda Kaufman, LMSW
“Assessing Pain in People with Advanced Dementia”

Tashi Ridley, LCSW
“Building the Relationship: A Quality Improvement Project to Minimize Incidents
of Conflict in an Intensive Care Unit”

Bronwyn Rucker, LCSW
“Physician Communication Training Program”