Chair: Melissa Bellin, PhD
Social workers specializing in healthcare practice know that treating an illness biomedically does not necessarily solve the patient’s problems. Acute, chronic, and life-agencies threatening health conditions often cause emotional, financial and social challenges, for both the affected patient and surrounding family. Clinical health social workers provide supportive counseling, crisis intervention, care coordination to link patients and families with community resources, serve as advocates to promote understanding of and sensitivity to social determinants of health, and collaborate with interdisciplinary healthcare team members to implement evidence-supported psychosocial interventions. Healthcare social workers also engage in macro practice in social administration and community organization leadership roles to study patterns of illness, develop and implement programs to prevent disease, administer services to improve health, and advocate for an equitable health care system accessible to all patients with healthcare needs.
The School takes advantage of its location on a campus that includes several major medical centers, a trauma center, and diverse interprofessional education opportunities for social work students to partner with professional students from nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dental, and law. Field placements are available in renowned health organizations throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Graduates are well-qualified to work in one of the largest fields of social work practice–one in which employment opportunities in recent years have been excellent.
The specialization is available to students in both the Clinical and Macro concentrations.