Health Care Social Work
- Shirley Otis-GreenShirley Otis-GreenShirley Otis-Green, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C is a licensed clinical social worker and Senior Research Specialist in Nursing Research and Education at the City of Hope in Duarte, California. Her clinical work, research, presentations and publications focus on transdisciplinary palliative care and integrated symptom management with a special emphasis on underserved populations. Shirley is the Principal Investigator of two National Cancer Institute-funded grants (the ACE Project and ExCEL in Social Work), and developed the nationally recognized Promoting Excellence in Pain Management and Palliative Care for Social Workers course. She received a Social Work Leadership Award from the Project on Death in America and is a Mayday Pain and Society Fellow. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Palliative Medicine and is a Distinguished Social Work Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice. Shirley and Terry Altilio, are co-editors of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Social Work, (2011). Shirley received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Hawaii and is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in palliative care at Lancaster University.
Health social work is a subspecialization of social work concerned with a person's adjustment to changes in one's health and the impact this has on that person's social network. Social workers in every setting must be ready to assist individuals and families adjusting to illness and coping with medical crises. This entry provides a brief overview and history of health social work and describes the settings and roles where this work is practiced. Significant challenges and opportunities in clinical care, research, education, and policy are discussed. Standards and guidelines for quality practice are then noted.