Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network
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SWHPN Virtual Summit: Caring for the Caregivers
Friday, November 19, 2021, 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST
Category: Conference

Join us for our final half-day virtual conference of 2021, featuring the leading research, innovative practices, educational strategies, policy initiatives, and case narratives from leaders in the field of hospice and palliative care. 

Registration for the SWHPN Virtual Summit includes:

  • 3 Continuing Education (CE) hours for social workers
  • Live Q&As with the presenters
  • An opportunity for social workers to connect with peers at our Virtual Social Hour
  • Recordings and slides from all sessions and presentations (where applicable)

The November 19, 2021 SWHPN Virtual Summit will focus on Caring for the Caregivers. Register here.

Keynote: The Other Patient—Providing Support for Caregivers

Presented by Gabrielle Winther, LCSW
Caregivers are on the journey of a patient's illness but their mental and physical health is often overlooked. The course will discuss how to assess caregiver burnout and provide effective therapeutic approaches to restore their mental distress. While empowering them to effectively care for themselves so they can continue to successfully care for their loved one.
After attending this session, attendees will be able to:
  1. Identify signs of caregiver burnout
  2. Understand the principles of problem-solving therapy to address caregiver distress
  3. Identify tools to assess burnout pre and post implementing problem-solving therapy

About the Presenter:

Gabrielle Winther, LCSW received her Master's in Social Worker from Rutgers, the State University of NJ. Gabrielle has been a social worker for over 10 years, working in healthcare, primarily in hospice and palliative care.

Session IA: The effects of spousal relationships on the caregiving experience for caregivers of traumatic brain injury survivors

Presented by Zainab Suntai, LMSW

Caregivers of traumatic brain injury survivors are often affected by the suddenness of brain injury, with impact on physical, psychological, and financial outcomes. This presentation discusses two spousal caregivers of TBI survivors, whose experience of caregiver burden is further exacerbated by the loss of their intimate/romantic relationships.

After attending this session:




  1. Participants will be able to synthesize existing literature on spousal caregiving 
  2. Participants will be able to understand the effects of spousal caregiving particularly for caregivers of TBI survivors 
  3. Participants will be able to apply implications from case narratives to their practice and research initiatives

About the Presenter:

Zainab "Z" Suntai is a 2018-2022 fellow in the Zelda Foster Fellowship in Palliative and End of Life Care at NYU. She is also the current journal assistant for the Journal of Social Work in End of life and Palliative Care. Her research areas include older adults, end of life care, grief and loss, cognitive impairment, caregiving and traumatic brain injury. She is currently the Caregiver Program Coordinator at the Alabama Head Injury foundation, providing programming for caregivers of TBI survivors including a weekly support group and caregiver advocacy training. Her research spans both qualitative and quantitative methods, with a focus on improving quality of life across multiple populations and social issues.

Session IB: When death with dementia is "a memory seared in my brain": Caregivers' recommendations to healthcare professionals

Presented by Cyndi Hovland, Ph.D., MSSW, BSW

This presentation presents unique findings from a study of family caregivers for older persons with dementia focused on their last months of life and that identified what recommendations these caregivers would give to healthcare professionals to improve quality of life, death, and care.

Learning objectives for this session:

  1. To provide an overview of research to date on family caregivers of older persons with dementia and healthcare recommendations.
  2. To present and explicate the primary themes identified in this study of family caregivers recommendations to healthcare professionals.
  3. To show explicit next steps for professionals on the implications of these research findings and how to improve some best practices.

About the Presenter:

Cyndi Hovland, Ph.D., MSSW, BSW, is an associate professor and the MSW Program Director at the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University. Her research interests are grounded in nearly 20 years of clinical practice in hospice, end-of-life, palliative, and bereavement care. Her recently published work is focused on interprofessional education, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, family caregiving, death and dying, and grief and loss. Dr. Hovland serves on the Student Committee for SWHPN, as the Chair of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative at CSU, and has served as the P.I. and Co-PI on several grants.

Session II: Promoting Wellbeing: The Evolution of Wellness in a Palliative Care (PC) Program

Presented by Lindsey Minter, LCSW and Delia Cortez, LCSW

Wellness is essential to a high-functioning team to reduce moral distress and burnout. This presentation will discuss how the UCLA PC Social Workers (PCSW) have been instrumental in the implementation of wellness practice. Participants will have the opportunity to practice wellness activities that have been successfully incorporated at UCLA.

After attending this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Discuss the impact and benefits of a wellness program on a Palliative Care Team.
  2. Discuss how to develop, implement and maintain a wellness program through demonstration. 
  3. Discuss the importance of the social worker’s role in facilitating wellness.

About the Presenter:

Lindsay Minter, LCSW is the Palliative Care Social Worker at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She graduated from University of California San Diego in 2011 with her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and from University of California Los Angeles in 2014 with her Masters in Social Welfare. Lindsay received a Post-MSW Certificate in Palliative Care from Cal State University Institute for Palliative Care in March 2017.

Delia Cortez, LCSW is the Palliative Care Social Worker at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1997 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Ethnic Studies. In 2003, she obtained her Masters in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach. Delia earned a Post-MSW Certificate in Palliative Care from the California State University Institute for Palliative Care in March 2017.

Date: Friday, November 19, 2021

Time: 12:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern / 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pacific

Target Audience: All levels

Cost to attend: $79 for current SWHPN Members / $99 for Nonmembers / free for current Student, Friend of SWHPN and Retiree Members




To earn CE credit, social workers must log in, attend the entire summit and complete an online course assessment and evaluation.

Certificates of completion will be emailed immediately following the completion of a webinar evaluation. Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network aka SWHPN, #1716, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network aka SWHPN maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 7/18/2020 – 7/18/2023. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in a summit can receive 3 continuing education clock hours.

Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0503.

Contact: [email protected]