Center for Social Work in Healthcare
The Center for Social Work in Healthcare (CSWH) is dedicated to promoting and supporting the optimal use of the social work profession in health care settings, with an emphasis on primary health care settings. This is accomplished through the provision of educational opportunities and supports to social work students who have demonstrated an interest in interdisciplinary practice in health care. The Center supports and participates in Oklahoma projects and programs focused on improving primary and community health, and supporting the increased use of evidence based social work practice in health care. In addition the Center provides technical assistance and resources to primary care practitioners interested in developing social work positions within their practices, or improving the use of social work in their interdisciplinary teams.
The CSWH upholds its mission through supporting student opportunities through elective courses related to social work practice in health care and offering stipend support for field experiences in healthcare, graduate research assistantships, and interdisciplinary training opportunities in conjunction with the OU Health Sciences Center. One such program available to graduate students is Empowering Patients through Interprofessional Collaboration (EPIC). Another, open to both undergraduates and graduate students, is All Professions Day (APD). Both EPIC and APD are interprofessional multidisciplinary experiential programs that train OU students from 13 health disciplines to work together to better serve people in our communities.
Integrated Primary Care
The CSWH is involved in various activities aimed at supporting the adoption of evidence based best practice models for the use of social work in healthcare and ensuring social work is able to practice using clinical interventions to promote behavioral change and improved health. Some of these activities are the provision of technical assistance, start up support and continuing technical support to SoonerCare Medical Home practices that have demonstrated interest and potential capacity to employ and sustain social work professionals in primary health care settings. CSWH collaborates with and supports Oklahoma programs and projects with a goal of improving access to and quality of primary care and community health services in Oklahoma.
OU SBIRT Collaborative
In 2015 the Center received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to train students in Medicine (MD), Physician Assistant (PA), Nursing (MSN and BSN), Social Work (MSW and BSW), Psychology (Graduate level), and Counseling (undergraduate) students on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). The OU SBIRT Collaborative has provided the trainees with live simulation experience and resource materials to support integration of SBIRT into their future practice. To date, the grant has trained over 1,600 future healthcare professionals in how to have collaborative, non-judgmental, patient-centered conversations about alcohol, substance use, tobacco, and depression.
CSWH Conference and Continuing Education
Additionally, the CSWH hosts the annual Celebration of Social Work in Healthcare Conference featuring presentations about cutting-edge best practices in the arena of Healthcare Social Work – specifically related to Social Work in Healthcare and Collaborative Mental Healthcare.
The Center hosts bi-monthly CEU-eligible meetings for behavioral health practitioners working in integrated healthcare. These meetings found their beginnings among a few social workers looking to grow their primary care and integrated healthcare knowledge and skills in a constructively framed environment. Today the meetings have grown to include LMFTs and LPCs. Growth and networking are encouraged within the collaborative, educational, and innovative group by featuring a guest speaker on a special topic and including organizational and clinical consultations.