NASW helps secure approval for National Academies study

By Paul R. Pace, News staff

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and the National Research Council have approved a proposed consensus study that examines the roles the social work profession and other social needs providers can play in helping improve the nation’s health.

NASW has taken a lead role in the group that has been working to get the study approved. NASW CEO Angelo McClain and President Darrell Wheeler have met with U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., about her support for the report.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The proposal, “Integrating Social Needs Care into the Delivery of Health Care to Improve the Nation’s Health,” is now in the sponsorship phase, as each NASEM study must secure independent funding.

NASW will aid Sharyl Nass, director of the Board on Health Care Services at NASEM in efforts to secure sponsors, said Bonnie Ewald, project coordinator with the Health and Aging Department at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

NASW is taking an active role in identifying and contacting potential sponsors, said Carrie Dorn, NASW senior practice associate. And McClain and Wheeler have already participated in calls and other efforts to identify funders.

Suggestions for potential donors or partners may contact Dorn at

NASEM will then be able to provide more detailed information to funders about the process, Dorn said.
The average study takes 12 to 18 months and costs $1.2 million.

From the March 2017 NASW News. NASW members can read the full story here.


  1. Dr. Dee Unterbach, LCSW

    Social, emotional, family, fiscal health are inherently intertwined with physical health. We humans r a closed system and should be treated as such..
    Mental ( behavioral ) health is interactive. There is no mind body split!

    Social workers in the provision of concrete and
    Therapeutic services enhance health and often prevent illness. We have “outcome evidence” based on our knowledge and skills energized by our values.

  2. If and when this study happens, I hope they will be able to differentiate between professional social work interventions and “other social needs providers”. I hope they will be able to reject the null hypothesis and the corresponding results will help promote the social work profession in health care.

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