Touro College forum addresses end-of-life care

May 24, 2012

The Touro College Graduate School of Social Work in New York City recently hosted a forum on “Planning for End-of-Life Care with Dignity and Compassion,” in honor of its Spring 2012 Community Day.

Dr. Harvey Gross, (far left) chief physician in the Department of Family Practice at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey, served as keynote speaker.  Dr. Gross addressed ethical decision-making in end-of-life care and the integral role the social worker plays in helping patients and their families make these extraordinarily difficult decisions.

“All we can do is to be as precise as we can about the diagnosis, provide the best support systems that we can, and hopefully provide end-of-life care so that our patients, residents or clients can have a dignified death or ‘a dignified end-of-life journey’,” said Dr. Gross, addressing attendees at the conference held last Thursday evening at Touro’s Lander College for Women – The Anna Ruth and Mark Hasten School.

Phyllis Erlbaum-Zur, Ph.D., LCSW, director of Metropolitan Jewish Health System – Kittay House Hospice, (second from right) spoke about the psychosocial implications of end-of-life care and the role of the social worker in hospice care.

“I think it’s about helping to make one’s journey from this world just a little bit better, a little bit kinder, a lot less bothered, and possibly more meaningful.”

Graduate School of Social Work Founding Dean Steven Huberman, Ph.D.,  (second from left), Director of Student Advancement Allison Bobick, MSW, LMSW, (far right) Touro College Chancellor Rabbi Doniel Lander, and Ohel Children’s Home & Family Services CEO David Mandel, who serves as chairman of the GSSW’s Professional Advisory Committee, all delivered introductory remarks.

The conference, coordinated by Professor Bobick, concluded with remarks from GSSW students Cheryl Bogdan, Annette Grey, Elaine Nicholson and Sharon Rothman, who all spoke about the rewards and challenges of working with end-of-life issues during their field internships. All four students are part of the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) at the Graduate School of Social Work.