October 2023 President's Corner

Louise Knight

SSWLHC President

Cheers to Atlanta… Atlanta did not disappoint, offering a warm and welcoming location for our 58th Annual Conference. Keynote speakers, breakout sessions and pre-conference: Pediatric Intensive and Leadership Institute offered new information and perspectives for reflection. Exhibitors and sponsors engaged and supported the work of SSWLHC and the specifically designed networking events, allowed the opportunity to meet and connect. As a colleague told me years ago, if you walk away with one new understand or the awareness of a new perspective, the event was a success. I think we can safely all agree, this conference was an overwhelming success. As any event like this takes the positive engagement of many, our collective thanks to everyone who worked to plan, to present, to welcome, to host and to coordinate. Well done TEAM!

During my remarks I introduced the audience to the Board, the Executive Team, Chapter Leaders, Foundation Leaders and Conference Chairs and I shared a reflection, as to Why? We Do What We Do… The answer is for our patients and families and suggested that we keep the (Why?), as our organizational focus.

I offered an update on the national landscape of healthcare social work and the critical importance for our organization to step forward to lead in the support of those currently working in healthcare and for those we need to join this national workforce. I spoke of the importance of collaborative engagement with other healthcare social work colleagues, awareness and engagement in public policy and I shared some of our early steps to expand our educational offerings in 2024. I showcased the importance of supporting and mentoring with the launch of the Mentorship 2.0 (watch for a separate news blast) and the commitment to keep our membership informed through this newsletter platform and more. I closed these remarks with a (Call to Action) for all members (current and in the future) to step forward and fully invest in SSWLHC, step up and share your skills, talents and gifts with others and Make A Difference in the sustainability of this profession for years to come.

Finally, I shared that our expanded educational plan for 2024 is to offer virtual webinars, podcasts, intensives, roundtable discussions, Leadership Institutes and conference. The goal for 2024 is to engage in education without the need for travel; including the annual conference and then return to an in-person event in 2025. Our creative thinking will design these offerings, so they will not be simply watching a screen, but allow for live engagement and exchanges. Watch for more details in early 2024!

We left Atlanta excited about our next chapter…our expanded educational design…our public policy awareness…our appreciation for clinical specialization… and a call for everyone to come to the table for engagement.


Louise Knight, MSW, LCSW-C, OSW-C, FNAP
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Director, Harry J. Duffey Family Patient and Family Services Program
President, Society for Social Work Leadership In Health Care