Advancing Social Work Education in Health


The majority of today’s practicing social workers are employed in health settings, making it crucial that they look beyond individual engagement and see their work in the context of the larger health care system. But with that system undergoing such seismic change, is education and training keeping pace?

Our research is taking a comprehensive look at social work education in the United States at every level, from bachelor’s and master’s degrees to continuing education programs. How are social workers taught to conceptualize determinants of health? Are students learning to integrate public health tools into their training and practice? Our work seeks to better understand if colleges and universities are adequately preparing social workers to navigate, contribute, and collaborate in today’s complex system, so that they can maximize their impact in addressing health inequities.


  • Betty J. Ruth

    Boston University School of Social Work

  • Harold Cox

    Boston University School of Public Health

  • Allison Backman

    Boston University School of Social Work / Boston University School of Public Health

  • Teri Browne

    University of South Carolina

  • Robert Keefe

    University of Buffalo

  • Joan Levy Zlotnik

    Senior Social Work Consultant

  • Peter Miramaldi

    Simmons College

  • Michele Rountree

    University of Texas – Austin

  • Jamie Wyatt Marshall

    Group for Public Health Social Work Initiatives