Social Work-Medicine Relationship: 100 Years at Mount Sinai

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An absorbing exploration of the growth of social work at the Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Social Work-Medicine Relationship: 100 Years at Mount Sinai explores the lessons learned in the formation and management of social work departments in health care, through the perspective of the hospital internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care, education, and scientific research. Internationally respected experts Dr. Helen Rehr and Dr. Gary Rosenberg from Mount Sinai use their unique viewpoints to tell the extraordinary story of a century of knowledge and growth, concentrating on the development of the social work department and the people dedicated to providing the finest care possible. This commemoration of the winding path of social work and health care takes the reader on a fascinating and surprising walk through the history of not only a great hospital, but also the effects that the work at Mount Sinai had on the community and public policy.

The Social Work-Medicine Relationship provides an absorbing general history of social health care and its growth at the Mount Sinai Medical Center from its inception in 1906 to the present day. This unique review of the factors in place that triggered the formation and subsequent growth of the institution’s social work services department is useful knowledge for every social worker in both academic and practice organizations. Special focus is given to explain how women have consistently been a driving force in the expansion to fulfill the needs of the community. Presentation papers are included from influential women the first half of the century that illustrated patient needs and positively affected the growth of services. The book is extensively referenced and includes several informative appendixes.

The Social Work-Medicine Relationship explores the history of:

  • early medicine
  • social services
  • American medicine and the emergence of the social work profession
  • the beginning of Mount Sinai medicine—the Jews Hospital
  • the Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board
  • Mount Sinai’s Department of Social Work Service
  • applied social work research
  • the Mount Sinai Department of Community Medicine
  • the Mount Sinai Division of Social Work
  • globalization of social work services
The Social Work-Medicine Relationship is engrossing reading for social work scholars, historians interested in the history of social work in medicine, directors of departments of social work in health care organizations, and educators and students of social work.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Rehr and Rosenberg-internationally known experts from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City-here review the opportunities and challenges of forming and managing a social work department in a medical center over the last 50 years and outline the department's evolution into a model of social work service, research, and education. The book begins with a brief overview of how social services have connected to medicine from ancient times to the present, which is excerpted in part from the authors' previous book, Social Work at the Millennium. Discourses on the history of social services and the lay women who pioneered the department's formation at Mount Sinai Hospital follow. Accounts by two past directors, one written in 1932 and one in 1955, bring to life the realities of the field in those times and have informed the work and direction of future directors. Subsequent chapters communicate the ties between social work research and practice in community and global healthcare settings. Owing to its specific focus, this title is recommended for history of medicine or social work collections.-Beth Hill, Univ. of Idaho Lib., Moscow Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Ralph D. Arcari, Ph.D.(University of Connecticut Health Center)
Description: The authors review the development of medical social work through their experience with this profession at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and that institution's background in social services over the last century. Opening and closing chapters deal in general terms with historical antecedents and the future for the interaction between social services and medicine.
Purpose: The authors have decided to introduce the development of social work services and medicine in one academic medical center in reflecting on the gains and losses. (pp. 5-6) This work is, in effect, a case study in how the vicissitudes of the American healthcare delivery system have affected social services in a hospital and academic health center over time. The current lamentable state of access to and costs for U.S. medical care are yet again documented, this time from a social services point of view with a historical perspective.
Audience: The book is written for general readers to provide a higher profile to the area of social work that specializes in patient care. The authors have collaborated on or separately written twenty-two books in their field.
Features: The development and management of social services at Mount Sinai Hospital is delineated with details on the role of women, advisory committees, transition to an academic health center, emergence of a department of community medicine, research initiatives, and program implementation with medical professionals and peers on an interdepartmental and international level. Personal recollections of colleagues document changes. Chapter references are relevant and extensive. No medical social services data such as numbers of cases over time, clients by specialty, or negative outcomes are provided either in the narrative or in tabular format.
Assessment: There is an uneven quality to the chapters in this book. Those dealing with the place of social work in a community medicine department and the effects of federal and state health policies on patients requiring social services would engage an academic reader. The chapters on Mount Sinai staff, their writings and administrative organization in the period 1920 to 1950 would seem pertinent to a Mount Sinai archivist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789030771
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Series: Haworth Social Work in Health Care Series
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Kenneth L. Davis)
  • Chapter 1. Introduction: Social Work Services in Health Care: The Challenges
  • Chapter 2. Early Medicine and the Social Services
  • Chapter 3. American Medicine and the Emergence of the Social Work Profession
  • Introduction
  • Social Work Emerges
  • Social Work Connects to Medicine
  • Chapter 4. Mount Sinai Medicine and the Women Who Socialized the Institution
  • The Mount Sinai Auxiliary Board
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5. Social Work Activist-Leaders: The Making of a Social Work Department
  • Background
  • Chapter 6. Social Work’s Past Shapes the Present
  • Introduction
  • An Experiment in Staff Education Conducted at the Social Service Department of the Mount Sinai Hospital: A 1932 Perspective (Fanny L. Mendelsohn)
  • A Comprehensive Approach to Social Service in a Health Agency: A 1955 Perspective (Doris Siegel)
  • Chapter 7. Social Work Research in Health Care: Studies That Affect Practice
  • Premise
  • Background
  • Social Work Studies Itself
  • An Aspiring Researcher Begins at Mount Sinai (Barbara Berkman)
  • Thirty-Five Years of Social Work at Elmhurst Hospital (Lawrence Cuzzi)
  • From Evaluation Methodologist to Clinical Data-Miner: Finding Treasure Through Practice-Based Research (Irwin Epstein)
  • Going Across Town and Out into the World (Gary Holden)
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 8. Community Medicine and the Social Work Connection
  • Background
  • The Division of Social Work
  • Social Work Role in Medical Education
  • Schools of Social Work
  • Community Practice
  • Research
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 9. The Globalization of Social Work Services in Social-Health Care
  • An International Exchange Among Social Work Leaders
  • The Enhanced Leadership Program
  • The Needs of Developing Countries
  • The Needs of Western Social Workers
  • Other Enhancement of Leadership Programs
  • Chapter 10. Medicine and Social Work: The Social-Health Challenge
  • The Economics of Health Care Delivery
  • The New Millennium
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Tomorrow’s Social Work
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix I. Directors, Department of Social Work Service
  • Appendix II. Edith J. Baerwald Professors of Community Medicine (Social Work) and Chairpersons, Division of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences
  • Appendix III. Chairpersons, Auxiliary Board
  • Appendix IV. Social Work Events
  • Appendix V. Auxiliary Board Projects, 1969 to 2004
  • Appendix VI. Women As Volunteers
  • Introduction
  • A Personal History of an Auxiliary Board Member (Hortense Hirsch)
  • References
  • Index
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