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Continuing Education: Getting Past Indecision – Skills to Support Patients’ Decision Making

Tuesday, February 2
6 – 8:30 p.m.

This class focuses on communication skills supporting patients’ decision-making. Instructor Jennifer Halpern, Ph.D., LCSW, APHSW-C, will explore how their decision-making may be hindered in the real-life, stressful settings with insufficient information that often characterize palliative care situations. We will also consider how culture may influence patients’ participation in healthcare decisions. Taking these influences into account will improve our navigation of goals-of-care conversations and family meetings. Knowledgeable application of communication skills may also help patients and physicians avoid conflict and misunderstandings.

Completion of this class will result in the receipt of 2.5 continuing education hours.

About the Instructor
Jennifer Halpern, Ph.D., LMSW, APHSW-C, is a senior medical and certified palliative social worker based at the Oncology Support Program (OSP) of the Westchester Medical Center Network/Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley. Halpern supports both inpatients and outpatients. She is the psychosocial coordinator for the hospital’s Cancer Committee and is the chair of the Ethics Committee. Recently, Halpern has coordinated and directed the study guide for the APHSW certification exam as the Social Work Hospice & Palliative Care Network’s (SWHPN) educational consultant. Halpern received her doctorate in social psychology/organizational behavior from University of California, Berkeley. As an assistant professor at Cornell University, she taught both undergraduates and professionals.

Halpern’s publications focus on communication, negotiation, and decision-making. She authored two chapters in—and co-edited—Debating Rationality: Nonrational Aspects of Organizational Decision Making (Frank W. Pierce Memorial Lectureship and Conference Series, ILR Press). She has volunteered, been a social work intern for, and provided business consulting services for Hospicare of Tompkins County. A move to the Hudson Valley led to her current position with the OSP, a community-oriented program that just celebrated its 25th anniversary.


This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.