The Impact of PHSW

Historical Impact

Many advances in health and social justice can be traced back to the intersection of  social work and public health. The establishment of maternal and child health clinics in the early 20th century, the beginnings of child abuse and neglect prevention, the humanization of treatment of people with mental illness, and the passage of Medicaid and Medicare are all examples of public health and social work collaboration (Ruth and Sisco, 2008).

Current Impact

Every day, over 500,000 social workers are at work in the United States, and half are employed in health care and health-related settings (Whitaker et al). Social workers are now the leading providers of mental health services in the country (Weissman et al). And the outlook for PHSWers is strong: the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for PHSWers will grow faster than average through 2016.

Want to see the impact first-hand? Learn more about a day-in-the life of a public health social worker…

PHSW & the Nation (released Monday, 4/6)

Elena Premack Sandler

Erica Streit-Kaplan

Julie Witas

Vicky Marchand

PHSW & the Community (released Tuesday, 4/7)

Will Halpin

Lauren Shebairo

PHSW & the Workplace (released Wednesday, 4/8)

Tamara Konig

Reva Kleppel

PHSW & the Schools (released Thursday, 4/9)

Gretchen Kinder

PHSW & the Home (released Friday, 4/10)

Patria Rojas


Weissman, M.M., Verdeli, H., Gameroff, M.J., Bledsoe, S.E., Betts, K., Mufson, L., Fitterling, H., & Wickramartne, P. (2006). National survey of psychotherapy training in psychiatry, psychology, and social work. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(8): 925-934.

Whitaker, T., Weismiller, T., Clark, E., & Wilson, M. (2006).  Assuring the sufficiency of a frontline workforce: A national study of licensed social workers.  Special report: Social work services in behavioral health care settings. Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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