Addressing Disparities Through Innovative Program Approaches

Jillian Rose

Did you know that March is National Professional Social Work Month? The theme for this year’s Social Work Month is Pave the Way for Change. This is a time to reflect on what social workers do to create change to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Social workers at Hospital for Special Surgery are keenly aware that chronic rheumatologic and orthopedic illnesses can diminish quality life, are expensive to treat, challenging to manage and lead to loss of productive years.

It is well documented that ethnic minorities with chronic illnesses experience higher levels of disparities, such as higher incidence of disease, lower access to treatment and worse clinical outcomes. To address these disparities social workers at HSS have designed programs and practice interventions to help diverse communities to receive the highest quality of care.

We achieve these goals through:

  • our integral role on the multidisciplinary health care team
  • our advocacy in helping clients, their loved ones and communities to be fully engage in their care
  • our culturally and linguistically tailored programs

and by:

  • teaching clients to navigate and negotiate the care plan, community services and access to insurance
  • helping clients to manage the emotional and financial impact of their chronic illnesses

The Department offers more support and education programs in its areas of specialty than any other hospital in the United States. To learn more about our department’s services and programs please visit us at

Jillian A. Rose, LCSW, is the Assistant Director for Community Engagement, Diversity and Research at Hospital for Special Surgery. Ms. Rose provides oversight and assistance to the Department of Social Work’s participation in HSS Community Service Plan, the hospital’s Race, Ethnicity and Language initiatives and oversees two national peer support and education programs for people with lupus and their families.

The information provided in this blog by HSS and our affiliated physicians is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified health care provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of HSS. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

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