Social Work Director, Shelley Cohen Konrad, presents during virtual interprofessional summit

Shelley Cohen Konrad, Ph.D., LCSW, FNAP, director of UNE’s School of Social Work and UNE’s Center for Excellence in Collaborative Education (CECE), recently gave two presentations and served as facilitator for Nexus Summit 2020: Retaining the Vital Focus on Optimizing the Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environments: Better Care, Better Value, Better Education.

The annual summit serves as a space where health professionals, students, administrators, business innovators, community health workers, and academicians come together to share ideas and generate new knowledge about interprofessional collaboration.

Check out this video to learn more about Interprofessional Education Opportunities at UNE: 


Cohen Konrad, along with co-presenter and artist Ted Meyer, presented a plenary session, “Caregiving before, during, and after dual pandemics: Facts and Actions.” The session highlighted the lived experiences of family and friends who are essential, yet unpaid, care workers for people needing ongoing health and medical assistance.

Cohen Konrad,  also presented a talk on ambiguous losses and served on the summit’s national planning committee, which included Barbara Brandt, Ph.D., founding NCIPE director and the center’s new co-director, Christine Arenson, MD, a practicing physician and founding co-director of the Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education at Thomas Jefferson University. Given the co-occurring urgent issues of the day,  summit planners prioritized the integration of these topics into plenaries and ensured that all stakeholder voices were well represented.

SSWSO (19 of 23)“In myriad ways we are connected to uncertain grief – our lives changed forever, not knowing what will be the next ‘normal’ that will disappear,” reflects Cohen Konrad,  “simultaneous to pandemic losses, are those precipitated by racist violence.”  These concepts are woven into UNE social work curriculum as well.  “Recognizing and addressing ambiguous loss and moral injury in social work curriculum and continuing education helps mitigate their devastating effects.”

For more on Ambiguous Loss, check out:  Ambiguous Loss in the time of COVID19 and Widespread Protests for Racial Justice 

Initially wary of holding the event remotely, Cohen Konrad says summit planners were delighted when participation reached an even broader range of participants than ever before and elicited a banner year for conference submissions.