Leadership, Literacy, and Translational Expertise in Genomics: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Work

Allison Werner-Lin, Judith L.M. McCoyd, Maya H. Doyle, Sarah J. Gehlert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The transdisciplinary field of genomics is revolutionizing conceptualizations of health, mental health, family formation, and public policy. Many professions must rapidly acquire genomic expertise to maintain state-of-the-art knowledge in their practice. Calls for social workers to build genomic capacity come regularly, yet social work education has not prepared practitioners to join the genomics workforce in providing socially just, ethically informed care to all clients, particularly those from vulnerable and marginalized groups. The authors suggest a set of action steps for bringing social work skills and practice into the 21st century. They propose that good genomic practice entails bringing social work values, skills, and behaviors to genomics. With education and training, social workers may facilitate socially just dissemination of genomic knowledge and services across practice domains. Increased genomic literacy will support the profession's mission to address disparities in health, health care access, and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e52-e59
JournalHealth and Social Work
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)

Keywords

  • genetics
  • genomics
  • social justice
  • social work education
  • translational medicine

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