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Social Work Internship

In an effort to address the growing need for specialized geriatric health workers to care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) in San Diego County, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved the funding renewal for the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). During the 5-year grant cycle (2019-2024), the GWEP enables social work students at San Diego State University (SDSU) to apply for the Geriatric Master of Social Work Stipend Program, an $8,000 stipend award that covers the cost of two academic semesters and provides specialized gerontological training. Master of Social Work (MSW) students have the unique opportunity to enroll in specialized gerontological courses and complete a 600-hour practicum training during one academic year at three UCSD health care programs that serve ADRD patients: The Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), The Memory, Aging and Resilience Clinic (MARC), and The Center for Brain Health and Memory Disorders.

This partnership between academia and health care programs allow MSW students to train in comprehensive assessments and diagnosis (MARC), participate in psychiatric treatments in a medical setting (clinic), and learn about ground-breaking clinical research in ADRD (ADRC). The MSW learning plan at the UCSD Shiley-Marcos ADRC specializes in direct clinical practice training, research and macro projects in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team. MSW interns gain exposure to several stages of research in longitudinal studies and randomized clinical trials. Students also learn to facilitate support groups and provide case management services to coordinate available resources in the community. In addition, students supervise and conduct data collection on Quality of Life (QOL) Programs to evaluate the impact on people with ADRD and their families. In collaboration with organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Project, students engage in outreach activities to create awareness and educate residential care staff and primary care providers about the growing health needs of people with ADRD. Collectively, these unique learning experiences aim to generate social work experts in chronic health problems in geriatrics and empower social workers to become educated advocates for the elderly community in San Diego County, with the full academic and social potential to become leaders in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.

For more information or to apply, contact Tracey Truscott, LCSW at ttruscott@ucsd.edu