Social Work Students on Capitol Hill for Social Work Advocacy Day

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Thursday March 3, 2016


Dr. Mayra Lopez-Humphreys, director of Nyack’s Master in Social Work Program and an associate professor of the School of Social Work, shared the following great news about a recent visit with her students to the nation’s capital.

Eighteen students from the Nyack College School of Social Work travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend Student Advocacy Day on the Hill. The goal of the event was to discuss how policy is shaped and to learn the critical issues that affect the social work profession.

This year's event focused on H.R. 3712, The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015. Social workers are the largest group of mental health service providers (over 200,000 nationwide). Federal law recognizes social work as one of the core mental health professions, yet Medicare reimburses social workers at a lower rate than the 85% reimbursement that other non-physician practitioners (eg. physical therapist and occupational therapist) receive. The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015/HR allows licensed social workers to receive the same Medicare reimbursement as other non-physician practitioners.

Students had the pleasure and honor of meeting with Congressman Jose Serrano (at desk). They shared compelling stories and asked Rep. Serrano to co-sponsor The Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015/ H.R.3712 and he agreed! Students were empowered by the impact that they could have on legislation, so much so that they are already planning next year's trip to Student Advocacy Day on the Hill.

This D.C. visit is another illustration of the exposure and opportunities that Nyack College provides for its academically excellent and socially engaged emerging leaders.

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