NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Susan Blumenfield (1941 - )
Susan Blumenfield was affiliated with several centers and departments at Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine in New York for nearly 30 years. She has conducted research, taught, published, and developed programs for the aging that have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally. She contributed to the development of social work services at Mount Sinai, as director of the Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Social Work Services, as an associate professor in the Division of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine and as associate director of the Brookdale Social Health Center for the Aging at Mount Sinai.
Blumenfield’s many publications are in leading social work and healthcare journals and books. She co-edited Creative Social Work Practice in Health Care: Challenges in Services to Client, Community and Organization with Helen Rehr and Gary Rosenberg. A 2001 publication with Irwin Epstein on practitioner-initiated clinical case record data mining identified biopsychosocial factors that affected social-health outcomes. These practice-based research strategies helped social work professionals see their own work more clearly and helped improve the quality of direct services, interventions, new programs, and case evaluations.
Susan Blumenfield served as a psychiatric social worker during the 1960’s at clinics and residential treatment units, and for the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene.
Blumenfield held many positions at Mount Sinai. She was associate director and then director of the Department of Social Work Services; the discharge planning coordinator; and a program coordinator (1988 until her retirement in 2007); an adjunct, assistant and then associate professor at Mount Sinai’s School of Medicine’s Department of Community Medicine; and the associate director of Brookdale Social Health Center for the Aging at Mount Sinai. Blumenfield was also a coordinator at White Plains Hospital in New York and conducted research for the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York.
Blumenfield has published more than 30 articles, books, book chapters, and book reviews. She has also presented at numerous workshops and seminars both nationally and internationally, including Australia, Israel, and Spain. She served on the editorial board of the Journal of Gerontological Social Work and on the manuscript reviewer’s board of the Quality Review Bulletin.
Susan Blumenfield received her DSW from Hunter College School of Social Work in 1977 and her MSW from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1964. She received her BS with distinction from Cornell University in 1962. She has been on the council for Southern California of Bend the Arc, a Jewish partnership for social justice. Currently she is on the governing board of MEND (Meet, Eat, Need with Dignity), the largest anti-poverty association in the San Fernando Valley.
Significant Achievements and Awards
Blumenfield was named a Fellow of the Brookdale Center on Aging and a 1999 Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She was a recipient of the United Jewish Federation’s Rose Zeitlin Goldstein Award in 1990, and was elected to the Hunter College Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1992.
Epstein, I. & Blumenfield, S. (eds.) Clinical Data-Mining in Practice-Based Research: Social Work in Hospital Settings. Haworth Social Work Practice Press: NY, 2001.
Rehr, H., Rosenberg, G. & Blumenfield, S. (eds.) Creative Social Practice in Health Care: Challenges in Services to Client, Community and Organization. Springer Publishing Co.: New York, 1998.
Blumenfield, S. “Reflections on Effective Leadership: Strains and Successes, Strategies and Styles.” In Social Work Leadership in Healthcare: Directors’ Perspectives, Haworth Press: NY, 1995.