NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dr. Colleen Galambos
Pioneering Contributions: Dr. Colleen Galambos has been a leader in advocating for older adults and quality long-term care. She has served on many committees and has been active in several organizations that pushed boundaries and advanced the issue of quality care for this population. For example, she served on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations Professional and Technical Advisory Committee on Long Term Care where she worked to develop standards for best practices in long-term care. In 2004, Governor Holden appointed her to the State of Missouri Board of Nursing Home Administrators where she served until 2011 as Board Member, Education Committee Chair, Policy Committee Chair, Vice President, and President. With the needs of older adults in mind, she has also been in the forefront of advocating for professional standards of practice and bioethics, having written several articles and book chapters in this area, including the first article that appeared in the literature on living wills. ”. Over the last 3 years, she has organized over 56 advance directive clinics on National HealthCare Decisions Day in the St Louis area. She has also spearheaded community initiatives in St. Louis to increase health care professionals’ and community knowledge of advance directives and advance care planning. Dr. Galambos’ work in gerontechnology is assisting older adults to age in place and assures that consumer preferences remain in the forefront. She is currently involved in a project to test an intervention and payment model aimed at increasing the quality of care and services and reducing potentially avoidable rehospitalizations from skilled nursing facilities. In recognition for her work and contributions, Dr. Galambos was elected as a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America in 2013. Dr. Galambos has also been heavily involved in social work education and the development of professional standards for social workers. As Director of the Maryland Gerontological Association, she developed and implemented interdisciplinary training and education in gerontology and geriatrics across the state of Maryland and participated in the development of national education and training. She advocated for the addition of aging into the college curriculum and built bridges between social work practice, policy, research, and education. She has developed an interdisciplinary minor in gerontology, a graduate-level gerontology concentration in social work, and a graduate certificate in gerontological social work that she currently directs at the University of Missouri. Dr. Galambos served as President of the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW); in that role, she strengthened state licensure and vendorship laws, successfully advocated for strengthening professional social work standards in state government positions, and developed continuing education programming for professional social workers. She also served on the Exam Committee for the Association of Social Work Boards where she worked to strengthen national exams and processes.
Career Highlights: Colleen Galambos started her career as a social worker for Head Start. After receiving her MSW, she worked as a social worker for the Visiting Nurses Association, directed an independent living program for the Multiple Sclerosis Society Maryland Chapter, and was an administrator for a home healthcare agency before becoming Director of Social Work, Outreach, and Admissions at the Cardinal Shehan Center for the Aging in Timonium, Maryland. At the Shehan Center, she helped to establish standards of practice for social workers working in long-term care, helped to establish quality standards for long-term care, and facilitated the development of treatment protocols and care standards for inpatient hospice programs. The Cardinal Shehan Center was the first inpatient hospice facility to accept persons with AIDS in Maryland. She joined the faculty at Western Maryland College where she was instrumental in moving the program into a department status and chaired the department for several years. Dr. Galambos then moved on to become the Acting Associate Dean for the University of Tennessee School of Social Work and then Director of the University Of Missouri School Of Social Work. She has co-authored three books and published over 100 articles and book chapters. She has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Health and Social Work journal and served on the Publications Committee. Dr. Galambos was also Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Social Work Education and is the incoming treasurer of the Corporate Board for Women and Social Work, which oversees editorial operations for the journal Affilia.
Biographic Data: Dr. Galambos received a BS in Community Service Education and Social Work from Cornell University in 1977, her MSW in Social Work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore in 1981, and her PhD and DSW in Social Work from The Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service in 1995.
Significant Achievements & Awards Received: Dr. Galambos has received several awards including the following: Honorary Alumni Award University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (2016), Certificate of Outstanding Achievement, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2013); Fellow, Gerontological Society of America (2013); Who’s Who in American Education (2006); Who’s Who of American Women (2006); Who’s Who in America (2005 & 2006); and Faculty Scholar Publication Award, Western Maryland College (1998).
Significant Publications: Galambos, C., Starr, J., Rantz, M., & Petroski, G. (2016, November). Analysis of advance directive documentation to support palliative care activity in nursing homes. Health and Social Work.
Galambos, C., & Curl, A. (2013). Developing gerontological competencies: A curriculum approach. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 34(3), 309-321. doi:10.1080/02701960.2013.782301
Galambos, C., Skubic, M., Wang, S., & Rantz, M. (2013). Management of dementia and depression utilizing in-home passive sensor data. Gerontechnology, 11(3), 457-468. Doi:10.4017/gt.2013.11.3.004.00.
Galambos, C., & Greene, R. (2006). A competency approach to curriculum building: A social work mission. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 48(1/2), 111-126. DOI:10.1300/J083v48n01_08
Galambos, C. (2001, June). Community healing rituals for survivors of rape. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 71(3), 441-457. DOI:10.1080/00377310109517639
Galambos, C. (1999). Resolving ethical conflicts in a managed health care environment. Health and Social Work, 24(3), 191-197. DOI:10.1093/hsw/24.3.191
Galambos, C. (1998). Preserving end of life autonomy: The patient self determination act and the uniform health decisions act. Health and Social Work, 23(4), 275-281. DOI:10.1093/hsw/23.4.275