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Patricia J. Volland (1942 - )


Pioneering Contributions



Patricia Volland was the first social worker and one of the first women to be promoted to Senior Vice President of the New York Academy of Medicine.  Volland also created the Social Work Leadership Institute (SWLI) within the New York Academy of Medicine in 1988 to find solutions for the dire shortage of social workers trained in aging care to support the nation’s booming older adult population and to advocate for policy reforms to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers. Volland helped found the Leadership Academy in Aging in 2008, which was a joint venture of SWLI and the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, to build the leadership of the participating deans and directors with workshops on management, student recruitment, legislative outreach, media relations, community development, fundraising, and faculty relations.


Over a 40 year career Patricia Volland has innovated new models of social work education and led social workers to pursue excellence while never losing sight of the individual in need of support.  As a hospital social worker, Volland served clients and their families in crisis, directed social work discharge planners and developed advanced discharge planning models and best practices which became models nationwide.


Career Highlights


Volland’s contributions to social work have focused on the fields of health and aging.  She created a practicum model that introduces students to different agency placements so they may get a rich experience of the full spectrum of aging issues. This model was adopted by The Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE) which has partnered with Volland to fund training programs in 72 schools of social work across the country.  The model has trained 1,600 graduates in this specialization.


Volland is currently the director of the Social Work Leadership Institute at the New York Academy of Medicine in New York.  She previously served for 13 years as the senior vice president for administration and finance at NYAM.


Volland was Vice President of Administration at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn from 1988-94, Vice President of Planning and Development of Deaton Hospital and Medical Center in Baltimore from 1986-88, and Senior Director of Patient Services at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore from 1973-82.


Biographic Data


Patricia Volland received her MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland in 1981 and her MSW from San Diego State University in 1967.  She received her BA in Sociology from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas in 1964.


She has been a board member for community and national organizations, including the Altman Foundation in New York, was a board member of the American Society on Aging and, as well as serving as a past board chair of Planned Parenthood of New York City.  She was also a member of the Finance Committee of NASW, a member of the Task Force on Aging and Mental Hygiene of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a member of AARP’s National Advisory Council, and served on the editorial board of Haworth Press.


Significant Achievements and Awards


Patricia Volland is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Distinguished Recent Contributions in Social Work Education Award in 2012; the Lifetime Achievement Award, National Association of Social Work, New York City Chapter, 2010; President’s Award, Women in Health Management, 2005; Ida M. Cannon Award for Distinguished Leadership, Society of Social Work Administrators in Health Care, 1983; and the Distinguished Alumni award of the School of Social Work, San Diego University, 1977.

Significant Publications


“Examination of the Psychometric Properties of the Knowledge of Aging for Social Work Quiz”.  With Kayoko Nakao, JoAnn Damron-Rodriguez, and Frances Lawrance.  Educational Gerontology Volume 39, Issue 10, (2013).


“Social Work Practice in Generalized and Specialized Hospitals”, P.J. Volland, D. Keepnews.  Handbook of social Work in Health and Aging, B. Berkman, Editor.  Oxford University Press: New York.  (2006).

“Social Work Practice with Hospitalized Elders: Counselors, Case Managers, and Discharge Planners” with B. Berkman, Caring for the Hospitalized Elderly Current Best Practice and New Horizons: A Special Supplement to the Hospitalist, Society of Hospital Medicine, 21-24. (2004).

Social Work Education for Practice in Health Care: Final Report with B. Berkman, The New York Academy of Medicine (2000).





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