By Joyce Lee
Penn Memory Center recently welcomed a new team of social work interns to help develop and maintain psychosocial programs that support PMC patients and caregivers.
Cynthia Clyburn, Shauniqua Key, Christine Pappas, Arielle Schreier, Catherine Wilsnack, and Lauren Zelouf are students in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice.
They will be working closely with Felicia Greenfield, director of clinical research operations and care programs, and Alison Lynn, assistant director of care programs. Greenfield called the annual corps of social work students “integral to the PMC’s training mission.”
“The students take a class at Penn that teaches theoretical frameworks in social work practice, and they draw on their classroom learning to apply their skills in the field,” Greenfield said.
Schreier and Zelouf are dedicated to PMC, and Clyburn and Wilsnack are dedicated to the Department of Neurology.
“Both groups are learning how to assess patients’ and families’ needs, and then they are partnering with patients and families to provide clinical interventions with the goal of keeping the patient safe and supported while helping caregivers manage their stress,” Greenfield said.
Greenfield also works in tandem with Penn Geriatric Medicine on the supervision of Key and Pappas, who provide services as part of a new behavioral health initiative in the practice.
Clyburn, a 2014 graduate from the College of Charleston, holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in gerontology. She has previously worked as a care coordinator for a non-medical home care agency in Charleston, SC.
Key received her bachelor’s degree in healthcare management from Howard University in 2016. She is interested in working in a clinical healthcare setting, providing resources and assistance to patients in need.
Pappas, who graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in narrative studies in 2014, previously worked as a director of an after-school program for middle school students in New York City. She is especially interested in the use of storytelling to increase empathy, build community, and effect change.
Schreier received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of Florida in 2015. She is interested in working with patients, their families, and their caregivers to help them navigate their diagnoses from PMC.
Wilsnack graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minors in Hispanic studies and sociology. She is particularly interested in research that examines neurodegenerative diseases and the role of the environment, specifically the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical intervention methods.
Zelouf graduated from University of Vermont in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies and minors in Spanish and anthropology. She looks forward to providing support to patients and their families in processing their diagnoses and connecting them to resources throughout their disease trajectory.