“Social Work and What We’ve Learned from the Pandemic”

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Date: Thursday, August 12th, 2021

January 2022 Update:

Thanks to all who attended last year’s conference.  We look forward to this year’s conference and planning is underway.  Stay tuned for more details and a save the date coming soon which we will work to notify you as soon as more information is known.

Keynote Speakers



Kris Doty-Yells

Dr. Kristine Doty-Yells is a graduate of Utah Valley University, with a degree in Behavioral Science. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Utah. Kris is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty in crisis intervention and trauma. She has worked as a crisis worker in a hospital emergency room, as a therapist in a residential treatment center and a trauma clinic, and as a disaster mental health worker with the American Red Cross. She is trained in EMDR, Sandtray therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and is certified as a Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional. Kris is currently Associate Professor and Director of Social Work at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and has a private clinical practice. Kris is madly in love with her husband David, and together they have a blended family of 7 children and 11 grandchildren.




Brandon Palmer

Brandon has been working as a hospice chaplain/bereavement coordinator for the past 8 years. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Liberty University with a BS in Religion. He’s currently pursuing a Master of Theology Degree in Thanatology(MTH-CH) from the University of Theology and Spirituality and board certification through Spiritual Care Association (SCA). He’s certified in Thanatology (CT) with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and as a certified grief counselor (GC-C) by The American Academy of Grief Counseling. He also completed the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate Program with The California State University (CSU) Institute for Palliative Care. When Brandon is not working with death/dying/bereavement you can find him reading and studying about it! He even has an app on his phone that reminds him that he’s going to die 5 times a day! Death is what gives meaning to life for Brandon. He loves spending time with my his two children doing anything. His hobbies include hiking, reading, being in nature, and watching arthouse cinema-to name a few.

Click Here to see Presenters, Bios, and Topics

Topics include: Grief and Covid-19, Cultural Sensitivity, Reintegration back into living after Covid-19, Helping Children Recover and Heal after Covid-19, Relationship Repair, Recovery Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, Impact of Covid-19 on the Social Worker, Supporting Staff in the field


If we have learned anything during this pandemic we have learned to be flexible and things constantly change.  We had hopes of being able to have an ‘in person’ conference this year.  In fact we made all arrangements securing the venue, speakers and food.  We even ordered a lot of new swag to give away.

Due to the uncertainty of the Pandemic we have made the decision to move the conference from ‘in person’ to virtual only.   This was not an easy decision and the board voted unanimously to make the change.  The good news is the conference is still happening, it will just be virtual only.  We have some really great speakers this year and I am excited to hear from them.

Because it is virtual only, we won’t have near the cost, and we were able to drop the price of the virtual option from $75 to $25.


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Please contact us via email at contact@utahswa.org if you have questions regarding membership status.


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Please email us with any questions! contact@utahswa.org