Katherine Walsh



I am delighted to have joined the faculty of the Westfield State University MSW program after 18 years as a Professor at the Springfield College School of Social Work. I have practiced as a clinical social worker in a variety of health care settings, including the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. I continue to practice clinical social work in private practice, which I have maintained in Northampton since 1990, with individuals families, couples and groups. I appreciate everything I learn from both my clients and my students and find my practice informs my teaching and teaching informs my practice.  I often include experiential learning activities such as ropes course and therapeutic adventure activities, program evaluation projects and community service events, such as the annual DCF spring adventure camp for teens in foster care into my teaching.     

In addition to direct practice and teaching, my social work experience includes serving as the Director of Psychosocial Services for Hospice of Hampshire County, serving as the President of the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW),Testifying for the President's Cancer Panel  and serving on advisory boards for the Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWPN), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and Cancer Connection (a service organization in Northampton) and leading self-care retreats for various hospice and service organizations.



  • Walsh, K. (2012).  Grief and loss: Theories and skills for the helping professions. (2nd Edition).  Needham Heights: Pearson Education/ Allyn & Bacon. 


  • Walsh, Katherine (in press).  Career planning in oncology social work: From practice to academia. Handbook of Oncology Social Work. Mesner, C., Christ, G. and Behar, L. (Eds). New York: Oxford Press (publication in 2014)

  • Walsh, Katherine (2014) Survivorship.  Encyclopedia of Social Work. Washington, DC: NASW Press. 

  • Walsh, K. (2012) Grief and loss: Theories and skills for the helping professions. (2nd Ed). Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Education/Allyn & Bacon. 

  • Walsh, K. (2012). Psychosocial issues in life limiting illness: Continuity of care           in Clark, E. and Hoffsteader, E. (Eds) Social Work Matters: Linking policy and practice. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press.

  • Walsh, K. and Hedlund, S. (2011). Assessment of mental health in palliative care: The social work role in Altilio, T. and Otis-Greene, S. (Eds.). Handbook of social work in palliative care. New York: Oxford Press.
  • Walsh-Burke, K. (2004). Mental health risk assessment. In Berzhoff, J. and Silverman, P. (Eds). Living with dying: A handbook for end-of-life health care practitioners. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  • Walsh-Burke, Katherine and Smith, Elizabeth (1998). Education and training needs of oncology social workers.  In Holland, J. and Brietbart, W. (Eds). Psychooncology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Peer Review Journals:

  • Fobair, P. et al., (2009). Historical threads in the development of oncology social work. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 27(2); 155-215. 
  • Zebrack, B., Walsh, K., Burg, M., Maramaldi, P. & Lim, J. (2008).   Oncology social worker competencies and implications for education and training, Social Work in Health Care, 47(4):355-376.
  • Walsh, K. (2007). Loss and grief. in Csikai, E. and Jones, B. Teaching resources for End of Life and palliative care courses. Chicago, Ill.: Lyceum Press. 
  • Cskai, E. and Walsh-Burke, K. (2005) Professional Social Work Education in End of Life Care: Contributions of the Project on Death in America’s Social Work Leadership Development Program. Journal of social work in end of life & palliative care, 1(2); 11-26.
  • Walsh-Burke, K. and Zebrack, B. (2004) Advocacy needs of adolescent and young adult survivors of cancer: Perspectives of pediatric oncology social work leaders. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 2 (2); 75-87.
  • Walsh-Burke, K. (2004). Managed mental health care. In Vecchiolla, F. and Roy, A. (Eds).  Thoughts on an advanced generalist education: Models, readings and essays .  Peosta, Iowa: E.Bauer Press.
  • Lesser, J. O’Neill, M., Walsh-Burke, K., Scanlon, P.,Hollis, K., Miller, R. (2004).Women Supporting Women: A Mutual Aid Group Fosters New Connections Among Women in Midlife . Social Work With Groups,  27 (1); 75-86.
  • Vechiolla, F., Roy, A., Lesser, J. Wronka, J. Gianesin, J and Walsh-Burke, K. (2001). Advanced Generalist Social Work Education. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 21 (3/4),
  • Taylor-Brown, S., Altilio, T., Blacker, S., Christ, G. and Walsh-Burke,K. (2001). Best practices in End of Life care. Philadelphia, PA: Society for Leadership in Social Work and Health Care. 
  • Walsh-Burke, K. (2002).  Experiential education and oncology: Applications for professionals and clients. Illness, Crisis and Loss, 10(1); 51-61.
  • Walsh-Burke, K. (2000). Matching bereavement services to level of need. The Hospice Journal, 15(1); 77-86.
  • Walsh-Burke, K. & Scanlon, P. (2000). Beyond Reviving Ophelia: Groups for girls 12-14 and the women who care about them. Social Work with Groups, 23 (1);71-82.
  • Walsh-Burke, K.& Marcusen, C. (1999). Self-advocacy training for cancer survivors: The Cancer Survival Toolbox. Cancer Practice, 7 (6), 297-301.
  • Marcusen, C., & Walsh-Burke, K. (1998). Self-advocacy training. Coping, September/October.
  • Walsh-Burke, Katherine and Naughton, Dana (1996) Managed care survival kit for oncology social workers. Baltimore, MD: Association of Oncology Social Work.
  • Walsh-Burke, Katherine, (1992) Family communication and coping with cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncolog , 10(1); 63-82.
  • Murray-Ross, D, Peteet, J. Medieros, C. and Walsh-Burke, K. (1992). Relationships with Patients in Oncology: Can a clinician be a friend? Psychiatry,55,Aug.;223-229. 
  • Murray-Ross, D., Peteet, J. ,Medeiros, C. and Walsh-Burke, K. (1990) Difference between nurses' and physicians' approach to denial in oncology. Cancer Nursing. 
  • Murray-Ross,D., Peteet, J.,  Medeiros, C. and Walsh-Burke, K. (1990) Consent to treatment and current ethical concerns of oncology nurses.Oncology Nursing Forum. 
  • Peteet, J., Murray-Ross,D., Medeiros, C. and Walsh-Burke, K. (1989) Job Stress and Satisfaction Among Staff Members at a  Cancer Center. Cancer,  64:975-982..
  • Walsh-Burke, K., Mendelsohn, N., Martin, G. and Rubin, S. (1984) Helping children cope when a parent has cancer.  Boston, Ma.: Massachusetts Division, American Cancer  Society.
  • Peteet, J., Medeiros, C. and Walsh-Burke, K. (1981) Psychosocial aspects of artificial feeding in cancer patients. Journal of Parenteral Nutrition, Spring.


  • Social Work in Health Care Appointed 2010
  • Journal of Social Work in End of Life & Palliative Care. Haworth Press.
  • Editorial Board: Appointed 2005,
  • Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. Haworth Press.
  • Reviewer: 1999-2008


  • Walsh, K. and Smith, L. (2009). An evaluation of the We Can Weekend: Serving the needs of diverse families. Report to American Cancer Society.
  • Walsh, K. and Habif, J. (2008) The impact of the 5 and Under Initiative. Report to the Community Foundation of Western Mass.
  • Schwartz, J., Ousley, A., Walsh, K., Zebrack, B. (2007) National Cancer Institute: National Practitioners Survey on Evidence-based practice. Sponsor: National Cancer Institute.
  • Zebrack, B., Walsh, K. (2006). Association of Oncology Social Work, Member Survey. Sponsors: Lance Armstrong Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 
  • Walsh, K. (2007). The impact of a therapeutic adventure program on adolescents in foster care: Self-efficacy, Use of Resources and changed attitudes toward adoption. Sponsor: Community Foundation of Western Mass.