SOWK 552 - Conflict Management: Health and Elder Care

  • 3 credits

Health and eldercare mediation is an emerging specialty in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. Building on theory and skills introduced in SOWK 551 (CORE Mediation). This on-line or face-to-face course begins with an overview of mediation practice and dispute resolution in the healthcare and eldercare fields, ways in which the healthcare system generates conflict, and the emerging models of healthcare mediation.

This course provides the essential theory, knowledge, skills, and values for mediators who wish to practice in settings that involve resolving a wide variety of conflicts early and directly while preserving professional relationships in healthcare settings. Students will identify the most common healthcare disputes, steps of the facilitative mediation process and how it applies to healthcare and eldercare settings, the emerging field of bioethics mediation, and essential communication skills for conflict resolution.

The course covers analysis of a conflict and special issues such as end of life issues, medical errors and use of apology, and cultural issues in healthcare conflict. The course discusses interdisciplinary collaboration with physicians, nurses, administrators, attorneys and others involved in healthcare disputes. Ethical dilemmas and standards of practice in healthcare and eldercare mediation are highlighted.

Learn more about how the course is delivered.


SOWK 551 (Fundamentals of Mediation).

Textbook and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Bioethics Mediation: A Guide to Shaping Shared Solutions, Revised and Expanded (2011)
    Dubler, Nancy N. and Liebman, Carol B.
  • Renegotiating Health Care: Resolving Conflict to Build Collaboration, 2nd Ed. (2011)
    Marcus, Leonard J., Dorn, Barry C., and McNulty, Eric J.

Students should have all required texts/materials by the start of class. Books can be purchased through, the CSU Bookstore, or a bookstore of choice.


Dianne Peterson
Dianne Peterson

Dianne is the sole practitioner of Dianne H. Peterson, PC in Loveland, Colorado. Her practice focuses on family law, Guardian ad Litem, adoption and international custody disputes. Dianne also operates Partners in Resolution, Northern Colorado’s premier dispute resolution firm providing all modes of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is also certified as a Child Welfare Law Specialist through the National Association of Counsel for Children. Having operated her solo mediation practice for over 23years, she is a Northern Colorado “alternative dispute resolution pioneer” of sorts.

She is a past president of the Larimer County Bar Association and has served on the Colorado Bar Association Family Law Section Executive Council as well as the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors, Colorado Bar Association Executive Council as a Vice President for the 3rd District and serves on the Colorado Bar Association Access to Justice Commission and Joint Judicial Task Force.

Her passion for working with children and extended families is evident as she is a frequent speaker for Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County, for the Northern Colorado, “Second time Around, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren” support groups, is an annual guest speaker for the Colorado State University Human Development Department in their “Families and the Law” course as well as frequent lecturer throughout Colorado on alternative dispute resolution and families.