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.

This course can be applied toward:


SOWK 551 (Fundamentals of Mediation).

Important Information

Students will need a Webcam with a microphone and speakers installed and properly working before class begins.

Textbooks 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.
    ISBN: 978-0-8265-1772-2
  • Renegotiating Health Care: Resolving Conflict to Build Collaboration, 2nd Ed. (2011)
    Marcus, Leonard J., Dorn, Barry C., and McNulty, Eric J.
    ISBN: 978-0-470-56220-8


Amber Franzel
Amber Franzel

Amber Franzel grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, receiving her BSW from Colorado State University and her MSW from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has been a licensed social worker since 2008 and has field experience in Elder Protective Services both as a caseworker and supervisor, in community mental health centers focusing on intensive case management for those with chronic and severe mental health issues, and most recently, with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, advocating for older adults in nursing homes and assisted livings. In addition to making sure resident rights are upheld, she also has an interest in nursing home culture change and promoting person centered care into health care in general. As an advocate for residents and families who may not understand the complex elder care system, she spends a lot of time in mediation sessions to negotiating ways to improve the quality of life and quality of care for residents, especially if they are not able to do so. Her professional interests relate to bioethics, navigating family complexities, working within regulations to meet patient needs, and coordination between systems to promote a high level of patient care within a complex and often dysfunctional system.

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