By Matthew Biddle
Published January 3, 2024
Mickey Sperlich, PhD, associate professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, will be inducted as a distinguished fellow into the National Academies of Practice in Social Work.
She will be recognized during an induction ceremony on March 16, 2024, during the organization’s Annual Meeting and Forum in Jacksonville, Fla.
The National Academies of Practice works to advance interprofessional health care by fostering collaborative research opportunities and advocating for policies that promote the well-being of patients and communities. The nonprofit is made up of 15 academies that span various health professions, including social work.
Distinguished fellows are elected by their peers from multiple health professions. Sperlich’s induction acknowledges her outstanding achievements in the social work profession and her leadership in interprofessional care.
“My work is highly interprofessional in nature,” Sperlich says.
“I fully support the need for interprofessional education and have served as a faculty facilitator for UB’s yearly interprofessional forums on several occasions,” she continues. “I’ve also served as a mentor for students across disciplines, including social work doctoral candidates and students in the fields of nursing, psychology and public health.”
Early in her career, Sperlich was part of a transdisciplinary team of researchers who published several papers on the effects of perinatal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The experience propelled her to earn her PhD in social work and infant mental health, and to pursue projects with scholars and practitioners in anthropology, midwifery, nursing, psychology and beyond.
Today, Sperlich focuses her research on developing transdisciplinary interventions to address the effects of sexual violence and other trauma on survivors. She is the co-creator of the Survivor Moms’ Companion, a support program for pregnant and new mothers who have experienced trauma, which recently received a $150,000 challenge prize from the National Institutes of Health. Recently, owing in part to its effect on maternal mortality, she has also begun studying gun violence prevention and how social workers can respond to the risks of firearm violence with their clients.