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HEALS-Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars Program

Social Work HEALS-IL is a healthcare social work scholarship and leadership program at the University of Illinois for BSW or MSW students during field internship placement.




The School of Social Work is one of ten schools awarded a five-year grant from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Foundation to implement this program (PI, Dr. Janet Liechty). Together, the 10 Schools of Social Work form the HEALS Consortium. The national Social Work HEALS program aims to develop the next generation of healthcare social work leaders who can lead efforts to improve quality and equitable access to healthcare in the U.S.

Benefit to students:

Two BSW students and two MSW students are selected each year as HEALS Scholars (2015-2020).

Each receives a $4000 scholarship during their field placement and participate in the year long program.

HEALS scholars also attend a 2-day healthcare policy conference in Washington, D.C. in the spring (paid by the grant), and bi-weekly seminars at the SSW. Field instructors for the HEALS scholars serve as HEALS mentors, and they also participate in some of these seminars and receive support to attend a spring conference on Social Work in Healthcare Leadership. These conferences provide opportunity for training and networking among the 40 HEALS scholars and mentors selected each year across the U.S. in the HEALS Consortium.


HEALS Scholars Program Eligibility

MSW students in the Healthcare concentration who will be enrolled in field in Fall 2020 and BSW students interested in health and who will be in their field placements in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 may be eligible. The following conditions must also be met:

  • BSW students must agree to be assigned to a healthcare service-learning project in SOCW 461 in Fall 2020;
  • GPA of 3.5 across BSW or MSW coursework;
  • Candidates must secure a field placement in an approved HEALS agency and remain in good standing throughout the internship;
  • Enroll in a 1 credit HEALS seminar while a HEALS scholar during the Fall and Spring;
  • Attend a 2 day conference in DC (paid by the grant);
  • Participate in the HEALS program evaluations; and
  • Be willing to be named publicly as a HEALS scholar and have your photograph appear in CSWE, SSW and other media.

How do I apply?

The application cycle is currently closed and we are not accepting applications for future scholars at this time.


Contact us at or contact Janet Liechty, PhD at

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