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April 2019 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
At a time when the growing awareness of financial inequality is acute, the need for social workers to be educated about their clients’ financial literacy becomes greater. Financial inequality is an important macro social work issue with reverberations in every dimension of clients’ lives. However, according to Margaret Sherraden, PhD, MA, emeritus professor of social work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and research professor at Washington University in St. Louis, in this month’s E-News Exclusive, a recent survey funded by the National Endowment of Financial Education found that nearly one-half of social work faculty are not currently covering financial issues in any of their classes. Read more to learn what Sherraden and other social work educators are saying about teaching future social workers how financial literacy affects clients’ lives, how this is being integrated into curricula, and what more needs to be done.

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— Marianne Mallon, editor
e-News Exclusive
Education Expands on Financial Inequality
By Lindsey Getz

Financial inequality is an important issue that routinely confronts social workers—whether they choose to address it or not. To quote a recent fact sheet from Grand Challenges for Social Work, which includes financial inequality among the 12 challenges social workers should address, “Income and wealth inequality, accompanied by the financialization of everyday life, have led to increasing financial vulnerability in socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Millions of families, especially racial and ethnic minorities, lack access to essential financial services.”

While many educators are hoping to integrate financial social work into all areas of social work practice—across the curriculum—it remains unaddressed at many schools. Advocates say this must change.

“Income inequality has reached its highest level since 1990,” says Jin Huang, PhD, an associate professor of social work at Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health & Social Justice. “But it’s not just income issues; it’s also issues of asset and credit inequality and the fact that we can no longer live in a cash economy. However, there is a lack of products and services available for certain populations and that is creating a growing crisis.”

Full story »
Tech & Tools
Engineering Treatments for the Opioid Epidemic

The United States is reeling from a public health crisis driven by the misuse of prescription and illicit opioids with nearly 12 million people abusing the drugs annually. The Midwest saw opioid overdoses increase 70% from July 2016 to September 2017, and every 15 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal as a result of maternal opioid abuse.

A biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a therapeutic option that would prevent the opiates from crossing the blood-brain barrier, preventing the high abusers seek.

Jai Rudra, PhD, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering, is developing nanovaccines to combat opioid misuse with a two-year, $373,068 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) through its Cutting-Edge Basic Science Research award program.

“Research shows that an average of 25% of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and 75% of all people who progressed to use heroin admitted that their first opioid was a prescription drug,” says Rudra, who is the first faculty member from McKelvey Engineering to receive a grant from NIDA.

Read more »
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