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Social Work Health Futures Lab

Associate professor Jaehee Yi selected as a fellow in the first national cohort of the Social Work Health Futures Lab.

Associate professor Jaehee Yi was recently selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates as a fellow in the first national cohort of the Social Work Health Futures Lab.

Backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and housed at Portland State University, the Futures Lab is a select group of social work scholars from across the country who will study future trends and their possible effects on the social work profession. The Lab is a collaborative learning network meant to consider how a “foresight lens” can accelerate the impact of social workers in health-rated areas of practice.  It’s a community of scholars looking at different elements of futures challenges—“plural,” Yi notes, “because we can create multiple kinds of futures.”

Through a combination of courses, reading, discussion and collaboration, the goal of the Futures Lab is to foster intentional cross-fertilization, shared discovery and meaningful contributions to further social work thought and practice as a health-anchored profession.

“Social work needs a paradigm shift in order to lead the way through the crises that currently face humanity,” said Yi.  “We have aligned ourselves with the medical disease models, despite a professional code of ethics that acknowledges the complexity of the human experience and emphasizes aspects of that experience that do not lend themselves to being measured or tested in a simplified, quantifiable setting.”

To date, Yi’s research on resiliency and posttraumatic growth in medical contexts is part of this paradigm shift.  Her research, grounded in the untraditional participatory action and mixed methods models, has provided a solid foundation for pursuing creative and innovative ways to design, conduct and disseminate research.  With the support of the Futures Lab, she intends to expand her research in resiliency to the intersectionality of race/ethnicity and gender/sexuality.

Learn more about Yi here.