The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report-Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs-provided recommendations for meeting the palliative care needs of our growing population of older Americans. The IOM report highlights the demand for social work leadership across all aspects of the health care delivery system. Social workers are core interdisciplinary members of the health care team and it is important for them to be well prepared for collaborative leadership roles across health care settings. The ExCEL in Social Work: Excellence in Cancer Education & Leadership education project was created as a direct response to the 2008 IOM Report. This article highlights a sampling of palliative care projects initiated by outstanding oncology social work participants in the ExCEL program. These projects demonstrate the leadership of social workers in palliative care oncology.
Keywords: collaborative leadership; institutional change; interprofessional care; oncology social work; palliative care.