About this speaker
Dr. Hoy-Gerlach has extensive experience as a social work practitioner in the public mental health service system, and is an avid advocate for the inclusion of human-animal interaction considerations within social work practice. Her current research is focused on: benefits of the human-animal bond; facilitators of mental health recovery among individuals living with mental illness; and the use of qualitative research to inform intervention research. She is on the board of the Toledo Area Humane Society (TAHS), where she developed and supervises MSW internship placements that facilitate benefits of human-animal interaction. She helped develop the TAHS Hope and Recovery Pet Program (HARP), which places shelter animals as Emotional Support Animals (ESAs); this is one of the only such programs in the United States. Dr. Hoy provides expert witness testimony for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Department on benefits of human-animal interaction. She, along with co-author Scott Wehman, are currently under a book contract with National Association of Social Work (NASW) Press and in process of writing The Relevance of Human-Animal Interaction in Social Work Practice. She previously co-authored the book Qualitative Methods for Social Work Practice, published in 2013 by Oxford Press, and has been the principal investigator for two research projects funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health (now the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services). Dr. Hoy convenes the annual Human-Animal Interaction and Social Work Research Group Meeting at the Society of Social Work and Research annual meetings. She is a member of: the National Association of Social Workers (NASW); the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR); and is an Animals and Society (ASI) Scholar Member.