Pamela Cohen

Pamela Cohen

Senior Clinical Fellow

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, St Vincent’s Clinic 


Pam Cohen was a senior social worker at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst NSW, where for 35 years she worked with cardiac patients.  She was instrumental in establishing their gold-standard and highly reputed cardiac rehabilitation program in 1983. She has also worked with patients with chronic lung diseases and diabetes.  In 2004 she received an award for Distinguished Service from the Australian Cardiac Rehabilitation Association, the only social worker in Australia to have done so.

Pam has a comprehensive understanding of the impact of illness on a person’s life: their emotions and fears, the struggle they often have to adhere to lifestyle advice and the disruption to their customary roles and responsibilities.  This enables her to work directly with patients and their families to ensure they can more effectively manage the psychological and social problems that may adversely affect the quality of their lives.

Pam is now an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker at St Vincent’s Clinic in Sydney, where she has a counselling practice, mainly with cardiac and pulmonary patients.  Social workers have a uniquely wide focus, taking into consideration the whole of a person’s life, along with the environment they live in, but at the same time being able to work therapeutically with their emotional experience. Recognition and therapy for the troubling issues that chronic illness sometimes brings can markedly improve quality of life and ability to cope. 

In addition to her clinical work, Pam is an expert in group work and the clinical supervision of Allied Health Professionals.  She teaches courses in clinical supervision, group work and the psychosocial aspects of cardiac disease all over Australia, both for the Australian Association of Social Workers and the Australian Centre for Heart Health.  She taught group work for many years in the School of Social Work at the University of NSW, has presented papers in this field at international conferences and in many other sectors has worked to raise standards and improve the knowledge and skills of many professional staff in the field of cardiac rehabilitation.