Joanne earned an MSW, MA (Psychology) and PhD (Social Work & Psychology) from the University of Michigan. She practiced as a psychiatric social worker, had a private practice for ten years, and taught marital and family therapy in the department of psychiatry at Duke University and the University of North Carolina School of Social Work. She also taught advanced clinical practice in the Schools of Social Work at Columbia University and the University of Michigan.

In addition to serving as head of psychiatric social work at Duke, Joanne has held senior administrative positions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center , University of Texas Medical Center, and was Executive Director of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She has a postgraduate certificate in family therapy from Ann Arbor Center for the Family, and was awarded a Healthier Communities Fellowship by the American Hospital Association.

Joanne is a licensed clinical social worker. She is a certified hospice volunteer, a certified Amherst Writers & Artists (AWA) Workshop instructor, and a certified Life Legacies facilitator. She has completed advanced legacy work focusing on immigration and exile.

In 2011, Joanne earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program in creative writing (fiction concentration). In addition to numerous academic articles and book chapters, she co-authored the book, To Do No Harm (2005). Her first piece of fiction (Last Respects) appeared in the Southern Women’s Review. Her essay, Collateral Damage, won first place in the 74th Ocean Park Writers Conference.