Susan Horky MSW, LCSW

Century TowerDivision

Pulmonary and Allergy

Academic Title

Faculty Social Worker

Contact Information

352-273-8381 (phone)
352-294-8098 (fax)

Research Overview

Ms. Horky’s research focuses on psychosocial aspects of care and on patient-physician communication. She conducts both quantitative and qualitative studies. Her research is geared towards helping providers more fully understand the patient/family’s experience.  The aim of this research is to enhance the quality of the patient-provider relationship, thus improving the quality and safety of care and increasing concordance between the healthcare goals of the patient/family and the provider.


Susan Horky is a licensed clinical social worker who is currently the Co-Director and Social Work Faculty on the MCHB/HRSA funded Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC)Training Grant. She attended Yale University and the Smith College School for Social Work, and was an Associate Clinical Fellow at the Boston Institute for Psychotherapy. Prior to moving to Florida  Ms. Horky worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, and had a private psychotherapy practice in Brookline, MA.

Research Topics

Ms. Horky’s previous research has focused on health beliefs, patient satisfaction, provider-patient communication and adherence.  Ms. Horky is currently PI on two projects, “Understanding the Lives of Teens with Chronic Illness using Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA)” and Parental Report of Children’s Views of the Shortened Life Expectancy in CF.”  The first is a qualitative study in which we loan camcorders to teens with cystic fibrosis and ask them to “show us your life outside the hospital.”  Video’s are transcribed and then analyzed for common themes.  The second is a survey study, assessing  the impact that parent’s feel the awareness that CF has a shortened life expectancy has had on their children. Ms. Horky is also conducting, in conjunction with the Pediatric Pulmonary Center Training Program at UAB,  an evaluation of the effectiveness of PPC-developed Cross Cultural Healthcare Studies when used with Pediatric Residents.

Key Publications

  1. Horky S., Kleinman, S. and Firth, D. A comparison of parent and provider beliefs about asthma in children. Pediatric Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, 20 (1), 2007.
  2. MCHB Family Centered/Family Directed Practices Workgroup, A Compendium of Family Centered, Family Directed Field Experiences, 2008, available at
  3. Simon SL, Duncan CL, Horky SC, Nick TG, Castro MM, Riekert KA. Body satisfaction, nutritional adherence, and quality of life in youth with cystic fibrosis. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2011 Nov;46(11):1085-92. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21477. Epub 2011 May 27
  4. Horky, Susan LSCW; Sherman, Laura E. MSW; Polvinen, Julie; and Rich, Michael MD (2014) “Hearing the patient voice: Using video intervention/prevention assessment to understand teens with cystic fibrosis,”Patient Experience Journal: Vol. 1: Iss. 2, Article 16. Available at: