Recently I had the experience of attending a specialty medical clinic with a family member and we were told one of the people we would be meeting with would be a social worker. An uncomfortable concern entered into mind. Why do we need a social worker? The need for a social worker’s help usually comes during difficulty or perhaps even an unpleasant encounter that will result in a life-changing event. In our situation, the purpose of a social worker was to introduce us to a world of information and support. With this information, we would never feel that we were alone with the new diagnosis. Social workers are champions.
The nation’s 650,000 social workers are champions for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They stand up by comforting people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring they get best possible care while on the road to recovery. They stand up and support military personnel, veterans and their families, immigrants, people living with disabilities and people who are LGBTQ.
Child, family and school social workers stand up by protecting children who have been abused and neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensuring young people reach their full academic and personal potential. And social workers work in communities and with national, state and local government to provide services and pass legislation to stand with and help people with the most needs.
Health Calls is fortunate to have three social workers on our team and while each of their roles are different, they are champions in helping our patients and families.
Sue Davidson,B.S. has medical social work experience and uses her skills as Health Calls referral liaison, making visits to patients at the bedside while in the hospital or rehab. She provides a bridge of knowledge and information for patients and families prior to the move back home. She educates the family about our services and educates them as well as making sure that the agency has as much information as possible to ease patients into a safe transition to home.
Aaron Rimby, B.S.W. also has medical social work experience and uses his skills to provide patients and families important information about their insurance benefit and any responsibilities that they might have for home health services. Since some Medicare Advantage and commercial insurance plans have co-pays, and patients may still have a financial deductible that needs to be met, hearing from Aaron prior to the first home health visit lessens anxieties ahead of the visit. Families are better prepared for the home health team’s first visit knowing and accepting any financial responsibility with Aaron’s communications. Aaron is frequently a communications bridge to the team. Aaron is a champion as he provides additional reinforcement to the information that Sue or another referral liaison may have already covered. Families are frequently in crisis mode and overwhelmed as they transition to home and Aaron adds a level of comfort along the path home.
Lillian Chinicci, M.S.W., L.S.W. is the agency’s medical social worker. Lillian provides home health visits to patients and families to support and advise, provides referral to community services and make recommendations to families about additional supports available. Lillian is a champion in her insight, knowledge of resources and her ability to facilitate communication between family members and to find common ground for stressed families in need of referrals to community services to help them.
Individually they stand up with their skill and expertise, making a positive impact for each individual family they encounter. Collectively, they stand up to strengthen the agency’s ability to meet the needs of all families Health Calls provides services to. Champions!
Happy Social Work Month! #SWMonth #SWStandUp http://www.socialworkmonth.org