Monday, March 18, 2019
by Mary Williams • firstname.lastname@example.org
BJH | With bright eyes and a big smile, Anna Wingo, MSW, LCSW, talks about celebrating National Social Work Month like it’s Christmas. The social work department at Barnes-Jewish Hospital will even exchange gifts this year.
“This month is a way for us to encourage each other through notes of kind words, gifts and candy,” says Wingo, BJH neurology stroke case coordinator. “We’ll also enjoy a meal, treats and activities together.”
Social Work Month is celebrated in March as a way to educate the public about the contributions of social workers. They have the important, wide-ranging and sometimes challenging role of “meeting the needs of anyone in any situation.”
Social workers are charged with finding a way to make meeting their patients’ health needs fit into their patients’ daily lives, says Wingo. “We try to make sure what a person needs fits into their goals. We’re trained to do so,” she says.
Many people think social workers in the health care field only provide transportation and long-term care planning. But they also help to ensure all the needs of patients and families are met, in all aspects of the patient’s care. This might include assisting with employment, food, clothing, rehabilitation, home care, grief counseling and dealing with health insurance issues.
For instance, social work graduate students learn how socioeconomic class relates to health care. They also learn about psychosocial assessments — evaluations of a person’s mental health and social well-being.
Diane Howard, MSW, LCSW, ACSW, interim social work supervisor for psychiatry and ED social work, says her team works with patients who have high social needs.
“Our patients may be isolated from their families, community supports or whoever is involved in their lives,” says Howard. “The resources they need may be greater because they are detached from primary supports, so we also try to help them reconnect.”
All BJH social workers either have their clinical license or are working toward it. There are about 75 social workers at BJH, including eight full-time social workers in the emergency department and three full-time social workers in the outpatient clinics. In addition, most nursing units have their own social worker. In an average day, each social worker sees about 10-20 cases. In the intensive care units, social workers can have up to about 40 cases a day.
“All of us have a high skill set and we’re prepared to help patients and family members from different backgrounds, and we do a great job,” says Kristen Garber, MSW, LCSW, BJH social work supervisor. “We also work closely with physicians, nurses and other clinical staff to help provide the best outcomes for our patient population.”
Number of views (2162)/Comments (8)
3/19/2019 10:25 AM
Happy Social Work Month!
3/20/2019 8:39 PM
Happy Social Work Month! .... Special shout out to our Hospice Social Workers!
3/25/2019 8:45 AM
Shout out to our BJC BH CM and CSS workers they do one heck of a great job!!!!
3/25/2019 10:55 AM
Thank you for the important work you do and happy social work month!
3/26/2019 1:46 PM
You guys ROCK!!
Sidney E Cole
3/29/2019 6:24 PM
Happy Social Work Month. As former Inpatient, ED and Hospice BJC Social Worker, I appreciate the work you do and so glad to see how you are appreciated.
3/29/2019 11:03 PM
Love this!!! My cousin Laura is in this picture and she is the kindest, most wonderful person anyone could have the pleasure of knowing! She is a rock!!! Good job cuz! ❤️❤️❤️
4/3/2019 9:58 AM
HAPPY SOCIAL WORKER MONTH ! ESPECIALLY TO SUE ROSS, OUR GREAT SOCIAL WORKER AT BARNES WEST COUNTY HOSPITAL