Grant Memorial Hospital (GMH) is celebrating National Social Work Month this March with the theme "Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy."
At GMH, social workers play a vital role in helping individuals receive the services they need to remain in their own home environment. They navigate state and federal programs and find out what guidelines are required for patients to be considered in those programs.
The hospital currently has two full-time social workers, Paula Combs, director, and Melinda Frederick, staff social worker, and one part-time social worker, Kimberly Roth. They work with any patient who may have a social service need.
"The role of a social worker is to be a strong advocate for the people they serve," Combs said, "to evaluate each individual and link them with the services that best fit their circumstances."
There are certain triggers that automatically generate a referral to the social services office, including being over age 65, living alone, currently receiving community services, needing community services, received a terminal diagnosis, had a stroke, need for durable medical equipment, advance directives and fractures. However, any patient who wants to see a social worker will receive a visit.
"Social work is the profession of hope-fueled by resilience and advocacy," the National Association of Social Workers website states. "Social workers matter because they help millions of struggling people every day dream differently."