A day to thank social workers
by Andrea Powell, HPCCR Marketing Manager
March is not just the month where we wear green and hope for the luck of the Irish. In the healthcare community, it’s the month where we honor a group of unsung heroes: our social workers.
Social workers in the field of hospice embody a true blend of heart and mind. They possess the clinical knowledge needed for analytics and assessment and they draw on an endless well of compassion when building relationships with families who are moving full-steam-ahead toward heartbreaking loss.
Social workers are part of a larger hospice care team, so they must have the ability to cooperate with others and effectively communicate their opinions. This might entail advocating for the patient, a member of the patient’s family, or even a family friend. At which point they must use their significant multi-tasking skills to wrestle with the unending paperwork and, at the same time, quickly engage the necessary counselor or therapist to help the person in need.
We know all of this because many of these amazing human beings are in our midst — and one in particular. HPCCR is extremely proud to announce that our own social worker, Mark Byrd, was chosen as the Hospice Social Worker of the Year at the annual Social Workers Luncheon in Charlotte.
Mark is truly a compassionate and dedicated individual. He rarely allows himself to be “off the clock”, keeping his phone near him at all times in case a patient or family needs him. Mark takes patients and family members to appointments, to the grocery store, and helps them with forms, sometimes assisting individuals who are not even under his care.
In addition to carrying a voluminous caseload, Mark works on two significant “above and beyond” projects for HPCCR. He plays an integral part in our We Honor Veterans initiative, providing expert input into the program and leading our participation in Veteran-centric events. He also participates each year as a counselor at Chameleon’s Journey, our overnight grief camp for children and teens, where he has a significant impact on the lives of young people who have lost loved ones.
Mark does not think of his role as just a “job”. He makes an outstanding effort to get to know his patients, many times learning more about them than their own family members know. His manager, Dayna Winslow, tells how Mark was once asked to speak at a funeral because, due to a long history of drug abuse, the patient was estranged from his family. But Mark knew him. “He had gotten close to the patient by meeting him without judgment and really listening to him, and sharing his joys and sorrows. He even shaved the patient’s head for him. That family will have an easier time in grief because Mark helped rebuild a bridge that life had broken.”
Mark inspires his team (and everyone else who knows him) with his enthusiasm and genuine care. He is deeply committed to his patients and to HPCCR. And we are incredibly proud to recognize the 2014 Hospice Social Worker as one of our very own. Thank you, Mark, for your passionate dedication to all you serve.advocacy, awareness, Chameleon's Journey, hospice, spiritual care, Veterans
This entry was posted on March 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm and is filed under advocacy, awareness, Chameleon's Journey, hospice, spiritual care, Veterans. You can subscribe via RSS 2.0 feed to this post's comments.comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.