By Keri Jaeger, President & CEO, Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice
“Social work is the art of listening and the science of hope.”
March is the month all America recognizes and celebrates social workers. These caring professionals are trained to help people see and surmount the barriers keeping them from living their optimal lives, whether those obstacles are physical, emotional, financial, systemic or all of the above. And, as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) describes, “They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups and entire communities.”
Social workers are change-making advocates. As a profession, they use their collective power to pass laws and establish policies that give more people access to community services and benefits, improving the quality of life for everyone. In fact, social work is the only helping profession which requires social justice advocacy as part of its professional code of ethics. As a workforce, they are mandated to advance the rights of the most vulnerable in society.
For more than 120 years, our nation’s social workers have helped bend the arc of justice, making our nation a more equitable and inclusive place. The slogan for this year’s tribute—Social Workers are Essential—calls out and lifts up the role of this health care profession.
Mount Evans Home Health Care and Hospice is privileged to have skilled social workers, compassionate therapists and spiritual care counselors as an integral part of its health care team. This Support Services group offers counseling to address spiritual concerns and ease the stresses of illness and decline. Their understanding of family dynamics can help families cope more effectively, deal with grief, and clarify the goals of care. Additionally, they know the Foothills service area well, enhancing their ability to support our clients in identifying and pursuing community supports. Mount Evans’ mission is to enable our neighbors and friends to have the best health care outcome possible. Social workers make this happen, offering a listening ear, a comforting presence and a valued link to best care.
During the current pandemic crisis, social workers have been on the frontline, working in homes with the people that Mount Evans serves. While our state works to address the health care needs of those living with COVID, our agency and its counselors have amended traditional practice by adding full PPE to every visit, providing some individual therapy, and connecting clients to caregiver and bereavement support groups via the phone or Zoom.
As one family recently shared, “Support from my Mount Evans nurse and (physical) therapist helped me get stronger, but the social worker helped me want to do it, and to stick with it.” That encouraging presence that can be a critical factor during times of challenge, through recovery and in navigating the end of life.
Mount Evans invites you, our Foothills community, to join with our staff, administration, and Board of Directors in celebrating the work, the contribution and the unique role of its Support Services team. This March and every month, “Social Workers are Essential.”