January 29, 2019
The Women’s Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Social Workers Team is this year’s recipient of the President’s Award for Living Our Core Values – How We Serve Our Patients. This team includes Kim Gray, Antonella Giancola Thompson, Young Kim, Dolores Baldissera, Heather Small, and Kasha Herba.
“I couldn’t nominate just one of them because each one of them brings a different perspective and such a different set of gifts to our team,” says nominator Deborah Wiseman, Director of Women’s Care.
“They’re a phenomenal team. They offer so much to our staff, but more importantly to the patients we serve.” This team supports patients and their families in the Fertility Clinic and Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit, Birthing Centre, Antenatal Unit, Mother Baby Care Unit (MBCU), Women’s Ambulatory Care Unit, and the NICU. This includes working with families who have experienced traumatic events and losses that lead to stress and grief, extending their exceptional service during these traumatic and emotional situations.
“They believe in caring for the individual and providing a safe, respectful environment that encompasses the perspective of the patient at all times during care,” explains Wiseman.
The team’s nominators also describe several displays of compassion, from facilitating difficult discussions with families about safety plans, finances and coping, to helping families navigate health care and government systems. The social workers support patients and families by ensuring all questions are answered, and clarifying everyone’s roles, including those of the family.
The group also works closely with other LHSC team members to offer a different perspective for a treatment plan and aid in discharge planning. They show curiosity by always finding the patient’s viewpoint, and advocate on behalf of the patients and families they support to incorporate their beliefs, values, faith, and culture into the care plan. The social workers demonstrate LHSC’s value of accountability by adhering to a code of ethics and standards of practice.
“We were together when we received the call from Dr. Woods. We were thrilled and honoured by the recognition. We see a lot of individuals and families in complex situations and you never know what might arise during a day. Providing support to individuals, families, and at times, staff, is part of what we strive to accomplish,” says Kim Gray.
The team is described as exemplary, with each member bringing a unique perspective that adds to the overall strength of the group; in turn benefitting patients, families and staff.