In honor of National Social Work Month, administrators, supervisors and co-workers from the Department of Health have submitted words of praise and recognition for the services provided by public health social workers.
Karol Barnett, BSW
North Central Region CMS Social Workers
Robin Bass, Sheri Stires-Martin, Laverne Bell and Beth Legary
Thank you for allowing me to recognize this wonderful group of women.
Ann Wilson RN, BSN
Robin Bass, Sheri Stires-Martin, Elizabeth Legary, and Laverne Bell
I would like to commend our Social Worker, Robin Bass, for her creativity and perseverance regarding the acquisition of community grant funding (Volusia County) for our families. She developed the grant requests, went before the County Council as advocate, and acquired requested funding (x3 years) that greatly assists our families with transportation, safe housing, and respite issues. It is mind boggling how much gratitude a parent will extend regarding a simple gas voucher or brake repair vs. thousands of dollars of free medical care!
Kelly Medei, RN
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the dedicated social workers here at Gadsden County Health Department. We have (3) License Clinical Social Workers: Colleen Williams, Alison Fendle, and Jane McPherson; Tanya Footman (MSW); and Marquisha Bryant (BSW). These ladies are providing Health Start services to 85% of our eligible clients, and we want to say kudos for a job well done!
Thank you Sue,
Miami-Dade County Health Department Social Workers
Karen Mitchell and Trish Harris
“Having our Social Services Counselor Joan Miller in the clinic take the time to talk with people about underlying social issues that may affect their health, and their lives, has made a world of difference in our ability to help our clients. She follows through to see that clients get any needed services and referrals, and to check on their well-being. She is a wonderful resource and has helped many people with issues of domestic violence, housing, education and more.”
“Joan has helped identify, assess and address countless issues encountered by our clients. She has helped increase the number or women who enter prenatal care during the first trimester and is raising awareness regarding the disparities that exist between Black and White infant deaths.”
Lee McMorrow, Sara Pankey and Maureen Saunders
Realizing that the medical needs of many of today’s students stem from emotional and social issues, the Pinellas County Health Department recently added three social workers (LSCW) to provide services in schools. These social workers will round out an already effective school health services program. This allows the team to provide a continuum of care and follow-up to ensure the student’s needs are met and address any challenges that may exist, for example, in the student’s home or work life.
“In the schools, our Licensed Clinical Social Workers work to help ensure we provide a comprehensive approach to caring for our children. There’s more to care than attending to their medical needs; children have emotional and social needs, too. Having social workers in the schools allows us to work with the whole child with whatever needs they present.”
Danielle Masuda, MSW
Jacksonville's Children's Medical Services Social Workers
1. After looking at the growing number of children with behavioral health and mental health issues referred to our program, and noting the frequency of hospitalizations and Baker Acts for these types of behaviors, Jacksonville CMS has formed a behavioral health social work team. Keiona Frenche and Kena Pugh were hired to manage a caseload of our complex behavioral and mental health children and provide more targeted and specific care coordination activities for this population of very high risk children. We are 6 months into the pilot and anecdotally, it appears that our voluntary hospitalizations and Baker Acts have decreased. They are now holding weekly case conferences with our behavioral health liaison from our contracted mental health provider and behavioral health medical director and are looking forward to implementing a number of new plans over the upcoming year. We are very proud of these two new additions to Children’s Medical Services.
2. Jacksonville social workers have started attending a multidisciplinary, multiagency neural tube defects clinic and a neurodevelopment clinic in hopes of recruiting and enrolling these families into Children’s Medical Services. These clinics are a joint effort between University of Florida, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Nemours Children’s Clinics and now Children’s Medical Services. Families from all over the North Central Region are scheduled for follow-up for their children with spina bifida, or for their children who suffered brain problems during their NICU stay. Way to go Elisa Malo for taking on this new challenge!
3. Alan Zumarraga was promoted to lead social worker in the Jacksonville office in the fall. He brings a wealth of experience to his leadership role. He is enthusiastically taking on all the new programs mentioned above, as well as is the Children’s Medical Services representative at our twice per month Cleft Lip and Palate Clinics, another multidisciplinary, multiagency clinic here in Jacksonville.
4. Valerie Davis graduated in August 2007 with her MSW from Florida State University and since graduation has assumed lead responsibilities for the Partners in Care—Together for Kids Palliative Care Program. She attends weekly case conferences with our hospice partner Community Peds Care and is link between the hospice provider and Children’s Medical Services for our children with life-limiting conditions. In addition to the PIC duties, Valerie provides assessment and coordination of services for children in medical foster care, children who reside in skilled nursing facilities, and along with her partner, Linda Garcia, provides the utilization review for children receiving private duty nursing and prescribed extended pediatric care services in our Medicaid reform plan.
5. Debbie Mead Turner is our Medical Foster Care Social Worker and provides expertise and dedication to children with significant medical problems in our medical foster care program. She has become a certified Medical Foster Parent trainer and has co-taught two trainings for Medical Foster Parents in other regions of the state. She is an excellent representative of our children in court and under her direction, has seen a large number of children in the Jacksonville program get permanent adoptive homes. She is an incredible voice for these very high risk infants and children.
As you can see, the Jacksonville social workers are a very busy and innovative group! We encourage and foster development of new ideas and expansion of roles both within our office and within the community so that children with special health care needs can have access to the services that they and their families need. Our social workers are often the key link for these services. Please feel free to condense, share, etc. this information. We are very proud of all they do!
Sherry Buchman, RN
Ed Howell and Inez Marcano
Tampa Bay Regional Social Services Staff
Claudia Hurtado and Mike Faria
Additionally, Claudia was tasked with overseeing the Lakeland CMS Christmas Assistance Program last Fall. Working in tandem with the Family Resource Coalition, Family Health Partner, she spent tireless hours working to sort through and organize donated items, including monetary donations, which provided food and gifts to many of our needy families. Mike once again lent a hand to provide donations of food, clothing, toys and other gift items for CMS clients in need beyond the MFC Program.
I must say that I couldn’t be prouder to work with this Social Work team as they go above and beyond in serving clients each and every day.
Thank you for your consideration in posting this tribute. It is greatly appreciated.
I just wanted to let you know how wonderful everyone in your agency has been in dealing with my difficult circumstances. I like many Americans right now have found myself unemployed and having to apply for benefits through the Federal Government. I have three children 17, 15, and 5 and have never had to ask for any help and getting through all the red tape. Penny started me in the right direction, and Claudia, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, Mark, Nurse Vickie and Nurse Donna. They all have gone out of their way to help and I know you always hear so much negative so I wanted you to know these folks made me feel so much better and that there is hope!
I was given food and $80.00 in gift certificates for Publix and have taken their advice again to apply for food stamps. They never made me feel ashamed in anyway and it will all come together I am sure soon. I hope I have not forgotten anyone.
THANKS AGAIN ALL YOU FOR WHAT YOU HAVE DONE FOR MYSELF AND THREE CHILDREN!!!
I would like to pay tribute to our Social Services Counselor at Washington County Health Department – Patsy Gainer. Patsy has been at Washington County Health Department since 1995. She works in the School Health Program and Serves as the only Social Services Counselor for the Health Department in the 6 public schools in Washington County. She is also the Health Departments only Social Services Counselor. She is an excellent employee with a wealth of knowledge but even greater than that is her true concern for the students and people of our communities of Washington County. In addition, she schedules and teaches car seat classes and sets up bike safety rodeos. She finds time to give out car seats, fitting them into cars and instructing the parent / guardian on use. She assists with eligibility for Team Care clients that are in need of medication. I have known Patsy for 14 years and find her always willing to go the
Sherrie Howell, Selena Cordes and Myra Jackson
The Ft Myers CMS office would like to honor our three Social Workers. They provide crucial support to the staff and our families.
Sherrie Howell MSW is our Children’s Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (CMAT) social worker. She provides quality psychosocial and developmental assessments on clients to the CMAT. She coordinates referrals and discharges with the CMAT RN and provides the family with information and education about the CMAT process. She does a great job at facilitating the CMAT staffings which makes it easier on co-workers and team members. In her continuous effort to look out for the environment she has implemented a process to reduce photocopying for our CMAT staffings. Client assessments for the staffings are double sided copy and she has developed a scoring tool on recycled paper for the CMAT staffings. During these money crunching times every little bit helps. In addition, she attends the Cleft Lip and Palate clinic where she identifies issues and assists families with available resources.
Selena Cordes BS is our Fort Myers Medical Foster Care Social Worker. She balances the difficult tasks between making sure our foster children are in a safe and loving environment, supporting the biological family through their case plan, supporting the foster parents with the challenges of raising a special needs foster child, identifying and assessing the child and foster family’s needs, working closely with the Department of Children and Families along with the court system and making sure the parents adhere to the licensing requirements. Selena supports and assists our foster parents through emotional or difficult times (housing eviction, illness of spouse, adoption of a foster child, adoption out of a foster home, death of a foster child etc).
Myra Jackson MSW is our Office Social Worker. Myra is the one who is presented with the challenge to assess the family situation and develop and assist with outcomes after everyone else has tried. Through perseverance Myra researches and develops a plan for the family. Myra also attends several clinics in addition to her role in the Partners in Care Program (PIC). She works closely with our partners at Hope Hospice to provide palliative care and services to qualified children. Myra’s positive and calming demeanor is helpful to both the staff and the families.
Noemi Stewart, Nancy Whittington & Doris Harvey
Through the efforts of our CMS Social workers working with community partners the Gainesville CMS office was able to assist 157 children with Christmas this year”
“Our social workers are compassionate, dedicated, diligent social workers with years of experience. They are loyal to CMS and special needs children. From October until the end of December they locate resources for our most needy children. Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Baskets, Christmas gifts, money for gifts, gift cards are ways they serve our families. They also represent CMS in the community. We are so fortunate to have them in our office”
“They work hard to relieve us of major problems with our families. They go above and beyond especially at Christmas and Thanksgiving”
“Always there to help without complaint”
“Sensitive, caring, warm, and very helpful to CMS families. True assets to CMS”
“Always willing to assist with translation”
Helpful, caring, loving spirits with willing hearts to reach out and go beyond the ordinary”
Thinking ahead to solve problems”
Dedicated to the Medical Foster Care program working beyond normal work hours to ensure needs are met”
“Jumps in with both feet and strives to help all”
“Works with families to understand and be active participants in the CMAT process”
“Professional, wonderful personalities, caring individuals, willing to do anything to help a child. I don’t think they realize how important they are to CMS, our families, and to the nurse care coordinators. Thank you so much for all you do.”
“Having servant hearts”
Carol Goodbred and Darlene Lois Magnabosco
Carol Goodbred –Medical Foster Care Social Worker for Ocala:
Darlene Lois Magnabosco- Social Worker for Ocala:
CMS Social Workers
I'll never forget an experience I had a few years ago as I was leaving the cystic fibrosis team on which I had served. Team members were saying their goodbyes and trying to recall something nice about me before I left (it was tough going!). Our Social Worker stood before the group and remarked that she wanted to thank me for listening to her when she spoke about our patients. I was floored! I had been with the team for ten years and never knew I had the option! Surely, I thought, she had been the one with the most knowledge about the patients' psycho-social issues, family dynamics, and community resources with which to help these families. Why, I wondered, would I not listen to her? Then I realized, that for her, this was an all too infrequent occurrence.
I trust that nowhere in CMS do we ever ignore or discount the value of our Social Workers. They are the ones who intently record the "stories," play both Mother Teresa and Dr. Phil, put Moms and Dads with community services, and confirm that at the end of the day, to the best of their knowledge and skill, all the pieces of the family fit together.
On behalf of our patients, we owe them a bunch. Let's take the opportunity this month to thank them for all they do all year long. And for heaven's sake, when they talk…listen!
Joseph J. Chiaro, MD, FAAP
Social Workers in Family Health/Community Health with
Jane Wilson RN
CMS Big Bend Social Workers
We are a small health department and have one full time social worker. Her name is Carolyn Clear. Carolyn has been with us about 2 years, during that time she has been able to work with our primary care clients and has been invaluable in obtaining free medications for these clients. The dollar amount last year for this component of her job was valued at over $150,000.00.
In addition to this she works with clients in accessing specialty services and Medicaid and KidCare applications. As if this wasn’t enough to fill her time she also is very active in the community – often our face at public events or on community boards. As our economy does what it does and our budgets do as they will I am sure that the need for her expertise will be amplified. The Walton County Health Department salutes social workers everywhere but we have a special place for Carolyn – SALUTE!
Kathryn C. Barley, BSN
CMS Social Workers
All of us at the CMS South and Southeast Florida Regions would like to acknowledge the important occasion of Social Work Month in six of our offices. This month presents a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to our 23 wonderful social workers who make a meaningful difference at CMS in Marathon, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River Counties.
Social workers play a vital role in Florida’s health and community services system as they help Florida’s children with special health care needs and their families across the region in areas ranging from support for those impacted by medical necessity, financial constraints, academic challenges, family support at home, behavioral and emotional issues and the need for to community resources. Social workers are counselors, problem-solvers, partners, friends and developers of new ideas that pull the community together and are the first ones to do their part in building a healthy future for Florida’s most vulnerable population. Their presence is integral in our clinics and hospitals, community organizations, mental health clinics, long term care homes, in the correctional and justice system and within the community.
Our CMS offices value each of our social workers and their significant contributions to Florida’s children with special healthcare needs and diverse communities that make up our Regions. It undeniably takes a very special person to be a social worker in a profession which can be a challenging one. Our social workers who provide invaluable service every day are true assets to our CMS South and Southeast Florida Regions and our children and their families.
Please join us this month in paying tribute to our social workers in the our offices for their dedication and contribution to their profession.