National Social Work Month - William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
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William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital

 

National Social Work Month

Photograph of many Madison VA Social Workers

Photograph of many Madison VA Social Workers

By Ann McCall, Social Work Intern, Gail Gunter Hunt, LCSW, and Robert Kelter, LCSW
Monday, March 19, 2012

National Professional Social Work Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the important role that social workers play in people’s lives. A strong commitment to promoting social justice, diversity, and serving vulnerable populations have been constant themes since the profession’s inception. As the field has evolved, social workers have become uniquely trained to help individuals in a variety of capacities and settings.

Within the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, social workers provide services in all areas of patient care. The primary focus of social workers is to assist Veterans and their families/caregivers in resolving psychosocial, emotional and economic barriers to health and well-being. Social workers are members of the patient care teams in VA facilities, and routinely collaborate with other disciplines to provide the best care for Veterans.

Social workers at the Madison VA are assigned to programs in three primary areas:

1.  Social Work and Chaplain Service includes

  • Inpatient Medicine and Surgery,
  • Outpatient Primary Care and Specialty Care (including Geriatrics, Women’s Health and sub-specialty clinics)
  • Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (returnees from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars)
  • VA purchased care services
  • VA purchased care services
  • Home Based Primary Care
  • Palliative Care
  • Community Living Center (CLC) for short-term rehabilitation and hospice care

2.  Mental Health includes

  • Inpatient Psychiatric Care
  • Outpatient Mental Health Clinic
  • Integrated Care
  • Community Support Program
  • Homeless Program
  • Addictive Disorders Treatment Program

3.  Administration/program management

Social workers at the VA work to ensure continuity of care throughout the entirety of patients’ services.

VHA is the largest employer of advance practice social workers in the nation, with over 9000 master level social workers. Additionally, the VA runs the most comprehensive clinical training program for social work students in the United States, partnering with over 180 graduate programs and training more than 900 student trainees each year.

Thanks to our dedicated social workers for their daily commitment and service to our Veterans and their families!

 

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