The 2011 theme for March's National Professional Social Work Month was "Social Workers Inspire Community Action." As part of the celebration, Grant Memorial Hospital recognized its social workers who work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for its patients, said Mary Beth Barr, the hospital's chief executive officer.
"All three GMH social workers, Paula Combs, Melinda Frederick and Kim Roth, are in leadership roles in both the empowerment of the people they serve and the transformation of the communities in which they work," Barr said. "Through their training and experience they have gained the tools they need to recognize abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence in their patient's lives. They promote social justice, equality and diversity and are sensitive to the dignity of each person in their care. They are responsible for patient discharge plans; they work as advocates with patient's physicians and families. They provide assistance to patients and their family members regarding community resources that are available and then link them up the service that will best benefit the patient. The main goal of a social worker is to ensure that their patient as well as the patient's family has detailed information about community resources available so the patient can make educated decisions regarding their health care needs."
Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people's lives. Some social workers help clients who face a disability or a life-threatening disease or social problems such as inadequate housing, unemployment or substance abuse. They assist people by helping them cope with issues in their everyday lives, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, some involving child or spousal abuse. Some conduct research, advocate for improved services, engage in systems designed or are involved in planning or policy development. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting.
Grant Memorial Hospital social workers include Paula Combs and Malinda Fredrick, both of Moorefield, and Kim Roth of Petersburg.
Nationwide social workers hold about 650,000 jobs, with five out of 10 being in health care and social assistance industries and three out of 10 are employed by state or local government agencies. Employment for social workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Job prospects are expected to be favorable for social workers who specialize in the aging population or work in rural areas.
For additional information about Social Services at Grant Memorial Hospital call 304-257-5805 or visit U.S. Department of Labor's website www.bls.gov.