March is National Social Worker’s Month

Gulf Coast Health Care Shows Appreciation

At Gulf Coast Health Care, we rely on our dedicated social workers every single day. Our goal is to recognize their hard work and show appreciation. For this reason, we’re choosing to celebrate National Social Worker’s Month by showcasing some of our talented team members and letting them tell us why social workers are essential. We also asked them to share their experience while working at Gulf Coast Health Care.

Associate Spotlight: James (Rosewood Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center)

James has 11 years of social work experience under his belt, including two years at Gulf Coast Health Care.

When asked why social workers are essential, he had this to say:

“Social Workers are essential because we are a sounding board for our residents and their families. We allow them to share their vulnerabilities and provide them with a sense of hope and determination in long-term care. Many times we provide comfort in a time that most other professions do not have the time for.

My role has helped people live their fullest potential by connecting the dots to loved ones who haven’t seen or spoken to the resident in a long time. Some times its start with a phone call, and before you know it, FaceTime and then maybe a visit from out of state.

Things have been challenging over the last year due to COVID, but as we slowly open back up, our residents can now get back to the normal state they were in. And I am most certainly grateful for that. They are the single reason why we all come to work daily.”

After asking about his favorite part about working at Gulf Coast, James replied, “[T]he teamwork.”

Associate Spotlight: Brad Letu (Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center)

Brad has had a similar experience at Gulf Coast, having worked as a social worker for nearly 30 years, 14 of them with us. For Brad, the value of being a social worker has come from the positive impact it’s had on his patient’s lives, especially in “helping people find closure with fractured family members.”

Associate Spotlight: Shacoria Hood (Pine View Health and Rehabilitation Center)

We’re lucky enough to have had Shacoria as a team member for the last nine years, the last three as our social service director.  We asked her why social workers are important and her experience at Gulf Coast:

“Social workers are the glue that holds it all together. Therefore we are essential.  Social workers are one of the first people you meet upon admission and if the patient discharges home, the social worker, is still involved after the discharge.  

My favorite part of working at GCHC, is my residents. I’ve established a bond with my resident from the first moment I meet them and it gives me great joy knowing  that I’ve made just 1 person day a little bright.” 

Shacoria also understands the importance of self-care when it comes to serving others as a social worker:

“When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family, shopping, or reading a good book. It’s hard finding time for myself these days, but at least once a month, I take a day for just me! I do self-care, shopping, or simply sitting home alone, enjoying the peace and quiet.”

Associate Spotlight: Amanda Bader (The Rehabilitation Center of Winter Park)

Amanda has been with us for a decade and has spent 13 years as a social worker. Here’s what she thinks about the importance of social workers:

We are the bridge between the clinical side and residents/families. I know the families count on me to be their point person throughout this journey. Social workers help residents and families guide this confusing and uncertain time in their lives while educating and advocating on their behalf to ensure they can live to their fullest potential.”

When asked her favorite part of being a member of the Gulf Coast family, she had this to say:

“My co-workers. Our facility has a lot of longevity and I have worked with a lot of the same people for ten years. It’s so nice to be able to have real friendships where you can take a quick break to laugh and confide in those you work with especially these crazy times we are all dealing with.”

And when it comes to finding time for herself, Amanda responded, “The most important thing is to take care of your mental health. I try to always be optimistic and positive. I remind myself that I can never get everything done in one day and that’s ok. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Associate Spotlight: Cara Mount (Chipola Health and Rehabilitation Center)

Cara has spent nearly 16 years as a social worker with the Gulf Coast team.

In her view, social workers are essential because:

“…we are advocates for our residents.  In this type of setting, it is natural for a nursing perspective to take precedence over one’s care but that alone doesn’t provide our residents with a good quality of life.  As advocates, we work towards helping staff and others remember that life isn’t about how long you’ve lived but how you lived when you were alive.  Treating our residents with respect, allowing them to have a say in all aspects of their day to day life, encouraging social and leisure pursuits and continued life experiences while in our facilities is vital in helping to provide a good quality of life for our residents.”

Like most of our diligent social workers, Cara values getting to work with our residents.

Impact Lives with Gulf Coast Health Care

Employees of schools, mental health centers, nonprofits, hospitals, and other entities face a wide range of issues, meaning social workers will be needed to help run America for a long time to come. All the more reason to take some time this March to show extra appreciation to the social workers who do so much to improve people’s lives all over the country.

To help raise awareness of all the good that social workers do, consider posting a message of gratitude on your social media using the hashtag #SocialWorkMonth #SocialWorkIsEssential and #NASW to let others chime in.

If you’re a social worker committee to helping people, take a look at our website to see how you can join a team of like-minded professionals.

PCA to CNA Program - Gulf Coast Health Care

Gulf Coast Health Care - Pensacola, FL

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