Throughout March, Lake Regional Health System's Social Work Services Department joins social workers nationwide to increase awareness of their profession. This year's theme, "Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions," draws attention to the many ways social workers make our society a better place to live.
"Social workers are skilled at bringing people together to find solutions to problems," said Cheryl Creasy, who as director of Quality Management at Lake Regional is responsible for the health system's Social Work Services Department. "Through helping vulnerable people, they strengthen communities and improve the well-being of all."
Social workers are highly trained professionals who help people solve problems, cope with stressors and connect with needed resources. They have a vital role in hospitals, schools, mental health clinics and other areas.
At Lake Regional, social workers Megan Eidson, MSW; MaDonna Leinbach, BSW, LCSW; Brooklyn McCrorey, MSW; and Meghan O'Rourke, MSW, are part of a multidisciplinary team. They provide access to community referrals, assist with advanced directives, help patients and families cope with psychosocial issues, and coordinate appropriate discharge planning. They also help patients and families adjust to illness, loss and the grieving process. Nichole Stephens, LBSW, serves as the cancer resource navigator at Lake Regional Cancer Center, and Dana Berhorst, LMSW, is the bereavement coordinator for Lake Regional Hospice.
Services are available for hospital inpatients and outpatients, as well as their family members. Social work services are confidential and offered at no cost to the patient.
To become a social worker, individuals must earn a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree in social work. Licensed clinical social workers also must complete 3,000 hours of supervised work for a minimum of two years under a current licensed clinical social worker and pass the licensure exam.
Lake Regional Health System provides comprehensive health care services to the residents and visitors of the lake area. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and is a three-time recipient of the Missouri Quality Award. Lake Regional also operates primary care, walk-in care, specialty care and rehab therapy clinics; retail pharmacies; and home health and hospice services throughout the lake area.