When patients are discharged from one of Shore Health System’s hospitals, complete cancer treatment, or transition from behavioral health care, social workers help them move to the next step of care or recovery by linking them to the appropriate resources in the community. Positive working relationships between the social workers and community resources can pave a smoother path for patients and their caregivers.
The social workers of Shore Health System declared June 12 a day of recognition for those in the community who support social workers, patients and their families. The social workers hosted a reception at Shore Regional Cancer Center.
“Our work is effective and efficient because of our networking relationships and teamwork with others,” says Patty Plaskon, PhD, LCSW-C, OSW-C, social worker for Shore Regional Cancer Center and coordinator of the Shore Health System social work network.
Plaskon continues, “Open lines of communication between social workers and the agencies and businesses who serve Shore Health System patients are critical to achieving a coordinated plan of care. We don’t want patients to feel lost once they leave our system. We develop plans that get our patients’ needs met with compassion and expertise.”
Facing a new medical diagnosis, new medications, lifestyle changes or piles of bills and insurance paperwork can be overwhelming – and ongoing. “Patients and their caregivers can benefit from information and support,” Plaskon says. “That is where the community agencies and businesses carry on. We are grateful for their responsiveness and generosity of time and resources.”
During the reception, the social workers who had nominated the local business people and community members presented the honorees with a paperweight inscribed with “Thank You.” Each social worker shared stories of a pharmacist, medical equipment supplier, nursing home staff member, health department or county social service employee who had gone out of their way to help patients.
“Our patients also have the benefit of social workers who network with each other across Shore Health System as well as with the community providers,” says Plaskon.
The Shore Health System social work network consists of 12 medical social workers. They are available to patients and their families during a stay at The Memorial Hospital at Easton or Dorchester General Hospital, a visit to either hospital Emergency Department, during treatment at Shore Regional Cancer Center or Shore Behavioral Health Services, and when receiving home health or hospice care.
For more information about services available through the Shore Health System social work network, contact Patty Plaskon at 822-1000 x 5361.