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Since the pandemic hit the OneWorld social work team has been providing crisis case management to patients, this includes:

  • Continuous screening of food and resource insecurities
  • Delivering of food and gift cards
  • Collaboration with community partners
  • Connecting patients to economic funding resources
The main priority is to make sure that our patient families have their basic needs and social determinants of health met, especially those who are Covid-19 positive. This holiday season the social work team invited OneWorld staff to contribute to families in need by donating gift cards. “This allowed more families to be served for an extended period of time” said Nikki West, CSW – OneWorld Social Work Supervisor. “Many of our families are still trying to get their basic needs met, and these gift cards ensure that they have enough food to eat, gas in their car, clothing, baby items and more.” Local faith communities also stepped up to help our patients during the holidays.

Social worker days are filled with managing crisis calls. The team prioritizes tasks as they come in. Tackling issues that require immediate attention and working to ensure patients get connected to the most appropriate resources in a timely manner. Rent and utilities have been a struggle. “Many of our patients do not qualify for government funded programs, so we are continuously searching for other funding sources in order to avoid eviction or disconnection of services.” “I have worked closely with two Mothers’ who have lost their husbands due to COVID” said Nikki. “They also contracted COVID. In a matter of seconds, they became single moms and widows. “I witnessed them acknowledge their grief and heartache, lean into the support offered and become fiercely resilient. They attended an eight week support group where they were able to share their stories of hurt with other grieving adults while also celebrating the life of their husbands. It was a beautiful and humbling experience to be part of.”

One of the biggest things learned from this pandemic is “Grief is not linear” said Nikki. “We will be grieving this pandemic for years to come. Our patients will forever be affected. However, when grief is discussed openly and with empathy, it allows patients to become resilient with the knowledge they are not alone. Because of this, they trust us and our patients continue to call and request assistance when needed. They share their stories of heartbreak and personal setbacks. This allows us to use our voices to stand up for their social, economic and racial inequalities and to provide sound, compassionate care that is culturally sensitive.

Patients leave messages on their doors for OneWorld social workers delivering food to them. The translation from Spanish reads, “We are praying for you and your family.”

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