Farmington Hills, MI (March 16, 2009)--- March is National Social Work Month, a time to highlight the many ways that social workers provide support to those who need it most. When life’s challenges become overwhelming, many people turn to a social worker for help. On a daily basis, Jeri Davis, LMSW, a social worker at Botsford Hospital’s new cancer center, helps patients overcome some of life’s toughest obstacles.
Going through cancer treatment is a challenging time. Patients are not feeling well and often times they may have financial problems because they cannot work or health costs are high. This can cause much stress and concern for the patients and their families. That’s where Jeri Davis comes along.
Davis, a social worker at Botsford Hospital for 19 years, works with patients who are being treated at the Botsford Cancer Center. The first time she meets with a new patient, she assesses their needs. Once she learns about them, she contacts community agencies like the American Cancer Society to gather appropriate materials for the individual’s needs. She also researches and helps patients locate and apply for grants, stipends, home care, transportation or anything else that will make the treatment process a bit easier for the patient or family.
Davis says, “I love working with the patients at the cancer center. It’s a reward to be able to help patients with their concerns and be able to see the process completed. Not only am I able to work with patients during their treatment, I can continue to tie up loose ends after their treatment is completed. In hospital-based social work, you can only help the patient while they are there. Once they leave, it’s hard to continue a relationship. I am now able to do more and build a stronger relationship with my patients.”
One challenge that Davis faces is the limited amount of community-based services being offered today in Michigan. Davis says, “I can only offer my patients the services that are available in the community. I am always researching and learning more about what’s out there for those who need assistance. If I can take away one stressor in someone’s life, I know I’ve made a difference.”
Botsford Hospital, an independent 330-bed community teaching hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., was founded in 1965. Nationally recognized for quality, safety and medical education programs, Botsford has received the 2007 Governor’s Award for Improving Patient Safety and Quality of Care in the Hospital Setting, and, in 2007, a three-year recertification as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers. Botsford’s Web address is www.botsford.org.
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