2017 Nominees Section

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Kim DeLiema

Kim DeLiema

Position: Social Worker

Organization: Hoag Hospital


What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Kim has worked as a Social Worker for Hoag Hospital for the past 7 years. Her primary site is Hoag Hospital - Irvine. Most of the patients that she interacts with are older adults within the senior community. One reason Kim is very deserving of this award is because she primarily works weekends. This significantly changes the "game" because the weekend sees lower staffing levels, less access to colleagues/outside resources, and you are often "on an island" with your patient's well-being is on the line. Kim's background and experience ensure she is well-equipped to assist patients through a difficult point of their lives!

Why should this person be nominated
One recent story that Kim recounts, involves an elderly woman who fractured her pelvis, but did not meet conditions for being admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common issue as Medicare has strict guidelines to admit a patient. This particular scenario took place very late in the afternoon, on a Saturday. To make matters more challenging, the patient's entire family was out of town. Kim was put to the test to quickly arrange reliable services for this patient. After much coordination between the doctors, nurses, family and other resources, she was able to safely discharge the patient back home!

Working as a hospital social worker can be a challenging, and rewarding, career. There are often very high expectations from families to help with the impossible during their time of need. A social worker must be able to count on their knowledge and expertise, and have a trusted network of providers to depend on. This becomes increasingly important when you ONLY work weekends! Often times, Kim is the the only social worker on site, responsible for all patient consults and issues that may arise, including unexpected trips to the Emergency Department. Most of us in the senior care field understand that healthcare doesn't pause simply because it is the weekend or a holiday. Kim doesn't let that stop her from giving everything she has to help her patients!