Position: Social Worker
Organization: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center - Torrance
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Why should this person be nominated
When I mentioned to different case managers and Social Workers about the senior care hero awards nomination for a Social Worker every single one at the hospital said the same name. They all agreed with me that Kathryn is an outstanding social worker and no matter the challenge or the type of obstacles, she always finds a way to help her seniors and families.
When I met with her and started to ask her about herself and told her about her nomination, her first reaction was “No, I can’t accept this, there are better people out there that deserve it more than I do” Well, she was selected by all her hospital peers and for a great reason. On several occasions she has had to advocate for elderly patients to return to their only known home when they have been wrongfully evicted or abandoned by their families or preferred facilities. “I often provide support to patients who are distressed due to a sudden change in their level of independence due to a recent fall” She is the one that has, and amazing bedside manner and no matter how stressed the patient is, she is able to calm them down and figure out the best solution for them. She is one of the most caring individuals that you’re ever going to meet. When I asked her about a specific case or patient that she made a difference for, she said; “One case that still resonates with me is supporting an elderly woman while she explained to her relentless family that she no longer wanted to continue chemo therapy treatment for her colon cancer and instead wanted to return home on hospice to be with her dog in the place she felt most comfortable for her final months. The family was relentless and were not listening to reason or to anyone for that matter. I went and sat down next to the patient and hold her hand and started talking to the family. It took me a long time, but finally, they were able to understand her wishes and the reason why she wanted to be at home. It was a very stressful situation and when I left there I went to my office and cried, I cried. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop crying”
This is her background and the turn of events that led her to be where she is at today. Helping seniors at their most vulnerable moments of their lives. “I first became interested in social work after volunteering at an adoption agency and seeing the positive impact the social workers there had on their clients and the support they were able to provide during the times of joy and devastation. I decided to attend graduate school and received my Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Southern California in 2015. During graduate school, I had the pleasure of working as an MSW intern at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center and was eventually hired on full time.
Throughout my time at LCMMCT my passion for working with the elderly had become apparent to my coworkers. Being the social worker assigned to the Surgical Orthopedic Unit has allowed me to support patients (especially older adults) during the most vulnerable times of their lives. I believe encouraging seniors to express their emotions, wants, needs, and beliefs is extremely important for this population that is often ignored or underappreciated. Although my initial passion for social work began working with new families, my dedication has evolved into helping established families of various dynamics face changes that come with aging in a time of limited resources. I am dedicated to my progress as a social worker, so I can continue to support and advocate for this important population”
Here are few of her coworkers’ comments about her passion and work ethic;
“You won't meet a more caring, compassionate, thorough social worker. She always goes above and beyond with every patient and family member she works with”.
“Kathryn is so dedicated to helping patients and families. She is so compassionate and always goes above and beyond. She is an excellent social worker, and so kind and caring”.
“Kathryn is an outstanding social worker. She goes on beyond her scope of practice to ensure safety for our patients”.