This month we celebrate and honor more than 700,000 social workers nationwide who make life better for others. They connect people with sources for basic needs such as food, medical care, housing, clothing, financial assistance and more. They empower people, giving them the skills and encouragement they need to overcome life’s challenges.
At WellMed, more than 130 social workers throughout the enterprise help patients get the services they need for the best health care outcome.
Meet Maria Belmont
WellMed social worker Maria Belmont and her team cover a large geographic area of the Rio Grande Valley from Brownsville to Eagle Pass, Texas.
In college, she decided the hands-on work of helping improve people’s lives is what she wanted to do. She studied to earn a bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and social work, and went on to receive a master’s degree in social work.
Maria says the most fulfilling thing about her job is connecting people with resources that can improve their health outcomes. Maria shared a story that demonstrate the versatility social workers bring to their jobs and the value they bring to patients’ lives. A patient had been in the hospital for leg amputation surgery. He was being discharged home, where he lived alone.
“One of the first things I did was to establish a trusting relationship with him,” Maria said. “He was clearly struggling with loneliness. I helped him realize he had a support system, and he was able to reconnect with family and friends.”
It took several months for the patient to learn to walk again. Maria closely monitored his progress and coordinated various support services including:
- Serving as a channel of communication between the patient and the nurse to make sure that the patient’s questions were answered and that he had the information he needed to cope and process his situation (the loss and the learning process of walking again).Securing a home attendant through the state.
- Brokering community resources to address food needs, transportation and prescription assistance (cost and delivery).
- Assessing the patient’s home safety needs.
What makes every day the best it can be, she says, is her colleagues and the teamwork they experience.
“Whenever there is a need to be met, my co-workers will drop what they are doing if possible to meet an immediate need,” Maria said. “It takes a village, as they say, and we have a great one.”