As a social worker, I am committed to enabling people and communities to function, participate, and develop in society. As a Social Worker who is part of an interdisciplinary health care team, I have extensive experience in providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals in the community. Medical Social Workers help patients navigate the world of healthcare. I am experienced in helping patients to find medical care and to locate financial resources to pay for medical care. This often includes offering advice, acting as a patient advocate, or referring a patient to facilities or programs available within the community.
I am committed to achieving a Culture of Health. With over twenty years of experience in the field of social work, I have a deep understanding of the barriers that many people face in achieving a state of mental and physical wellbeing. I have come to understand and appreciate the strength, resiliency, and hardships that many people face on a daily basis. I believe that all people should have access to healthcare and mental health resources. I am capable of providing appropriate levels of support and advocacy to ensure that the individuals’ needs, rights, and responsibilities and those of the wider community are being considered.
There are many leadership opportunities that I foresee for myself and other Social Workers in the future of health care and wellness initiatives. There has been an increase in the recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary teams in patient care. Part of the challenge is increasing awareness of the important role that Social Work plays in facilitating a Culture of Health. For over a decade, I have been the only Social Worker within a large ambulatory care clinic and one of only a handful of Social Workers employed within an Ambulatory Services setting in a geographic location historically known to be disadvantaged. For years I have been led problem impact projects alongside other inter-professional providers to collectively find creative and effective solutions that address complicated public health issues.
My professional goals are to demonstrate how Social Work’s unique perspective of the person-in-environment approach can help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges. By approaching health care barriers and issues from the environmental contexts in which the person lives and acts, there is a greater chance of improving the quality of life and further developing the potential of each individual, group and community of a society.
I believe that my philosophy has the potential to be implemented within our healthcare systems around the world. My goal is to assist others to develop and replicate programs to target wellness and healthy lifestyles, and to advocate for safe, healthy communities.
Cindie Harper, M.S.W., L.G.S.W., C.R.M.T., is a Medical Social Worker and writer with a passion for personal and social transformation.
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