“It was humbling to be considered and thought of.
I love what I do and for having the opportunity to help others.
BrightStar Care has always been supportive and allowed me to show my dedication and ability to changing lives.”
What is the biggest accomplishment of this social worker in the last year?
The biggest accomplishment was that Terri was personally selected by a hiring company to take on a known challenging client. This client was truly a challenging case for even a seasoned Social Worker and Terri took on the case with open arms. At the time I was contacted to ask Terri to take on the case, the client had been in the hospital for an extended period of time during which she lost her place of residence, her job and lost contact with friends/families. She was alone. The client upon discharge from the hospital was homeless, living out of her car and parking in random locations daily. The client suffered from several major comorbidities such as severe depression, paranoia, and psychosis which caused some levels of cognitive impairment which prevented her from engaging in maintaining her personal hygiene, attending regular primary medical and mental health appointments, taking medications, maintain her diabetic care and more.
Please describe a situation where this social worker had an impact on our local Charlotte community.
Terri clearly went above and beyond with this client over the year she assisted this client. Terri was so dedicated to help this homeless client while enduring regular and ongoing yelling, being repeatedly hung up on than being contacted the following day to be told she was awesome and the client was so grateful for Terri’s help. It was not uncommon for Terri to travel regularly all over Mecklenburg county and neighboring counties to wherever the client was (even at times traveling 2 hours away) to meet with this client. On one memorable occasion, Terri met the client at a Harris Teeter parking lot where she had taking residence in her car during the middle of Charlotte’s hot 90+ degree summer. The client’s car A/C did not work. Terri welcomed the client to sit in Terri’s car so they could talk and on this occasion, the client was so worked up due to the heat, she was too anxious to enter Terri’s car so she suggested that they walk over to the Harris Teeter and cool down in an open area. While the two walking across the parking lot, they were met by everyday shoppers verbalizing their displeasure of this client due to her appearance and demeanor. Terri’s kind and compassionate nature exploded as she, without hesitation, defending this poor human being who was going through the roughest of patches in her life to these cruel individuals. Because, who doesn’t deserve a helping hand when they are in need?
On another occasion, Terri held meeting sessions in her own heated car with the client in the cold winter months because the client had no home and heat available in her own car. During these sessions, Terri would take the extra step and play calming music of the client’s choice to address the client’s anxiety. It wasn’t uncommon for Terri to also establish transportation services to pick up the client from whichever parking lot the client was in when her car broke down to help get the client to a medical appointment where Terri met her. Terri would also receive calls from this person at all hours of the day/night and had on many occasions called EMT during visits due to medical emergencies and stayed with the client beyond the required time to make sure the client got the medical attention she needed.
Terri helped to arrangement for the client’s mail to be routed to the BrightStar Care Charlotte office so important forms and insurance information did not get lost. Terri would come by the office weekly to pick up the client’s mail and personally deliver it to her until Terri was able to help her establish a home which took about 8 months. Terri spent countless hours assisting the client during those 8 months getting housing placement but do to the client’s mental health issues, the client kept living residences for no apparent reason which lead to Terri on 4 different occasions gets housing arrangements set up for this client. Now, most other clinicians kept telling Terri the situation couldn’t be helped and told her they would have released this client from their care immediately after seeing what was involved but not Terri. It was her mission to help this client during her time of need and she would never give up until the client was in a safe home.
I could go on and on with additional examples of Terri’s involvement with this client which including researching options for this client during Terri’s off time, drawing out options of choices in picture form for the client to better understand what Terri was proposing and collaborating with other local agencies to get support for this client. It is for this reason that I nominate Terri for the Community Based Social Worker of the year as her dedication and commitment to this client was exemplary to say the least.