Women Who Shaped Social Work
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, March 2023
This Women’s History and Social Work Month we celebrate brilliant social work leaders who changed the pioneered social work the way we know it.
Frances Perkins – Her social work career led her to become the first woman to serve on the New York State Industrial Commission and make a name for herself in politics. By the time she was appointed Secretary of Labor by Franklin D. Roosevelt, she brought three decades of commitment and experience to social reform. She was the first female Cabinet member; the first woman to enter the presidential line of succession. Her work and dedication helped change the 58-hour work week for women to 48 hours! She fought for a minimum wage law and helped draft the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Social Security Act.
Grace Abbott – Grace had a passion for bettering immigration laws. Her work with the Immigrants’ Protective League led to her involvement in securing protective legislation, her studies of conditions at Ellis Island, and her testimony before Congress against immigration restrictions. During her social work career, she was appointed a professor of public welfare at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. In 1934–35 she helped plan the social security system as a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Council on Economic Security, and she was a U.S. delegate to the International Labor Organization in 1935 and 1937.
Julia C. Lathrop – Julia utilized her advocacy for the mentally ill, immigrants, equal rights for women, social reform, and child welfare to enforce change. She worked with the Illinois Board of Charities, where she visited facilities for the mentally ill, sick, and disabled in the Chicago area. She advocated that separate facilities should be established that would attend to these specific groups. In 1912, she became the first appointed woman bureau chief in the federal government when President William Taft asked her to join the Children’s Bureau. Her work as chief emphasized the importance of issues like child labor laws and juvenile delinquency. In addition, during her tenure as chief, the Children’s Bureau’s budget increased tenfold and the effort to reduce the nation’s high infant mortality rate resulted in the 1921 Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act. By 1921, becoming the first federally funded social welfare measure in the United States.
Alice Salomon – In Germany, she is acknowledged as one of the founding mothers of social work, particularly social work education. She directed the first full-time course of social work in her native city, Berlin, initiated and chaired the national conference of schools of social work in Germany, and altogether was among those who developed one of the earliest continuing education programs. She was among the initiators and first president of the International Committee of Schools of Social Work. During her teaching career, she wrote twenty-eight books and more than four hundred articles, many on international and intercultural issues.
Jane Addams – In 1889, Addams helped found Hull House in Chicago, the first settlement house in the United States. The goal was for educated women to share all kinds of knowledge, from basic skills to arts and literature with poorer people in the neighborhood. Jane leveraged her social skills to expand her efforts to improve society. Along with other progressive women reformers, she was instrumental in successfully lobbying for the establishment of a juvenile court system, better urban sanitation and factory laws, protective labor legislation for women, and more playgrounds and kindergartens throughout Chicago. Jane led an initiative to establish a School of Social Work at the University of Chicago, creating institutional support for a new profession for women. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement as an officer in the National American Women’s Suffrage Association and pro-suffrage columnist. She was also among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1931, she became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mary E. Richmond – Mary Richmond was known for her ability to organize communities, her development of casework practice, as well as her ability to teach and speak intelligently on a variety of subjects. Mary frequented research, developing what she labeled ‘social diagnosis’. Her famous circle diagram visualized the correspondence between the client and the environment. Her research helped identify six sources of power that are available to social workers and patients: sources within the household, in the person of the client, in the neighborhood and wider social network, in civil agencies, and in private and public agencies. According to Social Welfare, Mary’s book Social Diagnosis (1917), constructed the foundations for the scientific methodology development of professional social work. She searched for the causes of poverty and social exclusion in the interaction between an individual and his or her environment. For her contributions, Mary is considered a key founder of the profession of social work and the importance of professional education.
Thyra J. Edwards – A woman of color, Thyra pushed passed all social and racial barriers to effect change in America. She had an international approach to social work and viewed her journalistic work, travel seminars, speaking engagements, and union organizing as a part of her role as a professional in the social work arena. By the end of World War II, she was the executive director of the Congress of American Women. Thyra was a major advocate for the plight of women and children. In 1953, she organized the first Jewish childcare program in Rome to assist children who had been victims of the Holocaust. It’s been stated that, from her point of view, social work should: advocate for disadvantaged and at-risk populations; focus on issues and problems specifically affecting the well-being of women; and demonstrate the ability to work with diverse populations.
Grace Coyle – Grace worked extensively in settlement houses and the YWCA, but found a true passion in social work research and education. Her writings and speeches at institutes contributed to the acceptance of group work as a social work method. Grace saw commonality in case and group work, seeking to bridge the gap between the two in an effort to provide better quality services to patients. She argued that group workers needed to become more aware of personality issues and family relationships, while at the same time case workers needed to be more knowledgeable of group dynamics and the use of leisure activities. It was also her belief that a better acquaintance with case work by group workers would reveal the therapeutic possibilities of a group experience. She was a professor of social work and social sciences, developing the first group work course taught at Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Grace was the president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940, the president of the American Association of Social Workers in 1942 and the Council on Social Work Education from 1958 to 1960.
References: NASW Foundation, Jewish Women’s Archive, WomensHistory.Org, Virginia Commonwealth University
CFCM Interim Director Leadership Services
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, Fall 2022
📸Pictured above: Our Director of Clinical Services, Melissa Ward, MSN, BSN, RN (right), with our interim Debbie Zeveney (left) on a client visit.
The Center for Case Management consultants are industry leaders in case management, with a team of consultants representing the best of the best in healthcare. Our interims are subject matter experts in all areas of case management and social work practice. Partnering with your leaders, our team members work with care to effectively meet the needs of your healthcare organization—at the frontline, and in leadership.
Our Interim Director services offer opportunities in the following areas and more:
- Leadership during periods of transition and instability promoting cultures of excellence
- Effectively managing the day-to-day operations of the department
- Leading Process Improvement and Organizational initiatives as relates to Case Management
- Assistance in the recruitment, interview, and onboarding of permanent leadership
- Strategic planning & setting course for long-term stability and groundwork for a permanent director
- Identifying and supporting Educational needs
- Mentorship and leadership/staff development
- Developing and leading the team(s) to promote best practices in evidence-based care models
- Promoting visibility and collaboration with other leaders and interdisciplinary teams
Are you interested in our interim director services? Contact our team today!
5 Things We Learned (and Still Apply) from the 1940s U.S. Cadet Nurses
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, June/July 2022
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 194,500 average annual openings for registered nurses and employment growth at 9% in the next 10 years, there was a time in America when the call for nurses was greatly desired. In the early 1940s, the U.S. was experiencing a nationwide nursing shortage due to World War II. The United States Cadet Nurse Corps (CNC) were created in 1943 to help, with the program extending its benefits to women of all races between the ages of 17-35. According to the National Women’s History Museum, those accepted into the program received tuition, cadet uniforms, and a monthly stipend. By the end of the CNC program in 1948, over 124,000 women graduated from nursing school and became Cadet Nurses.
In addition to recruiting and training young women, we owe a lot of credit for the transformation of nursing education—including Public Health Nursing—in the U.S. to the Cadet Nurse Corps. The funding that was provided through the Corps allowed nursing schools to build modern facilities, upgrade laboratory equipment and helped to integrate nursing programs that had previously accepted only white students.
We recently had the privilege of visiting the Public Health Museum in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. During our time at the museum, we reflected on the “Cadet Nurse Pledge” and the work of each nurse in the CNC program. Here’s what we took away:
- Nurses are always at the forefront of the battle against communicable diseases—from the Spanish Flu to COVID-19.
- Nurses remain essential, working to ensure everyone has access to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
- Case Managers are today’s contemporary Public Health Nurse.
- Nursing education and inclusion are essential to the growth and development of the profession.
- Nurses work with strength, compassion and integrity.
Are you interested in our nurse case management services? Contact our team today!
Mental Health Awareness Month: Utilizing Case Management in Mental Health Treatment
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, May 2022
The CDC reports that 1 in 5 American adults experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The global pandemic added grief and stress that contributed to the increase in mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. As healthcare professionals see a rise in patients with psychosocial issues—it is important to involve case managers that can help manage these issues.
Assessing Patient Needs
Case managers assess patients to ensure their needs are being met. When mental health concerns are prevalent, patients need specialized care to make sure the issues are being addressed and, most importantly, they are being educated on the best support available to them. With the proper assessment tools, case managers guide the patient to the resources most beneficial to them.
Creating a Treatment Plan
Having the right resources and tools, case managers take a look at areas in the patient’s life that cause stress and offer solutions to help them manage their day-to-day. Developing the best treatment plan is especially important for patients that experience mental health issues. Case managers are equipped to address the areas in a patient’s life that may trigger the mental health concerns–such as work/life balance and financial issues. Working alongside the patient and their families/support systems, case managers discuss options readily available to patients and educate them on how said options meet the patient’s needs.
Putting the Pieces Back Together
Case managers strive to ensure people are making the best use of the mental services available to them. Taking an individualized approach to how the patient is treated, case managers help establish goals and develop strategies that focus on the improvement of the patient’s mental health.
In hospitals and other healthcare settings, case managers are here to help. With continued advocacy for awareness and education, there is hope for improvement in psychosocial patient treatment.
Contact our team to find out more about our case management and psychosocial support services.
Case Management and the Emergency Department
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, March/April 2022
As emergency departments face overcrowding issues, patients are experiencing exaggerated wait times—often overlooked due to capacity limits. Hospital-wide staffing shortages and burnout also contribute to poor quality patient care and hospital flow; leaving many wondering how the system can be improved. At The Center for Case Management, we believe the first step in addressing major ED concerns is implementing best practice case management assessments.
Heidi Rohloff, Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Medicine and CFCM Consultant, has a firsthand look at the poor outcomes currently associated with problems emergency departments are experiencing. ED staff are finding limited beds to be a dominant challenge, especially with the increase of sick patients.
“I had a patient in the ED from October 1st to the second week in December—that’s over 60 days,” Rohloff shared.
According to Rohloff, prolonged periods of hospital stay prevent many patients from receiving beds and adequate care. Patients staying for lengthened amounts of time are often exposed, and made vulnerable, to other illnesses—causing more concerns for ED staff.
“Increased referrals to the ER make it difficult to provide the best patient care,” Rohloff stated. “Case management is key to assessing patients and their care needs.”
Case managers facilitate and assess opportunities for patients by creating sustainable discharge plans. Improved case management practices, such as linking sustainable transitions, provide high-utilizer interventions and help dissipate readmissions alongside the nurse and care coordinator teams. These implementation services ultimately help create effective plans and solutions for patients who are huge utilizers of the ER.
Utilization management is another key component in improving challenges seen in the ER. Utilization nurses take a “big picture” approach to patient care. Together, case managers and utilization nurses pull resources and information needed to determine whether patients should be kept in the ER or provided better alternatives.
“Providers are doing the best they can with the current circumstances, but there are ways in which improvement can be made,” said Rohloff.
As challenges in the ED continue to arise, the need for restructuring and streamlining case management practices to improve patient flow is greater than ever before.
Are you looking to improve your health organization’s outcomes? Contact our team to find out more about our services.
The Benefits of Utilizing Case Management and Social Work: Addressing Heart Disease
Authored by: The Center for Case Management, February 2022
According to the CDC, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds in the United States. During American Heart Month, we work toward increasing awareness about the statistics related to heart disease and ways to prevent it. In hospital systems, case managers and social workers play an important role in helping patients improve their cardiovascular health. Here’s what we know:
Social Workers and Teaching Patient Coping Skills
The role of the social worker is to help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives—and that’s no different when it comes to heart health. Managing stress levels is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is especially important for women to pay attention to their stress as heart disease is a leading cause of death for women in the United States. Social workers aid individuals in identifying the stressors in their lives, providing effective coping skills to prevent heart disease and issues related to those stressors.
Case Managers and Providing Awareness
Case managers seek to organize, facilitate and help others find the best care and solutions for their health. With heart health, case managers can provide patients with tools to recognize symptoms of heart disease before it progresses. Heart disease is easier to treat when patients recognize the signs early. Case managers provide the proper education for detecting heart problems and ways to communicate those issues to others.
This article is dedicated to Beverly Teneholz.
Are you interested in learning more about our case management and social work services? Contact us today.
The Intersectionality Between Healthcare Technology and Patient Care:
Bridging the Health Inequities Gap Through Improved Data Systems
Authored By: The Center for Case Management, January 2022
As hospitals look towards solutions for improved patient care, The Center for Case Management is utilizing their data system—CARTBoard™—to develop outcomes and help close the gap on health inequities.
CARTBoard™ is an advanced healthcare data system that provides efficiency scores for hospitals. Jeff Echternach, Technology Officer for The Center for Case Management, said he and the CFCM team developed the system with the priority of improvement of patient outcomes.
Echternach believes that with proper insights and data can, hospitals can identify and bridge the gaps within their health organizations—leading to positive change.
“CARTBoard™ provides health systems with the analytics that point them in the direction they want to go in,” Echternach stated. “The system allows health systems to streamline data and find ways to help their hospitals standardize to the same methodology—resulting in assessing patients properly and providing the best care.”
With the proper process and technology involved, patient identification can be streamlined to ensure potential risk factors are assessed and that patients are receiving resources and information relevant to their case—beginning with screening questions.
Patient responses to screening questions can help identify if a more in-depth questionnaire is needed. After responses are added to medical records, they can then be delivered to the appropriate screening individual (social worker, case manager) for further assessment.
For example, Patient A (facing homelessness) and Patient B (stable home-life) visit the same healthcare provider for flu-like symptoms. If the healthcare provider approaches Patient A and Patient B in the same manner but is unaware of Patient A’s situation, the healthcare provider might miss the opportunity to provide Patient A with adequate care.
Screening tools can start with simple, social determinants of health scale featuring categories that determine whether a patient is safe and stable—leading to counsel and resources that will help them. The more information and details obtained, the better chance of creating a proper discharge plan.
“A hospital discharging a patient that has some limited mobility and a bad heart failure diagnosis, and during screening, says there is a financial concern—the provider should try to address those gaps,” said Jeff Echternach.
After measuring the social determinants scale, results can then be converted into an aggregated score that helps to communicate any risks involved. Echternach said that offering solutions—such as charity medication—could help patients experiencing struggles such as financial issues. However, the best way to know if a patient needs help is by asking the right screening questions. Outside of financial concerns, patients’ needs can range from transportation to housing resources.
According to Echternach, taking the risk scores and stratifying higher scores and lower scores can help determine outcomes for populations. For example, looking at patients that have a very high-risk score in homelessness, a health system might want to know how those patients rank on their acute hospital length of stay. Hospitals could also look at how that score might compare to a population that has a lower score.
Taking it a step further, risk score data enables health systems to see how their various hospital populations compare, discovering what they can do differently to improve outcomes and patient care at other hospitals.
As hospitals face internal challenges, such as staffing shortages, workflow systems can equip case management and social work departments with the best tools for responding and scoring effectively.