Social Work

Clinical social workers are licensed healthcare professionals trained to help patients with life's most difficult situations. As integral members of the healthcare team, social workers collaborate with other practitioners to identify the psychosocial needs of each patient throughout his or her care.

Social workers help patients and their families understand and cope with the medical, psychological, and social issues related to their illness. This involves assisting patients in effectively communicating with their healthcare team and ensuring participation in their individual plan of care. Social workers offer emotional support, patient advocacy, and guidance.

Social work services are available for all patients with digestive diseases and disorders at the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. For pediatric patients, social workers work closely with pediatric physicians, navigators, and psychologists to care for our youngest patients and their parents. Social work is also available to guide pediatric patients as they transition to adult programs and prepare for college.

Our social workers are also available to meet with patients during chemotherapy infusion sessions and coordinate care with the oncology team. Patients having difficulty adjusting to life with an ostomy or a new digestive diagnosis have access to social work services for support, guidance, and the development of coping skills. For patients and families preparing for surgery or changing the goals of care, social workers are available to assist with family meetings to enhance communication, provide education about home care services, and teach patients and families how to access resources within their own communities.

Social Work Services

Clinical social workers offer many services, including:

  • Brief counseling to help patients and families cope with illness and its related stressors
  • Community referrals and concrete services (including home care referrals, hospice care, enteral nutrition coordination, education about eligibility for transportation services, referrals to support groups, community mental health referrals, and meal delivery programs)
  • Education regarding entitlement programs and financial assistance resources (including Social Security Administration programs/eligibility, Medicare, Medicaid, EPIC, and pharmaceutical company based-Prescription Assistance Programs)
  • Support groups at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and referrals to support groups near patients' homes
  • Educational programming to enhance patient/family preparation and adjustment to medical interventions