Overview

Since 1906, the Department of Social Work Services at The Mount Sinai Hospital has been an integral part of the Hospital community, providing exemplary patient care, education, and research. With one of the largest Social Work staffs of any hospital, Social Workers contribute substantially to Mount Sinai’s uniqueness as an institution, determining critical patient needs and finding ways to address them, as well as making strong contributions to the effectiveness and efficiency of the institution.

Social Workers play an important role in departments throughout the Hospital and in the surrounding community, including pediatrics, psychiatry, ob/gyn, palliative care, geriatrics, inpatient medicine and surgery, narcotics rehabilitation and other specialty programs. Social Workers have obtained numerous service and research grants in the areas of pediatric care, neonatal intensive care, caregiver programs for adults, breast cancer, elder abuse, community-based HIV prevention and services for patients with other serious chronic conditions. Many Social Workers have been supported as part of state, federal and foundation grants providing services for substance abusers, adolescents infected and affected by HIV, pregnant women and children with HIV/AIDS, victims of child abuse or domestic violence, as well as those served by the Palliative Care and Visiting Doctors Programs.

Social Workers provide educational supervision for 18-22 social work students placed at Mount Sinai each year. They are also involved in educating medical students and house staff, as well as genetics counseling students and colleagues from other disciplines. Many Social Workers present at conferences locally, nationally and internationally. The Department’s International Enhancement of Leadership Program benefits Social Work managers from Israel and Australia by helping them to develop their own leadership capacity. The Mount Sinai Department of Social Work Services is highly prolific, enabling it to be the most published department in the country.

Many Mount Sinai Social Workers serve as Faculty members in the Icahn School of Medicine. This is the only Medical School with a Division of Social Work and Behavioral Science and an endowed Social Work chair, both based in the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine.

Social Workers at Mount Sinai engage in service delivery, teaching and research with competence, commitment and creativity. The result is a department that works collaboratively with many other areas of the institution to provide patients and their families, as well as the Hospital community and the community at large with excellent psychosocial care.

Mission

The mission of the Department of Social Work Services derives from and is consonant with the mission of The Mount Sinai Hospital. The social work profession is an essential contributor among the professions which collaborate to provide comprehensive health care. The profession’s goal of assisting individuals and population groups to reach optimal psychosocial functioning supports the mission of the Hospital.

Article I – Patient Care

The Department of Social Work Services contributes to the fundamental goal of personal and compassionate patient care by: helping patients and families with the social precipitants, impacts and sequelae of illness and disability; easing transition from the hospital to other levels of care by utilizing a spectrum of support services; and providing continuity in care plans via smooth and effective linkages with needed community resources.

Article II – Education

The four components of the Department’s educational program are: Education for the social work profession through affiliate programs with universities directed towards Master’s and Doctoral degree graduate education and continuing education programs for the staff and for members of the social work community Contribution to the education of medical students and physicians in the social components of care Education of other health care professionals in the social and emotional aspects of illness Alliance with other professionals in the provision of health education services to patients and members of the community.

Article III – Research

Like medicine, social work is a derivative science and participates in applied research in the social and psychological components of health and illness as well as collaboratively with other disciplines in biological sciences. The particular emphasis of social work research is in applied studies which seek out new knowledge; clinical practice wisdom; management and accountability systems for assuring quality; foundation knowledge for the social work profession; and the impact of policies and regulation on the consumer.

Article IV – Dissemination of Knowledge

As a member of the Mount Sinai community, the Department participates in the gathering, analysis and dissemination of information pertaining to the prevention, assessment and treatment of disease, and the maintenance of health.

Article V – Concern for the Community

Because of its unique social perspective, the Department assists in the definition and solution of health problems and in the provision of services to population groups and communities. Article VI – Organization As do other constituencies within the Hospital, the Department of social Work Services strives for management excellence and for the development of an organizational environment which fosters quality services to patients as well as staff creativity and initiative.