March is National Social Work Month, which celebrates the honorable profession of social work. We’re taking the opportunity to showcase Palmetto Infusion’s Patient Advocate, Chrissie Jenkins, LISW-CP.
As our Patient Advocate and licensed social worker, Chrissie is the team lead on addressing social barriers to care so that patients can experience successful medical and mental health outcomes. On a daily basis, Chrissie is initiating referrals to local, state, and federal programs. She aids in facilitating grant funding, assisting with medical directives, and insurance decision-making.
Chrissie explains below what led her to the profession and what a day in her life as a Patient Advocate at Palmetto Infusion looks like.
1. What led you to Social Work?
When I was a teenager, while my parents were divorcing and my mother was struggling with depression, our family participated in family counseling to learn how to cope with and adjust to the many life changes that we were experiencing and enduring during this challenging time.
Participating in counseling as a client was uncomfortable at times and demanded some serious introspection, vulnerability, and commitment; but it also taught me so many important life lessons about growth, resilience, and mental health.
I greatly appreciated everything our therapist did to steer us through this journey. Through this rough transition, I discovered my desire to work in the noble field of social work so that I could one day help others who might be struggling or suffering from their own life stressors. To achieve this goal and dream, I completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. After completing an internship in hospice, I found my niche in the rewarding and often formidable field of medical social work. I jumped into this crusade to help others wholeheartedly and have never looked back.
2. What does a typical day look like for you at Palmetto Infusion?
What I enjoy most is that my workday is never boring or typical and that it is always patient-centered and value-based.
Advocacy in action at Palmetto Infusion/AccuRX is fast-paced, ever-evolving, and requires flexibility, collaborating, and thinking on my feet. I receive referrals for multiple types of assistance and problem-solving from many areas of our organization and the community on a daily basis, and I am tasked to address many psych-social issues, social barriers to care, and unmet needs that impact our patients’ lives and treatment outcomes.
Every day is a new opportunity to meet patients where they are and to help in some small way, which can hopefully make a big difference in a patient’s time of need.
3. What do you most look forward to about your job?
What I look forward to the most about my job is connecting with my patients in a meaningful and purposeful way that ensures that they all feel seen, heard, understood, and validated.
I enjoy giving my patients the opportunity to share their special and unique stories and to be able to help them express, process, and cope with their complex and complicated emotions as they entrust us to restore health and to restore hope. Also, being a part of our interdisciplinary team, working together as agents of change and for the greater good of our patients, is what I consider to be one of my greatest honors. It reminds me that I am right where I should be following my calling to serve our patients.
4. Where do you hope to see your role at the company in the next five years?
A Vision of More Hearts and Hands on Deck: I hope that over the next several years that we continue to rise to meet the ever-increasing demands for Patient Advocacy with increased staffing, support, services, and programs that are geared towards improving our patients’ overall quality of life at multiple levels. I hope that we continue to stand out as a forward-thinking and trail-blazing company that always endeavors to speak out and up on the patient’s behalf.
5. Anything else interesting you’d like to add?
We Rise By Lifting Others: The project that I am the most excited about is growing our partnership with the Uplift Encouragement Group. This group for chronically-ill patients, that was patient-founded and supported by Palmetto Infusion, has bold plans to expand to our hub locations so that more patients can experience much-needed support and decreased isolation. Witnessing our patients that passionately strive to reach out and to help others even in their own times of struggle and hardship is an inspiration to us all!!
Staff at all levels of Palmetto Infusion refer Chrissie so that every patient’s needs are met. As part of her ongoing patient advocacy work, Chrissie conducts support groups and provides regular education presentations at each of our locations.
You can get in touch with Chrissie at 1.800.809.1265 Ext. 1403 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.