Gov. Pete Ricketts has declared Tuesday, March 16, 2021 as Social Worker Day across Nebraska, thanking social workers for their tireless efforts on behalf of patients and families. As part of Social Worker Month, we want to pay tribute to the critical role social workers play across the state and here at Madonna and the incredible resiliency they’ve shown while adapting to the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
Madonna social workers are part of the interdisciplinary team approach to rehabilitation and work tirelessly to help patients rebuild their lives after serious injury or illness. Working closely with case managers and often in the same office, social workers help shape each patient’s unique roadmap for recovery, focusing on how patients and their loved ones can be successful once they leave our facility.
“We keep patients and their family informed of their progress weekly but also work closely on discharge planning and discuss options upon our first visit,” said Cindy Hackwell, a licensed social worker on the brain injury unit of the Omaha Campus. “We are the liaison between the patient and family to their ongoing needs post care at Madonna.” We coordinate ongoing therapy and equipment to use following discharge from Madonna.”
Hackwell obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. It’s a career that spans 17 years and is largely focused in the health care arena beginning in the cardiac clinic of an acute care hospital. She’s been with Madonna since 2015, advocating for patients with a variety of diagnoses including brain injury survivors like Danial Grothe. “I love working in an interdisciplinary team, Hackewell said. “I understand we all have our expertise and we work together to ensure the safest discharge plan for our patients.”
Hackwell says along with implementing a patient’s safe discharge plan, she maintains communication between the interdisciplinary team, patients and families, which has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Families play a huge role in their loved one’s recovery, so initially, it was difficult to see patients and families struggle when visitation was limited,” Hackwell said. “Through phone calls, emails and text, I’ve worked hard to keep the communication lines open and helps families recognize and understand all we’re doing to keep their loved one safe and healthy during this time.”