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Episode 217 - Kimberly Washington: Therapeutic Patient Navigation: Filling the Gaps for Clients with Neurodegenerative Disorders

Monday, June 05, 2017, 9:26:00 AM

Image of Kimberly Washington LICSW, LCSW

In this episode, our guest Kimberly Washington of the St. Jude's Project at Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C. discusses her "Therapeutic Patient Navigation" community-based project. She describes how this evidence-based intervention was developed to fill the gaps in services that support patients with Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's diseases.

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Average Rating: 5stars  social workers filling the gaps in patient care, Friday, February 02, 2018

By Nicolette :

Ms. Washington stated “this is what I went in social work to do” and I felt the same way. Professor Bakk and Ms. Washington had a great discussion of the care gaps of patients with rare diseases. Social workers can work as liaisons in the managed care system to fill these gaps. While most of the content was new to me, e.g., Medicare waivers, SSDI payments, and familiarity with neurodegenerative diseases in general, the belief of advocating for clients in contact with large systems is very familiar. Ms. Washington highlighted the potential lack of education that patients and their families may have about these diseases, but more importantly, the lack of understanding that a care plan provided by a social worker can help alleviate stress or further damage caused by the disease. This struck a chord with me because someone who is isolated, on a fixed income and has limited knowledge of computer use may not know to search for symptom managing medicines or treatments. Even more striking was the common experience that patients and their families had of not fully understanding what was said to them in doctor’s appointments and walking away unsure of what is going on. The expanded model of care in which social workers can attend appointments with patients, liaison between doctor’s offices and the patient to complete paperwork, and collaborate with the patient to process their diagnosis and plan for treatment is so important to these clients. Listening to this podcast broadened my concept of what social workers can do. Not only can we advocate for our clients, we can engage in evidence-based treatment and research that shows the medical industry that social workers can have a positive impact for patients. Thanks again to Professor Bakk and Kimberly Washington for this enlightening Podcast. I can’t wait to hear about the research done in this field.





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