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2015 Social Work Award Recipients

Erin Khang is the 2015 recipient of the 13th Annual Beverly Jean Howard Award for Excellence in Social Work!

Erin Khang is a social worker with the Pediatric Nephrology Program and has also been the MiChart lead for the Department of Social Work. She is highly regarding and well respected by her pediatrics and nephrology teams, and throughout the Department of Social Work. For Erin, there is no other level of demonstrated professional performance other than superior. She maintains the highest level of professionalism and dedication to her patients and their families. The supports and knowledge she shares with a patient's medical team strengthens the overall treatment outcomes. Erin's leadership skills enable the team to focus on the goals of treatment. She is a possibility thinker and is able to blend collaborative resources toward a common outcome. Erin has the most uncanny way of "being in the moment" with whomever she is communicating. As Erin approaches her work on behalf of patients with chronic end stage renal diseases, she is, without hesitation, a model of what makes the "Michigan Difference."

As MiChart lead, Erin promotes and advocates for Social Work at all levels of the UMHS infrastructure; attending meetings and giving feedback to the powers-that-be on MiChart, to promote continuous quality improvement for Social Work. MiChart has been a major undertaking and Erin has been the key to Social Work's success in navigating MiChart implementation since the project was first initiated several years ago. She provides information to us and other departments in a professional manner. Erin has been a tireless advocate to make MiChart improvements for Social Work and always represents our department at the highest level in an outstanding manner.

Erin is highly invested in graduate social work education, as a field instructor, serving on the social work education committee, teaching a mentorship course, serving as a clinical skills training series instructor, and lead for intern orientation. In addition, Erin has been very involved in the development of the Integrated Health Scholarship Program through the University of Michigan School of Social Work and is a frequent invited guest lecturer at the UMSSW. She is consistently a forthright and supportive mentor to social work trainees.

Knowing that Erin is pulled in multiple ways and her varied exemplary skills are wanted by many different areas of her work, her respect for others and her unquestioned willingness to be a champion for "her department" demonstrates the highest level of professionalism and compassion in her role with social work.

Nominated by: Barb Rose, MSW

Congratulations, Erin!

A total of 16 nominations were received and included:

Katherine Schneider is the 2015 recipient of the 3rd Annual Outstanding BSW Award in Social Work

Katie Schneider provides superlative customer service. Consistency, reliability, rapid response, a deep and broad knowledge base, leadership, the setting and maintaining of appropriate boundaries, and a whiz-bang sense of humor, are all hallmarks of her daily performance. Most of all, I've witnessed her vigorous advocacy for patients and families, on occasions when something, somewhere, in this extensive elaborate System was perhaps impeding excellent patient care. Let me put it this way: If I'm a quarterback, then Katie is my #1 go-to receiver - but she can also run with the ball, and hey, you ought to see her block and tackle! She's a triple-threat BSW!

Although the Transplant Center does not have its own dedicated BSW, Katie has indeed expanded a BSW role in the transplant context. She would qualify as an unsung hero, in that the Transplant Center does not know who she is and yet the patients and families benefit mightily from her expertise. Let's just say she is tenacious especially in dealing with the pharmacy on behalf of patients. I'll bet I could come up with a list of 100+ patients who have directly benefited from her advocacy and determination, and not only in terms of medication access.

Although the GAP has always been an outstanding resource, I perceive that Katie has been key to the tremendous growth and expansion over the past few years, in terms of day-to-day systems. I believe that Katie has pushed the frontiers of professionalism forward and has been a prime mover in the development and implementation of new protocols. I suspect it would be challenging to move from being the peer of others, to being their immediate supervisor or lead, but she seems to have adapted well.

Our PFCC friends exhort us all to embrace the patient's experience by grasping the patient's viewpoint, interpretation, and beliefs. Katie does this well. She seeks to understand, not just the problem from staff or systems perspectives, but from the patient's and family's perspective. Katie looks through the patient's eyes, the family's eye, every time.

Nominated by: Daniel Reid, MSW

Best wishes, Katie!

A total of 7 nominations were received and included: