Social Work Services

Director:   Susan McCarthy LMSW MS
LEVEL 1 - ROOM 715


Mission of the Department

  • Patient Care
    Professional social workers assist patients and families to make the transition from pre-admission to post hospital services.

  • Community Service
    Social workers coordinate the efforts of local service providers to meet the continuing needs of patients and families once they are discharged from the hospital.

    Social workers also play pivotal roles with community not for profit agencies in assessing and meeting community needs.

  • Teaching
    Social workers are actively involved in the education of students throughout the Health Sciences Center.

    The Department provides field education for social work students from the School of Social Welfare as well as Adelphi and Columbia Universities.

  • Research
    Social workers analyze practice and policy issues that help healthcare professionals and University Hospital leadership to better understand the needs of patients, families and the community.


Training and Certification

Professional social workers all have a minimum of a Masters degree from an accredited program and New York State Certification. 


Discharge Planning

As a part of the healthcare team, professional social workers assess the needs of patients and families. All patients are screened following admission. They consider the patient's situation prior to admission, assess the supports that are available to the patient and family in the community, determine the status and availability of insurance coverage and link the patient to available quality services. Social workers are responsible for effecting the discharge of patients who require post-hospital services.

Examples of services that might be appropriate and available (need is determined by the professional team) include:

  • Home Care Services: Nursing Care, Home Health Aides, Rehabilitation Services and Social Work Services
  • Hospice Care
  • Meals on Wheels - food delivery
  • Other: Case Management, Respite Care or an Emergency Response System

The social worker will also assist with patients requiring out of home post-hospital care including placement in:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Acute Rehabilitation
  • Sub-acute Rehabilitation
  • Adult Homes/Assisted Living Facilities
  • Drug and Alcohol treatment Programs


Clinical and Counseling Services

Social workers are trained to meet the psychosocial and emotional needs of patients and families. This is most critical as patients and families confront the uncertainty and disequilibria that hospitalization produces. These needs can be related to a new diagnosis of a serious/life threatening condition; death and dying issues, and issues of physical/psychological disability.

Social workers are responsible for intervening in all situations of child abuse/neglect, domestic violence and elder abuse.

Professional social workers lead support groups for patients and families throughout the hospital.

Social workers are available to assist with issues of Advanced Directives.

Social Workers are available to assist patients with issues around entitlement programs as well as insurance issues. 


Responses to Disasters

Professional social workers are trained to assist in disaster relief efforts. Social workers from our Department were called upon by the County and Red Cross to respond following the TWA Flight 800 crash, the Avianca crash and the September 11th attack. 



Social workers are assigned to every service in the hospital. You can reach the appropriate social worker by asking you doctor or nurse or calling the main social work number at 444-2552.

There are also social workers available by appointment in the out patient areas.


For additional information, please call 631-444-4000.