Bothwell Regional Health Center social workers Grace Linn and Michel “Kiwi” Popyk have been nominated for the Caring More Award that Crossroads Hospice presents each year to outstanding social workers.
Linn started her career as a protective service worker and foster care case manager. Over the years, she has served as a social work consultant at Brooking Park Geriatric Center and joined Bothwell Regional Health Center in 1995.
Popyk began her career working with gero-psychiatric patients at Fulton State Hospital. She later worked with cancer patients at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia before joining Bothwell Regional Health Center in 2009.
Today, Linn and Popyk serve as social workers to patients of all ages and with varying needs such as placement in long-term care facilities or rehabilitation after hospitalization.
“It’s a complicated dual role to bridge between the patient and the clinical team,” Popyk said. “The bottomline is that we try to help patients articulate their goals, taking into consideration the medical reality, and then work with them to meet those goals with whatever support is needed.”
Linn’s career spans three decades in social services positions, and she has served patients in nearly every situation. The key, she said, is identifying what will meet each patient’s needs.
“Family dynamics sometimes put a social worker in the role of advocate for the patient with outside agencies and providers and sometimes with the patient’s own family,” she said.
The Caring More Award winner will be announced March 24. In addition to the award presented by judges from the Kansas City area, the public has an opportunity to vote for a community-based award. Votes for Grace Linn and Kiwi Popyk can be made on Facebook. Visit Bothwell Regional Health Center’s Facebook page or Crossroads Hospice page for a link to vote.
Release courtesy of Bothwell Regional Health Center.