March was designated as Social Work Month and the 2021 observance is more meaningful than ever. This year, the theme for the month-long celebration is Social Workers Are Essential. And rightly so!
For Michael Schoen, LSW, Social Services Director at JGS Lifecare, it has been a year unlike no other. “When the pandemic hit in 2020, I was presented with a myriad of new challenges that included feelings of panic, fear, anxiety, isolation and depression from the residents and their families alike,” said Schoen. “For me, it was a difficult situation knowing that many of the circumstances were far beyond my control and knowing there was much needed in way of resolution.” He added, “I am so proud of our team for not accepting defeat at a time where it was easy to do so. Truthfully, I would not have been able to get through this pandemic without the support of Executive Director Robert Whitten as well as Alyssa Cloutier and Kiana Franqui, who are the backbone of my department.”
A member of the JGS staff for almost six years, Michael was hired in 2015 as a long term social worker. It is an organization he cherishes. “Being a member of the team at JGS has given me the opportunity to build my knowledge, skills and competencies. JGS is a place where I have grown, becoming the Director of the Social Services Department in early 2018.
In honor of Social Work Month, Michael is hoping that social workers are recognized for their many contributions. “Despite the mental and emotional challenges a social worker faces, the testament of a strong social worker is being able to get up every day, ready to make the most of it, not only for themselves but for those that they serve,” commented Michael. “While I understand there are many challenges still ahead, I am proud that I have been able to survive a year like 2020. It is not only a testament to my resiliency and strengths, but a fitting tribute to our wonderful residents and families. They are the true heroes.”
We applaud Michael for his hard work, dedication, loyalty and for the many positive contributions he has made for residents and families at JGS Lifecare.
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