The focus of the Social Work Department in carrying out the mission of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is to provide the psychosocial and continuing needs of patients, families, and significant others related to their diagnosis and treatment plan in the Inpatient Unit, Ambulatory Surgery Unit, and Ambulatory Care Centers.
Counseling is provided to enhance recovery and encourage patients to participate in the rehabilitation process. A screening and referral system has been established to assess patients and a multidisciplinary framework ensures the social work staff engages in quality service delivery to our patient population.
Our team of licensed social workers has the unique ability of being able to follow the same patient through the continuum of care beginning with the first visit to our Ambulatory Care Center or an on-site private physician’s office, and culminating in a procedure on the Ambulatory Surgery or Inpatient Unit. A social worker is also located at the Ear Institute to provide psychosocial assessments and counseling to patients and families interested in cochlear implantation.
Patients and families have the benefit of developing an ongoing relationship with this social worker who will guide them through the adjustment to their diagnosis, treatment plan, and hospital stay if needed.
Social Work Services
We offer preadmission planning, information, and referral services to best help patients and families prepare for a surgical procedure so that we can effectively assist with the discharge process to ensure a safe plan when going home from the hospital.
The Social Work Department has obtained several grants over the years in an effort to provide additional services to enhance the lives of the visually impaired through support group activities that include an online support group for patients diagnosed with uveitis, a chronic inflammatory condition of the eye, and for the caregivers of the head and neck cancer patients by initiating a telephone support group.
Currently, there are on-site support groups that meet on a monthly basis for patients diagnosed with macular degeneration and uveitis. These two groups are psycho-educational in nature focusing on stress management and coping strategies along with speakers addressing a wide range of topics that include the newest research in the field, visual aids, and how diet plays a part in their overall health.
The department also coordinates ambulette services for eligible patients with scheduled Ambulatory Care appointments and provides a community resource pamphlet in English and Spanish that includes a list of programs that patients have found useful in assisting with personal and health concerns.
A graduate level internship program in social work is available to interested students. Please contact the Director and Educational Coordinator, Linda Tiersten, LCSW for further information at 212-614-8229.