Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s social work recognition awards:
- Noelle Buso, LISW-S, for the Mary Frances Ahern Award for Social Work Dedication
- Penny Daly, LSW, for the Denis Hessoun Award for Professional Growth and Development
- Amy Feldmaier, LISW, for the Vicki Allan Award for Social Work Services
Noelle says she has always been fascinated by the field of medicine and her job allows her to combine that passion with helping medically fragile children.
“I enjoy developing long-term relationships with patients and their families,” she said. “I love knowing they can count on me and I can help them navigate through the often difficult health care system. Although it’s a challenge when a patient is newly diagnosed with something life changing, I’m honored when they choose me to lean on and reach out to when times are good or bad.”
Penny, a social worker with Locust Pediatric Care Group and Adolescent Medicine, says she chose social work as a profession because of her appreciation for the social justice framework and the opportunities to grow as a professional.
“I see my work as a social worker as an opportunity to reduce disparities and remove barriers,” she said. “Although I’m in a pediatric hospital setting, the needs of my patients and families extend beyond that – racism, immigration, food insecurity, educational needs, housing, violence, etc.”
Penny’s nominator, Social Worker Darla Helmick, cited her as generous with her time and talents.
“Penny has served as a mentor to a master’s degree candidate, a speaker at Bridges Out of Poverty and completed training to learn to correctly install car seats so she can teach the families in her clinic how to do it,” said Darla.
Whether it’s bringing in donuts for no particular reason, or creating interactive games for staff, Amy’s nominator, Physician Assistant Lauren Lewis, says Amy goes above and beyond for her co-workers in the Paul and Carol David Foundation Burn Institute.
“During times of high acuity and census, Amy has planned activities to help improve morale and reduce stress,” Lauren said.
Amy, who has worked at Akron Children’s for 9 years, helps patients navigate life during and after burn injuries. She says the most rewarding part of her job is being able to witness the recovery process of burn patients.
“Seeing our patients thriving months and years after their burn injuries is what motivates me through the harder times with patients and families,” she said. “It is so rewarding to see a patient walking or running when there were days we didn’t know if they would ever walk again or survive their injuries.“
All 3 women say their awards are meaningful and validating because they were given by their peers.
“It’s an honor to be acknowledged by others who I work alongside day in and day out,” said Amy. “With all the other professionals that I admire, to acknowledge the work I do is touching.”
Penny says if anything, the award is a reminder to continue to work harder and make a difference – something she clearly excels at doing. Her nomination form cited how she helped in the planning stages of a food pantry located within the hospital and developed a committee to facilitate the growth and development for other employees to learn about and assist with food insecurity in the community.
Noelle was touched to be recognized by the leaders within her department.
“They have worked in the field of social work for years, and having them acknowledge my dedication to the field we all love is wonderful validation.”