Spotlight on Social Work

By: Laurie Clark

The Crouse Social Work team, comprised of 17 social workers, is an essential part of the patient experience, interacting with patients, families and the entire care team. Our social workers are advocates for patients, but they also help patients advocate for themselves.

“Their every interaction impacts the patient experience and Crouse social workers are acutely aware of this,” said Karen Dabrowski, BSN, RN, director of clinical integrations.

We’re putting the spotlight on our social workers from different areas of the hospital and highlighting the significance of their role by speaking to three of them: Jessica Mohn, Bonnie DiRenzo and Kelly Coggen.

Jessica Mohn works on the med/surg floors and the ICU and has been at Crouse since 2018.

“We see people here because they’re sick, but we have to also address what happens when they go home. That is sometimes a bigger priority for them,” Jessica said.

Jessica says being a social worker at Crouse means having support from the whole interdisciplinary team as they work toward the same goal of providing the best care for patients.

Bonnie DiRenzo, a social worker in the Emergency Department, echoed that sentiment.

“The team is like a family, we’re all team players and are in it together,” she said.

Bonnie has been at Crouse for over 20 years and has worked in the Emergency Department since 2006. In the fast-paced ED environment, Bonnie said she sees a wide array of cases; substance abuse, overdoses, mental health crisis, domestic issues, sexual assault, etc.

She says she likes the collaboration between the care team and the patient (and their family) to meet the patient’s needs. Often times for Bonnie that includes providing emotional support, coordinating conversations between the patient and doctors and providing a connection to local resources.

For Kelly Coggen, a social worker in the Kienzle Family Maternity Center, providing support for antepartum and postpartum moms is a major part of her job.

“I work with antepartum moms, providing emotional support as we try to keep them comfortable and healthy before delivery, as well as postpartum moms who may need support or community resources after delivery,” Kelly said.

All three social workers agree that working in a hospital setting is exciting and busy.

“It’s a supportive and exciting environment and you learn something new every day,” Jessica said.

Kelly agreed, saying: “You’ll meet all kinds of people in all kinds of places in their lives. We see it all.”

Karen encourages social work students to seek internships to gain exposure to the role.

If you are a social worker interested in growing your skills in a hospital setting, Crouse is currently hiring. Visit to learn more.

Laurie Clark is the Communications and Digital Media Manager at Crouse Health.

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