LEADING SOCIAL SERVICES: Cannon leads the MGH Social Service Department in a Volunteer Day parade around the Bulfinch lawn on June 22, 1944.
As part of its bicentennial celebration, the MGH recognizes the important legacy of the Social Service Department. In 1905, the MGH was the first hospital in the United States to establish such a department. Under the leadership of Ida M. Cannon, the inaugural chief, the department initially provided assistance to outpatients and addressed issues at the intersection of health and social welfare, such as tuberculosis prevention and the needs of young unmarried pregnant women.
"Today, licensed clinical social workers provide a wide array of psychosocial services to patients and families -- such as crisis intervention, adjustment to illness and eliminating psychosocial barriers to optimize health care," says Ann Daniels, PhD, LICSW, executive director of the department. "We are extremely proud of the department's long tradition of pioneering social work care for our patients."
During Social Work Month in March, the department hosted a variety of events and activities to showcase the expertise and dedication of these professionals. The celebration launched with a series of information tables in the White Lobby from March 7 through 19, featuring a different departmental program each day. A poster series provided passersby in the lobby with information on special programs and services highlighting the department's storied history.
Social service staff also shared their expertise with the MGH community through a series of grand rounds presentations. The
topics were mindfulness in the health care setting, ethics in end-of-life care, attachment therapy, cultural formulation models and living with uncertainty.
For more information about the MGH Social Service Department, access www.mghsocialwork.org.