Elyse Levin-Russman, MSW, LICSW, is a clinical social worker in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. She considers it an honor to be a part of a patient and family’s experience with the health care team during a difficult time in their lives.

Why is Women’s History Month important to you?

Women’s History Month’s theme this year is honoring women who fight discrimination, whether based on race, ethnicity, class or sexual orientation. It is fitting that Women’s History Month coincides with National Social Work month. Social workers have a rich history of women leaders, such as Jane Addams, Mary Ellen Richmond and Jeanette Rankin to name a few, who worked to improve the lives of those who were disadvantaged and provide a voice to those who were oppressed. Ida Cannon has been credited as developing the first hospital Social Work Department here at Massachusetts General Hospital more than 100years ago. Her leadership was pivotal in developing professionally trained social workers within a health care setting who continue the vision of improving the wellbeing of patients and their families.

What do you like most about your job?

The opportunity to witness the strength and resilience of brave children and their parents during a most difficult time in their lives is inspirational. The relationships that develop with families over time is very special and meaningful. It is truly an honor to be part of a family’s experience with the health care team.

What is special about MassGeneral Hospital for Children?

Mass General and MGHfC is a dynamic institution that brings together skilled and compassionate caregivers in multiple specialties collectively focused on excellence in patient and family care. The level of passion and commitment to their work is quite extraordinary here. Dedication to the patient’s experience is a team effort.