This social worker is a no nonsense, excellent judge of situations which can evolve into more drastic circumstances. As a social worker in the critical care arena at UVA Medical Center, she understands the tense situations which can arise. This was one of those situations.
She said that there had been a physical confrontation between members of a family in a patient’s room. The wife of the patient just had a shoving match in the patient’s room with the patient’s Mother and Father. The atmosphere was really tense, and if necessary security can be summoned to control and settle the matter.
She went on to indicate, in conjunction with the hall nurse, that the worrisome part of the family confrontation is that the wife has no place to stay and she has a four year old boy who is witnessing all of this dispute, and also worrying about his Dad. It was a setting which was giving everyone real concern, yet the Mother and child have no place to get away for quiet time and allow the child to be removed from the environment with his grandparents.
“Can you help?” she asked.
I immediately obtained a room for the Mother and the boy for that evening. The Mother was told that this opportunity was to give her time to take the boy and relax and remove themselves from the conflict of the moment.
This was one of those unexpected situations for which there is generally no simple answer or most certainly no opportunity available for temporary relief of such a stressful situation. Fortunately, a very alert social worker allowed her concerns to reach out to us as a potential helping hand, but especially for the sake of a child hearing arguments in the presence of a family in turmoil and a father in critical condition.
The flexibility to offer relief for the child was a no brainer, and because of the charity’s flexibility to assist even temporarily, I am told that the Mother was able to plan what was best for the present dilemma.
The ability to project lodging even for a temporary overnight situation can be the result of so many scenarios. This particular situation called for a social worker to think outside the box and reach out for a chance for a child to be removed from harmful family exchanges which could escalate and leave such negative memories, especially with a parent at death’s door.
Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum is that opportunity for UVA Medical Center social workers to explore as a chance to assist patients and families when no other opportunity exists. Contributions, even in the smallest amounts, allow for maintaining a vital route for assistance for just such moments. Moments that matter!
Your tax deductible contribution will allow for a continuation of this vitally flexible public charity, dedicated to serving UVA Medical Center patients and families who travel over great distances, too often without adequate funds to balance for lodging, food, transportation and even co-pay assistance. Although our intent is to fill specific unmet needs for temporary assistance for this group of visitors to Charlottsville, we have allowed for some flexibility to reach out as funds allow, and assist others who are seeking to serve these same people. Sometimes there are gaps which exist when no other charitable or hospital entity can assist with immediacy, based on their procedural restraints, monetary limitations, and lack of space regarding lodging. IHS is only restrained when funds are limited. That is why your contributions are so very important, even if as little as $10-20 monthly.
Thank you for listening.
Rev. Elisheva Clegg
Chaplain Volunteer & Founding Member, Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum
A public Charity, independent of, serving UVA Medical Center