RNICU/CCN Social Worker University of Alabama at Birmingham
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a wife and mother to two sweet girls. Though I am currently a social worker, I was in the Marine Corps many, many years ago, which makes for a fun mix of life experiences. My preferred niche is working with families and children, but I have also worked in mental health and case management. I am passionate about social justice and loving the next generation hard enough to make the world a kinder place.
Why do you like working in perinatal health?
As corny as it sounds, being a mother is the identity of which I am most passionate, so I really enjoy celebrating motherhood with other women and providing comfort to the mothers that need it so desperately while their babies are in the hospital. Getting to see cute, little, brand new babes on a daily basis is a perk, as well.
Tell us about working with The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation.
The Colette Louise Tisdahl Foundation has provided so much monetary assistance and support to so many of my families when I have been at an impasse to help them. Financial assistance seems so superficial, but the support that the foundation provides takes a lot of stress off of my families while they are already dealing with one of life’s hardest obstacles.
How would you describe the importance of social workers?
A lot of people tend to associate social workers with negative superlatives, e.g., “The One Most Likely to Take Your Child Away”. However, social workers–in all fields–are there to do the hard work of making things easier for people. We are finding the resources and linking them to those who need it. We are walking them through the processes and providing encouragement along the way. We are identifying the support and developing creative solutions to problems. We’re doing this and so much more, all while fighting for the most vulnerable.
What advice would you give families in crisis due to pregnancy complications, NICU stays, or loss?
Take it one day at a time and remember that small progress is still progress. If you can get through today, that’s all that matters.
Greatest professional achievement: On paper, my greatest professional accomplishment may be obtaining my clinical licensure. However, being happy enough with my “job” that I can come to work every day and feel good about what I do feels like a pretty great accomplishment, too.
Favorite form of self-care: Pre-kids: reading. Post-kids: Napping.
Currently binging: Chicago Fire
Favorite book: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who and why?: My mom died when I was a young teenager. I would love to have just a few hours (or more) to be able to talk to her about all the things I never knew would be important to me when I became an adult.
Go to song in karaoke: Bohemian Rhapsody. Duh.
Best advice ever received: “Don’t sleep in your contacts.”
Describe yourself in five words: Organized. Funny. Thorough. Protective. Kind.
Extrovert or Introvert?: An introvert that is comfortable in extroverted situations.