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PO Box: 11-0236
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020
Beirut - Lebanon
Social workers interview yearly over 2800 patients that are referred for various reasons trying to offer excellent services within the department's resources. The young mother who receives financial assistance that keeps her on following up on her cancer treatment, the child who is encouraged to attend school and no longer out of school, the family who needs counseling or the adolescent who needs help to be heard, all are confronting real life problems that our patients present. These are the stories and the realities that the social workers are facing daily. Proud to be a part of AUBMC, we serve our patients in a caring and professional manner. Through perservance, integrity and commitment, social workers work together and in collaboration with all hospital staff to support individuals and families to reach their full potential and live better lives.
Medical social work, as a specialized method of social work is of recent origin. It involves the practice of social work mainly in a hospital setting, to enable the patient to use the available health services most efficiently and effectively. The Social Service department at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), is one of the first of its kind, in Lebanon and the region. It was established in the 1950's in the old hospital. Since then, it has been rendering valuable services to the patients. It is helping in the restoration of health and the prevention of personal and family deterioration, as a result of the disease or handicap. The department is well organized, staffed with three social workers and a social service manager, and appropriately integrated with other units and departments in the Medical Center.
The mission of the Social Service department is to help patients and their families cope and adjust to social, psychological and economic problems resulting from illness, with particular attention to the needs of people who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty.
We strive to assure the protection of vulnerable patients and assist them in achieving and maintaining a higher quality of life stressing on a trustworthy relationship and recognizing diversity within and among cultures. It is our aim to do what is right in an innovative way and to explore new ideas. We seek to expand the department to have more specialized social workers to cover most of the hospital units for continuous improvement and growth and for more collaboration with community resources for the benefits of our patients.
Philosophy and Values
The social service department captures AUBMC's philosophy which focuses on excellence in patient care, equality and accessibility. We attempt to minimize our patients' sufferings and promote empowerment. We have the duty to respect basic human rights as expressed in the United Nations Universal declaration of Human Rights. Through disseminating knowledge and expanding our competencies, social workers seek reliable judgment in meeting the patient's personal and social needs.
Scope of Social Work
The social workers are prepared to assist patients with a range of social, emotional, family, and health related problems. They also serve as a link between the patient, community organizations, and other AUBMC staff.
As part of the healthcare team, social workers are assigned to inpatients units, emergency medicine department, and outpatient clinics.
Both inpatients and outpatients are eligible for help and aid regardless of their nationality, race, religion, and gender.
Depending on the identified need, the department provides a spectrum of services in varying degrees that includes the following:
Guiding and counseling the patient and/or family: Social workers help the patient gain a better insight into his/her problem and develop strength to help himself/herself. They activate the patient's own resources and help him/her free himself/herself from fears and tensions, in giving him/her whatever support is needed. Social workers combine a listening, receptive attitude, with active participation by observation to evaluate the words, actions and emotions of the patient, learning his/her strength and weakness, enriching his/her inner and outer resources to assume the responsibility of making choices. These services also applies to family members, as needed.
Admission and discharge planning: The discharge planning role of the social workers at AUBMC has become increasingly important in all services especially to elderly and disabled people. It is a multidisciplinary process aiming at ensuring the continuity of care for the patient.
Financial support: A major source of financial resources at the department is the donations obtained from the "Women's Auxiliary of the American University of Beirut Medical Center", mainly from the coffee shop and the bargain box. The second source comes from the patients through the "Grateful Patients Fund" which was started in January 2009 by the office of Development in coordination with office of the Director of the Medical center. Those contributions are deposited in separate accounts established for this purpose and are being used to assist needy patients.
Other funding opportunities: Social workers are performing the social assessment for patients who receive financial help from the following funds: 1."Brave Heart Fund", administered by Dr. Fadi Bitar, Pediatric Cardiologist (www.braveheartfund.org). 2. "Primary immunodeficiency Fund", administered by Dr.Ghassan Dbaibo, Infectious Pediatrician. 3. "Children's Epilepsy Fund". 4. Mamdouha El- Sayyed Bobst Breast Cancer Fund", administered by Dr. Ghina Berjawi, Diagnostic Radiologist. 5. "Helena and Aref Jabbour's Fund", administered by Ms. Claude Maroun, Director of Physical Therapy.
Referrals to community resources
Home, school, and agency visits when needed
Consultation with the medical team
Criteria for Social Work intervention
Following referral of a patient to the social Services department, the social worker intervenes within 24 hours on regular days except for the emergency department where patients are being attended to immediately.
Suicidal, alcoholic, and substance abuse patients
Personal and family problems
Newborn babies with severe congenital malformation and those born to unwed mothers.
Patients for discharge on medical devices, e.g. suction machine
Comprehensive assessment of suspected child maltreatment upon referral from the "Child Protection Committee"
Patients requiring palliative care
Orientation to Social Work Services
Orientation sessions: Regularly, the social workers are conducting orientation sessions about social workers' role to nurses, Administrative residents, medical students, fellows, Nursing students, newly employed nurses and hospital employees.
The social workers are training social work students and newly employed social workers.
Wafa Khansa, Director of Social Services
Maria Bekdache Tamim, Social Worker Case Manager
Joyce Baddoush Freih, Social Worker Case Manager at the Oncology department
Sarine Seraydarian, Social Worker at the Neuroscience Outpatient Center
Katia Abou Nader Chaaya, Social Worker Case Manager at the Psychiatry Department
Iman Aboukhzam, Social Worker
Reem Ismail, Senior Office Assistant
Main office: Phase 1, third floor, room W347.
Two offices : Phase 2, second, near AUBMC kitchen, room E226I and E226J.
One office : NK Basile Out building, Psychiatry department, 3d floor
One office : ACC Building, 5th floor
One office : Ahmad and Jamila Bezri building, Neuroscience outpatient department, 3d floor, room P-329.
Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm
For further information, you can contact us on one of the following:
American University of Beirut
Riad El Solh Beirut 11072020
Telephone: +961-1-350000 ext: 6710 - 6713
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