Social Work Month | Gilchrist

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Social Work Month Highlights

Amy LaMoure

Long-time Gilchrist Center Towson social worker Amy LaMoure is pictured here with Mary Keller. We sat down with Amy to talk about her experiences, but when asked what has kept her here for 22 years she said, “It’s funny you ask that. I was in a meeting last week and as I looked around the room, I realized many of us have been here for so long because we take an incredible amount of pride in what we do. It’s really a privilege to be a part of this emotional time in someone’s life, to be a part of these vulnerable moments. If we can make these intense emotions and moments a little easier for patients and their families while they are here at Gilchrist, that’s huge. It’s incredible.”

Abbey Peko-Spicer

Next up in our Social Work Month feature is Abbey Peko-Spicer. She joined the Gilchrist Kids team in September after previously working as a social worker for an adult hospice program. She had this to share with us about her new role,

“I wanted to know the full range of hospice care and work with terminally-ill children. I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support these children and families have. They are often networked in with lots of different healthcare organizations – maybe their oncologist or a treating team – these are patients who can have concurrent care so that they do not have to forgo pediatric hospice services with Gilchrist Kids while they continue to pursue curative treatments like chemotherapy, for example. I love the job and especially the children and families I work with every day. I feel very lucky because the Gilchrist Kids team is full of so many incredible, compassionate people. It’s a real gift to do the work that we do.”

Jenny Lazzaro

Jenny Lazzaro (pictured left), tells us why she decided to become a social worker, “I’ve been with Gilchrist for three-and-a-half years and I’m a hospice home care social worker. I came to social work, specifically hospice, because of an experience with my grandmother. I hope to bring the same positive experience I had with my grandmother’s hospice team to the patients and families I see, like Ida Famoso and her daughter Chris. Ida and Chris had this to share about Jenny, “Jenny has always made us feel comfortable. She has this way about her that you can pretty much tell her anything. You can see that she’s sincere. We love Jenny and are so glad that she is being honored during social work month because she deserves it.”

Rebecca Armendariz

Rebecca Armendariz’s experience with personal loss at 25 precipitated a career change from digital communications to counseling. After earning her Master’s in social work in 2015, she worked in an oncology center prior to her role here at Gilchrist. As social work month comes to an end, we sate down with Rebecca to talk about her career change as well as how hospice social work differs from other disciplines. She says, “I was picking up the pieces from my loss and evaluating what my next steps were going to be when I started exploring a career in mental health and counseling. A former coworker and licensed social worker shared with me how broad the field of social work is and that is when I decided to persue my career change. I’m so glad I did. As a hospice social worker, I am able to focus my efforts on providing comfort and emotional support at the end of life. I feel very privileged to work in this role and serve people and their families during such an important time.”