Congratulations to our April Impact Award winner, Chris Messersmith, MSW, LCSW, social worker supervisor at Suncoast PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly).
Messersmith started in social work in 2010. In 2013 he joined as a social worker at Suncoast Hospice providing psychosocial care and bereavement support services for patients and families. Then he was promoted to a psychosocial team leader coordinating care and support for patients and families, supporting staff and working with colleagues and leadership to create a positive and compassionate team culture. His work has included therapeutic counseling, emotional support, solutions-focused problem solving, psycho-education, advocacy and connection to community resources.
“I am extremely proud to work for Empath Health and Suncoast PACE. I enjoy working in an environment that stresses the importance of compassion for those we serve and the constant drive toward service excellence. I am passionate about the PACE mission of promoting independence and quality of life for older adults. I am inspired by the innovative work by our excellent interdisciplinary team members on a daily basis,” Messersmith shared.
The monthly Impact Award recognizes and celebrates staff for their positive impact on others, demonstration of our values and above-and-beyond service.
Here are words from Messersmith’s nomination:
“After he joined Suncoast PACE, Chris quickly recognized opportunities for PACE social workers to provide more direct counseling for PACE participants, instead of referring them to community counselors. By doing this, Chris has created a stronger foundation for the social workers to provide exceptional care experiences for participants. He has created new therapeutic groups, such as the pain management group, to help participants manage their pain better without the use of narcotics. Chris has developed a very organized training program for new social workers.
Chris always recognizes the good work of the social workers in some manner. His door is always open and he always listens to new ideas or suggestions to improve the program. Chris has the ability to remain calm in the midst of a storm. Chris’ witty sense of humor has helped create strong cohesion and a true culture of camaraderie within PACE.
Chris still maintains a small caseload as a supervisor. Chris is a very sensitive and compassionate professional. He ensures the participants are receiving quality clinical services. In the true spirit of social work, Chris starts where the participant is. He walks the path with participants by providing them support, encouragement and guidance as they celebrate successes and overcome challenges.”
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