St. Jude's Project Paper

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Nearly two years ago, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Washington, embarked upon the launch of a program, the St. Jude’s Project, funded by the Griffin Foundation. St. Jude’s Project would provide comprehensive social work to patients diagnosed with neurodegenerative disorders, with a primary focus on Huntington’s Disease. Huntington Disease is a terminal hereditary disease that is a debilitating illness that has often been called “quintessential family disease”(HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE SOCIETY OF AMERICA, 2017). Other illnesses served through the program are Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS, all mentioned are considered progressive and life-limiting illnesses. This program has adopted an expanded social work approach to provide…show more content…
Furthermore, the ultimate goals of this models is to improve health outcomes through better navigation of the health care system (Freeman H, 1995). Patients with neurodegenerative disorders that we serve through the program have progressive illnesses, and would not necessarily improve substantively through improved medical adherence and access to preventative care, as there is no known cure for these illnesses. However, the implementation of a navigator to partner with our patients through the journey of utilizing the health care system is a useful intervention to care process for our population. In addition, the traditional Medical Social Work model as defined by the National Association of Social Workers, outlines the comprehensive role of social workers with patients in hospitals and medical settings; this model also has value for the patients represented in the neurogenerative community (National Association of Social Worker , 2011). Even so, this definition does not include how to address many of the common service challenges that arise from assisting patient with prolonged complex neurodegenerative disorders, or the range of services needed outside an institutional medical setting. The wraparound service treatment concept is a natural fit with our population as it’s philosophy rests on community level care planning (National Wraparound Initiative, 2017). Catholic Charities of Archdiocese of Washington
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