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AVASW Social Worker of the Quarter 2017

AVASW Social Worker of the 3rd Quarter
Veronica Murray, LCSW

Veronica Murray came to the VA in 2010 to be part of a rural health pilot program that was to last no longer than 13 months.  The program went until 2012, and from there she moved to the Home Based Primary Care Program in the Richmond VA system. 

Veronica got her Masters in Social Work from a Joint Master’s program between North Carolina A & T State University and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  This curriculum prepares students for a Multicultural practice.  Ms. Murray has worked with Geriatric patients, adults, and women’s and children’s programs prior to coming to the VA in 2010.  She has always had a place for Veterans in her heart and when she got the opportunity to get into this pilot program she applied and got hired. 

When she did the rural health pilot program she was involved with a lot of outreach to the rural area and education of Veterans in the rural areas.  When her program ended, she was moved to the Home Based Primary Care Program and she was again able to go out into the community and visit and care for Veterans in their homes.  There she was also able to work with the geriatric population that she also loved and had the freedom to be out in the community working with the Veteran who had a difficult time getting into the medical center. 

According to the nomination, Ms. Murray is a Sr. Social Worker who has stepped up when needed to provide leadership and supervision to less experienced social workers.  She trained new staff and mentored them as they came on board; “She oriented the temporary supervisor,  providing both exceptional support and guidance to ensure the team met all mandates and performance measures for the program.”   “She provided hands on training for staff with CPRS and appropriate Social Work and HBPC note titles to use, documentation training and completion of encounters.” She was responsible for the transition of a new Social Worker to a Fredericksburg CBOC with orientation and support and a warm hand-off of cases so there would be no gaps in service to those Veterans.  When there were other changes and transfers within the HBPC group, Ms. Murray again stepped up and took on three teams to other staffs two teams, while still working to assist new workers by going out with them on visits to provide support and feedback.  She has become the subject matter expert and ensured smooth transition for new HBPC Social Workers and Social Work Supervisors with whom she works. She is looked to as a leader by the whole team that work in the HBPC program.

She is passionate about her work with Veteran, having served for a brief time in the military herself.  She said that one of the most important things for her is to always have an open mind and to always advocate for your Veterans.  Be a lifelong learner.  The more we know the better we develop our skills, the better service we can provide.  Network with colleagues, with the community partners and people in the community.  Your networks are an important resource.  Finally, self-care is very important.  Ms Murray does meditation, yoga, being with people, seeing movies, and remembering that you can’t save everyone. 

Thank you, Veronica Murray, for being a great role model in your program and in your facility, and for the work you do with the Veterans you serve. 

 

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