In October 2017, Becca Schwartz, HIVE’s Clinical Social Worker was one of two UCSF Department of Medicine staff members to receive the SPIRIT of DOM Award! SPIRIT stands for Staff Professionalism, Inspiration, Responsibility, Integrity, and Teamwork.
Below is HIVE’s full nomination letter:
At HIVE, we call Becca Schwartz our “special sauce”. Our Communications Coordinator – a former HIVE patient – wrote a blog post and recorded a video in honor of Becca and World Social Work Day: https://www.hiveonline.org/becca-schwartz-special-sauce/.
As you walk into Becca’s office, you’ll see a tack board overflowing with holiday cards, heartfelt thank-you notes, and pictures from her clients and their families. She is loved. As HIVE’s Clinical Social Worker, Becca is a bedrock of support for our preconception, pregnant, and postpartum patients living with and affected by HIV. Becca becomes a crucial part of our patients’ support network during pregnancy. She consistently receives positive feedback on our patient satisfaction surveys. In response to the question “When you think of your experience with HIVE, what do you appreciate the most?” one client wrote, “The relationship that my husband and I have with our social worker Becca is so honest and we feel as though she honestly cares about us.”
After our patients transition from HIVE six weeks postpartum, Becca continues to be their social worker at Ward 86 or the Family HIV Clinic. As such, she has built supportive and healthy relationships with her clients and their families over the last decade.
At weekly case conferences, we take comfort in knowing Becca knows what’s best for our clients. On a typical clinic day, you can hear Becca calling numerous community-based housing organizations advocating on behalf of our clients. She navigates our complex system until she finds the most optimal solution.
Prenatal and postpartum care is particularly challenging for HIVE patients who are homeless or unstably housed. To support highest-need patients and their infants in engagement and retention in care, HIVE has access to a stabilization housing hotel room. In 2016, Becca helped three HIVE patients utilize this room. One of our patients safely roomed with her sister, in the setting of violence, chaos, and lack of electricity in their family’s squat. Before using the hotel room, this patient was in and out of contact with HIVE, not coming in for care. She stayed in the hotel room for seven weeks to focus on her prenatal care, take her HIV medications and to follow through on the many steps required to get in to long-term transitional housing. She, her sister, and their infants have successfully transitioned to a private room in a local community home, thanks to Becca’s tireless advocacy and communication.
Many of HIVE’s patients have a history of trauma. She treats all of our patients with utmost dignity, respect and compassion. She believes in healing and champions resilience.
Becca is truly an inspiration to her colleagues. We recommend her enthusiastically and without reservation for the UCSF Spirit of DOM Award. Few people deserve this award as much as she does.