Hospital News

Helmstetter named Social Worker of the Year

  Anita Rozas, left, chair of the Garrett and Allegany Caucus, presents the Social Worker of the Year award to Jen Helmstetter at Western Maryland Health System’s Frostburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center last week.


Jen Helmstetter, a social worker at Western Maryland Health System’s Frostburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, was recently named the 2018 Social Worker of the Year by the Garrett and Allegany Caucus of the National Social Work Association.

Though she has been at FNRC for a little less than a year, Helmstetter’s impact has been immeasurable, said FNRC Administrator Terri Rodeheaver. “She has only been with us since last summer, but she has been such a wonderful addition. She’s a breath of fresh air and brings a high energy level and has a willingness to do whatever it takes. She extends herself to such a great degree.”

As a social worker at FNRC, Helmstetter does a lot of support for residents and their families alike. She helps them adjust to nursing home life and provides emotional support while they deal with health care issues. She also helps with their discharge plan and services when they are ready to go home.

Helmstetter was nominated by her former colleague Carolyn O’Dell, so the award is extra special to her. “I was so honored since one of my coworkers nominated me. She was someone I worked with for years and I had trained her so that meant a lot to me,” said Helmstetter.

In the nomination form, O’Dell said Helmstetter embodies all the gifts a social worker must have, including a tireless work ethic, humility, a strong grasp of ethics and patience. “In short,” O’Dell said, “she earned not only the respect of her coworkers, but of everyone who worked on the unit.”

Anita Rozas, chair of the Garrett and Allegany Caucus, said the award was created nearly two decades ago as a way to honor the tireless work of those in the profession. She presented the award to Helmstetter at FNRC in early May.  “In our line of work, it’s important to support each other and do something positive for the social workers in the community.”

“I’ve always enjoyed working in the healthcare aspect of social work and especially with the geriatric population,” Helmstetter said. “When the opportunity came to work at FNRC, I was thrilled. This is where my heart is, and I am very honored to receive this award.”

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