Peak Performer: Emily Haddad, LCSW
director of patient and family support, Pediatric Urology
Emily was a Peak Performer recipient for the third quarter of 2022 (April-June). Below is her nomination letter.
As the director of Patient and Family Support for the Urology Department and a Licensed Social Worker, Emily has a unique role in that she oversees behavioral support for the department’s families and also provides direct care in the form of therapy. On a daily basis, she may be juggling patient visits while participating in multi-disciplinary clinic chart reviews and conferences or find herself on the phone coordinating various support needs for a particular family. Emily not only provides this support on a day-to-day basis in the Urology department but also in the following multi-specialty clinics: Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) Clinic, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) Clinic and Spinal Disorders Clinic (also known as the STRONG Clinic).
Emily gives 200% to her role as a social worker and director every day, but what many don’t recognize is her dedication to helping people outside of work. She is on the volunteer board of the Association for Bladder Exstrophy and goes on volunteer work trips to help kids with bladder exstrophy to help secure their needed surgery in 3rd world countries, such as her upcoming trip to Uganda. She has also been to India volunteering. At the Medical Center, she has undertaken working with the family advisory council and also volunteered to work on the PRISM project to ensure that Sexual Orientation Gender Minority (SOGM) children are treated fairly and with compassion in our system.
In our Congenticla Adrenal Hyperplasia clinic, she has been responsible for submitting our data and assisting the clinic in receiving our Comprehensive Care Clinic designation from CAREs, the Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Foundation. This year, she is assisting in organizing an international family support and education day at CCMC for the CARES organization. Somehow Emily has also found time to set up a new camp event for kids with exstrophy/complex bladder reconstruction issues at Cook Children's and continued to maintain it virtually through the many challenges of the pandemic. She also has assisted with the Spinal Disorders clinic by supporting various camps and support groups for these patients, too.
Additionally, what really makes Emily stand out is the tremendous amount of energy she provides to her patients, families and her fellow staff and providers. She goes above and beyond to get to know her patients and families, understanding that each is unique and deserving of an individualized approach. For example, she communicates with patients’ outside therapists, takes the time to meet with parents and patients together and separately as needed, and meets/speaks with families as often as needed between medical appointments in order to meet their needs.
Emily serves as a liaison between the families and the rest of the medical team, ensuring we successfully communicate our assessments, facilitating the execution of the plan, and intuitively recognizing and addressing the families’ unsaid needs. In the same manner, she is often an important liaison between patients and the rest of their family. She has the discipline and self-motivation to stay current on evolving literature and other sociopolitical topics relating to the conditions we diagnose and manage in clinic, aware that this knowledge informs her ability to provide the best psychosocial support to her patients.
Due to time constraints, our physicians sometimes counsel patients from DSD clinic outside of regular DSD clinic hours. For most of these encounters, Emily has taken the initiative to join these visits with them to ensure the families are properly supported throughout. Emily keeps track of genetic testing that has been ordered on patients, and periodically asks for updates to ensure things don’t fall through the cracks and that there is a plan of action regarding next steps. This is certainly beyond the scope of what her fellow providers expect from her, and incredibly helpful and appreciated.