Worst Bus Accident in City's History
Social Work's Expanding Role in a post 9/11 World
Sandy Chaiken, LCSW-R, NYC Health & Hospital Corporation, North Bronx Health Care Network Director Of Social Work, Jacobi Medical Center/North Central Bronx Hospital
Editor's Note: Recently, NASW-NYC staff became aware of the inspiring work of the Bronx-wide Social Work Disaster Response Team (SWDRT) after hearing Sandy Chaiken speak at an event celebrating Social Work Month. She shared the critical role that social workers played in the March 12th Chinatown Bus Accident, and described how Social Work is now recognized as a key component of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response in the Bronx, with social workers taking the lead to address the psychosocial and mental health needs of victims of disaster. Timed in connection with the recognition of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Currents staff invited Ms. Chaiken to share how more than a decade of coalition building, competency-based training, and on-the-ground experience led to the formation of the SWDRT. Collaborating on this article with Ms. Chaiken were her colleagues at the NYC Health and Hospital Corporation's North Bronx Health Care Network: Bill Lane, LCSW-R and Regina Riolo, LCSW-R. Mr. Lane is the Deputy Director of Social Work at Jacobi Medical Center/North Central Bronx Hospital and Ms. Riolo is the Social Work Supervisor for the Emergency Department Social Work Unit at Jacobi Medical Center.
When my pager went off early in the morning of Saturday March 12, 2011 I saw the number, and immediately knew something was wrong. I was informed there was a Chinatown Bus Accident on Interstate 95 which resulted in multiple casualties. This was later written about in New York Magazine as “the worst bus accident in the city’s history… 15 of its victims were brought to one hospital, 14 lived.” The hospital’s Emergency Response Plan was activated and Social Work was mobilized. I immediately thought who would I need? Were there children involved? Who could get to the hospital after a week of flooding and road closures? Would we need social workers who spoke Mandarin or other dialects? Would we need to activate the Bronx wide Social Work Disaster Response Team?
Click here for full article.
2011 Annual Meeting Focuses on Social Work's
Role in Extraordinary Times
In his remarks, Keynote Speaker, Phil Coltoff addresses the critical need for social workers to expand their capacities to respond effectively to this challenging environment, calling upon their deepest convictions in themselves, and in the social work profession. Mr. Coltoff is the author of the recently-published book – At the Crossroads: Not-for-Profit Leadership Strategies for Executives and Boards.
Click here for an overview of the 2011 Annual Meeting.
Click here for a summary of Mr. Coltoff's remarks.