Each year, Partners’ Senior Management Council nominates dedicated staff members to be highlighted in March for National Social Work Month and to spotlight different staff stories explaining why they decided to pursue a career in the field.
This year, one of our spotlighted individuals for Social Work Month is Sandra Bravo, MSW, a Partners’ Social Work Care Manager for our Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP).
Her love for social work started while she was at Fresno State University. All it took was an Intro to Social Work class for Sandra to discover her passion to help those in need who do not have help and support from family members or loved ones.
Sandra started her career as a social worker for at risk youth struggling with suicidal ideation and then moved to a hospital setting, when she was studying for her Master’s in Social Work degree. There, she conducted suicide assessments for patients of all ages. While working in the hospital, she eventually reached a burn out stage in her career, and the passion she once had for social work seemed to grow dim. She reflects, “It takes a certain type of personality to be in this field. I knew I needed to step back, focus on myself, and find my passion for social work again to be able to truly help others with dignity and respect”.
In 2016, she learned about Partners in Care Foundation and felt she would be a great fit because she really resonated with the agency’s mission and values to provide services and support to diverse, under-served and vulnerable populations. Especially with the older adult population, she found that there were major health inequities that exist in access to appropriate, affordable, and quality healthcare for seniors.
For the past 7 years at Partners, Sandra not only conducted assessments, developed care plans, and provided supportive services to MSSP participants, but has been praised for her kindness, patience, and attentiveness from those in her care. She becomes like family to many, because oftentimes, they live alone and lack a support system.
MSSP participant Tommie Cannon shares, “Sandra is my go-to person to call whenever I feel lonely or down, especially during the COVID-19 stay at home orders. It’s nice to know that I have somebody I can call. That really changed my life, to know somebody cares.”
Outside of her social work profession, Sandra is also an advocate for her community. She played an instrumental role in bringing attention to water issues in her residence of Delano, Ca. She helped to obtain thousands of signatures to stop the increase in their city’s water bill due to contamination that could potentially cause cancer. Although they lost the case, it truly empowered city residents to speak up more on issues and push for solutions from legislatures who have the power to implement change.
Helping others and providing impactful care to those who are often underserved and alone has always been and will always be her passion. We are proud to recognize a Social Worker like Sandra who sees her job as more than a job.