Recipient of the 2014
Alyssa Carvajal works at a Level 1 Trauma Centre within the Trauma Neurosurgery Intensive Care Unit and inpatient program at St. Michael’s Hospital. Alyssa graduated from her Masters of Social Work at the University of Toronto in 2020 and began her hospital social work career in the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She works with patients and their families during initial onset of their traumatic brain injuries. Alyssa provides crisis and emotional support and adjustment counselling during the acute care phase for brain injury survivors and their families. Alyssa also supports patient and families in navigating the acute care healthcare system and transition to rehabilitation. She works closely with the interdisciplinary team to provide the best care for the patients and their families during their acute care inpatient admission.
In the past two years, do to the extraordinary healthcare challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created; Alyssa has actively advocated for patient families to be allowed to visit with their loved ones during times when hospital visitor restrictions have been enforced. The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional sources of stress for patient and families following their brain injury and admission to acute care. During this time, Alyssa has filled the support role for patients whose families were unable to be with their loved one due to extraordinary circumstances.
Alyssa is an active member of the Critical Care Patient and Family Experience Committee at St. Michael’s Hospital, which works towards quality improvement practices that encompass the integration of the experiences of Patient and Family Partners. She has recently taken on the role of Vice Chair of Education for Social Work Practice for the greater St. Michael’s Hospital Social Work Cohort, where she aims to support MSW student placements and continued professional practice development of staff Social Workers as well as MSW students.
Alyssa is continually inspired and awed by the resiliency that both her patients and their families display during some of the most difficult times of their lives. She feels privileged and honoured to be a part of the journey that brain injury survivors and their families experience. Alyssa continues to grow and learn from her experiences working with her patients and families. Alyssa is recognized for her empathy, support, and advocacy to her patients and families she works with.