Recipient of the 2014

Julia Henderson

Julia Henderson

Nominated For: 2014

Julia is honoured to be nominated for the 2021 Awards of Excellence in Brain Injury Rehabilitation in the area of Hospital Social Worker of the Year. Julia has been a Social Worker for the past 20 years and worked 6 of those at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare – South Muskoka Memorial Site (SMMH), a small acute care hospital in rural Muskoka. Julia is SMMH’s first Inpatient Social Worker. In her role Julia provides comprehensive assessment, care planning and treatment coordination for patients and families where social, economic, emotional, or psychological circumstances presents barriers to care and/or optimal functioning. Julia works closely with a dedicated interdisciplinary team to provide supportive care coordination, system navigation and advocacy, education, and linkage to relevant specialized complex care resources. Following a motor vehicle collision where Julia personally accessed rehabilitation services, she became passionate about working with brain injury patients. Julia is recognized and known for her patience, advocacy, support and compassion in her work with patients, families, and colleagues.

Julia is passionate about creating solutions that will enrich the patient/family experience. In her early days at SMMH, Julia identified patients and families experiencing difficult times needing comfort and healing. In partnership with a local Minister, the Comfort Blanket/Shawl Program was born. The blankets and shawls are made and donated by the faith community for patients and families in need of care, blessings and love. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Julia implemented a Comfort Cart to help support the care needs of patients while restrictions prevented family/friends from visiting. This unique cart provides in-room snacks, activities and personal care items. Julia also oversees the organizations Patient Comfort Fund; staff raised monies made available to support inpatient care needs and maintain patient dignity.

While at MAHC, Julia has participated in several cross-organizational committees including the Mental Health-Working Group and Code Orange Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. Julia is the organizations representative on the Muskoka and Area Situation Table; a strategic alliance of human services guided by common principles and processes in order to mitigate risk situations in a timely manner, usually within 24-48 hours. Julia also sits on the Muskoka Homelessness Sharing Table, and the Muskoka Mental Health Network.

In her own time, Julia actively fundraises for Chemotherapy totes for patients attending MAHC’s north site, Huntsville District Memorial (HDMH). With the help of family, friends, colleagues, and local businesses, hundreds of totes have been donated to the HDMH Infusion Clinic.

Julia also sits on the Clinical Panel with the Office of the Children’s Lawyer as a Clinical Investigator.

Julia has a Bachelor of Social Work from Ryerson University (2001) and her Master of Social Work from York University (2002). She is a registered member in good standing with the Ontario College for Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) and a member of the Ontario Association of Social Worker (OASW). She is a member of OASW’s Healthcare Advisory Group.

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