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NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi Annual Social Work Conference Highlights the Vital Role Social Workers Play in a Mass Casualty Event

Attendees learned about trauma-informed language, psychological first aid, and post-traumatic growth

Two keynote speakers spoke about their experience responding to the Newtown and Marjorie Stone Douglass mass casualty events

Apr 19, 2024

Lisa Wobbee-Veit, MSW and Christine Montgomery, DSW, LCSW

NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi | North Central Bronx celebrated its social workers on March 21 during its annual Bill Lane Social Work Conference. Continuing in its mission as a teaching hospital, social workers were provided expert training to develop professional crisis response skills for a mass-casualty event. The Social Work Conference honors the groundbreaking work of Bill Lane who was the Deputy Director of Social Work at Jacobi Hospital and pioneered training social workers to be on the forefront of disaster response. Each year, the Conference chooses a different disaster-related topic designed to teach social workers and other mental health professionals crisis response skills that are also applicable to every day practice. At this year’s Conference, attendees learned about using trauma-informed language when talking to families and survivors of violence. They also learned aspects of psychological first aid and post-traumatic growth.

This year’s conference included two keynote speakers who brought their extensive expertise to the field of emergency response: Lisa Wobbe-Veit, MSW and Christine Montgomery, DSW, LCSW. Ms. Wobbe-Veit, a 20-year veteran of the social work field, played a crucial role as a recovery consultant for Broward County Public Schools following the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Dr. Montgomery, a social work professional for 30 years, was involved with the response and aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut for nearly six years.

“This year’s conference chose to highlight the skills that would be necessary in responding to a mass casualty event involving children. Unfortunately, mass violence against children continues to plague our country. Additionally, as a level 1 Trauma Center, Jacobi frequently treats young victims of gun violence and training social workers to respond to the unimaginable grief of these families is crucial to a comprehensive approach to compassionate patient care,” said Marni Confino, Director of Social Work at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi | North Central Bronx.

“Our social workers are an essential part of our patient’s recovery process. They provide the on the ground support and follow-up that is needed to ensure connects to care are made. The Bill Lane Social Work Conference reflects our commitment to helping these essential workers continue to develop their skills,” said Christopher Mastromano, NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi | North Central Bronx CEO.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Marni and the Bill Lane Conference for extending the invitation and providing us with a platform to facilitate these critical conversations. It was truly an honor to engage with such a dedicated group of professionals who share a common mission: to provide assistance to individuals during times of crisis. Each participant in this esteemed group is actively making a difference in the lives of patients and communities they serve every day, inspiring others with their unwavering commitment and passion. Social workers play a pivotal role in responding to crises such as mass gun violence, offering vital support to individuals, families, and communities impacted by these tragedies. Leveraging their expertise in trauma-informed care, crisis intervention, and resource navigation, they provide both immediate and long-term assistance to survivors, helping them cope with grief, trauma, and loss,” said Lisa Wobbe-Veit, MSW.

“Social workers are called to serve during some of the most tragic of times.  We must be prepared to answer the call. Thank you to the conference organizers for allowing me share my story of service after the mass shooting events at schools – the Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 1st graders and 6 educators were killed. Throughout the journey I have been amazed by the strength of the human spirit – from the impacted families, school staff and many helpers along the way. I would hope that conferences dedicated to responding to school shootings would not be needed, but sadly the numbers continue to place our communities at risk. I hope the presentation served as a guide the next generation of helpers,” said Christine Montgomery, DSW, LCSW.

If you are in need of care, please call us at (718) 918-5000.

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Contact: John Doyle, NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi | North Central Bronx, 718-918-4055, 917-553-4642

About NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi
NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi is a 457-bed teaching hospital affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The facility has earned numerous Center of Excellence designations, accreditation, and recognition for its renowned Level 1 Trauma Center, Burn Center, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, regional Stroke Center, Snakebite Treatment Center, Breast Health Center, Bariatric Surgery Center, and Cancer Service. The facility also offers the region’s only multi-person hyperbaric chamber, allowing up to nine patients to dive together at one time. Jacobi’s Ambulatory Care Pavilion is a stunning complement to its inpatient acute care, allowing staff to provide patients with high-quality service in a modern, state-of-the-art environment. For more information visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/jacobi

About NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx (NCB) is a member facility of the New York City Health + Hospitals system, one of eleven acute care facilities within the City of New York. A 215-bed community hospital, NCBH specializes in women’s and children’s services. It also provides Behavioral Health acute and ambulatory care. Its busy outpatient department has led the way in community-based care delivered in a compassionate and culturally-appropriate manner. Its Labor and Delivery service safely brings more than 1,000 babies into the world each year. NCBH is committed to providing safe, high-quality medical care for any and all in need. For more information visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/northcentralbronx.

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health care system in the nation serving more than a million New Yorkers annually in more than 70 patient care locations across the city’s five boroughs. A robust network of outpatient, neighborhood-based primary and specialty care centers anchors care coordination with the system’s trauma centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, home care agency, and MetroPlus health plan—all supported by 11 essential hospitals. Its diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. For more information, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.