Heather Graham Cole ’91
Today’s SJA Shining Star is Heather Graham Cole ’91. She is an inpatient social worker at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.
Brynn Reynolds Evans ’98 wrote to Heather after receiving an alumni information form with an employment update. After learning more about her position, it was clear that Heather is a SJA Shining Star.
Heather has been at the San Francisco VA Medical Center since January 2019. As an inpatient social worker, she secures and coordinates skilled nursing center placement for veterans who need short-term rehab or long-term care directly after hospitalization. This has become quite challenging.
The pandemic has caused frequent changes to admissions requirements. Many of the facilities she works with have also had COVID-19 outbreaks of staff and/or patients which has halted admissions for long periods of time, as they work with the health department to implement plans for safe operations.
I work closely with an amazing team of Medical/Surgical social workers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and staff from our travel department to make sure our veterans are well cared for during their time in the hospital as well as for the transition from acute care to the nursing facility. The VA has so many programs and benefits to help our veterans, who often have very complex struggles, and I am truly so proud to work in a place assisting those who have served. COVID-19 may have changed how we do some of our work, and where we do it as some of us are now teleworking, but the passion I see in my colleagues for providing excellent care for our veterans has never wavered.
Heather has been working remotely, but still goes into the hospital periodically for things that need to be completed in person.
Thank you to Heather for her dedication to the veterans she serves, and for ensuring their safe admission to facilities that provide the next step of their care.