Special to The Sun
Edmond social worker Jana Lynn Smith has been chosen as the recipient of the Crossroads Hospice “Caring More” award. Social workers provide daily support to their patients, but few receive special recognition for their tireless efforts. In a move to honor social workers and their advocacy for those in need, Crossroads Hospice launched the “Caring More” award for a social worker who goes above and beyond for his/her patients and community.
At a breakfast in her honor, Smith received $500 to present to the Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation.
As a clinical medical social worker at University of Oklahoma Medical Center since 2003, Smith has served patients and their families on nearly all floors of the hospital. She’s evaluated candidates for organ transplantation, worked with the bone marrow stem cell transplant teams, and served patients facing a wide range of cardiac and pulmonary issues.
Smith is committed to raising awareness around Turner’s Syndrome, a chromosomal condition that affects exclusively girls and women and occurs in one in about every 2,500 births. Diagnosed at age 16, throughout Smith’s career as a social worker she has led several support groups for women affected by TS at OU Medical Center, has published significant research in academic journals on supporting women with the condition and served as a keynote speaker at international TS conferences in Canada, Spain and South Africa.
“Social workers are the unsung heroes we depend on every day. They go out of their way to connect the ill to resources, counsel their families and give them the special time and attention they need,” said Randy Wheeler, executive director of Crossroads Hospice. “Jana exemplifies what it means to go the extra mile for her patients, their families, her colleagues and community, and we are delighted to honor her as the recipient of the Caring More award.”
In a fast-paced hospital environment, Smith helps patients and families process information quickly. “People may feel overwhelmed with information about a diagnosis, discharge or treatment options,” she said. “We clarify their understanding of the medical condition, as this can be anxiety-provoking, anger-provoking and frustrating. We advocate for our patients, and help them feel comfortable going home with the services they need.”
Smith serves many patients who have limited resources or no medical insurance. “I find the greatest reward in supporting and counseling people who are in a vulnerable situation is to empower them and identify resources they need so we can make their transition as smooth as possible.”
Outside of the hospital Smith is active in her church’s community outreach projects. Through a partnership with the Department of Human Services, she helped organize monthly visits to a children’s service shelter, bringing bags of clothes and blankets to their families.
The mission of Crossroads Hospice is to provide highly unique, comprehensive, and compassionate hospice services to persons experiencing a life-limiting illness and to their caregivers. For more information on Crossroads Hospice, call 632-9631 or visit www.crossroads