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Deloitte Health Forward: CISWH Director Tami Gouveia on the Vital Role of Social Workers in Health Equity

Thursday, April 04, 2024

In a recent interview with Deloitte Health Forward, Dr. Tami Gouveia, CISWH director, emphasized the diverse roles of social workers in addressing health disparities and advocating for health equity. Social workers are not solely clinical providers, but also serve across diverse settings including schools, emergency departments and in law enforcement agencies. 

Contrary to the misconception that social workers only intervene in crisis situations, Dr. Gouveia explains the extent to which social workers provide services in government, military, religious and corporate environments. She advocates for social workers to be integrated at the policymaking tables, getting them into state legislatures as well as the halls of congress to make systems-level changes and changes in how services are financed. 

Excerpt from “Celebrating Social Work Month: Social workers can play a key role in making health more equitable” originally published in Deloitte Health Forward. 

“Social workers can play a role in building collective power and community power. I served in the Massachusetts legislature for four years and I continue to reach out to my former colleagues, particularly in the Black and Latino caucuses, to make sure that we support social work efforts that address health equity. When I ran for office, I didn’t think anyone would want to vote for a social worker. But I found that people got really excited when they found out I am a social worker. They believe social workers understand what a lot of people are going through and the challenges that people are facing.

Social workers tend to have their fingers on the pulse of the communities they serve. Integrating social work and social care into health care can be a pivotal step toward fostering health equity and improving accessibility.”

Read the full article here.