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Social Work – The Helping Profession

March is National Social Work Month and as we close out the month, we would be remiss in not recognizing the key role social workers have at Saint Therese – one that is essential to meeting our mission “to do ordinary things with extraordinary love,” and that demonstrates our core values every single day.

The National Association of Social Work describes social work as “the helping profession,” with a primary mission to enhance human wellbeing and help meet basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

At Saint Therese, social workers are an indispensable part of our clinical teams and a critical resource to residents in the care centers and to their families. The work is varied, fast-paced, and very rewarding, according to comments from social workers over the years who said they like that they can make a real difference with residents and families.

For Patience Manyeah, MSW, a social worker at Saint Therese of Oxbow Lake since July 2023, the profession seemed like a calling. “I like to help, and I have passion about helping the elderly. My main focus has always been seniors, that’s where my heart lies.”

She relishes the stories they tell, their life stories. “I find it so fascinating to hear what they did for work when they were younger.” Patience said the residents care about her, in turn. “Even if they are having a rough day, I know they care.”

She said she thinks she has a calming influence on the residents, and they know that she respects them.

That respectfulness is a part of her lineage, having been born in Liberia in West Africa, which has a culture of respecting the elderly. She and her family moved to Pennsylvania in 2001, and then in 2016 she moved to Minnesota. She received her bachelor’s in social work at Temple University in Philadelphia and her master’s in social work at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining Saint Therese, Patience worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and also worked as an intern and counselor at a number of addiction treatment centers in the metro.  But now she’s found a home at Saint Therese where she has quickly gained the respect of her colleagues and residents.

Thank you to all of the social workers at our Saint Therese communities. We’re better for having you on our team!